Karl Marx

David O McKay

Below is an excerpt from a talk given by David O. McKay, “Two Contending Forces.

President David O. McKay

We are witnessing one of—one of those tidal waves of human though, which periodically sweep over the world and change the destiny of the human race.

In the beginning a being known as Satan came before the Father saying:

Behold, here am I. Send me . . . I will do it; (saving the human family who were to people this earth) wherefore, give me thine honor.

(Another—) But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me, Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.

There you have placed before you the two great forces.

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:

And he became Satan, yea, even the Devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Moses 4:3, 4)

“Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.”

Karl Marx

Let us look at the man who disrupted the great consultation of the leaders of the world. In his heart are the teachings of Karl Marx. You students who have heard know about the kind of life he lived, how his wife suffered, how his children starved. Here is what one man said about him:

Marx loved his own person much more than he loved his friends and apostles, and no friendship could hold water against the slightest wound to . . . his vanity. Marx will never forgive a slight to his person. You must worship him, make an idol of him, if he is to love you in return; you must at least fear him if he is to tolerate you. He likes to surround himself with pygmies, with lackeys, and flatterers. All the same, there are some remarkable men among his intimates. In general, however, one may say that in the circuit of Marx’s intimates there is very little brotherly frankness, but a great deal of machination and diplomacy. There is a sort of tacit struggle, and a compromise between the self-loves of the various persons concerned, and where vanity is at work there is no longer place for brotherly feeling. Everyone is on his guard, is afraid of being sacrificed, of being annihilated.

Marx is a chief distributor of honors, but is also the invariably perfidious and malicious, the never frank and open incitor to the persecution of those whom he suspects, or who had the misfortune of failing to show all the veneration he expects. As soon as he has ordered a persecution there is no limit to the baseness of infamy of the methods.

So wrote Mikhail Bakunin the first Russian to become interested in revolutionary activities, and a party pillar who fell under the purge.

That same doctrine was advocated by Lenin who succeeded, who was a leader in the revolution in Russia. Note the same spirit:

We must hate. Hatred is the basis of communism. Children must be taught to hate their parents if they are not communists.

Listen to the amazing declaration of the former Russian commissar of education.

We must hate Christians and Christianity. Even the best of them must be considered our worst enemies. Christian love is an obstacle to the development of the revolution. Down with love of one’s neighbor! What we want is hate. Only then will we conquer the universe.1


That same spirit was manifest by a man by the name of Hitler. I quote from him:

In my great educative work, I am beginning with the young. Weakness has to be knocked out of them . . . . A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth—that is what I am after. There must be no weakness or tenderness in it. I want to see once more in its eyes the gleam of pride and independence of the beast of prey.

That is from The Voice of Destruction, pp. 251-252, by Herman Rauschning, confidant of Hitler and a member of the secret conclaves from 1932 to 1935.

Remember we were talking about two conflicting forces. You know the story of Hitler. Now, Khrushchev who, during his American tour last fall, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, said, “If anyone believes that our smiles involve abandonment of the teaching of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, he deceives himself poorly. Those who wait for that must wait until a shrimp learns to whistle.” That was 1959!

He spoke about a common goal. You who looked up read the other day finally hear that Communist goal means something different from what you and I have in mind when we speak about the millennium or a universal peace.2

Marx’s Treatment of Family

Excerpt from The Naked Communist, by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen


On a chilly, foggy day in 1853, a British government official stood in the drizzling rain before the doorway of a human hovel in the heart of London’s slums. He knocked and after a short delay was admitted. As the officer entered the room thick clouds of smoke and tobacco fumes billowed about his head causing him to choke and cough while his eyes watered. Through the haze he saw the proprietor of the slum dwelling, a barrel-chested man with disheveled hair and a bushy beard.

The man greeted the officer in a strong German accent, offered him a clay pipe and then motioned him toward a broken-backed chair.  If the officer had not known better he would never have guessed that the bushy-bearded man who sat before him was a graduate of a university with a Ph.D. degree. Nor that the wife who had just hustled the children into a back room was the daughter of a German aristocrat. Yet such was the case. This was the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Karl Marx. . . .

The officer later included his puzzled observations concerning the Marxes in his official report:

“(Marx) lives in one of the worst, therefore one of the cheapest, neighborhoods in London. He occupies two rooms. The room looking out on the street is the parlor, and the bedroom is at the back. There is not one clean or decent piece of furniture in either room, but everything is broken, tattered and torn, with thick dust over everything and the greatest untidiness everywhere. In the middle of the parlor there is a large old-fashioned table covered with oilcloth. On it there are manuscripts, books and newspapers, as well as the children’s toys, odds and ends and his wife’s sewing basket, cups with broken rims, dirty spoons, knives and forks, lamps, an ink-pot, tumblers, some Dutch clay-pipes, tobacco ashes — all in a pile on the same table…. But all these things do not in the least embarrass Marx or his wife. You are received in the most friendly way and cordially offered pipes, tobacco and whatever else there may happen to be. Eventually a clever and interesting conversation arises which makes amends for all the domestic deficiencies.”

Karl Marx never acquired the slightest comprehension of the responsibilities which a husband assumes as the head of a family. . . .  while his family was starving he could be found at the library devoting himself to the interesting but, for him, completely unremunerative study of higher mathematics.  Concerning this phase of his career a friendly biographer states:

“Regular work bored him; conventional occupation put him out of humor. Without a penny in his pocket, and with his shirt pawned, he surveyed the world with a lordly air. . . . Throughout his life he was hard up. He was ridiculously ineffectual in his endeavors to cope with the economic needs of his household and family; and his incapacity in monetary matters involved him in an endless series of struggles and catastrophes. He was always in debt; was incessantly being dunned by creditors. . . . Half his household goods were always at the pawnshop. His budget defied all attempts to set it in order. His bankruptcy was chronic. The thousands upon thousands which Engels handed over to him melted away in his fingers like snow.”

A few paragraphs from a letter written by Mrs. Marx indicates the amazing loyalty of this woman who saw her half-fed children dying around her while their father spent days and nights in the British Museum library.

“Let me describe only one day of this life, as it actually was. . . . Since wet-nurses are exceedingly expensive here, I made up my mind, despite terrible pains in the breasts and the back, to nurse the baby myself. But the poor little angel drank in so much sorrow with the milk that he was continually fretting, in violent pain day and night. Since he has been in the world, he has not slept a single night through, at most two or three hours. Of late, there have been violent spasms, so that the child is continually betwixt life and death. When thus afflicted, he sucked so vigorously that my nipple became sore, and bled; often the blood streamed into his little mouth. One day I was sitting like this when our landlady suddenly appeared. . . .

Since we could not pay this sum (of five pounds) instantly, two brokers came into the house, and took possession of all my belongings — bedding, clothes, everything, even the baby’s cradle and the little girls’ toys, so that the children wept bitterly. They threatened to take everything away in two hours. (Fortunately they did not.) If this had happened I should have had to lie on the floor with my freezing children beside me. . . .

“Next day we had to leave. It was cold and rainy. My husband tried to find lodging, but as soon as he said he had four children no one would take us. At length a friend helped us. We paid what was owed, and I quickly sold all my beds and bedding in order to settle accounts with the chemist, the baker, and the milkman.”

Teachings & Beliefs

Abolition of Family

“Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. . . . The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.”3

“Blessed is he who has no family.”4

Antagonism to God and Religion

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 5

“Thus heaven I’ve forfeited, I know it full well. My soul, once true to God, is chosen for hell.”6

“Look now, my blood-dark sword shall stab

Unerringly within my soul.

God neither knows nor honors art.

The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain.

Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed.

See this sword? The prince of darkness sold it to me. –

For me beats the time and gives the signs.

Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.”7

See also Invocation of One in Despair and Oulanem.

Marx & Satan

Richard Wurmbrand was tortured for over 14 years in Communist prisons for his Christian faith. Following his release, Wurmbrand worked tirelessly to bring awareness of the millions of persecuted men and women, brutally tortured and killed in Communist countries through the influence of the ideas of Karl Marx.  Intense persecution continues today.  (To learn more about the life of Richard Wurmbrand, see these videos.)

In addition to his own autobiography, Tortured for Christ, Wurmbrand authored a biography of Karl Marx documenting Marx’s involvement in Satanism, Marx and Satan.  Purchase Marx and Satan or read online for free!

Statements by Presidents of the Church

Identified by President Benson as anti-Christ

President Ezra Taft Benson
President Ezra Taft Benson

Karl Marx was identified by President Ezra Taft Benson as one of the five men whose ideas are very deceptive and intended to thwart the work of God. (Read more)

As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideas as one of the three threatening dangers among our Church members. There is more than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close to their children; and if they have become alert and informed as President McKay admonished us last year, these parents can help expose some of the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Karl Marx, John Keynes, and others. Today there are much worse things that can happen to a child than not getting a full college education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at subversion and amorality.8

Secret Combination is Communism

Elder Bruce R. McConkie identified the secret combination of the Latter-day as Communism.

“Moroni here (Ether 8:23–35) speaks of one particular secret combination and prophecies that it will be among us in our day. Next Moroni turns the key so that all who have ears to hear can understand what the secret combination is and can identify those who build it up. ‘For it cometh to pass’, he says, ‘that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries’. This is a worldwide conspiracy. It is now entrenched in many nations, and it seeks dominion over all nations. It is godless, atheistic, and operates by compulsion. It is communism.”9

Learn more at What guidance have leaders of the Church given in regard to the threat of Socialism and Communism?

Additional Resources

Please teach your children what the prophets have taught regarding Karl Marx, Communism, and Socialism. (See the Joseph Smith Foundation Government FAQ compilation)  Share the stories of those who experienced the bitter consequences of Marxist ideology firsthand and instill in your children the principles of liberty and freedom.

  1. From The Naked Communist, by W. Cleon Skousen, p. 288.
  2. David O. McKay, Two Contending Forces, May 18, 1960. Address given to the Brigham Young University student body. View (original) audio version.
  3. The Communist Manifesto, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm.
  4. Marx to Engels (21 June 1854), in MEW, XXVIII, p. 371.
  5. Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Introduction, p. 1, 1843.
  6. The Pale Maiden, poem by Karl Marx.
  7. The Player, poem by Karl Marx
  8. Ezra Taft Benson, “Strengthening the Family,” Conference Report, October 1970, pp. 21-25; also quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 307.
  9. Bruce R. McConkie, The Millenial Messiah, 65-66
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