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Commentary

Who has been chiefly responsible for removing God from academia? How has education changed over the past century?

When God is removed education weakens and eventually fails. Everything the adversary does is ultimately focused on separating us from God and from His Principles. Everything the Lord does is to bring us to Him and His Principles. The Dark Ages were caused by the removal of the scriptures out of the hands of the people, Hitler and Communism have been successful to the degree they have done the same.

Prophetic Statements

John Taylor

And then we want to study also the principles of education, and to get the very best teachers we can to teach our children; see that they are men and women who fear God and keep his commandments. We do not want men or women to teach the children of the Latter-day Saints who are not Latter-day Saints themselves. Hear it, you Elders of Israel and you school trustees! We want none of these things. Let others who fear not God take their course; but it is for us to train our children up in the fear of God. God will hold us responsible for this trust. Hear it, you Elders of Israel and you fathers and you mothers!1

David O. McKay

A fourth and final safeguard against delinquency of youth is the moral atmosphere of the town or community. This is determined by the ideals and actions of adults, and particularly of civic officers and those who are entrusted to enforce the law. . . . As long as we publicize and condone violence; reward profiteering; intensify civil strife; glorify personalities with the sexual morals of rabbits; teach in our high schools and colleges a cheap relativism which denies personal responsibility and places all our sins upon the “economic system” or “infantile conditioning,” so long will we have juvenile criminals. Our children are reflections of ourselves, or of the things in our communal life that we tolerate. . . . The writer then quotes Thomas Jefferson who “did not believe that you can get a good society except through good, honest, well-mannered, considerate, law-abiding, clean-living citizens. He thought, in fact, that if education concentrated in the first line on creating these, society and the state would take care of themselves.” 2

But great as is the peril of physical decay, greater is the peril of spiritual decay. The peril of this century is spiritual apathy. As the body requires sunlight, good food, proper exercise and rest, so the spirit of man requires the sunlight of the Holy Spirit, proper exercise of the spiritual functions, the avoiding of evils that affect spiritual health that are more ravaging in their effects than the dire diseases that attack the body… Never before have the forces of evil been arrayed in such deadly formation as they are now… Satan and his forces are attacking the high ideals and sacred standards which protect our spirituality. One cannot help but be alarmed. 3

Harold B. Lee

One of the greatest threats to the work of the Lord today comes from false educational ideas. There is a growing tendency of teachers within and without the church to make academic interpretations of gospel teachings — to read, as a prophet-leader has said, “by the lamp of their own conceit.” Unfortunately, much in the sciences, the arts, politics, and the entertainment field, as has been well said by an eminent scholar, is “all dominated by this humanistic approach which ignores God and his word as revealed through the prophets.” This kind of worldly system apparently hopes to draw men away from God by making man the “measure of all things,” as some worldly philosophers have said. 4

Ezra Taft Benson

Across this great Christian nation — a nation with a spiritual foundation — we have schools without grades, schools without discipline, schools without prayers, schools without the pledge of allegiance, schools without Christmas programs commemorating the birth of Christ, without recognition of Easter and the great event of the Resurrection, schools without patriotism, schools without morals, schools without standards of speech, schools without standards of dress. As a result, we see the worst of their products, many of them almost intellectual gorillas as they leave some of these institutions. 5

It is capable of exact demonstration that if every party in the State has the right of excluding from public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes
least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes absolutely nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be. It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen.

After the tragic prayer decision was made by the United States Supreme Court, President David O. McKay stated, “The Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator Himself”6. Does that make any difference to you? Can’t you see why the demand of conscientious parents is increasing the number of private Christian and Americanist-oriented schools? 7

In the first century of our nation’s history, the university was the guardian and preserver of faith in God. In this present century, the university has become ethically neutral, by and large agnostic. Our country is now reaping the effects of this agnostic influence. It has cost us an inestimable price. 8

People cannot think in a vacuum. Without facts, public discussion is but the pooling of ignorance. But without character—without faith in enduring verities-learning is the devil’s tool. 9

Some of the most prominent targets now under withering fire in this war against us are the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Constitution of the United States, the institution of private property, and the basic concepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Surely this is a time when consideration might well be given by the people of America, and the entire free world, to the important matter of citizenship responsibility and, more importantly, membership in the churches of the free world….

The justices may or may not welcome this new opportunity to reenforce their strange new doctrine of neutrality in the weird war that is being fronted against God and religion. Undoubtedly, the Court’s ultimate decision will be influenced by what happens to the attitude of the American people in the meantime. For the real question now is this: How much longer will the American people — the whole Christian world — continue to tolerate the sadistic beating that religion has been taking in this country and elsewhere for the past 25 years?

Frankly recognizing that godless forces in this country have always been overwhelmingly outnumbered by the faithful, the first working principle of the anti-God strategists has been to move insidiously and always carefully to avoid anything that resembles a direct attack or a frontal confrontation with their opponents.

So in launching their campaign against God, the attackers proceeded first to ignore him in the secular press; second, to humanize him in the churches; third, to clobber him with ridicule on the campus; and, finally, to induce the courts to enforce official governmental neutrality in all litigated controversies about God and religion.

From a practical standpoint, of course, these decisions establish a union of state and atheism. The accomplishment of this last objective has taken prayer out of the public schools; and if and when the judicial conclusion is extended to its logical limits, it will abolish tax exemption for church property, eliminate chaplains from the armed services, remove our motto “In God we trust from our coins, and require major surgery upon our official salute to the flag.

We must realize that the anti-prayer decisions are simply a beguiling climax in the wide-ranging campaign against God and religion that has been sustained here in this country, and in many other nations, for more than three decades.

Judging by its demoralized works, atheism has now quit advancing in this country simply because it has arrived. Not just rhetorically but actually — our country is in an ungodly mess. City streets are terrorized by crime; our biggest and most expensive campuses are paralyzed by nihilism and anarchy; with special license from the Supreme Court, theaters are boldly featuring sex perversion and the newsstands are loaded with hard-core pornography. Big-name investigating commissions have told us all about riots, crime, progress, and poverty, but always in materialistic terms of money, housing, social service jobs, and birth control — without a word about the possibilities for personal moral self-restraint.

What about our churches? You have heard the startling story of what scientific atheism has done to institutional religion in the United States and elsewhere.

But if atheism has taken over, then who and where are the atheists? It was sheer coincidence, of course, that the day after the 1968 astronauts gave us their inspiring prayer from the moon, the Gallup Poll reported that 98 percent of the American people believe in God. Fantastic? Not at all. Mow many avowed atheists do you know personally?

Organized atheism, representing just two percent of our population, has contaminated — is still contaminating — the whole course of American life, of Christian life everywhere. In this country today a two percent tail is wagging the big 98 percent dog. Never in all history have so many been hornswoggled by so few.

For years we have all been obsessed with the iniquities of the Supreme Court. The way to do something about the Supreme Court is for the 98 percent of us to become obsessed with the omnipotent goodness of the Supreme Being. What do you suppose would happen in all branches of our government if the 98 percent of us would stop complaining and start working and praying?10

I became alarmed as I reviewed what has happened in our schools under so-called “progressive education.” What about the loss of patriotism, faith in God, and the teachings of character building principles once so much a part of our education? We have all but “forced Americanism out of the classroom to make way for temporary trivialities.”11 I remembered President Joseph F. Smith’s warning of the three dangers to the Church from within, viz., the flattery of prominent men sexual impurity, and false educational ideas.12 13

During the past several years many of our institutions of learning have been turning out an increasing number of students schooled in amorality, relativity and atheism — students divested of a belief in God, without fixed moral principles or an understanding of our constitutional republic and our capitalistic, free enterprise economic system. This follows a pattern which was established years ago at some of our key colleges that produced many of the teachers and leaders in the educational field across the country today.

The fruits of this kind of teaching have been tragic, not only to the souls of the individuals involved but also to the parents and even to our country. We saw these tragic fruits with some of our boys in Korea.

When a survey was recently made among students asking which they would prefer, nuclear war or surrender to the communists, those campuses scored highest for surrender who had been most permeated by these cowardly teachings of false economic principles, atheism, and amorality. On one very liberal college campus over 90 percent favored surrender. Other surveys on moral standards are equally alarming. More disturbing is the fact that the more college courses the students take on these campuses, the worse their thinking seems to become. Freshmen who have just left home or work do not seem as fully permeated with the brainwashing as the seniors.

Some alumni of various schools have expressed concern. One alumnus from Yale wrote a book a few years ago entitled God and Man at Yale. Another group (which includes Teddy Roosevelt’s hero son Archibald) from Harvard University established the Veritas Foundation and wrote a book, Keynes at Harvard, explaining the degree to which the destructive Fabian economic philosophy has permeated educational institutions and government. Concerned educators have begun to write books. Professor E. Merrill Root authored Collectivism on the Campus and Brainwashing in the High Schools. Dr. Max Rafferty, now state superintendent of schools in California, wrote Suffer Little Children and What They Are Doing to Your Children.

In the school history textbooks of recent years, some of the greatest phrases in American history have been dropped. This Week Magazine recently surveyed history books issued before 1920 and since 1920. Patrick Henry’s famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death,” appeared in twelve out of the fourteen earlier texts, but in only two out of the forty-five recent texts. Perhaps this might help explain the percentage of students who are willing to surrender to communism.

The whole process can be quite insidious. Young people know that the best jobs are available to college graduates. They want to do well at school. When exam time comes, they must give back to the teacher what the teacher wants. Now under the guise of academic freedom — which some apparently feel is freedom to destroy freedom — some teachers reserve to themselves the privilege of teaching error, destroying faith in God, debunking morality, and depreciating our free economic system. If questions reflecting the teacher’s false teachings appear on the exam, how will the student answer who believes in God and morality and our Constitution? One student put on his exam paper what he knew the professor wanted to see, but then the student added a little p.s. which said, “Dear Professor So and So: I just want you to know I don’t believe one word of what I just wrote above.”

These kinds of professors are not concerned about the truth or even giving both sides of a question that only has one right answer. They weight the scales on the side of falsehood. If they can see there is another side, it usually gets but passing and belittling reference. To give the impression that they are objective, these professors often invite someone to present a different point of view in one lecture, while the professor spends the whole semester pointing out the other side.

Now truth, if given as much time and emphasis as error, will invariably prove itself. And if our young students could have as much time studying the truth as they and some of their professors have had time studying error, then there would be no question of the outcome. The problem arises when under the pressure of a heavy course of study and the necessity of parroting back what certain professors have said, the student does not have the time or take the time to learn the truth. If he does not learn the truth, some day he will suffer the consequences. Many an honest student after graduation, has had to do some unlearning and then fresh learning of basic principles which never change and which he should have been taught initially.

Now these false educational ideas are prevalent in the world, and we have not entirely escaped them among teachers in our own system. There are a few teachers within the Church who while courting apostasy still want to remain members in the Church, for being members makes them more effective in misleading the Saints. But their day of judgment is coming, and when it does come, for some of them it would have been better, as the Savior said, that a millstone had been put around their necks and they had drowned in the depths of the sea, than to have led away any of the youth of the Church.

The Lord has stated that his Church will never again be taken from the earth because of apostasy. But he has also stated that some members of his Church will fall away. There has been individual apostasy in the past, it is going on now, and there will be an even increasing amount in the future. While we cannot save all the flock from being deceived, we should, without compromising our doctrine, strive to save as many as we can. For as President Clark said, “We are in the midst of the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen. . . .”

Parents, stay close to your children; you cannot delegate your responsibility to the educators no matter how competent they may be. Parents have a duty to train their children, to talk over their problems with them, to discuss what they are learning at school. And it is neither wise nor safe, as President Stephen L. Richards stated, to leave the determination of our educational system and policies exclusively to the professional educators.

Students, study the writings of the prophets. Fortunately, the consistent position taken over the years by the prophets of the Church on vital issues facing this nation have recently been compiled in an excellent book entitled Prophets, Principles and National Survival [by Jerreld L. Newquist].

Students, pray for inspiration and knowledge. Counsel with your parents. Let Sunday be the day to fill up your spiritual batteries for the week by reading good church books, particularly the Book of Mormon. Take time to meditate. Don’t let the philosophies and falsehoods of men throw you. Hold on to the iron rod. Learn to sift. Learn to discern error through the promptings of the Spirit and your study of the truth. Yes, false educational ideas are a serious threat today. 14

Gordon B. Hinckley

We have reached the tragic point in our history where evidently we cannot invoke the blessings of God in our schools. 15

Supporting Statements

Boyd K. Packer

In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many schools–and it’s becoming almost generally true–it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools. Look back over the history of education to the turn of the century and the beginning of the educational philosophies….which have led us now into a circumstance where our schools are producing the problems that we face. 16

Moral values are being neglected and prayer expelled from public schools on the pretext that moral teaching belongs to religion. At the same time, atheism, the secular religion, is admitted to class, and our youngsters are proselyted to a conduct without morality…..we are caught in a current so strong that unless we correct our course, civilization as we know it will surely be wrecked to pieces…The distance between the church and a world set on a course which we cannot follow will steadily increase. 17

George Q. Cannon

No system of education can be perfect which does not teach the principles of righteousness and faith in God. Learning has not saved the world, neither can it save it. . . . Itis of the utmost importance that our children should, in the first place, be taught faith in God. This cannot be left out of our system of education. Every child in our midst should be taught how to obtain a knowledge of god. This should be made the corner stone and the foundation of all education. 18

Hugh Nibley

Whether we like it or not, we are going to have to return to Brigham Young’s ideals of education; we may fight it all the way, but in the end God will keep us after school until we learn our lesson. 19

Alvin R. Dyer

Scientific, religious, and educational thought that is bent on revising and supposedly amplifying man’s knowledge and that does not keep alive the fundamental concept of the eternal nature of God and his Beloved Son and their relationship to man in eternity creates only secular concepts and mere rationalization. Such indoctrination imposes false direction, retarding man’s natural response to the truth. 20

Neal A. Maxwell

. . . .this rising generation is the first generation to be reared in a time when society’s other institutions, previously supportive of certain moral standards, have largely been neutralized, or worse, secularized. This rising generation, basically shorn of such external support systems, therefore must believe because of the word, and behave because they believe. As we all know, current film, music, art, and theater too often promote drugs, alcohol, pornography and promiscuity. . . .this is not simply a temporary tidal wave which ere long will pass. It is the wave-tossed secular sea itself, and it will not subside until He comes and all the winds and the waves once again obey His will. Hence this is not a time for busy or preoccupied parents to leave our youth unloved, unattended, or untaught.21

Albert E. Bowen

Since sometime before the war started in Europe thoughtful men, there and here, scholars, scientists, publicists, statesmen, religionists, have been calling for a spiritual and religious recovery; they have solemnly warned that our nation cannot endure “except upon a solid religious foundation,” but I very much doubt if any of them would give the answer Peter gave to the same question as was addressed to him. Men profess a deep attachment to what they call the ethical quality of Christ’s teachings, but they deny Him. The nineteenth century is described as the one in which man substituted belief in himself for belief in God. “Glory to man in the highest” was Swinburne’s impious exultation. Now the things of which man thought himself master have turned on him with a terrible vengeance. We have seen the decline of religious faith followed by the rise of tyranny. I believe it is a safe generalization that despotism is always at enmity with the Christian religion. They rest upon inherently and irreconcilably antagonistic conceptions about man, his worth and dignity and destiny and place in the order of things; the one debases him, the other exalts; the one denies God, the other acknowledges His supreme power and bows before His majesty. The teaching of the Christian religion irritates the despot because it is a constant denial of his assumed supremacy and a rebuke to his tyrannies. Hence the despot always seeks to put religion down. The rise of Hitler in Germany heralded assaults upon the church. His Minister of Religion said, “Adolph Hitler is the true Holy Ghost,” and the Minister of Culture declared, “We must proclaim a German Christ, not a lamb of God.” In Russia the line was the same, “What is worrying us is not that Christianity is dying in Russia, but that it is still surviving,” said the Commissioner of Justice. “The natural transition,” said another, “is to bring about the death of all religion.” 22

Stephen L. Richards

The schools have been so completely divorced not only from religious control but from all religious and spiritual influence that they never even have prayer in any of their exercises except for graduation. Just why they see fit to call for divine favor at graduation and not for any other occasions I have never been quite able to understand. Humanism, skepticism, and atheism have probably grown with the years . . . . Modernists, cults and societies, seeking to explain the phenomena of life, man and the universe in every way other than the plain and simple way in which the Author of the universe explains it, have sprung up in such numbers and with such varied philosophies as utterly to confuse the youth of the land and all others who do not have the good fortune to have their feet planted on the solid ground of truth. 23

I believe that the conditions which we see prevalent in the country today are a natural and logical outgrowth of much that has prevailed in our systems of education, on our system of ethics, and in the very manner in which the affairs of this country have, from time to time, been carried on.  Throughout the past half century at least, our educational processes have been largely, if not entirely devoid of anything pertaining to the divine, or anything pertaining to the spiritual, or anything pertaining to the truly religious.  There has been a studied effort on the part of those who have controlled the educational systems of the day, to avoid even the appearance of religion in any way, shape or form.  I take it that there has come, as a natural consequence, from that kind of education, a total disregard for the religious in man’s life.  There has come an absolute disregard and disrespect for things divine.  God has been left out of consideration; the methods of men alone have prevailed, and everywhere and under all conditions the things that have pertained to this world, the things that have pertained to our temporal life have been made paramount and have predominated over the things that have pertained to our souls and the welfare of our souls.  24

I cannot feel that we shall ever have a Godly nation with Godless education.  I know that there are many who think that religious training should be left exclusively to the home and the church.  That is undoubtedly the best policy with reference to denominational or sectarian teaching, but it is a very strained interpretation of that policy to assume that the church and the home may not have the sympathetic co-operation of the schools in teaching faith in a Supreme Being.

. . . When American history is taught, cannot all the facts be given?  Is it not a fact that this nation had its inception, and that its fundamental principles were laid in Christian righteousness and morality?  Is it not a fact that its founders were Christian men and that their concepts of liberty, equity and justice were derived from the Christian gospel?  Is it not a fact that assemblies of the representatives of the people provided by the Constitution from the beginning until the present time have ever been opened with prayer and supplication to Almighty God to grant protection and wisdom and that all officers, juries, and witnesses make their solemn oaths of allegiance, fidelity and integrity on the basis of fealty and reverence for God?  Is it not a fact that divine pronouncements of right and wrong, including the Ten Commandments, have become the basis of and incorporated into our laws and statutes, and have not our outstanding leaders throughout the history of the republic acknowledged the supremacy of the divine will?

Now if these facts in American history, would it not contribute greatly, not only to a correct understanding of the foundations and ideals of our contry, but also to a wholesome, legitimate, and very necessary spiritual awakening in America to have these salient facts of our history taught sympathetically and patriotically to the youth of the Land?  25

N. Eldon Tanner

Communists, anti-Christs, and the promoters of the God-is-dead theory, as well as the skeptics and some who style themselves as religious leaders, are actively engaged in teaching false doctrine and in using every hostile means to break down and destroy a belief in God and in the scriptures, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus Christ when he said:

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” 26

Also, many, as they become learned in the worldly things such as science and philosophy, become self-sufficient and are prepared to lean unto their own understanding, even to the point where they think they are independent of God; and because of their worldly learning they feel that if they cannot prove physically, mathematically, or scientifically that God lives, they can and should feel free to question and even to deny God and Jesus Christ. Then many of our professors begin to teach perverse things, to lead away disciples after them; and our youth whom we send to them for learning accept them as authority, and many are caused to lose their faith in God.

A graduate student who had just received his doctor of philosophy degree was telling me of some of the attacks that are made on Christianity, or a belief in God, and how difficult it is to stand up against them, particularly for those who have not been taught the gospel in their homes and who have not gained a testimony of its truthfulness. He said that one professor taunted him with this statement: “Surely you don’t believe in that archaic stuff you find in the Bible and in your Book of Mormon,” and then spent some time with him trying to turn him away from the truth.

I cannot understand a scientist or pseudo-intellectual, or anyone who should be searching for the truth, having the temerity to place himself as authority in religion to the point that he would challenge, let alone deny, the teachings of God the Eternal Father, the Creator of the world, and of his Son Jesus Christ because he cannot prove it scientifically.

How much wiser and better it is for man to accept the simple truths of the gospel and to accept as authority God, the Creator of the world, and his Son Jesus Christ, and to accept by faith those things which he cannot disprove and for which he cannot give a better explanation. He must be prepared to acknowledge that there are certain things — many, many things — that he cannot understand.

How can we deny or even disbelieve God when we cannot understand even the simplest things around us — how the leaf functions, what electricity is, what our emotions are, when the spirit enters the body, and what happens to it when it leaves? How can we say that because we do not understand the resurrection, there is not or cannot be a resurrection?

We are admonished to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”27 And we are warned: “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”28

How can man believe and know that he can travel in manmade space ships around the earth at thousands and thousands of miles an hour, communicate with man here upon the earth, and be directed in his course, with the knowledge that if he keeps in tune with home base he will be guided back to a safe landing; and that mere man can also construct implements such as the Surveyor, which he has sent to the moon, with which he has communicated in directing its activities, and from which he has received reports — and still say that it is impossible for and, the Creator of the world, to communicate with man, his own creation, who is traveling through space on a space ship created b God and known as the earth, and that by keeping in touch with home base he can be assured of a safe return when he has completed his tour here upon the earth?

In order to return to our Father in heaven, it is most important that we and our children know and understand and apply the teachings of Jesus Christ in our lives. In order to understand, we must be taught. The question is: Where and how are we to be taught? The gospel or the spiritual side of life is not permitted to be taught in the schools. In fact, in so many of our schools, and particularly in the universities, as pointed out before, a belief in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ are derided.

It is the general attitude of people that the teaching of the gospel should be left to the churches, but only a small percentage of either the parents or the children attend church, where they could be taught. And to even that small minority who do attend, many of the churches are failing to teach sound, unadulterated doctrine as given to us by the Savior and the prophets through whom the Lord speaks. 29

Thorpe B. Isaacson

Recently, there was published the following editorial in the Deseret News, and I quote:

“This nation’s reliance on a Supreme Being has been acknowledged in such historical documents as the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, our National Anthem, and the constitutions of 49 of our 50 states all included direct reference to God. More recently the words ´under God’ have been added to our Pledge of Allegiance. Now there is a proposal before Congress to acknowledge the divine guidance of our nation’s Constitution by adding these same words–‘under God’–to its preamble. This would be a proper change.

“Lately there has been altogether too much talk about eliminating any reference to deity from our public life. Those who support this notion have received considerable encouragement from the recent United States Supreme Court rulings against Bible reading and the use of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools. But this must not be allowed to make us forget that we are a nation under God and a nation founded on vital Christian principles. Indeed some 2500 years ago a prophet declared that America will remain free and prosperous only so long as its people are righteous. . . . Adding ´under God’ to the preamble to the Constitution would be a fitting reminder of the need of spirituality in our public affairs.”30 31

Now again with reference to the ruling of the Supreme Court referred to, and I am quoting from an opinion survey entitled, “Vast Majority of Parents Favor Public School Religion.” These findings came to light in a nationwide survey on one of the most controversial domestic issues of recent years. The following question was asked of the group most directly involved, the parents, who will be sending their children to public elementary and high schools this year. Here is the question:

“Do you approve or disapprove religious observances in public schools?” Eighty percent of the parents said, “Yes, we approve religious observances in public schools.” Fourteen percent stated that they disapproved and six percent had no opinion.

When the views of all the people of this survey, not just the parents of public school children, but everyone taken into consideration, here is how the survey divides on the question of religious observances in public schools: Seventy-nine percent approves religion in public schools; fourteen percent disapproves, and seven percent has no opinion.

Quoting from another prominent man whose name I do not recall at this time, speaking on the subject, “This Nation Under God”: “Our way of life has been guarded by men of granite with Bible in hand, but we stand to lose this way of life through the neglect of our devotion to God and his truth.”

Now quoting from another prominent newspaper on “The Right to Pray”: “Readers have shown their dismay over the Supreme Court’s decision regarding prayer in the public schools. They have voiced their apprehension that this decision will open the door for still further rulings against public expressions of the belief in God, on which this country was founded.” When the Supreme Court rendered their decision, the writer states: “I feared the implication that would follow.” And then he goes farther, and I quote: “Now comes word that another certain organization is prepared to challenge the ‘Under God’ provision in the Pledge of Allegiance.”

The seriousness of this may go on and on, and I further quote from him: I deplore and decry this outrageous stand and I will do everything humanly possible to fight any repeal of this acknowledgment of our abiding faith in God. Everything possible should be done in behalf of the constitutional amendment legalizing the right of the people to publicly express their belief in God through nonsectarian prayer or the simple affirmation of faith contained in the Pledge of Allegiance.” 32

Winston Churchill

How I hated schools, and what a life of anxiety I lived there. I counted the hours to the end of every term, when I should return home. 33

C.S. Lewis

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.34

John Taylor Gatto

I taught public school for 26 years, but I just can’t do it anymore. For years I asked the school board to let me teach a curriculum that doesn’t hurt kids, but they always had other fish to fry. If you hear of a job where I don’t have to hurt kids to make a living, let me know. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything, but blind obedience. 35

Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny

The purpose of education is to increase faith. When Harvard college was founded in 1636, the Massachusetts colonists wrote, “after we had built our houses, provided the necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for Gods worship and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was too advanced learning and to perpetuate it to posterity.” The earliest statement of the educational game of Harvard declares “Everyone shall consider the main aim of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life” 36

  1. Journal of Discourses 20:179, General Conference April 1879
  2. David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1946, p.116-117
  3. David O. McKay, The Instructor, September, 1967, p. 338
  4. Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1968, p.59
  5. Ezra Taft Benson
  6. Relief Society Magazine, December 1962, p. 878
  7. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 308; God, Family, Country, pp. 225-26
  8. Ezra Taft Benson
  9. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 305; American Association of School Administrators, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 14 February 1960
  10. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1969, p.61, 63-64
  11. DeLove.
  12. Gospel Doctrine, p. 312.
  13. Ezra Taft Benson, CR, April 1963, p.110
  14. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1964, p.56-60
  15. Gordon B. Hinckley, CR, April 1963, p.128
  16. Boyd K. Packer, BYU Devotional, Oct. 9, 1996
  17. Boyd K. Packer, Conference, April 1994
  18. George Q. Cannon, 1890, Juvenile Instructor, 25:243 and Prophets, Principles and National Survival, compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist, p. 178
  19. Hugh Nibley, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, vol. 13: Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company. 1994. p. 340
  20. Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report, April 1966, p.127
  21. Neal A. Maxwell, LDS General Conference, April 1984
  22. Albert E. Bowen, Conference Report, Apr., 1942, p. 59
  23. Stephen L. Richards, Conference Report, April 1944, p. 73
  24. Stephen L. Richards, Conference Report—10/19:102
  25. Stephen L. Richards, 1943, The Church in War and Peace, pp. 102-103
  26. Matthew 24:24
  27. Proverbs 3:5
  28. Isaiah 5:21
  29. N. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, October 1968, p.47-50
  30. Editorial entitled “One Nation under God,” Deseret News, August 29, 1964.
  31. Thorpe B. Isaacson, CR, October 1964, p.54
  32. Thorpe B. Isaacson, Conference Report, October 1962, p.30-31
  33. Winston Churchill
  34. C.S. Lewis
  35. John Taylor Gatto, New York Teacher of the Year
  36. Brigham Young University: A School of Destiny, Marvin S. Hill, Ernest L.Wilkinson, W. Cleon Skousen

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