Statements by Ezra Taft Benson
We must keep the people informed that collectivism, another word for socialism, is a part of the communist strategy. Communism is essentially socialism. (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 90)
We should all be opposed to socialistic- communism, for it is our mortal and spiritual enemythe greatest evil in the world today. But the reason many liberals dont want the American people to form study groups to really understand and then fight socialistic-communism is that once the American people get the facts, they will begin to realize that much of what these liberals advocate is actually helping the enemy.
The liberals hope youll believe them when they tell you how anti-communist they are. But they become alarmed if you really inform yourself on the subject of socialistic-communism. For after you inform yourself you might begin to study the liberal voting record. And this study would show you how much the liberals are actually leading America toward socialism itself.
For communism is just another form of socialism, as is fascism. So now you can see the picture. These liberals want you to know how much they are doing for youwith your tax money of course. But they dont want you to realize that the path they are pursuing is socialistic and that socialism is the same as communism in its ultimate effect on our liberties. When you point this out they want to shut you up, they accuse you of maligning them, of casting aspersions, of being political. No matter whether they label their bottle as liberalism, progressivism, or social reform, I know the contents of the bottle is poison to this Republic and Im going to call it poison.
We do not need to question the motive of these liberals. They could be most sincere. But sincerity or supposed benevolence or even cleverness is not the question. The question is: Are we going to save this country from the hands of the enemy and the deceived? (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 43)
Our nation will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of the God of this land, Jesus Christ, and quit building up and upholding secret combinations . . . . (Ensign, July 1988, p. 80)
I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14-16; 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret [p. 228] combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. [See Ether 8:18-25] (Ensign, November 1988, p. 87)
Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc . . . . The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations. (Ensign, January 1988, p. 5)
We cannot afford to minimize the threat of socialism in America. We must be on guard against unsound theories and programs which strike at the very root of all we hold dear . . . Todays Socialists . . . are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our societynot as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right . . . Yes, we have traveled a long way down the soul-destroying road of socialism . . . Men . . . ascended to high political offices by promising what was not theirs to give, and citizens voted them into office in hopes of receiving what they had not earned.
I fear for the future when I realize that our once-free institutionspolitical, economic, educational, and socialhave been drifting into the hands of those who favor the welfare state, and who would centralize all power in the hands of the political apparatus in Washington. This enhancement of political power at the expense of individual rights, so often disguised as democracy or freedom or civil rights, is socialism, no matter what name tag it bears. (Teachings, 1988, p. 692- 693)
I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That Book is a great sifter. (Ensign, December 1988, p. 4)
The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and His gospel. It testifies of His divinity and of the necessity for a Redeemer and the need of our putting trust in Him . . . . Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time. (Ensign, January 1988, p. 3)
Two great American Christian civilizationsthe Jaredites and the [p. 229] Nephiteswere swept off this land because they did not serve the God the land, who is Jesus Christ (Ether 2:12.) What will become of our civilization? (Ensign, November 1987, p. 7)
. . . we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction. . . . How then can we best befriend the Constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty and ensure the protection and guidance of our Father in heaven? First and foremost, we must be righteous. (Ensign, November 1987, p. 6)
. . . basic to our understanding of the Constitution is that governments should have only limited power . . . . It cannot claim the power to redistribute money or property nor to force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. (Ensign, September 1987, p. 8)
The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Saviors visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Saviors second coming. The Nephite civilization had reached great heights. They were prosperous and industrious. They had built many cities with great highways connecting them. They engaged in shipping and trade. They built temples and palaces. But, as so often happens, the people rejected the Lord. Pride became commonplace. Dishonesty and immorality were widespread. Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils (Hel. 6:38) The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning (3 Nephi 6:12) And Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches and the vain things of the world, even as today (v. 15).
Mormon noted that the Nephites did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them (v. 18). (Ensign, May 1987, p. 4) [p. 230]
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
April 24, 1967
H. Verlan Andersen
1155 East 930 North
Dear Brother Andersen:
I have just read your letter of April 22nd and leave in an hour for Europe, to be gone about four weeks. I am asking my secretary to sign this letter and get it off to you.
May I suggest two things. One, why dont you try preparing a twenty- minute draft of what you think might appropriately be presented to a General Conference. I would then discuss this with the President and also raise the question regarding the Prophet issuing a statement. Meantime, it will be a pleasure to discuss with you a draft which you may have ready when I return and before you submit it to the Era. Why dont you give me a ring sometime after the 24th of May.
I appreciate very much, your scholarship, your spirit, and your desire to be helpful in saving our freedom through alerting the Priesthood to their responsibilities.
ETB:sd [p. 231]