Monday, October 27, 2008

Benson Said it All.

ON April 13th, 1953, the to-be prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
Ezra Taft Benson, appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
He was the Secretary of Agriculture at the time.

The quote underneath his picture, in case you can't see it very well, says,

"No real American wants to be subsidized".

President Benson was known as someone well-versed in America's Constitution. He never minced words - how many prophets do? Later, when he was an apostle of our church, he said the following in 1978:

I would respectfully urge you to live by the fundamental principles of work, thrift, and self-reliance and to teach your children by your example.

It was never intended in God’s divine plan that man should live off the labor of someone else. Live within your own earnings. Put a portion of those earnings regularly into savings. Avoid unnecessary debt.

I would further counsel you to pay your honest tithes and contribute generously to the support of the poor and needy through the fast offerings. Then store at least a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and fuel. Then you will find these blessings will accrue:

You will not be confronted with the danger of losing all you have because of inflation or depression.

You will have security that no government can provide, savings and supplies for emergencies.

You can ask God’s blessings and his protecting care on you and your family.

You are contributing to the solution of our country’s ills, rather than contributing to its problems.

…These are the foundation principles upon which all civilized government and our present civilization is built. To disregard them will lead to inevitable personal character loss and ruin. To disregard them as a nation will inevitably lead that nation to destruction.

…I wonder if we in America are rearing a generation that seemingly does not understand the fundamentals of God’s commandments or the principles upon which our country was founded. These principles are the secret to America’s greatness! The central issue before the people today is the same issue that inflamed the hearts of our Founding Father patriots in 1776 to strike out for independence. That issue is whether the individual exists for the state or whether the state exists for the individual.

Ezra Taft Benson, “America at the Crossroads,” New Era, Jul 1978, 3

Another great one to read is Our Divine Constitution, which is a talk given at October Conference in 1987.

Things to ponder before we vote next Tuesday.


  1. Thanks for sharing Deon, it does seem this country is really divided on two sides. Those who feel government should be small and we should rely on ourselves, and those who would like to be given everything.

  2. Good post. Though this does frustrate and anger me. It saddens me so much to see how our country continually falls deeper, and deeper into that rut of subsidizing everyone. I seriously can't believe how many people want a hand out and a free ride in this country. Unfortunately, when politicians promise that to them, so many of the lazy citizens vote them in. Grrrr.

  3. Excellent quotes Deon. How I have come to love principles, one of which is, "Collective majority has no moral authority". So even if there comes a time when the majority of people are choosing to have their rights governed by someone else, I have to remind myself that it really comes down to just me and the Lord. I can live my own individual life adhering to principles even as other around me choose differently, and I will always have stewardship over what the Lord has given me.

  4. Thanks, all. Rach'- great voice of reason. I appreciate your perspective always. If we look at the future through those eyes, we will all have great comfort.

  5. I really liked this post, I hadn't commented yet because I didn't have anything profound to say but I really really enjoyed reading it and I thought I would tell you. Things have changed SO much, haven't they? I am glad we can have comfort in such a crazy time.

    Miss you,


  6. Thanks, Holly! I'm glad you enjoyed it - there is just so much to think about these days, isn't there? What a blessing the gospel is. Miss you too!!

  7. Nicely said Deon. It is a good reminder. Times are getting scarier and we just need to remember these facts. I also enjoyed the comments made too!

    Guess what my kids are getting for Christmas?.....wheat grinders! A couple of them have said they didn't want to store wheat because they didn't know what to do with it....hello!?! We used it at home all the time!!! I reminded them that the prophets have said that we should store wheat....they can't argue against that statement :o) (I love it when they can't argue a point!)

    Oh - I have to tell you about something I saw at BYU bookstore

    Wheat is for man
    D&C 89:17
    Chocolate is for woman
    M&M 24:7

    I have to make a sign or something for my wall :o)


A little note from you? Thanks!