How many of us know the story of the Hungarian Revolution? President Benson was heartbroken that we as a people did not support the brave freedom fighters in Hungary.
How have we forgotten this story?
60 years ago, groups of brave men and women (many of them still in their teens and early 20s) rose up against the forces of Communism and Soviet power under which they had lived for many years. The fight for freedom was short-lived as Khrushchev and the Soviet Union crushed the rebellion. As the tanks rolled in, the Hungarians pleaded to the United States and other nations for help, all in vain. President Benson was one of the greatest defenders of liberty in the last 100 years and he was distraught over our reaction (i.e. “the West”) that we did not defend the Polish and Hungarian freedom fighters.
President Benson expressed his grief at the West’s response to the Hungarians saying:
I saw firsthand our great nation stand by at the time of the Hungarian revolution—when “freedom fighters” with bare hands and stones resisted bullets, tanks, and artillery. I confess I was ashamed at the response of my country—a nation which I believe the Lord intended to be an ensign of freedom to all others. Freedom did not die that day (23 October 1956) for Hungary alone. Hope died for many in other captive nations and has only recently been somewhat revived by courageous men willing to speak against oppression. Since that day, I have seen the Soviet Union, under its godless leaders, spread its ideology throughout the world. . . . (President Benson, October 1979, A Witness and a Warning)
President Benson, October 1979 Conference:
The truth is, we have to a great extent accommodated ourselves to Communism—and we have permitted ourselves to become encircled by its tentacles. . . . Never before has the land of Zion appeared so vulnerable to so powerful an enemy as the Americas do at present. And our vulnerability is directly attributable to our loss of active faith in the God of this land, who has decreed that we must worship Him or be swept off. Too many Americans have lost sight of the truth that God is our source of freedom—the Lawgiver—and that personal righteousness is the most important essential to preserving our freedom. So, I say with all the energy of my soul that unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God.
I fully believe that we can turn things around in America if we have the determination, the morality, the patriotism, and the spirituality to do so.
My single-minded concern is for the freedom and welfare of my countrymen and my posterity, the freedom of all men.
I testify to you that God’s hand has been in our destiny. I testify that freedom as we know it today is being threatened as never before in our history. I further witness that this land—the Americas—must be protected, its Constitution upheld, for this is a land foreordained to be the Zion of our God. He expects us as members of the Church and bearers of His priesthood to do all we can to preserve our liberty.
May God bless us that, with His help, we will not fail to bring to pass His purposes on earth. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (President Benson, October 1979, A Witness and a Warning)
President Benson, Stand Up For Freedom
As the Cabinet member assigned to agriculture, there seemed to be little I could do. But I knew we must respond in some way. I urged the President to make a strong, vigorous denunciation of the brutality of the Soviet Union in Hungary. . . .
Today we are in a worldwide battle for the bodies and souls of men. It is a battle between two opposing systems freedom and slavery. The persistent efforts of God-respecting men will determine whether freedom is victorious in our time. A faithless generation will not be equal to the task. Is it not time for us to reevaluate our commitment to the principles which the Marxists fear the most?
I fully believe that we can turn things around if enough men and women in the Free World will have the determination, the morality, and the faith to do so. (Read more)