Follow the Living Prophet

(M B, October 2005.)

Anyone who is not involved in restoring the freedoms we have lost because of secret combinations is not following the counsel of the living prophet.

At the first press conference when President Gordon B. Hinckley was introduced to the press as the President of the Church in 1995, he was asked what his focus would be. He answered:

Carry on. Yes. Our theme will be to carry on the great work which has been furthered by our predecessors.

And again President Hinckley reiterated in the January 2005 First Presidency Message:

The Lord has given us counsel and commandment on so many things that no member of this Church need ever equivocate. He has established our guidelines concerning personal virtue, neighborliness, obedience to law, loyalty to government, observance of the Sabbath day, sobriety and abstinence from liquor and tobacco, the payment of tithes and offerings, the care of the poor, the cultivation of home and family, the sharing of the gospel—to mention only a few.

So what has the counsel been regarding the preservation of and our loyalty to our Constitutional government? I believe most members are well aware of what this counsel has been, and any who have doubts need but to look at the quotes from the prophets throughout this site.

Silence on Issues Comes Because of Slothfulness and Unbelief

Some seek to excuse themselves from the freedom struggle because it has not been of emphasis in recent conferences.

In the early days of the Church, the prophets repeatedly warned the saints with regard to public education. In 1877, Brigham Young made this statement:

Many of you may have heard what certain journalists have had to say about Brigham Young being opposed to free schools. I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking away property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it.…in aiding and blessing the poor I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of a set of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves, and give one-tenth to the poor. Therein is the difference between us; I am for the real act of doing and not saying. Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No!

In 1878, John Taylor, gave the saints a very arresting statement about parent’s responsibility and accountability to the education of their children.

Now I am told in the revelations to bring up my children in the fear of God.…Now we are engaged gathering together, or separating ourselves from the world and building our temples…that we may become united and linked together by eternal covenants that shall exist in all time and throughout eternity. And then, when we have done all this go and deliberately turn our children over to whom? To men who do not believe the Gospel, to men who, according to your faith, are never going to the celestial kingdom of God.…And you will turn your children over to them. And you call yourselves Latter-day Saints, do you? I will suppose a case. You expect to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. Well, supposing your expectations are realized, which I sometimes doubt, and you look down, down somewhere in a terrestrial or telestial kingdom, as the case may be, and you there see your children, the offspring that God had given you to train up in his fear, to honor him and keep his commandments, and perceive that between you and them there is a great gulf, as represented by the Savior in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. And supposing they could converse with you…what would be their feelings towards you? It would be, Father, mother, and you are to blame for this. I would have been with you if you had not tampered with the principles of life and salvation in permitting me to be decoyed away by false teachers, who taught incorrect principles. And this is the result of it. But then I very much question men and women's getting into the celestial kingdom of God who have no more knowledge about the principles of life and salvation than to go and tamper with the sacred offspring, the principle of life which God intrusted to your care, to thus shuffle it off to imbibe the spirit of unbelief, which leads to destruction and death. I very much doubt in my mind the capability of such people getting there.

And what happened? Despite the opposition of the Church toward government schools, the Utah legislature voted for funds for that purpose, and the people overwhelmingly supported it. For the most part, the prophets since then have remained silent on the issue.

Ancient Israel Rejects the Lord

In the days of the prophet Samuel, Israel wanted to be like all the other nations who had a king. But Samuel warned against such a course, and prophesied the people would come into bondage. When he prayed, the Lord told His prophet:

Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:7)

After the people rejected the Lord's counsel, Samuel told them:

And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (1 Samuel 8:18)

As a result, the people received what they wanted and the Lord and his prophet had no more to say regarding the issue.

Does anyone think the Lord is less exacting to those who will not hear and do in our generation? If so then listen to a message from the First Presidency regarding the saints and citizens support of socialism:

...the Church has not found it possible to follow along the lines of the present general tendency in the matter of property rights, taxes, the curtailment of rights and liberties of the people, nor in general the economic policies of what is termed the “New Deal”....unless the people of America forsake the sins and the errors, political and otherwise, of which they are now guilty and return to the practice of the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and of Constitutional government, there will be no exaltation for them spiritually, and politically we shall lose our liberty and free institutions....We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from the underlying spirit common to Naziism, Fascism, and Communism, namely the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution, and would set up such a reign of terror as exists now in many parts of Europe....We confess to you that it has not been possible for us to unify our own people even upon the necessity of such a turning about, and therefore we cannot unfortunately, and we say it regretfully, make any practical suggestion to you as to how the nation can be turned about. (signed Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay. Signed as the First Presidency, written during World War II. Letter to the U.S. Treasury, September 30, 1941, Emphasis Added)

President John Taylor tells us how our punishment will be commensurate with the light we posses.

Do I not know that a nation like that in which we live, a nation which is blessed with the freest, the most enlightened and magnificent government in the world today, with privileges which would exalt people to heaven if they lived up to them—do I not know that if they do not live up to them, but violate them and trample them under their feet, and discard the sacred principles of liberty by which we ought to be governed—do I not know that their punishment will be commensurate with the enlightenment which they possess? I do. And I know I cannot help but know—that there are a great many more afflictions yet awaiting this nation. (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, p. 141, July 3, 1881)

When we refuse to follow counsel, the Lord will cease to beg us to, and we will be left to our own devices.

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. (Jacob 4:14)