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Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations
become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
“I guess that’s all forever is, just one long trail of nows. And I guess all you can do is try and live one now at a time without getting too worked up about the last now or the next now.”
As bearers of the priesthood, we have been placed on earth in troubled times. We live in a complex world with currents of conflict everywhere to be found. Political machinations ruin the stability of nations, despots grasp for power, and segments of society seem forever downtrodden, deprived of opportunity, and left with a feeling of failure.
"We who have been ordained to the priesthood of God can make a difference. When we qualify for the help of the Lord, we can build boys, we can mend men, we can accomplish miracles in His holy service. Our opportunities are without limit.
"Ours is the task to be fitting examples. We are strengthened by the truth that the greatest force in the world today is the power of God as it works through man. If we are on the Lord’s errand, brethren, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Never forget that truth. That divine help, of course, is predicated upon our worthiness. Each must ask: Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? Am I a worthy servant of the Lord?"
To Be or Not to be.
“Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants’ accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes. At the beginning of our own nation’s revolution, one of the first moves made by the British government was an attempt to disarm our citizens. When our Founding Fathers ensured that the Second Amendment was made a part of our Constitution, they were not just wasting ink. They were acting to ensure our present security was never forcibly endangered by tyrants, foreign or domestic.”
Our government with its liberty and free institutions will not long survive a government trained and supervised youth. Such a youth can be a revolutionary machine. The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood…we should be careful of them.
J. Reuben Clark [Church News 6/15 1940]
"I wish to say with all the earnestness I possess that when you see any curtailment of these liberties I have named, when you see government invading any of these realms of freedom which we have under our Constitution, you will know that they are putting shackles on your liberty, and that tyranny is creeping upon you, no matter who curtails these liberties or who invades these realms, and no matter what the reason and excuse therefore may be.
"I say to you that the price of liberty is and always has been blood, human blood, and if our liberties are lost, we shall never regain them except at the price of blood. They must not be lost.” [The Improvement Era, 43, [July 1940] 444.]
And the scary part...
"I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and 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. 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."
J. Reuben Clark [CR Apr 1944 & 1952]
"This earth-wide conflict has taken the form of seizing without compensation from the man who has, and giving to the man who has not; of taking from the worker the fruits of his work, and giving to the idler who does not work. It has from its very nature become an economic, uncompensated leveling downward, not upwards of the whole mass. That this result may in one country be reached by confiscatory taxation, and in another by direct seizure, is a mere matter of method. The results is the same. In some countries outright seizure and confiscation are already openly and shamelessly practiced. All is done in the name of the state, as if it were deity – as if the state, not God gives all. Even into the field of family relationship, which, next to man’s relationship to God, is the most precious and dearest of all relationships, this modern State is thrusting its polluting hand. In some lands this new State is robbing the parents of custody of their children, it is forbidding the parents to teach and admonish the children in the ways of righteous living; it is teaching the children that officers of State, not God, shall be looked to for a guide as to standards of life! Into the field of religion, the holy of holies of the soul of man, this modern world State also enters, to dethrone God and exalt the State into God’s place. This is the archest reason of them all! For man robbed of God becomes a brute. This sin must be felt, not told, for words cannot measure the height and breadth of this iniquity; nor can human mind encompass the punishment of those who shall commit this sin." [1938 Vital Speeches]
"Some things are changeless—priceless. We must anchor ourselves to the eternal verities of life, for life is eternal. The honors of men more often than not are fleeting. Anxious to run after the honors of office or succumb to the pressures of public glamour and worldly acclaim, some of us are no longer willing to stand up for all the principles of the gospel. We seek to justify our unrighteousness by claiming that if only we can get title or position, then think of the good we can do. Hence we lose our salvation en route to those honors. We sometimes look among our numbers to find one to whom we can point who agrees with us, so we can have company to justify our apostasy."
Excellent Talk http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1361
"There's something about piquancy superseding wisdom that I find tedious."