Below are article excerpts that reveal more details about about how the Book of Mormon and the history of Mormonism have influenced and inspired the Bundys and others to occupy public lands and federal buildings in Oregon.
Source: Willamette Week
Bundy explaining his political system, called the five circles of authority, which laid out the power of local and federal governments under the authority of God.
Their ideology, a mash-up of radical Mormonism and militaristic fantasy, is a distillation of the frustration of people who've been marginalized by a world in which they do not fit. Like his brother, Ryan is a self-described devout member of the mainline Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Last week, he took part in private prayer sessions roughly every three hours—prayers led by Ammon.
"We pray mainly for safety, and deliverance," Ryan said. "Ammon's well-spoken, and very, very intelligent, so the men like when he leads us in [prayer]."
Their inspiration, Ryan Bundy said, comes straight from the Book of Mormon, specifically the story of Captain Moroni, a scriptural figure who rescues his people by raising a flag—called a "title of liberty"—against an evil force.
The Bundys are aware that the land they've seized appears to be part of old Mormon territory.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge lies at the northern boundary of the Mormon state of Deseret. LDS pioneers established Deseret in 1849, and church leaders, including Brigham Young, proposed its borders to Washington before accepting the smaller Utah Territory. Deseret was a vast space that extended into the land that is now southeastern Oregon—including a swath of Harney County.