Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.. nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

2. Mos. 20:17; Mosiah 13:24.

Joseph Smith:

By free government, we do not mean that a man has a right to steal, rob, etc. but free from bondage, taxation, and oppression. Free in everything if he conduct himself honestly and circumspectly with his neighbor. Free in a Spiritual capacity.

An American Prophet’s Record. The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott. H. Faulring, s. 361-62.

Frank Chodorov:

Progressive income and inheritance taxation was first advocated as a means of destroying private property by Karl Marx, in the Communist Manifesto, published in 1848. Thereafter, every socialist party platform included this plank.

The Income Tax: Root of All Evil.

Frédéric Bastiat:

How is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

The Law, p. 21. How to Identify Legal Plunder.

What is written here is not a call not to pay taxes. I myself contributes gladly to the community and as members of the Church we should obey the law of the land. (D&C 58:21) It is just pointet out that the foundation is wrong. Redistribution of wealth through taxation doesn’t happen voluntarily, but through coercion. And it violates an unalienable God-given right to private property. (Unalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and Property) If someone don’t believe that taxation happens through coercion, then consider what would happen if you stopped paying your taxes!

The broad shoulders should carry the most, but not in such a way that it is done through coercion. Can we imagine God saying that if someone are not willing to give of their private property voluntarily then we will force them to do so? Certainly not! Coercion is not a gospel principle. As for those who collects riches for themselves and are not willing to voluntarily do good with their abundance, they will be held accountable at the judgment bar of God. (D&C 104:18)

At the personal level, taking something from one’s neighbor is a criminal offense. A majority decision through a democratic election doesn’t nullify the divine commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, .. nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17). We will be held equally accountable to God whether this happens on the personal level or through a majority vote at an election. That is why it is so important that we thoroughly considers what we support politically.

Here are some quotes on taxation:

Gordon B. Hinckley:

It is a miracle to me that the Church is able to accomplish so much. It is a miracle made possible by faith, under a plan which the Lord himself established for the financing of his kingdom. Tithing is so simple and straightforward a thing. The principle, as it applies to us, is actually set forth in one verse of section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants. (D&C 119:4) That fourth verse consists of thirty-five words. Contrast that with the cumbersome and complex tax codes enacted and enforced by governments. In the one case, it is a brief statement from the Lord, the payment left to the individual and motivated by faith. With the other, it is a tangled web created by men and enforced by law.

General Conference, April 1984. The Miracle Made Possible by Faith.

W. Cleon Skousen:

The Founders also warned that the only way for the nation to prosper was to have equal protection of “rights,” and not allow the government to get involved in trying to provide equal distribution of “things.”

The Five Thousand Year Leap.

Howard W. Hunter:

The right to own and control private property is not only a human right it is a divine right. We will largely be judged, if I understand the Savior’s teachings correctly (see Matthew 25), by how we use our property voluntarily for the blessings and benefit of our Father’s other children. President McKay continually teaches us that this right of free agency is our most precious heritage. It is our greatest gift in this world and is to be valued even more than life itself. If you deprive a man of his right to fail in the righteous use of his property, you also deprive him of his right to succeed. If you remove from a man his right to “go to hell,” you likewise remove his free agency to go to heaven. Satan’s entire philosophy is based on a “something for nothing” philosophy: salvation without effort – a free gift. This counterfeit doctrine was rejected by God our Father.

The Law of the Harvest: As a Man Sows, So Shall He Reap. BYU Devotional, March 8, 1966.

Ezra Taft Benson:

Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth through taxation and providing so-called “benefits” for some of its citizens, it becomes a means for legalized plunder. It becomes a lever of unlimited power that is the sought-after prize of unscrupulous individuals and pressure groups, each seeking to control the machine to fatten his own pockets or to benefit his favorite charity, all with the other fellow’s money, of course. Each class or special interest group competes with the others to throw the lever of governmental power in its favor, or at least to immunize itself against the effects of a previous thrust. Labor gets a minimum wage. Agriculture gets price support. Some consumers demand price controls. In the end, no one is much further ahead, and everyone suffers the burdens of a gigantic bureaucracy and a loss of personal freedom. With each group out to get its share of the spoils (See Helaman 6:38), such governments historically have mushroomed into total welfare states. Once the process begins, once the principle of the protective function of government gives way to the aggressive or redistributive function, then forces are set in motion that drive the nation toward totalitarianism.

Conference Report, Oct. 1968, pp. 17-22. The Proper Role of Government.

Henry D. Moyle:

The Constitution expressly prohibits taking of personal property for public purposes without just compensation. Under the guise of taxation, the Constitution is violated and property is taken from one and given to another. This demonstrates clearly the power to tax is the power to destroy.

Relief Society Magazine 44:576, 1957.

Joseph L. Wirthlin:

Does history repeat itself? Yes. Today the term security is best defined in the promises of economic kings and politicians in the form of doles, grants, and subsidies made for the purpose of perpetuating themselves in public office, and at the same time depleting the resources of the people and the treasury of the nation. The word security is being used as an implement of political expediency, and the end results will be the loss of freedom and temporal and spiritual bankruptcy. We have those among us who are calling for an economic king, and the voice of the king replies in promises wherein the individual is guaranteed relief from the mandate given to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” Gen. 3:19 Disobedience to this mandate involves the penalty of loss of free agency and individuality and the dissipation of the resources of the individual. These economic rulers have advocated, and do practice a vicious procedure called the “leveling down process,” which takes from the man who has achieved and distributes to those who are not willing to put forth like effort. Taxation is the means through which this “leveling down process” is implemented. Taxes in the United States during the last decade have increased five hundred percent. If such increases continue, it will mean final confiscation of the property of the people

Conference Report, April 1950, pp. 132-137. Spiritual and Temporal Security.

Barry Goldwater:

The collectivists have not abandoned their ultimate goal – to subordinate the individual to the state – but their strategy has changed. They have learned that socialism can be achived through welfarism quite as well as through nationalization. They understand that private property can be confiscated as effectively by taxation as by expropriating it.

Cited by Ezra Taft Benson in The Red Carpet. Chapt. 6, p.74. Creeping Socialism as the Red Carpet.

Albert E. Bowen:

No government—federal, state, or municipal – has any money or anything else out of which to bestow bounty, except what it first takes out of the pockets of its individual citizens. It follows that whenever anyone, “aged,” or indigent from other causes, takes help out of the public treasury, he is indirectly reaching round and taking money out of someone else’s pocket—not unlawfully, to be sure, but still so taking it. Has anybody, except under real necessity, any moral right to do that? .. Many hard working people find their taxes a heavy burden. They pay them out of sacrifice, bordering sometimes on deprivation. Is there any sanction in gospel principles or teachings, or in the ordinary codes of honor or fairness of dealing which will say to such a one that he must bear this burden for the benefit of another just as well able to work as he? .. No one ever gets something for nothing, the recipient always pays if not in money, then in forfeiture of some invaluable right or freedom.

Church Welfare Plan, p.83, p.76.

John Taylor:

There is also another political party, who desire, through the influence of legislation and coercion, to level the world. To say the least, it is a species of robbery to some it may appear an honorable one, but, nevertheless, it is robbery. What right has any private man to take by force the property of another? The laws of all nations would punish such a man as a thief. Would thousands of men engaged in the same business make it more honorable? Certainly not. And if a nation were to do it, would a nation’s act sanctify a wrong deed? No. The Algerian pirates or Arabian hordes were never considered honorable on account of their numbers and a nation or nations, engaging in this would only augment the banditti, but could never sanctify the deed.*

* A democratic election does not cancel the commandment: “Thou shalt not covet .. any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
The Government of God p.23, 1852 – Ensign August, 1971.

J. Reuben Clark Jr.:

This earth-wide conflict has taken the form of seizing without compensation from the man who has and giving to the man who has not of taking from the worker the fruits of his work and giving to the idler who does not work. It has from its very nature become an economic, uncompensated leveling downward, not upwards of the whole mass. That this result may in one country be reached by confiscatory taxation, and in another by direct seizure, is a mere matter of method. The results are the same. In some countries, outright seizure and confiscation are already openly and shamelessly practiced. All is done in the name of the state as if it were deity – as if the state, not God gives all.

Prophet Statesmen, J. Reuben Clark Jr. 1938. Vital Speeches)

Gordon B. Hinckley:

I know of no other writing* which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes.

* The Book of Mormon.
A Testimony Vibrant and True. Ensign, aug. 2005.

J. Reuben Clark:

When governments plunder and then legalize it, they may not expect their citizens to do less than better the example and to say further, mass robbery and plunder are no different from individual robbery and plunder except they are infinitely more disastrous and dangerous to the body politic. Avarice, greed, covetousness, dishonesty, idleness, are not made virtues because they become the prompting, guiding traits of groups. The great moral principles of the Ten Commandments are still basic to an ordered, free society and government .. Washington and his compatriots never contemplated that this great document* should permit one group of citizens to prey upon another, nor that it would protect the plunderer in the possession of his plunder, nor that one group should be privileged over another, nor that one class – whether high or low, rich or poor – should profit by the robbing of another.

* The Constitution.
Prophets, Principles and National Survival, Chapt. 15, The Welfare State—Creeping Socialism.

Howard W. Hunter:

The right to own and control private property is not only a human right it is a divine right. We will largely be judged, if I understand the Savior’s teachings correctly (see Matthew 25), by how we use our property voluntarily for the blessings and benefit of our Father’s other children. President McKay continually teaches us that this right of free agency is our most precious heritage. It is our greatest gift in this world and is to be valued even more than life itself. If you deprive a man of his right to fail in the righteous use of his property, you also deprive him of his right to succeed. If you remove from a man his right to “go to hell,” you likewise remove his free agency to go to heaven. Satan’s entire philosophy is based on a “something for nothing” philosophy: salvation without effort – a free gift. This counterfeit doctrine was rejected by God our Father.

The Law of the Harvest: As a Man Sows, So Shall He Reap. BYU Devotional, March 8, 1966.

Ezra Taft Benson:

Many are now advocating that which has become a general practice since the early 1930s: a redistribution of wealth through the federal tax system. That, by definition, is socialism!

A Vision and a Hope for the Youth of Zion. BYU Speeches, Apr. 12, 1977.
image_print