This book, The Moral Basis of a Free Society is probably the one my father worked on more than any other. He used it as a syllabus for his business law classes at BYU. I found more drafts, more changes, more years of effort with this one that all his others put together. Over the years he was continually refining it, adding to it and honing it to answer the opposition and make it as presentable as possible to college students, many being of a more liberal philosophy than himself. He felt he had just the one semester to try and align his students with the prophets as to law and government. Because in most instances he was the first exposure most of his students would have to correct principles, and very possibly the last, he felt a heavy responsibility to teach it as clearly as possible. He used this book the first two weeks of his class to establish the why of government.
He told me he often had some angry opposition from his Students. He didnt enjoy this part of it, because he believed that once someone became angry with you your ability to teach them anything left, because the spirit leaves the angry one. He told me much of this opposition continued until the last few years when he tried a new approach. He would ask the students to put themselves in the position of the lawmaker. They were to write up a code of justice and determine when it was just to compel a man with force (government), not persuasion. Only when they had to wrestle with their own conscience, the light of Christ, the innate Golden Rule, were they brought to deal with when it is right or wrong to use government. Only those who were already steeped in socialism failed to contemplate what the prophets believed and taught about government. Sometimes students were already too attached to socialism because of public education indoctrination, their own participation in government welfare, their parents employment etc.
Daddy received dozens of letters over the years from many students who thanked him for what he had done. Many said his was the only class they recalled from their years at BYU because of his [p. 190] effort to cause them to think about right and wrong.
Outside the classroom he experienced other opposition. At one point the head of the college came to Daddy and asked him to quit teaching, The Moral Basis of a Free Society. He explained that professors in other departments and colleges were complaining that students would take what Daddy had taught them and use it to argue with them. It was causing contention.
Daddy was more than a little familiar with a letter President McKay had sent to President Wilkinson, which had been sent to all the professors at BYU with their annual contract renewal. Much of that letter is quoted in the Introduction to this book. He pulled that out, gave it to him, and told him that he wanted to do exactly what the prophet wanted. Daddy did not have to change.
Daddy used to debate professors in other BYU colleges on campus when the teachers wanted to have contrasting opinions. Many of these were live debates, and others were filmed. Some who invited him to participate placed the restriction on him that he could not use scriptures or the words of the prophets during their debates. Since he died I have spent many hours going through his journals, correspondence, letters, etc. I came across one memo from the BYU Communications Dept. which was filming one of these debates. It says in part,
To allow a little margin of safety, this lecture-discussion, The Role of Government in the United States, which will be presented to the History 170 class on January 11, should be taped on Wednesday, January 4. The normal taping period is 3:10 to 5:00 p.m., in the TV studio in the basement, ...
We have agreed, I believe, that each of you will present a 12 15 minute lecture, to be followed by 15 minutes for questions. The questions can be agreed upon in advance and included in the outline if desired. You can decide by coin-flip or some rational process which should speak first. We have agreed to avoid citation of scripture and doctrinal disputation; ...
To teach the principles of agency and the proper role of government to non-mormons or BYU students who do not have living prophets or the scriptures for a guide is difficult.
A year after Daddy died I was out looking at a piece of property with a client. He had brought along another friend, a BYU professor from one of the more liberal departments at BYU. I asked him if he had known my father and he said he had, but not well. We got into a [p. 191] discussion. He said the thing which made his colleagues most unhappy with Daddy was that they couldnt understand how a man of his intelligence could have thrown himself in with those kind of people (conservatives) and with those kind of views. He knew Daddy was in the top 10% of his class at Stanford, and number one at Harvard Law School, as did the others. They were unanimous with their opinion that people of such intelligence just dont do that.
Just before he died some friends had attempted to honor him with a large contribution to BYU with the suggestion that a chair be set up to honor him but it was not done.
He served two terms in the Utah Legislature. He was elected on the Republican Party ticket. While in the legislature he was awarded a small trophy which had engraved on it, MR. NO. for having voted against more legislation than any one up there. He believed what Washington had said about political parties, so while he would encourage people to make contributions to individual candidates his encouragement for party contributions was lacking. He would also speak to many groups, including American Party groups who invited him to speak on the proper role of government. These activities got him into hot water.
On one occasion the heads of the Republican Party called him on the carpet to charge him with disloyalty to the Republican Party. Before he went he found out what was up, so he took with him a copy of the Republican Party National Platform, August 6th, 1968, Miami Beach Florida. In going through his papers I found this platform and the sections he had marked. While I wasnt there, and Im trying to recall a conversation 25 years back, his markings and notes on the platform speak for themselves. Of course, some of these men were conservative, so put yourself in their shoes as Daddy raised these issues to them from their own Republican platform.
By contrast, Republican leadership in Congress has: … Created a National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice to conduct crime research and facilitate the expansion of police training programs. (page 6)
This promotes federal funding and control of local police. It is unconstitutional.
Enactment of legislation to control indiscriminate availability of firearms, safeguarding the right of responsible citizens to collect, [p. 192] own and use firearms for legitimate purposes, retaining primary responsibility at the state level, with such federal laws as necessary to better enable the states to meet their responsibilities. (page 8)
Here we see gun control legislation and the 2nd Amendment trampled.
To help assure excellence and equality of educational opportunity, we will urge the states to present plans for federal assistance which would include state distribution of such aid to nonpublic school children and include non-public school representatives in the planning process. Where state conditions prevent use of funds for non-public school children, a public agency should be designated to administer federal funds ... To help colleges and universities provide this opportunity, we favor grant and loan programs for expansion of their facilities. (page 9)
Here we see Federal aid to education being proposed.
The inability of the poor to cope meaningfully with their environment is compounded by problems which blunt opportunity inadequate income, inferior education, inadequate health care, slum housing, limited job opportunities, discrimination and crime.
Full opportunity requires a coordinated attack on the total problem through community human development programs. Federal revenue sharing would help provide the resources to develop such coordinated programs. (page 10)
Here we see proposed expansion of federal welfare programs.
Elderly Americans desire and deserve independence, dignity, and the opportunity for continued useful participation. We will strengthen the Social Security system and provide automatic cost of living adjustments under Social Security and the Railroad Retirement Act. An increase in earnings permitted to Social Security recipients without loss of benefits ...
Here we see proposed increasing the cost of social security and expanding it. (page 14)
We support an equitable minimum wage for American workers one providing fair wages without unduly increasing unemployment among those on the lowest ring of the economic ladder and will improve the Fair Labor Standards Act, with its important protections for employees. [p. 193]
The forty-hour week adopted 30 years ago needs re-examination to determine whether or not a shorter work week, without loss of wages, would produce more jobs, increase productivity and stabilize prices. (page 17)
This addresses minimum wage laws and more federal involvement.
Farm policies and programs which will enable producers to receive fair prices in relation to the prices they must pay for other products. (page 20)
Here we see price supports expansion. There were several others dealing with education, poverty, transportation, Viet Nam, etc., etc., which were also marked. Daddy, when mentioning this meeting later said when he left them they were understandably confused. Daddy did to them what Paul did to the Jews who wanted to stone him after he had been in the temple.
...I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided ...
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel bath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. (Acts 23:6-9)
Conservatives work hard at the local level, coming up with strongly worded conservative platforms to express their political views. Most never even know of the disappearance of their views altogether by the time it reaches the national platform writers.
By the 1972 election Daddys legislative boundaries had been gerrymandered to such an extent he had little chance of re-election. Mama felt no remorse when he got beat. He used to come home many nights in tears, both for his failure and the eternal consequence he feared for the vast majority in the legislature. He had some idea what he was up against. In a letter to his mother shortly after he was elected he wrote,
I am trying to get ready to go to the legislature next month and so this keeps me pretty well occupied. I am somewhat apprehensive about how much good I will be able to do as a legislator [p. 194] since my ideas of what power government should possess are so far removed from the ideas of practically all people I know. I find it a real challenge to occupy the rather isolated position I do. I am going to try and visit with each member of the legislature prior to the time it convenes next month and give them each a copy of my book. The probability is that I will have but little influence nevertheless I have become convinced the LDS people will have to come back to the fundamental principles of constitutional government voluntarily or the Lord will punish us so harshly that we will be led back to them to escape our sufferings. Practically every one of the members of the state legislature belongs to the Church and so this gives me a starting point for my conversion work. (Letter to his mother, Mynoa Andersen 12/ /1968)
I recall him telling me that he worked hard to get legislators to vote against some bills, and would succeed. He felt he was making real progress, but then a week later the same bill would come up again and they would switch their votes. It was very disconcerting to him to see no standards, no principles used. Few even attempted to use such principles.
Immediately after losing the election it appeared that even the majority of the people in his own ward had voted against him, so it was probably best he not be elected. Below is most of a letter to the editor by a prominent republican, published in the Daily Herald January 18, 1968.
It has been very enlightening to read the Your Legislators Speak series in the Herald a real service both to the legislators and the public.
For instance, while most of the legislators have gotten down to the real problem of financing the services demanded and needed by the people, we find the lonely voice of H. Verlan Andersen demanding an end to free public education, the national income tax, and all welfare programs of the government, and well he ought to be lonely with such unrealistic proposals.
It is worthy to note that he was willing to run for office as a Republican a party that supports all these programs in both state and national platforms, and in spite of the fact that last spring he was busily engaged in supporting the presidential candidacy of George C. Wallace. [This was not true. That spring Daddy was working on Ezra Taft Bensons candidacy and George Wallace was talking to Ezra Taft Benson.] I hope the citizens of the 41st District are keeping a sharp eye on this pseudo-Republican, who, judging by his public utterances, seeks to change or destroy programs of both parties, including our cherished system of free [p. 195] education for all. If he really feels such programs are unconstitutional, I would suggest that Mr. Andersen take a close look at Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution and note that Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes to ... provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.
If we as a community and nation really want to avoid collapse and possible revolution, we ought to be working to strengthen all levels of our government, and our excellent school systems, through increased fiscal and personal support, led by such out standing civic groups as the Chamber of Commerce who truly want positive programs that make golden years happen. Then will this country be strong enough to overcome and resist the threats to it from the Communists, the student anarchists, the racists, and the so-called study groups that join the others in teaching attitudes of social disruption which are the real fodder of social revolution.
Several BYU professors and some political science classes made it a project to defeat Daddy. They were successful. Democrats seldom even ran in this district, so the battles were always between Republicans.
While in the legislature Daddy received many notes and letters. One letter from a liberal Democrat reads in part:
Just a short note to let you know how much an impression you made upon me during the two sessions earlier this year. We all have our honest convictions and, at times, we differ philosophically in our approaches to the same problems. Oft times, as I looked at the electronic board, [Their votes are displayed on an electronic board at the state legislature.] I felt the feeling of how lonesome you must be.
Your voting record showed the convictions of a man truly dedicated to the least governed, the best governed ... wherein we all act with self-restraint, with self respect, and with the highest esteem for mans right to dignity. I salute you. (Personal letter received 12/22/71)
One bill he introduced titled, Compulsory Charity begins: An act defining and prohibiting compulsory charity and providing for the phase out of appropriations to fund all public welfare programs and payments. This would have eliminated all government welfare. Another bill he introduced, titled Freedom to Buy and Sell Act begins: An act relating to business crimes, guaranteeing to the public the freedom to purchase from whom they please; prohibiting [p. 196] punishment of the manufacture, sale, production or purchase of goods or services unless a crime is involved. This would have eliminated all business licensing laws. One legislator, after reviewing these bills said he thought they would eliminate about 90% of the laws on the books. They did not pass.
Some LDS bookstores refused to carry his books, even after he became a general authority. I contacted some of these stores five different times with letters and phone calls to let them know they were not out of print. A few years after he died they began to carry them again.
One of his opportunities which he enjoyed the most was participating in Education Week. Education Week Programs, for some popular teachers went on throughout the summer. One month my sisters travelled with him was detailed on a Campus Memorandum to him outlining their travel in June, 1968. Las Vegas, June 1, 3, 4, Mesa, June 6, 7, 8, Scottsdale, June 10, 11, 12, Phoenix, June 13, 14, 15, El Paso, June 17, 18, 19 and Snowflake, June 22, 24, 25.
He participated in this because it gave him an opportunity to travel throughout the Church and teach truth. Once again, however, opposition came. After several years one of the heads of it came to him and told him they loved to have him, but some Education Week lecturers had complained that what he taught was in conflict with what they taught. Contention is not good. They wanted Daddy to continue with them, but to change what he taught. Because it was what he taught that caused him to even consider spending as much time away from his family as he did during the summers he gave it up.
In his papers was a talk given by Harold B. Lee July 18, 1968 to seminary and institute teachers. At the end of it he said,
You and I to be worthy of our places in Gods Kingdom must be defenders of the faith and as someone has written, If you have no enemies you say, alas, my friend, the boast is poor. He who has mingled in the fray of duty that the brave endure must have made foes. If you have none, small is the work you have done. If you have hit no cup from purged lips, you have never turned a wrong to right, you have been a coward in the fight.
Below are some of his writings on opposition, and his attitude toward it and how to handle it. Ive put in just a small list of opposition he experienced during his life, but its enough to help the reader [p. 197] see how and why he also had to deal with opposition. The first reference is part of a letter to his mother about five months after he lost his election for a third term in the Utah Legislature.
You are right in surmising that we are going through somewhat of a period of trial. It certainly is a different type of a trial than I have ever experienced before and I suppose that it stems mainly from my book writing activity. I have thought many times that if what I have said in these books is true, and I am as convinced of their truth as I am of the other gospel truths, that I would face considerable opposition. I do not believe that a person can contend against the church of the devil as D&C 18:20 puts it, and not suffer tribulation because of it. However, there is one thing of which I am convinced, and that is that the Lord will not allow us to be tested beyond our ability to allow us to exercise freedom of choice between good and evil.
It is completely beyond mans comprehension how God could so plan our lives that such plans take into consideration the conditions which arise from the choices made by those around us whose lives affect and hinge upon our own. Our inability to comprehend how God could solve such an infinitely complicated problem does not alter the fact that such is the case. He is able to predict perfectly the life of each of us.
A fellow member of my High Council stated not long ago that I was an outcast in my own ward. The thing which is more difficult than anything is to see this ill will directed against my children.
I hope that you will not concern yourself unduly however. The Lord has blessed me with a very strong testimony and I know that He rules in the lives of both men and of nations. I know that justice will be done in spite of anything that happens, therefore my only concern is to see that I am obedient to His commandments ...
I am so grateful for your testimony of the truthfulness of what I have said in the devil book. I feel that my efforts here are in partial fulfillment of the promise made to me in my patriarchal blessing which says:
Your voice shall be raised in the defense of truth and many shall rejoice and glorify God on account of your diligent labors in bringing knowledge and light to them.
I was also promised that if I would keep my mind and talents on [p. 198] the higher ideals of life,
...knowledge and wisdom shall come to you that you may fully understand the plan of life and salvation.
But if I am able to accomplish anything worthwhile in this life, I know that the credit therefore shall largely be due my parents, and since father has been gone for such a long time, and you have been left to bear the responsibilities of parenthood alone for so many years, a great deal of credit should be due you for the Patriarch stated:
Dear Brother, great blessings await you for the prayers of your parents will continually plead in your behalf before the Almighty, and you shall have strength and wisdom and knowledge to accomplish a wonderful work upon the earth.
And so Mother let me here once again express my deep love and appreciation for your faithfulness, your concern, your love and your prayers. Regarding my being tried my blessing also says:
Trials will meet you in life but inasmuch as you are sincere and humble, the Lord will sustain you and His angels will guard you and warn you against temptation and snares which shall meet you on your journey in life.
I do not really feel that I have had to undergo any great trials yet and so perhaps if I live properly I have them to face in the future. I hope that the Lord will continue to bless you and preserve you in health and strength that I might continue to feel the spiritual support and strength which you have always given me, for I may need such more than ever during the coming years. (Letter to Mother, Mynoa Andersen, 3/4/1973)
When we allow the evil words and actions of others to influence us to do evil we are listing to the voice of Satan. It is carnal nature to return hate for hate, evil for evil.
When we elected to come to earth rather than to follow Satan, we agreed to become acquainted with both good and evil here, not just to observe evil acts being done to others but to also experience our own share of unkind words, false accusations, cheating and even bodily harm. [p. 199]
One of the most urgent needs of a man is to recognize what his own reaction should be to the evil done to him. The first and foremost virtue is to restrain the natural reaction of ill-will. This is much easier to do if we recognize that God is just and He will allow nothing to happen to a child of His which is not deserved or for his best good.
When one is the victim of an evil deed, he has the opportunity then and there to develop the Christ-like quality of charity which is the pure love of Christ (Moro. 7:47) and without which we cannot become as Christ is. In one sense we should welcome such opportunities, not that we should become masochists, but we should recognize that the trials of life are the crucible through which our souls must pass to become refined and developed.
A cursory glance at the lives of the most righteous men who have dwelt upon the earth reveals that they have received the worst treatment. Is this justice? Does a righteous life merit suffering and even martyrdom in return? Certainly by mans shallow standards the answer is no. Our laws are designed to punish the wicked, not the righteous. But in the infinite wisdom of a kind and loving Father who is both just and merciful, these martyrs who have suffered the most rank human injustice which could be inflicted have thereby been provided with the opportunity to become as God is. (Personal Journal, / /1962)
It is the Lord and not man, who controls the number and severity of the trials, tests and challenges which come into our lives. He carefully and constantly watches over each one and allows us to experience those circumstances, and face those situations and difficulties we need, and to which our past conduct entitle us.
Some might contend that if the Lord intervenes this intimately in our affairs, He would thereby deprive us of our free agency. But let it be noted that although He ofttimes prevents us from carrying out our desires, never does He interfere with their formation. The scriptures relate numerous instances where the Lord has intervened to prevent people from fulfilling their intentions, and still there are many others where He has permitted evil actions even though it may appear to us to be unjust. While He allowed the wicked leaders in the city of Ammonihah to burn innocent women and children to death, He directly prevented them from slaying Alma and Amulek. While He allowed King Noah and his priests to martyr Abinadi, [p. 200] when a robber tried to kill Ammon, he was stricken dead. While He allowed Lamanite armies to slay tens of thousands of righteous Nephites, He intervened to prevent them from slaying even one of the two thousand sons of Helaman.
On the other hand, we are all conscious of the fact that the Lord does not interfere with the formation of our desires. In accordance with the following scripture, He constantly entices us to do good and He permits Satan to constantly entice us to do evil:
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 Ne. 2:16]
(Personal Notes, / /1989)
Everything which happens to you is either good for you or you deserve it; otherwise there is no justice. In order to be just the Lord must control and regulate every event in our lives except our freedom to choose between the alternatives He places before us. (Talk on the Mormon Exodus, Virdan, New Mexico, 12/30/1990)
To conclude I wanted to say something about those people who are similarly concerned, as my father was, about what is happening in our country. Often when we LDS ...awake to a sense of your awful situation... (Ether 9:24) we wish to awake all those around us. We would like to ...speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, ... (Alma 29:1).
So far so good, but we often go a step further and ask why the Church doesnt take the lead in this battle. Sometimes Church leaders, seeing the zeal of this new born free agency mormon will counsel with him. The free agency mormon may feel this counsel is generated by the leaders lack of loyalty to the prophet or lack of understanding. The free agency mormon has entered a dangerous situation if he does not handle it right.
The Church, to protect itself from apostasy, must maintain control of those who are teaching what is or is not doctrine. Anyone teaching what is Church doctrine outside the established line of authority has the potential to get off course. To keep the doctrine that is taught correct, auxiliary leaders and teachers are called by those in authority. For our own protection, and the Churchs protection, they may counsel us for our benefit. We are obligated to accept and obey [p. 201] that counsel, as obedience is the first law. We should never allow pride to lead us. If pride were a disease it would be the worst, because the victim is blinded to an awareness of the symptoms of it to the exact degree the disease has gotten hold of him.
A great deal could be written about this, but after all is said, obedience and submission to authority will be the only right answer. Our Father in Heaven loves all His children. He gives us our agency to accept or reject the benefit of His love and counsel. In the preexistence man had his agency. Did God put a heavy hand on us there? He did not. While the war continues here, minus our memories of the last one, we are again given agency. The Lord runs His Church. The Lord decides what the prophet says. Without the Lord, His prophet and His Church, what do we have of worth? [p. 202]
AND now it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and third year the Nephites did go up with their armies to battle against the Lamanites, out of the land Desolation.
And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power over them.
But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.
(Mormon 4:1, 4, 5)
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