Saturday, December 13, 2014

The politics of Ezra Taft Benson in 2015

Did God Himself establish the Constitution of the United States? Does it belong to all mankind? Should it be maintained today? (See D&C 98:5; 101:77, 80.)

God's word shall not pass away

Ezra Taft Benson was President of the Church from 1985 to 1994. Malcolm S. Jeppsen was a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 1989 to 1994.

In 1991, while serving as a Counselor in the Utah North Area Presidency (and while Ezra Taft Benson was still Church President), Malcolm S. Jeppsen was the visiting authority in several stake conferences and gave a talk (click here) wherein he counselled against using the "writings and speeches of President Benson given years ago when world conditions were different."

Specifically, he counselled against using Ezra Taft Benson's writings to warn about "individuals or conspirators in our government as being ready to subvert our constitution."

Malcolm S. Jeppsen gave this talk in my own stake and I heard it in person. I challenged him in writing (click here) about his claim that changes in world conditions had invalidated the Prophet's words. The issue wasn't really world conditions. The issue was whether Ezra Taft Benson spoke God's word in the past.

"Though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away." (D&C 1:38.) The passing away of the heavens and the earth would be an extreme change in world conditions, yet God's word would not be effected.

Ezra Taft Benson and the U.S. Constitution

All Latter-day Prophets, from President Joseph Smith to President Thomas S. Monson (click here), have affirmed God's hand in the founding of the U.S. Constitution. Even if that is viewed as less relevant to members living outside the United States, yet it is based on scripture that has not been rescinded. Specifically, three verses (D&C 98:5; 101:77, 80) declare God's approval of and support for the U.S. Constitution.

What, then, about Ezra Taft Benson's so-called political teachings, those related to the Constitution? For decades, some of us have sidestepped the Constitution and at the same time have accused Ezra Taft Benson of being political. But Ezra Taft Benson has only asked us to do what scripture demands: Maintain and preserve the Constitution which God Himself established.

A significant portion of Ezra Taft Benson's 51-year ministry as apostle and prophet was devoted to defending the Constitution against its domestic and foreign foes. And this is another fact that may be considered less relevant to members living outside the United States. But surely the rest of us dare not just forget Ezra Taft Benson's teachings and watch from the sidelines while the U.S. Constitution is dismantled and discarded.

Dare we?


Blogger Marivene said...

Last time I checked the promise that we would never "be led astray" applied to ONLY the prophet & the Counsel of the Twelve, acting in concert. Second Quorum of the Seventy is part of the leadership, but not under the same promise. Thus, I follow the prophet.

12/13/2014 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Tim: It is utterly absurd and ridiculous for anyone to blame the Prophet for getting excommunicated.

Marivene: Even his Counselors and the Twelve should follow the Prophet.

12/13/2014 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous: Your venomous comment is not welcome here. Ezra Taft Benson was a Prophet. He opposed plans to have America move to the left while the communists move to the right so we could meet in the ideological center. But what happened? The Soviet communist block did move to the right when it fell. And the size and reach of government in this country has steadily increased until George Orwell's “Big Brother is Watching You!” is approaching a level of reality never dreamed of in the Soviet Union.

Ezra Taft Benson will be remembered as the Prophet he was, and as one of the greatest patriots of our time.

12/14/2014 03:28:00 PM  

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