Just as a wayward child fills the thoughts of a righteous parent with sorrow, and saps that parents power, confidence and peace, a member who rejects President Benson by clinging to socialism brings a sapper into his own heart and mind for rejecting a prophet of God. The latter has the greater tragedy because he has control over his own faith, thoughts and beliefs. Rebellion against Gods prophet is to reject God with a knowledge of our rejection. This is true of course, only for those who believe he is a prophet.
This lack of unity will break down our strength, our power, our confidence and cohesiveness as members of families, wards and the Church of Jesus Christ. Instead of seeing the rock cut without hands filling the earth we fall back to the prophecies of Nephi, Christ, Mormon and Moroni who saw us, warned us, talked of our individual apostasy from Christs Church in the latter days and our being swept off. Our armor will turn to rice paper, our resolve will falter, and our apostate enemies will take courage in seeking to undo our prophet.
While the world cheers the apparent faltering of communism we too are tempted to join in, as if peace is about to be ushered in. Daddy realized the communists in Russia were not our greatest enemy, as does the prophet. Righteous nations have always been protected. Read the following words of President Benson who, according to the world, cant see what they see so clearly.
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 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)
Daddy agreed with the prophet. Its clear to all but those who reject the prophet that while many joined the world in celebrating the demise of communism, President Benson was making his strongest statements ever about our sad state of affairs and the increasing power of the enemies of Christ. He, like Nephi on his tower (Helaman 8) was accusing us [p. vi] of joining with the Gadianton Robbers. Nobody believed him either, when he said they were ripening for destruction. His detractors talked of their great power as a nation, and pooh poohd the idea they had corrupted their laws and in doing so had joined with the Gadianton Robbers.
This was of particular interest to our family because as far back as we can remember, Daddy taught us the Book of Mormon was written for us who have it. In particular, he taught us the period of their history coveting Alma, Helaman and the first part of 3rd Nephi are only a foreshadow of our own time leading up to the millennium, just as the Nephites had their shorter millennium. He taught us that their self-rule, their Church, their secret combinations, apostasy, their priestcraft etc. are laid out for all of us to see.
One of the things Daddy pointed out was that the Book of Mormon, between the Nephites and Jaredites covered over 3,000 years. Yet, over 40% of the pages of the Book of Mormon cover the relatively short period of 125 years before Christ came to the Nephites. This period of time, if it truly is a foreshadow of our day, is packed with information we need to study, apply to our own situation, and try to draw the applicable parallels. Where else in recorded history do we read of a people having at the same time: the gospel, self-rule, and a separation of church and state. Daddy has addressed these parallels in this book. He realized this was part of the message President Benson was trying to deliver in his constant reference to the Book of Mormon. One such reference follows.
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. vii]
President Benson used the term parallels. This was a common belief of Daddy and the prophets that went back many years. One of the letters to Daddy from President Benson illustrating this common belief years ago is at the end of this introduction. No doubt this is one reason President Benson urged Daddy over the years, to finish this book.
Another applicable quote on point, which also throws cold water on those basking in the all is well spirit, follows. Is President Benson talking to us, or are we supposed to suppose hes talking to someone else, and hope they hear it? What parallel could be drawn, even as today, that ties to Gadianton robbers seducing the more part of the righteous?
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)
What is socialism? What are its falsehoods the Book of Mormon will help us combat? How does a person quit building up and upholding secret combinations? Is President Benson just talking to be talking, and saying nothing? If you really want to know, you need to read this book.
As President Benson said time and again back in the 60's, I am unalterably opposed to socialism, either in whole or in part, . . . (The Proper Role of Government). To those who believe in the law of the harvest, that in the next life we will be put with people who believe in allowing others the same amount of free agency we believe others should have, this book will be a confirmation of your resolve to avoid using government to enjoy the benefits of socialism.
Daddy loved the Book of Mormon. I still recall the day he excitedly came into my room to show me what he had just discovered in the Book of Mormon. He read to me 3 Nephi 3:7-10. He then said he had read that over a thousand times, if he had read it once, and had never seen it. It was the clearest proof the Gadianton robbers were communists and Satans sales pitch hadnt changed over the centuries. He raised his voice as he went on to ask, If I could miss something that clear, what else am I missing? He studied the Book of Mormon with a real intensity.
A few years ago a former Church employee came to my office and [p. viii] asked if he could get a copy of the book, your dad and the prophet were working on. Since this work wasnt public I asked how he knew about it. He said he had worked in the Church office building some years before, and he saw these manuscripts of what he assumed was a book, going back and forth weekly in the mail between Daddy and the prophet. He said the secretary there took calls coming in from President Benson at least once or twice a week to Daddy, and she wanted a copy too, as she too knew they were working on these chapters shuttling back and forth between them for several months.
I had heard enough conversations between Daddy and President Benson to know they had talked often about this book, over the years. In Appendix II is a copy of another letter from President Benson to Daddy back in 1967. No doubt President Benson had many friends who assisted him, but in going through Daddys papers, many letters and correspondence after he was gone, I was pleased to see Daddy was one of those friends.
We should conclude with the observation that this book was never in its final form. It was written when both Daddy and President Benson were still alive. We considered taking some literary license, and fixing it in some places, but concluded our fixing would detract, not enhance it for the friends and family who will read it, so we left it as is. Youll note some chapters overlap in scriptural references and thoughts. Daddy attempted to whittle it down two or three times, so when we reconstituted it, going through his old chapters and his new, we eliminated only obvious duplications. Where such an elimination could not be accomplished with ease, we left the material in.
Both the first and last chapter have the same title. Daddy spent more time working on these two chapters than any other. He believed that unity behind the prophet was critical to our cohesiveness as a Church. He realized from Jacob 5, that there would be a lot of strange fruit on the tree, but he hoped to reduce the odds of his friends and family being part of that strange fruit by stressing unity with the prophet. Even his last conversation with me shortly before he died was to bear his own testimony of the brethren, and of the need to always be loyal to the prophet. On a few occasions he mentioned people he ran in to, who said they agreed with him, but they disagreed with the Churchs lack of action. Daddy felt sorrow for people who lacked total loyalty to the Lords prophet, whoever that prophet was. In all his writings and in our many [p. ix] conversations over the years, I never once saw a hint, a trace, a doubtful remark about the prophets. The apostate is always miserable. He has no Moses and wishes he were one.
He felt bad he could not be more persuasive in his writings to bring all to such a position. He couldnt settle on whether he could most effectively address this prime concern in the beginning or the end, so he addressed it in the preface and both the first and last chapters. Youll also note the preface is long. We found two prefaces, and didnt know which one he wanted, so we put them together as one.
We also added a fourth appendix on children and pride. Daddy had done a great deal of writing on children, and this seemed like a good place to add this information, since enforced priestcraft targets the destruction of the faith of children in our day.
Daddy had a wonderful experience serving as a General Authority, where he got to work with other Church leaders besides President Benson. Daddys funeral was held July 20, 1992. President Monson was the concluding speaker. A few of his remarks are given below.
Of all the individuals I know, who would like to be here today, it would be Ezra Taft Benson, the prophet of the Lord, and the President of the Church. For, he loved Verlan Andersen, and he loves all of us . . . .
As I describe my friend Verlan, I would like to say that he was a man of integrity. When he knew what was right he followed it. There was no dissuasion. There was no temptation . . . .
Verlan Andersen never endorsed that with which he did not agree, for he wanted to be able to defend his position, and his position was always on the side of the Lord. He truly was a man of integrity . . . . [p. x]
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
47 East South Temple Street
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84150
July 28, 1976
I acknowledge with appreciation your letter of July 24 regarding the two pieces of legislation which you and your associates are supporting. I am very pleased to note that you feel that what you are proposing Is supported strongly by the Book of Mormon. I am a great believer in the Book of Mormon and feel strongly that it was written for our day and time. I have said to many people that a person will come to be better informed regarding whats happening in the world today by reading the Book of Mormon than all the magazines and newspapers combined. My great concern is whether we have time enough through the legislative route and the great lack of support for sound principles to get the job done, because of the rate at which the subversive program is closing in on us.
I have Just listened to two tapes of the Alan Stang Report. I dont know if youve heard of these, Verlan. This is a new service of the JBS and
I understand some 150 stations are carrying the program now. It runs
5 minutes per day for five days of the week, all of which are on one cassette tape. The program is sponsored and purchased by business firms. KSL is running it on time purchased and the service purchased by Larson Ford and I understand it plays every day at 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may want to write to Alan Stang, Belmont, Mass., 02178 and ask them to send you a sample copy or their promotion tape.
It may be you could get it on a Provo station or it may be that a group of you could Join together and get it for your own personal use. I believe Reid Bankhead and some of the others might join with you, including Cleon Skousen, with whom I discussed the matter In the hope that he might find use for it. They are sending a copy to me weekly complimentary. Its really news behind the news and is a job well done and most timely.
With warm regards.
H. Verlan Andersen
1155 East 930 North
Provo, Utah 84601 [p. xi]