October 19th, 2007

Brigham Young on Public Education

I recently came across the following two quotes from Brigham Young regarding public (“free”) education. Quite interesting.

I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it… I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves and give one tenth to the poor… Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! (Brigham Young, via Quoty)

We had to pay our own schoolteachers, raise our own bread and earn our own clothing, or go without; there was no other choice. We did it then, and we are able to do the same to-day. I want to enlist the sympathies of the ladies among the Latter-day Saints, to see what we can do for ourselves with regard to schooling our children. Do not say you cannot school them, for you can… I understand that the other night there was a school meeting in one of the wards of this city, and a part there–a poor miserable apostate–said, “We want a free school, and we want to have the name of establishing the first free school in Utah.” To call a person a poor miserable apostate may seem like a harsh word; but what shall we call a man who talks about free schools and who would have all the people taxed to support them, and yet would take his rifle and threaten to shoot the man who had the collection of the ordinary light taxes levied in this Territory–taxes which are lighter than any levied in any other portion of the country? (Brigham Young, via Quoty)

140 Responses to “Brigham Young on Public Education”

  1. Davis Didjeridu
    October 19, 2007 at 9:15 am #

    Maybe you should consider what the current prophet has said and done about public education.

  2. Connor
    October 19, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    Maybe you should consider what the current prophet has said and done about public education.

    I have.

  3. Dan
    October 19, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    eh, Brigham Young lived in rather barbaric times. ;)

  4. Jay
    October 19, 2007 at 9:47 am #

    What would anyone have to say about President David O. McKay?

    Jay

  5. Connor
    October 19, 2007 at 9:56 am #

    A good one from Pres. Packer, too:

    In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go to school. And in many schools–and it’s becoming almost generally true–it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools. Look back over the history of education to the turn of the century and the beginning of the educational philosophies….which have led us now into a circumstance where our schools are producing the problems that we face. (Boyd K. Packer, via Quoty)

  6. Dan
    October 19, 2007 at 11:06 am #

    I disagree with President Packer. It is NOT the school environment that is producing the problems we face. It is in THE FAMILY! He should know better than this.

  7. Jay
    October 19, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    I’d be careful about counseling/correcting a prophet.

    Just my opinion.

    Jay

  8. Connor
    October 19, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    Dan,

    It is NOT the school environment that is producing the problems we face. It is in THE FAMILY! He should know better than this.

    To be sure, families should be responsible for the education and social upbringing of children. But make no mistake, schools are producing problems that the family must counteract and correct. What Pres. Packer says is true: schools are producing problems regarding immorality and secularism that oppose Gospel principles.

    You should know better than this. :)

  9. Carissa
    October 19, 2007 at 12:15 pm #

    Schools are producing problems regarding immorality and secularism that oppose Gospel principles

    and… families (parents) are sending their children into this type of environment for the majority of their day, 5 days a week, during the most formative years of their life.

  10. Michael L. McKee
    October 19, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    The degree to which the so-called family is culpable is greatly exacerbated by the socialistic interventionism of unelected bureaucratic organizations such as the NEA, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and a myriad of other subversive communistic groups who hamper and hinder the parents at every turn.

    I believe President Packer has a rather extensive educational background, and would certainly have an astute understanding of the inner workings of structured education. Who better than he to guide the body of the Lord’s Church through the wasteland of public education.

  11. Sam Hennis
    October 19, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    My wife teaches our children at home. It’s really the best thing. I managed to survive the public education system, but I won’t make my children endure it.

    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” Albert Einstein(In H. Eves Return to Mathematical Circles, Boston:
    Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1988.)

  12. Carissa
    October 19, 2007 at 3:12 pm #

    What would anyone have to say about President David O. McKay?

    In relation to the topic of government involvement in education David O. McKay said:

    “As a matter of general policy, the BYU Board of Trustees has long adhered to a position opposed to general federal aid to education. We have always objected to the Church or any of its branches or agencies receiving any subsidy or “gift” from the government… We have steadfastly refused to participate in any federal education program which is based upon the subsidy principle.” Deseret News Nov. 2, 1964

    He also emphasized the importance of character development in schools. He said, “character is the true aim of education” and that true education seeks to make men and women who are honest, with virtue, temperance, brotherly love, and who prize truth, justice, wisdom, benevolence, and self-control. Then he says “It is regrettable, not to say deplorable, that modern education so little emphasizes these fundamental elements of true character.” Gospel Ideals p. 440-441

    If a leader or a teacher acts the hypocrite and attempts so to lead and teach, what he is will speak louder than what he says; and this is the danger of having doubting men as leaders and teachers of our children. The poison sinks in, and unconsciously they become sick in spirit because of the poison which the person in whom they had confidence has insidiously instilled into their souls.” Church News, Oct. 11, 1969 p.10

  13. Connor
    October 19, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    Another semi-related one from C.S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters:

    What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence — moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how ‘democracy’ (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be ‘undemocratic.’ Children who are fit to proceed may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval’s [of the same age] attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when ‘I’m as good as you’ has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway, the teachers — or should I say nurses? — will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men.

  14. Brandon
    October 20, 2007 at 1:40 am #

    “I disagree with President Packer”

    I don’t think I have seen a quote from an apostle or prophet on this blog that you did agree with. It seems to me that you judge the words of the apostles and prophets based upon your political persuasion. I know that most of the quotes have nothing to do with religion. But still, do you really disagree with everything they have to say that isn’t directly related to mormon theology?

  15. Dan
    October 20, 2007 at 6:01 am #

    Brandon,

    Actually there have been numerous quotes from prophets quoted on this blog that I HAVE agreed with. Politically though, I am not a conservative, so I will obviously NOT agree with conservative political philosophy, irrespective of who says it.

  16. Jay
    October 20, 2007 at 7:43 am #

    So a prophet is only a prophet as long as long as you agree with him?

    Jay

  17. Jay
    October 20, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    Regarding President David O. McKay, the reason that I brought him up is because his whole career was about public education, having worked as a teacher, administrator and on the board of regents. I don’t disagree with the general notion that there are a lot of bad things to be said about public education, but I wonder if DOM would have condemned it as some of the people here do.

    I’m not taking sides on this issue. I have 11 kids, all of whom have been through the public schools. I would have preferred private or home schooling, but our circumstances wouldn’t have allowed it. I have great respect and a bit of envy for those who have home schooled their kids.

    Jay

  18. Carissa
    October 20, 2007 at 7:07 pm #

    I think the difference with Brigham Young’s condemnation of free education is that it was back when it had not yet been implemented in Utah. Making the schools completely tax-supported was still an idea that was being hotly debated. Now we can see the predicament it has led to (one-size-fits-all, religious exclusion, less choice in and control of curriculum, etc). Imagine what the schools in Utah would be like today if more people would have shared Brigham Young’s opinion.

    After the idea was adopted and most members of the church decided to utilize the public schools, continued condemnation would have been futile. Instead, church leaders began to find ways to support parents’ decision to use the public schools by adding seminary, encouraging members to serve on school boards and become teachers, etc. I think the church respects the parents’ role to make the decision of how to educate their children and is sympathetic of the fact that our compulsory attendance laws (along with taxes) make it difficult for many families to consider any other option. So it is no surprise to me that church leaders since have tried to be supportive of the system and make the best of it. That does not necessarily mean, though, that they would disagree with Brigham Young about the underlying concept of funding. And it does not mean that we shouldn’t consider a better way if we feel inspired to do so.

  19. Jeff
    October 20, 2007 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m curious as a teacher and a secularist what kind of religious inclusion you all would want in public schools. It seems that the fact the schools are secular is a huge turn off for most people here. If that’s the case, what would be the ideal mix of religious and secular topics in school? What religious teachings would you all like to see in the classroom? And, what are the main drawbacks of secularism that make you want to find other avenues of educating your kids?

    BTW, I do believe that it is a choice that the parents should have, so I’m not trying to start a fight. I’m really curious. Also, I apologize if this turns into a thread jack, but my questions seem to be pertinent to the discussion at hand.

  20. Curtis
    October 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm #

    Jay,

    So a prophet is only a prophet as long as long as you agree with him?

    How about a prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking by the spirit of prophecy?

  21. Jay
    October 20, 2007 at 10:53 pm #

    No, he’s a prophet all of the time. At least that’s what he was sustained to be. Now, whether or not everything he says is spoken by the spirit is a different subject. So are you saying that his comments about public schools were not of the spirit?

    Jay

  22. Erik
    October 20, 2007 at 10:57 pm #

    President Benson –

    “Parents want better school for their children, but not a federal subsidy, leading to control of the teachings and textbooks, as well as the ideologies, of the children.” – Stand Up For Freedom Talk

    “Madison in 1798 –

    ‘If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children establishing in like manner schools throughout the union; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of congress.’

    What Madison warned about is precisely what has come to pass today. So far has Washington drifted from constitutional government that the question of the constitutionality of legislation, which was so central to 18th and 19th century congressional debates, is no longer raised.”

    – From New York Times Bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to US History by Thomas E. Woods

  23. Dan
    October 20, 2007 at 11:53 pm #

    Jay,

    No, he’s a prophet all of the time. At least that’s what he was sustained to be.

    No. At least, on my level as a member of a branch presidency, I know I was not sustained to be a counselor ALL THE TIME. only when the situation called for it (like this past week visiting a member at the hospital). Granted a prophet will have far more opportunities to use his calling, but he is not called or sustained to be a prophet all the time.

    Just read some of these comments prophets had about FDR and tell me if that is how prophets act:

    12 April 1945: Roosevelt dies in office. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith writes, “there are some of us who have felt that it is really an act of providence.” President J. Reuben Clark Jr. quips, “The Lord gave the people of the United States four elections in order to get rid of him, that they failed to do so in these four elections, so He held an election of His own and cast one vote, and then took him away.”

    Tell me, was that the way prophets acted? And you wonder why I don’t look highly upon people like J. Reuben Clark Jr.

  24. Dan
    October 20, 2007 at 11:55 pm #

    just to add, imagine if a left-leaning church leader today said a similar thing the day Ronald Reagan died…

  25. Jay
    October 21, 2007 at 7:19 am #

    You didn’t answer my question so I’ll ask it again. Are you saying that his comments about public schools were not of the spirit?

    Now I’ll answer yours (since I don’t avoid questions). Is that how a prophet would act? Apparently so. I don’t have a problem with those quotes. It sort of sums up the life of the man who engineered Pearl Harbor, took socialism to a whole new level, and generally did whatever he could to dismantle our Constitution. But I suppose it kind of sucks when your political views don’t line up with those of the prophets, doesn’t it?

    You may not be a member of your branch presidency all of the time, but I’m a member of my bishopric 24/7 until I’m released and as far a I’m concerned, Elder Packer is a prophet until the Lord calls him home.

    Jay

  26. Dan
    October 21, 2007 at 10:56 am #

    Jay,

    I don’t think they are completely accurate. The problems we face in society don’t stem from our public schools. He said “our schools are producing the problems that we face.” I’m sorry but that is not accurate. The problems we face as a society have always started, and always will start with the family. They are exacerbated in schools, just like they are exacerbated in business, at church, and any other social setting. Schools are merely a tool in life and are NOT the cause of the problems we face.

    Is that how a prophet would act? Apparently so. I don’t have a problem with those quotes.

    Of course you don’t have a problem with those quotes. You agree with them. So I guess it is okay for a left-leaning prophet to make fun of Ronald Reagan, about his death? Please. This is not how a prophet acts. This is how a human being acts. It really gets frustrating that some of y’all don’t seem to recognize this difference.

  27. Carissa
    October 21, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    It seems that the fact the schools are secular is a huge turn off for most people here.

    I would say (at least for myself) that the huge turn off is the fact that everyone is forced to pay for one type of education that not all are benefiting from or want. It’s not just parents who want religion taught that have to make extra sacrifices, it is parents of very bright children, parents of children with learning disabilities, all sorts of different situations. Whatever the case is, to get the type of education a parent wants (if it deviates from what is offered by the public schools) they must pay for it in addition to supporting public schools through taxes.

    I don’t think anyone here wants to force their religion to be taught to others who don’t care to learn it. We just don’t want to be at a disadvantage for wanting something different than the one-size-fits-all curriculum that is offered. Children are unique. They are not products to be manufactured by some assembly-line technique.

    what would be the ideal mix of religious and secular topics in school?

    The point is, there is no “ideal” that could ever satisfy everyone. More and more people are starting to realize that. We have the mindset that everyone needs to grow up with the same education (with the same curriculum, the same standards). Our society seems afraid to just let people have the freedom to choose their own paths. Isn’t that what makes America great in so many other areas—the freedom to live our lives how we want? Why can’t education be part of that?

  28. Carissa
    October 21, 2007 at 12:15 pm #

    Erik-

    Great quote from Madison. Thanks.

  29. Curtis
    October 21, 2007 at 1:35 pm #

    Joseph Smith said a prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as one. He is called as the President of the Church, not as a prophet. We then sustain him as a seer, prophet and revelator. He is President of the Church all of the time, but a prophet only when he is acting as a prophet if we are to believe Joseph Smith on the subject.

  30. Parker (brother #3)
    October 21, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    Dan,
    Obviously you haven’t gone to a school and walked around recently. I just graduated from high school and can tell you that i KNOW that what Pres. Packer said is 100% true.

  31. Dan
    October 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm #

    Parker,

    My wife is a principal in New York City and I am a librarian at a community college. I am quite well aware of what goes on in the world of education.

  32. Connor
    October 21, 2007 at 4:59 pm #

    Here’s another strike against having others education your children.

  33. Dan
    October 21, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    might as well just raise your kids up in a bubble…oh wait…

  34. Yin
    October 21, 2007 at 5:37 pm #

    A word on the idea of prophets not always being prophets. Being an apostle or a prophet is not only a calling, it’s an office of the priesthood. To say that President Hinckley, or President Packer, or whomever is not always a prophet, is like saying that an Elder isn’t always an Elder, or a High Priest isn’t always a High Priest. That’s just ridiculous. These people have been sustained to that office of the priesthood, and they are always a prophet, elder, high priest, etc., in any situation or circumstance, regardless of the calling.

    I think we need to differentiate between being a prophet and speaking prophetically. Prophets are always prophets. They don’t always speak prophetically. When they are and how we know is fodder for another conversation… a conversation I think has been brought up many times in various posts and comments on this blog.

    Sorry for the digression. Back to how crappy public schools are…

  35. Jeff
    October 21, 2007 at 7:59 pm #

    Carissa,

    I agree with most of your comment. I think that choice is very important in education and that parents should be free to give their children the best education possible without having to pay for everyone else’s education. I think that you articulate that position very well. I especially appreciated you mentioning high and low end kids, both of whom public school seems to fail in many ways. Public school is pretty good for average kids, but those who are above average or have special needs tend to struggle.

    Now, here are a couple of concerns:

    I don’t think anyone here wants to force their religion to be taught to others who don’t care to learn it.

    I disagree with this statement. I absolutely believe that many who post on this blog would like to see homosexuality condemned in public schools and other public places and that they would like to see evolution discredited and creationism taught instead. Both of those are religiously motivated positions that I believe would be pretty popular here.

    That being said, I do have a little concern about kids being educated in any way that the parents see fit. I have a girl in my class this year who was homeschooled for 9 years. She is a freshman who is bright and talented. However, while she is a good reader and writer, she does math on a 2nd grade level, struggling even to do very basic math problems. This is a common issue among homeschooled kids. Much of the education is one-sided and not adequate. Say what you want about public schools, but we try hard to give a well-rounded view of the world. Many parents, for one reason or another, don’t offer that same type of balance, which I think is unfair for the kids.

    Furthermore, the disdain that many religious people have for the theory of evolution and for scientific inquiry frightens me. I worry about students who aren’t exposed to the scientific mode of thinking, who aren’t willing to learn about conflicting viewpoints or uncomfortable facts, and whose reason for doing most things is because God said so. Our nation won’t survive if we don’t learn science and reason. Many religious private schools and homeschools fail to teach our youth the need for science and reason. That is my biggest concern about decentralizing education; however, I still think we should probably do it.

  36. Jeff
    October 21, 2007 at 8:07 pm #

    Connor,

    By your reasoning, sending your kids to church is just as dangerous since there are many cases of clergy who have abused kids in their congregations. The article you cite is appalling, but it is no more a strike against public education than a bishop who molests kids in his office is a strike against the church. You can make a better argument than that.

    Parker,

    I’m sorry that school wasn’t wonderful for you (nothing is wonderful for most teenagers :) ), but as someone who teaches in a public school, I can say that most of our students get a fairly good education. I think such is the case in most places. I would dare bet that you can think of some teachers that inspired you someway or that without whom you wouldn’t be in college with a voracious love of learning. Of course I might be wrong. Public school could have been a total waste of time for you, but I seriously doubt it.

  37. Jeff
    October 21, 2007 at 8:18 pm #

    Parker,

    I just reread your comment and then found the Packer quote. My comment to you doesn’t really apply to what you were saying. Sorry. I’ll read more carefully next time.

  38. Carissa
    October 21, 2007 at 9:10 pm #

    Many parents, for one reason or another, don’t offer that same type of balance, which I think is unfair for the kids.

    I understand. What I would say to this is that liberty comes with risks. Plenty of kids that go through public school also end up with some type of deficiency in one area or another (why do colleges offer remedial math and English?) Once children reach adulthood they become in charge of their own education and can make up for any deficiency, should they have the desire. This happens all the time with the way things are now. If they don’t have the desire or motivation, that is their choice and however unfortunate, should be respected. It is also not fair that some parents don’t spend much time with their children, discipline them, love them, feed them well, etc. But parents are the ones responsible for these things and up to a certain point (when it becomes abuse) society should respect the role of parents.

    Our nation won’t survive if we don’t learn science and reason.

    What exactly do you mean by survive? Are you referring to global competition? Are you referring to the facts of science or the theories of science? Evolution involves both, no?

    I absolutely believe that many who post on this blog would like to see homosexuality condemned in public schools and other public places and that they would like to see evolution discredited and creationism taught instead.

    I don’t think creationism should be taught in public schools, but I don’t think any other unproven theory about the origin and purpose of life should be taught as fact either. Why does homosexuality have to be either condemned or promoted in school? It seems that in order to respect differences of opinion, that subject should probably be avoided altogether. I don’t see why it needs to be part of the curriculum at all– but that’s just my opinion. See, that’s the trouble with the one-size-fits-all approach to education. There will always be things people disagree on about what or what not to teach. Each should be able to get what they want for their own children without having to force others to conform to their views.

  39. Carissa
    October 21, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    Some interesting quotes:

    “In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching-and-learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge…In creating a monopoly of education, the government must answer to the hopes of the fathers of families who have thus been deprived of their liberty; and if these hopes are shattered whose fault is it? We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say we are opposed to any education.”
    –Frederic Bastiat, The Law , 1850

    “If the only motive was to help people who could not afford education, advocates of government involvement would have simply proposed tuition subsidies.”
    — Milton Friedman – Economist. Awarded 1976 Nobel Prize in economics.

    “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; even forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all: it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”
    — H.L. Mencken

    “State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly alike one another, …in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.”

    — John Stuart Mill (1859)

    “If it would be wrong for the government to adopt an official religion, then, for the same reasons, it would be wrong for the government to adopt official education policies. The moral case for freedom of religion stands or falls with that for freedom of education. A society that champions freedom of religion but at the same time countenances state regulation of education has a great deal of explaining to do.”
    — James R. Otteson, professor of philosophy. – The Independent Review, Spring 2000, “Freedom of Religion and Public Schooling”

    “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.”
    — Karl Marx – Father of Communism (1848)

  40. Curtis
    October 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

    Yin,
    One is not called to be a prophet as an office in the priesthood. That is a fallacy. Gordon B. Hinckley is called as the President of the Church. He is then a prophet when he engages the Spirit of prophecy in his calling. This is no different, with the exception of magnitude, than my calling as an elder’s quorum president. I am expected to be a prophet to my quorum and and lead them by the Spirit of prophecy, just as the President of the Church is expected to do for the Church. When I am not engaging the spirit of prophecy, I am not acting as a prophet to my quorum. The same is true of the President of the Church. It is nonsense to say otherwise. Joseph Smith Jr. himself said, “a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such.” (TPJS pg. 278)

  41. Connor
    October 21, 2007 at 10:53 pm #

    Curtis,
    There are offices of the priesthood that one is ordained to, regardless of the calling given. And Elder is always an Elder. An apostle is always an apostle. He may not always be acting in his official capacity (for example, when grocery shopping), but he is at all times an agent of the Lord and should be ready to serve when necessary.

    The context in which that quote by Joseph Smith was said was when somebody wondered why he was doing menial chores, if I recall correctly. That’s a given – we’re not counseled to do our laundry the same way as the Prophet, but when he stands over the pulpit and addresses us (in the official capacity of his calling), we’d do well to follow those teachings—even if we disagree.

    And so, returning to what started this little side discussion, we see Pres. Packer stating the problems schools are causing. Some who disagree seem to dismiss this statement as incorrect and uninformed, thereby putting into question when a prophet/apostle is acting as such, even when they’re standing over the pulpit in their official capacity in an organized church conference. That, then, puts the burden of judgment on each individual, when somebody claims that they know when somebody has the spirit of prophecy and when they don’t. Who are we to make such judgments, and say we correctly know when they are and are not speaking according to the spirit of prophecy?

  42. Parker (brother #3)
    October 22, 2007 at 12:19 am #

    Im not saying I didn’t get a good education, it was the environment. There were kids trying to burn down the gym, slutty girls, most people went to parties and got drunk or used drugs. Its ridiculous how young kids are doing this stuff..

  43. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 4:08 am #

    Connor,

    Some who disagree seem to dismiss this statement as incorrect and uninformed, thereby putting into question when a prophet/apostle is acting as such, even when they’re standing over the pulpit in their official capacity in an organized church conference.

    President Packer’s comments were to the BYU Education department, and not over the pulpit.

  44. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 4:16 am #

    Look at what President Hinckley says about public education:

    We have in the Church a strong tradition regarding quality education. Over the years we have allocated a substantial part of the Church budget to education, both secular and religious. As a people we have supported public education. Where there is a well-demonstrated need, we should be supportive. Such can become an investment in the lives of our children, our communities, and our nation. However, let it not be supposed that all of the remedies may be found only with increased funding. There is need for a searching analysis of priorities and a careful weighing of costs. Let us be supportive; let us also be prudent concerning the resources of the people.

    Have we really?

    President Thomas S. Monson said:

    The Church has always had a vital interest in public education and encourages its members to participate in parent-teacher activities and other events designed to improve the education of our youth.

    There is no more important aspect of public education than the teacher who has the opportunity to love, to teach, and to inspire eager boys and girls and young men and young women. President David O. McKay said, “Teaching is the noblest profession in the world. Upon the proper education of youth depend the permanency and purity of home, the safety and perpetuity of the nation. The parent gives the child an opportunity to live; the teacher enables the child to live well.” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, p. 436.) I trust we shall recognize their importance and their vital mission by providing adequate facilities, the finest of books, and salaries which show our gratitude and our trust.

    The problems we face as a society do NOT stem from the field of education. They come from other sources, most prominently, the broken family.

  45. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 4:27 am #

    Parker,

    There were kids trying to burn down the gym, slutty girls, most people went to parties and got drunk or used drugs. Its ridiculous how young kids are that are doing this stuff..

    I guess I must have grown up in a really good area of California, because the worst things that ever happened at my school was a kid dying on the dance floor of a heart attack (his family had a history of early heart attacks). In my senior year, one student was killed by his father at home. We all mourned him. There were few fights, and generally speaking the students did their best. We didn’t live in a highly rich neighborhood either (that would be Palo Alto). Heck we rented a dinky little 2 bedroom in a somewhat shady neighborhood. But school was good. The teachers taught us well.

  46. Connor
    October 22, 2007 at 9:07 am #

    President Packer’s comments were to the BYU Education department, and not over the pulpit.

    Conceded, and thanks for the clarification. So the difference we have is the belief in when a leader’s words are authoritative. If Pres. Hinckley is speaking at a temple dedication, is he doing so as a prophet? When Bishop Burton is speaking to a gathering of reporters, is he doing so in his official capacity? When Pres. Packer speaks to BYU professors, are his words simply those of an ordinary man, or do they carry any authoritative weight? Sounds like we disagree on this one.

    I guess I must have grown up in a really good area of California, because the worst things that ever happened at my school was a kid dying on the dance floor of a heart attack…

    At mine and Parker’s alma mater, one of the many things they’re doing which make me sick is a “gay day” where students are encouraged to take a moment of silence for gays, where pins and ribbons, distributed by some teachers, and pledge support and tolerance of homosexuality in general. One teacher went so far as to have a day of silence, and refused to teach the entire day as it would require talking to do so. This day has become a quasi Mormon vacation day, with savvy mothers pulling their children out of school and letting them go do something else.

    The problems we face as a society do NOT stem from the field of education.

    Quite the bold statement. You’re saying not one single problem our society faces today can be attributed to the curriculum, administration, and conduct of public schooling? I’d love to see a discussion about this w/ you and Pres. Packer. :)

  47. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 9:23 am #

    So Dan (or anyone who disagrees with Pres. Packer’s statement)-

    Do you agree with the ‘turn of the century’ educational philosophies he refers to? Do you agree with the philosophies of John Dewey and others that have influenced schools so greatly?

  48. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 9:45 am #

    Dan won’t answer my question that I’ve asked twice, so I doubt he’ll answer that one, either.

    Jay

  49. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    Connor,

    If Pres. Hinckley is speaking at a temple dedication, is he doing so as a prophet?

    Um, I think you chose a poor example. A temple dedication? Of course he is a prophet! :)

    When Pres. Packer speaks to BYU professors, are his words simply those of an ordinary man, or do they carry any authoritative weight?

    They may carry more weight, but they are not in the capacity of a prophet.

    I’m sorry you and Parker lived in such a gay community, Connor. I’m with you that gays shouldn’t be highlighted so strongly in public schools as they are. But neither should Christianity, nor Hinduism, nor Islam. It’s funny, see, gays getting the recognition they feel they deserve puts Christians in the position that gays have been in all their lives, where they face a constant barrage of morality they do not agree in. Why should they face all that in a public school? Legally speaking, since our Constitution was not created on Christianity, should gays really feel discriminated against in public schools? No they shouldn’t. They also shouldn’t go to the other extreme where their “plight” is victimized to the extreme. It actually undermines their situation, but they don’t realize this.

    You’re saying not one single problem our society faces today can be attributed to the curriculum, administration, and conduct of public schooling?

    Connor, don’t take the logic to the extreme. You always do that when faced with philosophy you do not agree with.

  50. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    Jay,

    Dan won’t answer my question that I’ve asked twice, so I doubt he’ll answer that one, either.

    Um, perhaps you missed comment number 26. That was in reply to YOU.

    Carissa,

    Do you agree with the ‘turn of the century’ educational philosophies he refers to? Do you agree with the philosophies of John Dewey and others that have influenced schools so greatly?

    Generally speaking, yes. Interesting that you chose John Dewey as an example. Perhaps you did not know that he emphasized Christianity greatly, especially in his design of the Dewey cataloging system.

  51. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    The question (for the third time) was, “Are you saying that his comments about public schools were not of the spirit?”

    You have yet to answer that question.

    Jay

  52. Connor
    October 22, 2007 at 10:19 am #

    Connor, don’t take the logic to the extreme. You always do that when faced with philosophy you do not agree with.

    Extreme? Here is what you said:

    Schools are merely a tool in life and are NOT the cause of the problems we face.

    Big, capital letters. You’re clearly stating that there are NO problems coming from the school system.

  53. DeeDee
    October 22, 2007 at 10:21 am #

    12 April 1945: Roosevelt dies in office. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith writes, “there are some of us who have felt that it is really an act of providence.” President J. Reuben Clark Jr. quips, “The Lord gave the people of the United States four elections in order to get rid of him, that they failed to do so in these four elections, so He held an election of His own and cast one vote, and then took him away.”

    And they were right! He did a lot of damage to this country.

    As far as wanting religion taught in the public schools, NO! They could really mess that up too. I just want my children to be able to speak of God, pray to God, celebrate Christmas, Write a report on religious matters, etc. Like it WAS for centuries before the secularists decided to take over the schools and kick God out.

    My daughter says: “When they kicked God out of the schools, they kicked my children out with Him.”

  54. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    Jay,

    I again direct you to #26. I answered you directly there. If you cannot accept that answer, then I’m done with you.

    Connor,

    You’re clearly stating that there are NO problems coming from the school system.

    Please reread my statement. When someone says that the problems do NOT stem from one thing, that does not imply that NO problems stem from that one thing. There is actually a difference. You bet there are problems in schools today (a couple of which you stated), but that does not mean that the problems we face are BECAUSE of schools. They are NOT. I never said that NO problems come from the school system. I want to make a snide remark here about the education you got from your public school about reading analysis, but I’m trying to avoid that.

  55. Connor
    October 22, 2007 at 10:34 am #

    Jay,

    I again direct you to #26. I answered you directly there. If you cannot accept that answer, then I’m done with you.

    Jay, I guess his answer is no.

    When someone says that the problems do NOT stem from one thing, that does not imply that NO problems stem from that one thing.

    My question to you was not regarding there being any problems at school. The question was one of the source of attribution. Please re-read the question:

    You’re saying not one single problem our society faces today can be attributed to the curriculum, administration, and conduct of public schooling?

    I was referring specifically to the source of the problems, not asking if there were any problems at all.

  56. DeeDee
    October 22, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    “However, while she is a good reader and writer, she does math on a 2nd grade level, struggling even to do very basic math problems. This is a common issue among homeschooled kids. Much of the education is one-sided and not adequate.”

    “I absolutely believe that many who post on this blog would like to see homosexuality condemned in public schools and other public places and that they would like to see evolution discredited and creationism taught instead.”

    What about the children who come out of public schools with similar problems with math or reading, or whatever? Often children placed in private schools are there because their parents could see them “being left behind” in the public schools. I agree with the statement that there is no “one size fits all” in education. That is why parents should have a choice in the matter… one they can afford since our tax dollars are going to support schools that frequently fail our children.

    Again, I point out that things like Homesexuality were not taught in years past and I for one HATED being confused about whether we came from monkeys or God as a young child. What’s wrong with giving OLDER children AND their parents a choice of either Creationism or evolution.

    In my not so humble opinion, niether should be taught in the schools. And certainly not before high school age! Let that be taught at home like sex education used to be. No many suffered greatly (though there are those who would like us to think so) from NOT being taught how to copulate before being married. I was very naive and innocent when I married, as was my husband. Somehow we got it together and managed to have children and enjoy the process without being told and shown how. (trying not to be too indelecate on the subject)

  57. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    Dan, that was a yes or no question. You totally avoided it and if that’s your answer, then I guess I’ll learn not to ask you questions anymore.

    You’d make a good politician, I suppose.

    Jay

  58. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    Personally, I don’t mind evolution being taught in science classes as a theory. I don’t really want creationism being taught in schools at all because that is religious instruction that I would prefer to do on my own.

    Jay

  59. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    Connor, I think Dan’s answer to my question was “yes”. But until he answers it, I guess that neither of us will know . . . :O)

    Jay

  60. Connor
    October 22, 2007 at 10:56 am #

    Connor, I think Dan’s answer to my question was “yes”.

    Right, my mistake. By saying no, I was referring to the comments not being of the Spirit. But yeah, “yes” would be the answer to your question, it would seem.

  61. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 10:57 am #

    Connor,

    Jay, I guess his answer is no.

    Excuse me? I answered him. Did I give him the answer he was looking for? Obviously not. But that’s not my problem. In any case, I answered his question directly. If he doesn’t like the answer, that’s his problem.

  62. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    There is quite a paradox between much of the rhetoric Dewey espoused (child freedom and open mindedness) and the actual outcome of his ideas (the replacement of principles and ideas America was founded on with secular or collectivist values).

    Perhaps you did not know that he emphasized Christianity greatly

    Dewey was a master at using unoffensive language and even biblical allusions but there is no question that he was a humanist, not a Christian. Part of the reason he gained so much prominence is that many Christians could not see past this.

    Dewey was intent on furthering his “religion” (secular humanism) through public education.

    Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of heaven.

    Dewey, Pedagogic Creed 1897

    Public schools are supposed to be neutral in regards to religion. That should include the promotion of humanism. According to the U.S. Supreme Court (Torcaso v. Watkins 367 U.S. 488, 1961) secular humanism is cited as a religion:

    “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethnical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.”

  63. Michael L. McKee
    October 22, 2007 at 11:14 am #

    Any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is currently deriving a living from employment within the so-called Public Education System who would impart, as a teacher or administrator, anything they know to be untrue or unconstitutional should forthwith tender their resignation.

  64. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    Connor,

    By saying no, I was referring to the comments not being of the Spirit. But yeah, “yes” would be the answer to your question, it would seem.

    Read into it as you like, but never assume something about someone unless you are absolutely sure.

  65. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    I think the answer is quite clear. It was a solid “yes”.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    Jay

  66. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 11:29 am #

    Carissa,

    There is quite a paradox between much of the rhetoric Dewey espoused (child freedom and open mindedness) and the actual outcome of his ideas (the replacement of principles and ideas America was founded on with secular or collectivist values).

    What are the principles and ideas America was founded on?

  67. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    if it makes you happy, Jay.

  68. Jeff
    October 22, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    Any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is currently deriving a living from employment within the so-called Public Education System who would impart, as a teacher or administrator, anything they know to be untrue or unconstitutional should forthwith tender their resignation.

    And people wonder why I have a hard time with the Church. Unbelievable.

    The Constitution, like the Gospel, is open to interpretation. Anything that is based on a text is open to interpretation. Yours isn’t the only interpretation that matters, Michael. However, you’re so arrogant that you believe so.

  69. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    No it’s actually somewhat disturbing that some members would believe he was influenced by the spirit while other members would say that he wasn’t speaking under the influence of the spirit. But I’m sure you have your reasons for believing so.

    Jay

  70. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    anything they know to be untrue or unconstitutional should forthwith tender their resignation.

    Hmmm, untrue or unconstitutional. I guess all those teachers who want to teach that the earth was created in six days and that the earth is only 6000 years old should resign then, eh? After all, that is most definitely untrue. I guess all those who wish to have the state teach religion should resign also, as it is unconstitutional.

    Sounds fair to me. :)

  71. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 11:53 am #

    Jay,

    He was talking to the BYU department of education, not in a religious setting, but in one that talked about the world of education. I’m sure he prepares himself spiritually for all his speeches, but that does not mean that his speech to the BYU department of education was necessarily inspired, or the will of the Lord. Why do you assume it is?

  72. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 11:56 am #

    For the very reason that you stated. Because he prepares himself spiritually for all his speeches. But the fact that you believe it wasn’t an inspired talk is fine. You’re free to believe what you wish about any of the prophets.

    Jay

  73. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    What are the principles and ideas America was founded on?

    Well, here’s the biggest one (most people have it memorized… found in the Declaration of Independence):

    all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

    Humanism denies the existence of a creator:

    Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

  74. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 12:13 pm #

    Jay,

    The world is not black and white. You wanted a black and white answer regarding whether or not his comments were “of the spirit.” The reason my answer was not black and white was because it isn’t black and white.

    Being spiritually prepared does not mean that the speech you give will be doctrine, the will of the Lord. So to answer in either way to your question would not be accurate. Because on the one hand, he prepared himself spiritually (or so we assume), and on the other, he is not speaking the will of the Lord, but just what he understands regarding education.

    I quoted President Hinckley and President Monson in General Conference talks extolling the virtues of public education. Were they wrong?

  75. Jay
    October 22, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    I don’t believe that any of them were wrong.

    Jay

  76. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 12:32 pm #

    And Carissa,

    Upon more research in Dewey, (a man I really have not researched— and now that I have researched him, have no desire to continue further), I agree with you that his core reasoning behind his push in public education was to push his own religion, rather insidiously. His methodologies are still sound and have led to much discovery in the 20th century. The decline of today’s education does not stem from his work. It stems from the larger, more pervasive problem we are facing in our society right now, and that is the decline of the family.

  77. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 12:57 pm #

    The decline of today’s education does not stem from his work

    Not wholly, no. I do believe, though, that the philosophy of humanism (of which Dewey was only one player) has contributed to the decline of the family and morality in general.

  78. Michael L. McKee
    October 22, 2007 at 1:19 pm #

    Jeff and Dan,

    Any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is currently deriving a living from employment within the so-called Public Education System who would impart, as a teacher or administrator, anything they know to be untrue or unconstitutional should forthwith tender their resignation.

    If you are uncertain as to whether or not the subject matter you are imparting is true or constitutionally sound, perhaps you are in possession of misinformation which you are passing on to your students. It is possible you have inadvertently or unintentionally accepted untruths yourself when you were on the receiving end of the teaching. I presume you both, as members of the aforementioned Church, believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be true. If so, you already know that there is no middle ground or interpretive loopholes available for consideration. The words of Jesus Christ are absolute truth. The Constitution of the United States of America was, as originally set forth by our Founders, is possessed of inspired truth coming from our Savior through the Holy Ghost to those men who comprised the Founders. The Lord Jesus Christ inspired those conclusions and blessed them for our use and benefit.

    Any time we interpret an opportunity to compromise with Lucifer who is in possession of nothing truthful, we are crossing a very critical point of no return. Reclaiming our previously held ground becomes far more difficult than it was before since we have lost much of the armour of truth which Satan cannot withstand. Semantically considering whether or not a Prophet is prophesying at any given time is, it seems to me, antithetical to truth finding. You cannot be certain as to your findings unless you shave received personal revelation from the Holy Ghost. I DO NOT need affirmation from the Holy Ghost that the Lucifer is and always will be a liar. Conversely, I DO need the Holy Ghost to affirm my faith that Jesus is the Christ and His Gospel is true. To me, anything more or less than this is unworthy of my consideration, and is certainly less dangerous from an eternal perspective.

    Simply put, if anyone teaches truth to be a lie or vice versa in any forum under Heaven, he or she is in danger of being eternally damned. The truth cannot be changed merely because the state says it is acceptable. The current so-called Public Education System, and the vast majority of the curricula in the United States at this juncture, in my opinion, is an absolute lie.

  79. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm #

    Carissa,

    I do believe, though, that the philosophy of humanism (of which Dewey was only one player) has contributed to the decline of the family and morality in general.

    That I do agree with.

  80. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    Here is an interesting account of a teacher named O.A. Nelson who attended a Progressive Education Association meeting in 1928. If this story is true, it shows a conspiracy (between CFR members, educational philosopher John Dewey and psychologist Edward Thorndike, and communists) to deliberately dumb down math curriculum in public schools.

    1928
    A DELIBERATE MATH “DUMB DOWN” WAS SERIOUSLY DISCUSSED IN 1928. A TEACHER NAMED O.A. Nelson, John Dewey, Edward Thorndike (who conducted early behavioral psychology
    experiments with chickens), and other Council on Foreign Relations members attended a Progressive Education Association meeting in 1928 at which O.A. Nelson was informed that the purpose of “new math” was to dumb down students.

    Nelson revealed in a later interview with Young Parents Alert that the Progressive Education Association was a communist front.
    According to the National Educator (July, 1979): Mr. O.A. Nelson, retired educator, has supplied the vitally important documentation needed to support the link-up between the textbooks and the Council on Foreign Relations. His letter was first printed in “Young Parents Alert” (Lake Elmo, Minnesota). His story is self-explanatory.

    “I know from personal experience what I am talking about. In December 1928, I was asked to talk to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On December 27th, naïve and inexperienced, I agreed. I had done some special work in teaching functional physics in high school. That was to be my topic. The next day, the 28th, a Dr. Ziegler asked me if I would attend a special educational meeting in his room after the AAAS meeting. We met from 10 o’clock [p.m.] until after 2:30 a.m. We were 13 at the meeting. Two things caused Dr. Ziegler, who was Chairman of the Educational Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, to ask me to attend… my talk on the teaching of functional physics in high school, and the fact that I was a member of a group known as the Progressive Educators of America, which was nothing but a Communist front. I thought the word “progressive” meant progress for better schools. Eleven of those attending the meeting were leaders in education. Drs. John Dewey and Edward Thorndike, from Columbia University, were there, and the others were of equal rank. I checked later and found that ALL were paid members of the Communist Party of Russia. I was classified as a member of the Party, but I did not know it at the time. The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called “Modern Math.” At one point I objected because there was too much memory work, and math is reasoning; not memory. Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want… a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!” That math was not introduced until much later, as those present thought it was too radical a change. A milder course by Dr. Breckner was substituted but it was also worthless, as far as understanding math was concerned. The radical change was introduced in 1952. It was the one we are using now. So, if pupils come out of high school now, not knowing any math, don’t blame them. The results are supposed to be worthless.”

    [Ed. Note: Mr. Nelson was formerly assistant principal at Wilson High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as Johnson High School in St. Paul. This writer was fortunate enough to verify the above story by calling a teacher colleague of the late Mr. Nelson. Also, members of the “Young Parents Alert” in Lake Elmo, Minnesota provided the writer with an audiocasette of the speech he gave at a Young Parents Alert education conference
    on April 28, 1979.]

    Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, p. 14-15

  81. Connor
    October 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm #

    It stems from the larger, more pervasive problem we are facing in our society right now, and that is the decline of the family.

    In your previous comment you tell Jay that the world isn’t black and white. And yet, here you are saying something that is black and white—that the schools aren’t producing the problems we face, but that it’s entirely a result of the decline of the family.

    Can’t both be causes of the problem?

  82. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm #

    Carissa,

    If this story is true,

    Unfortunately it sounds false, the usual red scare hysteria of the 1920s-1950s.

  83. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 1:41 pm #

    Can’t both be causes of the problem?

    Nope. ;)

  84. Carissa
    October 22, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    Unfortunately? it sounds false

    It would be fortunate if it were false and very unfortunate if it were true, no? :)

    John Taylor Gatto said the Rockefellars were patrons of John Dewey. The Rockefellars also had strong ties to the CFR. Hmmm…

  85. Dan
    October 22, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    Thankfully it is false then, Carissa. :)

    The Rockefellers were strong Christians btw. Northern Baptists. John Rockefeller founded the University of Chicago (where Dewey spent ten years, incidentally).

    Gotta love capitalism at work. It creates such powerful men who have such influence over the world.

  86. Sam Hennis
    October 22, 2007 at 9:01 pm #

    Dan,
    Where did you get the idea that the Rockefeller family is Christian?

    William Rockefeller, the father of John D., first became involved in the petroleum business when he peddled the oily stuff at $2.5 a pint as a cure for warts, snake bite, cancer and impotency. The wandering medicine man called himself “Doctor,”‘ even though he couldn’t have entered medical school with a search warrant. In addition to being a quack, “Doc” Bill was a bigamist, horse thief and child molester. The good “Doctor” avoided prosecution in New York for raping a 15-year old girl by hightailing it for Cleveland. Once there, he deserted his wife and six children to marry a 20-year old. (At least when Nelson abandoned his wife of 31 years to marry Happy Fitler Murphy, he did not abandon his children. She abandoned hers.)
    Excerpt from “The Rockefeller File” by Gary Allen

  87. Curtis
    October 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    Connor,

    That, then, puts the burden of judgment on each individual, when somebody claims that they know when somebody has the spirit of prophecy and when they don’t. Who are we to make such judgments, and say we correctly know when they are and are not speaking according to the spirit of prophecy?

    We are children of our Heavenly Father who have the same privilege as the President of the Church to receive revelation as to the truthfulness of all things. This Spirit of prophecy is something we must each develope or we have no claim on Eternal Life. Without revelation, no person can be saved. The Spirit should be able to confirm that which a GA or anyone else says to be the truth. If you do not receive it of Heaven, you are probably still safe as our leaders are men worthy of great trust… but, they are not (and no man should be counted) worthy to give you eternal salvation. That must be worked out by each individual and revelation must be received before something can be known as an absolute truth. That is our privilege… and one that we fall far short of in general in this Church despite all of our preaching of the Holy Ghost.

  88. Dan
    October 23, 2007 at 3:25 am #

    Sam,

    Where did you get the idea that the Rockefeller family is Christian?

    From the words of the Rockefellers themselves as found in Ron Chernow’s excellent biography of John Rockefeller.

    Sam, I must say you do not increase your credibility by quoting solely a small quote about John’s wayward flimflam father. You shed a very poor light on something which apparently you do not know much about at all. Perhaps you should read his biography first and see just how much his Baptist religion influenced his life. In fact the Baptist philosophy was strongly capitalistic and influenced John to think of himself in absolute terms (much like many on this blog do). He was NOT wrong when it came to the excesses he performed with Standard Oil, because he was doing a service for the Lord. It didn’t matter just how far he took his crimes, because he was serving the Lord.

    His beliefs in Baptists overpowered everything else in his life and directed the course he would take. Especially after he made his millions, and began philanthropy, it was all about how to increase the strength and vitality of the Baptist religion (the University of Chicago for example was to be a Baptist university for the mid-west, as a counter to the numerous Baptist universities in the East—like Brown University, where his son Junior went).

    So yes, the Rockefellers were very much Christians.

  89. Carissa
    October 23, 2007 at 9:45 am #

    Well, regardless of the character of the Rockefellers, they became so influential in financing and controlling education reform, that there were many passionate things said about it in the 1917 Congressional Record:

    “They are moving with military precision all along the line to get control of the education of the children of the land.” Senator Chamberlain of Oregon

    “The cult of Rockefeller, the cult of Carnegie…as much to be guarded against in the educational system of this country as a particular religious sect.” Senator Poindexter of Washington

    “There are certain colleges that have sought endowments, and the agent of the Rockefeller Foundation or the General Education Board had gone out and examined the curriculum of these colleges and compelled certain changes….
    It seems to me one of the most dangerous things that can go on in a republic is to have an institution of this power apparently trying to shape and mold the thought of the young people of this country.”
    Senator Kenyon of Iowa

    “These people…are attempting to get control of the whole educational work of the country.” Senator Works of California

    And it wasn’t the Baptist religion they were trying to promote.

  90. Dan
    October 23, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    Carissa,

    You don’t quote Rockefeller himself on his religious beliefs. I could go ahead and quote anti-Mormons and say, “see, Mormons don’t believe in Christ” and it would be the same thing you just did here.

    You do really need to research more into Rockefeller to understand that he indeed was promoting the Baptist faith, and he was a devout Baptist. His wife even more so.

  91. Carissa
    October 23, 2007 at 10:11 am #

    he indeed was promoting the Baptist faith

    In public schools? Any examples?

  92. Carissa
    October 23, 2007 at 11:14 am #

    And by the way, I’m not just referring to John D. Rockefeller Sr and what he did with his money. I know he donated a lot to Baptist causes. I’m talking about the Rockefeller family (foundation) in general– and actually the Carnegies and Fords as well. What has been their overall influence on public education in this country? It has not been promoting religion.

  93. Dan
    October 23, 2007 at 11:25 am #

    Clearly, I’m never going to change your mind, Carissa. You will always see these people as dastardly evil world-domination plotters. I’m done here.

  94. Carissa
    October 23, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    You will always see these people as dastardly evil world-domination plotters

    Only if that’s what the facts point to Dan. I’m open-minded enough to listen to anything to the contrary.

  95. Dan
    October 23, 2007 at 2:55 pm #

    No you are not, Carissa. I just pointed out to you with a very credible source, that John Rockefeller was a strong Baptist, and instilled in his family his faith and devotion. You cannot seem to accept that a Christian was the mightiest and most influential man in America, and he directed the affairs of this country in the direction he chose, sometimes not the direction you would choose. Only dastardly atheistic communist conspirators do such things, right?

  96. Carissa
    October 23, 2007 at 6:52 pm #

    You cannot seem to accept that a Christian was the mightiest and most influential man in America, and he directed the affairs of this country in the direction he chose, sometimes not the direction you would choose.

    Um, ya, that’s what I’ve been saying. I’ve been trying to point out how influential he and his family were in public education. I’ve never said he wasn’t a Baptist, I know he was. What I’m saying is that our public schools are not more “Christian-oriented” as a result of Rockefeller influence. How does a strong, devoted Baptist promote his faith (as you claim he was doing) by patronizing a humanist such as Dewey? Please enlighten me here, it’s rather confusing being so ignorant :)

  97. David
    October 29, 2007 at 9:50 am #

    I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it

    You value what you pay for. I believe that the government has the responsibility to ensure that children are getting educated, but no through public schools. It should set up a system for private schools to thrive, and put an educational voucher system to ensure all children are being educated.

  98. Obi wan liberali
    October 29, 2007 at 11:01 am #

    If you want some quotes from Brigham Young, I’ve got some doozies for you. For example:

    “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.
    The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.

    This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race–that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed.”

    If you use Brigham Young as your authority within the authoritarian paradigm you seem to inhabit, beware that other quotes from these authorities are also useful in deconstructing the viability of them as an authority worth giving credence to.

    That being said, whether Brigham Young’s opinions on public education should be given any weight should be based upon the viability of the idea, not the viability of Brigham Young. Intelligent and inspired men have said some pretty stupid and senseless things. Obi’s wisdom for the day, ” intelligent men may say stupid things, but it is the truly stupid person who believes stupid things because an intelligent man uttered them.”

  99. Shelley
    October 29, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    Connor, thank you for bringing these quotes up. I struggle with my desire to home school. Brigham Young was a wise man.

    I would like to read more of our prophets words on education.

  100. Cricket
    November 18, 2007 at 8:39 am #

    The destruction of the family has led to the shredding of the morals that hold society together. However, Dan, we allowed Madelaine Murry O’Hare to get prayer takenout of the schools. Once we kicked God out of one of society’s training areas, it was just a matter of time.

    I homeschool my children in the South. I live in Georgia and it has been a real hardship to do it financially and economically, paying taxes to a failed system, and having my husband work when I could put my children in school and have someone take care of them.

    I have ONE child who does go to school. I have constant feedback from his teachers; we are involved and participate in every thing he is associated with. He is a special needs child and I put him in school reluctantly as he had been homeschooled up until the move to Georgia.

    He has done well, but we are poised to take him out at any time should it be necessary. So far, Georgia has been a good place for special education needs. I won’t deny that tax dollars have been a blessing, because they have used them wisely here. But the local government is starting to get greedy and add layers of admin to smaller schools with the result that some programs and classes get cut. Things like art and music.

    The art teacher is a traveling one. Instead of reducing the number of principals and their salaries to have a couple of full time teachers, there is a tendency to have more layers to prevent disasters from happening… which doesn’t prevent disasters.

    Right now, the local elementary school has a gotcha program where the kids are REWARDED for good behavior. It has been a dismal failure in the 450 schools that tried it for one year and dropped it because it do what it was designed to do. But like most totalitarian thinking, the local school here keeps it up because they think they are the right people to do so.

    And the fallout is horrific.

  101. Cricket
    November 18, 2007 at 8:45 am #

    John D. Rockefeller had an agenda. Being a Baptist doesn’t mean he was Christlike any more that me saying I am LDS makes me a Christian. (I am LDS BTW) James Earl Carter is a case in point. I strongly suspect the reasons why his Sunday School class in Plains is attended is because of his cachet as former governor of Georgia and POTUS more so than because he understand the gospel.

    Most Baptists I know are just about LDS…they need a nudge into the font.

  102. Shaun
    November 28, 2007 at 12:10 am #

    Some great quotes here, those of Brigham Young, and loved the great insight from C.S. Lewis. Also, the Public School system, as Pres. Packer indicates indeed creates problems. It is enforced priestcraft as H. Verlan Anderson makes the case in his superb books, such as “The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil.” Public Education in some places now in the nation is in my opinion as spiritually dangerous to the souls of children as swimming laps in a cesspool would be to ones health.

    I hold extreme disdain for Government involvement in Education. It is enforced priestcraft, and we see that “the more part of the righteous” have “been seduced” until they have come down to “believe in the works” of and “partake of the spoils of the gadianton robbers” thus enabling secret combinations (and enforced priestcraft) to flourish.

  103. Bill
    December 4, 2007 at 11:09 pm #

    Connor and Dan,

    You seem to want to separate out the problems facing our children as either from the Family or from Schools or both. The problem is that they are the same thing. Let me explain. . .

    The idea behind communism is to replace the family and the church with government.

    We don’t need parents, the State can rear and educate.
    We don’t need a provider, we have welfare.
    We don’t need God, we have socialized medicine, and science.
    We don’t need to serve others, we give to welfare and pay unemployment.
    We don’t need to care for grandparents, we give them social security and medicare. . .

    It is because we have public schools instead of private or home schools that the family is being broken apart. You can’t separate the two and try to decide which is the culprit. They are both intertwined. Ask how many students in school feel a closer bond with classmates than with a sibling–a student than a parent. The school has become the replacement for the family.

    In the history of education (I’m talking since Egyptian and Babylonian times) there were 4 R’s not just 3. They were Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, & Righteousness. There were periods in history when only some of them were taught in abundance. Societies struggled under such conditions. Then there was always a backlash of the missing R’s with false R’s.

    Jeff, you asked why homeschool is usually one-sided. First, I’ll challenge that statement. But historically, that which we call social science and physical science was not taught at all, but was the subject of individual study or with mentors or in professions.

    The backlash we are feeling is from the lack of the 4th R (Righteousness). As a state funded school, how can you possibly teach this when congress is not to pass any law regarding an establishment of religion. Isn’t a school that teaches morals an establishment of religion?

    The false R’s we are dealing with are the “religion” of sex/hedonism, drugs, celebrity/fame, environmentalism taken to the extreme of today (please don’t start on this, it will become a thread jack). There are so many others that we can’t even begin to name them all.

    One might argue that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach the fourth R. But when the government comes in and has the “Gay Days” or “AIDS Days” or “Earth Days” etc. it undermines anything the parents have done with the children.

    I had a mixed experience with public school myself. So I have an uncommon point of view. I believe it was Gatto that said that public schools that succeed do so in spite of the system, not because of it. No where was that more obvious than in my district.

    I had about 50 teachers or so in my public school career. Over 40 of them were more ignorant than the children they taught. It may not be surprising since I was an advanced child and was told so quite often. But most of the teachers were not very happy about it. They purposely marked things wrong just to show me that they were the ones in power even though I was smarter and knew more than they did.

    Five teachers impressed me greatly. It was not because they were necessarily smarter or even more educated than I was, though they were. What impressed me was that they were able to inspire. I became more of a human being rather than a machine or even an animal because of their instruction. They awoke something in me. I learned more from these 5 teachers than in most of my general education in college.

    Some would say this was a success of the public school system. They might not be wrong. Others ask why my parents didn’t inspire me. You don’t know my parents.

    Food for thought: The system just wasn’t working hard enough in my district. When a new administrator came in, every one of the five teachers were forced to resign because they refused to teach the new curriculum. In their opinion, these “new” methods didn’t teach anything.

    As a side note. The official position of the Church on evolution is that we believe God created the Heavens and the Earth. Let science figure out how.

    Joseph Fielding Smith was a very outspoken opponent of the theory of evolution as an apostle. When he became the Prophet, he never said another word about it.

    Boyd K. Packer gave a speech at BYU when I attended in 1988 decrying evolution as a falsehood. He was sent back by the First Presidency for an otherwise unscheduled visit the next month to state that the Church has no position on it. But warned that those who do study it must be careful to give equal time to religious studies to have a balance of education.

  104. Jennifer Brown
    July 29, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    I have a five year old who has been reading since age two. She now is doing algebra. I have spoken with the local public school. They say that she must enroll within her age limits. They might be willing to test her (might) and then jump her ahead one grade. I have spoken also with a few private schools and they are more willing to jump her, but they cannot put her far enough ahead to challenge a child with this type of intellect. Now tell me how will she be benefited by sitting in a classroom with a teacher whom the school district put in kindergarten because they cannot fire her without giving her a “second chance” and learning A,B,C,1,2,3 all the day long? It will turn her into a dolt and teach her that she must become stupid and she surely cannot have known what she already knows or else they wouldn’t be teaching it to her again.

  105. Carissa
    July 29, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Are you going to homeschool?

  106. Shaun
    July 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    Jennifer,

    Whaterver happens, don’t put that dear child into a system geared to dumb her down. Putting her back into the system would certainly be destructive. A former Public School teacher (Government Propaganda Center, as Charlotte Iserbyte calls them) loaned me “Dumbing Us Down” subtitled “The Hidden Curriculum of Public Schooling,” by John Taylor Gatto. What a superb read. You might be familiar with it, but if not, get it for your arsenal in defending your stance. Gatto is a two time “Teacher of the Year” in New York, was a talented Ad Agency man, then went and taught school for 30 years, and discovered the system of compulsory education was geared by design to destroy children and crank them out into stupid adults. Nearly all I’ve now shared the book with (I purchased 4) concur the truth that Gatto’s experience describes.

  107. Jeff T
    July 29, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    I just finished reading that book last week, I actually borrowed it from Connor. I am now reading “The Underground History of American Education” by the same author. Personally, I didn’t need to read either in order to know that institutionalizing education and funding it with tax money would have the opposite effect of education. I experienced it in my own 12 years in the prison of public school. Everything I knew when I graduated High School (which includes everything I learned in elementary, middle school, etc.) I could have learned in three years (at the very most).

  108. Shaun
    July 29, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Jeff,

    I’m salivating over the idea of Gatto’s “The Underground History of Education.” Surely that will go into much detail of the 1880’s, where the last “stronghold” against forced schooling, in Cape Cod, children were marched to school under force of arms by militia. Clearly Satan was behind that vicious move, yet today, anyone voicing objection to the current system surely reap down deep set hostility from the mindless drones kicked out of the system. Indeed Satan was behind that move of “compulsory schooling” and Joseph Fielding Smith speaks to this. The following quote was first shared with me by a man who shared it on the 5th Sunday in his ward to the Priesthood and Relief Society, having been given the assignment to teach a preparedness lesson. Some in that group were deeply offended and indignant over this quotation of Joseph Fielding Smith:

    “The United States is not the kingdom of God, neither is England, Germany, or France….Satan has control now. No matter where you look, he is in control, even in our own land. He is guiding the governments as far as the Lord will permit him. That is why there is so much strife, turmoil, and confusion all over the earth. One master mind is governing the nations….it is Satan himself.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p.p. 314-15) (quoted also in The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil by H. Verlan Anderson, p. 157.)

    Those offended by this statement must be those dupes who think that “secret combinations” were curtailed and out the door, because our “Righteous George Duh-Bya” has been elected.

    Indeed, Satan is in control now, and he runs the public school system. I’m glad I’ve finally figured out that I love learning, but had been taught through compulsory schooling to despise every aspect of the system, and grew to resent quit strongly the whole notion of “education.”

    Albert Einstein had it right:

    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” (In H. Eves Return to Mathematical Circles, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1988.)

  109. Jeff T
    July 29, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    I agree with you… it is precisely this point that, in some people’s eyes, makes me a radical…. “He doesn’t even believe in education!”

    On that point they are wrong… I believe in education more than almost anything on earth. I just don’t believe in institutionalized education, or mandatory education, or federal or state controlled curriculum, or standardized testing, etc. People mistake the form of a thing with the thing itself. Just because I don’t agree with the way education is done doesn’t mean I don’t agree with education.

    I’m just ranting… I agree with you, I’m just ranting at the many nameless people who’ve heckled me for my beliefs.

  110. Carissa
    July 29, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    I haven’t read all of Gatto’s Underground book (it is online) but here is one thing he said, after talking about George Washington’s upbringing, that stood out to me:

    No public school in the United States is set up to allow a George Washington to happen. Washingtons in the bud stage are screened, browbeaten, or bribed to conform to a narrow outlook on social truth. Boys like Andrew Carnegie who begged his mother not to send him to school and was well on his way to immortality and fortune at the age of thirteen, would be referred today for psychological counseling; Thomas Edison would find himself in Special Ed until his peculiar genius had been sufficiently tamed.

  111. Shaun
    July 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    Jeff and Carissa,

    How delightful to read from both of you, truly inspired individuals. I find it a laughable thing today to observe how some people are so into Satan’s plan, yet they’ve never figured it out. And then think, we are the ones being told we’re radical for our beliefs. If those who a month ago blasted me at work for Gatto’s book knew their true history, they would have been in total agreement. The populace was vastly more literate in the days of the American Revolution than today. This being the case, those speaking out against compulsory schooling are accused (as I was at work) of wishing for an illiterate bunch of gangs roaming the streets shooting each other. “Is that what you want!” I just held back and laughed, wondering if it could dawn on them what they were saying, wondering why it is they can’t figure out the reason for an 80% dropout rate in some US Cities—all by design of the system, which Gatto points out is doing exactly what it was created to do.

    I had a very strong convert with this, converted before I ever spoke of the subject, and he now has Gatto’s “Dumbing Us Down” and is working on his Education Certificate and will one day have his Ph.D., teaching at the University level, where he says he will teach “subversion” to the system after he obtains tenure. I really have some laughs with him. He’s great at articulating and speaking ill of the compulsory schooling system, all to the dismay of others who are apologists of the system, who have been sufficiently “dumbed down” to not be able to recognize its malignant objective.

  112. Connor's mom
    August 2, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    Connor himself is a perfect example. Connor was reading at the age of 3, doing complex math by age 5. We put him in the local public school (the best in the entire state of California) after private preschool and kindergarten. They were very willing to have him in 3rd grade reading and 3rd grade math and 2nd grade social studies and spelling. But we moved in 3rd grade. And the new public system (known as the 3rd best in the state) would NOT allow that at all. They had a “gifted” program which was absolutely laughable. I knew no one who was homeschooling and really didn’t realize that was an option (this was 20 years ago . . . .). That poor child was bored out of his gourd until about high school. We supplemented at home as much as I could.
    Knowing what I know now? AMEN TO HOMESCHOOLING.
    Connor would be even more brilliant and articulate than he is now. (OK, THAT’S a frightening thought!)

  113. Shaun
    August 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    Oh such tragedy! Yes, Connor is brilliant, articulate, well read, independently a thinker with powerful discernment of truth vs error and a thousand other things—but what if those intervening years of boredom at his local government propaganda center (designed to “Dumb Us Down”) could have been spent in the productive ways we are all beginning to more fully discover and awaken to?

    All of these ways of true educational advancement in human intelligence that we are discovering have one thing very much in common, they are always free of Satan’s use of “compulsion” and don’t have government as a partner in the equation.

  114. Matthew_Niemann
    July 9, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school. It’s a wonder I can think at all. And though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.” – Paul Simon lyrics to Kodachrome
    “Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” – Bertrand Russell

    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University wrote in a syndicated column on June 3, 2009 entitled Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber:

    The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability. In 2006, U.S. students ranked 25th of 30 advanced nations in math and 24th in science. McKinsey & Company, in releasing its report “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools” (April 2009) said, “Several other facts paint a worrisome picture. First, the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce.” That’s a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get.

    While the academic performance of white students is grossly inferior, that of black and Latino students is a national disgrace…

    Consider trends around “tolerance” education that teaches immorality and that “gay is ok.” I find it odd that I don’t recall learning anything about the constitution, constitutional values or the principles of freedom in school. Aside from the basics of reading, writing, mathematics and some scientific thought there is nothing from my public education that has been particularly useful.

    For the most part, public education is a failure in effective and efficient teaching of morality and truth.

  115. Carborendum
    July 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    It is better to have ignorant evil people than
    educated evil people.

    Do we really need to make sure EVERYONE has an education?

  116. A Free Troll
    October 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    My 2 cents on public education: It’s an abomination. Read my full take here: http://www.freetroll.com/2009/10/12/on-public-education/

  117. sophs
    December 7, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    “Actually there have been numerous quotes from prophets quoted on this blog that I HAVE agreed with. Politically though, I am not a conservative, so I will obviously NOT agree with conservative political philosophy, irrespective of who says it.”
    Dan, Thanks for being honest about how a Mormon can be Liberal and a Mormon at the same time. The answer is by disagreeing with the prophets. I appreciate your honesty.

  118. Rhone
    January 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Philosophies can be argued until we’re blue in the face. However, this issue ultimately returns to the central struggle of our existence: The power to choose.

    Let me first and foremost say that coercion against the agency of man has never, will never, and can never, be a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The two are mutually exclusive. The scriptures teach us that Satan leads a cause dedicated to the destruction of man’s agency, our opposition comes from him. These are key tenets of the Gospel.

    Brigham is in no way speaking against the virtues of education. Education itself is another key tenet of the Gospel. The Lord commands us to obtain as much education as possible! Brigham is speaking out against coercion and force! A man cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ and support any form of immoral coercion of his fellow man, even if it is for the benefit of another, even if it is a benefit to every person on the Earth! The ends do not justify the means! Not matter how much good comes about It is still wrong! The Lord commands us to be charitable, not to compel others to charity. This is the black and white issue. If you claim to be a disciple of Christ and disagree with these basic principles, then you have been deceived in the worst way.

    I take extreme issue with those who say the Constitution is open for interpretation. If you believe the scriptures then you know that Jesus Himself claims it as His (scripture). (D&C 101:80) That section affirms that our inalienable rights come from God and not man.

    The right to property, and the right to choose what to do with that property, is given to every man by God. Holders of the Holy Priesthood have been commanded over and over to learn of this sacred document, what it stands for, and above all, to support it! A disciple of Christ cannot shirk from this responsibility and expect to stand at the last day.

    Pray to God to know that these things are true or remain in darkness. You cannot be a disciple of Christ and speak against agency. That is the path of another god.

    Here are some fantastic quotes for consideration:

    David O. McKay
    Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man… Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any possession on earth can give. (David O. McKay, Conference Report, Apr. 1950 pg 32)

    Wilford Woodruff
    “God has given unto all of His children … individual agency. … [We] possessed it in the heaven of heavens before the world was, and the Lord maintained and defended it there against the aggression of Lucifer. … By virtue of this agency you and I and all mankind are made responsible beings, responsible for the course we pursue, the lives we live, the deeds we do.” Wilford Woodruff, Collected Discourses Delivered by President Wilford Woodruff, His Two Counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and
    Others, 5 vols. (1987–92), 1:341.

    President Spencer W. Kimball said, “Lucifer … will use his logic to confuse and his rationalizations to destroy. He will shade meanings, open doors an inch at a time, and lead from purest white through all the shades of gray to the darkest black” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 152).

    It is when we walk within these shades of gray that our thoughts and our actions place us in jeopardy. (Terrance D. Olson, October Ensign 1998)

    Ezra Taft Benson
    “I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.” (Ezra Taft Benson, during the very same time that the world was
    celebrating the collapse of communism I Testify, Ensign, p. 87. November 1988.)

    Latter-day Saints should be thoroughly loyal to the course of life laid out in the Gospel plan. A milk-and-water allegiance kills; while a passionate devotion gives life and soul to any cause and its adherents. The troubles of the world may largely be laid at the doors of those who are neither hot nor cold; who always follow the line of least resistance; whose timid hearts flutter at taking sides for truth. As in the great Council in the heavens, so in the Church of Christ on earth, there can be no neutrality. We are, or we are not, on the side of the Lord. An unrelenting faith, contemptuous of all compromise, will lead the Church and every member of it, to triumph and the achievement of our high destiny. The final conquerors of the world will be the men and women, few or many matters not, who fearlessly and unflinchingly cling to truth, who are able to say no, as well as yes, on whose lofty banner is inscribed: No compromise with error. (John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report April, 1941)

    You’re either fully for it, or against it. This is black and white.

  119. Melinda
    April 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    One of the best historical accounts of education in Utah is “Revealed Educational Principles & the Public Schools” by Jack Monnett. Absolutely one of the best that includes prophetic council for almost 60 years and the choices of LDS members and other members of the community during the time they were implementing public schools. Highly recommended.

  120. AV
    January 26, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Why would David O. McKay, ever work for & support public education? Especially when Prophets have spoke out so much against it? And we believe that Prophets can never lead us astray?

  121. Carissa
    January 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    AV- why did God allow the Israelites to have a king after he had spoken out so much against it? When we don’t live up to the ideal, He doesn’t abandon us, he lets us learn for ourselves. The priority now, I assume, is to support the family and do the best with the circumstances we have. Just because the law of consecration, for another example, is not formally practiced on a churchwide basis anymore, doesn’t mean individual members can’t strive to live it on their own. Same with these principles.

  122. AV
    January 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Carissa,

    Even if the majority of the people choose evil, the righteous among them still don’t fall for & support the evil everyone else does. So why would he support public education & go against previous Prophets?

  123. Carissa
    January 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Your question pre-supposes that participation in public education is evil. I don’t agree with that. We can debate the morality of the philosophies behind it and other mandatory social programs supported by taxation, but I’m not about to call anyone evil for using a service they are 1-forced to pay for, and 2-required to patronize via compulsory attendance laws, especially in an environment where other options are limited due to the monopoly the government has in this area. My opinion is pretty much summed up in comment #18. What’s yours?

  124. Carissa
    January 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Here is an interesting article on the subject with a lot if reference material http://somemormonstuff.blogspot.com/2010/10/education-funding-in-early-utah-1870.html

    “..despite a deep love of education early Mormons possessed a strong hostility to taxes. In the 1864-65 Territorial School Report Superintendent Robert L. Cambell wrote, “While the sentiments of the people are so favorable to education they are equally unfavorable to taxation.”[2] Brigham Young (second President of the Church) once said, “I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another…Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! That is not in keeping with the nature of our work” (JD 18:357). Naturally he was not opposed to free education per se[3], but he was opposed to free education funded by compulsory taxation. Though he may not have been completely opposed to the appropriation of public funds for the support of public schools.[4] In 1873 he said, “There are many of our people who believe that the whole Territory ought to be taxed for our schools. When we have means, that come in the proper way, we can make a fund to help the poor to school their children, and I would say amen to it” (JD 16:19).

    “In the era before free schools were the norm, two objections were commonly raised against free education. They were (1) taking a man’s property to educate another man’s children is like taking another man’s plough to plough his neighbor’s field, and (2) it was believed free education would injure private and denominational schools. (Public Education in the United States, p. 122.) Both objections were raised by Utah’s Mormons. As already quoted above, Brigham Young opposed free education because he saw it as taking property from one person and giving it to another. And in 1884 one article in the Church owned Deseret News pointed out that “supporting schools by taxation has been opposed” by church leaders “because institutions supported by general taxes cannot be conducted on a religious basis…We believe that there should be schools for the children of the Latter-day Saints, taught by Latter-day Saints, with Latter-day Saint text books, and supported entirely by the funds of the Latter-day Saints” (Deseret News, December 3, 1884, p. 8, column 5)

  125. Carissa
    January 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    In understanding Brigham Young’s feelings about this, it’s valuable to understand that completely tax-supported education was being pushed as a means to reduce the influence of Mormonism, not only generally in the territory, but among their own posterity.

    In 1877 the Liberal Party candidate for Territorial Superintendent of District Schools (who was running against future church president, John Taylor) M. W. Ashbrook, wrote,

    “The final and absolute emancipation of serfdom from Utah must be eventually achieved through the education of the masses…We demand a free public school system for Utah wherein sectarianism [a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination] shall be wholly eliminated, and teachers in numbers and competent to impart knowledge to all and every child of our Territory…We desire taxation of all property, including that of churches, for the support of free schools.” (Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1877, p. 4)

  126. AV
    January 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I do not believe that taxing people for education is constitutional or right. It is the same principle as the welfare system, forced charity or forced care & teaching of others children. Someday soon we may also be forced by taxation to pay for babysitting of others children too, while parents work. When does all this force stop?

    Once this idea of forcing our neighbors to take care of our needs & our children’s needs takes hold it could be made to cover anything.

    No one should be forced to take care of anyone else but themselves & their own family. If people want to voluntarily give charity & funds for education that is just fine but we all know that it is against God’s commandments to use force in this way.

    So yes, I do believe public education by forced taxation is evil & that those who support it will be held accountable. For I believe everyone knows it is wrong to force others to take care of their children in any way or support them if they are poor or do anything for them, unless it’s completely voluntary.

    What is not right for us to do ourselves we cannot give government the power to do. We must take stands for right & against such things or we by default help evil to get worse.

    The only justification for attending public schools is if people were forced to attend them or face punishments, but I believe people have always had the right to send their children to private schools, so it doesn’t seem it was ever completely mandatory here in the U.S., & especially not now that parents can even homeschool if they can’t afford private school.

    I know of one G.A.. Elder H. Verlan Anderson, who started a very affordable private school many years ago so his grandchildren & other children wouldn’t have to attend public schools.

  127. Shaun Knapp
    January 27, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    I have audio somewhere of Ezra Taft Benson speaking of David O. McKay decrying and opposing Federal Aid to Education. Yet, what did the fool people fall all over themselves to do? Champion yet another fraud.

    How my soul has eternal hatred for compulsory schooling. Lucifer is it’s author, and Lucifer now runs this nation—as far as the Lord will permit him. Oh, that is not my opinion either. My friend in Highland Utah, the High Priest Group leader in his ward shared this following quotation in an assigned lesson to the Priesthood and Relief society, and to his amazement, half present were deeply insulted and offended by the words of a prophet.

    “The United States is not the kingdom of God, neither is England, Germany, or France….Satan has control now. No matter where you look, he is in control, even in our own land. He is guiding the governments as far as the Lord will permit him. That is why there is so much strife, turmoil, and confusion all over the earth. One master mind is governing the nations….it is Satan himself.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp 314-15)

  128. Shaun Knapp
    January 27, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    What amazing posts by the way. Amazing research and insights shared by wonderful people. I’m so thrilled to find Connor’s blog such a rich resource for people to browse through and learn enobling, refining, and rich source material that argues the points and reveals true history that we most certainly never had delivered to us in those dumbed down “Propaganda Centers,” as author Charlotte Iserbyt of Reagan’s Department of Education describes government schools.

  129. AV
    January 27, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Thanks for the great quote & comments Shaun. I don’t understand how anyone could be anything but ‘grateful’ to hear & know that reality given to them by Joseph Fielding Smith, so they know what they are up against.

  130. mormonconsecrationist
    January 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    interesting to find a discussion that began in 2007 and continues in 2011.

    I am waiting, expectcing “someone” to come on here and denounce a kook, especially this kook (LOL!)

    I speak from experience. We began homeschooling almost decades ago, and we are still homeschooling, though we are senior citizens.

    The pros: I would expose too much about my children to go into it, but whenever children have any unique needs, homeschool really does help them to gain confidence and avoid peril.

    The cons: Homeschooling makes young people not ‘fit’–

    Now, before anyone who is pro-homeschooling who thinks I am attacking what *I* personally have invested decades into doing–

    teaching my own . . .

    because I say that homeschooling makes young people not ‘fit’–

    I have discovered that not fitting is what anyone who chooses a unique and possibly more excellent way . . . will do.

    I discovered that my children find their college-educated peers to be narrow and easily led.

    I discovered that they are frustrated about having to spend so much money to be taught things they could learn ‘on their own’.

    Home educating opens a pandora’s box, and I can’t get the contents back inside. We will never, ever be ‘normal’ again–

    Many home educators jump on the ‘go to college’ bandwagon. We were prepared to do that, but our children resisted. They are still learning, on their own, as we taught them to do–

    one who has most stridently opposed college is a private business owner and is successful; one who decided to go to college is now in debt to school loans and can’t find a good job–

    it’s a conundrum, as Connor might say.

    It doesn’t make life easier, but I still don’t regret having done it, and our children thank us for it.

  131. Laura
    February 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    It is important to remember to differentiate between a prophet’s personal feelings about certain things, and when he is speaking the words of God. Brigham Young loved doughnuts. Does this mean cookies are evil or less delicious? No, just that he had a preference for one thing over another. This is why the church as a whole generally never states one way or the other over the pulpit what people should vote for. They all have their own personal opinions. I do agree that forced taxation to support others is not correct, yet I also see that public education is helpful to those who are poor in lifting the children to a better life. It would have been nearly impossible for me to attend school or college without free public education and pell grants, and yet here I stand, a college graduate.
    A final thought, which I read the other day and found very interesting. Russia’s leader Khruschev once said to President Benson that while American’s won’t accept communism outright, if we are fed socialism for years in small doses, eventually we will be a communist nation.

  132. Shaun Knapp
    February 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Laura,

    That prophetic and arrogant statement of Khruschev is indeed chilling. Ezra Taft Benson endorsed (the first on the back cover) in a 1972 General Conference the book “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” wherein one can see photographs of Kruschev in rip-roaring laughter backslapping the Rockefeller brothers. The book has the reader contemplate this strange thing, the so-called “Barons of Capital” with their arch nemesis to capitalism, the Soviet Premeir? It is believed by some, that David Rockefeller was Kruschev’s boss, and it was after David Rockefeller showed up to Moscow that Khruschev was put down (fired as some speculate) with another to take his place. And you may very well know all that history, the phony “uprising of the masses” we were fed in US Propaganda centers, when in reality, paid mercenary armies with Wall Street financing put the Bolsheveks to power. G. Edward Griffin’s must have for any library, “The Creature From Jekyll Island” goes into some of this stunning history, as do many other books. Strange that Wall Steet financiers were all of a sudden interested in “Red Cross” humanitarian missions in Russia. Doctors and nurses discovering their “missions” were a front for these brokers of power abandoned such fraudulent enterprises. And, it’s laughable that Trotsky was riding around New York City in limousines just a short time before the revolution—and not the revolution that we in the west have been propagandized to believe it to be: the downtrodden masses rising up. No, it wasn’t quite that pretty a picture for the common man.

    Now, Laura, imagine of government didn’t plunder you nearly to death and you were left with your full income to decide what to do with it, such as pursuing an education in a free market? A “free education” is absolutely a false term, for it does not exist. You paid dearly for your education, we all pay dearly with a state that sucks off and zaps the zeal and motive for people to produce and grow in wealth and abundance. The Marxist Federal Reserve Bank (a plank of the Communist Manifesto) robs you and me ruthlessly. It allows government to spend and spend and give illusion to “free stuff” for the citizenry.

    The public education system is an abomination, and all children everywhere would be benefited most blessedly were compulsory schooling abolished, and Lucifer put back into chains and shut up in hell, rather than subjecting the rest of us to a K-12 hell of compulsion, boredom, propaganda, meanness, a huge taxing of resources, time wasted, and perhaps most of all, spirits and minds damaged building up a resistance and hatred toward one of the greatest things ever that one could obtain, the gaining of knowledge.

    Albert Eienstein stated it this way:

    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” (In H. Eves Return to Mathematical Circles, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1988.)

    My soul agrees. Bravo Albert, Bravo!

    When I read of the knowledge and brilliance obtained by Thomas Jefferson and his peers by age 20, I feel embarrassed for myself and all in my generation and even of this past century. With all our “free education” we don’t have Ph.D’s even approaching a smidgen of the intelligence that those men obtained by education that had no government involvement—and what a supperior education that was.

    Education was once prized highly by the poor and sought for diligently. Once government gets ahold of it, funds it, mandates it, watch out, the spark dies, and as Einestein states above, such learning goes to “wreck and ruin without fail.”

    George Bernard Shaw, one of the Fabian Socialists and one who, whether he knew it or not, subscribed totally to Lucifer’s plan of cooercion and force stated his ideal, which should make any lover of agency and human liberty feel chills up their spine:

    “Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well.” (George Bernard Shaw: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, 1928, pg. 470)

    Lucifer is for “free education” and “free salvation” “Free baptism” free everything. But it is a fraud. He can’t deliver, it is false advertizing. His rhetoric sounds appealing and love filled, but he is a malignant one with the wrong intent, despite his seemingly “good” sounding selling points.

    Free education, is evil, if it comes by compulsion and force. I would love to see education freely given and freely accepted, but government and it’s force of arms could not be in the equation anywhere.

    John Taylor Gatto, two time teacher of the year on New York has written some great books on the “Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education,” which is the subtitle of one such book, wherein he discloses to the reader that the last stronghold of resistance to compulsory, Federally mandated schooling in these United States was Cape Cod Massachusetts where in the 1880’s children were marched off to school by bayonette point against their and their parents wishes. Neither you nor I ever read that reality in our US History textbooks in our blessed “free education” indoctrination.

    Fun things to contemplate, are they not?

    Hey MormonConservationist, what a delight to hear of your giving your children a proper use of their own lives and time, rather than just turning them over to a soul destroying, time monopolizing federal babysitter, K-12. Way to be.

  133. Liz
    February 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Public schools are a FAILED system. They are expensive, ineffective, union-manipulated, and dangerous.

    Not only was Brigham Young correct, read “Revealed Educational Principles and the Public Schools by John D. Monnett. He can be a bit sensational at times, but if the history he recites is correct, God never intended to have Zion’s youth schooled by non-believers. You can see the fallout from the Saints unwillingness to support the commandment that they eschew public schools and support Stake schools by supplying students and paying a reasonable tuition rate.

  134. Suzanne
    August 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Maybe someone else brought up this book already. I didn’t read through ALL of the comments. Apparently, this is a hot topic. Anyone read “Dumbing Us Down,” by John Taylor Gatto? How about Thomas Jefferson Education by VanDeMille. I applaud Connor for his insightfulness and bold daring to go against the “establishment.” Privatize education! That would do worlds for the US Debt load. There are lots of ideas about what to do about education. Too bad most of us are afraid of change, even if it is for the better!

  135. Suzanne
    August 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    And actually, Public school is working really well at creating a dependent, uneducated, with some highly trained, working class in America. Just the sort of people that Hitler persuaded to join him in the ’40s.

  136. Freedom Based Education
    November 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it…

    Sounds like Brigham was opposed to socialized education. Most people aren’t aware that there is one example of government-controlled education in the scriptures and it wasn’t positive. See Mosiah 24.

    Another related thought – Our “American” public school system is not American in either origins or type. It is based on compulsion, not freedom. See: https://vimeo.com/53059156

  137. AV
    November 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    For those who bring up that DOM was involved with public schooling, that does not mean he was right in doing so.

    Even Prophets can be deceived by evil people (as Joseph Smith was many times) or they can be deceived to fall for or support evil.

    Prophets can fall or do wrong just like any of us.

    Most religions preach the myth that their leaders or their top leader (like our Prophet) can’t led us astray or be wrong. Such a myth makes the masses easier to control and convince, especially when teaching them false doctrine that they don’t want anyone to question.

    The myth that started as an opinion, that the Lord wouldn’t allow his Prophet or President to lead us astray, is not scriptural and not true. In fact the Lord has continually warned us today about false prophets in the Church, and to beware of them or we will definitely be led astray.

    But the masses like to believe they are safe to have blind unquestioning obedience, because it is much easier and they can just get to heaven on the Prophet’s coat tails and they don’t have to question, study, pray & prove all things to know if what is said by anyone is true or not.

    But history has proven that Prophets and many many Presidents of the Church, can fall and have fallen and led the Church astray to do evil and into apostasy. But few see it, for hardly anyone believes it’s even possible.

    Satan loves that most people so easily fall for the idea that prophets can’t lead us astray, for it makes it very easy for him to do just that, lead us totally astray and we never know it happened.

  138. Jeannetta
    April 2, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Anyone who thinks that what the current prophet has said is more important than what previous prophets have said is justifying their way to hell. Brigham said it, and the very fact that the Saints disregarded him is a major contributing factor in the nightmare the schools have become.

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