The Red Pill (Statements on Freedom)
“The Red Pill” (Statements on Freedom). Compiled by Elden & Jared Van Hauwaert.
“When your freedom and eternal welfare are at stake, your information had better be accurate.”(Teachings of Ezra T. Benson p. 658)
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” Winston Churchill
What is Freedom?
“A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” Benjamin Franklin
“Free agency means that a man may serve either God or the devil, without external compulsion. How can a man be compelled to serve the one or the other? It must, in the nature of the case, be a matter for free choice. He has his free agency to commit all sorts of crime, even to murder. But he will very soon learn that he has no legal right to do so. The idea of non-interference with the lives, the property, and the peace of others are commonly taken as a basic principle in determining legal rights.”
(Concerning the Education of Young Men. by Milton Bennion, M. A., Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah., Improvement Era, 1906, Vol. Ix. April,)
“An intelligent, responsible being, be it man, woman or child, in the peaceable, harmless exercise of its personal agency, has the heaven-born right to be let alone to pursue any purpose or exercise any privilege which the eternal Parent of all parents has placed at its disposal.” (Orson F. Whitney, Contributor, vol. 3 October 1881-September 1882, Vol. Iii. July 1882. No. 10. 300 – 301.)
“[If] we yield to force or give unwillingly obedience to law which of necessity must be obeyed then the liberty of free agency is at the zero point.”
(Prophecies and Promises of the Lord as Recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, Improvement Era, 1919, Vol. Xxiii. December, 1919. No. 2.)
“…the Latter-day Saint belief in man’s uncreated individuality and in the sanctity of his agency—an agency so sacrosanct that God himself will not infringe upon it—denies the legitimacy of force as a means of attaining the community’s ends. Man’s goal is seen as being the perfection of his individuality in the image of his Heavenly Father, until he is able to enjoy a celestial community. The attainment of such a goal, however, can only be accomplished by loving persuasion, not by force.”(Edwin Brown Firmage, Ensign June 1976)
“My independence is sacred to me—it is a portion of that same Deity that rules in the heavens. There is not a being upon the face of the earth who is made in the image of God, who stands erect and is organized as God is, that should be deprived of the free exercise of his agency so far as he does not infringe upon others’ rights, save by good advice and a good example.”(JD, 10:191. Brigham Young)
“Lucifer’s plan would, according to his reasoning, remove the possibility of any child of God committing sin. Man should not be given the opportunity to sin; therefore either he should not be given any commandments, (thus could not sin,) or if he is given commandments he should not be given the right of choice as to whether or not he will keep the commandments but should be forced to keep them”(Joseph F. Smith, Gospel. Doctrine 1952)
“The right to direct ones own life is Gods greatest gift to man. Free Agency is the impelling source of the soul’s progress. It is the purpose of the Lord that man become like Him. In order for man to achieve this it was necessary for the Creator first to make him free, even God could not make men like Himself without making them Free”
(Joseph Fielding Smith “Doctrines of Salvation” Vol. I pp58-59)
“Wherefore Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given unto him. And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies…”(Moses 4:3-4)
“Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise.” (Ezra Taft Benson, BYU Devotional, 16 September, 1986)
“The freedom and independence afforded by the Constitution and Bill of Rights are divine rights – sacred, essential, and inalienable.” (M. Russell Ballard, Religion in a Free Society, Ensign October 1992)
“Today, brethren, we are in danger of actually surrendering our personal and property rights. This development, if it does occur in full form, will be a sad tragedy for our people. We must recognize that property rights are essential to human liberty.
Former United States Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland, from our own State [Utah], carefully stated it as follows: “It is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to property. Property, per se has no rights; but the individual –the man–has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to
his life, the right to his liberty, and the right to his property. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes life worth living. To give him liberty, but take from him
the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.” (From George Sutherland’s speech before the New York State Bar Association, January 21, 1921 President David O. McKay, Oct. 1962 General Conference)
“We see abroad in the world an increase in these coercive systems. We witness millions of God’s children in bondage, who have had their blessings of liberty and freedom taken from them. Great numbers of liberty-loving people no longer have their free agency, no longer have freedom of choice such as we enjoy here. They no longer have the privilege of living where they wish, taking advantage of any educational or work opportunity, but on the contrary they are under the power of these coercive systems and have lost completely their God-given free agency.”(Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1948, Second Day-Morning Meeting 85.)
“The central issue in that pre-mortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed Him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter—coercion and force. The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments.” (BYU devotional held Tuesday, 16 September 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson)
“Yes, we all love the gospel–or should do. We should all strive to live according to its precepts. But the basic thread running through the gospel plan is the freedom, the right of choice, of the individual. The gospel can prosper only where there is freedom.”(Ezra Taft Benson, Conf., Oct. 1966)
“Perhaps the most important of the great fundamentals of the inspired Constitution is the principle of popular sovereignty: The people are the source of government power. Along with many religious people, Latter-day saints affirm that God gave the power to people, and the people consented to a constitution that delegated certain powers to the government. Sovereignty is not inherent in a state or nation just because it has the power that comes from the force of arms. Sovereignty does not come from the divine right of a king, who grants his subjects such power as he pleases or is forced to concede…The sovereign power is in the people.” (Dallin H. Oaks, The Divinely Inspired Constitution, Ensign February 1992)
Socialism/Forced Charity (i.e. Social Programs) and Forced Morality
“No true Latter-day Saint or true American can be a socialist or support programs leading in that direction. These evil philosophies are incompatible with Americanism, with Mormonism, and with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ”
(Title of Liberty p. 190 Ezra T. Benson)
“In reply to the argument that a little bit of socialism is good so long as it doesn’t go too far, it is tempting to say that, in like fashion, just a little bit of theft or a little bit of cancer is all right, too! History proves that the growth of the welfare state is difficult to check before it comes to its full flower of dictatorship. But let us hope that this time around, the trend can be reversed. If not then we will see the inevitability of complete socialism, probably within our lifetime.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
“As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue that determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the War in Heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The War in Heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare or will they heed the counsel of the prophets and their freedom?
We believe that the gospel is the greatest thing in the world; why then do we not force people to join the Church if they are not smart enough to see it on their own? Because this is Satan’s way, the Lord uses persuasion and love.”
(God, Family, Country pg. 384/Teachings of Ezra T. Benson p. 658)
“Peace will come and be maintained only through the triumph of the principles of peace, and by the consequent subjection of the enemies of peace, which are hatred, envy, ill-gotten gain, the exercise of unrighteous dominion of men. Yielding to these evils brings misery to the individual, unhappiness to the home, war among nations.”(Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1953, p. 280. President David O. McKay)
“What about the lame, the sick and the destitute?” Is an often-voiced question. Most other countries in the world have attempted to use the power of government to meet this need. Yet, in every case, the improvement has been marginal at best and has resulted in the long run creating more misery, more poverty, and certainly less freedom than when government first stepped in.
Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of man kind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own… The harm dome by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooder,’ who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others—with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
” It has been fundamental to our way of life that charity must be voluntary if it is to be charity. Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today’s egalitarian are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a matter of right.”(This nation shall Endure p.91 Ezra T. Benson)
“For behold, if a man being evils giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.”(Moro.7:8)
“…profit motive DIMINISHES as government controls, regulations and taxes INCREASE to deny the fruits of success to those who produce. Therefore, any attempt THROUGH GOVERNMENTAL INTERVENTION to redistribute the material rewards of labor can only result in the eventual destruction of the productive base of society, without which real abundance and security for more than the ruling elite is quite impossible.
England was killed by an idea: the idea that the weak, indolent and profligate must be supported by the strong, industrious, and frugal – to the degree that tax-consumers will have a living standard comparable to that of taxpayers; the idea that government exists for the purpose of plundering those who work to give the product of their labor to those who do not work. The economic and social cannibalism produced by this communist-socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle.
No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
“Assume, for example, that we were farmers, and that we received a letter from the government telling us that we were going to get a thousand dollars this year for plowed up acreage. But rather than the normal method of collection, we were to take this letter and collect $69.71 from Bill Brown, at such and such an address, and $82.47 from Henry Jones, $59.80 from a Bill Smith, and so on down the line; that these men would make up our farm subsidy. “Neither you nor I, nor would 99 percent of the farmers, walk up and ring a man’s doorbell, hold out a hand and say, ‘Give me what you’ve earned even though I have not.’ We simply wouldn’t do it because we would be facing directly the violation of a moral/(criminal) law, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ In short, we would be held accountable for our actions.”(Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
“The difficulty with all governments, and one to which our own has fallen heir, is that the majority, by virtue of its right to place limitations on man’s free agency, has undertaken to infringe upon the rights reserved to the individual, for the direct and immediate benefit of law and order. For example: the Constitution expressly prohibits taking of personal property for public purposes without just compensation. Under the guise of taxation, the Constitution is violated and property is taken from one and given to another.”(Henry D. Moyle, an Apostle, Relief Society Magazine, 1957.)
“Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity”(Mosiah 11:6)
“For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bbondage or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites.”(Mosiah 17:15)
“And he did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne; and he did build many prisons, and whoso would not be subject unto taxes he did cast into prison; and whoso was not able to pay taxes he did cast into prison; and he did cause that they should labor continually for their support; and whoso refused to labor he did cause to be put to death.”
“Is the united order a communal system? Emphatically not. It never has been and never will be. It is “intensely individualistic.” Does the united order eliminate private ownership of property? No. “The fundamental principle of this system is the private ownership of property.”(Teaching of Ezra T. Benson p.122, quoting J. Reuben Clark 1977 BYU speech)
“…the best way to achieve progress in our country is through individual efforts and not government force, which in the end will destroy all progress and all freedom…the moment government steps in and dictates… the individual’s rights begin to diminish and are in danger ultimately of vanishing.”(Ezra T. Benson The Red Carpet pg. 691)
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”(1 Corinthians 10:13)
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”(James 1:12)
The proper role of government
“We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”(D&C 134: 2)
“The sole function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property and anything more than this is usurpation and oppression.”(Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, 1969)
“And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
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.
“I am for the Kingdom of God. I like a good government, and then I like to have it wisely and justly administered. The government of heaven, if wickedly administered, would become one of the worst governments upon the face of the earth. No matter how good a government is, unless it is administered by righteous men, an evil government will be made of it.” Brigham Young
“The biggest problem facing America today is that no one looks to freedom as a solution to problems anymore. They look to government.” (Glenn Kimber, founder of Kimber Academy, son-in-law of W. Cleon Skousen)
“It is impossible that there can be any other legitimate rule, government, power or authority under the face of the heavens, except that which is the kingdom of God”(John Taylor, journal of Discourses book 1 pg.225)
“The kingdom of God is an order of government established by divine authority. It is the only legal government that can exist in any part of the universe. All other governments are illegal and unauthorized-any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making (laws of man) and by officers of their own appointment are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God.”(Orson Pratt’s Kingdom of God, part 1, page 1)
“God, having made all beings and worlds, has the only supreme right to govern them by His own laws. Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of there own making and officers of there own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the Kingdom of God”(Hyrum Andrus, doctrines of the kingdom)
“In Time ye will have no ruler, for I will be your King and watch over for you wherefore hear my voice and follow Me, and you will be a free people, and there will be no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and who can stay my hand?”(D&C 38:21-22)
“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judges another?”(James 4:12)
“[T]he Lord in his wisdom saw the necessity of giving us a nation in which we could thrive. In no other nation under heaven could the Church have been organized and gone forward as we have in this nation. The founding of the United States was not an accident. The giving to us of the Constitution of the United States was not an accident. Our Heavenly Father knew what would be needed, and so he paved the way to give us the Constitution. It came under the influence of prayer, and he guided those who framed that wonderful document.
I hope that the membership of this Church will not be deceived into thinking that other plans, other forms of government, other systems of direction whatsoever, are desirable. I want to say to you without any hesitation that no form of government in the world can be compared favorably with the government God gave to us. This is his plan.”(CR 1947 Apr:163 President George Albert Smith)
“Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.”(President McKay, The Instructor, Feb. 1956, p. 34.)
“[T]he Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.”(Epistle to the Church from Liberty Jail, March 25, 1839 TPJS:147 Joseph Smith, quoted by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith)
“If we would make the world better, let us foster a keener appreciation of the freedom and Liberty guaranteed by the constitution of the United States. Here and again self-proclaimed progressives cry that such old time adherence is out of date, but there are some fundamental principals of a Republic which, like eternal truths, never get out of date and which are applicable at all times to liberty-loving people. Such are the underlying principals of the Constitution, a document framed by patriotic, freedom-loving men who latter-day saints declare were inspired by the Lord.”(David O. McKay “Teachings of Ezra T. Benson”)
“The Church unequivocally declares, nothing doubting, that God Himself set up the Constitution of the United States, and that He so declared, saying: “I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose,” and the Constitution shall “be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.”(D&C 101:80,77/ J. Reuben Clark, Jr.)
“In the nature of things there is not within the United States, a people more patriotic than the Latter-day Saints. I know of no sect that assumes the position that the constitution of the United States was written as it were by the very finger of God. Surely that belief is an inspiration to the highest patriotism…”(Heber J. Grant, General Conference, April 1920)
“There has not been another such group of men in all [the 200 years of our history] that even challenged the supremacy of the founding fathers.”(J. Reuben Clark,, Conference, April 1957)
“I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits…inspired of the Lord.”(Wilford Woodruff, Conference, April 1898)
“The men who actively participated in the work of framing the Constitution were the most eminent, the most trained, and the most competent group of statesmen that were ever assembled under one roof at one time in the know history of the world.”(Bruce R. McConkie, The Deseret News, 19 March 1945 through 10 April 1945)
“We recognize the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and think that people ought not to be molested in that worship, and that they should be perfectly free to carry out their religious convictions, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. That is the line we draw, and when men step beyond that, the designs and wicked acts of those who seek to infringe upon them.”(A Discourse by Charles W. Penrose. Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, August 19, 1900)
“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. It becomes a lever of unlimited power which is the sought-after prize of unscrupulous individuals and pressure groups, each seeking to control the machine to fatten his own pockets or to benefit its favorite charities – all with the other fellow’s money, of course.”(THE LAW, 1850, reprinted by the Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-On-Hudson, N.Y. from the Proper Role of Government Ezra T. Benson)
“When Alma, as High Priest over the Church and Chief Judge over the Nephite nation, Confronted a situation of “great inequality among the people,” he did not seek a solution through the state, though being Chief Judge he could have. Instead, he resigned his political office in favor of “a wise man” who would not “enact laws…and…put them in force according to the wickedness and the crimes of the people.” In this action, he shored up the state in its role of establishing freedom and civil justice. Alma then went “among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance to their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people.”(Hyrum L. Andrus Doctrines of the Kingdom p.361)
“I believe that God has endowed men with certain inalienable rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these: that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty and property and anything more than this is usurpation and oppression.”(Teachings of Ezra T. Benson pg.617)
I consider it a violation of the Constitution for the Federal Government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government; that no State or local government can accept funds from the Federal and remain independent in performing its functions, nor can the citizens exercise their rights of self-government under such conditions.
I deem it a violation of the right of private property guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to forcibly deprive the citizens of this nation of their property through taxation or otherwise, and make a gift thereof to foreign governments or their citizens.
I am unalterable opposed to Socialism, either in whole or in part, and regard it as an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a denial of the right of private property for government to own or operate the means of producing and distributing goods and services in competition with private enterprise, or to regiment owners in the legitimate use of private property.
I am hereby resolved that under no circumstances shall the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights be infringed. In particular I am opposed to any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to deny the people their right to bear arms, to worship and pray when and where they choose, or to own and control private property.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra t. Benson)
“The history of the world with all its contentions and strife is largely an account of man’s effort to free himself from bondage and usurpation. Man’s free agency is an eternal principle of progress, and any form of government that curtails or inhibits its free exercise is wrong. Satan’s plan in the beginning was one of coercion, and it was rejected
because he sought to destroy the agency of man which God had given him. When man uses this God-given right to encroach upon the rights of another, he commits a wrong. Liberty becomes license, and the man, a transgressor. It is the function of the state to curtail the violator and to protect the individual.(President David O. McKay, Oct. 1965)
“Force rules in the world today. Individual freedom is threatened by international rivalries and false political ideals. Unwise legislation, too often prompted by political expediency, if enacted, will seductively undermine man’s right of free agency, rob him of his rightful liberties, and make him but a cog in the crushing wheel of regimentation.”
(President David O. McKay, Oct. 1965)
“Then why does any honest, patriotic, intelligent citizen of America prefer socialism to free enterprise? Is it not in free enterprise that free agency, a divine gift to every human being, finds an environment favorable to growth and development and to living in harmony with our beautiful doctrine of eternal progression?”(Joseph F. Merrill, Conference, April 1950)
“…people are superior to the governments they form. Since God created people with certain inalienable rights, and they in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that the people are superior to the creature they created…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, BYU Devotional, 16 September, 1986)
“I am a libertarian. I want to be known as a libertarian and as a constitutionalist in the tradition of the early James Madison ~ father of the Constitution. Labels change and perhaps in the old tradition I would be considered one of the original whigs. The new title I would wear today is that of conservative ~ though in its original British connotation the term liberal fits me better than the original meaning of the word, conservative.”(Ezra T. Benson, The Red Carpet p.206)
Satan still wishes to destroy our freedom
“The secret combinations are a group of minds connected with a diabolical plan for the destruction of our liberties and freedom, and our divinely-inspired constitution and our original government our Fathers set up there under, and the wiping out of our constitutional guarantees and free lives.”(Elder J. Reuben Clark Jan. 24 1945 “some elements of post-war life)
“The government has once flourished under the guidance of trusty servants, but since the fathers have fallen asleep, wicked and designing men have unrobed the government of its glory; and the people if not in dust and ashes or sackcloth, have to lament in poverty her departed greatness, while demagogues build fires in the north, south, east and west to keep up their spirits till it is better times. But year after year has left the people to hope till the very name, Congress or State Legislature is horrible.”(Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church 6:203, The reform, Jeffersonian Democracy, free trade and Sailors rights Party)
“Gadianton robbers fill the judgment seats in many nations. An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries. Satan reigns in the hearts of men; it is the great day of his power.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory,” Ensign, May 1980, p.73
“At the age then of sixty years, our blooming Republic began to decline under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren! Disappointed ambition, thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage, prerequisites, fame, tangling alliances, priestcraft, and spiritual weakness in high places, struck hands and reveled in midnight splendor.”(Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church 6:203)
“Secret Combinations seek to overthrow the united states and the free people of the world, ever increasing un-American thought influence is being exerted amongst us, boring termite-like into our whole nations structure – financial, economical, social and political ect. They have already hollowed out large portions of the great beams of the structure of liberty; they are at work upon others. They are to be stopped!”(Elder J. Reuben Clark oct. 7 1943 government and economic patterns pg.3-4)
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”(D&C 121:39)
“What luck for rulers that men do not think.”
“Pernicious efforts and sinister schemes are cunningly and stealthily being fostered to deprive man of his individual freedom and have him revert to the life of the jungle. With faith in the revealed word of God, let all true believers in individual freedom cherish the spiritual ideals of the Christ, and ever strive to make real the dream that all men shall be free, and that some day many nations will unite, not for war, but for peace and the establishing of the kingdom of God on earth.”
(President David O. McKay Oct. 1965)
“Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government.” Republic to Democracy to Socialism to Dictatorship. (Elder Joseph Fielding Smith April 1950 General Conference)
“In the ancient American civilization there was no word which struck greater terror to the hearts of the people than the name of the Gadiantons. It was a secret political party which operated as a murder cult. Its object was to infiltrate legitimate government, plant its officers in high places, and then seize power and live off the spoils appropriated from the people. (It would start out as a small group of “dissenters” and by using secret oaths with the threat of death for defectors it would gradually gain a choke hold on the political and economic life of whole civilizations.)
The object of the Gadiantons, like modern communists/(statist), was to destroy the existing government and set up a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land.
One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ” . . . seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; . . .” (Ether 8:25.) He warned each gentile nation of the last days to purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world.”(Ezra Taft Benson Conference Report, October 1961)
“If America is destroyed, it will be Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers-normally “good” Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free, Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.
Great nations are never conquered from outside unless they are rotten inside. Our greatest national problem today is erosion of tradition Law and order.”(Ezra Taft Benson, BYU Speeches of the year, 1970)
“These defamers say that the Constitution, and our government under it, are outmoded; not responsive to present-day conditions of life and living; not sufficient to meet and solve present-day problems; and that we need a modern, up-to-date system of government. They let us know what should be done to meet their ideas and plans, which seem always to run to despotism.
I have observed that numbers of these defamers take advantage to the utmost of every liberty and freedom created and protected by the Constitution in order to destroy it and its guarantees, so to make easy the setting up of a tyranny that would deprive the common man of his freedom and liberties under it, so permitting these defamers to set up a government that would give place, power, and privilege to them in a despotism to be imposed upon the mass of mankind.”(J. Reuben Clark Jr. April 1957 General Conference)
“Satan is making war against…the very foundations upon which society, government, and religion rest…He plans to destroy freedom–economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed men. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods…He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Without their knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction…” (First Presidency Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark Jr., David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1942, p. 14)
“Satan has control now. No matter where you look, he is in control, even in our own land. He is guiding the governments as far as the Lord will permit him. That is why there is so much strife, turmoil, confusion all over the earth. One master mind is governing the nations. It is not the President of the United States…it is not the king or government of England or any other land; it is Satan himself.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp. 314-315)
“I consider ourselves at war with international Communism which is committed to the destruction of our government, our right of property, and our freedom; that it is treason as defined by the Constitution to give aid and comfort to this implacable enemy.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra t. Benson)
“I heard Joseph say, nearly thirty years ago, “Mobs will not decrease, but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be state against state, city against city, neighborhood against neighborhood, it will be Christian against Christian, man against man.”(Brigham Young (may 1 1861) Deseret News Vol. II p.51)
“I have seen the end of this nation and it is terrible. I will tell you in the name of the LORD that a secret band will sap the life of this nation.”(Mormon Apostle Moses Thatcher Stated in 1882 journal of discourses 20:318)
“There are rugged times ahead. It is time for every man who wishes to do his duty to get himself prepared-physically, spiritually and psychologically-for the task which may come at any time, as suddenly as the whirlwind. It is time therefore, that every American and lover of liberty become informed about the aims, tactics and schemes of socialistic-communism. This becomes particularly important when it is realized that communism/socialism is turning out to be the earthly image of the plan which Satan presented in the pre-existence. The whole program of socialistic-communism is essentially a war against God and the plan of salvation-the very plan which we fought to uphold during the war in heaven.”(Ezra T Benson “American Heritage of Freedom”p45)
“But what about the American nation? That war that destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, (the second war of independence) was nothing, compared to that which will eventually devastate the country… What then will be the condition of that people, when this great and terrible war shall come? It will be very different from the war between the north and south. Do you wish me to describe it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, country against country, state against state, and they will go forth, destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will in a great measure cease for a time among the American nation. Why?? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture, there will be to much bloodshed, too much MOBOCRACY, too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety.”(Elder Orson Pratt journal of discourse 20:151 pg.50-51)
“There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom-all you need to do is live the gospel. Of course this is a contradiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom. We would not say to someone, ‘There is no need to be baptized-all you need to do is live the gospel.’ That would be ridiculous because baptism is part of the gospel. How would you have reacted if during the War in Heaven someone had said to you, ‘look, just do what is right; there is no need to get involved in the fight for free agency.” It is obvious what the devil is trying to do, but it is sad to see many of us fall for his destructive line. The cause of freedom is a most basic part of our religion. Our position on freedom helped get us to the earth and it can make the difference as to whether we get back home or not.”(Ezra T. Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, p.314)
“The devil knows that if the elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, on neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants. His arguments are clever. Here are a few samples.
“We really haven’t received much instruction about freedom,” the devil says. This is a lie, for we have been warned time and again. No prophet of the Lord has ever issued more solemn warning than President David O. McKay.
“You want to be loved by everyone,” says the devil, “and this freedom battle is so controversial you might be accused of engaging in politics.” Of course, the government has penetrated so much of our lives that one can hardly speak for freedom without being accused of being political. Some might even call the War in Heaven a political struggle–certainly it was controversial. Yet the valiant entered it with Michael (Revelation 12:7). Those who support only the popular principles of the gospel have their reward. And those who want to lead the quiet, retiring life but still expect to do their full duty can’t have it both ways.
“Wait until it becomes popular to do,” says the devil, “or, at least, until everybody in the Church agrees on what should be done.” This fight for freedom might never become popular in our day. And if you wait until everybody agrees in this Church, you will be waiting through the second coming of the Lord. Would you have hesitated to follow the inspired counsel of the Prophet Joseph Smith simply because some weak men disagreed with him? God’s living mouthpiece has spoken to us–are we for him or against him? Where do you stand?
“It might hurt your business or your family,” says the devil, “and besides, why not let the Gentiles save the country? They aren’t as busy as you are.” Well, there were many businessmen who went along with Hitler because it supposedly helped their business. They lost everything. Many of us are here today because our forefathers loved truth enough that they fought at Valley Forge or crossed the plains in spite of the price it cost them or their families. We had better take our small pain now than our greater loss later. There were souls who wished afterwards that they had stood and fought with Washington and the Founding Fathers, but they waited too long–they passed up eternal glory. There has never been a greater time than now to stand up against entrenched evil. And while the Gentiles established the Constitution, we have a divine mandate to preserve it. But, unfortunately, today in this freedom struggle many Gentiles are showing greater wisdom in their generation than the children of light (Luke 16:8).
“Don’t worry,” says the devil; “the Lord will protect you, and besides, the world is so corrupt and heading toward destruction at such a pace that you can’t stop it, so why try?” Well, to begin with, the Lord will not protect us unless we do our part. This devilish tactic of persuading people not to get concerned because the Lord will protect them no matter what they do is exposed by the Book of Mormon. Referring to the devil, it says: “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well–and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell” (2 Nephi 28:21).
I like that word carefully. In other words, don’t shake them—you might wake them. The Book of Mormon warns us that when we see these murderous conspiracies in our midst, we should awaken to our awful situation (see Ether 8:24). Now, why should we awaken if the Lord is going to take care of us anyway? Let us suppose that it is too late to save freedom. It is still accounted unto us for righteousness’ sake to stand up and fight. Some Book of Mormon prophets knew of the final desolate end of their nations, but they still fought on, and they saved some souls, including their own, by so doing. For, after all, the purpose of life is to prove ourselves, and the final victory will be for freedom.(Abraham 3:24-25)
The last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively is simply this: “Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.” This brings us right back to the scripture about the slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things” (D&C 58:26). Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific Church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if He set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps He does not want that to happen yet, for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe (D&C 86:5-7 CR April 1965, Improvement Era 68 [June 1965]: 537-39.
Ezra Taft Benson Teachings of Ezra T. Benson Chapter 5 Pg 659 – 661)
“Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the ‘keystone of our religion’ and the ‘most correct’ book on Earth”. This most correct book on Earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. ‘And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking’, says Moroni, ‘and also the destructions of the people of Nephi (Ether 8:21).’ Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out the greatest threat as the godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon–it is a conspiracy fact. Then Moroni speaks to us in this day and says, ‘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, because of this secret combination which shall be among you . . .”(Ezra Taft Benson, CR, April 1972, Ensign, pg. 49-53)
“The need for such a Church position has never been greater. I realize that it is sometimes unpopular to speak the solemn warning truth. As a people, we do not like to be disturbed from our comfortable complacency. But today we are face to face with an increasingly successful, ruthless conspiracy. Our remaining liberties are hanging in the balance.”(Ezra Taft Benson Conf., Oct. 1966)
“…the Federal Judiciary…[is] an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing it’s noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction until all shall be usurped from the States; and the governments of all be consolidated into one.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“So one constitutional right after another yielded without any real contest, our backs getting nearer to the wall with each retreat. It is now proposed we retreat still further. Is not this suicide? Is there anyone so naive as to think that things will right themselves without a fight? There has been no more fight in us than there is in a bunch of sheep, and we have been much like sheep. Freedom was never brought to a people on a silver platter, nor maintained with whisk brooms and lavender sprays…. The whole course is deliberately planned and carried out, its purpose is to destroy the Constitution and our constitutional government; then to bring chaos out of which the new Statism,, with its Slavery, is to arise, with a cruel, relentless, selfish, ambitious crew in the saddle, riding hard with whip and spur, a red-shrouded band of night riders for despotism.
. . . if we do not vigorously fight for our liberties, we shall go clear through to the end of the road and become another Russia, or worse.”(President J. Reuben Clark, Church News, Sept. 25, 1949)
“We face a war to the death, a gigantic worldwide struggle. We must face it, enter it, take part in it. In fact, we are all taking part in the struggle, whether we will or not. Upon its final issue, liberty lives or dies.”(President J. Reuben Clark, The Improvement Era May 1944)
“There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.”(The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 614; see also p. 682 & 704)
“America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher of freedom and independence to all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own…. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.”(John Quincy Adams founding father)
“During the first half of the twentieth century we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism and made strange alliances through which we have become involved in almost continuous hot and cold wars over the whole of the earth. In this retreat from freedom the voices of protesting citizens have been drowned by raucous shouts of intolerance and abuse from those who led the retreat and their millions of gullible youth, who are marching merrily to their doom, carrying banners on which are emblazoned such intriguing and misapplied labels as social justice, equality, reform, patriotism, and social welfare.”(President McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 273.)
“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.”
(Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798, James, Madison, page 141)
“The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”(Edmund Burke 1784).
“Those who would place security over liberty shall deserve, nor receive neither.” – (Benjamin Franklin)
“Today the devil as a wolf in a supposedly new suit of sheep’s clothing is enticing some men, both in and out of the Church, to parrot his line by advocating planned government guaranteed security programs at the expense of our liberties. Latter-day Saints should be reminded how and why they voted as they did in heaven. If some have decided to change their vote they should repent — throw their support on the side of freedom — and cease promoting this subversion.”(Ezra Taft Benson Conference Report, October 1961)
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded . . .
(Political Observations April 20 1795, James Madison,, page 491)
“The Constitution will never reach its destiny through force. God’s principles are taken by men because they are eternal and true and touch the divine spirit in men. This is the only true way to permanent world peace, the aspiration of men since the beginning. God never planted his Spirit, his truth, in the hearts of men from the point of a bayonet.”
“This is the very issue that, twenty years ago, we alleged we sent our young America to Europe to settle. It was our fighting there which gave to the Principal Allied and Associated Powers their victory. We got nothing out of the conflict but the ill-will of everyone–of our foes because they were our foes, and of each of our allies because of our unbounded generosity; and our naive, unsophisticated, unselfishness at Versailles. But we did not then settle the issue. It has risen again. We would not settle it now by joining in this conflict. This is one of those questions which can be settled only by the parties themselves by themselves.”(J. Reuben Clark, Jr, Conference, October 1939).
“The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle’s own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.” -Aesop
What can we do?
“A milk-and-water allegiance kills; while a passionate devotion gives life and soul to any cause and its adherents. The troubles of the world may largely be laid at the doors of those who are neither hot nor cold; who always follow the line of least resistance; whose timid hearts flutter at taking sides for truth. As in the great Council in the heavens, so in the Church of Christ on earth, there can be no neutrality. We are, or we are not, on the side of the Lord. An unrelenting faith, contemptuous of all compromise, will lead the Church and every member of it, to triumph and the achievement of our high destiny.” (Ezra Taft Benson July, 1973 Conference report)
“As we have progressed the mist has been removed, and in relation to these matters, the Elders of Israel begin to understand that they have something to do with the world politically as well as religiously, that it is as much their duty to study correct political principles as well as religious, and to seek to know and comprehend the social and political interests of man, and to learn and be able to teach that which would be best calculated to promote the interests of the world.”(John Taylor, JD: 9:340)
“The spirit that rebels against governmental meddling in the affairs of the people of this nation is one that should be fostered. If the day comes that Mr. Average Citizen meekly submits to government intervention and control of his economic and social affairs then he will be in line to have his rights and freedoms curtailed. We need to develop the desire to keep our freedoms and rights alive. To do this we should know what these rights are both our inalienable or natural rights and our political rights.”(Bruce R. McConkie, The Deseret News, 19 March 1945 through 10 April 1945)
“It is time, therefore, that every American and especially every member of the priesthood, become informed about the aims, tactics, and schemes of socialistic-communism.”(Ezra Taft Benson, Conference, October 1961)
“Every member of the priesthood should understand the divine plan designed by the Lord to raise up the first free people in modern times.”(Ezra Taft Benson, Conference, October 1961)
“Members of the Church are free to join anti-communist/statist organizations if they desire and their membership in the Church is not jeopardized by doing so. The Church is not opposing the John Birch Society or any other organization of like nature…”(The First Presidency, Church News, March 1963)
“Less Government, More Responsibility, and – With God’s Help – a Better World.” (John Birch Society’s mission statement)
“We should know why paternalism, collectivism, or federal supervision will hold our standard of living down and reduce productivity just as it has in every country where it has been tried. We should also know why the communist leaders consider socialism the highroad to communism.
We should accept the command of the Lord and treat socialistic communism as the tool of Satan. We should follow the counsel of the President of the Church and resist the influence and policies of the socialist-communist conspiracy wherever they are found — in the schools, in the churches, in governments, in unions, in businesses, in agriculture.
We should help those who have been deceived or who are misinformed to find the truth. Unless each person who knows the truth will “stand up and speak up” it is difficult for the deceived or confused citizen to find his way back.”(Ezra Taft Benson, Conference, October 1961)
“Many of the Latter-day Saints have surrendered their independence; they have surrendered their free thought, politically, and we have got to get back to where we are not surrendering the right. We must stay with what’s right and if we do so God will bless us.” (Heber J. Grant, Conference, October 1941)
“Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and maintenance of liberty, freedom and the rights of man.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 23:63)
“We who hold the priesthood must beware concerning ourselves, that we do not fall in the traps Satan lays to rob us of our freedom. We must be careful that we are not led to accept or support in any way any organization, cause or measure which in its remotest effort, would jeopardize free agency, whether it be in politics, government, religion, employment, education, or in any other field. It is not enough for us to be sincere in what we support. We must be right!”(Marion G. Romney, Conference, October 1960)
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”(Thomas Jefferson)
“No greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this Republic and of neighboring Republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.”(President David O. McKay, Oct. Conf., 1966)
“This nation and other nations will be overthrown, not because of their virtue but because of their corruption and iniquity. The time will come, for the prophecies will be fulfilled, when kingdoms will be destroyed, thrones cast down, and the powers of the earth shaken, and God’s wrath will be kindled against the nations of the earth, and it is for us to maintain correct principles, political, religious, and social, and to feel towards all men as God feels” John Tylor
“Sometimes, from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read, or witness things that do not square with the truth. This is especially true where freedom is involved. Now, do not let this serve as an excuse for your own wrong doing. The Lord is letting the wheat and the tares mature before He fully purges the Church. He is also testing you to see if you will be misled. The devil is trying to deceive the very elect.”(Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, pg. 317
Would God favor separation and Independence?
“WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”(Declaration of Independence, second paragraph)
“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication• with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance• of her delicacies.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Rev. 18:3-5)
“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.”(1Nephi 2:2)
“And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey;…Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”(Exodus 3:7-10)
“But my people will I preserve…And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten: and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare.”(Moses 7:62, Teachings of Ezra T. Benson p.105)
“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.”(D&C 58:26-28)
“Where Liberty dwells, there is my country.”(Benjamin Franklin, 1783)
A Few Thoughts
“It was the struggle over free agency that divided us before we came here; may well be the struggle over the principal which will divide us again.”(Title of liberty p220 Ezra T. Benson)
“How strong is our will to remain free—to be good? False thinking and false ideologies, dressed in the most pleasing forms, quietly—almost without our knowing it—seek to reduce our moral defenses and to captivate our minds. They entice with bright promises of security, cradle-to-grave guarantees of many kinds. They masquerade under various names, but all may be recognized by one thing—one thing they all have in common: to erode away character and man’s freedom to think and act for himself. Effort will be made to lull us away into a false security. Proposals will be and are being offered and programs sponsored that have wide appeal. Attractive labels are usually attached to the most dangerous programs, often in the name of public welfare and personal security. Again, let us not be misled.”(Ezra Taft Benson July, 1973 Conference report)
“…If one man stood alone in this position, and millions of men were to say it is not so, that lone man would still be right. We have that right, God has given it to us under the Constitution of the land in which we dwell, and if men enact laws and pile one law upon another until they reach the sky, it would not change this. It is an Eternal principle, and it will stand-this principle of liberty, the liberty that God has given to every human being –the right to do that which seemeth good in his own sight, to follow the dictates of his own conscience, as long as, in so doing, he does not trespass upon the rights of his fellow man. We stand by that fearlessly, and stand by it ourselves, and for our children after us.” (Journal of discourses info on Liberty 26:143-146)
“This is still God’s world. The forces of evil, working through some mortals, have made a mess of a good part of it. But it is still God’s world. In due time, when each of us has had a chance to prove ourselves–including whether or not we are going to stand up for freedom–God will interject himself, and the final and eternal victory shall be for free agency. And then shall those complacent people on the sidelines, and those who took the wrong but temporarily popular course, lament their decisions. To the patriots I say this: Take that long eternal look. Stand up for freedom, no matter what the cost. Stand up and be counted. It can help to save your soul–and maybe your country.”(Teachings of Ezra T. Benson Chapter 5 P. 592)
“When nations and rulers set the pattern, they generally find plenty to follow their example; hence, covetousness, fraud, rapine, bloodshed, and murder prevail to an alarming extent. If a nation is covetous, an individual thinks he may be also; if a nation commits a fraud, it sanctions his acts in a small way; and if a nation engages in wholesale robbery, an individual does not see the impropriety of doing it in retail; if a strong nation oppresses a weak one, he does not see why he may not have the same privilege. Corruption follows corruption, fraud treads on the heels of fraud, and all those noble, honorable, virtuous principles that ought to govern men are lost sight of and chicanery and deception ride rampant through the world. The welfare, happiness, exaltation, and glory of man are sacrificed at the shrine of ambition, pride, covetousness, and lasciviousness. By these means nations are overthrown, kingdoms destroyed, communities broken up, families rendered miserable, and individuals ruined”
“I have faith that the Constitution will be saved, as prophesied by Joseph Smith. It will be saved by the righteous citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by the en-lighted members of the Church-among others-men and women who understand and abide the principles of the Constitution.”(October 1987 Ensign 17 6-7 Ezra T. Benson)
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
(George Bernard Shaw)
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it”.
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”(Samuel Adams founding father).