Philosophy Vs. Conspiracy… My Response
I see a lot of good articles come through from other Latter-day Saints on LDSFreemen.com. Some of these articles particularly create somewhat of a stir among our regular readers. I wanted to comment on a recent article by Jerry Salcido “Philosophy Vs. Conspiracy”, and also add my thoughts, and some others… I think the subject merits further debate…
I agree with one of the main conclusions of the article, that our focus should be on learning, understanding, living and teaching other, the principles of agency, freedom and liberty. I think we can all agree that is important.
What caused such a stir is the author’s seeming downplay of the importance of understanding the conspiracy, or Secret Combinations. You can read the article to come to your own conclusions, and please feel free to post your comments at the end of the article. Here are some of my thoughts on this issue:
Jerry made a point that “…conspiracy theories, and those who are fixated with such, tend to do more harm than good to the liberty movement, because they focus on conspiracy rather than philosophy.” While I believe this is true in some instances, I believe we must also recognize the danger of not undersanding the Secret Combinations, the danger of not understand Satan and his methods.
Ken Bowers (author of Hiding in Plain Sight and Beneath the Tide) commented:
“Anyone who thinks he or she can conquer evil without knowing his or her enemy is doomed to failure on a big scale… J. Edgar Hoover said, “In any struggle, it is essential to know both what you are fighting for and what you are fighting against. If knowledge of the former is lacking, the will to win will be absent. If knowledge of the latter is lacking, confusion and uncertainty will result.”
Elder James E. Faust said (Trying to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil AND The Great Imitator):
“It is not good practice to become intrigued by Satan and his mysteries. No good can come from getting too close to evil…
“However, Brigham Young said that it is important to “study . . . evil, and its consequences” (DBY, p. 257). Since Satan is the author of all evil in the world, it would therefore be essential to realize that he is the influence behind the opposition to the work of God. Alma stated the issue succinctly: “For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil” (Alma 5:40).
“My principal reason for choosing this subject is to help young people by warning them, as Paul said, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). We hope that young people, unfamiliar with the sophistries of the world, can keep themselves free of Satan’s enticements and deceitful ways. “Shakespeare wrote, “The prince of darkness is a gentleman” (King Lear, act 3, sc. 4, line 143), and “the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose” (The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, line 95). As the great deceiver, Lucifer has marvelous powers of deception. As Paul said to the Corinthians, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14; see also 2 Ne. 9:9).
“The prince of darkness can be found everywhere.
“The First Presidency described Satan: “He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing” (Messages of the First Presidency, comp. James R. Clark, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 6:179)
A Commandment from the Lord to wake up. The Book of Mormon, Ether Chapter 8:24-25:
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
To clarify, when I state that we need to wake up to the conspiracy I don’t mean that we must know every little detail about this person and that organization, or theorize about who shot JFK, but we should understand Satan and his methods, understand what the Book of Mormon and the prophets have taught us and warned us about regarding the Satan and Secret Combinations, in order to avoid their traps and snares.
Some will argue that it’s important to first wake up to the conspiracy, others will argue that it’s important to first learn the principles of Liberty and the Constitution. I think the correct order is different for each person, but I don’t think we can ignore the importance of understanding both the Secret Combinations and the principles of Liberty. The danger lies in ignoring one or the other; in not understanding the bigger picture. If you become ineffective in your attempts to educate and wake others up, it’s time for a new strategy, let the spirit guide.
Our search for truth should not end there. Just as important (or more) is an understanding of the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and seeking to build up the Kingdom of Zion, and seeking as much education as possible in all good things.