The problem with doing business and real estate deals in various States and Countries, is one of compliance and compromise. The entity wishing to have a legal and physically recognized presence in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction is required to comply with rules, laws, whims, bribes, and extortions of the sponsoring state.
The Church, for example, is literally required to make and keep covenants with Communists, in order to have a Church and Temple presence in China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and elsewhere. One of the reasons the Church took so long to build a temple in France was because it was unwilling to keep the “covenants” of the Socialist French government that required access to its properties as a precondition, among other things. And then the City of Versailles of course had a lot to say about what the temple had to look like. It was an arduous process that was both a negotiation and series of compromises. And it took more than 150 years.
The Church finds itself today in a very difficult position. The more it expands, the more it thinks it must appear neutral. Unoffensive. “Kind.” “Good Global Citizens.” The more it builds, the more it must compromise and the less it is able to say or teach about important issues, especially as the world falls apart around us. People are craving guidance while the Church is trying to avoid being canceled and is attempting to navigate very turbulent political waters.
If the Church had been critical of the recently stolen election for example, it not only offends some of its members, it also offends all the mainstream media outlets, most world leaders, Antifa and BLM, Hollywood, Pro Sports, most major retailers and Big Tech companies, Congress, the new administration, members of the Supreme Court, local governments… and especially China, who helped orchestrate “the steal” and it invites the wrath of power structures that would seek to destroy it.
The Church would definitely never get its temple in China if it spoke the truth on many issues, especially human rights in China. It would never get its meetinghouses. And if it had those structures, they would be at risk of retaliation, violence, confiscation, and destruction.
We could cite many scenarios highlighting where the Church is vulnerable if it stands up and speaks truth. In the US, it could lose its 501c3 status. This is effectively what Wilford Woodruff “saw” in vision (envisioned may be a more accurate way to say it) when the Church was literally losing its freedoms over its stance on polygamy. The Church was forced to eventually comply. Otherwise prison and confiscation of properties was the alternative.
So the Church has chosen to remain neutral. Which sounds fine on its face. “Be diplomatic and kind and don’t talk politics…” We all know the drill. But what about when it comes to abortion or other moral issues? What about when it comes to election integrity and Constitutional issues? Right to bear arms? Freedom of speech? Freedom of assembly (see CoVid)? Right to not be vaccinated? The right to pray in public and private squares? The right to petition and protest? The right to not wear a mask? Especially when you’ve already been vaccinated or had CoVid already…
Let’s take the issue of private property rights. Think of the couple who are literally being prosecuted and crucified in the media for standing with unloaded guns (brandished but not pointing) in front of their own home as a mob ran towards them… on their own property. Does the Church not believe in being able to enforce trespassing laws? Castle laws? Does it not want to defend those freedoms to protect oneself and one’s family?
Remember when the protestors used to roam through Temple Square with pickets and pamphlets? They are all gone now, because the Church was far from “neutral” in that political matter. It stood up for its rights to prevent people it deemed unsavory from standing on their private property.
So what does the Church do? It’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t speak up. I recognize and I sympathize with their dilemma. Sadly at some point in the near future they may face being forced to perform gay marriages or get vaccinations that were created using aborted fetal tissue if they want to send missionaries out to foreign countries, or even just to remain a non-profit. Why? Because we are so tied to Babylon and to the State.
Here’s a crazy thought. What if the Church had no property? Or maybe just one temple and one big piece of land? We are accustomed to feeling like we need churches, but do we? We’re proving right now that we can do Church at home or over Zoom… What if instead of going towards properties, tithing actually went to care for the poor among us? Did Christ build churches? Did He build a temple? Why didn’t He?
Did Joseph Smith build meetinghouses in the 14 years he was prophet? Not a single one. They built the Kirtland temple and tried to build the Nauvoo temple with the goal being to build and keep one temple that would be the center point of Zion that the Lord could come to and dwell in. But, Joseph did not build or have plans to build a single church house I am aware of and he had no vision to dot the earth with temples.
Members during Christ’s day and Joseph’s, met in members’ homes and outside when weather permitted and rented halls as needed. They did not enter into agreements with governments to the extent we do now, especially as we seek to establish abroad, largely because its mission was not property expansion driven as it seems to be today. Yes, we wanted to bring the gospel to the corners of the earth, but at that point, members would immigrate to “Zion” or continue to meet locally in fellowships in homes and halls.
Imagine if our Church leaders could speak unrestrained like the prophets of old. Sure, they would become targets and would likely be threatened with violence, if not killed. Many of us would. But there would be no temptation to enter into covenants with the Great Whore or temptation to compromise as we do now as a result of billions of dollars and thousands of properties and hundreds of thousands of jobs all being at stake. We would be less tempted to feel the need to protect those worldly things. Perhaps we would speak our minds more freely. We’d be much more able and willing to flee. The Church clearly spoke its mind more freely and taught truth more openly in days when it was not a global church.
Here’s an idea. What if the Church sold almost everything? “Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor.” And separated the Church from the world and took care of its own. Preached more boldly. Built a place of refuge in the mountaintops, away from the madness of this world. Built a place for a people to flee to. Then perhaps we could teach truth and not cower because of who we are subject to. This seems like the pattern of Scripture does it not? Flee Egypt? Flee Babylon? Flee Sodom? Flee Jerusalem? Flee Missouri? Find our waters of Mormon and our secluded Jordan River and our Promised Land… Our Zion. Care not what man can do or how we will live. Look at the lilies of the field and how they are adorned and cared for. Travel without purse or scrip. All flesh is grass. Oh I know it’s idyllic. But, maybe not…
One thing feels sure: The Great Whore sits upon the many waters and has dominion over the whole earth and we have contracts and obligations to her and all institutions seem to be failing right before our eyes. It’s comply or be cancelled. Very few are not complying. Very few are standing up. The only way to eventually escape will be if we are able to flee to Zion, which will not be a “stake” but will be a City and NOT Salt Lake City. A Holy City at the tops of the Mountains. In order to do so, we must find truth and we must repent and we must prepare. Cities in Florida and Malls in Salt Lake City and Philadelphia will soon serve no purpose, as Babylon falls and as the Whore loses her kingdom. They will provide no milk and no shelter from the storm that is coming.
I can’t speak for you, but this last election has taught me one very important lesson that the flesh cannot be relied upon and that the truth is all that matters now. I will not be lied to or dragged about any longer by the false and vain leaders of this world. I repent of my political idolatry and seek to adopt the counsel of a very wise friend who recently said:
“Politics makes a poor religion.”