March 20th, 2007

Prophetic Political Silence


photo credit: *Tiny

A recent post spurred a discussion on prophetic silence with regard to politics. It is obvious that Church leaders in previous decades (and centuries, for that matter) were far more outspoken in a variety of political matters, not just those dealing with morality.

This issue is one I have repeatedly considered in previous months, as I myself have often wondered why the change has come about. Through prayerful study, words of men wiser than I, and much time to ponder, I have come up with a few possibilities. Far from being comprehensive or hitting on the head “the” reason, they are potential reasons that should be considered before assuming that “all is well” in the political/secret combination area as many seem to do.

1. The Church is a worldwide organization now. Speaking specifically about American government would alienate foreign members and be inapplicable to their situation.

We learn in the Doctrine and Covenants that the Constitution contains principles for all mankind:

And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. (D&C 98:5)

While these principles of liberty and freedom are for all people, there exist many organizations, policies, and ideas that are confined to our country’s government itself that are destroying the Constitution and the principles it was founded upon. Speaking out in a formal church setting against these things would not have application to members of other governments. Being a world body, the Church must focus on principles, teachings, and programs that can be shared by all of God’s children throughout the world.

The secret combinations of our day have their tentacles wrapped around every government, yet in varying degrees and through different organizations. Speaking out against the America-based Council on Foreign Relations wouldn’t do much for a Church member in India, while speaking out against the UK-based Royal Institute of International Affairs would fall on deaf American ears.

2. With the continually increasing number of converts, the Church must focus on the milk of the gospel.

In the early days of the Church the leaders found themselves speaking to members who firmly believed and understood the gospel, people who were raised with the Bible and understood scripture, gospel principles, and eternal truth. Having the milk of the gospel, leaders could focus more on the meat. Speaking of the condemnation that comes when giving somebody gospel truths and pearls of wisdom they are not prepared for, the Lord has said:

For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish. (D&C 19:22)

In our day when there are so many new converts each year who are provided the opportunity to be taught by Church leaders (who are, at the same time, speaking to every other member in every other part of the world, all of whom have varying degrees of gospel understanding), one can understand why the milk of the gospel is what is primarily taught in General Conference and other worldwide conferences. Talks are based upon fundamental gospel principles that all (of varying degrees of gospel understanding) might be edified.

Consequently, it is up to the individual member of the Church, through personal scripture study, heartfelt prayer, and temple attendance, to seek after meat and the mysteries of the kingdom.

3. We’ve been warned already and the vast majority of members refused to listen. Why would the Lord continue the call to action?

Many members believe that the discourses of Presidents Benson, McKay, and Clark (among others) were only applicable during their times, as they found the nation in war and conflict with Communist (capital C) nations. Their mentions of secret combinations, wicked men lusting for power through government, and Satan-led organizations seeking to undermine liberty, these people then assume, no longer are relevant either.

Could it be that the Saints didn’t listen, and when the time for warning was over, the Lord changed gears for us to speak according to our understanding? What percentage of Church members comply with any counsel given by our sustained and inspired leaders? How many have a year’s supply? How many are actively working to get out of debt? How many read the Book of Mormon last fall? How many girls wear one pair of earrings? A simple survey might show that on average, about 10-15% (a conservative guess, in my opinion) of members do what they are asked.

How many members, then, complied with counsel given regarding secret combinations, corrupt government, communist (lowercase c) political maneuverings, socialist policies, etc.? How many had ears to hear? How many sought their own counsels and disagreed with these men, called of God, claiming that such statements were their uninspired opinions?

The scriptures show that once a warning voice is given and rejected, (perhaps after a few merciful, additional tries) the voice is withdrawn. Through sin and rejection of gospel teachings, the Spirit is withdrawn. Those who would be our teachers find that they are not permitted to do so [2].

Why would it be any different in our own day? Might our Prophet’s journals reveal their desire to preach on “meaty” subjects, only to be told that the day of warning for that issue is past, due to condemnation?

Certainly our leaders are making a concerted effort and strengthening our spirituality for the events that lie ahead. We are counseled to receive education, to get out of debt, and save for a rainy day. Perhaps our leaders no longer speak of socialist-communist threats to our national sovereignty, liberty, and freedom, because either through “deaf ears” the Saints have shown their unwillingness to obey and act, or the day is too late to repair the irreparable damage our nation has suffered. Joseph Fielding Smith remarked on this:

Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government. (via Quoty)

Perhaps the damage has been done, and since we are beyond the point of prevention, we are being spiritually prepared for the consequences that surely will soon follow from such apathy and disobedience.

4. The end is drawing near, and perhaps the best course of action for the Church might be to remain silent (“politically neutral”) so as to not incur the wrath of evil organizations and governments who would impede the progress of missionary work and church operations.

Much like the Lord’s counsel to make friends with mammon, there seem to be times when the focus shifts from rebuking those who work in darkness to uplifting and strengthening the followers of Christ. Recent statements of political neutrality (often read in American sacrament meetings around election time) show the Church’s recent trend towards playing nice with those in political power. What are some of the possible reasons for this? I can’t begin to imagine the dire need for political neutrality when dealing with governments across the world, each with varying types of government and policies towards religious freedom and tolerance. Taking a stand against the powers of darkness on an issue of lesser importance to the Church’s global progress would invariably influence the missionary operations throughout the world.

5. Silence does not necessarily indicate that “all is well” in the areas of government, secret combinations, and tyrannical treachery by those in charge of our government.

Many understandably interpret the silence on political issues by our leaders to mean that there is nothing that we as citizens need to worry about. The claim held by these individuals is that “if there were something to worry about, the Prophet would tell us.”

I find it interesting that this line of thought is as common as it is. Surely we aren’t expecting to be told everything we need to know and do, are we?

We who hold the priesthood must beware concerning ourselves, that we do not fall into the traps he lays to rob us of our freedom. We must be careful that we are not led to accept or support in any way any organization, cause or measure which, in its remotest effect, would jeopardize free agency, whether it be in politics, government, religion, employment, education, or any other field. It is not enough for us to be sincere in what we support. We must be right!(Ezra Taft Benson, “Be Not Deceived”)

Just as we learn in Alma 12:9, Boyd K. Packer has instructed us that “There are limits to what the Spirit permits us to say.”

What else might they tell us, would the Spirit let them? Who are we to assume that there aren’t more precious truths and laws to be sought after and implemented that cannot be told publicly and to the Church body as a whole?

President Hinckley similarly referenced the burden that is our leaders’ in watching their words:

Our critics at home and abroad are watching us. In an effort to find fault, they listen to every word we say, hoping to entrap us. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Testimony to the World,” Ensign, May 1997, 83)

President Benson once discussed the apathetic sloth of certain members who waited to be told what to do by God and his prophet:

And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively—it is simply this: “Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.” This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today—to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things” [D&C 58:26]. Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe….

Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution, and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and worldwide mission. The war in heaven is raging on the earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle? (Ezra Taft Benson, “Not Commanded In All Things”, 1965)

Silence does not imply that there is nothing to be said.

6. We have already been told what to do. It is now up to us to act.

This is not not a difficult possibility to fathom. How long have we been warned? How long have we received counsel to act? And how many have obeyed? Who has heeded the warning call?

Once issuing a commandment (often with merciful repetitions), God waits to see if we will obey. We have been counseled to bring about much righteousness of our own free will. As Kelly commented, it is up to the individuals that comprise the church to act upon what has previously been given. Not doing so certainly results in condemnation and tyranny.

President Ezra Taft Benson once said:

For years we have been counseled to have on hand a year’s supply of food. Yet there are some today who will not start storing until the Church comes out with a detailed monthly home storage program. Now suppose that never happens. We still cannot say we have not been told.

Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church—and the need for that cleansing seems to be increasing—a famine in this land of one year’s duration could wipe out a large percentage of slothful members, including some ward and stake officers. Yet we cannot say we have not been warned. (via Quoty)

Counsel has been given—counsel that has not been superseded nor rescinded by successive prophets. It is our duty, then, to follow what counsel stands and act accordingly.

In his October 2006 conference talk titled “Rise Up, O Men of God”, President Hinckley cited the hymn by the same name but shared a different third verse that does not exist in our hymn books. The text of that verse is as follows:

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;

Rise up, and make her great!

Such profundity! Do we have ears to hear? Or are we waiting to be told something new when we’ve yet to act and what has already been said? Slothful servants do not merit additional revelation, as we learn in Alma:

And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12:11)

President Benson agreed:

As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue which determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the war in heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The war in heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare or will they heed the counsel of the prophet and preserve their freedom? (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1965)

7. Those to have ears to hear still hear prophetic counsel and instruction.

Parables, double prophecy, and other teaching mechanisms laden with hidden meaning have often been used to convey truth. Why is this necessary? Jesus explained:

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Matt. 13:10-13)

Do we have ears to hear? In a previous post I touched upon this subject and shared the following examples (of many others that exist) of a prophet teaching us truth. How many heard and understood the truths being conveyed?

The Book of Mormon narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of those problems.

I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True”, August 2005)

Fast forward eight months, and President Hinckley confirms that “we are involved in terrible wars”. Brothers and sisters, I give you Book of Mormon prophesy in the making!

The major writers of the Book of Mormon did not intend it to be a history book at all. In fact, Jacob said that his brother Nephi commanded him that he “should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people” (Jacob 1:2).

Each time we read the book we should probably ask ourselves: “Why did these writers choose these particular stories or events to include in the record? What value are they for us today?

Among the lessons we learn from the Book of Mormon are the cause and effect of war and under what conditions it is justified. It tells of evils and dangers of secret combinations, which are built up to get power and gain over the people. It tells of the reality of Satan and gives an indication of some of the methods he uses. It advises us on the proper use of wealth. It tells us of the plain and precious truths of the gospel and the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for all mankind. It informs us of the gathering of the house of Israel in the last days. It tells us of the purpose and principles of missionary work. It warns us against pride, indifference, procrastination, the dangers of false traditions, hypocrisy, and unchastity. (L. Tom Perry, “Blessings Resulting from Reading the Book of Mormon”)

The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live”, October 2001)

I boldly testify that the words of our Prophets, both ancient and modern, speak the truth and will stand as a testimony against the nations. We will be held accountable for our actions and thoughts in relations to those words, for those who have gone before us are clamoring from the dust, warning us, inspiring us to fight for freedom against the proliferating powers of darkness in these last days. Satan is waging war against liberty, morality, and everything that is of God. In the April 2005 General Conference, Elder Rober C. Oaks said:

In this dispensation of the fullness of times, as we prepare for the final satanic battles in anticipation of the return of Christ to the earth….

We know from the signs of the times that the end is drawing near.

In a worldwide priesthood leadership training meeting, President Hinckley, noting the immoral conditions in the world, stated, “I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah.”…

He went on to say, “They and their wicked inhabitants were annihilated. We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world….”

I do not know how much more our prophet has to say for us to consider ourselves warned…. (Robert C. Oaks, “Who’s on the Lord’s Side? Who?”)

We have been warned. The political silence we are experiencing is, in my mind, due most of all to the Saints’ sloth in heeding previous counsel and apathy in the fight for liberty and truth. Our current prophet has spoken about this fight for truth:

Never in the history of the world has there been a more profound need for leaders of principle to step forward. Never before, at least not in our generation, have the forces of evil been so blatant, so brazen, so aggressive as they are at the present time….

We are involved in an intense battle. It is a battle between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the design of the Almighty on the one hand and that of Lucifer on the other. For that reason we desperately need men and women who, in their individual spheres of influence, will stand for truth in a world of sophistry… We need moral men and women, people who stand on principle, to be involved in the political process. Otherwise, we abdicate power to those whose designs are almost entirely selfish.(Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing For Something)

For those who have ears to hear, I testify that our current leaders are anything but silent.

Read quotes about “revelation” on Quoty

61 Responses to “Prophetic Political Silence”

  1. Dan
    March 20, 2007 at 9:08 am #

    Connor,

    3. We’ve been warned already and the vast majority of members refused to listen. Why would the Lord continue the call to action?

    What evidence do you have that “the vast majority of members refused to listen?” You’re obviously talking about the ‘warnings’ from J. Reuben Clark, and Ezra Taft Benson. What evidence do you have that the vast majority of members during their time refused to listen to their words?

    Perhaps our leaders no longer speak of socialist-communist threats to our national sovereignty, liberty, and freedom, because either through “deaf ears” the Saints have shown their unwillingness to obey and act, or the day is too late to repair the irreparable damage our nation has suffered.

    This is an interesting assumption to make. You’re basically saying that prophets warned about the threat of socialist-communist threats. Today they don’t talk about that threat anymore, therefore, the only logical conclusion you have is that members must not have paid attention, and as such the “Spirit was withdrawn.” But, the facts on the ground don’t give any evidence of this hypothesis, Connor. Our prophets and Apostles today in General Conference keep complimenting the membership for how well they are doing, and now are saying we can do better. Furthermore, your hypothesis completely ignores the fact that the world significantly changed between 1989 and 1991. How do you account for this? You don’t. You ignore it instead, because it doesn’t fit your ideology. Doing so, however will be at your own peril.

    4. The end is drawing near, and perhaps the best course of action for the Church might be to remain silent (”politically neutral”) so as to not incur the wrath of evil organizations and governments who would impede the progress of missionary work and church operations.

    You’re speaking for the church here. If you do so, you need to provide evidence from current church leadership that this is the direction the church is taking. Otherwise your point is invalid. And no, being “politically neutral” is not the same as being politically silent.

    5. Silence does not necessarily indicate that “all is well” in the areas of government, secret combinations, and tyrannical treachery by those in charge of our government.

    This point is made on the assumption that those who don’t believe the use of prophets out of context think all is well. Hardly. All is definitely not well. However, using words of prophets out of context does not solve the problems we are facing right now.

    6. We have already been told what to do. It is now up to us to act.

    Against a particular enemy, which we defeated. So this point is now moot.

    Finally, I’m glad you are finally using words from prophets post-1990. That’s better. That’s what I’ve been wanting to see. When reading the words of our modern prophets, I don’t see the same thing as the words from prophets during communist times. They are warning us about different enemies today.

  2. RoastedTomatoes
    March 20, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    In addition to Dan’s solid critique, Connor, your post also assumes that the political preaching of Benson and others was what they were supposed to do. That may be the case, but it does not bear assuming. As we know from history, Benson was repeatedly rebuked by his peers in the Quorum of the 12 for his political remarks.

  3. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 9:32 am #

    Dan,

    What evidence do you have that “the vast majority of members refused to listen?”

    When have the majority of members ever obeyed counsel? Only when the threat is severe and life threatening (such as the exodus to Utah under Brigham Young) do the Saints at large seem to obey. When the threat isn’t visibly apparent, there seems to always be complacency. When the Saints first arrived in Utah they were counseled to have seven years of food storage. Now it’s down to one. How many have even that? I conducted a survey at Blogger of Jared last month and most people only had a few months worth of storage. How many are working on getting out of debt? How many read the Book of Mormon in the fall of ’05? I don’t have any specifics stats (and I’m guessing you don’t either) but my intuition as well as history leads me to believe that most tend to refuse to listen unless the threat looms large.

    You’re obviously talking about the ‘warnings’ from J. Reuben Clark, and Ezra Taft Benson.

    Not necessarily.

    Our prophets and Apostles today in General Conference keep complimenting the membership for how well they are doing, and now are saying we can do better.

    “Out of context!” :) What, pray tell, are they complimenting us on? We’ve been previously counseled to be involved politically and seek office and related involvement. How many have heeded that counsel? Have the Saints been complimented in their fight for freedom and defending the Constitution and its principles?

    Furthermore, your hypothesis completely ignores the fact that the world significantly changed between 1989 and 1991. How do you account for this? You don’t. You ignore it instead, because it doesn’t fit your ideology. Doing so, however will be at your own peril.

    Pot calling the kettle black. You pick out the few things in my post with which you disagree and cite them to prove your own ideology. You did this on the other thread with Shaun, completely ignoring the quotes he provided by Rockefeller, Wilson, and others that clearly demonstrated his point. Instead, you “completely ignore[d] the fact”. Let’s not play games.

    I’m not ignoring that the world significantly changed. To persist in saying that the threat of communism and tyranny is gone not only shows your ignorance (in my humble opinion), but a complete misunderstanding of current world events. When the current Russia government (a huge threat) consists of so many KGB agents, I’d say that the threat has not gone away by any means.

    You’re speaking for the church here.

    No, I’m offering my opinion. Hello…

    If you do so, you need to provide evidence from current church leadership that this is the direction the church is taking.

    Umm.. did you read the quotes I provided in the post? Most notably that President Packer had suggested that they cannot always say that which they would like to? Do you have any “evidence” to the contrary, good sir?

    This point is made on the assumption that those who don’t believe the use of prophets out of context think all is well.

    Your “out of context” point tires me, Dan. You must concede that while you disagree, there are others out there that see perfect context in their words and do not think that the relevancy passed away with those who said them.

    Against a particular enemy, which we defeated. So this point is now moot.

    Ah, so action is no longer required on our part? What a cop-out. The threat is as large today (and larger!) than it was pre-1990. It’s not as readily apparent to those who watch the mainstream media, but rest assured, it is there.

    When reading the words of our modern prophets, I don’t see the same thing as the words from prophets during communist times. They are warning us about different enemies today.

    Then I guess we see world events through different glasses.

    RoastedTomatoes,

    Connor, your post also assumes that the political preaching of Benson and others was what they were supposed to do. That may be the case, but it does not bear assuming.

    Supposed to do? As in called to do? As in inspired to do? Then yes.

    As we know from history, Benson was repeatedly rebuked by his peers in the Quorum of the 12 for his political remarks.

    Your point? Does disagreement by others indicate an incorrect political stance? As I’ve said on other posts, it is my belief that time will vindicate all that has been said over the pulpit by Benson, Clark, McKay, and others. Through the CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergs and others, the same socialist/communist agenda is being actively pursued. The Elders, as Benson predicted, are largely asleep at the wheel.

    It is the devil’s desire that the Lord’s priesthood stay asleep while the strings of tyranny gradually and quietly entangle us until, like Gulliver, we awake too late and find that while we could have broken each string separately as it was put upon us, our sleepiness permitted enough strings to bind us to make a rope that enslaves us. (via Quoty)

    Tyranny, while changing methods of implementation and visible appearance, continues to entagle us. Action is still required.

  4. RoastedTomatoes
    March 20, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    Disagreement by others with an equivalent calling means that your belief is just a personal belief — not one backed up with unambiguous church authority. In other words, Connor, you’re the one acting as a prophet here, since you’re the one choosing among competing words spoken with the same authority and defining some as more divinely compelling than others. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I do think it’s important that you realize the weight you’re taking on yourself.

  5. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 10:02 am #

    In other words, Connor, you’re the one acting as a prophet here, since you’re the one choosing among competing words spoken with the same authority and defining some as more divinely compelling than others.

    Tell me, what are these apparently competing words? What has been said over the pulpit that contradicts something else that was said over the pulpit? Reading third-party suppositions of alleged disagreement in personal political opinion between the apostles is far different than “competing words”. What competing words?!

  6. RoastedTomatoes
    March 20, 2007 at 10:11 am #

    What has been said over the pulpit that contradicts something else that was said over the pulpit?

    Wow. You need to do some reading, man. Start with reading Hugh B. Brown’s conference talks from the 1960s. There are several in which he disagrees with Benson, and one was so specific that Benson later called Brown a “Judas.”

  7. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    Start with reading Hugh B. Brown’s conference talks from the 1960s. There are several in which he disagrees with Benson…

    Do you have a specific talk to suggest wherein this disagreement appears? And do you have any other examples of instances or church leaders showing disagreement to support one side over the other? By choosing Hugh B. Brown’s side one might be accused of the same “picking and choosing” I’ve here been labeled with. It is also important to look at what specifically was disagreed upon, instead of disregarding all counsel and “opinion” by a certain leader based on a disagreement of any one given issue.

    …one was so specific that Benson later called Brown a “Judas.”

    Do you have a source, or is this hearsay?

  8. Kelly Winterton
    March 20, 2007 at 11:08 am #

    I wish to make a couple comments, even before I have read in depth the above writings, because this subject has interested me greatly. I think there is agreement with most that there has been a flavor-change in pulpit speeches on politics since 1990. If this is the case, the question is WHY. Speaking in generalities, it is one of two reasons: 1) The problem of Satanic influence of governments is no longer important because the problem went away, or 2) the problem still exists, but GAs talk less about it because they need to camouflage their speech.

    I get the impression from previous posters that these are the two camps. I am in camp #2.

    I have a fondness for the German/Hitler stories of the LDS Saints, because I served a mission there. Studying those stories and listening to survivors of the Hitler era among LDS, I find the accepted theory that German Saints needed to quit speaking out about politics just in order to protect their wards and members.

    I think I see similar things happening today – – prophets have cooled the rhetoric and started speaking in tones that allow those with ears to hear, and others are unable to interpret what they say. We are now trying to interpret prophetic utterances to us as it applies to our situation today.

    The only way we can understand what prophets say to us since the 1990s is through the Spirit.

  9. Dan
    March 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    Kelly,

    I wish to make a couple comments, even before I have read in depth the above writings, because this subject has interested me greatly. I think there is agreement with most that there has been a flavor-change in pulpit speeches on politics since 1990. If this is the case, the question is WHY. Speaking in generalities, it is one of two reasons: 1) The problem of Satanic influence of governments is no longer important because the problem went away, or 2) the problem still exists, but GAs talk less about it because they need to camouflage their speech.

    Or a third possibility. Satan has changed his tactics after suffering a defeat with communism, and is now focused on other methods to attack us. This would seemingly explain why our prophets have also changed their focus from attacking communism to other issues, such as the fight against pornography.

  10. Kelly Winterton
    March 20, 2007 at 12:14 pm #

    Dan, amen to your comment. I spoke in generalities on purpose, leaving out the nuances. I think Satan uses many different tools, but it was taught to me that Satan’s main thrust and goal was to rule over men on earth by his most powerful tool of all – money and resources buying up armies and navies so he could influence vast numbers of people all at once by controlling governments. (My take on it, anyway.) I have to sit back and wonder about how wars and rumors of wars are happening right now, with such things like WMD lies, etc.

  11. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 12:49 pm #

    Or a third possibility. Satan has changed his tactics after suffering a defeat with communism, and is now focused on other methods to attack us.

    Satan uses every tactic at his disposal. While Communism may have crumbled, communism (as well as its other sister -isms) and tyranny continue to tighten the noose all over the world. As the First Presidency said in 1942:

    [Satan] plans to destroy liberty and freedom—economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed men. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Without their knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now…. (via Quoty)

    Satan works (in all facets of life, including the political) as a thief in night. That mean secrecy, deception, and illusion. Things are not as they would appear to be, then. Surely what is accepted as popular fact and touted as solid proof through the government and mainstream media can be (and often is) contradictory to the truth.

    As President Benson remarked, the philosophies behind communism/socialism comprise Satan’s plan of force that has always existed (and hence, still exists today):

    There are rugged times ahead. It is time for every man who wishes to do his duty to get himself prepared-physically, spiritually and psychologically-for the task which may come at any time, as suddenly as the whirlwind. It is time therefore, that every American and lover of liberty become informed about the aims, tactics and schemes of socialistic-communism. This becomes particularly important when it is realized that communism/socialism is turning out to be the earthly image of the plan which Satan presented in the pre-existence. The whole program of socialistic-communism is essentially a war against God and the plan of salvation-the very plan which we fought to uphold during the war in heaven. (via Quoty)

    The thief in the night will soon be revealed. Will we have had “eyes to see” and been watchful for all his possible places of entry? Or will we have been caught inactive, waiting to be told by the Lord when and where he would come, when such counsel has already been given?

  12. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 3:07 pm #

    A friend suggested to me an additional reason why the Church has become more quiet in political affairs, that being the tax-exempt status traditionally granted religious institutions. Other churches have lost their tax exempt status for speaking out politically, as well as a looming threat for speaking out on moral issues as well. Along this line of thinking, the Church’s leaders may be speaking out less on such controversial issues in order to preserve the tax-exempt status granted to religious institutions and more wisely use the Lord’s funds.

    This is not to say that the Church leaders themselves fear man (through taxes) more than God. On the contrary, I find it highly likely that a wise Savior would recognize the need to “abide the day” and focus the Lord’s tithing and the efforts of His servants more on missionary work (saving souls) rather than paying enormous amounts of taxes on properties held throughout the world, and hence instruct his servants to be judicious in what they speak out about so as to not incur the wrath of certain politicians.

    Sadly, this largely stems from a gross misinterpretation of “separation of church and state” (an idea found nowhere in our founding documents, but later upheld in certain court rulings after the idea was expressed in Thomas Jefferson’s personal correspondence). Those who shout the cry of this separation surely do not understand that the idea is that church and state (as entities) are not to meddle in one another’s affairs, whereas the supporting ideologies (politics and religion) should be free to influence one other where necessary.

    But since the recent trend is to draw a stark line between church and state, religious institutions that find themselves speaking out boldly regarding political issues (and supporting a cetain candidate) will find themselves quickly losing tax exemption and being forced to pay heavy taxes to Uncle Sam at the point of a gun.

    As the “hate speech” issue gains traction I am curious to see what opposition will come to the Church as a result of our leaders’ outspoken stand against homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

  13. Doc
    March 20, 2007 at 4:40 pm #

    Connor,
    Please, PLEASE stop conflating socialism and communism. It is a foolish and dangerous thing to pretend that a democracy sharing its commonwealth among its citizens is identical to communist violence imposed tyranny. It is a strained interpretation of any apostle outside of Benson, pre-presidency and thoroughly partisan, and his conflation led to talks like Hugh B Brown’s speech quoted here:

    “Because this is a worldwide church, we must also not be put into a public position of favoring one political philosophy over another. If the majority of citizens in a foreign country vote for a socialist government, we, as a church, should not do anything that would reflect adversely on that country’s political system. The church and its leaders must not be perceived as extremist.”

    Which incidentally lends some creedence to your hypothesis #1. I am afraid one thing the general silence on these issues most certainly means, you are clearly speculating about the connection of communism to socialism to conspiracy to dragging the brethren into it. You are welcome to believe what you will believe and I will welcome you into my ward as a friend and brother, but as your friend and brother I must warn you that marrying extreme politics to religion has led more than one latter day saint to apostasy and excommunication ( re:Bo Gritz)

  14. Michael L. McKee
    March 20, 2007 at 6:56 pm #

    The following statements are intended for the ears of no particular individual. They are not intended to offend, although I will not concern myself if they do find ears trained to receive such opportunities to proclaim they have been denied an imaginary right not to be offended. I do not desire to spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to dislodge stupidity from the personality of a fool whose mind has been closed to any possibilities other than those which he has concluded are of no worth to him or his understanding of that which has been foisted upon him by an even greater source of ignorance. It is not my intent to mince words or debate those who have no intention of finding anything worthy in what I may say simply because it is not what they prefer I should believe.

    Much of what I believe at this point in my life is not the result of organized education as I am a high school dropout, and, to some, that is likely what they might conclude having read my comments on previous occasions. I made many choices earlier in life which may be considered foolish, but I would likely disagree since I have never been the recipient of organized brainwashing either. Perhaps the military indoctrination would be considered brainwashing, but I currently suffer from no ill effects attributable to having been trained to kill those who are desirous of killing me, and denying me of my natural right to choose my mortal destiny. That said, I am a product of the talents and abilities I inherited from my Heavenly Father, and the many influences with which I have been associated either willingly and/or ignorantly over the past, let us say, 50 years or so. Having been a converted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for over 35 years, one might think I would be a better example of the Savior than is the case. I spent 30 of those years, after falling away from activity, engaged in some of the most vial and evil activities the adversary had to offer. I do not say this to confess my sins or to seek any sympathetic or congratulatory offerings from anyone who may FEEL that I need to be LOVED so I’ll become a better person. I confessed my sordid sins and failures in judgement in totality to the Lord through one of His Ordained Servants nearly 5 and 1/2 years ago. Together, the Lord and I have been working to educate me ever since, and I feel He has performed miracles with me considering He had little to work with and I have not always been a willing student.

    Well, I am certain, by now, some will recognize even further evidence of my lack of a disciplined ability to articulate that which I desire to impart to your spirits, but I have faith that my Savior will atone for my inadequacies since you are unable to do so anyway.

    I believe that:

    1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all other churches in the United States which do not renounce Christ will lose their tax exempt status.

    2. The Church will find it necessary to recall most, if not all, Missions from the “field” in the United States.

    3. Legislation is being considered by some to bring about “Hate Speech” boundaries which will preclude the Churches from delivering the Gospel message.

    4. The United States economy is currently being prepared for a major collapse, and our fiat currency will be declared worthless.

    5. Our so-called public education system in the United States will be completely devoid of anything resembling a system of learning those things which will instill creativity or a competitive spirit.

    6. In order to engage in any commercial enterprise in the United States, including the basic daily grocery shopping, it will be required that we accept some form of imposed instrument of identification which will likely be scanned just as are the groceries, and the device will likely be a so-called state of the art imbedded into our hand area.

    7. It may be possible to forestall or actually preclude all or part of these impositions providing we pay due diligence to the warnings we have received.

    Now that some are certain I am delusional, I believe this is just a sampling of what we can expect as Satan has little time left to round up his minions before the tares are removed from the field and are cast into the fire. I certainly hope the Lord will find me somewhere among the wheat as I am already familiar with hell, and I would never wish that experience upon anyone else including those who may think I will likely be returning. If I do end up in a lesser kingdom than that which I desire, I pray I will not run into anyone who visits Connor’s blog site.

    I am currently reading a book by Duane S. Crowther entitled Inspired Prophetic Warnings, and I have decided to insert one little scripture from D&C 64 which he alluded to on page 132 which is part of the chapter dealing with Conflict and Aspostasy.

    35 And the rebellious shall be be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.
    36 For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out.
    37 Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations.
    38 For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.
    39 And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.
    40 And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead.

    The opinions expressed above are my own and I have no proof or evidence which cannot be had by anyone with even half the intellectual capacities I may believe I possess. Any attempt made to entice me to divulge my sources will be summarily rejected since I really do not know where they are at this point anyway. Most of my information probably came from sources those on the left would never accept so why bother to ask. I really no longer have a desire to prove what I believe since all things are subject to change without notice.

    Connor may wisely ask me to go away and never come back, and I’ll respect his wishes and take my toys and go home, but I will have confidence that anyone who read my words will not be able to come up to me in the spirit world and say I neglected to warn them.

    By the way, I hope all who consider my words to be nonsensical have their years’ supply together soon so the Church will not be burdened by your lack of consideration when the proverbial cell door slams shut on your freedom.

  15. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 7:52 pm #

    Please, PLEASE stop conflating socialism and communism.

    One naturally begets the other, so the conflation, in my mind, is sound. For example, take the words of the founder of the ACLU:

    I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. (via Quoty)

    Or how about Nikita Khrushchev’s comment to Ezra Taft Benson:

    You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands. (via Quoty)

    It is a foolish and dangerous thing to pretend that a democracy sharing its commonwealth among its citizens is identical to communist violence imposed tyranny.

    Tell me, Doc, what would happen if you stopped paying social security or medicare? We most certainly are heading in the direction of a tyrannical dictatorship. Should you not believe me, might I recommend the book How Would a Patriot Act? by Glenn Greenwald. It’s very inexpensive through Amazon.com.

    I also take issue with your use of the democracy’s commonwealth. First of all, our country is a republic, not a democracy. Second, “commonwealth” (if you meant to imply “common wealth”, as in shared resources) seems to mask the identity of the money’s owner. In response to a synonymous term “federal funds”, the editor of of Cleveland Newspaper wrote in 1961:

    This money is taxpayer’s money. It is your money and mine. And for a long time I have scorched with a slow burn when the loot is referred to as “government money.” I have suggested more than once that the phrase “federal funds” be changed to “taxpayer’s money.” I think the people who come up with the scratch, not the gents who spend it, should get proper credit. Federal funds—nuts! That’s our dough. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 11, 1961)

    Since it is our money, it is also our responsibility to see how that money is used.

    I am afraid one thing the general silence on these issues most certainly means, you are clearly speculating about the connection of communism to socialism to conspiracy to dragging the brethren into it.

    I’m not dragging anybody into anything. I am using words proclaimed over the pulpit by one called to serve in the kingdom. I am not misrepresenting anybody, nor have I quoted anything out of context. I’m just passing along the words of men far wiser than I.

    Nor am I speculating about the connection between socialism/communism and conspiracy. As Shaun pointed out, the tenets of these ideologies are Satan’s counterfeit of the gospel. Surely he hasn’t folded and given up? Remember, he comes as a thief in the night. Whenever possible he works in secrecy and disguise. As the Saints grow more powerful and able, so too does he.

    as your friend and brother I must warn you that marrying extreme politics to religion has led more than one latter day saint to apostasy and excommunication.

    Thanks for the warning, but I feel confident that, through the Spirit, I have come to more fully understand “things as they really are”, and that the path I am pursuing is in complete harmony with revealed doctrine from all of our Prophets and Apostles. I don’t doubt that the pursuit of extremism in any area of the gospel or life in general leads to apostasy. Good thing we have a Prophet to guide us and teach us. I pray that we all keep our ears and hearts open to every single word he says to us.

  16. Dan
    March 20, 2007 at 8:35 pm #

    Michael McKee,

    I’m going to respond to your views. You can choose to reply or not.

    1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all other churches in the United States which do not renounce Christ will lose their tax exempt status.

    This will never happen. The church has too much political power for something like this to happen.

    2. The Church will find it necessary to recall most, if not all, Missions from the “field” in the United States.

    Same as my response for number 1. The church has too much American political power.

    3. Legislation is being considered by some to bring about “Hate Speech” boundaries which will preclude the Churches from delivering the Gospel message.

    What is your evidence for this? Who are the “some” that which to bring about this “hate speech” boundaries? I see no one with actual political power being able to do anything like this.

    4. The United States economy is currently being prepared for a major collapse, and our fiat currency will be declared worthless.

    On this point I agree with you. Our fiscal policies have been absolutely horrendous these past 30 years. We’re seeing Reaganomics at work, and they are terrible.

    5. Our so-called public education system in the United States will be completely devoid of anything resembling a system of learning those things which will instill creativity or a competitive spirit.

    This is basically a polemic attack devoid of any factual points and as such is dismissed.

    6. In order to engage in any commercial enterprise in the United States, including the basic daily grocery shopping, it will be required that we accept some form of imposed instrument of identification which will likely be scanned just as are the groceries, and the device will likely be a so-called state of the art imbedded into our hand area.

    This one, of course, comes from Revelations and has some merit. One could argue that our credit cards are doing just this right now. I cringe every time I see a Visa commercial where they try to convince viewers to use their credit cards to purchase groceries.

    7. It may be possible to forestall or actually preclude all or part of these impositions providing we pay due diligence to the warnings we have received.

    And do what?

  17. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    Same as my response for number 1. The church has too much American political power.

    The scriptures as well as modern prophecies both indicate that there will be a time when the missionaries are called home. America and its political power will all but be destroyed with rampant war and destruction. Might I suggest the book Prophecy: Key to the Future to learn more about this, which most certainly will come to pass as Michael has said.

    What is your evidence for this? Who are the “some” that which to bring about this “hate speech” boundaries? I see no one with actual political power being able to do anything like this.

    See here.

    We’re seeing Reaganomics at work, and they are terrible.

    And Bushanomics and Clintonomics and more Bushanomics. Each successive administration has done its fair share of fiscal damage, be it Republican or Democrat. Bush 43 is, by far, the worst.

    This is basically a polemic attack devoid of any factual points and as such is dismissed.

    All hail Dan, judge, jury, and executioner! :)

    This one, of course, comes from Revelations and has some merit. One could argue that our credit cards are doing just this right now. I cringe every time I see a Visa commercial where they try to convince viewers to use their credit cards to purchase groceries.

    Credit cards are only a stepping stone for mandated electronic commerce. You thought fiat banking was bad? At least it’s paper and anonymous. Everything in the future will be tracked. The VISA Chief is on board. The RFID technology is already being implemented.

    And do what?

    Vote Ron Paul! ;)

  18. Dan
    March 20, 2007 at 9:00 pm #

    The scriptures as well as modern prophecies both indicate that there will be a time when the missionaries are called home. America and its political power will all but be destroyed with rampant war and destruction.

    You’re going to have to be more specific.

    And do what?

    Vote Ron Paul!

    Please do so. That means that Obama will be our next president. :)

  19. Connor
    March 20, 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    You’re going to have to be more specific.

    Please feel free to do your own homework. You might start with the book I’ve recommended to you, or D&C 88.

  20. Dan
    March 20, 2007 at 9:26 pm #

    uh, D&C 88 doesn’t say anything about American missionaries returning “home.” And no, it isn’t my responsibility to gather the information. This is YOUR point to make, not mine. I merely am not one who takes things at face value. I need evidence. I know some of your readers will call me a “sign seeker,” hey whatever. I want evidence. If you can’t offer it, I guess I shouldn’t frequent your blog anymore, because your posts would be nothing more than extremist rantings. Now you may yell out “halleluiah, he’s finally gone,” and hey that’s cool. But I think you’d rather have a good debate. If I’m wrong, then so be it. If I’m right, then please show me your evidence. :)

  21. Sam Hennis
    March 20, 2007 at 11:17 pm #

    Connor,
    You make some good points. You have many of the same thoughts that I do, definitely not “extremist” as Dan might consider. I suppose the Pharisees considered Christ an “extremist.”

    And Dan,
    I’ll give you an A+ for persistence/stubborness.
    However I cringe every time you say give me hard evidence/facts on the ground, etc.

    The evidence is here Dan, are you missing it?

  22. Dan
    March 21, 2007 at 4:27 am #

    Sam,

    are you comparing Connor to Christ and me to the Pharisees?

    And about the evidence, why do you cringe when one asks for evidence? This is the big problem when you start combining religion and politics, because in religion, there are many things you take on faith. In politics, you do not take anything on faith. Verify, verify, verify. I want evidence of what Connor believes politically. I really don’t care about his religious views. Those are not anything I can alter, nor have any desire to do so. But when it comes to politics, you better dang well be able to prove your point with facts on the ground.

  23. Michael L. McKee
    March 21, 2007 at 11:59 am #

    Dan

    When one is offering his/her opinion on any given topic, it must be remembered that opinions are the stuff of which personalities are made. I should think that even you could accept the reality that we all possess a uniqueness which is the sum of all of our parts including our experiences in the first estate. Having that insight going into a conversation is an opportunity to know the person with whom you are engaging. As for me, I do not demand proof, but I do believe I demand logic. It is not logical for my personality to spend a whole lot of time proving things which I believe are true. I have indicated previously that it is my contention that the debate ended when Lucifer was cast out. After that, those of us who remained were about the business of preparation to embark upon a journey which could prove to be more than some of us could handle. As for myself, the jury which sits in my personal sphere is still considering the evidence, and will not return a verdict until I pass from this earthly realm. I believe we all share that commonality.

    Now I shall embark upon the arduous task of sharing with you some of the logical conclusions I have gleaned from my observance of your personality.

    I believe you have divulged previously that you are of the liberal persuasion, and therein lies our fist problematic area as I am, at this point in my life, far to the right of (insert the name of anyone who may be so conservative it scares you.) In other words, I will not be able to find anything of value in the opinions of a liberal because, I was, for many years, so far to the left that I thought even Satan should be permitted to repent, and be forgiven. It is my OPINION that sin is directly linked to political liberalism, and I can prove that by my experiences in life, but it would require me to “jack this thread” (my goodness I see no redeeming or logical value in learning new languages every time technology changes.) I am also looking for no guidance away from that opinion so please try to NOT be tempted to consider going down that pathway to argumentation.

    Your declaration that the “church has too much American political power) is borderline moronic which is to the right of logical. The only power the church possesses lies with the membership, and we are subject to making incorrect political decisions which should be obvious considering we find it necessary to have discussions such as this.

    The “some” I referred to is a logical approach. It is used by the media incessantly when they attempt to bring about a conclusion for any given situation which is a part of their agenda. To the media, they only need 1 (one) opposing opinion to declare there is reason to doubt anything with which they disagree, and that, of course, is most of what the conservative worldview offers. In fact they will search high and low to find that lone dissension even if it takes asking 1000 people to respond to their query. I believe you would agree that there is and has never been an absolute majority view on anything, but there will be when the tares have been removed from the field. Simply put, you have my permission to drag yourself away from the MSM so you may obtain a view which is less clouded with the illusion of truth. A case in point would be the recent “Gathering of Eagles” of which I spoke at an earlier time. I believe you had requested I respond to the fact that there was no violent eruption. I was pleased to find that my prayers were answered as my reason for mentioning it in the first place was not because of the possibility of violence, but rather that the left was going to receive a rude awakening in the form of a real life situation. The sleeping giant (the silent majority) has been aroused, and they made their presence known by outnumbering the so-called massive (100,000 +) “PEACE” marchers by more than 3 to 1. The real world figures are less than 10,000 America haters, and dupes compared to 30,000 + average America loving souls who simply want to let people know they are sick and tired of the left redefining everything which has turned the United States of America into the divided states of America. Once again, before you take my words into a completely different area of intent, I have already fought for the right to peaceably assemble, and VOICE a dissenting opinion, but I’ll be hanged if I will tolerate the desecration of a symbol intended to revere the name of a person who has sacrificed his or her opportunity to choose life by dying in the field of a battle he did not ask for, but did so dutifully and obediently. The men and women in the field of battle right now and perhaps the majority of the peace marchers are, in my opinion, politically speaking, the epitome of pawns in the hands of elitist vermin who, like the “KingMen” which General Maroni rightfully eliminated, care not a wit for any of them. They are all merely the means to an end in the struggle to dominate and control the world and do the bidding of him whose they are.

    I see you have chosen to shrug off the education comments as being factually void, and I find that quite telling. Unfortunately, I shall be forced to offer a few more opinions with which you may disagree. Actually, I don’t think I will at this time as it would likely take me the entire day to point out the many egregious attempts to stifle creativity and competition if favor of the automaton approach toward one-view indoctrination. It may not be the case nearly so much in the “Happy Valley” (a term which I detest, but must utilize for effect) area of concentrated LDS presence, but that does not hold true in the real world of secular dominance with which I am most familiar. Frankly, if you agree with the manner in which the NEA operates, I have nothing else to say as I would find you certifiably mad. If you accept the “feel good” social garbage which is being conveyed to our children, in the name of peace and loving kindness, your level of understanding is fast approaching a dangerous zone of confusion or even worse, and you have gone over to the “dark side” of rational behavior. Just for the record, homosexuality is a most grievous sin in the eyes of the Lord, and if brought to fruition by the commission of the act, it becomes incumbent upon us to point this out to those who are dealing with “same gender attraction” that they must repent. Encouraging them to believe their behavior is a learned response, and that they were made that way by God is purely antithetical to the truth. We will pay a heavy price through the repentance process as a nation and individually if we are found to be in acceptance of this destructive teaching.

    I see I have missed the economy rant, and a repeat reading has shown me why since you lay all of our current economic woes at the feet of President Reagan. President Reagan came closer than most any other man in the past to ignoring the will of the “shadow government,” but apparently succumbed after an attempt was made to have him killed. I am certain you would like to have proof of that, but it would be a futile attempt on my part to offer you anything which you would not believe anyway, and once again, I believe it is true, and am not likely to change my opinion either so I’ll dismiss it too.

    Now, alas, I must tell you about #7. My advice would be to open your eyes and ears. Give credence to the possibility that the things Connor and others who are like-minded are warning about may be true. I am not, by nature, a warmonger or a fatalist, but I cannot long tolerate those who simply are so stubborn as to not even try to understand just how powerful the adversary is and how weak we are even when we are blessed with the absolute knowledge of truth. There is not enough time left to procrastinate. We must take a firm stand for or against the truth without the continual longing to find a grey area in the middle. There is absolutely NO middle ground Satan will consider, and even more serious is the fact that the Lord CANNOT consider it. It will not hurt you to consider the possibilities, as waiting too long may prove both temporally and spiritually, everlastingly too late.

    As a final note, I awoke during the night at around 3:30 A.M. My dominant thoughts at that time were that you had indicated, I believe, that you were a Political Science student or teacher. I cannot recall and I really do not want to go scrolling through the many comments for an affirmation so you DO have my permission to correct my information should you so desire. (In fact, while you are at it, I would really appreciate it if you would consider divulging your age, your marital status, and your occupation. I will gladly offer the same information if you would like.) I do feel you had indicated a level of expertise in that area. Now, I must tell you that what I am about to say is NOT an attempt to offend you, but, then again, you know my feelings in that area. I lay awake for some time musing about what I knew about Political Science. I concluded I knew very little about it from the perspective of organized education. I was strongly impressed to understand that there is absolutely nothing to be learned from a pursuit of an impossible conclusion. Science is factual and truthful when properly understood from the perspective of the Creator organizing and reorganizing matter. On the other hand, politics is absolute raw opinion, and a total reliance upon the “arm of flesh.” Trying to combine the two is nonsensical, and the term is, therefore, incompatible. I have already accepted the truth as it has been administered to me by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and my faith and testimony have given me reason to seek after no further conclusions. Politics is based upon nothing more than satanic influence which does lead me to the conclusion that politics and political debate is nothing more than an attempt by Satan to combine the truth, as is the Word of Christ, with his fraudulent words which are lies into that much hated grey area which is, once again, an absolute impossibility. Ergo, you should have pursued another avocation such as Constitutional Law.

  24. Doc
    March 21, 2007 at 11:59 am #

    Connor,
    The bottom line between socialism and communism is that one is instigated from the bottom up by violent revolution and the other is not. I know you have an extreme distrust of any government and this leads to to conflate either as leading to loss of liberty. I don’t hold the
    ACLU or Kruschev up as pillars of wisdom either. That communists see some of their aims met in socialism is not surprising. I do realize am not going to change your mind debating about it and that’s okay.

    By common wealth I am not talking at all about private property, I am talking about the resources we all share as a society. I mean this

    But there’s another trove of wealth that’s not so well-known: our common wealth. Each of us is the joint recipient of a vast inheritance. This shared inheritance includes air and water, habitats and ecosystems, languages and cultures, science and technologies, social and political systems, and quite a bit more. Though the value of these manifold gifts is hard to calculate, it’s safe to say they’re worth trillions of dollars. Indeed, according to Friends of the Commons, their aggregate value probably exceeds that of everything we own privately.

    This is a useful concept when it comes to ever hoping to build a zion society. If private property rights need to be protected for society to prosper and freedom reign, this common property needs protection doubly so, and using our resources in common to do so is what this requires.

  25. Doc
    March 21, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    PS
    Connor, your a good guy. The problem I see with your line of thought isn’t so much if its right or wrong, but that because you KNOW these things to be absolutely true, you cannot compromise, you cannot take anothers point of view, you cannot accept that you might ever be wrong. This moral surety is what leads to apostasy, because, it just so happens occasionally, we are wrong, we don’t understand everything, and we have to have faith in God that that’s okay. What happens if one day the church does something that seems socialistic or aligns itself with government, or does whatever it is that your rigid political belief system won’t support? Do you throw it all away?

  26. m&m
    March 21, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    One of the options that I don’t see considered is that the focus has changed because the focus needed to change. I’m hard pressed to think that we would be left to scour archives of past prophetic counsel in order to figure out what to think about now. I have a belief that if we are heeding what the current prophets say, we can be confident that we are doing what we should be doing. If things aren’t being repeated from the past, it may very well be that they don’t need to be. If prophets were silent on things because of our disobedience, they would have stopped talking about a lot of things a long time ago (like your example of food storage, or pornography)!

    One other thought: it may be that the politically-charged things they DO help us focus on (e.g., marriage) could help protect us from some of the political troubles that worried past leaders.

    We have been warned. The political silence we are experiencing is, in my mind, due most of all to the Saints’ sloth in heeding previous counsel and apathy in the fight for liberty and truth.

    In short, I really think this thought may be overdone. We continue to be warned in significant ways about things that are not new. I just have a hard time believing that the Lord will pull back that much because He sure is patient with an awful lot.

  27. Dan
    March 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Michael,

    Please don’t pretend that your intent is not to insult. Anytime you call someone evil, sinful, etc. you are intending for them to hear those words as they are meant to be heard, that those individuals are evil, sinful, etc. Stop pretending. If indeed your intent is not to insult, you would never use those words to begin with. You are trying to wrap yourself around the mantle of righteousness, but in reality you are quite insulting. This again stems from the fact that you’ve tied your religious views to your political views. You state:

    It is my OPINION that sin is directly linked to political liberalism

    What evidence do you have of this? I mean I can show sooooooo many ways to refute this statement, from conservative individuals who commit some pretty grievous sins (though you might disown them and claim they were liberal all along), to my own father, a ultraconservative Southern Baptist who was physically abusive to his wife and children, who smoked and drank, who swears up a storm, etc. I can point to several General Authorities who are politically liberal (including Elder Marlin K. Jensen and President James E. Faust). I can point to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who is an honorable Mormon. I can point to myself, a politically liberal Mormon who holds a temple recommend and who is a member of the bishopric (even though you hate the fact that I bring that up). I can show you evidence of Elder Dalin H. Oaks stating that he finds wisdom in liberalism. All of these are evidence that refutes your point.

    It sure would be lovely if the world was as simple as you wish to see it, but alas, that is not the case.

    In other words, I will not be able to find anything of value in the opinions of a liberal because, I was, for many years, so far to the left that I thought even Satan should be permitted to repent, and be forgiven.

    Just because this happened to you does not mean all liberals believe the same. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but, well, that’s your own problem.

    I was pleased to find that my prayers were answered as my reason for mentioning it in the first place was not because of the possibility of violence, but rather that the left was going to receive a rude awakening in the form of a real life situation.

    So your fear was that the Gathering of Eagles would get violent, i.e. that a right-wing group would try to undermine a perfectly legal demonstration against the war. Hmmm, in other words, the calamities foretold would begin with right-wingers who get upset at some demonstrators….interesting.

    The real world figures are less than 10,000 America haters, and dupes compared to 30,000 + average America loving souls who simply want to let people know they are sick and tired of the left redefining everything which has turned the United States of America into the divided states of America.

    America haters? vs America loving souls? Dude….who is showing hate towards Americans here?

    Frankly, if you agree with the manner in which the NEA operates, I have nothing else to say as I would find you certifiably mad.

    Certifiably mad? Because I disagree with your view of the education system in America? Dude….

    If you accept the “feel good” social garbage which is being conveyed to our children, in the name of peace and loving kindness, your level of understanding is fast approaching a dangerous zone of confusion or even worse, and you have gone over to the “dark side” of rational behavior.

    I guess I should disclose that you are talking to a faculty level academic librarian whose wife is a middle school public school teacher. You ought to be careful about how much hateful words you have towards teachers. You obviously have little actual knowledge of the education system, and are nothing but an old fool in this case.

    Encouraging them to believe their behavior is a learned response, and that they were made that way by God is purely antithetical to the truth.

    Huh, I guess you haven’t read Elder Dalin H. Oaks’ talk on “Same Gender Attraction.” He hedges his inspired views and refutes your absolutist stance. Again, I would be careful how much insults you throw out Mr. McKee.

    Science is factual and truthful when properly understood from the perspective of the Creator organizing and reorganizing matter.

    You must not be a scientist. It’s not as “factual and truthful” as you think.

    On the other hand, politics is absolute raw opinion, and a total reliance upon the “arm of flesh.” Trying to combine the two is nonsensical, and the term is, therefore, incompatible.

    And of course, you are obviously not a political scientist, and have absolutely no understanding what political science is about. Why do you rail against that which you do not understand, Mr. McKee?

    . Politics is based upon nothing more than satanic influence which does lead me to the conclusion that politics and political debate is nothing more than an attempt by Satan to combine the truth, as is the Word of Christ, with his fraudulent words which are lies into that much hated grey area which is, once again, an absolute impossibility.

    Huh, I wonder why you then take the words of J. Reuben Clark and Ezra Taft Benson so seriously, they were students of politics too, not Political Science itself, but you bet they studied politics and understood it well. I wonder why you don’t therefore discount their political views? Maybe because they coincide with your own, and as such, their views are credible. Any views that don’t coincide with your own must be of the devil.

    Ergo, you should have pursued another avocation such as Constitutional Law.

    Huh, what makes you think Constitutional Law is not tainted by the EVIL SCOURGE that is politics?

  28. Sam Hennis
    March 21, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    Dan,

    All I’m saying is that Connor has given some good quotes and references which you seem to be shrugging off as “out of context.”

  29. Sam Hennis
    March 21, 2007 at 6:29 pm #

    Dan,

    Why don’t you check out http://www.infowars.com and let me know what you learn there.

  30. Connor
    March 21, 2007 at 6:32 pm #

    Sam,

    Alex Jones is “out of context”.

    :)

  31. Sam Hennis
    March 21, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    Oops, you’re right, Connor. My bad ;)

  32. fontor
    March 21, 2007 at 11:29 pm #

    Hey, why no mention of the “Covered Prophet” theory that was so popular in 1992 during Benson’s incapacitation?

    The idea among ultra-righties was that Benson would surely have validated their anti-Communist views had he been capable of doing so, but the other general authorities were preventing him.

    But the real reason the GA’s say so little about politics is that they’re afraid Connor will quote them.

  33. fontor
    March 21, 2007 at 11:55 pm #

    Oh, and once again, Doc has shown his remarkable sense of perception. Religious absolutism (the kind we regularly see here) is by far the most dangerous memeplex in the world today. Once someone is convinced that their political stance is identical to that of a god, then questioning the stance is wrong, and any negotiation is not just wrong, but evil.

    However, Doc, I seriously doubt that Connor (who I agree is a good guy just for putting up with me) is headed for a conflict the likes of which you describe. True Believers have a limitless ability to adapt any information into their worldview, or ignore it. Hey, we all do sometimes.

    Witness this thread. It’s an attempt to explain a conflict: If church leaders are right, and I’m right, why do I have to rely on 30 year old quotes to validate my political views? And the answer? Well, the GA’s may not be able to agree publicly with me anymore, but the Holy Ghost sure does!

    Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous. This makes people do crazy things and imagine that a god approves. Please question yourself sometimes.

  34. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 8:58 am #

    I would like to illustrate an instance where I think prophetic political silence happened just last summer, 2006.

    To set the stage: Utah is the reddest of red states, and every word of the Bush administration is considered front-page news. Utah is the most Mormon of all states, and every word that President Hinckley says is front-page news.

    Last summer, Bush came to speak at some VFW convention or something. (While Rocky Anderson was speaking at an anti-war ralley.) While here, Bush was given a 45 minute private meeting with President Hinckley. It would be taken for granted that what the Prophet said to Bush, or what Bush said to the Prophet would of course be front-page news. I waited to hear what was discussed in that private meeting.

    Bush’s spokespeople were asked by the media what was discussed. “No comment,” was their reply. The Church’s spokesman was asked what was discussed. “No comment,” was also their reply. And as if the media were very obedient indeed, the subject was never broached again.

    Of course there was speculation as to what was discussed for 45 minutes. Some have supposed it was all just small talk, others supposed that whatever was discussed was so important or secret that there could be no release to the media. (Was it coincidence that within one week, Jones was released from teaching at BYU? Jones claims it was only coincidence his release came within days of Bush’s secret meeting with President Hinckley.)

    So if the meeting were small talk only, why wouldn’t this small talk be reported on the front page? Or conversely, if there were matters of a political nature discussed, there is evidence of a prophetic silence on the issue.

    Whatever scenario happened, the facts are 1) the meeting between Bush and President Hinckley happened. 2) The media obediently said nothing about it, and never attempted to find out. 3) The church is silent, leaving a vacuum which inquiring minds are curious to fill.

    Further evidence was that within only a couple days, the front page reported on Pres. Hinckley’s words at a temple dedication, and comments between Rocky Anderson and the Bush Administration were all over the front page, with the Utah papers definitely painting any anti-war demonstrator as unpatriotic.

  35. m&m
    March 22, 2007 at 12:30 pm #

    Or conversely, if there were matters of a political nature discussed, there is evidence of a prophetic silence on the issue.

    I think this is a bit of a stretch. Can not a private conversation be held private, especially when our leaders seek to stay politically neutral?

  36. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 1:21 pm #

    Point well taken, m&m. But, if things were spoken of which were NOT anything but neutrality, why the media blackout? What would be the harm of the Church saying something like “they dicussed the weather and drought and their families and thier health or x x x.” But to not say ANYTHING, and in fact actually respond to reporters with the words “we have no comment” is somehow strange to my way of thinking. One would think it easier to brush off the media by saying some white lie, or beating around the bush (no pun). Bush and staff are particularly good at spinning and beating around the bush. Why the silence? (Politicians are especially good at spinning, and it seems to be some kind of requirement for holding office!)

  37. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    But, m&m, I actually wrote my example as a bit of a stretch on purpose. I am not directly laying suspicion or blame on the Prophet.

  38. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    Current administration is obsessed with silence and secrecy – but THE CHURCH? That is what is strange in my mind.

  39. Michael L. McKee
    March 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    Kelly

    I had a deep sense of concern over your comment; “The church is silent, leaving a vacuum which inquiring minds are curious to fill.”

    I should like to point out a couple of observations I would consider. I believe they are somewhat factual and, should, at least, be given some thought. They are as follows:

    1. President Bush and President Hinckley are both men who wield power.

    2. President Bush and President Hinckley both profess to a belief that Jesus Christ is their personal Savior.

    3. President Bush may or may not always tell the truth, and I believe President Hinckley will always tell the truth.

    4. President Bush has not received the gift of the Holy Ghost, but President Hinckley has received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5. President bush received his calling as President of the United States by virtue of an election process which is designed and administered by man, but President Hinckley has received his calling as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator as well as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by virtue of being called by Him whose Church it is.

    6. President Bush has the power to rain down powerful weapons of destruction upon the entire earth, and President Hinckley has the power to call down the Powers of the Creator of that earth.

    7. President Bush has the power to send men/women to their deaths in the name of peace, and President Hinckley has the power to send men/women out to declare peace.

    8. When sitting together, President Bush knew he was in the presence of a man, but President Hinckley knew that President Bush was in the presence of a man who represented the Savior Jesus Christ.

    9. President Bush will likely tell others what was said, and President Hinckley is likely to tell others what was said if he is inspired so to do.

    10. Do I currently sustain President Bush, yes (Article12) as I understand it, and do I currently sustain President Hinckley, yes.

    11. Do I emphatically trust President Bush, absolutely not, and do I emphatically trust President Hinckley, with all my heart.

    12. Will President Bush tell his people what was said, I don’t know, but have my doubts, and will President Hinckley tell his people what was said, yes, if he is inspired so to do.

    I know you have a better understanding of these things from where you are living and there are other points one could make, but I must trust that if we the members of the Church throughout the earth are meant to know anything about the meetings content, we will know about it in a manner prescribed by the Lord through His Prophet.

    I personally have faith in President Gordon B. Hinckley, and would feel absolutely certain he will always do what is right even when he is in the capacity of a mere man.

    I would suggest that most anti-war demonstrators are patriotic, but there is clearly a plethora of definitions as to just exactly what that means. Most of those who push the demonstrators from behind the scenes are not patriotic in the same sense of the term. In fact, they really do not care what happens to those they persuade to do their bidding just as, in the end, Satan will abandon every soul who stands with him. This is the unfortunate possibility whenever we allow ourselves to be inspired to trust and follow after the arm of flesh.

  40. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    Michael, I loved your comments. Just what I wanted to hear. Our views differ slightly though. I believe that Bush only professes to recognize Christ, but hypocritically, like Christ warned about in the NT. (Turn from me, I knew you not.) (Your comment #2)

    And secondly, we disagree on the point that you recognize Bush as president, but I do not. He has shown that he is no longer worthy of the office. I believe he needs to be impeached ASAP. (Along with Cheney who is even worse than Bush.) (Your comment #10)

  41. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 5:20 pm #

    Michael,

    You bring up the very valid point that President Hinckley apparently has not been inspired to reveal what he and Bush talked about in the secret meeting. This supports my thinking that there is truly a prophetic political silence IF anything they talked about was political. But, we all sometimes wonder about some of those tenets of the Gospel for which there are not any good, hard and simple answers. Getting radical in those tenets can be dangerous, but we humans sure think about them from time to time. So my human brain has to sit back and declare that IF President Hinckley claims “no comment” because he is not inspired to tell us, JUST WHAT MIGHT COULD HAVE BEEN the subject they discussed?

  42. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 5:23 pm #

    The “what if” scenario that makes the most sense to me to explain the silence from Bush, President Hinckley, and the media, however, is not political. I think (emphasis on think) that what happened is that the Prophet called Bush to repentance! That for sure would explain logically why the Bush camp, the Church, and the media would have “no comment.”

  43. m&m
    March 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm #

    This supports my thinking that there is truly a prophetic political silence IF anything they talked about was political.

    It seems a bit silly to speculate, since we don’t know what they talked about, and I still think keeping a conversation private is not necessarily equated to “prophetic silence” even if they talked about politics. Really, though, it does no good to try to guess what happened, does it?

  44. Michael L. McKee
    March 22, 2007 at 6:46 pm #

    Kelly

    While your assertions concerning President Bush and his relationship to the Savior may well be true, I believe we, as Christians who possess the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, must leave those things to the Lord. Ignorance and adversarial deceit are responsible for millions, even billions of our brethren and sisters traveling the wrong path. The Lord will forgive whomever he will, but of us, it is required. It is quite impossible for anyone other than the individual spirit to determine whether or not one actually knows Christ in a personal way. I believe we do well to leave those types of judgements to the Lord. At this point in my life, I truly fear doing anything which would jeopardize the progress I have made thus far in my relationship with Christ.

    Perhaps I should explain fully why I refer to President Bush in the way I do. My understanding of the 12th. Article of Faith is one of the reasons and you would likely be able to make the connection I make without necessarily supporting the individual. I believe the 12th Article reads as it does because the Lord is bound when we obey Him, and I believe, in that way, if He (the Lord) has anything against President Bush as the leader of our nation, he President Bush) will be held to an accountability on that issue alone, and separate from his personal life. I believe there is doctrine somewhere dealing with the leaders of nations, and governmental positions which have leadership responsibilities over others even in much smaller groups such as a Village Mayor. I feel it is a whole different matter than George W. Bush, the man. Also, I respect the office over the man, just as I respect the letter of the law over the substance. Another similarity I make is the fact that there are many political figures with whom I disagree adamantly, but I still always refer to them by their elected title. It must be so, I believe.

    It would, perhaps, surprise you to learn that I have been calling for the impeachment of President Bush for months now. He is clearly derelict in his Constitutional duties to provide safety and security at our sovereign borders, and he has clearly and even wantonly refused to consider the will of the people due to his equally unconstitutional efforts to create treaties and agreements with Mexico and Canada without Congressional oversight. I personally believe President Bush has brought about more destructive acts than any other President before him, but again, he is not calling many, if any of the shots.

    As for the secrecy, I believe the immigration situation may have been a large portion of the topic of conversation. I, myself, struggle with my perceived understanding of the stance the Church has taken, and I disagree with it just as adamantly, but I am currently allowing that I may not see the bigger picture so I’ll allow for that possibility. As much as I cannot support in any way the amnesty route for immigrants, I am still considering learning Spanish, and I still believe, in the end, that there actually is a much bigger picture the Lord is looking at. We must always come back to the fact that we are ALL children of our Heavenly Father, and we Americans have left the door open for the Lord to justifiably consider giving this land to others.

    I had never considered your theory about President Hinckley calling President Bush to repentance, but it is logical, and it will have an effect on President Bush whether he realizes it or not. The more I think about it, the more I hope you are correct.

    Just one final thought, and it may be rather far out there, but perhaps the President of the United States sought a blessing from the Lord’s Prophet and was accommodated. At least that might account for the absolute silence. It would right be none of our business. What do you think?

  45. Kelly Winterton
    March 22, 2007 at 11:48 pm #

    Good thoughts, Michael. But in my zeal to see true constitutional principles upheld, I think it is now futile to think Bush or his puppetmaster can be fixed, or even the two party system we now have. I would like to see a constitutional rebellion happen in the grassroots of America! I am considering doing a little more than just donating some money to the Constitution Party in the future. Even though Connor is supporting Ron Paul, and I love what Ron Paul writes, I have a hard time picturing me plugging my nose and voting for him, simply because he has an “R” after his name. I have come to loathe the Republican Party.

    While I had not considered the idea of Bush seeking some kind of apostolic blessing from President Hinckley, it would be nice if something to that effect could actually happen. But, since the secret meeting happened last summer, I haven’t seen much change for the better in Bush that could be attributed to such a Prophetic blessing. But I’ll reserve judgement on possibility.

  46. Aaron M.
    May 16, 2007 at 9:06 am #

    In my view of reading on this site I feel the need to post some quotes from some early brothern and i myself have read these quotes, pondered them, and searched to find other sopport pertaining to our relationship with God and God alone. Everyone has very good productive arguments and as long as we all can respect each other as brothers and sisters we can make a great move in progress. I hope at the least we can come to an understanding with each other not necissarliy argreeing.
    One more thing why these quotes I am posting is that there may or may not be a misunderstanding of principle of following our leaders whether they be political or religious. We as people tend to put an unlimited amount of trust in our leaders especially those that are religious. And I feel that is what we as latter day saint tend to do and call is obidience. Anyway I’ll get on with the quotes.

    “And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because
    he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the
    priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do
    by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such
    obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the
    extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should
    not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his
    folly. A man of God… would spite the idea. Others, in the
    extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such
    obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were
    told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any
    questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these
    extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to people, it is
    generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong
    themselves.”

    — Apostle Charles W. Penrose
    Millennial Star, v. 14, no. 38, pp. 593-595

    “… Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power
    of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led
    entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and
    pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of
    entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate;
    they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule
    themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be
    dictated to do in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control
    themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must
    control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers
    with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold
    scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the Celestial Kingdom. Who
    will? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence
    of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God,
    leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though
    all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this
    apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer.”

    — Brigham Young
    Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 312

    “… convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by
    reason, by logical arguments, or by the Word of God, and we will be
    ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the
    pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of
    God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may
    see enveloping their minds.”

    — Apostle Orson Pratt
    The Seer, pp. 15-16

    “Do not, brethren, put your trust in a man though he be a bishop, an
    apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time
    or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone…”

    — Apostle George Q. Cannon
    Millennial Star, v. 53, pp. 658-659, as quoted in Gospel Truth, v.
    1, p. 319

    “We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to
    ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First
    Presidency require it? No, never.”

    — Joseph F. Smith
    Journal of Discourses, v. 16, p. 248

    “President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and
    we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or
    utterances are revelations from God; and when `Thus saith the Lord,’
    comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their
    eyes and take it down like a pill.”

    — Apostle Charles W. Penrose
    Millennial Star, v. 54, p. 191

    “President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel – said the
    Lord had declared by the Prophet [Ezekiel], that the people should
    each stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of
    corruption of the Jewish Church – that righteous persons could only
    deliver their own souls – applied it to the present state [1842] of
    the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – said if the people
    departed from the Lord, they must fall – that they were depending on
    the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of
    neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves…”

    — Joseph Smith, Jr.
    The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 237-238

    “What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter
    destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this
    people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not
    inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am
    fearful they settle down in a state of blink self-security, trusting
    their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless
    confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their
    salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their
    leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus,
    that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know,
    themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord
    dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.”

    — Brigham Young
    Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 150

    “How easy it would be for your leaders to lead you to destruction,
    unless you actually know the mind and will of the spirit yourselves.”

    — Brigham Young
    Journal of Discourses, v. 3, p. 45

    “I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to
    be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus
    Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied…. Suppose
    that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with
    regard to the things of the Kingdom of God, but threw the whole
    burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, `If the brethren who
    take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,’ this is not pleasing
    in the sight of the Lord.”

    — Brigham Young
    Journal of Discourses, v. 3, p. 45

  47. Shaun
    November 28, 2007 at 12:47 am #

    Great Stuff Connor. Wonderul insights; you’re well read.

    I’m repeatedly stunned to read those seeking to pick apart the words of prophets, trusting rather (it would seem to me) their own philosophies rather than pondering, reading, studying the words of the prophets and coming to a secure knowledge of their teachings, and how such teachings trump the foolishness of the learning of man—even in the most prominent of the government propaganda centers (as Charlotte Iserbyt, from Reagan’s Department of Education refers to public schools.) Perhaps this hostility and disbelief/and/or estrangement to truth as spoken by prophets is a manifestation of the “enforced priestcraft” of the public school system upon the minds of [LDS] men/woman.

  48. Brenda Barber
    January 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    I thin Dr. Joel Skousen has a pretty clear view and may shed some insight on a Larger World View of the Coming World War:

    http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com/pdfbrief/World%20Affairs%20Brief%2028%20December%202007.pdf

  49. AmoreVero
    January 20, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that regardless of what you think of Pres. Benson’s talks, beliefs & counsels, (though I know he was right) what is astonishing is that it appears that some of the Apostles had different opinions than one another on probably the most vital subject of the Gospel, that of Agency & Freedom.

  50. Jeremy Nicoll
    September 29, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Actually, I’ve heard apostles mention political aspects in locally based talks. I forget who it was, but I heard from one apostle at a University of Utah seminar this: “The face of sin often hides behind a mask of tolerance” He was referring to happenings in California and other places in regards to laws related to marriage. I caught this, though most of the people I went with understood neither his intent nor the important parts. He who hath ears to hear…. They are still warning us, but we are not listening to what they are saying. It’s just that they are not announcing it via General Conference or world-wide avenues, as you indicated. It could also be that it’s become very dangerous for them to openly object now.

  51. Connor
    September 29, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    I forget who it was, but I heard from one apostle at a University of Utah seminar this: “The face of sin often hides behind a mask of tolerance”

    You may be thinking of President Monson’s address in the April 2008 General Conference:

    The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness and pain.

    He who hath ears to hear…. They are still warning us, but we are not listening to what they are saying.

    I very much agree. It’s not as bold and direct as it once was, but it’s still there.

  52. oldmama
    October 22, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    is it too late to say that I appreciate what you say and have had some of the same thoughts; it’s encouraging to read such things by young people–

    Thank you for a well-put-together ‘article’

  53. Shannon Penland
    October 25, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    I haven’t finished reading all comments but the one about Hugh Brown disagreeing with Ezra Taft Benson, I may point out — Benson became Prophet. And it follows that the Lord does NOT call false prophets

  54. Anthony
    November 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Connor,
    I’ve just recently come to know of the NWO theory as it is called and looked into LDS perspective on it ( I don’t really go for the whole Alex Jones avenue, just me).

    I am, however, looking into it, and think that the best thing we can do is look to the prophets, the scriptures, and as someone pointed out, inquiring of the Lord if what that President said was political opinion, only directed at that time, or still pertinent/prophetic. We can trust in the Lord and the Holy Ghost, and have the words of prophets confirmed by Them. That is what I aim to do in my search for truth on this subject.

  55. THOMAS DYCHES
    November 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    2 Things:
    1- Please read D&C 134 and Moses 4:1-4 to get the proper perspective on both the church’s position on the proper role of government and the motivation of our common adversary, Lucifer. You may call his deviousness by many names: statism, socialism, fascism, dictatorship, kingmen-ism, collectivism, communitarianism, et al. By any name, a philosophy or system which seeks to abridge “the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him,” is, in reality, [Satanism]. I don’t care what you call it. It’s alive and well. Besides, what else does Satan have to do? The answers & prophecies regarding politics/government are found in the scriptures and the Temple (like everything else). And the modern-day prophets have simply clarified and expanded them for us. Yes, they have their opinions but remember, they are quickened by the spirit much more than most of us. Also, recall that Joseph Smith ran for the office of U.S. President. He called “political missionaries” and sent them out across the United States to campaign for him. Their mission was just as legitimate and in line with the Gospel as traditional missionaries’. I believe he was killed partly because of his political impact as Mormons had the power to shift the entire outcome of the presidential election. He was martyred just 5 months before the election. Curious isn’t it? Coincidental, right? ;) There is certainly a mound of evidence regarding a conspiracy to have him killed to thwart the political influence of the Mormons. I know this is off-topic so I’ll wrap it up. The point is, Joseph Smith could never have won the presidency in a million years. YET–and this is critical–he still ran for office. Why? You need to look that up for yourself and we need to follow his example. We also need to read his political platform. If Mormon Elders are to “weave” the Constitution back together, which several prophets have said we will, we best get educated and busy in politics! (BTW that’s not an endorsement of Mitt Romney or many of the current Mormon politicians ;))

    2- Connor has never presumed to speak for the church. That’s silly. He’s simply putting forth an analysis of why the leadership has made a marked reduction in the explicitness and number of their political leanings. I remember President Grant said we didn’t need to go into WWII the way we did. And the leadership was vocally opposed to FDR yet 61% of church members voted for him. What a joke! Yes the leadership is ‘milky’ towards politics publicly but we have been given plenty of guidance already. There are stacks of political talks and writings from Priesthood leadership from Joseph Smith on down. We don’t really need more preaching on the topic do we? Seriously, Connor’s argument #6 applies here. However, let’s not forget how overtly political/timely Elder Packard’s remarks were this past conference and the furor they caused. I wholeheartedly agree that Connor’s argument #4 applies here.

    Of course Connor could be completely wrong for who can know the mind of the Lord on all things? I’m sure the prophet and apostles know far more than they tell us. God is so far above our petty partisan battles. He certainly cares about our Government but has His own agenda which transcends ours infinitely. But I do believe He expects us to be fully engaged. And He will guide us in our battles. And I also believe He wants us to have these discussions. HE has said that many in the church will be deceived. Are we to believe that there won’t be Mormons who are politically deceived? Harry Reid anyone?

    This quote is a nice summation of why Connor’s discussion is appropriate:

    “It is necessary that all should exercise their powers of reason and reflection, and thoroughly understand why they take the course which God points out. Intelligent obedience…is desired by our Father in Heaven. He has given us our agency to think and act for ourselves, on our own volition, to obtain a testimony for ourselves from Him concerning the truth of the principles which He teaches, and then be firm and unshaken in the performance of all which is necessary for salvation.” ~ Wilford Woodruff

    “Many citizens today, for instance, are alarmed, and rightfully so, when they see a vast oil slick develop which may be headed for the habitat of wildlife or a culinary water resource. Isn’t it interesting that only the seers seem to be able to see the approaching tide of effluence flowing from parental permissiveness that is now in the process of engulfing so many? So few other voices are raised in alarm. The ears of the secular world are attuned to the messages that come from the Paul Reveres, not the prophets. There appear to be so many Paul Reveres riding about, issuing so many jeremiads and warnings, that the crucial warnings are being drowned out. ” ~ Neil A. Maxwell

  56. Jacqueline Smith
    November 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Excellent post. As someone who shares many of your views Connor, I have noticed countless times when the 12 and the prophet have made political comments. I’ve heard them loud and clear, but you really had to be paying attention. Most of the meat is delivered on Saturday, and not Sunday of General Conference.

    Also, I remember well the Saturday of conference after 9/11 when Presdient Hinckley said, “The prophesy of Joel has been fulfilled….” This was a huge wake up call for me, and caused me to study deeply those prophesies.

    Some of their words are said in venues not directed at the entire world-wide audience, as President Packer did when he received The Lifetime Freedom Award in 2009. He talked about how if we were to be defeated that it would be from within. http://thestarforum.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/president-boyd-k-packer-lifetime-freedom-award/

    The Book of Mormon is a type for our day, and having re-read it again with my children, I am amazed just in Ether chapter 8 how much it feels like what we are facing. And if we do not “wake to our awful situtaion” we may be overcome. I have hope that more and more members will continue to wake up, but as was said in the talk by Dallin H. Oaks, the “arithmatic of the parable” of the Ten Virgins is chilling. 1/2 the CHURCH MEMBERS will not be prepared.

  57. Kelly W.
    November 14, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    “but as was said in the talk by Dallin H. Oaks, the “arithmatic of the parable” of the Ten Virgins is chilling. 1/2 the CHURCH MEMBERS will not be prepared.”

    We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us if 1/2 of the church members will be unprepared. Some of the stats show that 10% or less of members have any workable system of food storage.

    That means to me that 90% of the church might be unprepared, and unwilling to heed the teachings of church leaders. So, in order to get 1/2 of church members to be prepared, we’ve got a tremendous amount of work to do!!

  58. mormonlibertarian
    November 14, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    well, *we* can’t do anything, really. I’ve been sneered at by many church members whose resources are tens of times higher than mine–

    when I mention “food storage”. One person said, “food storage, what is that?” and then laughed at his own cleverness (a health care professional, highly paid)–

    at least two other highly paid M.D.s of my church acquaintance (one who was always very kind, the other with a more prickly personality) have either laughed at the notion of storing food or said, “I will ALWAYS be able to buy food and heat my home with public utilities!”–(one with anger)

    So–

    You know, I can’t change *them*, but I can feed my non-LDS neighbors, and if those whose resources have been beyond mine come to me for food, I will feed them.

    I will turn no one away.

    Father in Heaven has no limits; He owns everything–

    but I believe the church is in a wilderness, truly–

    in exile.

    It doesn’t appear that way, but the leaders must be very cautious; they are watched all the time; I pray for them; it must be a tremendous burden.

    I think things are much worse than they appear to be.

    I think we are closer to a ‘brink’ than it appears. Knowledge is power, and I have no illusions about being able to affect anyone else’s agency.

    I believe we are living in the times when the very elect will and are being deceived. The warning has been given.

    So, I prepare. I study. And I don’t expect to change anyone.

  59. Kelly W.
    November 14, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    “I believe we are living in the times when the very elect will and are being deceived.”

    I was listening to Joel Skousen yesterday, and he made a comment that I wrote down – – speaking of those church members who elect to ignore the signs around us: they are… “People who willingly decide to remain blind.”

    Sounds kinda like those church members you are describing, mormonlibertarian.

  60. Connor
    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    I found Elder Holland’s talk in the April 2011 General Conference to be interesting in relation to this issue. Here is states that they have so many different people in their audience that they must, in some ways, speak to the lowest common denominator:

    Consider the variety of the messages that you hear—all the more miraculous with no coordination except the direction of heaven. But why wouldn’t they be varied? Most of our congregation, seen or unseen, is made up of members of the Church. However, with marvelous new methods of communication, ever larger proportions of the audience for our conferences are not members of the Church—yet. So we must speak to those who know us very well and those who know us not at all. Within the Church alone we must speak to the children, the youth and young adults, the middle-aged, and the elderly. We must speak to families and parents and children at home even as we speak to those who are not married, without children, and perhaps very far from home. In the course of a general conference, we always stress the eternal verities of faith, hope, charity, and Christ crucified even as we speak forthrightly on very specific moral issues of the day. We are commanded in the scriptures to “say nothing but repentance unto this generation,” while at the same time we are to preach “good tidings [to] the meek … [and] bind up the brokenhearted.” Whatever form they take, these conference messages “proclaim liberty to the captives” and declare “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” In the wide variety of sermons given is the assumption that there will be something for everyone. In this regard, I guess President Harold B. Lee put it best years ago when he said that the gospel is “to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the [comfortable].”

    With such a diverse audience, many of whom are at the “milk” level of the gospel, it’s little wonder than as time has progressed, the gospel message has been simplified and focused on the fundamentals.

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