September 14th, 2006

Sacrificing Liberty for Safety

Please watch this video of Matt Lauer interviewing Pres. Bush last week, and then read Mark Hudson‘s compilation of related quotes.

Plato — A Greek Philosopher often quoted by our Founders said:

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”

U.S. President James Madison:

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

Adolph Hitler:

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.

Josef Stalin:

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The Public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”

President J. Reuben Clark said the following, warning us about the very type of legislation that Congress and the President passed in the USA Patriot Act which destroys the 4th Amendment protections and threatens the entire Bill of Rights:

“God provided that in this land of liberty, our political allegiance shall run not to individuals, that is, to government officials, no matter how great or how small they shall be. Under His plan the only allegiance we owe as citizens..of the United States, runs to our inspired Constitution which God himself set up.

…This principle of allegiance to the Constitution is basic to our freedom.

“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.” (The Improvement Era, July 1940)

From President Ezra Taft Benson’s book An Enemy Hath Done This (pg 313-317):

“According to Norman Vincent Peale, “There was a time when the American people roared like lions for liberty; now they bleat like sheep for security.”

“It is the devil’s desire that the Lord’s priesthood stay asleep while the strings of tyranny gradually and quietly entangle us until, like Gulliver, we awake too late and find that while we could have broken each string separately as it was put upon us, our sleepiness permitted enough strings to bind us to make a rope that enslave us.”

“For years we have heard of the role the elders could play in saving the Constitution from total destruction. But how can the elders be expected to save it if they have not studied it and are not sure if it is being destroyed or what is destroying it?”

“These warnings were given 140 years ago. The fulfillment is now. We are living witnesses, unless we are blinded by our own complacency and the craftiness of evil men.

“As watchmen on the tower of Zion, it is our obligation and right as leaders to speak out against current evils—evils that strike at the very foundation of all we hold dear as the true church of Christ and as members of Christian nations.

“As one of these watchmen, with a love for humanity, I accept humbly this obligation and challenge and gratefully strive to do my duty without fear. In times as serious as these, we must not permit fear of criticism to keep us from doing our duty, even at the risk of our counsel being tabbed as political, as government becomes more and more entwined in our daily lives.

“In the crisis through which we are now passing, we have been fully warned. This has brought forth some criticism. There are some of us who do not want to hear the message. It embarrasses us. The things which are threatening our lives, our welfare, our freedoms are the very things some of us have been condoning. Many do not want to be disturbed as they continue to enjoy their comfortable complacency.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Watchmen, Warn The Wicked,” Ensign, July 1973, 38)

Benjamin Franklin:

“Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

10 Responses to “Sacrificing Liberty for Safety”

  1. Chip
    September 15, 2006 at 5:23 am #

    Most Mormons believe that the “Gadianton Robbers” are represented by Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda.

    Others believe that the “Gadianton Robbers” are represented by President Bush and the un-named groups to which he is allegiant.

    Some may say that it is both.

    Obviously, part of the blindness of the elders of Israel is attributable to this lack of clarity on the true enemies of our Constitution.

    Is this lack of clarity caused partly by our priesthood leaders’ refusal to clarify this distinction for us?

    Should they make this distinction for us?

    Do they even know?

    Perhaps they know, but they choose not to say to not offend either Osama or President Bush.

    Whatever the reason for their silence, it is partly to blame for the lack of clarity among the bewildered elders in Israel.

  2. Connor
    September 15, 2006 at 8:54 am #

    Some may say that it is both.

    In the Book of Mormon, secret combinations existed both within and without the government. Nothing new about that in our day.

    Obviously, part of the blindness of the elders of Israel is attributable to this lack of clarity on the true enemies of our Constitution.

    The blindness is their own fault.

    “For years we have heard of the role the elders could play in saving the Constitution from total destruction. But how can the elders be expected to save it if they have not studied it and are not sure if it is being destroyed or what is destroying it?” —President Ezra Taft Benson, TETB, p 619-620

    Is this lack of clarity caused partly by our priesthood leaders’ refusal to clarify this distinction for us? Should they make this distinction for us?

    “And now as the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively – is simply this; Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution. This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today – to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are compelled in all things. Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific Church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he did it would split the church asunder, and perhaps He does not want this to happen yet, for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe. —President Ezra Taft Benson, TETB, p.660

    Whatever the reason for their silence, it is partly to blame for the lack of clarity among the bewildered elders in Israel.

    I disagree. The prophets and GAs have spoken out on this numerous times. It is the fault of the members for not listening and collectively acting accordingly.

  3. Jonathan Elwell
    September 15, 2006 at 11:44 am #

    Thank you connor for following up on chips comments. It is obviously our own fault that we do not know the enemies of the constitution, for how are we to know an enemy to a document that we barely know ourselves? How can we know they are attacking it unless we have taken the time to study it and know the principles that are being attacked? We must do our own part and study the constitution in order to protect it. It is so sad how far we are off the track. In all my political sciene classes we talk about the most meaningless and trivial things, compared to what we should really be focusing on. BYU should be a breeding ground for saviors of the constitution, however, all we get are people that ar feeding right into the system and do nothing to curtail the problems, but rather help add to them. SO many fools, not listening to the wisdom of our forefathers. Our government wants us in a state of fear and that is the world we are living in now. They constantly are coming up with threat after threat that must be dealt with, and in our ignorance we step back and let them do what they will as long as we can live in safety. Well, our founders must be pissed at us right now for the way we have layed down the freedoms that they fought for, and we have given them upwithout a fight. So sad.

  4. CRC
    September 18, 2006 at 8:55 pm #

    The reason church members at the local level are bewildered about who the secret combinations are is because their priesthood leaders at the local level are bewildered and the reason the priesthood leader at the local level are bewildered is because most of the “brethren” at the top are bewildered.

    If the brethren were to come right out and tell everyone what the problem is and how to solve it you would see an incredible movement taking place in the church and it would have an incredible impact on the nation.

    Currently, non members of the church are doing much more to help the nation arise the the knowledge of our aweful situation.

    currently Aaron Russo, a liberal hollywood film maker is doing more than any of the brethren to wake people up.

  5. Connor
    September 18, 2006 at 9:08 pm #

    I’ve seen Aaron’s movie and have posted the relavant quotes used in it here.

  6. Dustin Davis
    September 19, 2006 at 9:34 am #

    Sometimes the first presidency does get involved in politics. The most recent example I can think of was when the First Presidency issued a letter for saints in America to “express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate” concerning to support ammending the constitution concerning the definition of marriage.

    I was surprised at the various LDS blogs around the web that essentially said the brethren have no business in these matters. No, we don’t stone prophets today, we just ignore them.

  7. D. Lamb
    September 24, 2006 at 1:27 am #

    President Benson said, Greece fell because “a slackness and softness finally overcame them to their ruin. In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security, a comfortable life and they lost all, security, comfort and freedom (Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, p.51).

    Too, he quotes Will Durant’s book “Caesar and Christ”, in summarizing the causes of the destruction of the Roman Empire:

    “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade ( U.S. trade deficit, $805 billion as of March 16, 2006, USA Today) her bureaucratic despotism(states not complying with Federal tyranny are blackmailed with funding cutes or being fined like Arizona’s Education System right now) stifling taxes (we are taxed for everything), her consuming wars (this speaks for itself)…” (P. x)

    Former statesman and Church General Authority, J. Reuben Clark, in his studies of the Roman Empire, names the force of law as the tool of centralization of power and government edict. Many imperial edicts were given supposedly to benefit the people’ however, Elder Clark reveals this: “It is interesting to note that these laws, proclaimed over 1500 years ago, had provisions covering such so-called modern concepts, which our émigrés and fellow travelers would have us believe are new inventions, as price fixing, black markets, excessive taxation, socialized medicine, conscription of labor, anti-Semitism, inflation, corruption in government bureaus, the relation between church and state—all phrases familiar to our ears. Under these laws, ‘the entire population was organized as in one vast army. All, including the highest officials, were strictly classified, and even the least had a station. In substance this meant that everyone did what he was told, and did not act without permission.’ There was a great body of secret police to report disobedience (Homeland Security and domestic spying); there was a special secret police appointed to watch the ordinary secret police. “

    Elder Clark shows that although “these laws were provided for security,” the result was regimented terror and economic scarcity…there can be no permanent stability where men are not free. In fewer than forty years from the issuance of the Theodosian Code (474 A.D.) the Empire of the West fell, notwithstanding the operation, under complete autocratic powers, of economic devices enacted to promote the empire; some of these devices were the same ones that we have been told will rebuild our economic structure and preserve our free institutions. These devices failed with Rome, they will ultimately fail with us. (J. Reuben Clark, Stand Fast By Our Constitution, pp. 140-41)

    The Prophet Joseph Smith spoke of secret combinations and corruption in our government in the latter days. Eliza R. Snow, present with the Prophet Joseph Smith stated, “I heard the prophet say, ‘The time will come when the government of these United States will be so nearly overthrown through it’s corruption, that the Constitution will hang as it were by a single hair…’”(Ensign, June 1976, p 64-65).

    D. Michael Stewart, “I Have a Question,” in the same Ensign article, June 1976, p 64-65, stated, “Brethren and sisters, let me say in closing that we have it of record, that the prophet Joseph Smith said the time would come when, through secret organizations taking the law into their own hands, not being governed by law or by due process of law, but becoming a law unto themselves, when, by those disintegrating activities, the Constitution of the United States would be so torn and rent asunder, and life and property and peace and security would be held of so little value, that the Constitution would, as it were, hang by a thread…”

    Likewise, just prior to his martyrdom, the prophet warned his people and the nation in 1844 to continually beware of the much concentration of power in the federal government. He feared that an expanding federal bureaucracy would eventually deprive the citizens of [their] free agency. He feared the demise of individual free agency through the rolling tide of bureaucracy with its inevitable controls. Moreover, he was opposed to spending on large scale…and warned the people against those ‘galvanic cronies’ in politics that can do nothing but draw money from the treasury.” (Richard Vetterli, The Constitution by a Thread, p. 185)

    The Prophet also “ warned against those individuals who would hope to sell political schemes which had as a result the diminution of individual liberty and free agency—who bring about stretches of power or restrictions of rights which too often appear as acts of legislation to pave the way to some political scheme destitute of intrinsic merit as a wolfs heart is of the milk of human kindness…federal government paternalism…expanding bureaucratic machinery, controls, laws, regulations; concentration of power in the executive, stifling taxes, circumvention of the constitution, indebtedness, inflation, continued devaluation of the dollar.”(p.187)

    Conclusion: Everything above is referring to our countries destruction and that it will come due to evil men inside our own government. However, many of us in the church are so pious and flatter ourselves that this could never happen in our country, even though the book of Revelations talks about the tyranny that will reign on the earth. Also, the words of Joseph Smith seem be discarded because it goes against our present situtation in America today. The Prophet of the restoration has become pesona non grata when it comes to “The Constitution hanging by a thread”.

  8. craig morris
    November 1, 2007 at 11:09 pm #

    Some hallmarks or intra-governmental secret combinations from the Book of Mormon:

    They kill to maintain power
    They gain complete control of the government
    They care nothing for the poor, only for money
    They are ruthless

    On the issue of the Constitution and our rights, I speak to friends and family about these issues and they act like I am crazy or something (OK, maybe I am). People both in and out of the church largely just don’t care. The ones that do all seem to support Ron Paul (as do I); In the church I often hear that if it was important the Brethren would say something. I sure wish we still had someone like Ezra Taft Benson around. “An Enemy Hath Done This” is more relevant now than when it was written. Unfortunately Pres. Benson’s words now are those of a “dead prophet” and are deeply discounted.

  9. Aaron
    November 2, 2007 at 8:46 am #

    I disagree. The prophets and GAs have spoken out on this numerous times. It is the fault of the members for not listening and collectively acting accordingly.

    Yes, I would agree that some of the GA’s have said something. But that something is like crumbs falling of a table full of knowledge that church members think the GA’s know. The knowlegde about corrupt government (especially our own) and roaring like a lion about it are not the mysteries of the Kingdom that they are to be held under stricked command not to let out.
    Im sorry but the Tail will always follow the Head.
    Another thing is that everyone wants to hold the GA’s up on a pedistal and say, it’s not their fault but the members. As for me, I am not going to play the blame game.
    Pres. Benson’s words have came up from the dust. Why, because none today in church dare to speak like him, from top to bottom. Who can contest that? If so, why is there more stuff about Benson and before than anyone today. Church members are not even allowed to speak of this in church. They are not even to believe in some things that partain to liberty and freedom. I Say this because I know some people who have gotten exed for not wanting to entaingle themselves with government. Their stake pres. said this came from the top headquarters. One issue was not wanting to marry the State with a License.
    Some may say that the “Brethren” have not right to counsel in political things but none can deny that they have every right to roar like a lion about Liberties and Freedoms which have nothing to do with governments and everything to do with people.
    Forgive me if I sound like i have beef with the GA’s. I don’t because they are just like you and me. I would not blame them more or less then the members along with them.
    I say these things with a burning love. Not to condemn but as a fellow human being.

  10. Sam Hennis
    November 2, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    A member in my ward told me he doesn’t care to know about what’s going on “politically.” He said that he knows things are bad, but that “it’s been prophesied,” so why worry about it, just let it happen.

    If we as a nation are to be free, we must wake up and repent of our sins of apathy and slothfulness. I’m afraid that many of us, including members of the church just don’t care as long as things are going alright in our personal lives. Just don’t “rock the boat.”

    “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
    -James Madison

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.