Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen – Chapter 11
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Latter-day Saints are the only people who have been given an understanding of the exact nature of the predicament we are in. We alone know that God through His mouthpiece has told us we are in dire peril. The responsibility to act has been placed upon us. The blessings of the gospel do not come without equivalent duties. Our failure to assume them will bring severe condemnation:
“For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” (D&C 82:3)
If we sit idly by, unmoved by the special knowledge which has been given, we are told our state will be awful:
“But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state.” (2 Ne. 9:27)
Latter-day Saints have been directed to give heed to the Lord’s commandments concerning the laws of the land:
“And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.” (D&C 98:4)
We have been told to support that law of the land which is constitutional and not tamper with it:
“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; and as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” (D&C 98:6-7)
We have been advised to diligently seek for honest and wise men for our political leaders:
“Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn. Wherefore honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.” (D&C 98:9-10)
The Lord’s commandments to us concerning our responsibilities to preserve the government which He caused to be established are just as binding as any other commandments of the gospel. It was necessary for the Lord to establish a government of freedom before He could restore His Church to the earth and establish it in this land. (3 Ne. 21:4) Is it not equally necessary to preserve that government so that His Church may remain here to perform its mission?
Immediately following the Lord’s instructions in Section 98 to observe His commandments concerning the laws of the land, support the Constitution, and seek wise political leaders, we find this admonition:
“And I give unto you a commandment,…that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.” (D&C 98:11)
It is entirely possible that the Lord is here pointedly reminding us that His instructions concerning the laws of the land are also a part of His words, and they are not to be overlooked. Who can deny that Latter-day Saints need this reminding? How many of us are forming our political convictions by studying the scriptures? How many of us are even aware that the Lord has given extensive instructions regarding government?
On the other hand how many of us are getting our beliefs about government from books, magazines, newspapers, etc., written by men of the world with little or no regard to what the Lord has said? Do we know the penalty for hearkening to the precepts of men? Note these words of Nephi taken from his prophecies regarding the days of the Gentiles:
“…they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men. Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (2 Ne. 28:14, 31)
Before we can obey God’s commandments regarding the laws of the land we must know what those commandments are. This means we must search the scriptures. We must read them with the desire of finding the correct answers. We must test the philosophies of men by the revealed word of God or, according to Nephi, we will be cursed.
Not only must we study the scriptures, but as times and conditions change necessitating additional revelations, we must give heed when the Lord speaks through His living Mouthpiece.
One of the clearest and most recent admonitions of our prophet was given to the Priesthood of the Church at General Conference on April 9, 1966. In his Statement concerning the position of the Church on Communism, president McKay was quite specific about our failings and our responsibilities. He told us we are a sleeping and apathetic people. He spoke of the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing about us. He encouraged us to study the Constitution and to become informed on the subject of Communism so that we could better appreciate what is happening and know what (we) can do about it. He described Communism as the greatest satanical threat on earth, and told us that if we, as Church members and American citizens, lent aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies they would prove snares to our feet.
“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)
HEBER J. GRANT
“…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.
“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….
“Faithfully yours, /s/ Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay.” (First Presidency letter to U.S. Treasury, September 30, 1941)
GEORGE ALBERT SMITH
“As one man said to me, “Why not try what Russia has tried and what Germany has tried?”
“And my answer to him was, “Why try something that has already failed? Why not hold on to what the Lord has given?”” (The Teachings of George Albert Smith, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, , p. 171)
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