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Commentary

Prophetic Statements

First Presidency

Satan is making war against all the wisdom that has come to men through their ages of experience. He is seeking to overturn and destroy the very foundations upon which society, government, and religion rest. He plans to destroy liberty and freedom–economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed man. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. The people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now. 1

We again warn our people in America of the constantly increasing threat against our inspired Constitution and our free institutions set up under it. The same political tenants and philosophies that have brought war and terror in other parts of the world are at work amongst us in America. The proponents thereof are seeking to undermine our own form of government and to set up instead one of the forms of dictatorships now flourishing in other lands. These revolutionists are using a technique that is as old as the human race,–a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over whom they thus gain mastery, and then enslave them. 2

The Church has not found it possible to follow along the lines of the present general tendency in the matter of property rights, taxes, the curtailment of rights and liberties of the people, nor in general the economic policies of what is termed the “New Deal.” . . . 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. . . . We confess to you that it has not been possible for us to unify our own people even upon the necessity of such a turning about, and therefore we cannot unfortunately, and we say it regretfully, make any practical suggestion to you as to how the nation can be turned about. 3

David O. McKay

Satan is making war against all the wisdom that has come to men through their ages of experience. He is seeking to overturn and destroy the very foundations upon which society, government, and religion rest. He aims to have men adopt theories and practices which he induced their forefathers, over the ages, to adopt and try, only to be discarded by them when found unsound, impractical, and ruinous. He plans to destroy liberty and freedom economic, political, and religious – and 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. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. 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. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now. 4

By reason of his office and calling, Elder Benson is entitled to inspiration when addressing Church groups, and, since Communism is a definite threat to the eternal principles of free agency, it cannot be considered that he is “out-of-line” when discussing it in talks. 5

On the fly-leaf of the book, The Naked Communist, by W. Cleon Skousen, we find this quotation, (and I admonish everybody to read that excellent book of Chief Skousen’s): “The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time. It overshadows all other problems. This conflict mirrors our age, its toils, its tensions, its troubles, and its tasks. On the outcome of this conflict depends the future of mankind.” 6

Joseph Fielding Smith

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. 7

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. 8

 

Ezra Taft Benson

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…’ 9 10

As Latter-day Saints, it should be of more than passing interest that at the very time the world was celebrating the down fall of communism, the living prophet of God, in his final address in General Conference to us would say, I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. 11 It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. 12 13

The greatest handbook for freedom in this fight against evil is the Book of Mormon . . . 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 destruction of the people of Nephi.” 14. Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors 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 great 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 the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen.

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.” 15

The Book of Mormon further warns that “whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold they shall be destroyed. …” 16.

This scripture should alert us to what is ahead unless we repent, because there is no question but that as people of the free world, we are increasingly upholding many of the evils of the adversary today. By court edict godless conspirators can run for government office, teach in our schools, hold office in labor unions, work in our defense plants, serve in our merchant marines, etc. As a nation, we are helping to underwrite many evil revolutionaries in our country.

Now we are assured that the Church will remain on the earth until the Lord comes again—but at what price? The Saints in the early days were assured that Zion would be established in Jackson County, but look at what their unfaithfulness cost them in bloodshed and delay. 17.

Our priceless heritage is threatened today as never before in our lifetime: from without by the forces of Godless Communism, and at home by our complacency and by the insidious forces of the Socialist-Communist conspiracy, with the help of those who would abandon the ancient landmarks set by our fathers and take us down the road to destruction. It was Alexander Hamilton who warned that ‘nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions, by letting into the government, principles and precedents which afterwards prove fatal to themselves.’ 18 19

…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. 20

It is well to ask, what system 21 established secret works of darkness to overthrow nations by violent revolution? Who blasphemously proclaimed the atheistic doctrine that God made us not? Satan works through human agents. We need only look to some of the ignoble characters in human history who were contemporary to the restoration of the gospel to discover fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. I refer to the infamous founders of Communism and others who follow in their tradition…” 22

The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. 23. It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time…Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc…The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations. 24

[Wickedness] is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. 25

The crucial question is, “has our nation upheld communism so that it could get power and gain?” And the tragic answer is, “Yes.” And so, unless we as a people can soon stop and reverse the disastrous course we are taking, communism would be insignificant in our country and the world today were it not for the consistent and persistent help which it is continuing to receive from right within our own government. Let the government of the United States stop helping communism and communists all over the world, and in a short period of time the conspiracy would be in retreat and in due time would collapse. But we extend the advantage of diplomatic recognition to their puppets when they come to power. We send them billions in foreign aid. We’ve trained their pilots. We ship them wheat. Through cultural and other exchanges their spies come to America. We supply them know-how. We extend them credit. We buy their goods. Their propaganda goes through our mails at our expense. We’ve helped them in their conquests through secret agreements. Our government does all it can to keep the anti-communists from coming to power in any country. It is a condition that cannot be permitted to exist! Americans are destroying America! God grant that we may repent, study the Book of Mormon (because it exposes the enemy), follow the prophet, do our homework, and wake up in time to reverse the tragic course we are following. 26

Gordon B. Hinckley

It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down. We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation. 27

Socialist and Communist Statements

Scriptures

1 Ne. 13: 5, 7-9
And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.

And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

Mosiah 9: 12
Now they were a lazy and an idolatrous people; therefore they were desirous to bring us into bondage, that they might glut themselves with the labors of our hands; yea, that they might feast themselves upon the flocks of our fields.

1 Ne. 13: 9
And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

Mosiah 11: 8-14
And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;

And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.

And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.

And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.

And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people.

And it came to pass that he placed his heart upon his riches, and he spent his time in riotous living with his wives and his concubines; and so did also his priests spend their time with harlots.

Alma 1: 5
And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.

Alma 1: 16
Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.

Founders Statements

Supporting Statements

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

#1:

Reduced to its lowest terms, the great struggle which now rocks the whole earth more and more takes on the character of a struggle of the individual versus the state. . . .  And do not think that these usurpations, intimidations, and impositions are being done to us through inadvertence or mistake; 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. 28

#2:

We are in the midst of the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen. 29

#3:

Again I warn that there are amongst us evil influences plotting and conspiring to destroy all that we hold sacred in our Church and in the nation. If we shall fall asleep to these dangers, we shall some day awaken to find ourselves their slavish victims. 30

#4:

I wish to say with all the earnestness I possess that when [you] see any curtailment of these liberties I have named, when you see government invading any of these realms of freedom which we have under our Constitution, you will know that they are putting shackles on your liberty, and that tyranny is creeping upon you, no matter who curtails these liberties or who invades these realms, and no matter what the reason and excuse therefore may be. 31

#5:

[This planned destruction of agency would be] largely done during the war, under the plea of war necessity; it is to be continued after the war under the excuse — if we are not then too cowed to require an excuse — that this new political order is necessary that we may rehabilitate the world. 32

M. Russell Ballard

If we are not careful, today’s secret combinations can obtain power and influence just as quickly and just as completely as they did in the Book of Mormon times. Do you remember the pattern? The secret combinations began among the “more wicked part” of society, but eventually “seduced the more part of the righteous” until the whole society was polluted.”…Several years before Christ come to the American continent, the Lamanites exercised such great faith and courage that they completely destroyed the influence of the Gadianton robbers in their society by “preaching the word of God among…them.” Brethren, we are NOW in a similar position to “stand as witnesses of God.” 33

Bruce R. McConkie

Gadianton robbers fill the judgement seats in many nations. An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries. 34

 

  1. First Presidency, Conference Report 1942, p. 13.
  2. First Presidency Message, April 6, 1942.
  3. First Presidency Letter, signed by Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, and David O. McKay, written to U. S. Treasury, 30 September, 1941.
  4. David O. McKay, Statements on Communism and the Constitution.
  5. David O. McKay, letter from David O. McKay’s Office, signed April 12, 1969.
  6. David O. McKay, President of the Church, in Conference Report, October 1959, pp. 4–9.
  7. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp. 314-315.
  8. Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1950, p. 159.
  9. Ether 8:25
  10. Ezra Taft Benson, LDS General Conference, October 1961.
  11. D&C 1:14–16; 84:49-53
  12. Ether 8:18–25.
  13. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1988, p. 87.
  14. Eth. 8:21
  15. Ether 8:14
  16. Ether 8:22
  17. Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, April 1972; book recommendation added by Ezra Taft Benson during talk after he discovered a Russian delegation was in attendance. Not included in the prepared or text archives of the talk
  18. Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the Nation, p. 462
  19. Ezra Taft Benson, LDS General Conference, April 1968.
  20. Ezra Taft Benson, LDS General Conference, October 1961.
  21. referring to Isaiah 29:15–16
  22. Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, Conference, October 1979.
  23. 2 Ne. 3:12
  24. Ezra Taft Benson, First Presidency Message, Ensign, January 1988.
  25. Ezra Taft Benson, I Testify, Conference, October 1988.
  26. Ezra T. Benson, BYU, May 1968.
  27. Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS General Conference, October, 2001.
  28. J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Church News, September 25, 1949.
  29. J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1941
  30. J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1939
  31. J. Reuben Clark, Improvement Era, 1940
  32. J. Reuben Clark, warning the church prior to American entry into World War II, and prior to the establishment of the United Nations. Conference Report, April 1941
  33. M. Russell Ballard, Standing for Truth and Right, Conference Report, November 1997.
  34. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, speaking in the April 1980 General Conference.

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