John Taylor:

These secret combinations were spoken of by Joseph Smith, years and years ago. I have heard him time and time again tell about them, and he stated that when these things began to take place the liberties of this nation would begin to be bartered away.

Journal of Discourses 22:139. The Saints’ Mission is One of Peace, Etc.

Neal A. Maxwell:

Decrease the belief in God, and you increase the numbers of those who wish to play at being God by being “society’s supervisors.” Such “supervisors” deny the existence of divine standards, but are very serious about imposing their own standards on society.

The Prohibitive Costs of a Value-free Society.

Harold B. Lee:

False prophets and Christs (Matt. 24:24) as foretold by the Savior, may come to deceive us not alone in the name of religion, but if we can believe the history of Italy and Germany and Russia, they may come under the label of politicians or of social planners or so-called economists, deceitful in their offerings of a kind of salvation which may come under such guise.

Conference Report, October 1950, pp. 129-132. Fortified by an Unshakable Testimony.

David O. McKay:

Teachings and ideologies subversive to the fundamental principles of this great Republic, which are contrary to the Constitution of the United States, or which are detrimental to the progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be condemned, whether advocated by Republicans or Democrats.

Religious Studies Center, BYU. Latter-day Prophets and the United States Constitution > David O. McKay, 9.15 – Closing Address, 952.

George Albert Smith:

As we look about in the world among the various countries, we find philosophies and forms of government the effect of which is to deprive men of their free agency, but by reason of thy timely warning to us, we know that they are not approved of thee. Since the God of this choice land is Jesus Christ, we know that his philosophy of free agency should prevail here. Thou didst amply demonstrate this great principle to us by raising up wise men for the very purpose of giving us our constitutional form of government.

The Improvement Era, Vol. 48, No. 10. Dedicatory Prayer Idaho Falls Idaho Temple by President George Albert Smith, September 23, 1945, pp. 562-565.

Joseph L. Wirthlin:

Does history repeat itself? Yes. Today the term security is best defined in the promises of economic kings and politicians in the form of doles, grants, and subsidies made for the purpose of perpetuating themselves in public office, and at the same time depleting the resources of the people and the treasury of the nation. The word security is being used as an implement of political expediency, and the end results will be the loss of freedom, and temporal and spiritual bankruptcy. We have those among us who are calling for an economic king, and the voice of the king replies in promises wherein the individual is guaranteed relief from the mandate given to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” (Gen. 3:19) Disobedience to this mandate involves the penalty of loss of free agency and individuality, and the dissipation of the resources of the individual. These economic rulers have advocated, and do practice a vicious procedure called the “leveling down process,” which takes from the man who has achieved and distributes to those who are not willing to put forth like effort. Taxation is the means through which this “leveling down process” is implemented. Taxes in the United States during the last decade have increased five hundred percent. If such increases continue, it will mean final confiscation of the property of the people.

Conference Report, April 1950, pp. 132-137. Spiritual and Temporal Security.

Gordon B. Hinckley:

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.

* The Book of Mormon.
Ensign, Aug. 2005. A Testimony Vibrant and True.

Ezra Taft Benson:

The proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man can delegate a power that he does not possess. The creature cannot exceed the creator. In general terms, therefore, the proper role of government includes such defensive activities as maintaining national military and local police forces for protection against loss of life, loss of property, and loss of liberty at the hands of either foreign despots or domestic criminals. It also includes those powers necessarily incidental to the protective function .. A category of government activity that not only requires the closest scrutiny but that also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom is the activity not within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers as welfare programs, schemes for redistributing the wealth, and activities that coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise it in my behalf. If I do not have that right, I cannot delegate it. If we permit government to manufacture its own authority and to create self-proclaimed powers not delegated to it by the people, then the creature exceeds the creator and becomes master. Who is to say “this far, but no farther”? What clear principle will stay the hand of government from reaching farther and farther into our daily lives? .. Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth through taxation and providing so-called “benefits” for some of its citizens, it becomes a means for legalized plunder. It becomes a lever of unlimited power that is the sought-after prize of unscrupulous individuals and pressure groups, each seeking to control the machine to fatten his own pockets or to benefit his favorite charity, all with the other fellow’s money, of course. Each class or special interest group competes with the others to throw the lever of governmental power in its favor, or at least to immunize itself against the effects of a previous thrust. Labor gets a minimum wage. Agriculture gets a price support. Some consumers demand price controls. In the end, no one is much further ahead, and everyone suffers the burdens of a gigantic bureaucracy and a loss of personal freedom. With each group out to get its share of the spoils (See Helaman 6:38), such governments historically have mushroomed into total welfare states. Once the process begins, once the principle of the protective function of government gives way to the aggressive or redistributive function, then forces are set in motion that drive the nation toward totalitarianism.

Conference Report, Oct. 1968, pp. 17-22. The Proper Role of Government.

Heber J. Grant:

We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from that underlying spirit common to Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution.

A Letter to the U.S. Treasury from the First Presidency, Sept. 30, 1941.

Ezra Taft Benson:

My attitude toward government is succinctly expressed by the following provision taken from the Alabama Constitution: “That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.” (Art. 1, Sec. 35).

The Proper Role of Government. The Honorable Ezra Taft Benson, Former Secretary of Agriculture. The Eisenhower Administration, 1968.

Joseph Smith: 

We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

D&C 134:2

J. Reuben Clark Jr.:

The paths we are following, if we move forward thereon, will inevitably lead us to socialism or communism, and these two are as like as two peas in a pod in their ultimate effect upon our liberties.

Deseret News, Church Section, Sept. 25, 1949, pp. 2, 15.

H. Verlan Andersen:

One of the names used by John to describe Satan’s organization was “Mystery,” (Rev. 17:5) perhaps to indicate that its identity would not be known.

The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil.

Ezra Taft Benson:

The history of all mankind shows very clearly that if we would be free—and if we would stay free – we must stand eternal watch against the accumulation of too much power in government. There is hardly a single instance in all of history where the dictatorial centralization of power has been compatible with individual freedom – where it has not reduced the citizenry to the status of pawns and mere creatures of the state.

Be Not Deceived. Conference Report, October 1963, pp. 15-19.

Ezra Taft Benson:

D&C 134:2, states that government should hold inviolate the rights and control of property (D&C 134:2). This makes important reading in a day when government controls are increasing and people are losing the right to control their own property.*

* Which includes the fruit of your work, your income.
Be Not Deceived. Conference Report, October 1963, pp. 15-19.

J. Reuben Clark Jr.:

The slaves of Statism must know no power, no authority, no source of blessing, no God, but the State.

Deseret News, September 25, 1949.

Howard W. Hunter:

The only way we can keep our freedom is through our personal righteousness – by handling that freedom responsibly. We are our brother’s keeper (Moses 5:32-34). We must be concerned for the social problems of today. We must take that responsibility upon ourselves according to the gospel plan, but not according to the socialistic plan. You know that it is vain and foolish for a doctor to criticize the symptoms of a disease and refuse to work upon the roots. So, also, it is superficial to only criticize socialism and the welfare state and the many other evil “isms” growing up among us unless we work upon the roots.

The Law of the Harvest. BYU Devotional. March 8, 1966

Howard W. Hunter:

What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms .. If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift. Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost.

The Law of the Harvest. Speeches of the Year, 1965-1966, pp. 1-11. BYU 8 March 1966.

Marion G. Romney:

I suggest we consider what has happened to our agency with respect to contributing to the means used by the bureaucracy in administering government welfare services. In order to obtain these means, one head of state is quoted as saying:

“We’re going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily being spent and take it from the ‘haves’ and give to the ‘have nots’ that need it so much.” (Congressional Record, 1964, p. 6142—Remarks of the President to a Group of Leaders of Organizations of Senior Citizens in the Fish Room, Mar. 24, 1964).

The difference between having the means with which to administer welfare assistance taken from us and voluntarily contributing it out of our love of God and fellowman is the difference between freedom and slavery.

Church Welfare Services. Basic Principles. Ensign May 1976.

Ezra Taft Benson:

If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free—Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.

Conference Report, April 1968, pp. 49-54. Americans Are Destroying America.

Bruce R. McConkie:

Any nation that permits a secret combination to gain control of its government shall be destroyed such is the everlasting decree of a just God.

The Millennial Messiah, p. 66, 1982.

Moroni:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you.

Eter 8:23-24.
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