Inspired Constitution

Forgotten Fundamentals of the Constitution

An Address by Jerome Horowitz To the Newquist Group on April 8, 1972

with Ezra Taft Benson Comment on this Address

Copyright 2005 by Jerome Horowitz

May be copied for personal and teaching use provided source is shown.


      Following original publication of my book The Elders of Israel and the Constitution in 1970, one of the speaking invitations I received was to address an April 1972 meeting of The Newquist Group, a group of capable individuals interested in promoting true understanding of our Constitutional freedom system. Ezra Taft Benson, then an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among those present at that meeting. At the conclusion of my talk Elder Benson was asked to say a few words before hurrying off to another meeting. The following is a transcription of a recording of what he said about the talk I had just given.

      Brethren, my whole soul has responded to this very scholarly and statesmanlike address this morning. I am very glad–very grateful that I have been here. Time almost escaped me because I was so interested in the subject, and I wish we might have had time to hear a full discussion of the third item.

      I would hope that the subject matter of this address, this address probably as we have heard it this morning, might be published and circulated widely and read widely. I would hope that such a talk might be given before many groups, including student bodies in our three great universities in this state. It’s timely, it’s needed, it’s clear, it’s true, and the truth will endure. But people need to know this that they might help to save this country from the disaster that will otherwise be sure to follow. I’m very pleased. I hope you’ve read the book referred to.

      Although my talk was recorded, Elder Benson’s suggestion that it be published and circulated widely was never complied with. Now, 33 years later in my 84th year, I feel an obligation to make it available while I am still here to do so. The talk Elder Benson referred to (as slightly shortened and modified to adjust for it having been given without a written text) occupies the body of this work.

      I have also added a separate section discussing more of the third forgotten fundamental Elder Benson mentioned he wished those present “might have had time to hear.”

Jerome Horowitz


      When we consider the Constitution and the proper role of government I find it remarkable how few people go back to principle. What most people seem to do is decide how they should vote and what programs they should support based not on principle but on what sounds good. And of course the one who can make things sound the best is the adversary and he is the one they usually follow.

      By way of introducing our discussion of the principles that we should be applying with respect to government, let’s start with a statement made by Joseph Smith. He said:

      The government of the Almighty has always been very dissimilar to the governments of men, whether we refer to His religious government, or to the government of nations. The government of God has always tended to promote peace, unity, harmony, strength, and happiness; while that of man has been productive of confusion, disorder, weakness, and misery. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1943, p. 248.) (Jerome Horowitz, The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, 1970, p. l55, hereafter referred to as “Elders.”)

      There we have a basic understanding that true principles of government that bring good results are very different from the popular wisdom of the world that brings disorder, misery, and so forth.

      Where are we to turn to gain information about true principles of government? The Lord knew that this problem would confront us and he let us know. J. Reuben Clark said this referring to a part of the Doctrine and Covenants:

      To me, that statement of the Lord, “I have established the Constitution of this land,” puts the Constitution of the United States in the position in which it would be if it were written in this book of Doctrine and Covenants itself. This makes the Constitution the word of the Lord to us. (Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, 1964, p. 74. Italics in original.) (Elders, p. 156)

      If the Constitution is the word of the Lord to us and contains true principles as we understand that it does, it would seem that all we would need to do is study the Constitution and we would understand true principles. But unfortunately it’s not that simple because the adversary has been at work for many years.

      We’re all familiar with the experience that many missionaries have of meeting people who say they believe the Bible to be true, but when the missionary turns to specific passages the person says, “I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe that. I believe the Bible, but I don’t believe what it says. That’s allegory.”

      A similar incorrect interpretation has been applied to the Constitution. Instead of allegory, it is called flexible or a “living document.” And in our schools, including our law schools, our young people are taught that the Constitution is a flexible document. This concept of flexibility of the Constitution is the same as regarding the scriptures as allegory. It’s a way of rejecting what the document says without seeming to do so.

      Consequently what we have today are people who say they support the Constitution, while they support programs that are the opposite of the intent of the Framers and the provisions of the Constitution.

      What I’d like to do this morning is discuss with you the real Constitution the Framers designed under inspiration from our Heavenly Father. To do this, I won’t approach it from the point of view of the various sections of the Constitution, but rather from the point of view of the great fundamental principles underlying the Framers’ efforts. Those principles can be called the forgotten fundamentals because they are not followed today.

First Forgotten Fundamental

      There are three basic fundamentals. The first of these forgotten fundamentals is one that will surprise many people. It is that our constitutional system was solidly and unashamedly established not only as a republic, but as a religious republic.

      When our system was set up, this country left being one of the backward nations of the world and began to overtake the great powers. People came from other nations to see what was happening here. Our people enjoyed freedom and growing prosperity and happiness that were not found in other nations. These visitors assumed that the blessings that our people enjoyed were the result of our Constitution. So in nation after nation, constitutions patterned after ours were adopted. But they didn’t receive the blessings that our people were receiving under our Constitution. Apparently there was some additional ingredient they’d missed.

      Alexis de Tocqueville came here from France in the early days of our republic. He spent a considerable amount of time in this country, traveled widely, spoke to people in all walks of life, and went back and wrote a two volume work on his findings. He put his finger right on the indispensable ingredient without which you can not have a successful free constitutional republic no matter what constitution you adopt. Here it is in de Tocqueville’s words:

      Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions . . . . I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart?—but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society. (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vintage Books, 1945 reprint, Volume I, p. 316.) (Elders, p. 26.)

      The American people who were involved in the establishment of our system unitedly and firmly believed that it could not succeed except among a religious people. Why did they believe that? Well, you have to understand what freedom is. Freedom is a kind of a balance between two extremes. The one extreme is the breakdown of government we call anarchy where roaming mobs pillage and burn and kill—there’s no freedom there. The other extreme is what the Framers called a tyranny, what we call a dictatorship, where the government has the authority to control your life, and of course there’s no freedom there. But in between those two extremes, where you make your own decisions as to what you’re going to do, and the government is strong enough to protect you so that you’re not injured or prevented by others from doing what you have the right to do, that balance between anarchy and tyranny is freedom.

      What does that have to do with religion? That balance can only exist among a religious people. Suppose you start with a religious society and the people become less religious. What happens? The people start doing not what’s right because of their inward religious motivation, but what they can get away with. They start moving toward anarchy. Finally the government either collapses in anarchy, or what happened in France happens where the people become so fed up with the disorder that they support a dictator to maintain order.

      The Framers adopted a great idea. You remember when the woman asked Franklin what sort of system the Framers had given us he said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The Framers adopted a system that gave the people a chance to be free—a system that would last only so long as the people were righteous enough to have it. If the people stopped being righteous enough to be free, then the system would degenerate toward anarchy and probably a dictatorship would take over.

      They deliberately did not set up a government strong enough to maintain order in the event of the breakdown of morality and religion on the part of the people. This was consistent with the Framers’ belief that if you establish a strong government, recognizing the human nature tendencies of men, what you are doing is opening the door to tyranny. So they consciously and deliberately established a government that did not have the power to maintain order among an irreligious people. You recall that John Adams wrote:

      Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. (Charles E. Rice, The Supreme Court and Public Prayer, 1964, p. 47.)

      There are those who say you can have sufficient morality to have free government through education without religion. That idea was suggested in the days when our nation was young. It was an idea so dangerous that George Washington saw fit to warn us against it in his Farewell Address. Here’s what he wrote:

      And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (Elders, p. 28.)

      In summary, the first part of the first forgotten fundamental of a religious system is that it can only be successful insofar as the people act righteously because of their inward religious motivation.

      The second part of this first forgotten fundamental of a religious system is also vital. Of fundamental importance in all areas of our lives are the ideas we adopt, because you can not adopt an unsound idea and expect it to develop into a good result. The ideas that our system is founded on are fundamentally different from the ideas that other systems are founded on.

      Other governments are founded on the concept that whoever gets control of the government has the right to rule, whether he gains control by intrigue, by conquest, or by being elected. Our system is founded on the idea that the only one who really has the right to rule is God, and that the function of government is to preserve men’s God-given rights.

      There are two basic documents fundamental to our system. One of course is the Constitution. The other is the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution contains the blueprint; the Declaration contains the ideas. Let’s examine some of the ideas of the Declaration.

      The second paragraph begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” We’ve all repeated that many times. What does it mean? Self-evident truths—truths that evidence is not going to be presented to establish. Self-evident—evidence for themselves. To better understand what is meant by that expression, let’s turn to the rough draft that Thomas Jefferson wrote before Congress modified it. Here’s what Jefferson wrote:

      We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable. (Edward Dumbauld, The Declaration of Independence and What It Means Today, 1968, p. 53.) (Elders, p. 29.)

      The first part of the Declaration presents the basic ideas concerning government they accepted on faith.

      What are those basic ideas that they accepted on faith? That all men are created equal. What does that mean? There are two kinds of equality. There’s the equality that we hear so much about today, and there’s the equality of the Declaration of Independence. And they’re opposite. The kind of equality we hear so much about today is satanic equality. The kind of equality of the Declaration of Independence is godly equality. What’s the difference?

      Let’s go back to the council before the earth was created. You remember what happened there. We had an excellent example of God’s concept of equality. He said that this earth was to be created, we’d have the privilege of coming here to go through our mortal probation and we would be judged. We would all be judged equally. That is we would all be judged fairly—we would all get what we deserve. That’s why we have degrees of glory and condemnation, because different people would perform differently and would merit different rewards, or lack of rewards. That’s godly equality—equality of judgment.

      Lucifer presented what he claimed was a better plan. He contended that our Father’s plan is unfair because not everybody would be treated equally while his plan is a plan of equality. Under his plan, if he were given the power and the glory and the control, nobody would fail and everybody would get the same reward. Equality—not of judgment, but of reward.

      The only way you can achieve equality of reward is to violate equality of judgment, or to take away people’s agency and force everybody to do the same. That’s Lucifer’s program, and of course we recognize both aspects of it here in the earth.

      Let’s continue with the Declaration. “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Inalienable of course means they can’t be given away, or taken away; they’re a part of you. “That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The pursuit of happiness does not simply mean doing what makes you happy. It’s an expression that was used by others besides Jefferson to refer to private property. In the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments the expression is “life, liberty and property.” “Pursuit of happiness” implies a more dynamic concept of property. Not just holding on to what you’ve got, but rather venturing in an enterprise of your choosing and being secure in the fruit of your efforts.

      What is it that makes the rights of men inalienable? Is it that the Declaration of Independence or any law says so? Not at all. The thing that makes the rights of men inalienable is that they’re given to men by God. As the Declaration says, “Men are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights.” The connection is clearer in Jefferson’s rough draft where he wrote:

      That all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable. (Edward Dumbauld, op. cit., p. 53.) (Elders, p. 29.)

      Note the connection between inalienable rights and creation by God. What happens to inalienable rights if a people stops believing in God? There’s no more foundation for them. They’re just impressive words that have no meaning. There are other nations that guarantee people their rights, but they don’t have them.

      Thomas Jefferson warned us about this inseparable connection between the inalienable rights of men and belief in God when he wrote:

      Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? (Edward Dumbauld, op. cit., p. 59.) (Elders, pp. 30-31.)

      I realize that what I’ve said thus far about the first forgotten fundamental of an unashamedly religious system is contrary to what we popularly hear and to certain recent Supreme Court cases. So it might be appropriate to confirm what I’ve mentioned by quoting from a unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court in the Holy Trinity Church case decided in 1892, more than 100 years after our Constitution was adopted.

      In that case the Supreme Court referred to examples of recognition of God in American historical documents, and then the court opinion says this:

      There is no dissidence in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons; they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. (Holy Trinity Church v. United States, 143 U. S. 457.) (Elders, p. 31.)

      In that same case the United States Supreme Court also referred to evidences of religion in the daily lives of the American people and drew this conclusion:

      These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. (Ibid.)

      We can refer to statements in the Book of Mormon concerning this that have some bearing on the blessings that have been enjoyed in this country.

      Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ. (Ether 2:12)

      Further confirming the religious nature of this nation is this statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith:

      This country was founded as a Christian nation, with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of the world. It was predicted by a prophet of old that this land would be a land of liberty and would be fortified against all other nations as long as the inhabitants would serve Jesus Christ. But should they stray from the son of God, it would cease to be a land of liberty, and his anger be kindled against them. (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. III, 1956, p. 325.)

      A comment might be appropriate as to the meaning of a Christian nation. Does that mean we’re intolerant of the beliefs of others? Not at all. We’re a Christian nation in a very real sense. Our laws are founded on Christianity. That’s where we get our concepts of right and wrong. The tone of our society is a reflection of Christian attitudes. The majority of our people profess the Christian religion. We’re very solidly a Christian nation. The fact that others live among us who do not believe as we do and that we tolerate their presence does not mean that we have to stop being what we are, especially when being what we are is indispensable to the preservation of both their and our freedom.

      We’re all aware that there have been some contrary recent Supreme Court cases in the area of separation of church and state. It’s important that we recognize those cases for what they are—a perversion and reversal of Constitutional law.

      That’s the first forgotten fundamental—a solidly and unashamedly religious system that requires for its successful operation both a religious people and religious foundation ideas—and that freedom cannot be secure unless you have this religious foundation.

Second Forgotten Fundamental

      The second forgotten fundamental is essentially this—that our constitutional system is a free agency system established by God. It’s not just a government structure at all, but it’s an entire way of life. Let’s read a little from the Doctrine and Covenants. The previous verse refers to importuning for redress and redemption.

      According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

      That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

      Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

      And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80)

      The only way people can act according to their moral agency and be judged is if they make the decision. If they’re compelled to do a certain thing, then they shouldn’t be condemned for doing it if it’s wrong because they were compelled. And if it’s right they shouldn’t be rewarded because they didn’t do it. They were compelled. The concept underlying our constitutional system is solidly free agency. People make their own decisions and are responsible for them.

      The basic ideas underlying our system are God-given ideas. We’re familiar with the prophecies in the Book of Mormon about Columbus and others who would be moved upon by the Lord to come over here. Actually, the Lord prepared the way even more than that. He planted the seeds of the ideas that would be needed in advance so that they could be sufficiently known when they were needed for the people to accept them.

      There were certain men the Lord inspired with these ideas. One of them was an Englishman by the name of John Locke who lived mostly in the century before the Constitution was established. Let me give you some of John Locke’s ideas concerning the nature and function of government.

      He said God gave the earth to man to use to his best advantage which meant that men had the right to add their labor and ingenuity to the materials of the earth and thereby establish for themselves a property right in what they labored to create. He said man’s fundamental rights were to his life, his liberty, and his property, and that he has the right to use force to defend them.

      But in what he called a state of nature without government, this was not a practical thing to do because, using a picture that might be more familiar to us, a man would find himself spending his time sitting on his porch with his rifle across his knees to protect his family and his property.

      John Locke said the function of government was to protect men’s life, liberty, and property from what he called the fraud and violence of other men. He said that men had a human nature tendency to take from each other and injure each other and that the function of government was to protect men’s basic rights.

      He also said that although government is necessary, there is a serious problem inherent in it. When a man becomes a government official, he is still human and as a government official he can now use the power of government to do fraud and violence to those he’s supposed to be protecting.

      How is that to be solved? John Locke said that the solution to that is to limit the power of government to protecting men’s life, liberty, and property, and not to give government power to engage in other activities where government officials, following their human nature tendencies, would be likely to exercise improper dominion and control over the lives of those they’re supposed to be protecting.

      Turning to the Declaration of Independence, we read that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” meaning property as mentioned in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Continuing from the Declaration, “That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among men . . .”

      It’s important that we recognize that although these basic rights are referred to as three, they’re really one. It’s like a three-perspective drawing where one perspective doesn’t give you an adequate picture. You’ve got to look at it from different sides. But it’s still just one thing. And that one thing of course is individual freedom. United States Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland has well expressed the unity of these three rights in these words:

      Property, per se, has no rights; but the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the RIGHT TO HIS LIFE, the RIGHT TO HIS LIBERTY and the RIGHT TO HIS PROPERTY. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially ONE right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes life worth living. To give him liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave. (Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, 1964, p. 175.) (Elders, pp. 110-111.)

      It’s essential that we recognize that the argument that we often hear, that it’s possible to preserve human rights without preserving property rights, is unrealistic. The three rights are really three aspects of one right so that when you remove one you no longer have what the bundle aggregates. That property rights are an indispensable part of the bundle was well-recognized by those who established our Constitutional system. James Madison wrote:

Government is instituted to protect property . . . . This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own . . . . That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has . . . is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. (Jerreld L. Newquist, op. cit., p. 175.) (Elders, p. 86.)

      John Adams wrote:

      The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist. (Jerreld L. Newquist, op. cit., p. 174.) (Elders, p. 85.)

      Another man whose basic ideas were incorporated into our constitutional system was Adam Smith, a Scotch economist who said that if a free government is established, one that is limited to protection of life, liberty and property and minimal essential services and does not have the right to control people’s lives by seeking to promote prosperity by government management of the economy, or by seeking to obtain the support of the people by government welfare programs, there will be such an outpouring of productive energy, that the society will be carried on to wealth and prosperity.

      This is what happened in this country. By following this concept of limiting the government to protection and permitting the great outpouring of productive energy on the part of the people we became the great prosperous nation of the world.

      As a summary of this limited government second forgotten fundamental, let’s refer to a statement that Thomas Jefferson made in his first inaugural address:

      With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens—a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government . . . (Elders, p. 81.)

      Now of course the adversary is out to destroy our great freedom---prosperity--- happiness system. How can you destroy something and separate people from their allegiance to something that has brought such blessings? How can you undermine our capitalist system, which is essentially what it is? What can the adversary do? He can do what he does so well, and that is deceive.

      He launched a two-pronged attack. First, he sought to deceive us into thinking that our freedom and prosperity system is bad instead of good. And second, he offered us candy coated poison in place of it.

      To slander capitalism he promoted the Marxist class struggle concept of capitalism as the system under which greedy bosses oppress poor struggling workers. Unfortunately, there is a grain of truth in what he says that makes his lie seem plausible.

      It is true that there have been abuses under capitalism although they don’t compare with the abuses under Marxism. But the Lord doesn’t do away with free agency because some people use it to do evil. To those who say that we should do away with our free agency economic system because there have been abuses under it, we might refer to President McKay who said you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg because she sometimes cackles off-key.

      Capitalism, also known as free enterprise, is not characterized by the deceptive Marxist class struggle image. The real definition of capitalism is that it’s the free agency economic system and the only economic system under which men can be free. Here is President McKay’s true definition of capitalism or free enterprise:

      Free enterprise is the right to open a gas station or a grocery store, or to buy a farm . . . or to change your job . . . . Free enterprise has nothing to do with politics nor wealth nor class. It is a way in living in which you as an individual are important . . . . Free enterprise has nothing to do with how much money you have or don’t have, nor what your job is or is not. Free enterprise means the right to be yourself instead of some nameless number in a horde bossed by a few despots. Free enterprise is a sum of many little things—but how miserable you’d be if someone stole it from you. (David O. McKay, Deseret News, Church Section, Sept. 2, 1961, p. 4.) (Elders, p. 111.)

      What is the sugar coated poison? Remember the adversary’s program involves a double attack. One, to discredit capitalism, which is such a great blessing and an essential part of being free, and the other is to offer us sugar coated poison.

      We don’t accept the sugar coated poison unless our thinking has first been partially distorted because we only believe it if we fall under Edmund Burke’s definition of those who are unqualified to be free because they will listen to the flattery of knaves instead of the counsel of the good and the wise.

      The adversary’s sugar coated poison is essentially to have political leaders or would be political leaders offer, “If you folks will support me in my bid for office, then when I’m in office I’ll use my political power to take something from somebody else and give it to you. I’ll violate other people’s inviolable rights for your benefit. Therefore, you want to elect me, don’t you?”

      People who are motivated by true principles, by righteousness, by wisdom, reject such blandishments. But those whose clarity of thought has begun to weaken tend to accept them. Interestingly there’s a book called A Theological Interpretation of American History by Singer pointing out that the programs that our people have been voting for today are a reflection of their rejection of more orthodox religion in favor of liberal religion. In other words, political liberalism is an outgrowth of religious liberalism.

      Now, following up on this deception, we’ve got to recognize it for what it is. Not only is it an offer to violate freedom and destroy the system, but it’s a lie from another point of view. If all the wealth of the wealthy were to be confiscated it wouldn’t help those less well off very much because there are so many of them and comparatively few wealthy.

      Really, this opposite program is a system under which people use the government to transfer wealth back and forth, always trying to get more than they pay. Under that system less is produced because there’s a major diminution of those available for productive work since so many are involved with the redistribution of wealth and the control programs, and there is less incentive to produce because of the expectation of government benefits regardless of production. A side effect of that system is the step by step surrender of freedom. This is essentially the program Lucifer promotes.

      It’s important to recognize the two basic systems, and there are only two, as we’ll point out. One is the free agency system under which the individual takes care of himself, putting his reliance on his heavenly Father and his family and other voluntary assistance if needed. The government protects him as a sort of a policeman, but does not use its compulsory power to appropriate other people’s property to supply his needs.

      The opposite system is the compulsion system under which the state has the function of looking after the well-being of its citizens instead of just protecting them. To do this the state exercises primary control over everybody’s property taking from some and giving to others as it deems appropriate. When people look to the state to assume responsibility for their welfare they give the state authority to control them. For example, with respect to our children, we’re responsible for their well being; therefore we have the right to control them. When they become of age they are emancipated, that is, set free from us. We no longer have the right to control them or the obligation to support them. Similarly the state’s responsibility for people’s welfare carries with it the power to control them.

      There are two aspects to this government control that we need to consider. One is government management of the economy to promote prosperity, and the other is government welfare programs. We’re told that government management of the economy to promote prosperity is a new and better idea when actually it is old and not better.

      Does government management of the economy really promote prosperity? We might consider a few examples. When the Plymouth Bay colony was first established, they followed a sort of socialist/communist program and they nearly starved. The textbooks mention about them nearly starving in the beginning and then somehow they prospered. The difference is that they discontinued their common storehouse system and let people work for themselves.

      In this book, The Law and Cliches of Socialism, we have some extracts under cliché 47 concerning socialism as the wave of the future where there are quotations from Governor Bradford’s history of Plymouth Bay and Captain John Smith’s account of the Jamestown colony. It’s very interesting to read what happened in both colonies. This is a little of what Governor Bradford wrote:

      The experience that was had in this commone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceite of Platos and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of propertie, and bringing in communitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much imployment that would have been to their benefite and comforte. (Frederic Bastiat and others, The Law & Cliche’s of Socialism, 1964, p. 202. This is a combination of two volumes previously published by The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.)

      Governor Bradford tells how under the old system, there was a real problem of forcing people to work who said they weren’t well enough. But under the new system with people working for themselves on their own plots of ground, he records that even the women went willingly into the fields with their children to work. He said they couldn’t even have asked them to go under the old system.

      Captain John Smith mentions that in Jamestown when they changed from joint labor for a common storehouse to individual plots of ground and private ownership of what they produced, three or four men did the work that took 30 under the old system and they didn’t have to wake them up on the job.

      When people worked for themselves, they produced. When they worked for the common storehouse, most men did as little as possible since they would share in what was produced by the labor of others anyhow.

      This has happened again and again. Sweden is referred to, for example, as a worker’s socialist paradise. But some articles in U.S. News and World Report paint a different picture. In Sweden, when a young couple is married they often have to live with relatives while they wait perhaps ten years before they can have a place of their own. In contrast in what detractors speak of as our terrible capitalist country, in spite of the diminution of what we might have had because of our hobbling the operation of our freedom system, when our young people get married they can go out and get an apartment or a little house. Some call Sweden a paradise, but it’s not a paradise we want.

      There are many cautionary comments on what has actually happened in Sweden. Here is one summarizing many concerns:

      Here in Stockholm, suggestions are heard that the U.S. Congress, inundated with new ideas and new plans for bigger and broader benefits to be financed by taxpayers, might take a long, hard look at what has happened in Sweden. (Alfred Zanker, “Life In a ‘Great Society’ – What One Country Finds,” U. S. News & World Report, February 7, 1966, pp. 58-60; and Alfred Zanker, “The Dilemma in Sweden — A Sad Experience With Social Security,” U. S. News and World Report, April 24, 1967, pp. 90-91.) (Elders, p. 93)

      Such a long, hard look would show that the socialist programs haven’t solved the problems they were established to solve. In many cases they’ve become worse. And the people are drifting more and more toward communism.

      There was an experiment in socialism in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan for twenty years following the second World War. The socialists went in with the usual promises—just let us control things and you’ll have all these great benefits. We’ll build factories and use the profits for hospitals and highways and it will be wonderful. We’ll make Saskatchewan a Mecca for the working man. After 20 years the people elected a new premier dedicated to dismantling the socialist programs and going back to free enterprise.

      Premier Thatcher, their new Premier came down to our western regional governors’ conference and gave a talk. Here are a few of the things he said:

      Mr. Chairman, 20 years ago, the socialists promised to make Saskatchewan a Mecca for the working man. Instead, we saw the greatest mass exodus of a people out of an area, since Moses led the Jews out of Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

      Mr. Chairman—is there a lesson to be learned from Saskatchewan’s experience? I think there is—a rather horrible lesson.

      If there are any Americans who think that socialism is the answer, I wish they would come to Saskatchewan and study what has happened to our province. Twenty years of socialism gave my province—industrial stagnation;—retarded development;—oppressive taxation;—major depopulation. (Premier Thatcher’s talk was given at West Yellowstone, Montana on June 27, 1967. The quoted passages were taken from a mimeographed copy of his talk obtained from his office.) (Elders, p. 95.)

      Actually, the most comprehensive example of forced economic progress in the world under this opposite system is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Communist Russia. What happened there? In 50 years of forced economic progress, Russia has not overtaken any nation with the possible exception of Italy, which is heavily involved in this opposite system. This statement was made by Professor Aganbegyan at the University of Moscow in 1965:

      With respect to increase in living standards, things are going badly . . . There has not, in fact, been any rise in the standard of living during recent years. Ten million people have suffered a decrease in their living standards. (Eugene Lyons, Workers’ Paradise Lost, Fifty Years of Soviet Communism: A Balance Sheet, 1967, pp. 156-158.) (Elders, p. 96.)

      Then after telling about the very serious problems in their economy, Professor Aganbegyan says this:

      Everything that has been said is highly alarming because it is not just a question of the situation existing in our economy today, but one of the existing trend and this is very, very much worse. (Ibid.)

      Russia has achieved spectacular results by concentrating her resources in limited areas, such as military. But on an overall per capita basis, Russia is not number two at all. She’s more like number 20. And she’s not overtaking any of the advanced nations.

      What about the matter of government welfare programs that we’re also told are more modern and enlightened and superior and compassionate. The first thing we need to do is distinguish between government welfare and private welfare, because they’re opposite. When we talk about government welfare, we’re talking about something entirely different from private welfare or church welfare or anything involving voluntary aid. There are those who say that government welfare is Christianity in action. That is simply not true.

      Let’s make a brief comparison of the two points of view concerning welfare. Here is an example of Christian welfare. At one time Joseph Smith was with a group of people who were expressing sympathy for someone who had endured misfortune. Joseph Smith said, “Well, I feel sorry. I feel five dollars sorry.” And he reached into his pocket and took out five dollars and said, “How sorry are you?” Heber J. Grant did the same thing, but with 25 dollars.

      The point is that there was no compulsion. He reached into his own pocket and gave of his own substance because of his own feeling of good will and compassion and wanting to help somebody. That’s Christian welfare. It might be done on an individual basis or through an organized group, but it’s voluntary.

      Government welfare is entirely different. A politician seeking support of voters, or who wants to use the compulsory power of government to “do good,” says, “Support me and I will see to it that a law is passed that will help you, and I’ll force these other people to pay for it.” You see, he doesn’t pay for it, he gets the credit for it and the people who pay for it don’t do it voluntarily—they do it because they are forced to.

      There are those who say, you’ve got to do it that way or it isn’t fair; it isn’t equal; everybody should pay. Why? Not everybody’s going to get into the Celestial Kingdom. The only way you’re going to get righteous action on the part of everybody is by forcing them, and then they can’t have the rewards because they’re forced anyway! You see, Christianity is a matter of voluntary action to help somebody, not being forced to help. Welfare is not a function of government anyhow. Worse than that, if you adopt this opposite system, you’re doing several things that are very serious.

      One is that you’re doing an immoral act. Suppose a person commits murder by shooting somebody. He says, “I’m not responsible, the gun did it.” What is the difference between that and a person voting for a politician who promises to confiscate other people’s property and give it to him or someone else saying, “I’m not responsible, the politician did it.” You’re responsible because you put the politician in office to do it.

      More than that, when you adopt the idea that it’s right for the government to take from one and give to another, what have you done? You’ve undermined freedom. Remember, the ideas always come first. It might take a considerable time but you’ve introduced freedom destroying poison into the system. This is vital that we understand. If the government is recognized as having the right to take from one to give to another, that means that the people no longer have inalienable rights. Now the government has authority superior to the God-given rights of men, and can take from people their property, which is the fruit and badge of their freedom, and give it to someone else.

      When the income tax amendment was adopted, there were comments that in times of national emergency the tax rate might soar to five percent. You open the door and where do you stop? At the time the Constitution was framed in 1787, the Framers were aware of 250 years of British experience with government welfare programs. Beginning in 1601 the poor were supposed to work for their welfare, but the overseers and those they were supposed to work for were afraid of what the poor might do if they tried to force them to work. In 1795, the British adopted a guaranteed annual income and it nearly bankrupted the country. It was on a local basis and lasted about 35 years until one community went bankrupt and other communities were about to go bankrupt.

      In England the taxes went up and up and up and the workers were demoralized and their character was undermined. Following that disastrous situation a remarkably thorough study of welfare programs was made in 1832. Sadly the programs we have been adopting in this country completely ignore the sound conclusions of that really outstanding group that made that study more than 100 years ago.

      It doesn’t make any difference what name is given to the rejection of the Lord’s freedom system. The opposite system that’s adopted might be called communism or socialism or fascism. Part of the adversary’s deception is to label them left and right and say they’re different. All those systems are essentially the same thing. They’re simply variations of this opposite system under which the government is recognized to have the right and obligation to take care of you and control you in the process.

      In the book, I refer to a statement made in the communist magazine, Political Affairs, where we have this quotation:

      There is no dividing line between socialism and communism. They are not two different types of society but only two phases of one and the same social formation which differ from each other only in the degree of maturity. (William Weinstone, “The Historic Program of the CPSU,” Political Affairs, December, 1961, p. 39.) (Elders, p. 95.)

      It’s important that we understand that the communists know what they’re doing. They’re inspired by the devil to destroy freedom, but they recognize the importance of planting ideas that will bear fruit. Once we adopt the system of socialism, we’ve bought the poison and we’ve eaten it. The question then is whether we can get it out of our system before we reap the devastating consequences.

      To better understand how the collectivist system automatically expands once it is adopted it is helpful to recognize that once the idea to accepted that it’s right for a politician to offer benefits from the public coffers in exchange for votes, another politician is not going to offer less benefits. He is going to try to outdo the last one. You see how automatically it gets bigger and bigger. Ross Thatcher, the new premier in Saskatchewan warned our western governors about that in these words. He said:

      I’m sure you’ve heard some people say, “We don’t agree with socialism—we wouldn’t support it generally—but a little bit of socialism might be all right.” Mr. Chairman, we found in Saskatchewan that a little bit of socialism is like a little bit of pregnancy. Once it begins to develop, it’s pretty hard to stop. (W. Ross Thatcher, op. cit.) (Elders, p. 97.)

      And of course that’s the way it is. Recognizing how government control expands and freedom diminishes as politicians seek to outpromise each other at each election helps clarify a vital statement by Ludwig von Mises, a remarkably gifted economist with an unusually clear understanding of the relationship between economics and freedom. This was written many years ago:

The main issue in present day political struggles is whether society should be organized on the basis of private ownership, of the means of production, capitalism, the market system, or on the basis of public control of the means of production, socialism, communism, planned economy. Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individual’s life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management. There is no compromise possible between these two systems. Contrary to popular fallacy, there is no middle way, no third system possible, as a pattern of permanent social order. The citizens must choose between capitalism and socialism, or, as the Americans say, between the American and the Russian way of life. (Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy, 1944, p. 10)

      In emphasizing the great danger to freedom inherent in socialism President David O. McKay used the following quotation as part of a warning he gave about the trend toward socialism in the United States.

      During the first half of the 20th century we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism and have made strange alliances through which we have become involved in almost continuous hot and cold wars over the whole of the earth. In this retreat from freedom, the voices of protesting citizens have been drowned by raucous shouts of intolerance and abuse from those who led the retreat and their millions of gullible youth who are marching merrily to their doom, carrying banners on which are emblazoned such intriguing and misapplied labels as social justice, equality, reform, patriotism, social welfare. (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, 1953, p. 273.)

Third Forgotten Fundamental

      Now brethren, I have an apology to make that I’ve used all my time on the first two forgotten fundamentals. Let me just mention the third. It is that our system is a human nature system. It’s a system that cannot be outmoded because human nature does not change except by conversion, which is not what this opposite system offers. The Constitution was designed to protect freedom from the human nature actions and tendencies of government officials and people. For example, the attitude of the framers is identical to that expressed in the Doctrine and Covenants in these words:

      We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. (Doctrine and Covenants 121:39) (Elders, pp. 7-8.)

      Brethren, I ask the Lord to bless you in your studies of the Constitution that you might clearly understand true principles and diligently promote them. The hour is late, the enemy is no longer at the walls, the enemy is within the gates, and the dedication and diligence required of us to preserve our freedom is of a very high order. I ask the Lord to bless us in this, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Application Of Third Forgotten Fundamental

[Although this was not presented at the time of the talk, this is the content that would have been presented.]

      Since I ran out of time and did not present any details on application of the third forgotten fundamental of a human nature system in giving the original talk, it seems desirable to add a few comments on that application.

      The Framers strove to design a system that would protect against the federal government that was supposed to preserve freedom from itself becoming a tyranny. A major concern was the human nature tendency of people with authority to seek to expand that authority improperly. Here is how that concern was expressed in the Federalist:

      It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? . . . If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. (The Federalist, No. 51) (Elders, p. 8.)

      One of the devices the Framers used to keep the federal government in check was to severely limit the powers granted to it while the bulk of government power remained in the states. Here is how that division of power is described in The Federalist:

      The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. . . . The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all of the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. (The Federalist, No. 45) (Elders, pp. 13-14.)

      In addition to that division of power between the federal government and the state governments, the Framers also subdivided federal power among the various parts of the federal government. Then, to prevent future office holders from achieving a gradual consolidation of divided powers, they included a system of checks and balances under which they used the human nature tendencies of other office holders to preserve the separation. Here is how the checks and balances system of pitting human nature against human nature is described in The Federalist.

      But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of others. . . . Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. . . . that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. (The Federalist, No. 51) (Elders, p. 11.)

      Under that arrangement government officials improperly seeking to expand their authority collide with and are blocked by other government officials doing the same thing.

      Unfortunately the development of the political party system that the Framers opposed has undermined their carefully designed checks and balances arrangement. This is because under the political party system a politician’s personal ambition is more likely to be advanced by supporting the position of the party than by upholding the Constitution.

      Also many people do not realize that when the 17th Amendment providing for direct election of Senators was adopted in 1913 a major part of the Framers’ checks and balances system was terminated. The selection of Senators by the state governments was the way the Framers empowered the states to protect themselves against federal encroachment. Before adoption of the 17th Amendment eliminated the states’ representation in the Senate that representation enabled the states as states to participate in the adoption of federal laws, the approval of federal officials, and the ratification of treaties.

      Another human nature danger to freedom that the Framers protected against that has since been destroyed pertains to the people themselves.

      One of the arguments used in opposition to the Constitution was that the built in separation of powers and checks and balances arrangements were not adequate to protect freedom against usurpation of power by government officials. James Madison responded that it was a foolish idea to suppose that any form of government could secure liberty without personal integrity, sound understanding and serious political effort of the voters. Consequently ultimate reliance for the preservation of freedom was not on government officials under the Constitution but on the people who elect them. Here are Madison’s own words:

      To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them. (Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions, on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 1881, Vol. III, p. 537) (Elders, p. 187.)

      If the ultimate preservation of freedom depends not on the Constitution or government officials but on the voters who elect the government officials, the question of who shall have the right to vote is of overriding importance. Of particular concern is being as certain as possible that the voters are people who have an individual human nature motivation to preserve freedom, remembering that freedom involves inviolate rights to life, liberty and property. Based on that concern, the Framers felt strongly that the only people who can safely be given the right to vote are those who have property to protect rather than people without property who would have a human nature motivation to seek to use the compulsory power of government to obtain other people’s property for themselves.

      Unfortunately in our day the idea that it is right to use the compulsory power of government to redistribute people’s property has become accepted as “constitutional.” This has undermined the Framers’ freedom protecting property qualification for the vote concept since it has resulted in people who are not poor seeking and receiving major compulsory government transfer benefits. That result should be expected from adoption of the redistribution principle as “constitutional” since people with property of their own are the segment of society most able to associate with politicians and make political contributions.

      It should be emphasized that acceptance of the redistribution principle is incompatible with the Constitution as intended and understood by the Framers who drafted it and the people who ratified it. They understood that the Constitution was to protect property rights as an essential part of being free. It was not their intent or understanding that the Constitution undermine freedom by empowering the federal government to determine how much of people’s private property they should be compelled to give to others and how much they should be permitted to keep.

      Under the Framers’ limited government property protecting system, as part of their seeking to be as sure as possible that the right to vote be limited to people with a human nature motivation to protect property rights and thereby preserve freedom, a motion was made on August 7, 1787 that the right to vote be limited to freeholders (landowners). The motion reflected the belief of many that landowners were the portion of the population with the strongest personal interest in safeguarding property rights and therefore freedom.

      In the debate on that motion the thought was expressed that while most people in the United States at the time were landowners there would likely come a time, as happened in other countries, when there would be many people in the United States without property. If those people had the right to vote, they would likely undermine freedom by combining to vote themselves other people’s property or support a demagogue who would promise transfers to them of other people’s property.

      Here is how James Madison expressed his concern that the right to vote be limited to those with a human nature motivation to preserve property rights and freedom.

      Viewing the subject on its merits alone, the freeholders of the Country would be the safest depositories of Republican liberty. In future times a great majority of the people will not only be without landed, but any other sort of, property. These will either combine under the influence of their common situation; in which case, the rights of property & the public liberty, will not be secure in their hands: or which is more probable, they will become the tools of opulence & ambition, in which case there will be equal danger on another side. (James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, pp. 403-404) (Rousas J. Rushdoony, This Independent Rupublic, 1964, p. 56.) (Elders, p. 119.)

      The motion was opposed and eventually defeated mainly on two grounds. One was that people such as merchants who had other kinds of property than land also had a human nature motivation to preserve property rights and therefore freedom, and that they would be antagonized if they were deprived of the right to vote.

      The second major objection to limiting the right to vote to landowners was that the states already had property qualifications for voting and that requiring that the widely differing state qualifications be made uniform would cause needless contention.

      Some states required land ownership as a qualification for voting; others required a minimum amount of property but not necessarily land; while still others provided that only taxpayers could vote. The taxpayer requirement is interesting in that it provided a double motivation to preserve freedom. It included a property ownership element so there was something for the state to tax. But it also tied the property qualification more clearly to freedom in that if an attempt were made to undermine property rights it would likely involve increased taxation. Taxpayers whose taxes were being raised for an improper purpose would have an especially strong human nature motivation to protect freedom by opposing such anti-freedom government action.

      What the Framers eventually did was indirectly include a property qualification for voting by providing that the federal voting requirement in each state be the same as the particular state required for voting for the most numerous branch of that state’s legislature. Unfortunately as states eliminated their property requirements that also eliminated the federal property requirement as to that state.

      In changing to universal suffrage without a property qualification Americans have departed from the freedom preserving principles of the Framers and adopted a political orientation incompatible with long term continuation of our freedom and prosperity constitutional system. Some may be surprised to learn that it was Karl Marx who expressed a clear understanding of the significance of the property requirement for the vote. He wrote:

      Man proclaims politically that private property is abolished as soon as he abolishes the property qualification for the vote. . . Is not private property as an idea abolished when the non-owner becomes legislator for the owner? The property qualification for the vote is the ultimate political form for the recognition of private property. (Karl Marx, A World Without Jews, Philosophical Library, 1959 Edition, p. 11) (Elders, p. 120.)

      Karl Marx’ clear recognition that without a property qualification for the vote there are no inalienable property rights helps clarify the Ludwig von Mises statement at the end of the discussion of the second forgotten fundamental that there is no permanent middle ground between communism and capitalism. Without the property qualification for the vote there is no built in structural protection to prevent the gradual expansion of mild socialism into fearsome communism. This important principle is confirmed by the Weinstein communist publication statement included in the discussion of the second forgotten fundamental that communism and socialism are the same system differing from each other only in degree of maturity.

      It should be noted that adoption of a property qualification for the vote will not by itself stop the growth of socialism in the United States. What is needed is also elimination of the unconstitutional redistribution principle itself . This is because redistribution is not a one way street favoring the poor. Under our present system a major portion of redistributed property goes to those who are not poor but who have a human nature motivation to advance socialism by government compelled transfer of other people’s property to them, and who have the political clout to obtain such transfers. Presumably elimination of redistribution would take place in stages since so many people are now dependent on government benefits.

      Many people today may not be aware that the redistribution principle was not accepted as constitutional until the depression years of the 1930’s when there was widespread belief that our freedom system was a failure and that communism was a new and better system. Furthermore, a vital fact usually ignored that should be emphasized in the strongest terms is that empowering the government to exercise controlling authority over the property of its individual citizens gives that government authority characteristic of socialist and communist governments. Such a power is incompatible with our Constitutional system under which the government is supposed to protect its people’s God-given inalienable property rights which are an indispensable part of being free.

      Recognition that adoption of socialism as an idea leads step by gradual step to communism as potential beneficiaries, misguided do-gooders, and politicians outpromising other politicians combine in seeking ever increasing government benefits paid for by others helps us understand Nikita Khrushchev’s boast made personally to Ezra Taft Benson, quoted as follows;

      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. (Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, Parliament Publishers,1969, p. 320.)

      This may be an area where Joseph Smith’s prophecy about the Constitution being nearly destroyed and Latter-day Saints being instrumental in its preservation is to find partial fulfilment. Latter-day Saints understand the difference between Satan’s compulsion system and the Lord’s free agency system. That understanding includes recognizing that while there are difficulties and abuses under the Lord’s freedom system they are a normal characteristic of freedom as well as part of our personal growth, and are clearly preferable to the infinitely greater abuses under Satan’s compulsion system.

      Also Latter-day Saints’ recognition that freedom includes not using big government compulsion to correct every problem enables them to see more clearly that many of the abuses ascribed to capitalism really result from socialistically minded legislators unwisely applying big government compulsion solutions “for the good of the people.” In September 1843 Joseph Smith attended two lectures on socialism. In commenting on why he did not believe in socialism he mentioned that he had observed that under it the big fish ate the little fish. Here is what he wrote:

Wednesday, 13.---I attended a lecture at the Grove, by Mr. John Finch, a Socialist, from England, and said a few words in reply.

Thursday, 14.---I attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through, I made a few remarks, alluding to Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell getting up a community at Kirtland, and of the big fish there eating up all the little fish. I said I did not believe the doctrine. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. VI, pp. 32, 33. Italics in original.)

      Joseph Smith’s comment about the big fish eating the little fish seems to confirm that socialism then was like socialism today in that, although the rhetoric is about helping the poor, the reality is that most of the benefits go to those who are not poor.

      Those seeking to undermine our constitutional freedom system have attempted to promote the idea that socialism is similar to the United Order. I was personally present in the overflow Assembly Hall when, at the April 1966 General Conference Priesthood Meeting, President McKay had Marion G. Romney repeat a talk he had given at Brigham Young University comparing socialism and the United Order. In that talk Elder Romney showed that while socialism and the United Order bear some superficial similarities, they are fundamentally different. He concluded by reminding Latter-day Saints of their “duty to eschew socialism and support the just and holy principles of the Constitution as directed by the Lord.” (Elders, p. 100.)

      Today many Americans seem so indoctrinated with socialist thinking that they appear unaware of the immorality of using the government to “do good” and to compel other people to participate in paying for it. In contrast, Latter-day Saints have the benefit of D&C l34:1 and 2 which state that God holds men accountable for the way they use government, and that no government can exist in peace unless its laws hold inviolate each individual’s right and control of his property.

      Breaking the spell of socialism is not an easy task since so many of our people are now dependent on government benefits and our educational system conditions our youth to believe socialism to be a newer, more enlightened, more compassionate concept of government. But if the present trend is not recognized and reversed, the American people will step by step find themselves living under communism with its shrunken standard of living and loss of precious freedom.

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