Chapter 9: The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, (2014), 125–35
During 2015, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our comments following.
“Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God? … If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book.”
Out of all the prophets in the Mormon Church, probably none was more of an advocate of the primacy of the Book of Mormon than thirteenth president Ezra Taft Benson. And the statement given above is very clearly “Bensonian,” if there was even such a term. If we want to draw near to God, then no other scripture is better for a source than the Book of Mormon, according to this 20th century leader. Let’s see if this unique LDS scripture can deliver the goods.
The following quotations, all from sermons President Benson delivered as President of the Church, provide a sampling of his warnings and promises related to the Book of Mormon:
“Now we not only need to say more about the Book of Mormon, but we need to do more with it. Why? The Lord answers: ‘That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion’ [D&C 84:58]. We have felt that scourge and judgment!
To the Christian, the words “Book of Mormon” ought to be replaced with the “Bible.” While we don’t need to say more about the Bible, it is clearly important to Christians all over the world.
“… The Book of Mormon has not been, nor is it yet, the center of our personal study, family teaching, preaching, and missionary work. Of this we must repent.”
If the Book of Mormon truly is God’s Word, then yes, it would be important to have more personal study, family teaching, preaching, and missionary work come from it. But if it is not…? Honestly, I do wish the Mormon leadership would emphasize pure Bible teaching in this type of way. The Word of God has revolutionized the lives of so many believers today when they took it seriously and pondered its words.
“We have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods. … Our missionaries are not as effective unless they are [teaching] with it. Social, ethical, cultural, or educational converts will not survive under the heat of the day unless their taproots go down to the fulness of the gospel which the Book of Mormon contains. Our Church classes are not as Spirit-filled unless we hold it up as a standard.”
Mormon leaders have talked about the Book of Mormon being the “fullness of the gospel “ many times. In fact, this chapter uses that term five times. We’ll come back to this later.
“I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown—and we will plead to the Lord that He will begin to lift the condemnation—the scourge and judgment. Of this I bear solemn witness.”
These are serious words: condemnation, scourge, and judgment. Obviously Benson thought very highly of this book.
“I do not know fully why God has preserved my life to this age, but I do know this: That for the present hour He has revealed to me the absolute need for us to move the Book of Mormon forward now in a marvelous manner. You must help with this burden and with this blessing which He has placed on the whole Church, even all the children of Zion.
Again, his sincerity seems genuine.
“Moses never entered the promised land. Joseph Smith never saw Zion redeemed. Some of us may not live long enough to see the day when the Book of Mormon floods the earth and when the Lord lifts His condemnation. (See D&C 84:54–58.) But, God willing, I intend to spend all my remaining days in that glorious effort.”
And needless to say, he did advocate the Book of Mormon to the end of his days.
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.
How important is the Book of Mormon? Joseph Smith called it “the keystone of our religion.” (History of the Church, 4:461.) “Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations,” he said, “and where is our religion? We have none.” (History of the Church, 2:52.) A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.
… Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.
Joseph Smith claimed the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194). Let’s spend a little time talking about this claim.
Getting nearer to God has been associated in Mormonism with eternal life, which is also called exaltation or godhood. According to Gospel Principles:
These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 76:62).
2. They will become gods (see D&C 132:20–23).
3. They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase.
4. They will receive a fulness of joy.
5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (see D&C 132:19–20).
“Specific ordinances” that must be “received to be exalted” include:
1. We must be baptized.
2. We must receive the laying on of hands to be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
4. We must receive the temple endowments.
5. We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.
In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to:
1. Love God and our neighbors.
2. Keep the commandments.
3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
4. Search out our kindred dead and receive the saving ordinances of the gospel for them.
5. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the covenants.
6. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord.
7. Have family and individual prayers every day.
8. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
9. Study the scriptures.
10. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.
Numerous requirements never mentioned in the Book of Mormon must be met. In addition, the Book of Mormon does not discuss other important LDS doctrines, including:
- The Mormon Church organization, on which its leaders place so much emphasis
- The Melchizedek priesthood order
- The Aaronic priesthood order
- A plurality of gods
- God is an exalted man
- The potential for humans to attain godhood
- Three degrees of glory
- Eternal progression
- Heavenly Mother
- Temporary hell
In all actuality, there is no evidence to suggest that the Nephites mentioned in the Book of Mormon believed or practiced much of what modern-day Mormons believe and practice today. BYU professor Charles Harrell notes,
It is noteworthy that the doctrines expressed in the Book of Mormon tend to bear closer similarity to those found in early nineteenth-century Protestantism than to those in later Mormonism. (This is My Doctrine, p. 20)
Hence, I must ask, “Which precepts was Joseph Smith talking about?”
The quote from above also says “than any other book.” Just what does the Book of Mormon have that the Bible doesn’t? At this point, many Mormons would immediately say, “Faith. Repentance. Baptism.” The Bible has all of these. What else? The Mormon has a hard time coming up with anything else not already adequately talked about in the Bible. Meanwhile, so many issues (as listed above) are strangely missing in a book that is supposed to epitimize gospel precepts.
In addition, there is an admission that if the Book of Mormon is false, the entire LDS religion goes with it. There are two underbellies of Mormonism that, if the stake goes through their hearts, the result would be fatal. Indeed, the First Vision and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon are crucial to the faith of Latter-day Saints. Historically, if neither of these were historical, then Mormonism is based on fables (fiction), not fact. And the Mormon leadership and their apologists all know it. So, while some may attack the Book of Mormon, these men do all they can to defend it.
As Joseph Smith himself said,
Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none (History of the Church 2:52).
And Apostle Orson Pratt added,
This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged with their families into hopeless despair. The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, 1:1, Liverpool, October 15, 1850).
Perhaps there is nothing that testifies more clearly of the importance of this book of scripture than what the Lord Himself has said about it.
By His own mouth He has borne witness (1) that it is true (D&C 17:6), (2) that it contains the truth and His words (D&C 19:26), (3) that it was translated by power from on high (D&C 20:8), (4) that it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:9; 42:12), (5) that it was given by inspiration and confirmed by the ministering of angels (D&C 20:10), (6) that it gives evidence that the holy scriptures are true (D&C 20:11), and (7) that those who receive it in faith shall receive eternal life (D&C 20:14).
All of these passages that claim how God is speaking has but sole witness: Joseph Smith. To believe that God said these things is to place full faith in the Mormon founder himself. Isn’t this a bit of circular reasoning? After all, Joseph Smith claimed that Moroni gave him gold plates. We must trust Smith on this. Then, in the Doctrine and Covenants, again there were no witnesses to verify how God communicated with Smith to write down these things. And in these passages, God “tells” Smith how the Book of Mormon can be trusted. Thus, the D&C verifies the BOM, both originating from the pen of the Mormon Church founder. If Smith is not trustworthy, should these be accepted at face value?
The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and brings us nearer to God.
The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”
Consider the descriptions used to support Joseph Smith’s statement of the major mission of the Book of Mormon:
- Jesus is the Christ: Christ means Messiah, and certainly Christians believe that this is who Jesus is.
- The eternal God: Consider the idea of what this means. Eternal means with no beginning and no end. Jesus is not even the top god of this world, let alone all previous worlds. He is a creation of God the Father in the preexistence and humanity’s brother. When the Book of Mormon was compiled, Joseph Smith’s ideas had not yet been evolved. At this time, Smith apparently believed that Jesus was God in the flesh and not just “a” god. (A little later, we’ll take a closer look at the Book of Mormon’s teaching that God is “unchangeable.”)
- Manifesting himself unto all nations: Mormons often point out that if there were people in the Americas, wouldn’t Jesus come to them? After all, the Nephites and Lamanites are part of the ethnos (nations). But if Jesus appeared in the Americas, why not Austrailia? Papua New Guinea? Alaska? New Zealand? Or any other place where people existed?
The honest seeker after truth can gain the testimony that Jesus is the Christ as he prayerfully ponders the inspired words of the Book of Mormon.
According to Mormonism, praying about the Book of Mormon is the key to determining truth. One of the most common approaches Mormon missionaries may take with prospective new converts involves opening the Book of Mormon to Moroni 10:4. It reads,
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
An LDS missionary resource explains,
In order to know that the Book of Mormon is true, a person must read, ponder, and pray about it. The honest seeker of truth will soon come to feel that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, p. 38)
Another church manual says,
A sincere reader may not immediately gain a testimony when reading the Book of Mormon. Further, some people may not recognize the testimony that is growing as they study and pray over this tremendous text. But the promise of Moroni will come. (Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 8)
Yet there are problems with this challenge. First of all, the test is skewed. A person who “prays” but doesn’t get the same answer as the missionary is viewed as not getting it right. If prayer is the correct means of testing the book’s authenticity, why is a negative outcome immediately rejected as a plausible response? Though the Mormons may not say so, it is likely that they would question whether or not such a person had a “sincere heart” or “real intent.” It could also imply that the person lacked a necessary “faith in Christ.” However, Jeremiah 17:9 says a feeling one has can be disastrously wrong because “the heart is desperately wicked.” Praying about a religious book, especially if it is fictional and not historical, is hardly an objective test.
If the Book of Mormon is just one of four LDS scriptures, why should it be prayed over and not the other three scriptures? For that matter, why shouldn’t a seeker after truth pray about the Qu’ran (Islam), the Vedas (Hinduism), or the Tripitaka (Buddhism)? Where does praying about a particular religion’s scripture stop? If praying about a book is a way to determine truth, then why have many Mormons never even thought about expanding their prayers to more than just one religion’s scripture?
While Christians believe in prayer, they don’t believe it is appropriate to approach communication with God in such a cavalier manner. First Thessalonians 5:21 tells believers to “test everything.” The Bereans were considered to be more righteous than the Thessalonians in Acts 17:11 because they searched the Scriptures (Old Testament) to see if what Paul taught was consistent. While the Mormon missionaries may want potential converts to obtain a subjective feeling that the Book of Mormon (and ultimately, Mormonism) is true, they should instead request their audience to read the Bible for itself—not in light of “modern-day revelation”—and see if what Mormonism teaches is consistent with the special revelation already given.
Do we remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon? In the Bible we have the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word testament is the English rendering of a Greek word that can also be translated as covenant. Is this what the Lord meant when He called the Book of Mormon the “new covenant”? It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus. This is one of the reasons why we have recently added the words “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” to the title of the Book of Mormon. …
Mormon leaders can call this book “another testament of Jesus Christ,” but if what is talked about in this book is not historical, does it really matter? What kind of witness of the historical Jesus would it be able to offer?
The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text,
Let’s stop in midsentence. As in, “Whoa Nellie.” This assessment is completely inaccurate. As the eighth LDS Article of Faith says, the Bible can be trusted only “as far as it is translated correctly.” What does this mean? Translation means to take words from one language and put them into the words of another. If the Bible were true only as far as it is translated correctly, we would certainly agree. Unfortunately, those who mistakenly think the Bible cannot be trusted apparently do not understand how the Bible has been transmitted since the post-New Testament times.
The Bible was written primarily in Hebrew and Koine Greek. Anytime the words from one language are put into another—whether it is Spanish into English or French into Arabic—there is always the risk of losing something in the translation. It is doubtful that our many modern-day translations were produced by unprincipled people who wanted to keep God’s truths hidden. In actuality, quite the opposite is true. The motivation behind a new translation is, in most cases, to give a clearer understanding of what God wants to reveal to His people. Granted, some translations do a better job at achieving this goal than others. However, does Article Eight correctly state the problem the LDS Church has with the Bible? Some Mormons have recognized that the word translated as used in the Articles of Faith is not entirely correct. Knowledgeable Mormons who have studied the methods of translating languages admit that the transmission, not the translation, of the biblical texts concerns them.
Transmission refers to how the manuscripts were copied and handed down through the centuries. A number of Mormons contend that the manuscripts were corrupted, claiming that unscrupulous people had purposely left out “many plain and precious truths” and inserted their own erroneous philosophies. However, this is an argument from silence, since these same detractors cannot produce any untainted manuscripts against which to measure the “tainted” ones.
Although translations will differ, a good translation will go back to the most accurate manuscripts and then attempt to put the words of the Bible into an understandable language for the audience it addresses. Two translators of any written piece will differ in the choice of words, verb tense, and style. But if two good Spanish translators independently translate this morning’s paper, most likely the basic message would be the same despite their numerous differences. There is no such thing as a perfect translation.
The LDS Church leaders must certainly be aware of this, since their translators have often had to revise not only their English edition of the Book of Mormon but several foreign editions as well. When it comes to the transmission of the text, the Bible has much going for it. For example, consider the wealth of manuscript evidence for the New Testament:
There are complete Greek texts of the NT from the fourth century, and many earlier papyri of parts of it have survived, some from as early as the middle of the second century. In all, we have over 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the NT, though the majority of these are later and of lesser value. There is also a wide variety of manuscript evidence for the early versions in Latin, Syriac, and Coptic, as well as numerous citations from the NT books by early Christian writers whose works are preserved. The NT is thus vastly better attested than any other ancient literature. The works of Tacitus, by contrast, survive in only two incomplete manuscripts written many centuries after his time, between them covering only about half of what he is known to have written. (The Challenge of Bible Translation: Communicating God’s Word to the World, p. 179)
Christian theologian Ron Rhodes lists some of the incredible statistics of the manuscript support for the Bible, including:
There are more than 24,000 partial and complete manuscript copies of the New Testament. . . . There are also some 86,000 quotations from the early church fathers and several thousand Lectionaries (church-service books containing Scripture quotations used in the early centuries of Christianity). . . . The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the (Old Testament). In fact, in those scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900). The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes. The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament’s manuscript transmission. Source
As far as the reliability of the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that we have today, biblical scholar Bruce Metzger said:
The earlier copies are generally closer to the wording of the originals. The translators of the 1611 King James Bible, for instance, used Greek and Hebrew manuscripts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Today Bible translators have access to Greek manuscripts from the third and fourth centuries and Hebrew manuscripts from the era of Jesus. We even have the Ryland’s Papyrus, just a torn page with a few verses from John 18, that we can date between A.D. 100 and 150. So today we have access to a text of the Old and New Testaments that is more basic, more fundamental, less open to charges of scribal error or change. Source
Responding to a question about most surviving New Testament manuscripts hailing from a century or two after the originals were written, Metzger said:
By contrast, our copies of other ancient writings, like those of Virgil or Homer, are often many hundreds of years later than their originals. In some of those writings, we have only one copy! The New Testament, on the other hand, has many copies. No key doctrine of the Christian faith has been invalidated by textual uncertainty. On the other hand, some passages have been affected. For example, take Mark 9:29. Jesus is explaining how he was able to cast out a demon, and in the earliest manuscripts, he is quoted as saying, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” In the Greek manuscripts the KJV translators used, the two words “and fasting” are tacked on. I do not think that is an earth-shaking difference, but it is typical of the kind of changes we are talking about.
Finally, if the Bible cannot be trusted because so many evil middlemen got their hands on it, then we must ask how it is possible to trust:
- James 1:5, the verse used by Joseph Smith that led him to pray about seeking truth?
- 1 Corinthians 15:29, which is used to support baptism for the dead as a necessary work in the LDS temples
- John 10:16, that the American people were referenced as the “other sheep”
- James 2:20, 26, that faith without works is dead
The list could go on and on. The point is that no Mormon should be able to quote from the Bible to support his or her points if this collection of 66 books is not trustworthy. Perhaps the Mormon would want to utilize the Joseph Smith Translation.
the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation.
This is also not true. Just as we do not have the autographs (original) of any book of the Bible, so we do not have the autographs of any book of the Book of Mormon. This is because the angel supposedly took the plates back after Smith was finished. His scribes wrote down the translation onto paper. Then the printer made a copy. Since that time, almost 4,000 changes have been made to “correct” the errors that are said to have emanated from the printer’s copy. While Benson makes it sound so smooth and convenient, the fact is that there was more than just one “step.” While it should seem simpler because there is only one “translator,” there are still many problems, causing a rational person to doubt if what was written is actually what was supposed to have been said.
Therefore, its testimony of the Master is clear, undiluted, and full of power. But it does even more. Much of the Christian world today rejects the divinity of the Savior. They question His miraculous birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His glorious resurrection. The Book of Mormon teaches in plain and unmistakable terms about the truth of all of those. It also provides the most complete explanation of the doctrine of the Atonement. Truly, this divinely inspired book is a keystone in bearing witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ.
Historically, the Christian church teaches in the divinity of Jesus. Heretics deny this. Much of what is written about Jesus was merely cribbed from the four biblical gospel accounts. Actually, little to nothing about Jesus can be learned that isn’t talked about in the Bible, which on its own clearly bears witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ.
In the Book of Mormon, the testimony of Jesus Christ is “clear, undiluted, and full of power.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith … said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” [History of the Church, 4:461]. … Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book. …
We referenced this quote at the beginning of the review, establishing that there is so much taught today in Mormonism that is never even mentioned in the Book of Mormon. For example, the Book of Mormon seems to even contradict LDS teaching. One doctrine would be the possibility of receiving salvation after death. Consider Alma 34:35, which offers this stern warning to the “wicked” who put off repentance:
For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
What is this final state of the wicked? It seems very clear that this includes the Lord’s Spirit being withdrawn from them so that the devil has all power over them and the ability to claim them as his own. Nowhere does this passage imply that this situation ever changes since it is considered “final.” Or how about the doctrine of eternal hell, denied today in Mormonism? Second Nephi 28:21–22 provides a warning:
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
Our beloved brother, President Marion G. Romney, … who knows of himself of the power that resides in this book, testified of the blessings that can come into the lives of those who will read and study the Book of Mormon. He said:
“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).
Substitute the word “Bible” for the “Book of Mormon” and millions of Christians could give a similar testimony.
These promises—increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness—are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God.
Mormons are told to draw near to a God who is much different in nature than the God as defined by their leaders. Let me take a moment to describe what I mean. According to the Book of Mormon, God doesn’t change His nature. Consider these passages:
3 Nephi 24:6 (quoting Mal. 3:6): “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
Mormon 9:9-10: (quoting Heb. 13:8): “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.”
Mormon 9:19: “And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.”
Moroni 7:22: “For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting. . .”
Moroni 8:18: “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”
These verses sound biblical, don’t they? Yet it didn’t take long before Joseph Smith corrupted this version of God. Consider how, in his famous King Follett Discourse discourse, he taught,
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret… [Y]ou have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you…
In a later sermon Smith boldly preached:
If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.
To the contrary, God says in Isaiah 43:10, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” Psalm 90:2 says of him, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” This is the God Christians worship. Of him we can say, “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:34-36)
For an interesting look at this topic, visit here.
The Book of Mormon teaches true doctrine, confounds false doctrine, and exposes the enemies of Christ.
If this is true, then the God of Mormonism as described above by Joseph Smith is false and should be adamently rejected. Should we consider Smith’s take as “false doctrine” and Smith an “enemy of Christ”?
The Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9). That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation. The Book of Mormon offers so much that broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation. Without it, much of what is taught in other scriptures would not be nearly so plain and precious.
Notice the equivocation. The fullness of the gospel of Jesus does not “contain every teaching,” as Kimball puts it. It would seem that fullness ought to contain the basic teachings of the gospel, including temple work, marriage for eternity, work for the dead, etc. Also, we have just shown how the doctrine of God of Mormonism (as taught by Smith) is contrary to the teachings of the Book of Mormon. Has God always been God? Is He really from everlasting to everlasting? Or could Joseph Smith (and today’s Mormon Church) be wrong about this issue?
As far as preaching the gospel is concerned, the Book of Mormon contains the clearest, most concise, and complete explanation.
Moroni 8:18: “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”
Historic Mormonism: “As man is God once was, as God is man may be.” (Lorenzo Snow couplet, as approved by Joseph Smith in 1840)
Was God a human, as taught in the Snow couplet, who became “a” god somewhere in his progression? Or was God always God? Which is the “clearest, most concise, and complete explanation” for a verse like Moroni 8:18?
There is no other record to compare with it. In what record do you get such a complete understanding of the nature of the Fall, the nature of physical and spiritual death, the doctrine of the Atonement, the doctrine of justice and mercy as it relates to the Atonement, and the principles and ordinances of the gospel?
Answer to thsi question: The Bible! Here are just a few verses (2 or 3) for explanation for each of the points provided by Benson:
Nature of the Fall:
Genesis 2:17: “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:18-21: “For then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Nature of physical and spiritual death:
Romans 5:12-14: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Doctrine of the Atonement:
Isaiah 53:5-6: “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Peter 2:24: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
1 John 3:5: “You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.”
Doctrine of justice and mercy (in relation to Atonement):
Ephesians 2:4-10: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
Hebrews 13:12: “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.”
Principles and ordinances of the gospel
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Romans 10:9-10: “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
These are just a few of the passages that can be used to show how the Book of Mormon is not needed to give fulness to the teachings provided. Nothing more is needed.
The Book of Mormon contains the most comprehensive account of these fundamental doctrines.
I think the Bible already has a handle on these teachings and doesn’t need any help.
The Book of Mormon … verifies and clarifies the Bible. It removes stumbling blocks, it restores many plain and precious things. We testify that when used together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines, lay down contentions, and establish peace. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.)18
Which stumbling blocks? Certainly there are people who misinterpret the Bible—I would even say Mormon leaders do this. However, when rightly interpreted, the words of the Bible give life and provide true doctrine.
We … should know the Book of Mormon better than any other book. Not only should we know what history and faith-promoting stories it contains, but we should understand its teachings. If we really do our homework and approach the Book of Mormon doctrinally, we can expose the errors and find the truths to combat many of the current false theories and philosophies of men.
If someone studied the Book of Mormon in a doctrinally sound way and had no other resources upon which to study, would he come to the same conclusion as Joseph Smith when it came to the nature of God?
I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter.
The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time.
We could certainly delve into other doctrines like the idea there is only one God; that God is a Spirit and can not be a glorified man; that grace, faith and belief on God’s name is needed, not our works (as the works of man merit nothing, according to Alma 22:14); that a person must be born again; that work for the dead “availeth nothing”; that there is an eternal hell; and that polygamy is an abomination. (For the last one, Alma 41:8 does say that the decrees of God are unalterable yet for almost half a century this doctrine was advocated by LDS leaders.)
As explained above, doctrines that are missing in the Book of Mormon include preexistence, the validity of genealogies, baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, three levels of glory, godhood potential for humankind, a temporary hell, eternal progression, temple work, and Mother God.
Should the Book of Mormon really be classified as the “most correct book on earth” and touted as helping “a man get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book”?
The Doctrine and Covenants is the binding link between the Book of Mormon and the continuing work of the Restoration.
To accept the Doctrine and Covenants, we are again beholden to Joseph Smith who was allowed to write down the words of God with no accountability. In essence, he had freedom to say whatever he wanted in the name of God.
I would like to speak particularly about the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. These two great books of latter-day scripture are bound together as revelations from Israel’s God for the purpose of gathering and preparing His people for the second coming of the Lord. …
To the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord said, “This generation shall have my word through you” (D&C 5:10). The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants are part of the fulfillment of that promise. Together these two great works of scripture bring great blessings to this generation.
Or, if they are not from God, to bring great curses to those who accept these teachings as valid.
Each of these two great latter-day scriptures bears powerful and eloquent witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Virtually every page of both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon teaches about the Master—His great love for His children and His atoning sacrifice—and teaches us how to live so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father.
It is simply not the case that “virtually every page” of these two unique LDS scriptures is about Jesus. To run a comparison between the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants would show great differences in the fundamental matters of faith.
Each of these two great latter-day books of scripture contains the knowledge and the power to help us live better lives in a time of great wickedness and evil. Those who carefully and prayerfully search the pages of these books will find comfort, counsel, guidance, and the quiet power to improve their lives.
The Doctrine and Covenants is the binding link between the Book of Mormon and the continuing work of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors.
In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn of temple work, eternal families, the degrees of glory, Church organization, and many other great truths of the Restoration. …
But wait, these are things either not taught or contradicted in the Book of Mormon. Did the so-called ancient Nephites and Lamanites believe in temple work, eternal families, degrees of glory, Church organization, etc.? The answer is no.
The Book of Mormon is the “keystone” of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone.
At the same time, you would think that the keystone and capstone would be on the same page and not contradict each other. Yet the view of God in the Doctrine and Covenants is different than the God of the Book of Mormon. Is he Spirit (as Alma 18:2-5, 24-28; 22:9-11) says? Or does God have “a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”?
The Doctrine and Covenants is a glorious book of scripture given directly to our generation. It contains the will of the Lord for us in these last days that precede the second coming of Christ. It contains many truths and doctrines not fully revealed in other scripture. Like the Book of Mormon, it will strengthen those who carefully and prayerfully study from its pages.
Do we, as Saints of the Most High God, treasure the word He has preserved for us at so great a cost? Are we using these books of latter-day revelation to bless our lives and resist the powers of the evil one? This is the purpose for which they were given. How can we not stand condemned before the Lord if we treat them lightly by letting them do no more than gather dust on our shelves?
My beloved brothers and sisters, I bear my solemn witness that these books contain the mind and the will of the Lord for us in these days of trial and tribulation. They stand with the Bible to give witness of the Lord and His work. These books contain the voice of the Lord to us in these latter days. May we turn to them with full purpose of heart and use them in the way the Lord wishes them to be used.
In these paragraphs, Benson advocates the study of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, both of which depend solidly on the testimony of Joseph Smith. I wish Benson had spent more time speaking about the importance of studying the Bible, which is a much more trustworthy book. In fact, if you are willing, I challenge you to read the book of Romans and see if its teachings are the same as what is taught by LDS leaders. May the Lord bless you as you challenge your preconceived notions with what is written in God’s Holy Word.
For more reviews on the Ezra Taft Benson manual, click here.
For more articles on the Book of Mormon, click here.
From the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson
Dedicated to William Tyndale who was martyred in 1536 for printing the words of the prophets without permission.
In Germany, in 1524, William Tyndale completed the first printed English New testament. Six thousand copies were smuggled into England, but anyone found in possession of one had to relinquish it for burning or face excommunication from the church. Tyndale continued his work on the Old Testament, living as a fugitive, until he was finally arrested and jailed. In October of 1536, he was martyred at the request of the English authorities. (See Lenet H. Read, “How The Bible Came To Be, Part 6: No Price Too Great,” Ensign, July 1982, pp. 45-47.)
Prepared and Published in September, 1992 by R. Gary Shapiro, P.O. Box 185, Kaysville, Utah 8403
The Apostle Paul wrote 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament, two of them before his ordination to the apostleship. He traveled the world as an apostle for approximately 13 years.
Many of Bruce R. McConkie’s writings, including his oft-quoted Mormon Doctrine, were published before his call to the apostleship. He served as an apostle for just under 13 years.
Neither of these two apostles became President of the Church. Yet, today, nearly every Church lesson manual and magazine contains quotations from both of them.
Ezra Taft Benson has served as an apostle for 49 years. In 1985, he became President of the Church. Missionaries and Church members around the world, young and old alike, bear frequent and solemn testimony that Ezra Taft Benson is a Prophet of God.
This booklet is about some of Ezra Taft Benson’s less popular teachings. In the first chapter, we examine the importance of the Prophet’s teachings, whether popular or unpopular. Here we find that our only safety lies in following the Prophet. Even when some are embarrassed by what he says, we can be sure that God sustains him and expects us as individuals to follow him. No living person or group of persons has authority from God to question the Prophet’s teachings.
In the second chapter, we review some of the Prophet’s teachings about our national Constitution. His concerns about international proposals to abandon our nationhood make it unmistakably clear that the emerging New World Order imperils the Constitution. A significant part of his 49 year ministry has been directed toward preserving the U. S. Constitution.
The third chapter evaluates several warnings from the Prophet about an international conspiracy and its efforts to overthrow Constitutional freedoms in all countries and rule the world These warnings have caused embarrassment among some members of the Church and have received limited attention in Church curriculum materials. Some Church members go so far as to belittle the idea of a conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution. Those who would mock the words of the Prophet should carefully consider the Lord’s warning: “Fools mock, but they shall mourn.” (Ether 12:26.)
During the 1960s, it was suggested by some that Communism was not actually being run from Moscow or Peking, but was being run by a conspiracy of influential and widely respected non-Communists from within the United States and Europe. The term Insiders has been used to refer to members of this conspiracy. During the 1970s, Ezra Taft Benson frequently recommended a certain book about these Insiders and their efforts to establish a New World Order. The last chapter of this booklet contains excerpts from that book.
Regardless of how you have felt about Ezra Taft Benson’s political views in the past, you ought to consider them carefully now because God simply does not call as Prophets men who preach false doctrine.
President Ezra Taft Benson’s statements quoted in this booklet have come from his public writings after he was called to the apostleship.
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Bookcraft, 1988), was published three years after he became President of the Church. Its preface notes that “President Benson personally reviewed the entire manuscript, as did his counselors in the First Presidency.”
Other sources published since his call as Church President include The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner (Deseret Book, 1986) and his official General Conference messages.
God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties (Deseret Book, 1974) was published after he became President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his book An Enemy Hath Done This (Parliament Publishers, 1969) was published after he had served for more than 25 years as an apostle.
Follow The Prophet
1. The Prophet Is Like Unto Moses
2. Giving Heed To All The Prophet’s Words
3. There Is Safety In Following The Prophet
4. Use The Prophet’s Words To Evaluate The Words Of All Others
The Prophet And The Constitution
1. Constitution Established By God For All Mankind
2. The Crisis Of The Constitution
3. The New World Order — A Threat To The Constitution
4. Saving The Constitution
The Prophet’s Warning
1. Secret Combinations
2. Moroni’s Urgent Appeal
3. Most Abominable and Wicked Above All
4. Seducing The Righteous
5. We Must Awake
Every Citizen Of Every Country
1. Don’t Confuse Me With Facts
2. Socialism— Royal Road To Power For The Super-Rich
3. YOU Are The Answer
1. Becoming Informed
2. Now Is The Time
Follow The Prophet
Receive the prophet’s words as if from God himself and use them to evaluate all other counsel.
We have a prophet living on the earth today. He is the president of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He alone has the right to receive revelation for the entire Church. He alone holds the “keys of the kingdom,” meaning he directs the administration of ordinances.
Latter-day Saints sustain the first presidency and the twelve apostles as prophets, seers and revelators. However, when we speak of “the prophet” we mean the President of the Church, the President of the High Priesthood. No other person is authorized to receive God’s will for the membership of the Church (See Gospel Principles [1978, Revised 1979, 1981], pp 44-45)
1 The Prophet Is Like Unto Moses
D&C 107:91-92. “And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses—
“Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church”
How is the Prophet “like unto Moses?” Do we sometimes feel that if we had a prophet like Moses, we would be led with greater manifestations of power than we now are? Yet, we know that the same spirit of revelation that rested upon Moses and enabled him to lead the children of Israel through the Red Sea rests upon the President of the Church today.
Moses 1:25. “Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.”
Moses was told that the waters would obey his command “as if thou wert God” and they certainly did.
Helaman 12:7-8 (7-16) “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
“For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the
command of our great and everlasting God.”
Because the dust of the earth is always obedient to God whereas the children of men are not always obedient, the children of men are here referred to as “less than the dust of the earth.” The elements are obedient to God and his prophet. Shouldn’t we likewise follow the prophet who is “like unto Moses” as if he were God?
Exodus 4:15-16. Defining his relationship as Prophet to his brother Aaron, God said to Moses:
“And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be thy mouth,…and will teach you what ye shall do.
“And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.”
President Harold B. Lee, while a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, used these verses to explain the relationship that the prophet has with other Church leaders: “I think that is as clear a relationship as you can find anywhere— the relationship of the prophet of the Lord and the President of the Church, the prophet, seer, and revelator, to others of us to whom me may delegate authority” (Teachings of the Living Prophets [Student Manual Religion 333, 1982], p.13.)
In September of 1830, the First Presidency had not yet been organized, but Oliver Cowdery was
the Second Elder of the Church. The question arose concerning who might receive revelations for the Church when Oliver Cowdery took the Prophet Joseph Smith to task for not accepting certain revelations that had been received by others. In answer to the Prophet Joseph’s prayer about this matter, the Lord revealed section 28 of the Doctrine and Covenants and gave the following instructions to Oliver Cowdery (see verses 2-3, 6-7)
“No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he received them even as Moses.
“And thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandment and the revelations, with the power and authority unto the church….
“And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church.
“For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.”
D&C 43:1-4. The Lord plainly states that only the President of the Church is appointed to receive
commandments and revelations, and “there is none other appointed…to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken.: (Italics added.)
D&C 100:9-11. In 1833, the Lord reminded Sidney Rigdon, a counselor in the First Presidency,
that he was to be a “spokesman”: for the Prophet, and that the Prophet should “be a revelator unto thee.”
D&C 132:7. “And there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys
of this priesthood are conferred.”
The prophet is the only person on the earth who holds all of the keys of the priesthood and is “the only one who is empowered to receive revelation for the whole Church. Neither his counselors nor members of the Quorum of the Twelve nor any person in any position in the Church may declare official doctrine, change policies, or speak as the Lord’s representative for the entire Church, without the prophet’s authorization.” (Teachings of the Living Prophets [Student manual Religion 333, 1982] p.13)
2 Giving Heed To All The Prophet’s Words
D&C 1:38. “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall be fulfilled, whether by my mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
The prophet’s words are God’s words and God’s words shall all be fulfilled. (See 1 Ne. 7:13; 9:6; Alma 37:16; 3 Ne. 27:18; 29:1-3; D&C 42:39; 56:11; Moses 4:30; JS-M 1:35)
D&D 21:4-5. “Thou shalt give heed to all his [the prophet’s] words and commandments which he
shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” (Italics added.)
The prophet’s teachings should be followed completely. There is no option to follow part of his counsel and discard that which is unpleasant or difficult. The lord has commanded us to follow all of the prophet’s teachings. (See Gospel Principles [1978, Revised 1979, 1981], p. 45)
3 There Is Safety In Following The Prophet
President Harold B. Lee said our only safety lies in following the words of the living prophet as if from God’s own
“Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, ‘as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;…as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.’ (D&C 21:4-5.) You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life….
“Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has place to preside over his church. He knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident….
“Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church.” (Living Prophets For a Living Church [Church Educational System, 1974], p. 32. See also The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. P. 139)
4 Use The Prophet’s Words To Evaluate The Words Of All Others
President Ezra Taft Benson gave this counsel: “Let me give you a crucial key to help you avoid being deceived. It is
this — learn to keep your eye on the Prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of all things.” (Seek To Obtain My Word [Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide 1989], p. 58; see also The Teachings Of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134; italics added.)
President Benson has taught this same principle many times. The following examples are
representative of his teachings on this subject:
“Other officers in the kingdom have fallen, but never the Presidents. The words of a living prophet must and ever will take precedence. (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 134; italics added.)
“As members of the Church we have some close quarters to pass through if we are going to get home safely. We will be given a chance to choose between conflicting counsel given by some. That is why we must learn — and the sooner we learn, the better — to keep our eye on the prophet, the President of the Church. (Ibid., p. 139)
“Some so-called experts of political science want the prophet to keep still on politics. Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. And so the list goes on and on.
“How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness.” (Ibid., p.139-140.)
“Of all mortal men, we should keep our eyes most firmly fixed on the captain— the prophet, seer, and revelator, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the man who stands closest to the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 2:13; 1 Nephi 11:25.) There are some heavenly instructions for us that we can only receive through the prophet. A good way to measure your standing with the Lord is to see how you feel about, and act upon, the inspired words of His earthly representative, the prophet-president. The inspired words of the President are not to be trifled with. All men are entitled to inspiration, and various men are entitled to revelation for their particular assignment. But only one man stands as the Lord’s spokesman to the Church and the world, and he is the President of the Church. The words of all other men should be weighed against his inspired words.” (Ibid., p. 142.)
“All men are entitled to inspiration, but only one man is the Lord’s mouthpiece. Some lesser men have in the past, and will in the future, use their office unrighteously. Some will use it to lead the unwary astray; some will use it to persuade us that all is well in Zion; some will use it to cover and excuse their ignorance. Keep your eyes on the prophet. (Ibid., p. 142)
“What better way can one become informed than by first studying the inspired words of the prophets and using that as a foundation against which to test all other material?” (Ibid., p. 305)
The Prophet And The Constitution
God established the United States Constitution and raised up a Prophet Patriot to help us preserve it.
President Ezra Taft Benson will be remembered as one of the greatest patriots of our time. President Harold B. Lee said of him: “The two ruling passions in his life might be said to be, first, his unshakable faith in the intervention of an Omnipotent Power in the affairs of men; and, second, his certainty that the Constitution of the United States was divinely inspired.” (Introduction to So Shall Ye Reap [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1960], p. viii.)
For more than fifty years, in Church and government service, Ezra Taft Benson has boldly and courageously defended the United States Constitution against its domestic and foreign foes. Today it is our privilege as citizens of the Untied States to follow him as we step forward to save the Constitution.
1 Constitution Established By God For All Mankind
Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2. President Ezra Taft Benson has said of these verses: “The coming forth of the Constitution is
of such transcendent importance in the Lord’s plan that ancient prophets foresaw this event and prophesied of it….The Constitution fulfilled the ancient prophecy of Isaiah that ‘out of Zion shall go forth the law.’” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 595.)
Other nations will recognize the blessings of freedom provided by the Constitution and, of their own free will, “adopt similar government systems, thus to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Isaiah and Micah that ‘out of Zion shall go forth the law.”“ (Ibid.)
In the October 1987 General Conference, President Ezra Taft Benson said that Church members throughout the world
should be grateful for the blessings of freedom enjoyed by the Church as a result of the Constitution: “[I] speak to you about our divine Constitution, which the Lord said ‘belongs to all mankind’ (D&C 98:5) ‘and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles’ (D&C 101:77; italics added.)
“The Constitution of the United States has served as a model for many nations and is the oldest constitution in use today.
“‘I established the Constitution of this land,’ said the Lord, ‘by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose’ (D&C 101:80….
“The signing of the United States Constitution…marked the beginning of a series of…events leading up to the ratification of the Constitution, implementation of the government it created, and the writing and ratification of the Bill of Rights…It is as a result of these events that we are able to meet today in peace as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ. For this we should all be eternally grateful.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1987, Ensign, Nov. 1987, p.4; italics in original.)
On another occasion, President Benson reminded us: “In the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer…the Lord directed
prophet Joseph Smith to say: ‘May those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.’ (D&C 109:54.) (“The Constitution — a Glorious Standard,” Ensign, Sept. 1987, p. 9.)
2 The Crisis Of The Constitution
In 1987, President Ezra Taft Benson said, “We must, with sadness, say that we have not been wise in keeping the trust of our Founding Fathers. For the past two centuries, those who do not prize freedom have chipped away at every major clause of our Constitution until today we face a crisis of major dimensions.” (“the Constitution — A Glorious Standard,” Ensign. Sept, 1987, p. 10; as quoted in The Teachings Of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 612.)
In 1986, President Benson said: “To all who have discerning eyes, it is apparent that the republican form of government established by our noble forefathers cannot long endure once fundamental principles are abandoned. Momentum is gathering for another conflict — a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is worldwide. The issue is that same that precipitated the great premortal conflict— will men be free to determine their own course of actions or must they be coerced?” (The Constitution: a Heavenly Banner, p.27; as quoted in The Teachings Of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 623.)
President Benson feels quite strongly about the following statement which is taken from an address entitled: “Stand Up
For Freedom.” It has been published by him in four different books, in the Church News, and in pamphlet form. It was also filmed and audio taped for presentation to study groups and TV audiences:
“At this particular moment in the history the United States Constitution is definitely threatened, and every citizen should know about it. The warning of this hour should resound through the corridors of every American institution — schools, churches, the halls of Congress, press, radio, and television, and so far as I am concerned it will resound — with God’s help.
“Wherever possible I have tried to speak out. It is for this very reason that certain people in Washington have bitterly criticized me. They don’t want people to hear the message. It embarrasses them. The things which are destroying the Constitution are the things they have been voting for. They are afraid of their political careers if these facts are pointed out. They therefore try to silence any who carry the message — anyone who will stand up and be counted.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. P. 684.)
3 The New World Order — A Threat To The Constitution
President Ezra Taft Benson has explained: “There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy.
It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 614; see also pp. 682 & 704.)
The Prophet continues: “Many well-intentioned people are now convinced that we are living in a period of history which makes it both possible and necessary to abandon our national sovereignty, to merge our nation militarily, economically, and politically with other nations, and to form, at last, a world government which supposedly would put and end to war.” (Ibid., p. 695.)
President Benson reasons: “The world is smaller, you say? True, it is, but if one finds himself locked in a house with maniacs, thieves, and murderers — even a small house — he does not increase his chances of survival by entering into alliances with his potential attackers and becoming dependent upon them for protection to the point where he is unable to defend himself. Perhaps the analogy between nations and maniacs is a little strong for some to accept. But if we put aside our squeamishness over strong language, and look hard at the real world in which we live, the analogy is quite sound in all but the rarest exceptions.” (Ibid., p. 696)
The Prophet concludes: “Sovereignty for a nation is hard to come by and even more difficult to retain. It cannot be shared, for then sovereignly becomes something else, and, for want of a better word, when sovereignty is lessened the end-product is internationalism. Sovereignty is neither more nor less than self-government. American self-government is blueprinted in the Constitution.” (Ibid.)
President Ezra Taft Benson has said: “Our leaders in Washington have been acting as though the American people
elected them to office for the primary purpose of leading the entire planet toward international peace, prosperity, and one-world government. At times, these men appear to be more concerned with something called world opinion or with their image as world leaders than they are with securing the best possible advantage for us.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 682.)
4 Saving The Constitution
The blessings of the Constitution will go forth to all nations, not by the conquest of war, but by the persuasion of
righteous example. In order for that to happen, however, the Constitution must be preserved. President Benson has taught that the Church, as an institution, will not save the Constitution; nor will the Church tell us, as individuals, how to do it. Speaking in a General Conference of the Church, President Benson said: “Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific Church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution….
“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church….
“Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution, and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?” (Conference Report, April 1965, Era, p. 539; as quoted in An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 278-279.)
Alma 48:11-13; 17. “And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding yea, a
man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
“Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
“Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood….
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”
President Ezra Taft Benson has said of these verses: “Part of the reason we may not have sufficient priesthood bearers to save the Constitution, let alone to shake the powers of hell, is because unlike Moroni, I fear, our souls do not joy in keeping our country free, and we are not firm in the faith of Christ, nor have we sworn with an oath to defend out rights and the liberty of our country.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 623.)
In 1986, the Prophet said: “ We have been instructed again and again to reflect more intently on the meaning and
importance of the Constitution and to adhere to its principles. What have we done about this instruction? Have we read the Constitution and pondered it? Are we aware of its principles? Could we defend it? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? The Church will not tell us how to do this, but we are admonished to do it.” (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, p. 29)
I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed his stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of his choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government and He has sent other choice spirits — even you who read my words — to preserve it.” (The Constitution A Heavenly Banner; p. 31; as quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 614.
The Prophet’s Warning
Strive to understand the Prophet’s warnings about a secret combination that seeks to rule the world.
In the first section below are six statements from President Ezra Taft Benson regarding a world-wide conspiracy that is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. These warnings have come to us from God through His living prophet. All six statements have come since his call in 1985 to be President of the Church. They cannot be safely ignored. Without an understanding of these prophetic warnings, we cannot correctly interpret national and world events.
President Benson’s apostolic statements during the 42 years prior to his becoming President of the Church are also helpful as we seek to understand his prophetic statements on this important subject. Remember, God does not call as Prophets men who teach false doctrine.
1 Secret Combinations
Oct. 1986: “From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling
“We should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?’” (Conference Report, Oct. 1986, Ensign, Nov. 1986, pp. 6-7; also The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 59.)
April 1989: “Secret combinations…are built up to get power, gain and glory of the world. (See Hel. 7:5; Ether 8:9,
16, 22-23; Moses 5:31)…Secret combinations brought down both the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations and [have] been and will yet be the cause of the fall of many nations. (See Ether 8:18-25.)” (Conference Report, Oct. 1989, Ensign, May 1989, p. 6.)
Jan. 1988: “The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit
building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations.” (“The Book Of Mormon Is The Word of God,” Ensign, Jan 1988, p. 5.)
April 1986: “Our nation will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of the God of this land, Jesus
Christ, and quit building up and upholding the secret combinations which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of both previous American civilizations.” (“The Book Of Mormon Is The Word Of God,” Regional Representative Seminar, Friday, April 4, 1986, pp. 3-4; as quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p 61.)
Oct. 1988: “Wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14-16; 84:49-53.) It is
more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18-25.)” (Conference Report, Oct. 1988, Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87; italics added.)
April 1987: “Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the
more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Helaman 6:38).” (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4; italics added.)
2 Moroni’s Urgent Appeal
In a General Conference of the Church, President Ezra Taft Benson said: “One of the most urgent, heart stirring
appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ‘Seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.’ (Ether 8:25.)” (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 953; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 348.)
For more than thirty years, the modern prophet Ezra Taft Benson has echoed the ancient prophet Moroni’s warning that “each gentile nation of the last days [must] purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world.” (Ibid.)
The modern prophet Benson continues: “Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to
recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaredites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of criminal conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day….
“Moroni described how the secret combinations would take over a country and then fight the work of God, persecute the righteous, and murder those who resisted. Moroni therefore proceeded to describe the working of the ancient secret combinations so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days. (See Ether 8:23-25.)” (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 954; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 349.)
“Today the Christian constitutionalist mourns for his country. He sees the spiritual and political faith of his father betrayed by wolves in sheep’s clothing. He sees the forces of evil increasing in strength and momentum under the leadership of Satan, the arch-enemy of freedom. He sees the wicked honored and the valiant abused. He senses that his own generation faces Gethsemanes and Valley Forges that may yet rival or surpass the trials of the early Apostles and the men of ‘76. And this gives him cause to reflect on the most basic of fundamentals — the reason for our existence. Once we understand that fundamental, the purpose for mortality, we may more easily chart a correct course in the perilous seas that are engulfing our nation.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 397.)
In the April 1972 General Conference of the Church, President Benson stated: “Joseph Smith said that the Book of
Mormon was the ‘keystone of our religion’ and the ‘most correct’ book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) This most correct book on earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people ‘And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking,” says Moroni, ‘and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.’ (Ether 8:21.)
“Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out as the greatest threat the Godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon — it is a conspiracy fact.” (Conference Report, April 1972, Ensign, July 1972, p 60.; as quoted in God, Family, Country, pp. 321-322.)
Ether 8:22. President Benson has emphasized over and over the ancient prophet Moroni’s warning that “whatsoever
nation shall uphold such secret combinations…until they shall spread over the nations, behold, they shall be destroyed.” (See, for example, God, Family, Country, pp. 322 and 349; and An Enemy Hath Done this, pp. 331 & 333.)
Our Prophet says we are “building up and upholding” this great world-wide conspiracy; that we have been
“seduced…to believe its words,” and that it is “Flourishing” and “increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.” (See Section 1 above.)
3 Most Abominable and Wicked Above All
Ether 8:18-19. Why did Moroni say that secret combinations are the “most abominable and wicked above all, in the
sight of God?”
In 1 Nephi 13:5. Nephi said that the church of the devil is “most abominable above all.” Is it possible that Nephi and Moroni were talking about the same thing?
3 Nephi 9:9. The voice of the Lord proclaimed that the wickedness of the great city of Jacobugath “was above all the wickedness of the whole earth, because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was they that did destroy the peace of my people and the government of the land.”
President Benson cites President J. Reuben Clark’s warning that “‘we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that
once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known….’ (CR, April 1944, p. 116.) He also stated that if the conspiracy ‘comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours.’ (CR, April 1952, p. 80.)” (Conference Report, April 1972, Ensign, July 1972, p. 61; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 323; quoted also in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 107; again on pp. 658-659.)
4 Seducing The Righteous
2 Timothy 3:13. President Ezra Taft Benson has said of this verse: “The Apostle Paul saw our day. He…warned that
‘evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived’ (2 Timothy 3:13.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 88; italics added.)
Mark 13:22. “ For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were
possible, even the elect.” (Italics added.)
Matthew 24:24. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
President Benson has said of this verse: “There is a conspiracy of evil. The source of it all is Satan and his hosts. He has a great power over men to ‘lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken’ to the voice of the Lord (Moses 4:4). His evil influence may be manifest through governments, through false educational, political, economic, religious, and social philosophies; through secret societies and organizations; and through myriads of other forms. His power and influence are so great that, if possible, he would deceive the very elect. (See Matthew 24:24).” (The Teachings Of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 404.)
Helaman 6:38. The modern Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, quoting the Book of Mormon Prophet Helaman, has noted that
secret combinations flourish because they are able to seduce “the more part of the righteous” to “ believe in their works and partake of their spoils.” (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4.)
This seduction happens by deception. And the greatest deceptions were not among the Nephites, but are among us today. President Benson has said: “We are going through…the greatest propaganda campaign of all time. We cannot believe all we read.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 302; see also p. 90.)
President Benson has said: “It is from within the Church that the greatest hindrance comes. And so, it seems, it has
been. Now the questions arises, will we stick with the kingdom and can we avoid being deceived? Certainly this is an important question, for the Lord has said that in the last days the ‘devil will rage in the hearts of men’ (2 Nephi 28:20), and if it were possible he ‘shall deceive the very elect’ (see Joseph Smith— Matthew 1:22).” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp 406-407.)
5 We Must Awake
Ether 8:24. The modern Prophet Benson and the ancient Prophet Moroni speak to us in unison: “Wherefore, the Lord
commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you.” (See God, Family, Country, pp 322 & 349; italics added.)
The Prophet has said: “If you use the scriptures as a guide, you know what the Book of Mormon has to say regarding
murderous conspiracies in the last day and how we are to awake to our awful situation today (See Ether 8:18-25). I find certain elements in the Church do not like to read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants so much — they have too much to say about freedom.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 81; see also p. 42.)
The Prophet continues: “The Book of Mormon warns us that when we see these murderous conspiracies in our midst, we should awaken to our awful situation (see Ether 8:24). Now, why should we awaken if the Lord is going to take care of us anyway? Let us suppose that it is too late to save freedom. It is still accounted unto us for righteousness’ sake to stand up and fight. Some Book of Mormon prophets knew of the final desolate end of their nations, but they still fought on, and they saved some souls, including their own, by so doing. For, after all, the purpose of life is to prove ourselves, and the final victory will be for freedom. (Ibid., p. 660.)
President Benson has warned: “Our complacency as a nation is shocking — yes, almost unbelievable! We are a
prosperous nation. Our people have high-paying jobs. Our incomes are high. Our standard of living is at an unprecedented level. We do not like to be disturbed as we enjoy our comfortable complacency. We live in the soft present and feel the future is secure. We do not worry about history. We seem oblivious to the causes of the rise and fall of nations. We are blind to the hard fact that nations usually sow the seeds of their own destruction while enjoying an unprecedented prosperity.
“I say to you with all the fervor of my soul: We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction in America and much of the free world today. It is my sober warning to you today that if the trends of the past continue, we will lose that which is as priceless as life itself — our freedom, our liberty, our right to act as free men. It can happen here. It is happening here….
“The sad and shocking story of what has happened in America in recent years must be told. Our people must have the facts. There is safety in an informed public. There is real danger in a complacent, uninformed citizenry. This is our real danger today. Yes, the truth must be told even at the risk of destroying, in large measure, the influence of men who are widely respected and loved by the American people. The stakes are high. Freedom and survival is the issue. (Ibid., p. 582)
“The fight for freedom is God’s fight…. When a man stands for freedom he stands with God. And as long as he stands for freedom he stands with God. And were he to stand alone he would still stand with God — the best company and the greatest power in or out of this world. Any man will be eternally vindicated and rewarded for his stand for freedom. (Ibid., p. 656.)
Every Citizen Of Every Country
Learn the facts about modern secret combinations and stop building up and upholding their conspiracies.
During the 1970s, Ezra Taft Benson frequently recommended a non-Church book about the conspiracy entitled “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.” In fact, he gave this personal endorsement on its back cover:
“I wish every citizen of every country in the free world and every slave behind the Iron Curtain might read this book.” (Gary Allen and Larry Abraham, None Dare Call It Conspiracy [Seal Beach, California: Concord Press, 1971] Back Cover
None Dare Call It Conspiracy discusses how the Insiders of a world-wide conspiracy are increasing their evil influence and control over America and the entire world through a “New World Order.”
As you read the following excerpts from its pages, please keep in mind Ezra Taft Benson’s endorsement printed on its back cover.
1 Don’t Confuse Me With Facts
Most of us have had the experience, either as parents or youngsters, of trying to discover the “hidden picture” within another picture in a children’s magazine. Usually you are shown a landscape with trees, bushes, flowers and other bits of nature. The caption reads something like this: “Concealed somewhere in this picture is a donkey pulling a cart with a boy in it. Can you find them?” Try as you might, usually you could not find the hidden picture until you turned to a page further back in the magazine which would reveal how cleverly the artist had hidden it from us. If we study the landscape we realize that the whole picture was painted in such a way as to conceal the real picture within, and once we see the “real picture,” it stands out like the proverbial painful digit.
We believe the picture painters of the mass media are artfully creating landscapes for us which deliberately hide the real picture. In this book we will show you how to discover the “hidden picture” in the landscapes presented to us daily through newspapers, radio and television. Once you can see through the camouflage, you will see the donkey, the cart and the boy who have been there all along….
There are a number of problems to be overcome in convincing a person of the possible existence of a conspiratorial clique of Insiders who from the very highest levels manipulate governmental policy….
It must be remembered that the first job of any conspiracy, whether it be in politics, crime or within a business office, is to convince everyone else that no conspiracy exists. The conspirators success will be determined largely by their ability o do this. That the elite of the academic world and mass communications media always pooh-pooh the existence of the Insiders merely serve to camouflage their operations. These “artists” hide the boy, the card and the donkey….
Psychological problems are also involved in inducing people to look at the evidence concerning the Insiders. People are usually comfortable with their old beliefs and conceptions. When Columbus told people the world was a ball and not a pancake, they were highly upset. They were being asked to reject their way of thinking of a lifetime and adopt a whole new outlook. The “intellectuals” of the day scoffed at Columbus and people were afraid they would lose their social prestige if they listened to him. Many others just did not want to believe the world was round. It complicated too many things. And typical flat-earthers had such a vested interest involving their own egos, that they heaped abuse on Columbus for challenging their view of the universe.. “Don’t confuse us with facts; our minds are made up,” they said.
Because the Establishment controls the media, anyone exposing the Insiders will be the recipient of a continuous fusillade of invective from newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. In this manner one is threatened with loss of “social respectability” if he dares to broach the idea that there is organization behind any of the problems currently wracking America….
Instead of getting mad at the Insiders, [some] people actually get angry at those who are trying to save the country by exposing the conspirators.
One thing which makes it so hard for some socially minded people to assess the conspiratorial evidence objectively is that the conspirators come from the very highest social strata. They are immensely wealthy, highly educated and extremely cultured. Many of them have lifelong reputations for philanthropy. Nobody enjoys being put in the position of accusing prominent people of conspiring to enslave their fellow Americans, but the facts are inescapable. Many business and professional people are particularly vulnerable to the “don’t jeopardize your social respectability” pitch given by those who don’t want the conspiracy exposed. The Insiders know that if the business and professional community will not take a stand to save the private enterprise system, the socialism through which they intend to control the world will be inevitable. They believe that most business and professional men are too shallow and decadent, too status conscious, too tied up in the problems of their jobs and businesses to worry about what is going on in politics….
We are hoping that the conspirators have underestimated the courage and patriotism remaining in the American people We feel there are a sufficient number of you who are not mesmerized by the television set, who put God, family and country above social status, who will band together to expose and destroy the conspiracy of the Insiders….
2 Socialism — Royal Road to Power For The Super-Rich
Everyone knows that Adolph Hitler existed. No one disputes that. The terror and destruction that this madman inflicted upon the world are universally recognized. Hitler came from a poor family which had absolutely no social position. He was a high school drop-out and nobody ever accused him of being cultured. Yet this man tried to conquer the world. During his early career he sat in a cold garret and poured onto paper his ambitions to rule the world. We know that.
Similarly, we know that a man named Vladimir Ilich Lenin existed. Like Hitler, Lenin did not spring from a family of social lions. The son of a petty bureaucrat, Lenin, who spent most of his adult life in poverty, has been responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of your fellow human beings and the enslavement of nearly a billion more. Like Hitler, Lenin sat up nights in a dank garret scheming hoe he could conquer the world. We know that, too.
Is it not theoretically possible that a billionaire could be sitting, not in a garret, but in a penthouse, in Manhattan, London or Paris and dream the same dream as Lenin and Hitler? You will have to admit it is theoretically possible. Julius Caesar, a wealthy aristocrat, did. And such a man might form an alliance or association with other like-minded men, might he not? Caesar did. These men would be superbly educated, command immense social prestige and be able to pool astonishing amounts of money to carry out their purposes. These are advantages that Hitler and Lenin did not have.
It is difficult for the average individual to fathom such perverted lust for power. The typical person, of whatever nationality, wants only to enjoy success in his job, to be able to afford a reasonably high standard of living complete with leisure and travel. He wants to provide for his family in sickness and in health and to give his children a sound education. His ambition stops there. He has no desire to exercise power over others, to conquer other lands or peoples, to be a king. He wants to mind his own business and enjoy life. Since he has no lust for power, it is difficult for him to imagine that there are others who have…others who march to a far different drum. But we must realize that there have been Hitlers and Lenins and Stalins and Caesars and Alexander the Greats throughout history. Why should we assume there are no such men today with perverted lusts for power? And if these men happen to be billionaires is it not possible that they would use men like Hitler and Lenin as pawns to seize power for themselves?
Indeed, difficult as this is to believe, such is the case. Like Columbus, we are faced with the task of convincing you that the world is not flat, as you have been led to believe all your life, but, instead is round. We are going to present evidence that what you call “Communism” is not run from Moscow or Peking, but is an arm of a bigger conspiracy run from New York, London and Paris. The men at the apex of this movement are not Communists in the traditional sense of that term. They feel no loyalty to Moscow or Peking. They are loyal only to themselves and their undertaking. And these men certainly do not believe in the clap-trap pseudo-philosophy of Communism. They have no intention of dividing their wealth. Socialism is a philosophy which conspirators exploit, but in which only the naive believe….
We know that down through the annals of history small groups of men have existed who have conspired to bring the reins of power into their hands. History books are full of their schemes….like the Cosa Nostra where men conspire to make money through crime…. The question is: Whish is the more lethal form of conspiracy — criminal or political? And what is the difference between a member of the Cosa Nostra and a Communist, or more properly, an Insider conspirator? Men like Lucky Luciano who have scratched and clawed to the top of the heap in organized crime must, of necessity, be diabolically brilliant, cunning and absolutely ruthless. But, almost without exception, the men in the hierarchy of organized crime have had no formal education. They were born into poverty and learned their trade in the back alleys of Naples, New York or Chicago.
Now suppose someone with this same amoral grasping personality were born into a patrician family of great wealth and was educated at the best prep schools, then Harvard, Yale or Princeton, followed by graduate work possibly at Oxford. In these institutions he would become totally familiar with history, economics, psychology, sociology and political science. After having graduated from such illustrious establishments of higher learning, are we likely to find him out on the streets peddling fifty cent tickets to a numbers game? Would you find him pushing marijuana to high schoolers or running a string of houses of prostitution? Would he be getting involved in gangland killings? Not at all. For with that sort of education, this person would realize that if one wants power, real power, the lessons of history say, “Get into the government business.” Become a politician and work for political power or, better yet, get some politicians to front for you. That is where the real power — and the real money — is.
Conspiracy to seize the power of government is as old as government itself. We can study the conspiracies surrounding Alcibiades in Greece or Julius Caesar in ancient Rome, but we are not supposed to think that men today scheme to achieve political power….
Many extremely patriotic individuals have innocently fallen for the conspiracy’s line. Walter Trohan, columnist emeritus for the Chicago Tribune and one of America’s outstanding political commentators, has accurately noted: “It is a known fact that the policies of the government today, whether Republican or Democratic, are closer to the 1932 platform of the Communist Party than they are to either of their own party platforms in that critical year”….
Doesn’t it strike you as strange that some of the individuals pushing hardest for socialism have their own personal wealth protected in family trusts and tax-free foundations? Men like Rockefeller, Ford and Kennedy are for every socialist program know to man which will increase your taxes. Yet they pay little, if anything, in taxes themselves….
We are usually told that this clique of super-rich are socialists because they have a guilt complex over wealth they inherited and did not earn. Again, they could relieve these supposed guilt complexes simply by divesting themselves of their unearned wealth. There are doubtless many wealthy do-gooders who have been given a guilt complex by their college professors, but that doesn’t explain the actions of the Insiders like the Rockefellers, Fords or Kennedys. All their actions betray them as power seekers.
But the Kennedys, Rockefellers and their super-rich confederates are not being hypocrites in advocating socialism. It appears to be a contradiction for the super-rich to work for socialism and the destruction of free enterprise. In reality it is not.
Our problem is that most of us believe socialism is what the socialists want us to believe it is — a share the wealth program.
If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth program, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately, socialism is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite. The plan of the conspirator Insiders then is to socialize the United States, not to Communize it….
If you and your clique wanted control of the United States, it would be impossible to take over every city hall, county seat, and state house. You would want all power vested at the apex of the executive branch of the federal government; then you would have only to control one man to control the whole shebang. If you wanted to control the nation’s manufacturing, commerce, finance, transportation and natural resources, you would need only to control the apex, the power pinnacle, of an all-powerful SOCIALIST government. Then you would have a monopoly and could squeeze out your competitors. If you want a national monopoly, you must control a national socialist government. If you want a worldwide monopoly, you must control a world socialist government. That is what the game is all about. “Communism” is not a movement of the downtrodden masses but is a movement created, manipulated and used by power-seeking billionaires in order to gain control over the world…first by establishing socialist governments in the various nations and then consolidating them all through a “Great Merger,” into an all powerful world socialist super-state probably under the auspices of the United Nations….
After the Insiders have established the United Socialist States of America (in fact if not in name), the next step is the Great Merger of all nations of the world into a dictatorial world government….
The Insiders code word for the world superstate is “new world order,” a phrase often used by Richard Nixon. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) states in its Study No. 7: “The U. S. must strive to: “A. BUILD A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER.” (Capitals in the original.) Establishment spokesman James Reston (CFR member) declared in his internationally syndicated column for the New York Times of May 21, 1971: “Nixon would obviously like to preside over the creation of a new world order, and believes he has an opportunity to do so in the last 20 months of his first term.”
Before you can facilitate the Great Merger, you must first centralize control within each nation, destroy the local police and remove the guns from the hands of the citizenry. You must replace our once free Constitutional Republic with an all-powerful central government. And that is exactly what is happening today….Every action of any consequence, despite the smokescreen, has centralized more power in what is rapidly becoming an all-powerful central government.
3 You Are The Answer
Many people cannot refrain from rationalizing. After reading this book, some will bemoan the fact that the situation is hopeless. These will be many of the same people who, before reading this book, really did not believe the problems facing us were serious. Some people wake up and give up in the same week. This is, of course, just exactly what the Insiders want you to do.
The conspiracy can be defeated. The Insiders are not omnipotent. It is true that they control important parts of the federal government, high finance and the mass media. But they do not control everything, or the vise would already have been closed. We might say the conspiracy controls everything but you. YOU are their Achilles heel if you are willing to fight. There is an old cliche in sports that quitters never win and winners never quit. We need a million Americans who are not quitters, but moreover, who have the will to win…
The one thing these conspirators cannot survive is exposure. The Insiders are successful only because so few of their victims know what is being planned and how Insiders are carrying out those plans. Conspiracies can operate only in the dark. They cannot stand the truthful light of day. Once any sizeable minority of the American people becomes aware of the conspiracy and what it is up to, the many decades of patient planning and work by the Insiders in this country can be destroyed in an amazingly short period of time.
This job is largely a matter of getting others to realize that they have been conned and are continuing to be conned. You must become the local arm of the world’s largest floating university. But before you can go to work, pointing out these conspiratorial facts to others, you must know the facts yourself….The concept of an army of individuals which is dedicated to exposing “the conspiracy” frightens the Insiders because it works outside the channels which they control….
Democrats and Republicans must break the Insider control of their respective parties. The CFR types and their flunkies and social climbing opportunist supporters must be invited to leave or else the Patriots must leave.
It is up to you to put the politicians on the spot and make the CFR-Insiders a campaign issue. This can be accomplished easily by creating the base of thinking that will oppose their positions. The Socialists must be forced to gather into one party. The conspiracy doesn’t want the resultant clear distinction between party ideologies. The Insiders want the issues between the parties to be cloudy and gray, centering on personalities, not principles. Neither party can come out strongly against Socialism as long as it is pushing Socialist programs. But that is the way the Insiders want it….
You are in this fight whether you want to be or not. Unless you are an Insider, you are a victim. Whether you are a multimillionaire or a pauper you have an enormous amount at stake…..
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Now is the time to courageously become alerted, informed and active.
President Ezra Taft Benson has said: “Never before in the history of our country has there been a greater need for all of our people to take time to discover what is happening in the world.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 662.)
On another occasion, he said: “Our great need in America today is to be alerted and informed….There is safety in an informed public. There is real danger in a complacent uninformed citizenry. This is our real danger today.” (Ibid., p. 582)
1 Become Informed
It is hoped that, after reading this booklet, you will want to learn more about the New World Order, the U.S.
Constitution and the conspiracy. Your most important reading, as discussed in the first chapter of this booklet, will be the words of the prophets, especially the Living Prophet.
Therefore, we recommend a careful study of President Benson’s books as listed on the Sources page of this booklet. (p. X)
Another excellent book is Prophets, Principles and National Survival (Jerrold L. Newquist, comp., Publishers Press, 1964), which President Benson has recommended in three of his own books. (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 658; God, Family, Country, p. 321; and An Enemy Hath Done This, pp 276 & 286) as he did also in three General Conferences of the Church (October 1964, April 1965, and April 1972).
Of course you will want to read the entire book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy. This book is available from CPA Book Publisher, P.O. Box 596, Boring, Oregon 97009-0596.
For an up-to-date analysis of the New World Order and what the Insiders are doing today, we suggest a new book, The Insiders, by John F. McManus (the John Birch Society, 1992), which includes a survey of Insider control over the Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations. And, for a recent in-depth look at the conspiracy, The Shadows of Power by James Perloff (Western Islands, 1988) is also available.
On several occasions, President Benson has recommended a news magazine, The New American (formerly American
Opinion). Examples of this are found in Conference Report, Oct. 1962, Improvement Era, Dec. 1962, p. 912; the Church News, Feb 26, 1966, p. 12; and An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 44.
In 1986, President Benson purchased subscriptions to The New American for his counselors in the First Presidency and wrote to the magazine’s editor: “Congratulations on a job well done. I am deeply grateful for The New American.”
The New American is a biweekly publication affiliated with the John Birch Society, and is must reading for those who want to be accurately informed about the New World Order and other Insider schemes.
2 Now Is The Time
President Ezra Taft Benson has reminded: “The Prophet Joseph Smith is reported to have prophesied the role the
priesthood might play to save our inspired Constitution. Now is the time to move forward courageously — to become alerted, informed and active.
“The Lord’s priesthood has a mission to perform for liberty-loving people everywhere. We cannot, any more than Jonah of old, run away from our calling.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 620; italics added.)
On another occasion, President Benson said: “Any Christian constitutionalist who retreats from this battle jeopardizes his life here and hereafter. Seldom has so much responsibility hung on so few, so heavily; but our numbers are increasing, and we who have been warned have a responsibility to warn our neighbor. (See D&C 88:81).” (Ibid., p. 591.)
“[The] divine duty to be a faithful fighter for freedom requires that those of us who have been warned do our duty to warn our neighbor.” (Ibid., p. 657.)
Righteousness is important. In fact, President Benson has said repeatedly that “righteousness is the one indispensable ingredient to liberty.” (Ibid., p. 346; see also pp. 416 and 588.) “How,” asks the Prophet, “ can we best befriend the Constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty?’ (Ibid., p. 621.) The Prophet answers his own question: “First and foremost we must be righteous.” (Ibid,; italics in original.)
It has been suggested, however, that the fundamental principles of the Constitution will be upheld and the nation will be saved as members of the Church simply live the Gospel. President Benson has responded to this suggestion as follows: “Satan is anxious to neutralize the inspired counsel of the prophet and hence keep the priesthood off balance, ineffective, and inert in the fight for freedom. He does this through diverse means, including the use of perverse reasoning.
“For example, he will argue, ‘There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom — all you need to do is live the Gospel.’ Of course, this is a contradiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom.
“We would not say to someone, ‘There is no need to be baptized — all you need to do is live the gospel.’ That would be ridiculous because baptism is a part of the gospel. How would you have reacted if during the War in Heaven someone had said to you, ‘Look, just do what is right; there is no need to get involved in the fight for free agency.’ It is obvious what the devil is trying to do, but it is sad to see many of us fall for his destructive line.
“The cause of freedom is a most basic part of our religion. Our position on freedom helped get us to this earth and it can make the difference as to whether we get back home or not.” Ibid., p. 656.)
And finally, President Benson has warned: “One of our most serious problems is the inferiority complex which people
feel when they are not informed and organized. They dare not make a decision on these vital issues. They let other people think for them. They stumble around in the middle of the road trying to avoid being ‘controversial,’ and get hit by traffic going both ways. In this mighty struggle each of you has a part. Every person on the earth today chose the right side during the War in Heaven. Be on the right side now. Stand up and be counted!” (Ibid., p. 387.)