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Topic: Unions, Matches 3 quotes.



It has been the counsel of the leaders of this Church from the beginning, to observe the Constitutional law of the land, and it is stated in the revelations that whatsoever is more than this or less than this, cometh of evil. We do not need anything outside of this strict letter of the law, for if we do go beyond it, or come tardy of it, we are liable to make a mistake. The agency that the Lord has given to his sons and daughters was given to all—the free agency to choose between right and wrong, and that agency makes us free, for the Lord has said, “If ye abide in my truth, then are ye free indeed.” Now, whenever any man enters any organization, secret or otherwise, that takes from him a certain degree of that free agency to choose between right and wrong, and makes of him a servant, to do as he is told in certain matters, quite irrespective of the righteousness or justice of the case, or of the right or wrong of the case, then that man surrenders that much of his free agency which he ought not under any circumstances to surrender. Let me explain.

In the Bishop’s Office the question was brought directly before us as to the right of a man to labor on some work which the Church was doing, whether he belonged to a Union or not. We decided that we would hire Union men or non-Union men; if they were good workmen, we would not ask the question as to whether they belonged to any Union or not. But we were confronted with this difficulty: one of our brethren who is a Union man, refused to work on the job with a non-Union man, a good member of the Church. In this case we said, this brother who does not belong to your Union is a good man, a good neighbor, a good citizen; you meet with him at the Sacrament table and administer the Sacrament to the Latter-day Saints. You may be appointed as a block teacher and go around teaching the Saints their duties. You may both be called on to administer to the sick, and you go and offer your prayers, but when it comes to working together, you, our brother who has a Union card and belongs to the Union, will not allow this goodbrother of yours to work for his living, nor will you work with him in any way, because he does not belong to your organization. Now we ask, do you think this is right or just or fair? He, a good man, every way acceptable, a good workman, to be deprived of working on a job because he refuses to surrender any part of his God-given agency to any organization whatsoever on the face of the earth? Or, because in this he refuses to put himself in a position where he may be called upon to do a wrong; for it is a wrong to say your own brother shall not have the privilege of earning a livelihood because he will not join your organization. On the other hand, a man comes along who is not the best kind of a citizen, who may be more or less disreputable, who is rather a discredit to good citizenship than otherwise, and yet he can show a Union card, and you, my good Latter-day Saint brother, who belongs to the Union, you will work with him; you will allow him to work for his living and join with you in this work, although e is not one-twentieth part the tithe of such a man as your own brother in the Church is, whom you refuse to work with.

This Union brother acknowledged that such was practically the case, and yet he was powerless to help it. Now, my brethren and sisters, don’t you see that this man had surrendered so much of his free agency to this Union of his that he was not permitted to do that which was plainly and clearly right toward his own brother in the Church? Therefore, I say, the counsel which has been given all along by the leaders of the Church, to refrain from joining any organization, or giving your allegiance, or any part of your allegiance to any society or Union which will interfere in the least degree with your free agency, is good sound counsel. Of course, one will say that he has a right to join whatever organization he pleases. It is true that he has that right, but his duty, his plain simple duty, is to protect his brother and the interests of his neighbor. A good many people stand upon their rights, as they say, and quite often forget their duties. Our duties to our God; to our Church; to our families; to our neighbors these ought to be first, rather than prating so much about our rights.

Source: Elder Charles W. Nibley
General Conference, October 1922

Topics: Duty; Unions



Our President said this morning in his opening remarks, we believe in freedom, in liberty; liberty for a man to work without being threatened to be killed if he does work. Now, I grant you that some of these organizations have done much to bring a greater share of prosperity to the laborers than they otherwise might have had, but would you say that a man working for you as a farmer, and you are right in the midst of your fall work, getting up your potato crop, perhaps you have a car that must be loaded; it is urgent that this work be done, because there is a storm coming, and your potatoes will be frozen, and what not,—and right then, knowing your extremity, this man who knows the circumstances you are in, and how much you need his help, he yet says, I am going on a strike; it is my right to strike, and I quit work right here. Would you say that this man was doing the right thing, doing his duty when he leaves the farmer in that predicament, just because he knows he can inflict an injury upon a man whom he is working for? That spirit is wrong, and most reprehensible.

Source: Elder Charles W. Nibley
General Conference, October 1922

Topics: Honesty; Unions



We all know the situation, at least in a general way, and we know it is rapidly becoming worse, and that the “closed shop” system is rapidly spreading. This is a system of force that places plants and institutions employing labor in the hands of selfish, irresponsible labor leaders, agitators and organizers who force owners, managements, laborers, the public and even government officials to do their unrighteous bidding. Thus freedom is crushed and the guarantees of our inspired Constitution are thrown to the winds. Where the “closed shop” comes in freedom goes out, and the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” vanishes.

Now of one thing I feel sure. The vast majority of the patriotic liberty-loving people of America want the guarantees of our inspired Constitution maintained. They want this choice land still to be and to remain the “land of the free and the home of the brave:”

Source: Elder Joseph F. Merrill
General Conference, October 1941

Topics: Freedom, Loss of; Labor; Unions

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