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Topic: Culture, Matches 4 quotes.



Cultural War

“One newspaper headline reads, “The Battle Lines Are Clearly Drawn for America’s ... Cultural War.” The article then asks: “Who determines ‘the norms by which we live . . . and govern ourselves”(?) Who decides what is right and wrong, moral and immoral, beautiful and ugly ...? Whose beliefs shall form the basis of law? ...

“Our (cultural) challenge is about ‘who we are’ and ‘what we believe’ “ (Patrick J. Buchanan, Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Sept. 1992, sec. A, p. 15).

Cal Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that some see “the state as either equal or superior to God in human affairs. Theirs is an uninvolved god who trickles down blessings when we want them, but whose commands are to be ignored when he asks us to do something we don’t want to do.

“The fact is that our laws came from a standard of righteousness that was thought to promote the common good, or ‘general welfare.’ . . . That standard has been abandoned as biblical illiteracy has flourished, thanks in part to the state’s antipathy toward immutable and eternal truths.

“William Penn wamed, ‘If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.’ One’s view of God and his requirements for our personal lives determines one’s view of the role of the state in public life....

“Benjamin Franklin ... observed that if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without God’s knowledge, ‘can an empire rise without his aid?’ “The late philosopher-theologian Francis Schaeffer wrote that ‘God has ordained the state as a delegated authority; it is not autonomous. The state is to be an agent of justice, to restrain evil by punishing the wrongdoer, and to protect the good in society. When it does the reverse, it has no proper authority. It is then a usurped authority and as such it becomes lawless and is tyranny.’ . . .

“This is what the culture war is about. It is a conflict between those who recognize an ... existing God who has spoken about the order of the universe, the purpose of the state and the plan for individual lives and those who think those instructions are unclear, or open to interpretation, or that God is irrelevant to the debate or doesn’t exist and we are on our own....

”(Thirty years ago) students could still pray and read the Bible in school, abortion was illegal and ‘gay rights’ meant the right to be happy. . . . The issue now is whether we will become our own god” (Cal Thomas, Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Sept. 1992, sec. A, p. 18).

No wonder Isaiah, speaking under inspiration, declared, “Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). ...

Source: David B. Haight
General Conference, November 1992

Topics: Culture



American Ideals Corrupted

One of the great wrongs going on in America today is the idea held by millions of people that they have the right to enjoy the things of life which they have never earned. It is a form of dishonesty that is corrupting the youth of today, it has already corrupted millions. It has produced an aversion to hard work. Idleness and the love of pleasure have taken away many of our American ideals given to us by the fathers of this nation. The hate of man for man has grown in this country as it has grown in the lands across the seas. These forces have torn down religious ideals, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord finds little lodgment in the hearts of men. Our civilization is suffering from a breakdown in character because our teachings have not had a sufficient effect on the actions and lives of individuals. We speak of reforms. Human nature can only be reformed by a strengthening of prophetic religion. A new day for social betterment can come only through the revelations of God to his people—the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Benjamin Franklin warned us in the Constitutional convention at the very birth of this nation that our government will end in despotism if the people become corrupt. This nation must turn back to God.

Source: Elder Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, October 1940

Topics: Culture; Government, Wealth Transfer; Welfare



Fundamentals In Discard

Humanity is passing through one of its most crucial experiences. We are in the midst of a revolution both of thought and mode of life. Beliefs of parents are questioned, old ideals are in the discard. Communism, Naziism, Fascism, Totalitarianism are giving birth to new conceptions that strike relentlessly at beliefs and teachings which were accepted a decade ago as fundamentals and unassailable. “Under the influence of a science as superficial as proud,” writes M. Paul Gaultier, a leading publicist of France, “old beliefs have been turned into ridicule, conscience is treated as a superstition, and honesty as a prejudice. Self-interest alone remains as a motive, and pleasure as the sole end of life. For too many people,” he continues, “evil consists not in infringing social laws, but in getting caught. Morality and duty figure in their eyes as so many prejudices out of fashion, and vestiges of centuries gone by.”

Source: President David O. McKay
General Conference, October 1940

Topics: Culture; Freedom, Threats to



What we need today is a group of high-souled men, men of vision and high morals, to put our nation in order, and to bring back that old-fashioned conscience of the nation, which recognizes the fact that the highest laws are the laws of God. Every man should put himself clearly and openly into some relationship of responsibility, for we are today beset with the mob spirit, which always acts apart from the organization of government. This is why the mob spirit is wrong. We should honor our past in the present; our dead in the living. What I want to hold up before us all is the conscience of our nation and government. Moral integrity, moral purposes, moral restraint are the necessities of the hour. If these things can be brought about, the nations of the world will have this to say of us: “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” Ideals must be established in the minds of the rising generation. While we realize that the age in which we live is new, the youth will never find anything more true and noble than the spirit of the pioneer America, when the first impulse was the joy of enterprise, initiative, and newly awakened powers. Honesty of purpose must be re-established; honesty of endeavor, honesty of word, honesty in our relationship with our fellow-men. “Look unto the rock, whence ye are hewn,” wrote Isaiah of old; and Solomon in his wisdom said: “Remove not the ancient land-mark, which thy fathers have set.”

We must hark back to the finer fundamentals of life, we must make every law and principle of right effective in our very lives. The end of the State is not to live, but to live nobly, and this can only be done as we realize the truth of truths, that the teachings of the Master must become the guiding stars of our lives. “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

Source: Elder Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1936

Topics: Christianity; Culture; Honesty; Morality

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