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Prophets on Liberty
Transcript of Prophets on Liberty
Benson, “America, a Choice Land” GC April 1962 A Sure Foundation “As members of the Church we have some close quarters to pass through if we are going to get home safely. We will be given a chance to choose between conflicting counsel given by some. That's why we must learn-and the sooner we learn, the better-to keep our eye on the Prophet, the President of the Church.”
Benson, “An Immediate Responsibility” GC Oct 1966 Conflicting Counsel “History, both sacred and secular, clearly records that the struggle to preserve and safeguard freedom has been a continuous one. Prophets of God as watchmen on the towers, have proclaimed liberty. Holy men of God have led the fight against anarchy and tyranny. Moses was commanded to 'proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.' (Lev. 25:10.)”
Benson, “An Immediate Responsibility” GC Oct 1966 Since Moses “Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ…For behold, this land which is choice above all other lands, wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God…” (Ether 2:12, 10) Righteousness Guarantees Freedom “It is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations, for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Ne. 1:8). Land Kept Hidden “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency” (George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 30 Apr. 1789).
- Quoted by Benson, “Our Divine Constitution” GC October 1987 Washington Recognized Endorsed by God "And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
"Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;"
D&C 98:5-6 “[God] said he established the Constitution to preserve to men their free agency, because the whole gospel of Jesus Christ presupposes man’s untrammeled exercise of free agency. Man is in the earth to be tested. The issue as to whether he succeeds or fails will be determined by how he uses his agency. His whole future, through all eternity, is at stake. Abridge man’s agency, and the whole purpose of his mortality is thwarted. Without it, the Lord says, there is no existence. (See D&C 93:30.)”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 "According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
"That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
"And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."
D&C 101:77, 78,80 Constitution Preserves Agency Law Requires Agency “I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes, and, as one of the brethren said today, set up so that this Church might be established, because under no other government in the world could the Church have been established as it has been established under this Government.”
J. Reuben Clark Jr. – “The United Order vs. Communism” – October 1942 Part of Religion “In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with, Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.” (Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention June 28, 1787)
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. – “The Constitution” GC April 1957 Franklin Recognized It Personal Responsibility Agency Natural Law Power Vested by People Foundation of Inspiration “The founding fathers, inspired though they were, did not invent the priceless blessing of individual freedom and respect for the dignity of man. No, that priceless gift to mankind sprang from the God of heaven and not from government.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 God Established Eternal Law “This freedom must be continually guarded as something more priceless than life itself. Any program that would tend to weaken this freedom is inherently dangerous and should be guarded against. I will not say more today about this philosophy-this philosophy of individual freedom and citizenship responsibility, based upon the principle of helping the individual to help himself, and discouraging people from expecting the government to support them, but encouraging them to support their own government.
I am grateful for this philosophy, and I am grateful to learn that this philosophy is accepted generally and rather widely in the hearts of our people throughout this land. I hope and pray that it may be accepted even to a greater extent in the days ahead. I trust that our great purpose shall be to strengthen the individual integrity, freedom, and moral fiber of each citizen.”
Benson, “Keep America Strong” GC April 1953 Freedom More Valuable Than Life 13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exodus 20: 13 - 16 Some Examples of Natural Law “We in this land have a rich heritage of freedom. It has rewarded us beyond our brightest dreams. The key to further progress-the key to national security-is the preservation of the initiative, vitality, energy, and resourcefulness of our people. Our material progress is merely a by-product of our freedom. Our God-given freedom, a basic principle of religious truth, is still the most powerful force on the face of the earth.”
Benson, “My People Are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge” GC April 1960 Freedom is the Most Powerful
Force on Earth Decentralization Separation of Powers Communism Socialism Confusion with the United Order The Sleeping Giant Actions You Can Take Educate Yourself Open Your Mouth Use Your Influence Virtue Required for a Free People Free Enterprise “These abundant blessings have come to us through an economic system which rests largely on three pillars:
1.. Free enterprise . . . the right to venture . . . the right to choose.
2. Private property . . . the right to own.
3. A market economy . . . the right to exchange."
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Pillars of Abundant Blessings “Our economic order is not perfect, because it is operated by imperfect human beings, but it has given us more of the good things of life than any other system. The fundamental reason is that our economy is free. It must remain free. In that freedom ultimately lies our basic economic strength.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Requires Economic Strength “[Free enterprise is] threatened by well-meaning but uninformed people who see the shortcomings of our economic system and believe they can legislate them out of existence. They try to reach the promised land by passing laws. They do not understand our economic system and its limitations. They would load it down with burdens it was never intended to carry. As their schemes begin to break down, more and more controls must be supplied. Patch is placed upon patch, regulation is added to regulation and ultimately, by degrees, freedom is lost–without our desiring to lose it and without our knowing why or how it was lost.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Understand Limitations “Once power is concentrated, even for helpful purposes, it is all there, in one package, where it can be grabbed by those who may not be helpful in its use.”
“If power is diffused, this cannot happen. This is why the founders of our country carefully divided power between the state and federal levels.”
“Our traditional federal-state relationship, we must never forget, starts with a general presumption in favor of state and individual rights. Under the constitutional concept, powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Individual over State over Federal “Raids on the federal treasury can be all too readily accomplished by an organized few over the feeble protests of any apathetic majority. With more and more activity centered in the federal government, the relationship between the costs and the benefits of government programs becomes obscure. What follows is the voting of public money without having to accept direct local responsibility for higher taxes.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Raids on Treasury Easier
With Centralization “History teaches that when individuals have given up looking after their own economic needs and transferred a large share of that responsibility to the government, both they and the government have failed.”
Benson, “Pay Thy Debt, and Live” GC April 1957 Failure When We Depend on Gov't “There is a growing-I fear it is growing-sentiment that communism and the United Order are virtually the same thing, communism being merely the forerunner, so to speak, of a reestablishment of the United Order.”
J. Reuben Clark Jr. – “The United Order vs. Communism” – October 1942 Communism is not the United Order “In other words, basic to the United Order was the private ownership of property, every man had his own property from which he might secure that which was necessary for the support of himself and his family. There is nothing in the revelations that would indicate that this property was not freely alienable at the will of the owner. It was not contemplated that the Church should own everything or that we should become in the Church, with reference to our property and otherwise, the same kind of automaton, manikin, that communism makes out of the individual, with the State standing at the head in place of the Church.”
J. Reuben Clark Jr. – “The United Order vs. Communism” – October 1942 Private Property Core to UO “The fundamental principle of this system was the private ownership of property. Each man owned his portion, or inheritance, or stewardship, with an absolute title, which he could alienate, or hypothecate, or otherwise treat as his own. The Church did not own all of the property, and the life under the United Order was not a communal life, as the Prophet Joseph, himself said, (History of the Church, Volume III, p. 28). The United Order is an individualistic system, not a communal system.”
J. Reuben Clark Jr. – “The United Order vs. Communism” – October 1942 Individualistic not Communal The distinction between socialism, as represented by the various Socialist and Labour parties of Europe and the New World, and Communism, as represented by the Russians, is one of tactics and strategy rather than of objective. Communism is indeed only socialism pursued by revolutionary means and making its revolutionary method a canon of faith. Communists like other socialists, (1) believe in the collective control and ownership of the vital means of production and (2) seek to achieve through state action the coordinated control of the economic forces of society. They (the Communists) differ from other socialists in believing that this control can be secured, and its use in the interests of the workers ensured, only by revolutionary action leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the creation of a new proletarian state as the instrument of change. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, p. 890.)
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Communism and Socialism
Separated by Strategy “In the 1880’s a small group of intellectuals set up in England the Fabian Society, which has had a major influence on the development of modern orthodox socialism. Fabianism stands ‘for the evolutionary conception of socialism . . . endeavoring by progressive reforms and the nationalization of industries, to turn the existing state into a welfare state.’ Somewhat on the order of the German Social Democrats Fabians aim ‘at permeating the existing parties with socialistic ideas [rather] than at creating a definitely socialistic party.’ They appeal ‘to the electorate not as revolutionaries but as constitutional reformers seeking a peaceful transformation of the system.’” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, p. 890.)
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Permeate Existing Parties “(1) The cornerstone of the United Order is belief in God and acceptance of him as Lord of the earth and the author of the United Order.“Socialism, wholly materialistic, is founded in the wisdom of men and not of God. Although all socialists may not be atheists, none of them in theory or practice seek the Lord to establish his righteousness.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 God vs Atheism “(2) The United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will actions of men, evidenced by a consecration of all their property to the Church of God.
“One time the Prophet Joseph Smith asked a question by the brethren about the inventories they were taking. His answer was to the effect, “You don’t need to be concerned about the inventories. Unless a man is willing to consecrate everything he has, he doesn’t come into the United Order.” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 7, pp. 412-13.) On the other hand, socialism is implemented by external force, the power of the state.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Voluntary vs Force “(3) In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property’ (D&C 134:2), the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Personal vs State “(4) The United Order is non-political.
Socialism is political, both in theory and practice. It is thus exposed to, and riddled by, the corruption that plagues and finally destroys all political governments that undertake to abridge man’s agency.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Non-Political “(5) A righteous people is a prerequisite to the United Order.
“Socialism argues that it as a system will eliminate the evils of the profit motive.”Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Righteousness Required vs
System Eliminates Evil “That is the spirit of socialism: We’re going to take. The spirit of the United Order is: We’re going to give.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Give vs Take “As to the fruits of socialism, we all have our own opinions. I myself have watched its growth in our own country and observed it in operation in many other lands. But I have yet to see or hear of its freeing the hearts of men of selfishness and greed or of its bringing peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring, nor will it do away with idleness and promote ‘industry, thrift and self-respect,’ for it is founded, in theory and in practice, on force, the principle of the evil one.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 Fruits of Socialism “While we await the redemption of Zion and the earth and the establishment of the United Order, we as bearers of the priesthood should live strictly by the principles of the United Order insofar as they are embodied in present church practices, such as the fast offering, tithing, and the welfare activities. Through these practices we could as individuals, if we were of a mind to do so, implement in our own lives all the basic principles of the United Order.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “Is Socialism the United Order?” GC April 1966 You Can Live UO
Principles Today “Talk about peace, talk about social equality, especially among those most oppressed. Talk about organization of labor, and penetrate into every labor union. Talk on soap boxes. Publish pamphlets and papers. Orate and harangue. Play on envy. Arouse jealousy. Separate class from class. Try to break down the democratic processes from within. Accustom the people to picketing, strikes, mass meetings. Constantly attack the leaders in every way possible, so that the people will lose confidence. Then in time of national peril, during a war, on the occasion of a great disaster, or on a general strike, walk into the capital and seize the power. A well-organized minority can work wonders.” (Dr. William F. Russell, Dean of Teachers’ College, Columbia University, in an address “How to Tell a Communist, and How to Beat Him”)
McKay – “Jesus’ Prayer for Unity” – GC October 1939 Tactics of Communism “As far back as 1928, the Communists declared that the cultural, economic, and social differences between the races in America could be exploited by them to create the animosity, fear, and hatred between large segments of our people that would be necessary beginning ingredients for their revolution.”
Benson – “Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh” – GC October 1967 Fear and Hate “We must never forget exactly what communism really is. Communism is far more than an economic system. It is a total philosophy of life-atheistic and completely opposed to all that we hold dear.
“We believe in an all-wise Creator. Communism teaches that everything in existence came about as a result of ceaseless motion of the forces of nature.
“We believe in the dignity of man. Communism holds that human beings are but graduate beasts. Hence communism does not hesitate to destroy those who stand in its way. The Russian communists in their rise to power liquidated millions of their fellow countrymen. The Chinese communists wiped out tens of millions-perhaps as many as 30 million.
“We believe in a moral code. Communism denies innate right or wrong. As W. Cleon Skousen has said in his timely book, The Naked Communist: The communist ‘has convinced himself that nothing is evil which answers the call of expediency.’ This is a most damnable doctrine. People who truly accept such a philosophy have neither conscience nor honor. Force, trickery, lies, broken promises are wholly justified.
“We believe in religion as a mode of life resulting from our faith in God. Communism contends that all religion must be overthrown because it inhibits the spirit of world revolution.
“Earl Browder, a long-time leader of the Communist Party in the U. S. A. said, ‘…we Communists do not distinguish between good and bad religions, because we think they are all bad.’”
Benson, “My People Are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge” GC April 1960 Denies God and
Divinity of Man “May I conclude by saying that any system which deprives men of their free agency, which weakens the home and family, which depends on butchery for power, which denies all moral responsibility, which holds that man lives by bread alone, and which denies the existence of God, is of the devil.”
Benson, “My People Are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge” GC April 1960 It's of the Devil “Satan argued that men given their freedom would not choose correctly therefore he would compel them to do right and save us all. Today Satan argues that men given their freedom do not choose wisely; therefore a so-called brilliant, benevolent few must establish the welfare government and force us into a greater socialistic society. We are assured of being led into the promised land as long as we let them put a golden ring in our nose. In the end we lose our freedom and the promised land also. No matter what you call it-communism, socialism, or the welfare state-our freedom is sacrificed. We believe the gospel is the greatest thing in the world; why then do we not force people to join the Church if they are not smart enough to see it on their own? Because this is Satan's way not the Lord's plan. The Lord uses persuasion and love.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 Soc. is Com. is Satan's Plan “Today the devil as a wolf in a supposedly new suit of sheep's clothing is enticing some men, both in and out of the Church, to parrot his line by advocating planned government guaranteed security programs at the expense of our liberties. Latter-day Saints should be reminded how and why they voted as they did in heaven. If some have decided to change their vote they should repent-throw their support on the side of freedom-and cease promoting this subversion.”
Benson – “Secret Combination” GC Oct 1961 Wolves in Sheep's Clothing “We must ever keep in mind that collectivized socialism is part of the communist strategy. Communism is fundamentally socialism. We will never win our fight against communism by making concessions to socialism. Communism and socialism, closely related, must be defeated on principle.”
Benson – “Secret Combination” GC Oct 1961 Soc is Com “It somehow seems easier to impose so-called ‘progress’ on localities than to wait for them to bring it about themselves.”
Benson – “The Heritage of Freedom” GC Oct 1958 Progress Imposed “Proclaim that fundamental in the gospel plan is the sacredness of the individual; that God's work and glory is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39.)
"Under this concept, it is a great imposition, if indeed not a crime, for any government, any labor union, or any other organization to deny a man the right to speak, to worship, and to work.”
McKay, “America Imperiled” BC Oct 1966 Satan's Counterfeits & Tricks “I would like to emphasize that as nations tend to enjoy higher and higher standards of living, greater and greater comforts, greater and greater material blessings, there seems to he a tendency for them to become more and more interested in preserving their luxuries and their comforts than in preserving and safeguarding the ideals and principles that have made them great. In other words, there is a tendency for them to become acted with the germs of decadent morality.”
Benson, “A Commandment to Defend the Constitution” GC Oct 1954 Liberty First Never Put Security Above Liberty “People who are willing-and we have some of them in this country-to trade freedom for security, are sowing the seeds of destruction and deserve neither freedom nor security.”
Benson, “A Commandment to Defend the Constitution” GC Oct 1954 Don't Trade Freedom for Security “Many forces work together toward the concentration of power at the federal level. Our people have come to look to the federal government as the provider, at no cost to them, of whatever is needful. If this trend continues, the states may be left hollow shells, operating primarily as the field districts of federal departments and depending upon the federal treasury for their support.”Benson, “Pay Thy Debt, and Live” GC April 1957 Leading to Hollow Shells Individual is Sacred “Freedom thus obtained—that is, by obedience to the law of Christ—is freedom of the soul, the highest form of liberty. And the most glorious thing about it is that it is within the reach of every one of us, regardless of what people about us, or even nations, do. All we have to do is learn the law of Christ and obey it. To learn it and obey it is the primary purpose of every soul’s mortal life.”Elder Marion G. Romney – “The Perfect Law of Liberty” GC Oct 1981 “Cardinal Wolsey learned, to his sorrow, how little political independence and even political power can contribute to true liberty. You may recall that he gave a long life in the service of two English sovereigns, enjoying all the while great freedom and political power. Finally, however, he was shorn of all his greatness by an impatient king. As he stood, disillusioned, among the ruins of his life, he lamented to his friend,
O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
(William Shakespeare, Henry VIII, act 3, sc. 2.)”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “The Perfect Law of Liberty” GC Oct 1981 Freedom of the Soul True Liberty Requires
Freedom of the Soul “President Calvin Coolidge pinpointed the problem some years ago with these words:
“We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at the present time. If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself. It is that side which is the foundation of all else. If the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand.” (Prophets, Principles and National Survival p. 35.)”
Benson, “Watchman, Warn the Wicked” GC April 1973 Need More Spirituality
Not Wealth “John Adams said, 'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.' (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31). If the Constitution is to have continuance, this American nation, and especially the Latter-day Saints, must be virtuous.”
Benson, “Our Divine Constitution” GC October 1987 Requires Moral People “Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever” (2 Ne. 1:7). Liberty Promised to Obedient “If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers-normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free-Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.”
Benson, “Americans are Destroying America” GC April 1968 Lulled Away Lies “Effort will be made to lull us away into a false security. Proposals will be and are being offered and programs sponsored that have wide appeal. Attractive labels are usually attached to the most dangerous programs, often in the name of public welfare and personal security. Again, let us not be misled.”
Benson, “Watchman, Warn the Wicked” GC April 1973 Attractive Labels “The devil knows that if the elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, in neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants. His arguments are clever.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 Sleeping Giant “First: ‘We really haven't received much instruction about freedom,’ the devil says. This is a lie, for we have been warned time and again. No prophet of the Lord has ever issued more solemn warning than President David O. McKay.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "No Instruction" "Too Involved" “Second: ‘You're too involved in other church work,’ says the devil. But freedom is a weighty matter of the law; the lesser principles of the gospel you should keep but not leave this one undone. We may have to balance and manage our time better. Your other church work will be limited once you lose your freedom as our Saints have found out in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and many other nations.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "Too Controversial" “Third: ‘You want to be loved by everyone,’ says the devil, ‘and this freedom battle is so controversial you might be accused of engaging in politics.’ Of course the government has penetrated so much of our lives that one can hardly speak for freedom without being accused of being political. Some might even call the war in heaven a political struggle-certainly it was controversial. Yet the valiant entered it with Michael. Those who support only the popular principles of the gospel have their reward. And those who want to lead the quiet, retiring life but still expect to do their full duty can't have it both ways.
“Said Elder John A. Widtsoe:
“’The troubles of the world may largely be laid at the doors of those who are neither hot nor cold; who always follow the line of least resistance; whose timid hearts flutter at taking sides for truth. As in the great Council in the heavens, so in the Church of Christ on earth, there can be no neutrality.’” (Cited in Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival [SLC: Publishers Press, 1964], p. 440.)
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "No Agreement" “Fourth: ‘Wait until it becomes popular to do,’ says the devil, ‘or, at least until everybody in the Church agrees on what should be done.’ But this fight for freedom might never become popular in our day. And if you wait until everybody agrees in this Church, you will be waiting through the second coming of the Lord. Would you have hesitated to follow the inspired counsel of the Prophet Joseph Smith simply because some weak men disagreed with him? God's living mouthpiece has spoken to us-are we for him or against him? In spite of the Prophet's opposition to increased federal aid and compulsory unionism, some church members still champion these freedom destroying programs. Where do you stand?”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 “Fifth: ‘It might hurt your business or your family,’ says the devil, ‘and besides why not let the gentiles save the country? They aren't as busy as you are.’ Well, there were many businessmen who went along with Hitler because it supposedly helped their business. They lost everything. Many of us are here today because our forefathers loved truth enough that they fought at Valley Forge or crossed the plains in spite of the price it cost them or their families. We had better take our small pain now than our greater loss later.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "It Might Hurt" “Sixth: ‘Don't worry,’ says the devil ‘the Lord will protect you, and besides the world is so corrupt and heading toward destruction at such a pace that you can't stop it, so why try.’ Well to begin with, the Lord will not protect us unless we do our part. This devilish tactic of persuading people not to get concerned because the Lord will protect them no matter what they do is exposed by the Book of Mormon. Referring to the devil, it says, ‘And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, and they will say: All is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well-and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.’” (2 Nephi 28:21.)
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "Can't Stop It" “And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively-it is simply this: "Don't do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution." This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today-to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are "compelled in all things." Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.”
Benson, “Not Commanded in All Things” GC April 1965 "Wait for a Program" “Increasingly the Latter-day Saints must choose between the reasoning of men and the revelations of God. This is a crucial choice, for we have those within the Church today who, with their worldly wisdom, are leading some of our members astray. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned that 'the ravening wolves are amongst us from our own membership and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the Priesthood. …We should be careful of them.'” (The Improvement Era, May 1949, p. 268.)”
Benson – “Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh” – GC October 1967 Wolves in Sheep's Clothing "The Constitution provided for three departments of government—the legislative., the executive, and the judicial.
"These departments are mutually independent the one from the other. Each department was endowed with all the powers and authority that the people through the Constitution conferred upon that branch of government—the legislative, the executive, and the judicial, respectively."
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. – “The Constitution” GC April 1957 Three Independent Branches No Encroachment "No branch of the government might encroach upon the powers conferred upon another branch of government. In order to forestall foreseeable encroachments, the Convention provided in the Constitution itself for a very few invasions by one or the other; into one of the other departments, to make sure that one department should not absorb the functions of the other or encroach thereon, or gain an overbalancing power and authority against the other. These have been termed 'checks and balances.'"
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. – “The Constitution” GC April 1957 No Delegation "A third principle that was inherent in all the provisions of the Constitution was that none of the departments could delegate its powers to the others. The courts of the country have from the first insisted upon the operation of this principle. There have been some fancy near-approaches to such an attempted delegation, particularly in recent years, and some unique justifying reasoning therefore, but the courts have consistently insisted upon the basic principle, which is still operative."
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. – “The Constitution” GC April 1957 “Could many of our ills today have resulted from our failure to train a strong citizenry from the only source we have-the boys and girls of each community? Have they grown up to believe in politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without effort, wealth without work, business without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice?
“We can never survive unless our young people understand and appreciate our American system, which has given more of the good things of life than any other system in the world-unless they have a dedication that exceeds the dedication of the enemy. Character must become important in this country again. The old essentials of honesty, self-respect, loyalty, and support for law and order must be taught the younger generation.”
Benson, “Americans are Destroying America” GC April 1968 Teach Your Children “Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?”
Benson, “Our Divine Constitution” GC October 1987 What Are You Doing? “In the Old Testament we read: ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ (Hosea 4:6.)
“Thus spoke Hosea, the prophet…I take these words of warning as my text, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’
“As in Old Testament days we need knowledge today. We need to know our enemies. We must assess clearly and accurately the perils that face the free world as we enter the Missile Age. At the same time we must assure ourselves of the knowledge which brings confidence and trust in our ability and that of our friends around the world to face the future-not in fear but with vigilance. From knowledge comes strength, and from strength comes the power to preserve freedom both at home and abroad.”
Benson, “My People Are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge” GC April 1960 Knowledge Brings Strength “We may not agree with all of the President's policies, and I hope if we do not, we will express ourselves vigorously and freely, either policies advocated or policies adopted. I hope the issues will be debated freely from one end of the land to the other because therein is safety. There is always safety in an informed public.”
Benson, “Keep America Strong” GC April 1953 Debate “’Church members are at perfect liberty to act according to their own consciences in the matter of safeguarding our way of life. They are, of course, encouraged to honor the highest standards of the gospel and to work to preserve their own freedoms. They are free to participate in non-church meetings that are held to warn people of the threat of Communism or any other theory or principle that will deprive us of our free agency or individual liberties vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States. . . .
‘We therefore commend and encourage every person and every group who are sincerely seeking to study Constitutional principles and awaken a sleeping and apathetic people to the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing about us. We wish all of our citizens throughout the land were participating in some type of organized self-education in order that they could better appreciate what is happening and know what they can do about it.’” (President McKay, The Improvement Era, June 1966, p. 477.)
Benson, “An Immediate Responsibility” GC Oct 1966 Study Constitution “God bless us, my brethren and sisters, as Latter-day Saints, that we may wield our influence to the very maximum in promoting peace, in promoting spirituality among the people of this great nation, that this great country of which we are a part, may be preserved, and may continue to be, through all the days to come, a beacon and an inspiration to liberty-loving people everywhere.”Benson, “Keep America Strong” GC April 1953 Use All Influence Increase Spirituality “What assurance it would give of the much-needed blessings of the Lord if the American people, and people everywhere, could all be found daily night and morning on their knees expressing gratitude for blessings already received, acknowledging our dependence upon God, and seeking his divine guidance.
“The spectacle of a nation praying is more awe-inspiring, more powerful, than the explosion of an atomic bomb. The force of prayer is greater than any possible combination of man-controlled powers, because ‘prayer is man’s greatest means of tapping the resources of God.’ The Founding Fathers accept this eternal verity. Do we? Will we?”
Benson, “Watchman, Warn the Wicked” GC April 1973 Pray “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
“Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezek. 3:17–19.) Warning is Your Job “We must protect this American base from the brainwashing, increasingly administered to our youth in many educational institutions across the land, by some misinformed instructors and some wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their false indoctrination, often perpetrated behind the front of so-called academic freedom, is leaving behind many faithless students, socialist-oriented, who are easy subject for state tyranny.”
Benson, “America, a Choice Land” GC April 1962 Educate Educator “If we are to protect this important base we must, as a nation, live within our means, balance our budgets, and pay our debts.”
Benson, “America, a Choice Land” GC April 1962 Pay Our Debts “Let us pray that the chief executive will make no serious mistakes. Let us pray for the Congress of the United States. They are made up mostly of good men, fine public servants, who want to do what is right. They also want to please their constituents, and I hope you will be wise in what you ask of them. Don't ask them for anything that is unsound. Don't put your own selfish, narrow desires ahead of the public welfare. Give our legislators your faith and your prayers.”
Benson, “Keep America Strong” GC April 1953 Be Wise in Your Request “The meaning of the word liberty is difficult to circumscribe. Abraham Lincoln was of the opinion that ‘the world has never had a good definition of [the term]. We all declare for liberty,’ he said; ‘but in using the same word we do not mean the same thing. With some, the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor; while with others [liberty] may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor.’
"The issues have changed since the time of Lincoln, but the multipurpose use of the word liberty and its synonym freedom has not changed. The sweets of liberty about which we usually speak may be classified as (1) political independence, (2) economic freedom, and (3) free agency.”
Elder Marion G. Romney – “The Perfect Law of Liberty” GC Oct 1981 Liberty “…the Lord planned it all. Why? So America could serve as a beacon of liberty and in preparation for the opening of a new gospel dispensation—the last and greatest of all dispensations in preparation for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ....This then becomes the Lord’s base of operations in these latter days. And this base will not be shifted out of its place—the land of America.
This nation will, in a measure at least, fulfill its mission even though it may face serous and troublesome days. The degree to which it achieved its full mission depend on the righteousness of its people. God has, through his power, established a free people in this land as a means of helping to carry forward his purposes.”
- Benson, “America, a Choice Land” GC April 1962 Base of Operations Here to Share Share and discuss. NOT lecture