Additions By Hans V. Andersen, Jr.
This book was first published in 1972 when communism was clearly identified as evil. Many now believe the evils of that enemy are defeated. The following information, taken from the books and files of H. Verlan Andersen (Deceased July 16, 1992) has been added as an appendix. As you read this appendix, and the book, we hope it is apparent that the prophets concerns in this area went beyond worrying about an enemy with a gun attacking us. All the prophets have condemned it. President McKay called it soul destroying, and said it would sap the individual ambitions and moral fiber of our youth… He seemed to believe it was more than a minor mistake in judgment, on the part of those who opposed him. As is pointed out below, the principle is significant. The battle over it started in the preexistence. President Benson also called it soul destroying and considered it the political philosophy of those secret combinations seeking to overthrow the freedoms of our country. This is all the more evident in his book, The Red Carpet with the rest of the title on the front cover reading Socialismthe Royal Road to Communism. That IS the red carpet. We are embracing it, and it has been a concern of the prophets, past and present.
As Latter-day Saints, it should be of more than passing interest that at the very time the world was celebrating the down fall of communism, the living prophet of God, in his final address in General Conference to us would say,
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)
For those not endowed with a keen perception of the obvious, President Benson, when he had his address put in the Ensign, referenced Ether 8:18-25. It in part says,
And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed;…
Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you,…
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation,
Is our prophet in the same predicament the prophet Nephi was 24 years before Christs birth? Mormon, telling us about his situation said they,
had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils,.. . (He!. 6:38)
And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats (Hel. 7:4)
Nephi, filled with sorrow, got on his tower and accused the people of joining with the Gadianton robbers and corrupting their laws. He warned them of pending destruction for their personal and political sins. Then, just as our prophet (from his tower) began each of his closing statements with I testify, Nephi closed his warning with, I testify that they shall be. (Hel. 7:29)
How did the prophet Nephis detractors respond to him? It has a familiar ring.
Why seest thou this man, and hearest him revile against this people and against our law?
Therefore they did cry unto the people, saying: Why do you suffer this man to revile against us? For behold he doth condemn all this people, even unto destruction; yea, and also that these our great cities shall be taken from us, that we shall have no place in them.
And now we know that this is impossible, for behold, we are powerful, and our cities great, therefore our enemies can have no power over us. (Hel. 8:2, 5-6)
If our views as LDS can hardly be distinguished from the views of other americans, are we blind and also ripening for destruction? Do President Bensons warnings apply to the LDS, or just the non-mormons who have not read his warning, or the warning he refers to in the Book of Mormon? How many of us can cling to the hope Nephi offered some of us, when he saw our day, and said, ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed. (2 Ne. 30:1) He gave that much comfort, after he too, said he saw us, our pride, and our secret combinations. (2 Ne. 26).
One of daddys concerns was that those who felt concern about this principle of agency sometimes allow that concern to cause them to break the law, thinking that would show their willingness to follow the prophet. Others, upon learning about the principle of agency, would become angry with the Lord, His prophet, His local leaders, because so little is being done or said about it in His Church. Their concern for having the principle of agency hammered into others RIGHT NOW is exceeded only by their ignorance of the Lords plan of allowing men agency to reject Him and His prophet. Possibly He feels many would reject His prophet, even if it was hammered, and hence they will be under less condemnation for rejecting less exposure to the opportunity to believe. Suppose He has other reasons our puny minds havent conceived of. If 1/3 part of us rejected Christ and agency in the preexistence, and in coming to the earth all but our Savior brought with us weaknesses and faults which might again lead us to fall away from Christ, who are we to steady the Ark? God and His prophet see that we each get exactly what we deserve, past, present and future (Alma 29:1-8). Absolutely nothing happens to us, save that which we deserve, and whether we see it as best for us or not, it is. All is designed to take us back, if we will but once again follow Christ. It may take faith, but nothing else has changed.
All that we do is for our Father in Heaven, our Savior, the Holy Ghost and the leaders Christ chose to organize and lead us. We are fortunate to have this knowledge. We were led by such leaders in the pre-existence, and we are once again here on earth. Christ leads us, and we have no more right to improve on His decisions here, than we did there. Satans sin of pride led him to be angry, to refuse counsel, to refuse to follow his leader. Pride and its resulting anger will reap another harvest here, of those who refuse to be loyal to Christ and His prophet.
Over the years, President Benson has given many copies of daddys books to many people, always encouraging them to read them. This pleased daddy to know that someone he felt such great loyalty and love for was a constant source of encouragement to him.
Daddy received a lot of calls and letters from people who love President Benson, who are concerned about our freedom, and wanted to know what they should do. Below is a copy of a letter he sent to one such person, five months before he (daddy) died on July 16, 1992.
I am in receipt of your recent letter regarding my book The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil and I do hope I can help you solve the problems you face. Since as you say in your letter, you already believed the things written in the book before you read it, the philosophy expressed therein did not cause a turmoil in your own mind.
However as I understand it, by voicing those beliefs, you have encountered some opposition from others.
It probably will not surprise you to learn that the difficulties you are experiencing are quite common among politically conservative Church members. Perhaps some of the discourses delivered by our prophets will help explain why.
In the April, 1966 general conference of the Church, President David O. McKay who was then the prophet, issued a statement entitled: A statement concerning the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Communism. You probably are quite familiar with that pronouncement.
At the time it was issued, I was teaching at the Brigham Young University and discovered to my consternation that the statement caused considerable contention among those I associated with.
In the October, 1967 general conference, President McKay, seeming to sense the discord, delivered another address entitled, A Plea for Unity. In that talk he again condemned communism and charged that those subscribing to its philosophy were causing contention both in this nation and others. He asked that members who were unable to solve their problems on a local level, to appeal to the brethren in Salt Lake who would give the needed help.
President McKay waited another eighteen months and then in the April, 1969 general conference, he repeated some of the things he had said against communism three years earlier, but suggested that those fighting communism should not do so in such a way as to cause contention. It is my suggestion to you that you obtain these three addresses by President McKay, study them carefully and prayerfully, and then follow his advice.
You apparently have become aware that it is virtually impossible to discuss either communism, socialism or welfare statism in Church meetings without causing contention. For this reason we do not now hear much from the pulpit on these subjects as was formerly the case. This does not mean however that we should not study and take a stand on these matters as President McKay advised in 1966 when he said:
We therefore commend and encourage every person and every group who is sincerely seeking to study constitutional principles and awaken a sleeping and apathetic people to the alarming conditions that are…
We should still follow that advice, provided we do so without causing discord. As you are doubtless aware, our living prophet has perhaps been more vigorously outspoken on these matters than anyone and he has never indicated that he has changed his mind. On the other hand he has continued to admonish us to read the Book of Mormon and beware of secret combinations. No prophet has ever advised that we ignore the warnings of Moroni expressed to us Gentiles in Ether 8, nor can this be done without rejecting the Book of Mormon.
The prophecies of Nephi contained in 2 Ne. 27 through 2 Ne. 31:1 seem to explain what is now happening in the Church. Since these chapters are explanations of Isaiahs writings which the Lord has admonished us to search diligently, (3 Ne. 23:1, 2) they should be very meaningful to us today.
But even though we can no longer publicly discuss what President McKay has called the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of Gods work among men which exists on the face of the earth, we can educate ourselves, our families, and our close friends.…and i hope that the Lord will continue to bless you as you try to follow the prophets and stand up for that which they stand for. (H. Verlan Andersen, Letter to a member, 2/20/1992)
What Is Socialism?
We here in the United States, in converting our government into a social welfare state, have ourselves adopted much of socialism. Specifically, we have to an alarming degree adopted the use of the power of the slate in the control and distribution of the fruits of industry. We are on notice according to the words of the President, that we are going much further, for he is quoted as saying:
Were going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily being spent and take it from the haves and give it to the have nots. (1964 Congressional Record, p. 6142, Remarks of the President to a Group of Leaders of Organizations of Senior Citizens in the Fish Room, March 24, 1964)
That is the spirit of socialism: Were going to take. The spirit of the United Order is: Were going to give. (Romney, Marion G., Conference Report, April, 1966, p. 98)
As Bastiat pointed out over a hundred years ago, once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth and providing so-called benefits for some of its citizens, it then becomes a means for what he accurately described as legalized plunder.
How is the legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another…(The Law, p. 21, 26)
In the end, no one is much further ahead, and everyone suffers the burdens of a gigantic bureaucracy and a loss of personal freedom. (Ezra Taft Benson, The Proper Role of Government, p. 136-7)
Is Socialism Satans Plan Of Government?
Force, on the other hand, emanates from Lucifer himself. Even in mans pre-existent state, Satan sought power to compel the human family to do his will by suggesting that the free agency of man be inoperative. If his plan had been accepted, human beings would have become mere puppets in the hands of a dictator, and the purpose of mans coming to earth would have been frustrated. Satans proposed system of government, therefore, was rejected, and the principle of free agency established in its place. (McKay, David O., Conference Report, April 1950, pp. 33-35)
I was due here two weeks ago, and had a theme to deliver which I thought was timely and appropriate, but I come with another theme this morningTwo Contending Forces. Those forces are known and have been designated by different terms throughout the ages. In the beginning they were known as Satan on the one hand, and Christ on the other.…In these days, they are called domination by the state on one hand, personal liberty on the other; communism on one hand, free agency on the other.
Students, two forces are at work. There might be a conflagration such as the world has never known. Mankind will have to choose the one course or the other. (Mckay, David O., Two Contending Forces, Speech at BYU, May 18, 1960)
Who Opposes Socialism?
Wednesday, 13. 1 attended a lecture at the Grove, by Mr. John Finch, a Socialist, from England, and said a few words in reply.
Thursday, 14. i attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through, i made a few remarks, alluding to Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell getting up a community at Kirtland, and of the big fish there eating up all the little fish. i said i did not believe the doctrine. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 33)
We heard Brother Taylors exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do?
Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 14, p. 21)
the world have generally made great mistakes upon these points. They have started various projects to try to unite and cement the people together without God; but they could not do it. Fourierism (authors note:
Francois Fourier was a French socialist and writer), Community unismanother branch of the same thingand many other principles of the same kind have been introduced to try and cement the human family together. And then we have had peace societies, based upon the same principles; but all these things have failed, and they will fail, because, however philanthropic, humanitarian, benevolent, or cosmopolitan our ideas, it is impossible to produce a true and correct union without the Spirit of the living God, .
(John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, p. 137)
i was speaking, a while ago, about the people there being divided into three classes. One of them you may call infidel, under the head of socialism, fourierism, and several other isms. Communism is a specimen of the same thing,…(John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 23, August 22, 1852)
You may wish to know why i make these remarks. i will tell you. Because God himself grants this right to every human being upon the earth irrespective of race or color; it is part of the divine economy not to force any man to heaven, not to coerce the mind but to leave it free to act for itself
He lays before His creature man the everlasting Gospel, the principles of life and salvation, and then leaves him to choose for himself or to reject for himself with the definite understanding that he becomes responsible to Him for the results of his acts. (Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 23, p. 77)
In things that pertain to celestial glory there can be no forced operations. We must do according as the Spirit of the Lord operates upon our understandings and feelings. We cannot be crowded into matters, however great might be the blessing attending such procedure. We cannot be forced into living a celestial law; we must do this ourselves, of our own free will. And whatever we do in regard to the principle of the United Order, we must do it because we desire to do it. .
The United Order is not French Communism. (Lorenzo Snow, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 19, p. 346, 349-350)
Joseph F. Smith
We must choose righteous men, good men to fill these positions. Hence if you will only get good men to fill these offices no one should care who they are, so that you have agreed upon them, and were one. We want you to be one both in temporal, political and religious things, in fact, in everything you put your hands to in righteousness. We want you to be one, one as God and Christ are one, seeing eye to eye. Do not try to crush anybody, or build yourselves up at the expense of your neighbor. Do not do it; it is a custom of the world, and it is a wrong principle. (Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 25, p. 251)
Heber J. Grant
Among the Latter-day Saints they speak of their philosophy and their plans under it, as an ushering in of the United Order. Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion; the United Order exalts the individual, leaves him his property, according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs, (d&c 51:3) and provides a system by which he helps care for his less fortunate brethren; the United Order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys mans God-given free agency; the United Order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their fret. (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark Jr., David O. McKay, The First Presidency, CR, April, 1942, p. 90)
George Albert Smith
Consider the condition in the world, the number who are determined to take from the rich man not what belongs to themselves, but that which belongs to the others. God has permitted men to get wealth, and if they obtained it properly, it is theirs, and he will bless them in its use if they will use it properly…
We must not fall into the bad habits of other people. We must not get into the frame of mind that we will take what the other man has. Refer back to the ten commandments, and you will find one short paragraph, Thou shalt not covet. That is what is the matter with a good many people today.
They are coveting what somebody else has, when as a matter of fact, many of them have been cared for and provided with means to live by those very ones from whom they would take property. (President George Albert Smith, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, p. 343 [compiled by Jay Newquist], CR-l0/49: 17 1-2)
David O. Mckay
We are placed on this earth to work, to live; and the earth will give us a living. It is our duty to strive to make a success of what we possessto till the earth, subdue matter, conquer the glebe, take care of the cattle, the flocks and the herds. It is the Governments duty to see that you are protected in these efforts, and no other man has the right to deprive you of any of your privileges. But it is not the Governments duty to support you. That is one reason why i shall raise my voice as long as God gives me sound or ability, against this Communistic idea that the Government will take care of us all, and everything belongs to the Government. It is wrong! No wonder, in trying to perpetuate that idea, they become anti-Christ, because that doctrine strikes directly against the doctrine of the Savior.
No government owes you a living. You get it yourself by your own acts/never by trespassing upon the rights of a neighbor; never by cheating him. You put a blemish upon your character the moment you do. (David O. McKay, Statements on Communism and the Constitution of the United States, p. 23)
During the first half of the twentieth century we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism… (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.273)
Joseph Fielding Smith
We have all been taught the doctrine of personal free agency and that no individual is ever compelled by force or other means to comply with divine edicts and philosophy. We have been informed that a long time ago in the pre-existence there was a rebellion in heaven, and because one notable character, who had been entrusted with great authority, rebelled and led many away with him, he had to be cast out of the kingdom. However we should remember that every principle and law existing in the celestial kingdom has been proved to be perfect through the eternities through which they have come. If any individual proves himself worthy for the exaltation in that kingdom, it will be by strict obedience to every principle and covenant here existing. Therefore we may be assured that every law and principle thereunto pertaining is perfect and cannot be amended or discarded because of it perfection. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 4, p. 69)
The modern trend of the nations is towards dictatorship. It is taking form in two great camps, but, nevertheless, the direction is the same, although it is being reached by different routes. On the one side the direction to make an end of all nations, is through communism;…(Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man, p. 397)
Harold B. Lee
There are some things of which i am sure, and that is that contrary to the belief and mistaken ideas of some people, the United Order will not be a socialistic or communistic setup;…(Harold b. Lee, StandYeinHolyPlaces,p. 280)
Spencer W. Kimball
Assume that you become the world leader of Socialism and in it have marked success, but through your devotion to it you fail to live the gospel. Where are you then? Is anything worthwhile which will estrange you from your friends, your Church membership, your family, your eternal promises, your faith? You might say that such estrangement is not necessarily a result of your political views, but truthfully hasnt overpowering interest in your present views alreadystarteddrivingawedge?(0/0/45)(Spencer w. Kimball, Teachings,pp. 408-409)
Ezra Taft Benson
The fifth and final principle that is basic to our understanding of the Constitution is that governments should have only limited powers. The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.
By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute money or property nor to force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by the people. The creature cannot exceed the creator. (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Sept. 1987, p. 8)
No true Latter-day Saint and no true American can be a socialist or a communist or support programs leading in that direction. (Ezra Taft Benson, Title of Liberty, p. 190)
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,…(Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, July, 1988, p.80)
We must keep the people informed that collectivism, another word for socialism, is a part of the communist strategy. Communism is essentially socialism. (Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure, p. 90)
Summarization Of Prophets Attitudes
(by H. Verlan Andersen)
In a letter written in 1967 by the late President David O. McKay to the byu Administration and Faculty, explicit instructions were given regarding what should and should not be taught here regarding laws and government. This letter was considered of sufficient importance that the entire Board of Trustees approved it,
as the policy of the Board of Trustees for the guidance of the Board, the University Administration, and present and prospective members of the Faculty.…This trend to a welfare state in which people look to and worship government more than their God, is certain to sap the individual ambitions and moral fiber of our youth unless they are warned and rewarned of the consequences….
I hope that no one on the faculty of Brigham Young University will advocate positions which cannot be harmonized with the views of every prophet of the church, from the Prophet Joseph Smith on down, concerning our belief that we should be strong and self-reliant individuals, not dependent upon the largess or benefactions of government. None of the doctrines of our Church giveanysanctiontotheconceptofasocialisticstate.(h. Verlan Andersen, TheMoralBasisofa Free Society, p. 7)
Who Has Been Tricked Into Believing In Socialism? (by h. Verlan Andersen)
We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership and management of the vital means of production. In both of these areas the free agency of Americans has been greatly abridged. Some argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government. Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery.
As 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. (Marion g. Romney, Socialism and the United Order, Conference Report, April 1966, p. 100)
As a college law teacher, i have made it a practice over the years to give a questionnaire to my students on the first day of class in which they were asked to respond to a number of questions regarding their acceptance or rejection of the proposals contained in the Ten Points of the Communist Manifesto. Of course i did not inform them that they were registering opinions about Communism and the questionnaire revealed that very few had ever read the Communist Manifesto. Their responses were therefore presumably not colored by any anti-communist bias. The results of the poll might be surprising to some. They revealed that on the average, my students were approximately two thirds communists in their political beliefs. That is, on an average, they accepted about two-thirds of the Communist program for socializing a capitalist nation.
Doubtless, much of the explanation for this apparent discrepancy lies in the fact that people are generally ignorant about Communist practices and methods. They do not realize that the political beliefs they are espousing will lead to the same loss of liberty in America as in Russia. (h. Verlan Andersen, Speech on Socialism, 10/8/79)
(Note: Below is a copy of the questionnaire referred to above, which daddy used during one of the years he was teaching at byu. The percentages to the right show the percent of the students who responded with a Yes, or No. The No Response would be the difference, if any. To grade your own beliefs, compared to Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, etc., please take the test yourself, then acquire a copy of Marxs Communist Manifesto.)
Please place a check mark in the yes or no column or fill in the blanks to indicate your response to the following questions. Do not place your name on your paper.
1. Have you read the Constitution within the last four years?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 39% 60%
2. Have you ever read the Communist Manifesto?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 12% 86%
Do you favor
1. Graduated tax rates on income?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 55% 43%
2. An unrestricted power in government to tax inheritances?
Yes/Agree [1 No/Disagree [ ] 4% 96%
3. A return to the gold and silver standard of the Constitution?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 39% 60%
4. Federal regulation of transportation and communication businesses?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] 54% 46%
5. A system of free public education?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 72% 23%
1. For the purpose of providing for the less fortunate, do you feel government should have the power to completely equalize all incomes?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] 2% 98%
2. If not, do you believe the poor have some claim on government for their subsistence needs?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 55% 43%
1. Should government have the power to prohibit child labor?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 67% 30%
2. Should government have the power to set minimum wages?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 65% 30%
3. Should government have the power to license every economic activity?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 18% 80%
4. Should government be completely without such licensing power?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 13% 82%
5. If you believe in some, but not complete licensing power, indicate three trades, professions, businesses, etc. which should be licensed:
List three which should not be licensed:
1. Government should have the power to regulate the operation of all economic activities.
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 9% 89%
2. Government should not have the power to regulate any legitimate economic activity.
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 24% 73%
3. If you believe in some, but not complete government regulation, do you feel you could draw a precise line between those activities which should and should not be regulated?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 17% 79%
4. Government should have the power to set minimum standards for all goods and services.
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 43% 41%
5. If you favor a partial, but not complete set of government standards, name three products or services for which standards should be set by government:
Name Three products or services for which standards should not be set:
1. Should government have the power to bring waste lands into production and engage in soil conservation programs?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 77% 19%
2. Should government have the power to control natural resources such as rivers, lakes, forests and mineral deposits?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 78% 19%
3. Should governments sell to private individuals all the land they now own except that which is necessary for defense and protection of rights?
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 21% 76%
1. I believe that there is a distinct line between those circumstances under which the government should compel people against their will and those where it should not.
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 48% 47%
2. I believe that the scriptures provide accurate guidance regarding the distinction between good and bad laws.
Yes/Agree [ ] No/Disagree [ ] No response [ ] 81% 14%
What To Do, To Have Unity With The Prophets
Below is a letter from the First Presidency (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay) to the U.S. Treasury, dated September 30, 1941.
Thus, according to the gospel plan under which the Church is established and operates, the care of the widow, the orphan, and the poor, is a Church function, is a part of the brotherhood of man which underlies our whole social and religious life. As Gods children all, and as brothers and sisters in Christ, we must as a matter of spiritual responsibility and pursuant to positive divine command care for the helpless, the unfortunate, and the needy. Furthermore, it is essentially a neighbor to neighbor obligation. It is not a function of civil government. This is fundamental….
The primary aim of this program is to provide for the material wants of faithful members of the Church who find themselves now in difficulty, to rebuild them spiritually, and to restore to them the proper concept, pride, and appreciation of American citizenship…No effort has been spared to teach the people to be self reliant, independent, to take a humble, righteous pride in being, individually and as communities, fully self supporting.
These things have been told in order that you may have a background and understanding of what we are now to say.
Viewing all of these things it will be easy for you to understand that the Church has not found it possible to follow along the lines of the present general tendency in the matter of properly rights, taxes, the curtailment of rights and liberties of the people, nor in general the economic policies of what is termed the New Deal. The great bulk of what these people are trying to do is, in the final analysis, absolutely contrary to the fundamental principles of which we have spoken. It is the considered, long considered opinion of President Grant and those who are associated with him, that our nation cannot be preserved if the present governmental policies shall continue. We do not believe that any other great nation or great civilization can be built up or maintained by the use of such policies.. .. As we see it, there is no way in which we can, to use your own words, preserve and perpetuate our freedomfreedom to govern ourselves, freedom of speech, and freedom to worship God according to our own light, except we shall turn away from our present course and resume the normal course along which this great country traveled to its present high eminence of prosperity, of culture, of universal education, and of the peace and contentment which we enjoyed prior to the inauguration of the New Deal,
We have done in the past, we are doing now, and we shall continue in the future to do everything within our power to secure this turning of which we speak We confess to you that it has not been possible for us to unify our own people even upon the necessity of such a turning about, and therefore we cannot unfortunately, and we say it regretfully, make any practical suggestion to you as to how the nation can be turned about. But the President of the United States could do it in good part if he were willing to exert his effort along that line, but this he appears not to be willing to do.
this we feel we can definitely say, that unless the people of America forsake the sins and the errors, political and otherwise, of which they are now guilty and return to the practice of the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and of Constitutional government, there will be no exaltation for them spiritually, and politically we shall lose our liberty and free institutions.
Returning to your original letter and our reply thereto regarding the selling of Defense Bonds. The Church as a Church does not believe in war and yet since its organization whenever war has come we have done our part…. we do thoroughly believe in building up our home defenses to the maximum extent necessary, but we do not believe that aggression should be carried on in the name and under the false cloak of defense. We therefore look with sorrowing eyes at the present use to which a great part of the funds being raised by taxes and by borrowing is being put.…We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from the underlying spirit common to Naziism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution, and would set up such a reign of terror as exists now in many parts of Europe.
We trust you will pardon this long letter, but we feel we must say that you invited it.
Trusting that the Lord will point out some way, will somehow bring about a rejuvenation of the American spirit along with a true love of freedom and of our free institutions, and for Constitutional government, we are,
Faithfully yours, /s/ Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay. (First Presidency letter to U.S. Treasury, September 30, 1941)
From Marion G. Romney:
Now, we may rest assured of this. if there is no devil, there is no God But there is a God and there is a devil, and the bringing of peace requires the elimination of Satans influence. Where he is, peace can never be. Further, peaceful coexistence with him is impossible. He cannot be brought to cooperate in the maintenance of peace and harmony. He promotes nothing but the works of the flesh.
As a prelude to peace, then the influence of Satan must be completely subjugated Even in heaven there could be no peace with him after his rebellion. There, in the world of spirits, the Father and the Son could find no ground upon which they could cooperate with him. He had to be cast notnot compromised with, but cast out. (Marion G. Romney, First Presidency Message, Ensign, Oct. 1983, p. 5)
From President Ezra Taft Benson:
How is it possible to cut out the various welfare-state features of our government which have already fastened themselves like cancer cells onto the body politic? Isn't drastic surgery already necessary, and can it be performed without endangering the patient? In answer, it is obvious that drastic measures are called for. No half-way or compromise actions will suffice. Like all surgery, it will not be without discomforts and perhaps even some scar tissue for a long time to come. But it must be done if the patient is to be saved, and it can be done without undue risk
Obviously, not all welfare-state programs currently in force can be dropped simultaneously without causing tremendous economic and social upheaval. To try to do so would be like finding oneself at the controls of a hijacked airplane and attempting to return it by simply cutting off the engines in flight. It must be flown back, lowered in altitude, gradually reduced in speed and brought in for a smooth landing. Translated into practical terms, this means that the first step toward restoring the limited concept of government should be to freeze all welfare-state programs at their present level, making sure that no new ones are added. The next step would be to allow all present programs to run out their term with absolutely no renewal. The third step would involve the gradual phasing-out of those programs which are indefinite in their term. In my opinion, the bulk of the transition could be accomplished within a ten-year period and virtually completed within twenty years…. (Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 141-2)
Man Has His Agency
(by Hans V. Andersen, Jr.)
Those who disagree with the prophets, or discount the importance of the principles of agency, as it applies to their personal views will say to themselves, If this is so important, why doesnt the government fall apart when it does what you say is so wrong? If these are truly eternal laws, why are the heavens so silent? We alter laws and nothing happens!
To such an attitude, I would make the observation that when the adulterer, the fornicator, the homosexual completes their act, they too can lay back and say, The roof didnt fall in on me. The floor did not fall out from under the bed. Who is this God who pretends to make laws, and call me a sinner? Why should I fear Him?
Our Father in Heaven loves free agency. He has let man choose to do evil. He will never give His power to such men. Man can violate Gods laws. He can even appear to have gotten away with something. Our Father gave us this life, this probationary time to taste the bitter, to repent, confess, forsake and return. (2Ne. 2)
Will God still work with and love those who reject His counsel? You recall the story of Israel and the reign of the Judges. Israel came to Samuel, demanding a king. (1 Samuel, 8) Samuel and the Lord counselled against it and warned them. The people rejected that counsel. did Samuel then anoint Saul king? Did he anoint David king? Did Nathan, the prophet anoint Solomon king? The Lords hand was in all this, but was it the first or second loaf the people got? In our case, will rejecting our prophets counsel on Gods laws and government (not just as a nation, but as Church members) lead to captivity for us? Will the great promise of the Book of Mormon regarding this land prove our blessing? Christ was our champion in the battle over agency before we came to earth, and He is now.