Behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world.
James Russell Lowell:
The worst kind of religion is no religion at all.
George Q. Cannon:
There is a difference between priestcraft and Priesthood. Priestcraft builds up itself, it is not authorized of God. Priestcraft oppresses the people but the Priesthood of God emancipates men and women and makes them free.
As it appears from the statements on this page, priestcraft is not only when a religion, together with a state, gains power over a people, or when a religious professor or teacher acts as a light to the world for personal gain. There is another form of priestcraft – priestcraft practiced in politics and government.
Bruce R. McConkie:
One of the surest and most certain signs of the times is the near-omnipresence of false prophets. “There shall also arise . . . false prophets,” saith the holy word. (JS-M 1:22.) It is now almost as though every fool or near-fool, and every person filled with self-conceit and a desire to be in the spotlight of adulation fancies himself a prophet of religion or politics, or what have you. On every hand there are those who suppose they know how to save society, to save nations, to save souls. They preach all sorts of gospels—a social gospel a racial gospel a gospel of freedom or communism, of socialism or free enterprise, of military preparedness or reliance upon the wispy promises of foreign foes a gospel of salvation by grace alone, or of this or that doctrine. Streets and stadiums and temples are overrun, as the ancient prophets foretold, with the false ministers and teachers and politicians of the latter days. And all this shall continue until the greedy, the power hungry, and the self-called preachers go the way of all the earth when He comes to rule whose right it is both to instruct and to govern.
Sad as it may be, almost the entire history of mankind is an account of false worship, false gods, and all the ills that attend such a course. Communism is in reality a form of religion in which men deny the God of the Bible and worship the gods of compulsion and power and war.
David O. McKay:
These revolutionists are using a technique that is as old as the human race, — a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over whom they thus gain mastery, and then enslave them.
Joseph L. Wirthlin:
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)
A change has come, due to religious decline, and people are no longer, in general, agreed that man is an immortal soul nor destined to eternal salvation. What formerly were programs for attaining an accepted end cease to be such for there is no acceptance of that end. Programs, particularly political programs, have accordingly usurped the place of ends and have instead of being means become ends or goals in themselves. Thus politics instead of being programs have become religions, filling the void made by the discarding of the ancient faith. “Political doctrines such as Fascism and Communism assume for the 20th Century the status which religious doctrines possessed in the nineteenth.”
Atheism, like theism, is divided into many sects: communism, agnosticism, skepticism, humanism, pragmatism, and others.The atheist proclaims his own dishonesty in accepting pay to teach psychology, sociology, history, or English, while he is indeed preaching his atheistic religious philosophy to his students.
H. Verlan Andersen:
Let us emphasize the point that enforced priestcraft is the most essential part of Satan’s plan to impose state slavery upon a people.
Ezra Taft Benson:
The fight against godless communism is a very real part of every man’s duty who holds the priesthood. It is the fight against slavery, immorality, atheism, terrorism, cruelty, barbarism, deceit, and the destruction of human life through a kind of tyranny unsurpassed by anything in human history. Here is a struggle against the evil, satanical priestcraft of Lucifer. Truly it can be called, “a continuation of the war in heaven.”
H. Verlan Andersen:
Communism is more diabolical than any other type of priestcraft because its central doctrines are atheism and the destruction of free agency through socialism. Organic evolution, materialism, and humanism are the theories used to justify atheism and socialism by providing false explanations of the origin of life and its purposes.