Quotes by Gordon B. Hinckley:
It is a miracle to me that the Church is able to accomplish so much. It is a miracle made possible by faith, under a plan which the Lord himself established for the financing of his kingdom. Tithing is so simple and straightforward a thing. The principle, as it applies to us, is actually set forth in one verse of section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants. (D&C 119:4) That fourth verse consists of thirty-five words. Contrast that with the cumbersome and complex tax codes enacted and enforced by governments. In the one case it is a brief statement from the Lord, the payment left to the individual and motivated by faith. With the other it is a tangled web created by men and enforced by law.
That war,* so bitter, so intense, has never ceased. It is the war between .. agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every kind of evil practice to thwart the work of Christ..
What was once controlled by the moral and ethical standards of the people, we now seek to handle by public law. And so the statutes multiply, enforcement agencies consume ever-increasing billions, prison facilities are constantly expanded, but the torrent of dishonesty pours on and grows in volume.
I see the complexity, almost beyond comprehension, of government systems of taxation, and I thank the Lord for the magnitude of His wisdom in making things simple concerning the financing of His kingdom.
The Constitution under which we live, and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.
As government increasingly assumes the burden of caring for all human needs, the independence of our social services and the doctrine which lies behind that position will become more and more important.
Is it too much to ask of anyone, any member of this Church, that you actually fast for two meals a month? It will only bless our lives if we do so. I am satisfied that if every man and woman and child in the United States of America were to observe this great and marvelous practice, which costs no one anything, not a thing, that it would take care of all the welfare problems of this nation.
We are involved in an intense battle. It is a battle between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the design of the Almighty on the one hand and that of Lucifer on the other. For that reason, we desperately need men and women who, in their individual spheres of influence, will stand for truth in a world of sophistry. I have lived long enough now to know that many political campaigns, for example, are the same. I have heard again and again the sweet talk that leads to victory but never seems to be realized thereafter. We need moral men and women, people who stand on principle, to be involved in the political process. Otherwise, we abdicate power to those whose designs are almost entirely selfish.
I know of no other writing* which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras.
I am confident that it was out of what he* saw, the bitter fruit of dictatorship that he developed his strong feelings, almost hatred for communism and socialism. That distaste grew through the years as he witnessed the heavy handed oppression and suffering of the peoples of eastern europe under what he repeatedly described as godless communism. These experiences further strengthened his love for the land of his birth .. He never got over his boyhood love for freedom. Rather, it grew within him. Nurtured by what he saw of oppression in other lands, and by what he observed first hand of a growing dominance of government in this land over the lives of the people.
Religion and the free exercise thereof, the right to worship God according to one’s own conscience — how precious and treasured a boon it is. How necessary that it be safeguarded. Established religion becomes the guardian of the conscience of the people, the teacher of moral values, the defender of belief in the Almighty, the bridge between God and man. No people will live for long in freedom without it. The history of communism, whose founding father declared religion to be the opiate of the people, speaks with harshness and suffering concerning this basic matter .. Congress shall not abridge ‘the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’ .. The history of tyrants is a history of the muzzling of free expression and the denial of assembly.