Monday, February 28, 2011

On the Value of Gold and Silver

“Were I to ask the question, how much wheat or anything else a man must have to justify him in letting it go to waste, it would be hard to answer; figures are inadequate to give the amount. Never let anything go to waste. Be prudent, save everything, and what you get more than you can take care of yourselves, ask your neighbors to help you. There are scores and hundreds of men in this house, if the question were asked them if they considered their grain a burden and a drudge to them, when they had plenty last year and the year before, that would answer in the affirmative, and were ready to part with it for next to nothing. How do they feel now, when their granaries are empty? If they had a few thousand bushels to spare now, would they not consider it a blessing? They would. Why? Because it would bring the gold and silver. But pause for a moment, and suppose you had millions of bushels to sell, and could sell it for twenty dollars per bushel, or for a million dollars per bushel, no matter what amount, so that you sell all your wheat, and transport it out of the country, and you are left with nothing more than a pile of gold, what good would it do you? You could not eat it, drink it, wear it, or carry it off where you could have something to eat. The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat. Gold is not to be compared with it in value. Why would it be precious to you now? Simply because you could get gold for it? Gold is good for nothing, only as men value it. It is no better than a piece of iron, a piece of limestone, or a piece of sandstone, and it is not half so good as the soil from which we raise our wheat, and other necessaries of life. The children of men love it, they lust after it, are greedy for it, and are ready to destroy themselves, and those around them, over whom they have any influence, to gain it” (Pres. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:, p.250).

The US Federal Government under the Federal Reserve Central Bank operates under a debt-based fiat currency. Simply put, the value our our currency is based on the FED's ability to sell US Treasury Bills (TBills) on the global market. Because the US Dollar is the world reserve currency, because all commodities are priced in dollars, and because the US maintains huge trade deficits with China, many countries are interested in maintaining a strong dollar. A strong dollar means that China can use its excess dollars to import the oil its needs to develop. For poorer nations, a strong dollar means cheaper corn, wheat, rice, and beans to feed their people. It is this foreign interest in a strong dollar has allowed the US to run up huge budget deficits year after year. To maintain the value of the dollar, foreign countries have continually devalued their own currency while at the same time continued to lend money to the US to fund our wars and social programs. However, over the past 10 years, things have begun to change.

The international community is no longer happy with the US roll as "world policeman." China has made deals with Russia, Brazil and Iran to purchase oil, food and other commodities in their own currency. This means that the FED has been unsuccessful in selling US Treasury Bonds. The result is that when the US Government needs to borrow more money that we don't have, they have tried to force retirement funds to buy TBills, or coerced US banks to buy them. Pres. Obama's recent trip to India was a failed attempt to coax India into buying up our TBills. Ultimately, the FED has been buying our own TBills and printing money anyways. When the FED prints money without selling TBills first, the US dollar is devalued and gas, food and clothing prices go up. The rising cost of food is one factor which is leading to protests and riots in many countries.

In response to the recent American policy of "Quantitative Easing", the IMF is calling for the US Dollar to be replaced by another world reserve currency. This means that very soon other countries may no longer accept the US Dollar in exchange for both raw materials or finished goods. Because the US is no longer self sufficient in mining its own natural resources or manufacturing its own finished goods, the replacement of the US Dollar as the world reserve currency could mean Bankruptcy and a Severe Depression in the US much worse than the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Now, if you listen to political talk radio, I am sure you have heard the many commercials urging you to buy up gold and silver as a hedge against inflation. Having pondered this issue for several years, I came across this quote from Brigham Young with regard to the wisdom in looking to gold and silver for salvation. As we approach the years of the Great Tribulation before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, it is my personal opinion that you will do better making sure you use what money you have NOW to pay off debt, and have a year supply of food, water, fuel and clothing. It is my personal opinion that making these purchases now, while our dollar still maintains some residual purchasing power, will be better than trying to sell gold and silver later for basic necessities.

"The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah." Ezra Taft Benson, "Prepare Ye," Ensign, Jan 1974, 69.

"The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat." (President Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p.298.)

And he also said: ‘There is more salvation and security in wheat, than in all the political schemes of the world...’ (Ezra Taft Benson, JD 2:207).

"We are living in the prophesied time, 'when peace shall be taken from the earth,' (D&C 1:35) when 'all thing shall be in commotion,' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91) These signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity.'" ... While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us. We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming." ( Preparation for the Second Coming, Elder Dallin H. Oaks Conference, April 2004).

James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

Ezek 7:19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

Ps 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. . . They that make them are like to them; so is every one that trusts in them. O Israel, trust you in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

Gold and silver will be worthless in the coming collapse. There is no safe haven where we are headed but Zion. All other things must fail. It seems many are trying to speculate on which part of Babylon will fall last. No part or piece of the Babylonian system can save us. If you absolutely need something to invest in. I would pay off immediate families debt and buy them food storage. When things get bad, their financial problems and lack of preparation become your financial problems and liability. Maybe a grain silo filled with wheat and well with manual pump.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Economic Equality of Opportunity

Capital: Cash or goods used to generate income either by investing in a business or diferrent income property. (e.g. leveraging money to make more money)

Capitalism: An economic system which promotes the use of
cash or goods to generate income either by investing in a business or diferrent income property.

On another thread, some where debating whether Cleon Skousen ever bashed Capitalism. I don't know that he did. But I have no problem doing it. I do not favor Capitalism. But that doesn't mean I am for Communism. This is an obvious false dichotomy. What I favor is Free Enterprise, which is essentially Capitalism without the Usury. Free Enterprise recognizes property rights, individual liberty and self-determination. Free Enterprise provides equality of opportunity but not necessarily equality of result.

The Constitution calls for FREE ENTERPRISE not CAPITALISM. Are you brave enough to break your mind-control and admit it? Some how we've been programmed to associate Capitalism with freedom and even the gospel of Jesus Christ. Capitalism isn't free, Capitalism produces a Corporatocracy that is unelected, self-interested, and oppressive. Capitalism little better than Communism or Socialism. Free Enterprise means equal opportunity and equal opportunity equals true freedom.

The half-truth of Capitalism is that we should let the free market decide what to invest in and where to take the economy and not the government. Letting the markets decide where to take the economy is Free Enterprise. But Capitalism is not the way to do it. The half-lie part of capitalism is that society needs to be dependent upon an ultra-elite, ultra-wealthy, economic ruling class.

Capitalism is inherently unequal because it requires that certain people in the society amass more wealth than others. Then those people with the massive wealth, have unrivaled, unelected Machiavellian power to decide what they will or will not invest in, to leverage that capital to make more money, to make other people their economic surfs and sharecroppers via usury, and to influence law makers via campaign contributions.

So, in an egalitarian society where there is freedom of opportunity and not freedom of results, is that no man would be enslaved to another. That applies to economic enslavement as well. In an egalitarian economy, the wealthy would not leverage wealth to create more wealth. The scriptures command, "by the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread all the days of thy life." It does not say, "by the sweat of thy neighbor face. . ." (Gen 3:19).

Mos 2:13 Neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, . . . And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, nd that ye should not be laden with taxes,

D&C 101:79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

Deut 23:19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

In a FREE ENTERPRISE system the US Treasury creates all the money (Article 1, Sec 8), and local banks issue "fee-based", no-interest loans to individuals, groups, and communities who are credit worthy. The rules that determine credit worthiness would be uniform. No loop holes. No exemptions. The problem with our current system is that many of the wealthy are "above the law" and they operate under and different set of rules than the rest of us.

In a True Fee Enterprise system, credit would be freely available based on uniform criteria. Therefore, if someone were to gain wealth by his skill and labor, He wouldn't be tempted to use that wealth to economically enslave others by issuing credit with usury (except for the specific case of venture capital where there is no proven market or collateral).

A Constitutional Republic which supports the Free Enterprise economic system with truly free markets, would support local banking institutions that we could name Safety Societies. These local and state institutions could determine credit-worthiness, and administer "fee-based", no-interest loans using money created by the US Treasury for non-depreciating real assets. In this way, this money that is created doesn't have to be backed by gold or silver, or anything, because the asset itself is the backing for the loan. Such real assets would include land, real estate, and even some well-made heirloom furniture.

These Safety Societies would never speculate. That is, they would never invest their reserves in stock or derivatives. Safety Societies would be non-profit and charge loan origination fees and monthly service charges to cover the cost of business. However, since the capital for the loans they issue is coming from the US Treasury, they don't need to make profits to make more loans. Safety Societies would also practice Full Reserve Banking. That is, they never loan what they don't have, since they get 100% from the US Treasury, and they never lend out deposits. Therefore, all deposits are kept at the bank, ready for immediate withdrawal at any moment. Therefore, the Safety Society would never be threatened by a bank run.

Today's banks operate on Fractional Reserves. Fed-member Mega-banks can lend 10x what they themselves borrow from the FED. However, because of inflation due to Amortized loans, they must hold reserves as stock, bonds, and derivatives because we have been continually devaluing our currency. And these banks are continually threatened by a bank run because they only ever have less than 10% of reserves on hand. If withdrawals or a stock market crash destroy that 10%, then the bank becomes insolvent, and goes bust. Safety Societies are immune to all of this.

Isa 10:13-14 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

Isa 65:21-22 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: . . . and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain,

Finally, I only recently realized, you don't necessarily need the Federal Government to institute this Safety Society, Free Enterprise system. Any group of people could do it who were not constrained to the US Constitution which reserves this right to the Federal Government. However, in another circumstance, a group could select a treasurer who would create money which the community bank would extend at no-interest to other group members to purchase non-depreciating goods like furniture, homes, and land. These real assets serve as the backing for the money creation, and could be repossessed and re-sold by the bank. Otherwise, money created from the treasury and extended by the bank would go to craftsman who are building the homes and heirloom quality furniture and return to the bank in repayment for the no-interest loans. As much money could be created as needed. When not needed, monthly payments return excess money to the bank, and new money is not created; which prevents inflation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Life of Jesus Christ

Today at church, our lesson was focused specifically on the life of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we claim to be devoted followers of Christ and to emulate His perfect example. As part of the lesson, our instructor asks the class to think about what events in Christ's life that really defined him. What were the defining moments, the moments of truth, that set Jesus Christ apart from anyone else.

One such defining moment in the Life of Christ for me was how Christ responded to temptation. After he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights the scriptures tell us that Satan came tempting. I wonder if many Christians take for granted the possibility that Christ may not have had a perfect knowledge of who He was and what his mission was to be. I wonder if Christ was born into this world with a veil of forgetfulness of His prior life just as all people are. With this in mind, I remember the continual jeers of Satan who tempted "If thou art the Christ, then change these stones into bread." and "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence (pinnacle of the temple)" Then later on the Cross, again the people mocked, "if thou art the Christ, come down off the cross." and again, "He saved other, but himself he cannot save." However, despite not having a perfect knowledge from the beginning and having to grow from grace to grace, Christ exemplified perfect faith in never doubting who He was and His purpose to save all mankind from sin and death. Like Jesus Christ, Satan tries to get us to doubt that we are spiritual children of our Heavenly Father.

Another defining moment of Christ's character was His submission to the will of the Father in getting baptized and being crucified. At the start of Christ's mortal ministry, He went to John the Baptist to be baptized of him by water in the River Jordan. Upon seeing Christ, John replied "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" In response, Jesus said, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness". Even thou Christ was sinless and had no need to be baptized for the remission of sin, Christ submitted to the will of the Father to set us an example and mark the gate we are to enter to the Kingdom of God. And much later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ submits to take upon Him the sins of the world by saying, 'If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt;" Again, Christ exemplified complete submission and obedience to the will of the Father in all things even when that obedience resulted in taking upon Him the sins and pains and sufferings of His people.

Lastly, I think other defining moments in Christ's life were how He responded to His enemies. To the scholars and Pharisees who came tempting, He met their challenges with thoughtful questions of His own. To Judas who would betray Him, he did not call him out in front of of the other 11 Apostles, but privately excused him saying, "what thou doest do quickly." Later in front of Pilate and Herod Antipas, we are told by Isaiah that Christ would face great injustice and pains yet he would "open not His mouth." How many of us wouldn't feel justified in complaining about the injustice of it all and be tempted to "curse God and die." Yet, Christ again submitted to the will of the Father in all things and patiently bore the persecutions. Isaiah foretold that Christ would "[give] my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting."

Isa 53:3 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: . . Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. . . and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Zion vs. the Great Latter-Day Conspiracy

Dr. Stanley Monteith make the great point about the Great Latter-Day Globalist Conspiracy.

The Great Latter-Day Conspiracy is like the book "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie. On the train from Paris to Istanbul, there is one American, a Detective, and 12 other passengers who share a rail car. When the American turns up dead, the Detective is asked to investigate the murder. The Detective discovers that the American was stabbed 12 times. He also finds that after interviewing all 12 passengers in the rail car, each one has a motive to kill the American. In the end, the truth comes out that all 12 of the passengers killed the American together.

Like "The Orient Express", the Great Conspiracy is hitting America from multiple multiple directions. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to rally enough people on any one issue to mount any kind of defense. In this way, the Great Conspiracy keeps us defensive and on the defensive. If you think about it, what cause do we take on first: the FED, national debt, gun rights, campaign finance, abortion, energy independence, traditional marriage, climate change, AIDS in Africa, save the whales?

Basketball falsely teaches us that "a good defense is a good offense." The real truth is that "the best defense is a good offense." So, when it comes to fighting the Great Latter-Day Conspiracy, when it comes to picking our cause, it turns out that the Scriptures teach that there is only one cause worth fighting for. Furthermore, there is only one battle that we can win. What is this cause? What is the battle? The only cause that is promised to prevail is Zion.

So, while I am not necessarily saying that fighting for the Fair Tax, or against this cause, or for that other cause is worthless. Mormon in the Book of Mormon still made a final stand at Cumorrah. I am just saying that I am not all that sure that any of these other battles are winnable on the short term. We can't hope to change prophecy any more than Mormon could change what Nephi had foreseen a thousand years earlier about the fall of the Nephites.

And why be too focused on the defensive against the Great Globalist Conspiracy anyways when scriptures are clear that Babylon will fall all on its own without any of our help. Cleon Skousen talked about this in his writings about Pres. J. Ruben Clark who said that trying to oppose this Great Conspiracy would be like trying to stop a freight train. We would just get run right over. Instead, Pres. Clark instructed us to; instead of focusing our efforts on trying to turn the train around on track 1, to quietly build tract 2. The scriptures are unmistakable in foretelling that Babylon will fall and Zion will prevail. Zion is track 2. Let's focus on building Zion. Zion is our resistance.

D&C 105:14 For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Reflections on a Consecrated Life

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the LDS Quorum of 12 Apostles, spoke on living a Consecrated Life in this past October General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Of the many talks given, this was one of my most favorite. The was my favorite because if there is any topic that encapsulates the Gospel of Jesus Christ more, it is the principle of Consecration.

Elder Christofferson reminds us that each of us have been given 2 things in this life: 1. Time, and 2. Freedom to Choose. The liberty we are given is to decide what to exchange our time for. Do we trade our time for cheap thrills, or do we exchange it for eternal joy. Elder Christofferson reminds us that the Scriptures teach that "Men are they they might have joy." And if it is joy we seek, the only way we can lay hold upon joy is by aligning our lives with the will of God.

'What win I, if I gain the thing I seek? A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy. Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week? Or sells eternity to get a toy? For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy? Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown, Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down?' -William Shakespeare

Matt 6:20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."

Elder Christofferson taught, "consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes. In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny."

This quote reminds me of the rich young man who asked the Savior what he must do to receive Eternal Life. In response, Jesus Christ asked the young man "what saith the Law?". The young man than recited the commandments and proudly declared that he had kept them since his youth and then added, "what lack I yet." Impressed, the Lord responded, "if thou wilt be made perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor, and come and follow me."

This invitation by Christ to the rich young man, is the higher covenant. The invitation to devote and consecrate all that we have to the Lord is an invitation made to all who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. In exchange for our complete submission, dedicated commitment and loyal service, the Creator of the Universe promises us perfection, sanctification, eternal life, and exaltation.

The first most important step in living a consecrated life is after we believe in Christ, that we repent of our sins. Elder Christofferson taught, "Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require." Our sinful pride, finds excuses why we don't have to change. It's easy to excuse ourselves and tell ourselves that we are the exception. However, the true follower of Christ submits to His will and has faith that He has power over any sin. Like King Lamoni's Father in the Book of Mormon, will we give up all our sins to know God?

Next, Elder Christofferson teaches that we must labor diligently. This principle reminds me of the Book of Mormon where King Benjamin teaches, "How knoweth a man the Master whom he hath not served, and who is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart." So, diligent labor in the service of God is part of living a consecrated life. In partnership to labor we must not forget leisure. A hunter who always keeps his bow strung will soon discover his bow has lost all its spring. In the same way, a lumberman will work work much more efficiently if he remembers to regularly take some time to sharpen his ax.

Lastly, Elder Christofferson reminds us that a consecrated life is one of integrity. Do we deal honestly and justly with everyone? When we are baptized and have accepted Christ as our Savior, we covenant to be witnesses of God is all times, and places and circumstances that we may be in. With this in mind, I wonder, do we remember to stand as a witness on the internet, in chat rooms, and bulletin boards. Or does the illusion of anonymity of the internet with our many avatars, usernames, and aliases, tempt us to become someone else?

In the end, Elder Christofferson reminds us of the promises in scripture, that if we love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength, and truly consecrate our lives to the Savior, that not only will we be blessed, but others around us will be blessed through us, and see Christ's countenance in us, as we reflect His glorious light.