It's amazing how each time we read we learn new things we didn't notice or pay attention to before.
A few days ago I was reading the words of King Benjamin to his people. Before that chapter Mosiah called King Benjamin a "holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness." When King Benjamin calls all of his people together to hear his words as he steps down as their king and he said:
Mosiah Chapter 2
10 I have not commanded you to come up hither
that ye should fear me,
or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.
11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all
manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people,
and consecrated by my
father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a
king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power,
to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted
12 I say unto you that as I have
been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not
nor silver nor any manner of riches of you;
13 Neither have I suffered that ye should be
confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye
should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I
suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you
that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath
14 And even I, myself, have
labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon
you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken,
ye yourselves are witnesses this day.
And then when I was listening to BYU tv in the morning as I often do, they were doing discussions on the Book of Mormon, and talking about King Noah, who had his problems and what a contrast there was between King Benjamin and King Noah.
Mosiah Chapter 11
1 And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father.
2 For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and eall manner of wickedness.
3 And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain.
4 And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.
5 For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.
6 Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.
7 Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.
8 And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;
9 And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.
10 And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.
11 And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.
12 And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.
13 And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people.
How many similarities do you see in our day? I see several, but tonight I write about the one that struck me the most- He taxed his people 1/5 of all they possessed. That's a 20% tax rate. Do you know what your tax rate is? in 2007 the average tax burden was 32.69% of your income.
Now I see King Noah's people as being slaves to him, working hard and giving him 20% of what they had to support him and what he wanted. Are we not also slaves to our government with such a high tax rate?
How long will we let ourselves be slaves? How much higher will we allow the tax rate to go? 40%, 45%, 50%? In 1960 the average Taxes as a Percentage of Income
rate was 11.61%. It's increased 20% in 47 years*. When will it end? When we are a socialist government? When we are forced to give all that we have to the government and they will take care of us with it? Will we be modern day Abinadi's? When will our King Noah be burned at the stake after asking too much?
* Source: http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/
Scripture sources: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/mosiah/11/6#6, That's Chapter 6 and keep hitting "next" until Chapter 17.
And Grrr, my spell check is STILL not working!