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 minds havent conceived of. If 1/3 part of us rejected Christ and agency in the pre-existence, 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. President Benson was a constant source of encouragement to him. [p. 182]
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: 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: [p. 183]
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)
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 state 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 [p. 184] 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, An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 1367)
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 morning- Two 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) [p. 185]
...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 property 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 freedom freedom 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 [p. 186] 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)
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 [p. 187] cooperate with him. He had to be cast not not compromised with, but cast out. (Marion G. Romney, First Presidency Message, The Ensign, Oct. 1983, p. 5)
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? Isnt 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) [p. 188]
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad ...
Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
(2 nephi 2: 11, 16)
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