Ezra Taft Benson

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Overcoming Traditions and Preconceived Ideas

“The Latter-day Saints are in many respects like other people who are not Latter-day Saints. We are apt to entertain views which are not very correct, and which may be the result of our traditions and preconceived ideas. This is a peculiarity that pertains to mankind generally, that whenever they deal with the things of God, or speak about them, or contemplate them, and especially when they read the predictions made by the servants of God concerning future events, or events that may transpire right before their eyes, they are apt to get, sometimes, erroneous ideas, or, at least, exaggerated ideas, in relation to them.” – George Q. Cannon, JD 21:264

I have seen the impact of traditions and preconceived ideas in my own experience, and overcoming them has been necessary to growing closer to God. One might assume that we are safe in just sticking with whatever we learn at Church and are taught by our leaders, but Ezra Taft Benson warned:

“Not only are there apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that are sometimes taught in our classes and from our pulpits and that appear in our publications. And these apostate precepts of men cause our people to stumble…” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1949, p. 163, Apr. 1969, p. 11)

Now don’t go throwing the baby out with the bath water, remember that George Q. Cannon observed that this is a peculiarity that pertains to mankind generally. Sometimes we are exposed to false ideas intentionally or unintentionally, but this shouldn’t concern us that much. Part of our mortal experience is seeing whether or not we will put forth the effort to discern light from darkness.

While we should never take lightly the instruction given by the apostles and prophets sent to us, we should remember that the Holy Spirit works in tandem with their words. The key here is a personal relationship with God and eyes and ears that can hear the voice of the Spirit. Everything you put your trust in should be examined in light of the Holy Scriptures and by much pondering and feedback from on high.

Without the Spirit, even Jesus’ preaching is reduced to simple stories about plants, debtors, pearls, lamps, thieves, weddings and sheep.

Personal conversion to actual doctrines of the Gospel and a correct understanding of true principles of the Gospel will bring us closer to God. All ideas should be held up to the light of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. Some may err in their delivery of the message, we may err in what we thought we heard or in how we interpreted what we heard, but the Spirit transcends the limitations of our language and the deficiency of our perceptions.

Blindly trusting in the philosophies of men, traditions and preconceived ideas, without seeking understanding, will sustain the chasm that stands between us and God making us ripe for extremes and apostasy.

Let’s be honest with ourselves about what we only believe versus what we truly know and have the courage and faith to invest in the path that leads to knowledge. It may require us to confess to ourselves that we only really believe what we merely assumed that we “knew” because we grew up and based our lives upon a tradition.

Put it all to the test; purging your life of erroneous traditions and preconceived ideas is a humbling experience but it is completely worth it!

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Goliath, Laban and the New World Order

What do Goliath, Laban and global, latter-day secret combinations often referred to as the “New World Order” all have in common?

Their stories all end the same way and the scriptures show us exactly how.

Goliath

The Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, fell to a shepherd boy named David who stood in front of him and prophesied:

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee;” 1 Samuel 17:46

Moments later the prophecy was fulfilled when David dropped Goliath with a single blow to the head with a stone and then:

“…David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith.” 1 Samuel 17:51

Goliath, a nine foot “giant” whose presence caused every Israelite soldier to tremble lay there in the dirt, beheaded by his own sword.

Laban

The sons of Lehi who were charged with securing plates of brass that contained the holy scriptures which were intended to instruct countless millions over 1000 years in a new land.  Laban, also a military man of sorts was a Goliath-like threat that stood between them and this sacred record. After threatening to murder Lehi’s sons twice and violently robbing them of their wealth, Read Full Post

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Seventy-three Percent

In the September 2012 edition of the Latter-day Saint publication The Ensign, David Brent Marsh wrote:

God foresaw our day and called the Prophet Joseph Smith to bring forth the Book of Mormon to help us. Of the 239 chapters in the Book of Mormon, 174 (73 percent) deal with war, terrorism, murder, political conspiracies, secret combinations, threats, family collusions, and other hostilities. [source]

Consider Ezra Taft Benson’s words:

The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 3; or Ensign, May 1987, 4)

Consider how each of these realities apply today: Read Full Post

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Temple Square Monument: The Law, Governments, Liberty, The Way

Until recently, I had NO idea that this was at Temple Square. It is amazing to me that there it is, right in front of the Salt Lake Temple and I’ve never seen it. It’s fantastic, and appropriate that such a monument dedicated to true freedom and liberty stands right in front of the Lord’s house.

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The Book of Mormon Condemns the New World Order

One of the past great leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a man named Ezra Taft Benson. He had this to say about the Book of Mormon:

The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and His gospel. It testifies of His divinity and of the necessity for a Redeemer and the need of our putting trust in Him. It bears witness of the Fall and the Atonement and the first principles of the gospel, including our need of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and a spiritual rebirth. It proclaims we must endure to the end in righteousness and live the moral life of a Saint.

Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time. (The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God, President Ezra Taft Benson, Jan 1988.)

The purpose of this article is to show how the Book of Mormon calls out and condemns the biggest threat to liberty that mankind has ever faced – a threat that already encompasses us.

The Setting

It is somewhere around A.D. 29-30 on the American continent. A group of elites, rich, powerful and connected, seek for more power Read Full Post

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Has the final thread snapped?

The now famous or infamous “White Horse” prophecy is something that has made the rounds over the years. It is an alleged record of a prophecy recorded by Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley who claim that they heard Joseph Smith make some predictions in their own home around May 6, 1843.

It may very well be all true and recorded accurately, partially true at least, but some of the details of the statement are in doubt since we don’t have record of Joseph stating many of the details elsewhere. The main oft-repeated idea from the ‘prophecy’ is the concept that the Constitution of the United States would “hang by a thread” and that the “Elders of Israel” or “The Church” would be the means somehow “preserve” it or “bear it away” from total destruction.

President Joseph F. Smith said in the October 1918 General Conference  said that the prophecy “…was never spoken by the prophet in the manner in which they [Rushton and Turley] have put it forth.” What Joseph Smith actually said, that we have record of was:

“Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is on the brink of ruin this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.” – President Joseph Smith, Jr (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City)

Eliza R. Snow recollected Joseph Smith saying: Read Full Post

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The Constitution—A Glorious Standard by Ezra Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson, “The Constitution—A Glorious Standard”, Ensign, Sept. 1987, 6

From an address delivered at a BYU devotional held Tuesday, 16 September 1986, in commemoration of the bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States.

On the 17th day of September, 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the Constitutional Convention, which gave birth to the document that Gladstone said is “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”1

I heartily endorse this assessment, and I would like to pay honor—honor to the document itself, honor to the men who framed it, and honor to the God who inspired it and made possible its coming forth.

To understand the significance of the Constitution, we must first understand some basic, eternal principles. These principles have their beginning in the premortal councils of heaven.

Some Basic Principles

The first basic principle is agency. The central issue in that premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed Him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter—coercion and force. Read Full Post

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The Proper Role of Government

The Proper Role of Government

by The Honorable Ezra Taft Benson
Former Secretary of Agriculture [The Eisenhower Administration – ed.] Published in 1968

Men in the public spotlight constantly are asked to express an opinion on a myriad of government proposals and projects. “What do you think of TVA?” “What is your opinion of Medicare?” How do you feel about Urban Renewal?” The list is endless. All too often, answers to these questions seem to be based, not upon any solid principle, but upon the popularity of the specific government program in question. Seldom are men willing to oppose a popular program if they, themselves, wish to be popular – especially if they seek public office. Read Full Post

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None Dare Call it Conspiracy

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