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Statement published in the Improvement Era, July 1936 by the First Presidency, under date of July 3, 1936. Reprinted in “The Messenger Presiding Bishopric Publication, Oct. 1961

Associated Locations:

  • Church Office Building, Salt Lake City, Utah


With great regret we learn from credible sources, governmental and others, that a few Church members are joining directly or indirectly, the Communists and are taking part in their activities.

The Church does not interfere, and has no intention of trying to interfere, with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of its members, under and within our Constitution which the Lord declared: “I established . . . by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose,”(D&C 101:80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever.”(D&C 109:54)

But Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before Communism could be set up in the United States.

Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism.

To our Church members we say: Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto; Communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action; Communism involves forceful despoliation and confiscation, the United Order voluntary consecration and sacrifice.

Communists cannot establish the United Order, nor will Communism bring it about. The United Order will be established by the Lord in His own due time and in accordance with the regular prescribed order of the Church.

Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that Communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the Gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church. Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist.

We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.

First Presidency:

11 thoughts to “First Presidency Message on Communism, 1936

  • Jeff Shoell

    This along with Ezra Taft Benson’s addresses on this subject is certainly as important today as it was when these were issued. My question to those in authority is why have the Brethren been virtually silent on this issue in light of the fulfillment of several prophetic warnings in our day and age. Shouldn’t we as members be further put on alert in the prevention of Socialism and Communism which has not only gotten their foot in our nation’s door, but is nearly complete in the process we have been told would happen if we weren’t vigilant.

  • Angie Patterson

    What a great message. I do wish I had heard this before. But it’s great we can easily find it.
    In response to the brother’s comment above…I am sure the Brethren are very aware of our current issues. Some were even in the high councils of the Church when (then) Elder Benson addressed this topic at a BYU devotional ( But our Church is now a world-wide Church. It’s also a much more visible Church in the eyes of governments and of peoples of all races. I am sure the Lord, in His wisdom and for His purposes, has been less direct about these issues. Didn’t the Lord ask Mormom and Ether to stop saying things to their peoples as wickedness increased in their day? They had had their warning. So have we. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for freedom. That doesn’t mean we stop clinging to the principles in which the US Constitution was built. And we don’t stop uniting with people who share the same beliefs for preserving our freedoms and rights.

    • Angela E.

      You’re exactly right Angie. Very insightful of you to connect the dots. We are running out of time to spread love, light, goodness and wisdom before many will be forced to figure things out the hard way.

    • Mike

      Excellent thought Angie. I agree 100%

  • Eric

    I live in South America where Socialism and Fascism have taken a strong root, not only in the countries in Latin America, but also in the church. I work in the Stake High Council, with the charge to teach our young adults about the dangers of Socialism and the principles of self sufficiency. The opposition we get is that our last 3 prophets have really said nothing with regard to Socialism or Communism, and that the churches policy has changed on these positions. My stake President was told this past week by an area 70 that he was to advise the members to take part in the government welfare programs that the Corona Virus 19 has brought upon our area, and to not teach the dangers of the Socialist handouts. We have showed him, the area 70, and the Bishops that there are alternate resources that we as members can come together and apply, to help those members who were disobedient, actually, and did not have any type of food storage built up, nor money put aside,as we have been counseled. A program of self reliance as a Stake and Wards. But this was pushed aside by our Area leaders. Which concerns me. Our members here think that Socialism is the Law of Consecration. Though we struggle to teach them differently, we also battle with local and area leaders that go against the churches earlier declarations and statements. Has the churches policy changed on this? I believe not, and agree that the silence of our leaders in Utah, is due to the now gathering of Israel in these types of government lands. It is obvious, that if they were to be like J Ruben Clarke, Pres McKay and Pres Benson, so bold against Socialism-Communism, that the gathering would be frustrated and delayed. The warnings were given for nearly 50 years, and we do still take into account what past Prophets have stated and declared as gospel. However, the lack of clarifying lately, has divided the church members so conditioned to a Socialist government as their “right” from the government. Can anyone suggest any further policy for and against the Socialist-Communist philosophy in the church? We need to arm ourselves with all that we have that is of reliable sources, even better the church itself, but the church website is also silent, and gives a now different impression. I am sure I understand why, but in order to persuade others under my charge, I cannot give my opinion, I need facts. Help??

  • Roger C Thompson

    There is a no more insidiously malicious regime of government than communism/socialism. As a new member of the Church in 1961, I was also recently assigned to my permanent duty station in South Carolina in the USAF. We were well instructed as to the nature of our enemy, the communists. In 1962-63, planes from our base flew missions all over Cuba in an effort to remove the nuclear “gun” from our head, a gun held by Russia and their puppet regime in Havana.
    I often ask young people, usually college students, if they’ve ever heard of the “Cuban Crisis”. Far more than half say, “No. When was THAT?!”
    I tell them, “1962. You know, when the communist Soviet Union and Cuba almost caused WWIII by putting Nuclear Missiles in Cuba, about 90 miles from Miami, Florida!!! You are very lucky we stopped them! And, don’t be such an idiot about such things!”

  • Fred January 1, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Ensign 2020, Elder David A. Bed at

    Page 9, Church members opining about Brethren have not spoken recently about food storage and related topics in Conference. “Repeated admonitions to prepare have been proclaimed by Leaders for decades. Consistency of prophetic counsel over time creates a powerful concert 🎶 of clarity and a warning volume far louder than solo performances can ever produce.”

  • Paul Farris

    I am blessed to have safe curiosity with such questions. Leaders of The Church must remain cautious that such discussion can result in very serious consequences in some situations. Reading the Book of Mormon clarifies what we need to know about secret combinations. Suggestion: Try listening/reading at 1.8X speed with this topic in mind. It takes 16 hours to get through the entire book. Spread it over 8 days if it helps. Repeat the exercise with other important questions in mind. Careful study is another approach, but this long arch of history in a few days can give new insight, too.

  • Dpugt

    I find this very interesting. X O X O

  • Mary Francene Gwin

    This is such an important subject for church members. I have had church members block me on messenger and I try to alert them to this. It is 2021 now when I post this and back in 2020, some who were my church friends were socialist supporters on the left. It hurts me that they don’t recognize this and don’t want to listen to the church leaders about this. Many of them, like the socialists and communists, are very angry people, to begin with. I understand this as I used to be this way because of horrendous child abuse that I had not dealt with until I was much older. I wonder if this is one reason some people are so drawn to this type of satan’s plan? It seems that all of them have great anger issues and are easily drawn into this. My former friends also tend to not see the wisdom in the first presidency’s views on LGBT issues and women given the priesthood. Any ideas from others would be interesting to me. I just try to love them and I pray that they will find peace from HF through his son and come around.

  • Robert Rudd

    When the proclamation on the family was issued, that stood as a warning to the world of coming events if our world continued on its path. After the proclamation you will note a change in conference talks. They were directed to individuals on how to maintain their spiritual lives. The brethren had spoken… a bit like the doors of the ark were closing.


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