When all is said and done, this is what the gospel is about. The family is a creation of God. It is the basic creation. The way to strengthen the nation is to strengthen the homes of the people.
It is, parenthetically, a hallmark of free nations that their citizens can discipline themselves today for a better tomorrow. Yet America is in trouble (as are other nations) precisely because a patient persistence in a wise course of public policy is so difficult to attain. Too many impatient politicians buy today's votes with tomorrow's inflation.
One of the brethren yesterday stated that practically every speaker up to that time had said something about the depression. I suppose I will not be out of place if I too say something about it. I would like to place the blame for it where it belongs. It is so easy for mankind to blame somebody else for their own mistakes, and so easy for us, because of our human nature, to take credit when the thing that is accomplished is something that pleases and benefits. But we never want to shoulder a responsibility for our mistakes that do not please, and so we endeavor to place that kind of responsibility somewhere else and on others.
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they were led by Moses as he was directed of the Lord. Constantly they murmured against him, when they found themselves confronting difficulties, and wanted to go back to Egypt to their tasks and to their tribulation.
Now, brethren and sisters, let us shoulder our own responsibilities and not endeavor to place them somewhere else. The responsibility for this depression is partly mine; it is partly yours. It is the fault of the farmer, of the merchant, of the educator, the business man, the professional man -- in fact, men in all walks of life. That is where the responsibility belongs. And why? Because of a failure to heed the commandments of God.
I say it is partly mine. It is mine insofar as I may have failed to heed the commandments. It is mine wherein I may have failed to follow the counsels that have been given from this pulpit for many years. It is your fault because you too, perhaps, have failed to heed those counsels. It is the fault of the whole world, because they have refused to hear the word of God, to heed the warnings that have come from him, not only through ancient prophets and apostles but in the words that have been declared from time to time by modern prophets.
ECONOMIC DEPRESSION: A SIGN OF THE TIMES.
The world today is full of selfishness, greed, the desire to possess. For many years we have been living extravagantly. Our wants have been supplied -- not our needs alone, but our wants -- and we have wanted much. Most of us have been able to obtain them, and now a time comes when we find ourselves somewhat curtailed, hedged around about, not having so many privileges, and our desires are not so fully granted, and so we begin to complain. But we should get rid of our selfishness and greed, our desire to possess that which is beyond the needs and blessings which are really ours.
It is time for men to humble themselves, to repent and seek the Lord. I think the general theme of this conference has been that of repentance. I think it is most timely. I have been crying repentance up and down through the stakes of Zion for years. I think it is needed.
Depression has come because we have forsaken God. Now, I am not speaking of the Latter-day Saints when I say that. I make this saying have general application. The people of this nation, and the people of other nations, have forsaken the Lord. We have violated his laws. We have failed to hearken to his promises. We have not considered that we were under obligation to keep his commandments, and the laws of the land as well as the laws of God are not respected. The Sabbath day has become a day of pleasure, a day of boisterous conduct, a day in which the worship of God has departed, and the worship of pleasure has taken its place. I am sorry to say that many of the Latter-day Saints are guilty of this. We should repent.
Sovereignty for a nation is hard to come by and even more difficult to retain. It cannot be shared, for then sovereignty 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.