Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, February 24

A Different LDS/ Mormon Critique of Abraham Lincoln; Or, “Why Abraham Lincoln Might Still Be in Hell” by grego

A Different LDS/ Mormon Critique of Abraham Lincoln; Or, “Why Abraham Lincoln Might Still Be in Hell”
by grego

Ok, that’s kind of a no-brainer for a Mormon why Lincoln might still be in hell, even though he might have been an awesome, God-fearing man. I’m talking like a “normal” Christian, though.

There’s quite a worship of Lincoln in America. He ranks second, only to George Washington; Presidents Day is basically about those two.

There’s also quite a worship of Lincoln in the LDS Church. In fact, it’s possible he ranks right under C.S. Lewis, maybe tied with Mother Theresa. He clearly ranks above most presidents and civil leaders. He is oft-quoted (as if he actually wrote what he spoke…) in General Conference. The “epitome” of Independence Day celebration music is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” which stirs LDS hearts and souls as they remember… I’m not quite sure what it is that is remembered; I guess that God loves America, though I ‘m not sure what the connection between that and Abraham Lincoln is…

Where Abraham Lincoln is now or what he’s doing, I don’t know; of course I hope he has repented and is enjoying the good gospel life. But this isn’t about what he’s doing; it’s about what he did.

I posit Abraham Lincoln is likely the most evil men to have ever ruled America, and the main reason for the tribulations of war prophesied by Joseph Smith. And to top it off, he didn’t like Mormons.

The legend of Lincoln that most Americans (including me) learned and learn in school and by watching films like “National Treasure 2” will, for those willing to read and think (hopefully all of you), die a quick death today. LDS will find it nearly impossible to cogently believe that Lincoln was inspired of God, one of the greatest presidents and heroes to ever live, religious, and greatly deserving of our admiration and respect; in fact, they will understand that he was probably the worst.

Lincoln reminds me of Pahoran , a great propagandist and orator–just on a much higher level, and much worse. As one author wrote about Lincoln: “Face it.  The guy was an extremely ambitious political, legal and literary genius masquerading as a backwoods lawyer.  Abe was slicker than Johnnie Cochran summing up for O. J., pushing an agenda that killed way more than two people.  Thanks to his incomparable rhetorical skills, Lincoln has heretofore been found not guilty of killing 670,000 people and one constitution.” (“DiLorenzo and His Critics on the Lincoln Myth”, by James Ostrowski, April 2003; located at or ).

First, a few things need to be set straight:
1. The War Between the States (what most refer to as “The Civil War”) was not about the North being righteous and against the bad treatment of Black slaves.

Charles Dickens summed it up well: “Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.”

A congressman from Texas, Reagan, said (on 15 January 1861): “You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers. You are not satisfied with the vast tribute we pay you to build up your great cities, your railroads, your canals. You are not satisfied with the millions of tribute we have been paying you on account of the balance of exchange which you hold against us. You are not satisfied that we of the South are almost reduced to the condition of overseers of northern capitalists. You are not satisfied with all this; but you must wage a relentless crusade against our rights and institutions.”

The North was forcing the South to keep the government and country afloat in funds. One major way was the North forced the South to buy manufactured goods from them at high prices, or pay a very high tariff on imported manufactured foreign goods. Then the money collected was spent mostly on the North. The South protested, but to no avail. Yes, slaves certainly had a lot to do with this, but it was a double slavery—Blacks to mostly Southern owners, and all Southerners to the Northerners.

It’s clear that Lincoln didn’t plan to free the slaves unless it became a political necessity, and never considered Blacks on his level; for him, “all men are created equal” did *not* apply to the Blacks. Compare his views and what he did, with the views and proposition of Joseph Smith regarding resolving the release of Black slaves quickly, with fairness for both sides, without arms or blood, and good will.

2. Lincoln didn’t feel nor demonstrate much love for the Saints:

Lincoln spoke against polygamy. In fact, as president he signed into law the Anti-Polygamy Act (in 1862). Luckily for the Saints, Lincoln didn’t enforce the law (with a war ready to get started and all, he had other things to take care of first), but it set the stage for further trouble for the Saints, in the same line as constitutional meddling a la Lincoln.

When asked about the Saints in 1963, Lincoln said: “…when I was a boy on the farm in Illinois, there was a great deal of timber on the farms which we had to clear away. Occasionally we wou[l]d come to a log which had fallen down. It was too hard to split, too wet to burn and too heavy to move, so we plowed around it. That’s what I intend to do with the Mormons. You go back and tell Brigham Young that if he will let me alone, I will let him alone.”

So, Mr. Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’… What if the “LDS log” *hadn’t* been “too hard to split, too wet to burn and too heavy to move”? Would you have “coerced” the Saints, as he had opined earlier that he would? Would he have “taken care of” the LDS like he “took care of” the South?

So did Lincoln keep his word?

Not really. After the Saints were in Utah, Lincoln sent three federal judges there; if I recall correctly, two of which were openly anti-LDS (before Lincoln appointed them, and afterwards, too), and one which was neutral.

Lastly, folks, think: Nauvoo, Illinois. Lincoln, backwoods boy from… Illinois. Where was Lincoln, with the assassinations of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the driving out of the Saints? The LDS Church criticizes Martin van Buren for not helping the Saints; what about Abraham Lincoln? Though others might think so, I personally don’t really think Lincoln was doing a “greater work”.

Here’s from the Doctrine and Covenants 87:
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
2 And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
3 For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

What was so special about this war, that “war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place”? Is there a connection. I believe so, and it is an important key, and I will answer that shortly. Note that there is nothing in the verses (or the others in the section) about who is right or wrong in the war (the “Civil War”). Note that the slaves that are being talked about in verse four are not Blacks in the war between the North and the South, for a few reasons: the placement of the verse, the timing, and historical reality.

Did the LDS Church ever strongly support the North, especially on principles? Or did the LDS leaders ask the Saints to serve in the North only when called upon (wait, I thought Lincoln was going to leave them alone?) and then give a promise that the soldiers wouldn’t have to shoot others, in order to avoid being labeled rebels by the North and to garner safety against an otherwise sure destruction that such a label would bring? Remember, the Saints had already been through the Utah War of rebellion a few years earlier (1857-8), and knew that the next time it wouldn’t end so well, especially for the Saints. Generally, both the North and the South had rejected the Saints and their plight (search for some Brigham Young quotes about that). In a recent Ensign article, we read: “Dr. Wall Southwick recounted a meeting he had attended in Carthage, Illinois, wherein the enemies of the Prophet had gathered together from every state in the Union but three. They were concerned that Joseph’s “views on government were widely circulated and took like wildfire.” According to Southwick, they believed that if the Prophet “did not get into the Presidential chair this election, he would be sure to the next time; and if Illinois and Missouri would join together and kill him, they would not be brought to justice for it.” (History of the Church, 6: 605–6). Doesn’t sound like just Southerners to me…

Some (most all, probably) of you reading this might be thinking, well, so what? There’s nothing really strong against him there, and the tone here is really disrespectful of him.

So, from these things, I was able to listen to the following, which showed, by research, debate, and first-hand sources, that they were much more likely to be true than anything I had ever read or heard about Lincoln–a tyrant that committed numerous evils and unconstitutional acts, including (there might be one or two repeats). Here’s a basic list (sorry if there is a little redundancy and overlap, it’s a lot to keep track of) what he did that I believe was wrong:
1.secretly arresting and illegally imprisoning anyone he deemed a threat (in the North), especially newspaper editors;
2.not allowing the states to secede, which the founding fathers allowed;
3.then, allowing West Virginia to illegally secede from Virginia;
4.forming Kansas and Nevada unconstitutionally;
5.sending the military to control the voting lines (i.e., throw out all the opposition voters) and imprisoning opposing politicians;
6.militarily set up the South to fire on Fort Sumter by tricking and lying to them;
7.recruiting criminals to serve as pillagers and plunderers in Sherman’s army;
8.killing civilians, razing the South, and supporting torture, rape, starvation, robbery, theft, confiscation, and destruction;
9.believing “might makes right”;
10.though feeling that slavery was regrettable and a state right, then turning around and going against this, as it was convenient to do so for him;
11.feeling that Blacks were inferior to Whites, and was in support of Whites remaining on a higher social and political level, never wanting to make “voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people”, and if he could never free them and still accomplish his designs of “saving the Union”, that would be fine;
12.never defending a runaway slave, though he defended a slaveholder against his runaway slave;
13.promoting an unconstitutional central bank and inflationary paper money;
14.being unwilling to allow mediation or discussion to avoid the War;
15.refusing to see peace commissioners from the Confederacy offering to pay for all federal property in the South;
16.supporting protectionist tariffs for the North;
17.nationalizing the railroads;
18.being in favor of corporate welfare for the railroad industry;
19.suspending habeas corpus;
20.opposing states’ rights that were clearly constitutional;
21.launching a military invasion without consent of Congress;
22.blockading Southern ports without declaring war;
23.imprisoning without warrant or trial some 13,000 Northern citizens who opposed his policies;
24.arresting dozens of newspaper editors and owners and, in some cases, had federal soldiers destroy their printing presses;
25.censoring all telegraph communication;
26.deporting a member of Congress after he criticized Lincoln’s unconstitutional behavior;
27.confiscating private property;
28.confiscating firearms in violation of the Second Amendment;
29.blatantly ignoring the Ninth and Tenth Amendments;
30.closing churches and imprisoning (and more) ministers for failing to pray for him;
31.ordering the Postmaster General to deny newspapers that criticized him delivery through the mail;
32.ignoring rulings delivered by the U.S. Supreme Court;
33.myths about great things he said that he never really said, as far as can be proven; and more, as almost straight from the site,
34.saying contradictory things to different audiences;
35.supporting a political economy that encourages corruption and inefficiency;
36.supporting conscription;
37.supporting a disastrous public works project in Illinois and continuing to support the same policies oblivious of the consequences;
38.conjuring up a specious and deceptive argument against the historically-recognized right of state secession;
39.supporting a tariff and other policies that systematically redistributed wealth from the South to the North, causing great consternation in the South;
40.tolerating inhumane conditions in prison;
41.supporting a law that indemnified public officials for unlawful acts;
42.laying the groundwork for the establishment of conscription and income taxation as permanent institutions;
43.rigging elections in Maryland and elsewhere in the North;
44.tolerating or supporting mistreatment of citizens in conquered territory and
45.taxing those citizens without their consent;
46.executing those who refused to take a loyalty oath;
47.quartering troops in private homes unlawfully;
48.allowing an unjust mass execution of Sioux Indians in Minnesota; a constitutional revolution through military force which destroyed state sovereignty and replaced it with rule by the Supreme Court (and the United States Army);
50.laying the groundwork for the imperialist and militarist campaigns of the future as well as the welfare/ warfare state;
51.creating the dangerous precedent of establishing a strong consolidated state out of a decentralized confederation;
52.effectively killing secession as a threat, thus encouraging the rise of our modern federal monolith;
53.using civilians as hostages;
54.promoting a general because of his willingness to use his troops as cannon fodder;
55.setting up the plundering of the South by his allies, after the war;
56.creating the federal tax bureaucracy and various taxes that are still with us;
57.ending slavery by means that created turbulence that continues to this day;
58.desecrating a battlefield graveyard right after battle, to the great dismay of the remaining men;
59.establishing precedents for centralized powers and suppression of liberties that continue to be cited and followed today.

In other words: *Lincoln basically one-handedly maimed the Constitution and it has never recovered*. And that is the cause of most of America’s problems today. The executive branch has upset the power structure the Constitution was set up to preserve, both between the USA and the states that form it, and between the other branches–and Lincoln is the major reason for that. Now, the president basically decides monetary policy, military policy, and domestic policy, and presents bills to Congress. States have very few powers left.

(**Most of the above information and most all, if not all, the quotes in this article have been taken and/ or gleaned from Lew Rockwell, at, or from . I encourage further reading there.)

More about Abraham Lincoln from the site:

“Lincoln never joined a church and was opposed by almost all the ministers of Springfield, Illinois, when he ran for president. He was infamous for his dirty jokes and even his criticisms of Scripture. There is no explicit evidence that he ever became a Christian, and some of his contemporaries believed he was an atheist…”
“Lincoln was nevertheless brilliant in his use of religious language and images to mesmerize Northern audiences, especially the hyper-puritanical New England Yankees and their upper Midwest brethren. After launching a war that he apparently thought would last only a few months, Lincoln distanced himself more and more from responsibility for his own decisions by invoking religion. By the time of his Second Inaugural, when over a half million young American men had been killed in the war, he was to the point of absolving himself entirely from any responsibility for all the war’s death and destruction. He declared that “the war came,” as though he had nothing to do with it, and said that it was all out of his hands and a matter of God’s will. He theorized that God was punishing America for the sin of slavery. This argument was nonsensical on its face, however, since it ignored the fact that some 95 percent of all the slaves that were brought to the western hemisphere ended up outside the U.S., where no such “punishment” was being executed by the Lord. Why would God punish Americans for the sin of slavery but no one else?
In his Second Inaugural Lincoln quoted at length Mathew 18:7 and Luke 17:1 in order to make the argument that both North and South were being punished for the sin of slavery. This in itself is, well, Straussian, since Lincoln claimed to know the “inner meaning” of God’s Word.”

By the way: Yes, there is more to that list, both in general and in specific; and the short phrases on that list hardly do justice for the horrors he committed.

So, why don’t LDS know any of this? Two reasons: it has been set up so that we never learn it, mainly because I believe it glorifies, justifies, empowers, and serves the federal government; and because we are blinded by prejudice (there’s more than one type).
Here is a prime example of what I’m talking about, LDS being taught wrong things and being blinded: Richard Bushman, who is (supposed to be) a great historian!, presents points about Lincoln; yet, five of them are either clearly incorrect or misleading. But, I believe Bushman is in the same boat as us, hoodwinked by the Lincoln Cult, just the same way that many of these early political leaders were told lies about the LDS Church and its leaders…

As that and the following articles show, I also see what seems like it might be a strong desire from LDS to link Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln (though I’m not sure why):

According to A. Johnson, “The President has been cited over 200 times in General Conference Addresses.” (

By the way, to be clear, Lincoln didn’t write his speeches, and certainly not the parts about the Bible, God, etc. (See those recommended articles about this.)

I especially encourage all LDS who still believe that Abraham Lincoln was a good, God-fearing righteous man, to read at least an exerpt of “America’s Caesar: Abraham Lincoln and the Birth of a Modern Empire” by Greg Loren Durand found here, on the author’s website: . It is not full of opinions, but quotes from those who knew Abraham Lincoln very well and were eyewitnesses to many of his words and acts, both public and private.

So, I forgive the man; judgment–for bad or good–is with Abraham Lincoln and the Lord. However, never let it be said, when I have a say, and especially among LDS, that Abraham Lincoln was a good man and a great president who did much good.

Further reading:

(This is another article/ topic that I’ve had sitting around for a while… There are about two more, I guess, that I’ve had here since probably 2005… Yay, finally!)

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