Ezra Taft Benson To the Humble Followers of Christ by yurtgc548


									                                             Ezra Taft Benson
                                    “To the Humble Followers of Christ”
                                            Conference Report, April 4, 1969, pp. 10-15.
                                             Improvement Era, June 1969, pg. 43-47.

Thank God for that timely and                 the inhabitants of the earth…. And               But though they grow so tall and
inspiring message from our beloved            upon my house shall it go forth, saith                strong,
leader, President David O. McKay.             the Lord; First among those among                His plan will not require them
                                              you, saith the Lord, who have                         long ;
My remarks today are directed to the          professed to know my name and have               In harvest, when he saves his own,
humble followers of Christ. I pray that       not known me….” (D&C 112:24-26.) I               The tares shall into hell be thrown.
what I have to say will be of help to         look forward to that cleansing; its need
                                              within the Church is becoming                    [O! awful thought, and is it so?
One of the grand promises which the           increasingly apparent.                           Must all mankind the harvest
Lord made when he restored his                                                                      know?
                                              The Lord strengthened the faith of the           Is every man a wheat or tare?
Church in these latter days was that          early apostles by pointing out Judas as
the Church should never again be                                                               Me for the harvest, Lord, prepare.
                                              a traitor, even before this apostle had
taken from the earth nor given to
                                              completed his iniquitous work. So also           (Chorus:)
another people. This is reassuring, for       in our day the Lord has told us of the
no matter how much individual                                                                  For soon the reaping time will
                                              tares within the wheat that will                      come.
apostasy we may see occur among               eventually be hewn down when they
Church members, the Church itself                                                              And angels shout the harvest
                                              are fully ripe. But until they are hewn               home
shall endure and remain intact. Our           down, they will be with us, amongst us.
task, then, is to see that we personally                                                       And angels shout the harvest
                                              The hymn entitled “Though in the                      home.]
endure to the end in faithful fellowship      Outward Church Below” [no longer in
with the Church.                                                                                             (Hymns, No. 102.)
                                              our hymn book] contains this thought:
The Lord distinguishes between the                                                         Yes, within the Church today there are
                                                  Though in the outward Church             tares among the wheat and wolves
Church and its members. He said he                     below
was well pleased with the restored                                                         within the flock. As President [J.
                                                  Both wheat and tares together            Reuben] Clark stated, “The ravening
Church, speaking collectively, but not                 grow,
individually. (D&C 1:30.) During his                                                       wolves are amongst us, from our own
                                                  Ere long will Jesus weed the crop        membership, and they, more than any
ministry on earth, the Lord spoke of              And pluck the tares in anger up.
the gospel net drawing in fish. The                                                        others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing
good fish, he said, were gathered into                                                     because they wear the habiliments
                                                  [Will it relieve the horror there
vessels, while the bad were cast away.                                                     [apparatus] of the priesthood…. We
                                                  To recollect their stations here?        should be careful of them….” (Era,
It is important to realize that while the         How much they heard, how much            May 1949, pg. 268. See also
Church is made up of mortals, no                      they knew?                           Conference Report, April 1949, pg.
mortal is the Church. Judas, for a                How much among the wheat they            163.)
period of time, was a member of the               grew?
Church—in fact, one of its                                                                 The wolves amongst our flock are more
apostles—but the Church was not                   No; this will aggravate their case;      numerous and devious today than
Judas.                                            They perish under means of grace;        when President Clark made this
                                                  To them the word of life and faith       statement.
Sometimes we hear someone refer to a              Became an instrument of death.]
division in the Church. In reality, the                                                    President McKay has said the “the
Church is not divided. It simply means            We seem alike when here we               Church is little, if at all, injured by
that there are some who, for the time                  meet;                               persecution and calumnies
being at least, are members of the                Strangers may think we are all           [defamations, slander] from ignorant,
Church but not in harmony with it. The                                                     misinformed or malicious enemies. A
people have a temporary membership                But to the Lord's all-searching          greater hindrance to its progress
and influence in the Church; but unless                eyes,                               comes from faultfinders, shirkers,
they repent, they will be missing when            Each heart appears without               commandment-breakers, and apostate
the final membership records are                                                           cliques within its own ecclesiastical
recorded.                                                                                  and quorum groups.” (Era, December
                                                  The tares are spared for various         1967, pg. 35. See also Conference
It is well that our people understand                                                      Report, October 1967, pg. 9.)
this principle, so they will not be                   ends,
misled by those apostates within the              Some for the sake of praying             Not only are there apostates within our
Church who have not yet repented or                   friends,                             midst, but there are also apostate
been cut off. But there is a cleansing            Others the Lord against their will       doctrines that are some-times taught
coming. The Lord says that his                    Employs, his counsels to fulfill.        in our classes and from our pulpits and
vengeance shall be poured out “upon                                                        that appear in our publications. And
                                                                                           these apostate precepts of men cause

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our people to stumble. As the Book of        Church was apostasy…. We replied             peace of Adam's household by slaying
Mormon, speaking of our day, states:         that we had not stated that an honest        Abel. On the other hand, the whole city
“… they have all gone astray save it be      difference of opinion between a              of Enoch was peaceful; and it was
a few, who are the humble followers of       member of the Church and the                 taken into heaven because it was made
Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that     Authorities constituted apostasy, for        up of righteous people.
in many instances they do err because        we could conceive of a man honestly
they are taught by the precepts of           differing in opinion from the                And so far as limiting the population in
                                                                                          order to pro-vide plenty is concerned,
men.” (2 Ne 28:14.)                          Authorities of the Church and yet not
                                             be an apostate; but we could not             the Lord answered that falsehood in
Let us consider some of these precepts       conceive of a man publishing those           the Doctrine and Covenants when he
of men that may and do cause some of         differences of opinion and seeking by        said: “For the earth is full, and there is
the humble followers of Christ to err.                                                    enough and to spare; yea, I prepared
                                             arguments, sophistry and special
                                             pleading to enforce them upon the            all things, and have given unto the
Christ taught that we should be in the                                                    children of men to be agents unto
world but not of it. Yet there are some      people to produce division and strife
                                             and to place the acts and counsels of        themselves.” (D&C 104:17.)
in our midst who are not so much
concerned about taking the gospel into       the Authorities of the Church, if            A major reason why there is famine in
the world as they are about bringing         possible, in a wrong light and not be an     some parts of the world is because evil
worldliness into the gospel. They want       apostate, for such conduct was               men have used the vehicle of
us to be in the world and of it. They        apostasy as we understood the term.”         government to abridge the freedom
want us to be popular with the worldly       (Deseret News, November 3, 1869.)            that men need to produce abundantly.
even though a prophet has said that is
                                             The world teaches birth control.             True to form, many of the people who
impossible, for all hell would then          Tragically, many of our sisters
want to join us.                                                                          desire to frustrate God's purposes of
                                             subscribe to its pills and practices         giving mortal tabernacles to his spirit
Through their own reasoning and a few        when they could easily provide earthly       children through worldwide birth
misapplied scriptures, they try to sell      tabernacles for more of our Father's         control are they very same people who
us the precepts and philosophies of          children. We know that every spirit          support the kinds of government that
men. They do not feel the Church is          assigned to this earth will come,            perpetuate famine. They advocate an
progressive enough—they say that it          whether through us or someone else.          evil to cure the results of the
should embrace the social and socialist      There are couples in the Church who          wickedness they support.
gospel of apostate Christendom.              think they are getting along just fine
                                             with their limited families but who will     The world worships the learning of
They are bothered that President             someday suffer the pains of remorse          man. They trust in the arm of flesh [see
McKay believes that “the social side of      when they meet the spirits that might        2 Ne 4:34]. To them, men's reasoning
the Restored Gospel is only an incident      have been part of their posterity. The       is greater than God's revelations. The
of it; it is not the end thereof.” (Letter   first commandment given to man was           precepts of men have gone so far in
of the First Presidency to Dr. Lowry         to multiply and replenish the earth          subverting our educational system that
Nelson, July 17, 1947.)                      with children. That commandment has          in many cases a higher degree today, in
                                             never been altered, modified, or             the so-called social sciences, can be
They attack the Church for not being in                                                   tantamount [identical] to a major
the fore-front of the so-called “civil       cancelled. The Lord did not say to
                                             multiply and replenish the earth if it is    investment in error. Very few men
rights movement.” They are
                                             convenient, or if you are wealthy, or        build firmly enough on the rock of
embarrassed over some Church                                                              revelation to go through this kind of an
doctrine, and as Lehi foretold, the          after you have gotten your schooling,
                                             or when there is peace on earth, or          indoctrination and come out un-
scoffing of the world over this and                                                       tainted. Unfortunately, of those who
other matters will cause some of them        until you have four children. The Bible
                                             says, “Lo, children are an heritage of       succumb, some use their higher
to be ashamed and they shall fall away.                                                   degrees to get teaching positions even
(See 1 Ne 8:28.)                             the Lord:… Happy is the man that hath
                                             his quiver full of them….” (Psa 127:3,       in our Church Educational System,
Unauthorized to receive revelation for       5.) We believe God is glorified by           where they spread the falsehoods they
the Church, but I fear still anxious to      having numerous children and a               have been taught. President Joseph F.
redirect the Church in the way they          program of perfection for them. So also      Smith was right when he said that false
think it should go, some of them have        will God glorify that husband and wife       educational ideas would be one of the
taken to publishing their differences        who have a large posterity and who           three threats to the Church within.
with the Church, in order to give their      have tried to raise them up in               (Gospel Doctrine, pg. 312-313.)
heretical views a broader and, they          righteousness.                               Another threat, and he said it is the
hope, a more respectable platform.                                                        most serious of the three, would be
                                             The precepts of men would have you
Along this line it would be well for all     believe that by limiting the population      sexual impurity. Today we have both of
of us to remember these words of             of the world, we can have peace and          these threats combined in the growing
President George Q. Cannon: “A friend        plenty. That is the doctrine of the devil.   and increasingly amoral program of
... wished to know whether we …              Small numbers do not insure peace;           sex education in the schools. At the last
considered an honest difference of           only righteous-ness does. After all,         general Relief Society conference of the
opinion between a member of the              there were only a handful of men on          Church, Elder Harold B. Lee quoted
Church and the Authorities of the            the earth when Cain interrupted the          President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in
                                                                                          regard to this matter. Let us listen and

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learn from the following wise words of      Sex Information and Education               nudity sessions as a means of
this seer, President Clark: “Many           Council of the United States (known as      supposedly breaking down their
influences (more than ever before in        SIECUS), which is the major                 inhibitions. They want the group to
my lifetime) are seeking to break down      organization pushing sex education in       know each other's vulgar thoughts and
chastity with its divinely declared         the schools, and read their literature      lustful ideas, their hates, envies,
sanctity….                                  and learn of their amoral leadership,       jealousies. [The same desires that
                                            you can better appreciate why the           cause people to want to watch TV soap
“In the schoolrooms the children are
                                            Church is opposed to sex education in       operas.] But this flies in the face of the
taught what is popularly called ‘the        the schools, whether it is called family    counsel of the Prophet, who has said,
facts of life.’ Instead of bringing about   living program or by any other name. I      “All such evils you must overcome by
the alleged purpose of the teaching,        commend the parents who have                suppression. That is where your
that is, strengthening of the morals of
                                            worked to keep it out of their schools      control comes in. Suppress that anger!
youth, this teaching seems to have the      and those who have pushed it out or         Suppress that jealousy, that envy! They
opposite effect. The teaching seems         are attempting to do so. They must          are all injurious to the spirit....”
merely to have whetted the curiosity        love their children.                        (President David O. McKay, Gospel
and augmented appetite….” (Relief                                                       Ideals, p. 356.)
Society Magazine, December 1952, pg.        Let us consider another precept of
793.)                                       men: One of the tragedies of the            In these sensitivity sessions one’s
                                            Korean War was the fact that the            standards, religion, family, and friends
“… A mind engrossed in sex is not good      enemy was able to brainwash some of         may be subjected to brutal and
for much else….                             our men. Those methods, highly              prolonged attack by the group. And
“Already the schools have taught sex        refined and deviously developed, have       when it's all over, if you’ve confessed
facts ad nauseam. All their teachings       been introduced on a broad scale into       all and had your values and ideals
have but torn away the modesty that         our own country by some behavioral          smashed, you may doubt if there is
once clothed sex; their discussions         scientists through a program                much worth believing or defending,
tend to make, and sometimes seem to         commonly called sensitivity training.       and your loyalties may now have been
make, sex animals of our boys and           While claiming otherwise, the overall       realigned away from your family and
girls. The teachings do little but arouse   effect of this training has been to break   church toward the group—for on them
curiosity for experience….                  down personal standards, encourage          you may now feel very dependent, and
                                            immorality, reduce respect for parents,     you may be more anxious to get their
“A work on chastity can be given in one     and make well minds sick.                   consensus on a position and their
sentence, two words: Be chaste! That                                                    approval than to find our what's right
tells everything. You do not need to        As in Korea, the heart of the training      and do it.
know all the details of the reproductive    involves trying to get each member of a
processes in order to keep clean…”          group to self-criticize and confess as      When General William F. Dean was
(Era, December 1949, pg. 803. See           much as possible to the group. Now          released from a Korean Communist
also Conference Report, October 1949,       any informed holder of the priesthood       prison camp, the young Chinese
pg. 194.)                                   knows that this is directly contrary to     psychologists who had been trying to
                                            the word of the Lord as contained in        break him said: “General, don’t feel
Our Church News editorials have             the Doctrine and Covenants, Section         bad about leaving us. You know, we
warned us about sex education in the        42, verses 88–92. Only when a person        will soon be with you. We are going to
schools. As the April 1, 1967, editorial    has sinned against many people is he        destroy the moral character of a
stated:                                     to make a public confession.                generation of your young Americans,
“Sex education belongs in the home….                                                    and when we have finished you will
                                            “If any shall offend in secret, he or she
Movements to place sex education in                                                     have nothing with which to really
                                            shall be rebuked in secret, that he or      defend yourselves against us.”
nearly all grades of public schools can     she may have opportunity to confess in
end only in the same result which           secret to him or her whom he or she         And so the precepts of men are at work
came to Sweden.”                            has offended, and to God, that the          on our youth in so many ways. Said
In answer to inquiries that have been       church may not speak reproachfully of       President [J. Reuben] Clark, “... a
received by the First Presidency about      him or her.” (D&C 42:92.)                   tremendous amount of the modern art,
sex education in the schools, they have                                                 of the modern literature and music,
                                            As President Brigham Young put it, “…       and the drama that we have today is
made the following statement: “We           if you have sinned against your God, or
believe that serious hazards are                                                        utterly demoralizing—utterly.” (Relief
                                            against your selves, confess to God,
involved in entrusting to the schools                                                   Society Magazine, Dec 1952, p. 792.)
                                            and keep the matter to yourselves, for I
the teaching of this vital and important    do not want to know anything about          Have you been listening to the music
subject to our children. This               it.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.       that many young folks are hearing
responsibility cannot wisely be left to     158.]                                       today? Some of it is nerve-jamming in
the society, nor the schools: nor can                                                   nature and much of it has been
the responsibility be shifted to the        But some sensitivity training doesn't
                                                                                        deliberately designed to promote
Church. It is the responsibility of the     stop there. They usually want each          revolution, dope, immorality, and a
parents to see that they fully perform      person to tell the group about all of       gap between parent and child. And
their duty in this respect.”                their innermost feelings, their personal    some of this music has invaded our
                                            secrets, their fears, their repressed
When you make a close study of the                                                      church cultural halls.
                                            desires. They have even conducted

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Have you noticed some of our Church         Now hear this test proposed by
dances lately? Have they been               President George Q. Cannon: “If the
praiseworthy, lovely, and of good           breach is daily widening between
report? “I doubt,” said President           ourselves and the world … we may be
McKay, “whether it is possible to dance     assured that our progress is certain,
most of the prevalent fad dances in a       however slow. On the opposite hand, if
manner to meet LDS standards.” And          our feelings and affections, our
what about modesty in dress? When           appetites and desires, are in union
was the last time you saw a high school     with the world around us and freely
girl wearing a dress that covered her       fraternize with them … we should do
knees? The courageous address of            well to examine ourselves. Individuals
Elder Spencer W. Kimball a few years        in such a condition might possess a
ago entitled “A Style of Our Own” is        nominal position in the Church but
certainly applicable today.                 would be lacking the life of the work,
                                            and, like the foolish virgins who
I want to congratulate the Tabernacle       slumbered while the bridegroom
Choir for their attire. It was noted that
                                            tarried, they would be unprepared for
in their broadcast at Constitution Hall     his coming….” (Millennial Star, Oct. 5,
during the inaugural festivities, all the   1861 [Vol. 23], pg. 645-46.)
ladies seated on the front row had
dresses that covered their knees.           To repeat again from the Book of
                                            Mormon, “… they have all gone astray
Now what kind of magazines come into        save it be a few, who are the humble
your home? With perhaps one or two          followers of Christ; nevertheless, they
exceptions, I would not have any of the     are led, that in many instances they do
major national slick magazines in my        err because they are taught by the
home. As President Clark so well put it
                                            precepts of men.” (2 Ne 28:14.)
“… take up any national magazine, look
at the ads and, if you can stand the        May we cherish God’s revelations more
filth, read some of the stories—they        than man’s reasoning and choose to
are, in their expressed and suggestive      follow the prophets of the Lord rather
standards of life, destructive of the       than the precepts of men is my humble
very foundations of our society.”           prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ.
(Conference Report, April 1951, pg.         Amen.

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