The Lord’s Law of Sharing Wealth vs. Socialism

When distinguishing between the Lord’s law of redistributing wealth- The Law of Consecration (not to be confused with the United Order, which simply implemented the Law of Consecration), and Satan’s counterfeit- Socialism, remember that the latter is by force of government.  Socialism makes it illegal to have personal choice in matters of what would otherwise be one’s own personal property; The Lord’s law of sharing is only by ecclesiastical mandate with the ultimate choice still remaining with the individual with zero civil consequences if the law is not obeyed.

While the Lord commands the sharing of wealth with those less fortunate, He makes clear in Latter-day scripture that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it:

D&C 104: 13-17 –  “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures. I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.  And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low. For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

Here the Savior says “there is enough and to spare…I have prepared all things”  In other words, there is plenty of wealth to spread around to care for everyone.

But he also indicates quite clearly that He is not approving any and all redistributive schemes: “…it must needs be done in mine own way.”

And what is His way?  “I…have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.”  He is in favor of allowing each individual their own personal choice over their own personal property, as to whether they’ll share it with others, with whom, how often, and in what manner.  This principle is clearly violated with the implementation of Socialism.

This is confirmed again in the following scripture:

D&C 134:2 – “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”

So the government must secure each person’s “individual” “right” to their own personal “property,” not only to own it individually, but to “control” it according to the “free exercise of (their own) conscience.”  Again, this principle is clearly violated under a government that operates with the principles of Socialism.

Yet another scripture contradicting the idea of socialism:
“And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God,” – Mosiah 18:28

Socialism is wrong because it takes away that “free will” and forces you to impart your substance.

Latter-day Prophets have repeatedly denounced Socialism, while supporting the Lord’s law of sharing wealth.  I have collected and posted several quotes below from Prophets, Seers and Revelators, including Thomas S. Monson, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, Ezra Taft Benson, Harold B. Lee, Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, David B. Haight, Neal A. Maxwell, Marion G. Romney, Hartman Rector Jr., Dallin H. Oaks, Joseph Smith, Jr., John Taylor, Brigham Young, David O. McKay, and Spencer W. Kimball.

I have also included a few quotes from some of the Founding Fathers because of the broad seal of approval the Lord has given to them:

D&C 101 – “I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose…”

Ezra Taft Benson: “The Founding Fathers of this nation, those great men, appeared within those sacred walls of the St. George Temple and had their vicarious work done for them. President Wilford Woodruff spoke of it in these words: ‘Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, `You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” After he became President of the Church, President Wilford Woodruff declared that ‘those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits [and] were inspired of the Lord.’ The temple work for the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence and other Founding Fathers has been done. All these appeared to Wilford Woodruff when he was president of the St. George Temple. President George Washington was ordained a high priest at that time. You will also be interested to know that, according to Wilford Woodruff’s journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were also ordained high priests at that time. When one casts doubt about the character of these noble sons of God, I believe he or she will have to answer to the God of heaven for it.”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “Bless (this nation’s) leaders that they may rise above pettiness and live after the tradition of the Founding Fathers.”

The Lord’s Latter-day Denunciation of Socialism

Founding Fathers:

Benjamin Franklin: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution: “With respect to the 2 words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Again, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort…. This being the end of government, that alone is not a just government which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.… That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.”

Thomas Jefferson: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'”

Thomas Jefferson: “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

Samuel Adams: “The Utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.

Prophets:

Thomas S. Monson: “When economic decisions are based on theory rather than law, we find the chaos experienced a number of years ago in Uruguay: ‘Labor wanted higher wages; industrialists wanted bigger income; but nobody wanted to do any work. Citizens thought more of their rights than of their obligations. The country’s vast web of social legislation redistributed wealth but did not create it. … Nobody had the vision to see that what Uruguay needed was production.’ (John Gunther, Uruguay—Utopia Gone Wild.)”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “The sad fact is that the minority who call for greater liberalization…make their voices heard until those in our legislatures may come to believe that what they say represents the will of the majority. We are not likely to get that which we do not speak up for. Let our voices be heard…”

Joseph Smith Jr quoting James Madison: “to support the constitution, which is the cement of the union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the states and to the people, as equally incorporated with, and essential to the success, of the general system”

Joseph Smith Jr quoting General Jackson: “As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending;”

Joseph Smith Jr: “I attended a second lecture on Socialism…I said I did not believe the doctrine.”

Joseph Smith Jr: “I also spoke at length for the repeal of the ordinance of the city licensing merchants, hawkers, taverns, and ordinaries, desiring that this might be a free people, and enjoy equal rights and privileges, and the ordinances were repealed.”

John Taylor: “I was speaking, a while ago, about the people there being divided into three classes. One of them you may call infidel, under the head of Socialism…”

Dallin H. Oaks: “While our church rarely speaks on public issues, it does so by exception on what the First Presidency defines as significant moral issues, which could surely include laws affecting the fundamental legal/cultural/moral environment of our communities and nations.”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “Bless…our president…to bring to pass those measures which will lift the burdens of government from the backs of the people…”

Neal A. Maxwell: “The living of one protective principle of the gospel is better than a thousand compensatory government programs—which programs are, so often, like ‘straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.'”

Ezra Taft Benson: “Occasionally, we receive questions as to the propriety of Church members receiving government assistance instead of Church assistance. Let me restate what is a fundamental principle. Individuals, to the extent possible, should provide for their own needs. Where the individual is unable to care for himself, his family should assist. Where the family is not able to provide, the Church should render assistance, not the government. We accept the basic principle that ‘though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.’ Latter-day Saints should not receive unearned welfare assistance from local or national agencies. This includes food stamps. Priesthood and Relief Society leaders should urge members to accept the Church welfare program and earn through the program that which they need, even though they may receive less food and money. By doing so, members will be spiritually strengthened, and they will maintain their dignity and self-respect. Last year in the United States alone over $98 billion was distributed in unearned government transfer payments and other aid to millions of men and women who most often did nothing for what they received. This character-weakening government dole is repeated in almost every nation of the world. We encourage Latter-day Saints everywhere to remain free of government assistance. Work for what you receive.”

Dallin H. Oaks: “In a day when it is fashionable to assume that the government has the power and means to right every wrong, we should remember that the U.S. Constitution limits the national government to the exercise of powers expressly granted to it.”

David O. McKay: “I hope that (none of BYU’s faculty) will advocate positions which cannot be harmonized with the views of every prophet of the church, from the Prophet Joseph Smith on down, concerning our belief that we should be strong and self-reliant individuals, not dependent upon the largess or benefactions of government. None of the doctrines of our Church give any sanction to the concept of a socialistic state.”

David O. McKay: “…this nation is rapidly moving down the road of soul-destroying socialism…”

J. Reuben Clark, Jr: “Our real enemies are communism and its running mate, socialism…And never forget for one moment that communism and socialism are state slavery. World conquest has been, is now, and ever will be its ultimate goal.”

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

Harold B. Lee: “Now, keep in mind with all the crowding in of the socialistic reform programs that are threatening the very foundation of the Church, we must never forget what the Lord said, “that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world” (D&C 78:14). Whenever we allow ourselves to become entangled and have to be subsidized from government sources — and we think that it’s the expedient way to do business in this day — or when we yield to such pressures, I warn you that government subsidies are not the Lord’s way; and if we begin to accept, we are on our way to becoming subsidized politically as well as financially.”

Howard W. Hunter: “What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms. . . .If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.  Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost.”

Marion G. Romney: “Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens. We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence. In some countries it is extremely difficult to separate earned from unearned benefits. However, the principle is the same in all countries: We should strive to become self-reliant and not depend on others for our existence.”

Marion G. Romney: “No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However, notwithstanding my abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is the wave of the present and of the foreseeable future. It has already taken over or is contending for control in most nations. We here in the United States, in converting our government into a social welfare state, have ourselves adopted much of socialism. Specifically, we have to an alarming degree adopted the use of the power of the state in the control and distribution of the fruits of industry.”

Marion G. Romney: “Socialism takes: United Order gives; That is the spirit of socialism: We’re going to take. The spirit of the United Order is: We’re going to give. We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership and management of the vital means of production. In both of these areas the free agency of Americans have been greatly abridged. Some argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government. Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery.”

Spencer W. Kimball:  “(One who reads the Book of Mormon) will see people taxed from 50 percent, and then to totalness, to slavery, and to bondage. He will see power-greedy, paternalistic, centralized governments move toward the inevitable revolution which finally impoverishes but frees the people to begin again from ashes.”

Marion G. Romney: “In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, “that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property” (D&C 134:2), the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management– Thus in both implementation and ownership and management of property, the United Order preserves to men their God-given agency, while socialism deprives them of it.

Marion G. Romney, (1st Presidency Message- September 1979 Ensign): “Communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and … it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land.”

David B. Haight: “It is significant to note that about this same time, when the Lord established his way of caring for those in need, the “world,” or government, introduced its form of dole assistance—a counterfeit alternative to the Lord’s way. In most instances, the world’s way dismissed the principle of individual work and family responsibility and adopted the philosophy that ‘the government will take care of our needs’ or ‘the government owes us a living.’ Individual and family initiative was supplanted by government handouts. The true spirit of love for our neighbor and concern for others as taught by the Savior had been generally ignored. A brief look at statistics highlights how far government has taken us down the road toward bankruptcy while at the same time destroying the will and incentive to work and earn what is received by the sweat of our brow. The total cost of government welfare assistance in the United States has risen from $5.7 billion in 1945 to $177 billion in 1975—a thirty-fold increase. What has this monstrous thing called government welfare done to the people? Today we have second- and third-generation welfare recipients. Millions have learned how to live off the government. Children are growing up without knowing the value and the dignity of work. The government has succeeded in doing what the Church welfare program seeks to prevent…There is evidence that some of our people are receiving something for nothing from the government. The fact that this condition exists in the Church highlights the need of our members to be knowledgeable about Church welfare principles. President Kimball has stated: “No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else”

Ezra Taft Benson: “I do not believe an American citizen can be patriotic and loyal to his own country and its God-inspired Constitution of freedom without being anti-communist—anti-socialist.”

Ezra Taft Benson: “No true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto that very purpose [D&C 101:80].”

Ezra Taft Benson: “…no true American can be a socialist or a communist or support programs leading in that direction.”

Ezra Taft Benson: “It is not, however, enough to be acquainted with the grave dangers facing these United States. We must also instruct ourselves, and others, in the great spiritual values underlying our divinely inspired Constitution and our American free-enterprise system.”

David O. McKay, President of the Church, in Conference Report: The position of this Church on the subject of Communism has never changed. We consider it the greatest Satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work among men that exists on the face of the earth.

David O. McKay, President of the Church, in Conference Report: “On the fly-leaf of the book, The Naked Communist, by W. Cleon Skousen, we find this quotation, (and I admonish everybody to read that excellent book of Chief Skousen’s): ‘The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time. It overshadows all other problems. This conflict mirrors our age, its toils, its tensions, its troubles, and its tasks. On the outcome of this conflict depends the future of mankind.'”

Ezra Taft Benson: “Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whom I knew and admired, was essentially correct in the claims he made about the Communist threat to America. His most vocal enemies hated and feared him, not because of what he could do to them, but because they knew he was telling the truth about them. Had he been wrong, he would likely have been ignored. He was not vilified because he “smeared innocent people,” but because he identified and exposed guilty ones. Fortunately, an increasing number of Americans now recognize that McCarthy was on the right track, and that our nation has suffered serious injury because we failed to heed his warning voice…Joseph McCarthy’s fight was the fight for America. That same fight is going on under even more trying circumstances today, and each of us owes it to our God, our family, and our country to persevere until victory is achieved.”

Ezra Taft Benson:
Concerning the United States, the Lord revealed to his prophets that its greatest threat would be a vast, worldwide ‘secret combination’ which would not only threaten the United States but also seek to ‘overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.’. . .the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’…(Moroni) 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’ He warned each gentile nation of the last days to purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world.
The prophets, in our day, have continually warned us of these internal threats in our midst—that our greatest threat from socialistic-communism lies within our country.Unfortunately our nation has not treated the socialistic-communist conspiracy as ‘treasonable to our free institutions,’ as the First Presidency pointed out in a signed 1936 statement. …The Prophet Moroni described how the secret combination 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 workings of the ancient “secret combinations” so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days…
The world-wide secret conspiracy which has risen up in our day to fulfill these prophecies is easily identified. President McKay has left no room for doubt as to what attitude Latter-day Saints should take toward the modern ‘secret combinations’ of conspiratorial communism. In a lengthy statement on communism, he said:
‘Latter-day Saints should have nothing to do with the secret combinations and groups antagonistic to the constitutional law of the land, which the Lord ‘suffered to be established,’ and which ‘should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh according to just and holy principles.'”

Ezra Taft Benson: “This is why the founders of our nations were so influenced by the writings of John Locke, which declared that man was naturally in a state of perfect freedom, that he had a right to preservation and property, and that the source of all this was God. The founding fathers recognized that no people can maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded on faith in God and belief in the existence of moral law….The implication of this moral basis to our political economic system is that God is the dispenser of man’s rights not government…Man is born to choose for himself. This is why man cannot be driven indefinitely or led by despotic leaders to intellectual, physical or economic bondage. Fear and despotism may rule for a generation, two or three, but in time the human spirit rebels. The spirit of liberty manifests itself and the tyrannical hand of despotism is overthrown. May it ever be so. Once a person awakens to the truth of his divine identity he demands his rights, the right to property, the right to make his own decisions, the right to plan his own welfare, the right to improve himself materially, intellectually and spiritually…A free market society recognizes private property as sacred because the individual is entitled to ownership of goods and property which he has earned; he is sovereign so far as human law is concerned over his own goods. He may retain possession of his goods; he may pass his wealth on to his family or to charitable causes. For one cannot give what one does not own…Remove this right and man is reduced to serfdom. Former United States Supreme Court Justice George Southerland said it this way. ‘To give man liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty is to still leave him a slave.'”…As a country we have suffered under half a century of liberal propaganda demeaning economic success…as though there were something inherently evil in profit. Profit is the reward for honest labor. It is the incentive that causes a man to risk his capital to build a business. If he cannot keep or invest that which he has earned, neither may he own, nor will he risk. Profit creates wealth. Wealth creates more work opportunities. And more work opportunities creates greater wealth. None of this is possible without incentive. There is another benefit to profit. It provides man with moral choices.…Charity is not charity unless it is voluntary. It cannot be voluntary if there is nothing to give. Only safe profit creates more jobs, not government. The only way government can create jobs is to take the money from productive citizens in the form of taxes and transfer it to government programs. The free market is the right to voluntary exchange of goods and services, free from restraints and controls…Free choice is the essence of free enterprise…It allows the manufacturer to produce what he wants, how much, and to set his own price. It allows the buyer to decide if he wants a certain product at the price established. It preserves the right to work when and where we choose. In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that, “the sum of good government shall leave citizens free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” Why does our system produce more bread, manufacture more shoes and assemble more TV sets than Russian socialism? It does so precisely because our government does not guarantee these things; if it did there would be so many accompanying taxes, controls, regulations and political manipulations that the productive genius based on freedom of choice that is Americas would soon be reduced to the floundering level of waste and inefficiency now found behind the Iron Curtain. When government presumes to demand more and more of the fruits of a man’s labor through taxation and reduces more and more his actual income by printing money and furthering debt, the wage earner is left with less and less to buy food, to provide housing, medical care, education and private welfare. The individuals are left without a choice and must look to the state as its benevolent supporter of these services. When that happens liberty is gone.…When government, by either ownership or regulation, prevents the full freedom of action by sellers, this of course regulates and controls prices. No better example exists today than the so called energy crisis. As a nation we have artificially regulated the price of natural gas for over 20 years. The Federal Power Commission has set prices and burdened the oil industry with regulations. Consequently the oil industry has not had the incentive to discover natural gas or drill for oil even though the reserves are there. The environmentalists, with the help of activist lawyers, have combined to make it almost impossible to drill for oil economically. What industry wants to risk its capital fighting through the hearings and lawsuits which double and triple its investment costs? So exploration does not take place. Our reserves are kept off the market to await the day when government will deregulate…The most effective energy policy our government could devise would be to step out of the regulatory business. This would provide, once again, the incentives for industry to make investment and make exploration. Freedom from bureaucratic monopoly is essential to allow our free market to work properly. I hope we wake up to this serious lesson before our freedoms our lost altogether…The principles behind our American free market economy can be reduced to a rather simple formula. Here it is, and I hope if you forget everything else I said, you’ll remember this formula. It is so basic and so simple.

Free Market Economy’s Simple Formula
1. Economic security for all is impossible without widespread abundance.
2. Abundance is impossible without industrious and ambitious production.
3. Such production is impossible without energetic, willing and eager labor.
4. This labor is not possible without incentive.
5. Of all forms of incentive, the freedom to obtain a reward for ones labors is the most sustaining for most people, sometimes called the “profit motive”. It is simply the right to plan and to earn, and to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
6. This profit motive diminishes as government controls, regulations and taxes increase to deny the fruits of success to those who produce.
7. Therefore any attempt through government intervention to redistribute the material rewards of labor can only result in the eventual destruction of the productive base of society, without which real abundance and security for more than the ruling elite is quite impossible.

The Constitution provides that the great bulk of legitimate activities of government are to be carried out at the state or local level. The Constitution provides the federal government with no authority to grant such powers as welfare programs, schemes for redistributing the wealth and activities that coerce people into acting in accordance with a proscribed code of social planning. There is one simple test to the constitutionality of a principle, do I as an individual have the right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise it in my behalf. If I do not have that right, I can not delegate it. If we permit government to manufacture its own authority and to create self proclaimed powers not delegated to it by the people then the creature exceeds the creator and becomes master. Who is to say this far but no farther? What clear principle will stay the hand of government from reaching farther and farther into our daily lives?…Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth through taxation and providing so called benefits for some of its citizens it becomes a means for legalized plunder. Examples abound in the world of the failure of alternative systems to the free market. What amazes me is that we cannot see from their example the obvious failure of socialism, what is does to a nation’s economy, and how it morally debilitates a people Great Britain is a tragic example of this. I was there just a short time ago. Here’s a nation which I love, and here is a nation which has provided the free world with a tradition of freedom and democratic rights stemming from Magna Charta and coming down through other historical documents and statements through famous Englishmen, yet even today is losing her freedom. She has become a giant welfare state. Today government spending in Brittan amounts to 60% of her total national income. This is socialism. Medical doctors under socialized medicine are leaving Great Brittan in record numbers as are thousands of others. …Consider another example, our neighbor to the north, Canada. For 20 years, 1944 to 1964, Saskatchewan, Canada lived under a socialist government. Here is what their Premiere, the honorable W. Ross Thatcher, said about this experience: ‘In 1944, the socialists said they would solve the unemployment problems by building government factories. They promised to use the profits to build highways, schools, hospitals, and to finance better social welfare measures generally. Over the years they set up 22 so-called crown or government corporations. By the time we had taken over at the end of the 20 year period, 12 of the crown corporations had gone bankrupt or been disposed of; others were kept operating by repeated and substantial government grants. During the whole period, the socialists waged war against private business. The making of profits was condemned as an unforgivable sin. What was the result? Investors simply turned their back on the socialists. Dozens of oil companies pulled up stakes and moved out. Gas exploration ground to a complete halt. Prospecting in our vast north became almost nonexistent. During the period, Canada was experiencing the greatest economic boom in her history. Saskatchewan received only a handful of new factories. After 18 years of socialism, there were fewer jobs in manufacturing than existed in 1945, this despite the investment of 500 million dollars, in crown corporations. During the period, more than 600 completely new taxes were introduced; 650 other taxes were increased. Per capita taxes in Saskatchewan were soon substantially out of line with our sister provinces; one more reason why industry located elsewhere. The socialists promised to make Saskatchewan a Mecca for the working man. Instead, we saw the greatest mass exodus of people out of an area since Moses lead the Jews out of Egypt, since the lower of 270,000 of our citizens left Saskatchewan to find employment elsewhere. If there are any Americans who think socialism is the answer, I wish they would come to Saskatchewan to study what has happened to our province.’…America was built on the principle of faith in God, self reliance, the profit motive, individual action and voluntary charity…There are indications that America is moving away from the philosophy that made her the most prosperous nation in the world.…It is of course the socialist doctrine of equality. It struck a sympathetic chord with most Americans because its initial goal was equality of rights. Today, however, the goal for the proponents of equality is to restructure our entire economic system, using the power of the federal government to enforce their grand design. They now advocate throughout our economy that they redistribute wealth and income, a good definition of socialism. Our present middle of the road policy is as Von Mises, whom I class as the greatest economy unit that we have ever known suggested: socialism by the installment plan.…Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today’s egalitarians are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a matter of right…These payments are made in the forms of social security benefits, housing subsidies, Medicare, food stamps, to name a few…Recognizing that the present program will be insolvent by 1985, President Carter has now recommended that social security be funded out of a general income tax fund. Charges are made in the last election campaign that the social security program was going bankrupt. These charges were denied. Now the truth is out. The President’s recommendation must be regarded as an admission of the failure of the present system and as a calculated policy to take this country into full scale socialism.…Edmund Burke, a great British political philosopher warned of the threat of egalitarianism, socialism. He said, ‘A perfect equality will indeed be produced. That is to say equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the petitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment, such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above, they never raise what is below and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.’…equalization efforts stifle initiative and retard progress to the extent that the real incomes of everyone are lower. We must remember that government assistance and control are essentially political provisions, and that experience has demonstrated that for that reason, they are not sufficiently stable to warrant their utilization as a foundation for sound economic growth under a free economic system. The best way, the American way, is still maximum freedom for the individual guaranteed by a wise government that provides for the police department and national defense…The Founding Fathers, though inspired they were, did not invent the priceless blessings of individual freedom and respect for the dignity of man; no, that priceless gift to mankind sprang from the God of heaven and not from government…Without the moral base to our system, we are no better off than any other nations which are now sunk into oblivion. There are some in this land among whom I count myself, whose faith it is that this land is reserved for only a righteous people and we remain here as tenants only as we remain in the favor of the Lord. And he is the landlord as far as this earth is concerned. If we are to remain under heaven’s protection and care, we must return to those principles which have brought us our peace, liberty and prosperity…may I leave with you this challenge that you help others see that the real issue is not over economic systems, it is the issue of freedom and limited or no freedom, the same issue that brought about this nation’s birth and independence.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, (Speaking about FDR’s death): “There are some of us who have felt that it is really an act of providence.”

Brigham Young: “We heard Brother Taylor’s exposition of what is called Socialism this morning. What can they do? Live on each other and beg. It is a poor, unwise and very imbecile people who cannot take care of themselves.”

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

Further study:
Marion G. Romney – Is Socialism the United Order -1966

Ezra Taft Benson – The Constitution: A Glorious Standard – 1987

Marion G. Romney – The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance – 1982

Ezra Taft Benson – Ministering to Needs through the Lord’s Storehouse System – 1977

Ezra Taft Benson – Freedom and Free Enterprise – 1965

One Response to The Lord’s Law of Sharing Wealth vs. Socialism

  1. Alex says:

    Collectively these form a staggering and thorough indictment. BOO to any philosophy, politic, law, or organization that violates agency.

    Personally, I think a very alarming degree of just such wrong principles has infiltrated cultures and laws throughout the world (very much including the United States of America).

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