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Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! That is not in keeping with the nature of our work. [1]

Ezra Taft Benson

The phrase federal aid to education is deceptive and dishonest. What is really meant is “federal taxes for education.” The federal government cannot “aid” education. All it can do is tax the people, shuffle the money from one state to another and skim off its administrative costs from the top. Only the people can aid education. They can do it safer, faster, and cheaper within their local communities than by going through the middleman in Washington. Federal taxes for education means federal control over education. No matter how piously the national planners tell us that they will not dictate policies to local school systems, it is inevitable that they will in the long run. In fact, they already are doing it. Whenever the federal government spends tax money for any purpose, it has an obligation to determine how and under what conditions that money is used. Any other course would be irresponsible. [2]

Opposing Statements

Scriptures

Supporting Statements

J. Reuben Clark

There are three dangers that threaten the church from within, and the authorities need to awaken to the fact that the people should be warned unceasingly against them. As I see them, they are flattery of prominent men in the world, false educational ideas, and sexual impurity. (Joseph F. Smith, GoI am willing that every man shall believe what he wishes, print what he wishes, and say what he wishes within his Constitutional rights, but I am not willing that he shall exploit all his idiosyncracies in teaching my flesh and blood while I pay the bill! I insist that he shall have all the personal freedom he can carry, but I am not willing to extend that full and complete freedom into a gross license and then pay him to abuse that license to distort and debase the minds and hearts and bodies of those who belong to me and are dearer to me than life itself. [3]

George Q. Cannon

Let us advance education by individual effot . . . and not bring a child into the world and instill into its mind that because he is born somebody owes him an education. I think it degrades children to give them such ideas. Teach them that it is their duty to work for themselves. And when a man has children he should provide for and educate them. [Taxation] is doing more at the present time to pauperize the children of our country in their feelings than almost anything else. They get the idea that they ought to be educated at the expense of the State; and when they are educated they then are to be sustained at the expense of the State. [4]


  1. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol 18, p. 357, April 6, 1877
  2. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 298; An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 231
  3. J. Reuben Clark, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, p. 188
  4. George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, p. 272, April 5, 1881

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