Against My Religion
Socialism, whether you call it Democratic Socialism, Communism (a form of Socialism) or whatever you want to call it, is against my religion. I won’t mince words. And, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and disagree with me, I’ll simply say, take it to the Lord after you study the topic.
Recognizing my personality type is that of protector, I felt driven today to do some further research on the subject. This was after going to professed socialist Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page. I noticed 11 friends “like” his page. Of the 11, several are church members. Now, given them the benefit of the doubt, I might think they are just following his posts. However, when you see them posting “Bernie Sanders for President” memes on their site, you know it is more than that.
Also, the Daily Universe, the BYU Newspaper, posted about a survey claiming 30% of BYU students support Bernie Sanders for president. Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist has caught the admiration of many young people across the nation. It is surprising, as well as disturbing, that BYU students would get lured in to the trap of socialism.
Pondering the great evils of our day, and reading recent General Conference addresses, here is a list I’ve complied:
- Pornography – we have heard it stressed over and over about the evils of pornography.
- Attacks on Family – this includes abortion, gay marriage, divorce, cohabitation of unmarried people in sexual relationships, pornography, etc.
- Attack on Personal Liberties – attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and worship, socialism, communism, over-taxation, etc.
To My LDS Friends
So, to my LDS friends, here are a few quotes from our prophets and apostles on the very subject. Oh, and before you say, “Well, that’s socialism, this is democratic socialism,” or, “That’s communism, this is socialism,” I think you’re going to read they are all one-in-the same.
First, from Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church:
“Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan… Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.”
Second, the First Presidency, 1941, Consisting of Heber J. Grant, J. Rubin Clark, and David O. McKay:
“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.“
Third, from Ezra Taft Benson:
“No true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto that very purpose.”
Wow, that’s some pretty strong language and should cause any Latter-day Saint to perk up their ears.
Forth, from Howard W. Hunter:
“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.”
Fifth and Sixth, from the scriptures themselves:
“Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!” D&C 56:17
“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Issaiah 65:22
Seventh, from President Benson’s message in the 1988 Ensign:
“Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc.”
Finally, there is plenty to be said in Church manuals about socialism versus the Law of Consecration (or United Order). (see https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-instructors-guide-religion-324-325/the-law-of-consecration-and-stewardship-part-2-lesson-31-sections-83-85-92-104?lang=eng&query=socialism for an example).
Study the Constitution
This quote from Elder Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve, “U.S. citizens should follow the First Presidency’s counsel to study the Constitution. They should be familiar with its great fundamentals: the separation of powers, the individual guarantees in the Bill of Rights, the structure of federalism, the sovereignty of the people, and the principles of the rule of the law. They should oppose any infringement of these inspired fundamentals,” (Ensign, Feb. 1992) has driven my wife and I to include study of the U.S. Constitution as part of our scripture study.
By so doing, studying the Constitution reinforces core values in the Constitution, and also helps us prepare to recognize when our Constitutional rights have been trampled. Having been subject to that myself, this is something I feel very strong about.
As one reads the Constitution, they should question things like…
- Can a president really create a law by executive order?
- Conversely, can a president overturn a law by the same?
- Can the Supreme Court make rulings that become new laws?
- Can someone be tried in a court, while not being accused of a crime, and denied a trial by jury?
- What does the Constitution say about religion and state?
- What is the role of the President (Executive Branch)?
- What is the role of Congress and the Senate (Legislative Branch)?
- What is the role of the Supreme and lesser courts (Judicial Branch)?
- Can agencies, like the FCC, USDA, etc., create law?
- Who authorizes the spending of tax dollars?
… just to name a few.
I think we are, in general, as a people (church members) fairly naive regarding politics. And, for good reason, we keep political discussions outside the church. However, this is not about politics, it is about freedom and God-given rights as defined in the Constitution. Both are discussion that do belong at church and are based on scripture, namely the Book of Mormon, and will impact our personal freedoms (including religion) for years to come.
We need to stand up and be champions of the Gospel as well as the Constitution. And, where needed, we need to repent and rid ourselves of sin, false doctrines and champion the cause of freedom. (Read the Book of Alma, and pay particular attention to the phrase, “cause of freedom”.)