After having been chased from Kirtland, Joseph Smith made his way to Missouri, arriving about March 13, 1838. He dictated to to George Robinson in what has become known as the Scriptory Book the following (taken from the online version of Dean Jessee’s Personal Writings of Joseph Smith):
After being here two or three days my Brother Samuel arrived with his family an[d] shortly after his arrival while walking with him & cirtain other bretheren the following sentiments occured to my mind.
Motto of the Church of Christ of Latterday Saints
The Constitution of our country formed by the Fathers of Liberty.
Peace and good order in society Love to God and good will to man.
All good and wholesome Laws; And virtue and truth above all things
And Aristarchy live forever! ! !
But Wo, to tyrants, Mobs, Aristocracy, Anarchy and Toryism: And all those who invent or seek out unrighteous and vexatious lawsuits under the pretext or color of law or office, either religious or political.
Exalt the standard of Democracy! Down [p. 16] with that of Priestcraft, and let all the people say Amen! that the blood of our Fathers may not cry from the ground against us.
Sacred is the Memory of that Blood which baught for us our liberty.
Joseph Smith Jr
Thomas B. Marsh
D. W. Patten
Samuel H. Smith
Geo. W. Robinson
George M. Hinkle
A straight forward definition of the government sense of the word:
Aristarchy: Goverment by the best men; a body of good men in power.
As opposed to aristocracy:
Aristocracy: Government by the best-born, the nobles; the nobility or chief persons of a state.
Marvin Hill sees this attitude (reflected in the Book of Mormon) as a “Counter Revolution” against American democratic ideals in a Sunstone article in 1989.