Joseph Smith claimed to have found golden tablets that contained mysterious script written in "Reformed Egyptian" that he could read with the help of peep stones.
The golden tablets told a history in which the Native Americans were the lost tribes of Israel. They had a great and prosperous kingdom. One day, King Benjamin (no relation to Benjamin Franklin) decided to grant the people a democracy.
A group of evil-doers called Lamanites formed an evil-voting block. Because the evil gentiles won the election, there was a great war. God was so displeased with the turn of events that he smited the people and turned them into red savages (currently called Native Americans).
Mormonism is based on a dialectical conflict between the righteous and gentiles. At the time that Joseph Smith was writing the BoM, the historian Hegel (1770-1831) was immensely popular. Hegel presented the theory that history evolves through conflict. The Hegelians would present fantastical histories in which thesis/anti-thesis conflicts resolved in great wars.
The newspapers of the early 1800s were filled with fantastical histories with history advanced through such conflicts. There were several histories published in which the Native Americans were the lost tribes of Israel.
The LDS Church itself came to be as some of the failed Utopian societies (communes) of the early 1800s sought to use Mormonism to revive the commune.
Joseph Smith was politically ambitious. He sent missionaries abroad to recruit members. The missionaries would give people passage to the US and land in return for fealty.
This an interesting case of projection. Joseph Smith wrote a book about a voting block. He then engaged in an aggressive missionary program that used immigration to create just such a block.
The fact that the LDS Church built its voting block through immigration will have ramifications for the immigration policy under Mitt Romney.
I am surprised I have not heard more people talking about the Mormon emigration experience in context of the modern immigration debate. Since the LDS Church votes as a block, the Mormon emigration experience is very much about groups using immigration to gain political control.
Immigration is not my big issue. I am concerned with health care.
For the last three years. I've been wanting to find people to talk about self-funded health care as an alternative to insurance.
I am a Non-Mormon in Utah and I have been completely unable to get people in this state to talk about free-market health care reform.
Health care is the most important issue of the day, and I have a unique perspective on the issue that might be of value. In three years, I have not be able to get anyone to talk about the most important issue of the day.
Mitt Romney and Harry Reid (both LDS) favor socializing medicine via health exchanges. The fact that I cannot get people in Salt Lake, the headquarters of the LDS Church, to talk about the most important issue of the day has me extremely worried.
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