The War in Heaven Today
By Ezra Taylor
President Ezra Taft Benson once said:
“Every person on the earth today chose the right side during the war in heaven. Be on the right side now.” (Assembly Hall, Temple Square, Feb. 1966)
The doctrine of a war in Heaven is not exclusive to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In Revelation 12:7-9, we read:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Though all Bible believing religions recognize a war in Heaven, the knowledge of what the war was all about is exclusive to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We read in Moses 4:3,
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
Above, we read the words of Ezra Taft Benson explaining the need to be on the right side of that war now. That war is not over. President David O McKay said:
There are “two contending Forces. Those forces are known and have been designated by different terms throughout the ages. “In the beginning” they were known as Satan on the one hand, and Christ on the other… In these days, they are called “domination by the state,” on one hand, “personal liberty,” on the other.”
From the words of the Prophets we see that battle isn’t over, and where the battle lines are drawn today. We see that what Christ has fought for, continues to fight for and asks us to fight for is freedom of the individual, “personal liberty”.
In fact, John Taylor said,
“Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the maintenance of liberty, freedom, and the rights of man.” –General Conference April 1882
To magnify this point, the February 2006 Ensign magazine, had an article written by Elder Shirley D Christensen of the Seventy, entitled, “I, the Lord God, Make You Free.” In it he said;
“Are we doing all that we should to preserve freedom wherever we live? …The Lord has placed upon His children the responsibility of preserving their precious freedoms.”
The Lord made us free, and He instituted governments to protect us in our freedoms (See D&C 134). Is there a specific governmental structure that He has created to fulfill his purposes in this regards?
The Lord tells us in D&C 101:77-80
The laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, …
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment…And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land…
. Reiterating the Constitutions importance, President David O McKay said, and recently, Elder L Tom Perry reiterated:
“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” (BYU, Sept. 1987)
Unfortunately sometimes we think this is engaging in politics. President Joseph F Smith had something to say in those regards:
“There has been a tendency among some Latter-day Saints, even when the Constitution is mentioned, to say, ‘There he goes talking politics.’ I am not talking politics. I am quoting the words of the Lord.” Joseph F. Smith CR April 1946
The Constitution is the word of the Lord, why would we want to skim by, or ignore such a thing as this?
Why do we need to be united in “upholding and defending the Constitution”? Why does it need defending? No one would want to attack or weaken it… would they?
The prophets have some revealing insight on the matter. In Gen Conf. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. of the First Presidency said. “I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this Church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known, heavy as our sacrifices and grievous as our persecutions of the past have been.” –Conference Report, April 1944
President Clark taught us here that our freedom is under attack. What is the cause of such a threat to freedom?
President Benson said,
“Concerning the United States, the Lord revealed to his prophets that its greatest threat would be a vast, worldwide “secret combination” which would not only threaten the United States but also seek to “overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations.”- Conference Report, October 1961
Expounding on this, President Benson said:
“Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the “keystone of our religion” and the “most correct” book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) 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.
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 as the greatest threat the Godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon—it is a conspiracy fact. And along this line I would highly recommend to you a new book entitled, ‘None Dare Call It Conspiracy’.”(Gen. Conf. April, 1972)
The scriptures describe this latter-day conspiracy that seeks to destroy the freedoms of all lands, nations and countries Ether 8:23-25 teaches us that this Latter-Day conspiracy seeks to:
- Get Power (Vs. 23)
- Get Gain or Money (Vs. 23)
- Murder (vs. 24)
- Overthrow Freedom in all Lands, Nations, and Countries (vs. 25)
- Bring Destruction to all People (vs. 25)
As was shown before, the Lords prophets have admonished us to “do all we can to preserve freedom”. Moroni pleads for the same here as well. He says that when we “awake to our awful situation,” that we must
- Repent of Our Sins (vs. 23)
- Not Allow This Conspiracy to Get Above You (vs. 23)
If we do allow it, it will prove our destruction just as it did the Jaredites and the Nephites.
We are still involved in this Satan vs. the Lord battle, and Latter-day Saints are Satan’s biggest obstacle to accomplishing his plan, so we are his major focus. Satan tries to trick Latter-day Saints not to “get involved” in the freedom battle.
In General Conference of April 1965, then Elder Benson, exposes those tactics of the evil on;
“We really haven’t received much instruction about freedom,” the devil says.
This is a lie, for we have been warned time and again… Last conference I spoke of a book embodying much of the prophets’ warnings on freedom…which I commend to you. It is entitled Prophets, Principles, and National Survival.
“You’re too involved in other church work,” says the devil.
But freedom is a weighty matter of the law; the lesser principles of the gospel you should keep but not leave this one undone. We may have to balance and manage our time better.
“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. But many of the prophecies referring to America’s preservation are conditional. That is, if we do our duty we can be preserved, and if not then we shall be destroyed. This means that a good deal of the responsibility lies with the priesthood of this Church as to what happens to America and as to how much tragedy can be avoided if we do act now.
“Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.”
To those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things.” Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution.
The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church.
ETB Gen Oct 1966
Just live the gospel; there’s no need to get involved in trying to save freedom and the Constitution (says the devil)….
Of course, this is dangerous reasoning, because in reality you cannot fully live the gospel without working to save freedom and the Constitution…
Now that we understand there are no good excuses and we need to be actively engaged, what are we to do?
In General Conference, October 1987, President Benson, as President of the Church laid out these steps:
First and foremost, we must be righteous
Second, we must learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers
Third, we must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented…
Fourth, we must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, our teaching, and our advice.
Then in the General Conference of October 2003, Elder M Russell Ballard said:
“’The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ We need to raise our voices with other concerned citizens throughout the world in opposition to current trends.
Elder Christensen, in the February 2006 Ensign, emphasized this as well when he said,
What a sacred privilege and responsibility is ours to participate with other like-minded people to ensure that basic freedoms are preserved wherever we reside.
In addition to certain things we can do on our own, we have a “Responsibility” to join and work with others to reverse current trends and preserve freedom. Elder Christensen recommends working with those of “like-mind”. Those groups of like-minded people should understand the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers, and that its biggest threat is a conspiracy that seeks to destroy every land and country.
In the June 2007 Ensign President Hinckley said,
“That war (the War in Heaven), so bitter, so intense, has never ceased. It is the war… between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every kind of evil practice to thwart the work of Christ.”
Those enemies of Christ have sought to destroy His work, but those efforts are in vain. In the end, the Lord wins! President Benson testified,
The Lord has declared that before the second coming of Christ it will be necessary to “destroy the secret works of darkness” in order to preserve the land of Zion” the Americas. (2 Nephi 10:11-16.) – General Conference, Sept. 1961
Those that seek to destroy freedom in America must be defeated. They will be defeated. The only question that remains is; which side of the fence will we be on?