Speech: "Socialism vs. The United Order" at BYU

AN ADDRESS GIVEN TO THE BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY STUDENT BODY
ELDER MARION G. ROMNEY
Member of the Council of the Twelve
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mar 1, 1966

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President Wilkinson, faculty members, students, brothers and sisters all. First I want to thank that choir. I am not sure it isn’t a body of angels-I can’t see behind this screen. That was a marvelous rendition. This last song (O My Father) is my favorite hymn.

I have been asked to talk this morning about socialism and the United Order. I assure you that I approach this discussion with a great deal of trepidation. I hope that my conclusions will be at least as sound as the researchers’ who had the project to determine how far and how long a flea would jump. They first trained him to jump when he heard the word "jump." Then they pulled off a pair of his legs and said, "Jump," and he jumped. They repeated that cycle and he jumped, until they came to the last pair of legs. When they pulled them off, they said, "Jump," but he didn’t jump. They concluded that when all the legs of a flea are pulled off, he becomes deaf.

Socialism Defined

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Talk: "Socialism and The United Order" in General Conference

From: http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1476

Socialism and the United Order Compared
Elder Marion G. Romney
Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles
Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1966, pp. 95-101

What I am going to give you now is a statement I have prepared in answer to the question, "Is Socialism the United Order?" Some of you may have already heard it. This is the first time I have ever attempted to give a talk a second time. My excuse is that the Brethren have asked me to give this talk here tonight.

I suppose the best way to start a comparison of socialism and the United Order is with a definition of the terms. Webster defines socialism as:

Socialism defined (more…)

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John Taylor’s Vision of the "Last Days"

From http://www.latterdayconservative.com/john-taylor/john-taylors-last-days-vision/

NOTE: There are some that dispute whether or not it was John Taylor that had this vision. The vision does, in fact, come from the journal of Wilford Woodruff. It is verified that it was not Wilford Woodruff that had the vision. Many believe it to be John Taylor’s vision.

(Source: Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, June 15, 1878, “A Vision, Salt Lake City, Night of Dec 16, 1877”) (more…)

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Vision of Gen. George McClellan

(According to the National Tribune, December 1880, Anthony Sherman, a close friend of Washington, related this vision to Wesley Bradshaw.)

In a strategic moment in the Civil War, General George B. McClellan, who had been called by President Lincoln to take charge of the shattered Union forces, fell asleep at his desk. He had scarcely been asleep a moment, when it seemed that he was awake, and the whole room was filled with a radiant light. Suddenly, out of the light, he heard a voice, and later saw the face of George Washington, who gave him warning that the Confederate troops were on their way to take the Capitol. (more…)

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Vision of George Washington

From http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/washington/vision.html

In the National Tribune, 1880, an article appeared giving an account of the "Vision of Washington" at Valley Forge. The account was told by a gentleman named Anthony Sherman, who supposedly was at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78. The story has been published several times.

Some people will say that it is substantiated by the fact that a copy of the account is in the Library of Congress. This argument of authenticity is misleading in and of itself. The Library of Congress has copies of anything published. That does not indicate accuracy of the content. (more…)

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Vision of Charles D. Evans

Charles D. Evans Vision of The Future
Digitized by Glen W. Chapman Dec. 2000

(Taken from the Book Visions of The Latter Days, 6th printing 1998, Pioneer Press, 3332Ft Union Blvd. Salt Lake City Utah, 84121)

Can be found on Archive.org.

Charles D. Evans was Patriarch to the Church in Springville, Utah and was a school teacher by profession. In 1893 his "vision" was published in Volume 15 of the Contributor magazine- later known as the Improvement Era, page 638.


While I lay pondering in deep solitude on the events of the present, my mind was drawn into a reverie such as I had never felt before- a strong solitude of thought for my imperiled country utterly excluded every other thought, and raised my feelings to a point of intensity which I did not think possible to endure. While in this solemn profound and painful reverie of mind, to my surprise a light appeared in my room which seemed to be soft and silvery as if diffused from a northern star. At the moment of its appearance, the acute feeling I had experienced so intensely, yielded to one of calm tranquility. (more…)

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More on "Hanging by a Thread"

Correspondence with the Church History Department – Jan 21, 2016

Over a year ago I wrote to the Church History Department inquiring about the "Hanging by a thread" quote. Here is my inquiry:

Church History Department,

I am hoping to learn more about what the Joseph Smith Papers effort has revealed about the Prophet’s statement(s) that the Constitution would in essence, ‘hang, as it were, by a thread’, and that ‘this people would be the staff upon which this nation shall lean’ and that they would ‘bear the Constitution away from utter destruction’. I am very familiar with what the prophets and other leaders of the church have said about the White Horse prophecy, and I understand that it is not accurate in many ways nor reliable. I know that many others have quoted the Prophet as having said it, but I’ve been told that we have been unable to find a reliable source for the statement, at least until recently? I’ve also been told that we now have found the actual discourse or some type of reliable source for the statement and I’m looking for some additional direction on where I can learn more about this.

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"Hanging by a Thread"

It is said by members of the LDS church that in the last days the Constitution would "hang by a thread".  This statement is often used in conjunction with the idea of the government of the United States collapsing. I have read many books regarding "last days prophecy" and know full well what has been recorded in the scriptures and in visions. I don’t want to discuss the specific visions and scriptures and prophecies in this post. Rather, I simply want to explain the story behind the phrase "hanging by a thread".

The White Horse Prophesy

Several members of the church say that the Prophet Joseph Smith used the phrase, "hang by a thread." However, most do not quote Joseph directly nor say exactly when and where he said it. They merely paraphrase something Joseph said once upon a time. Hence, these statements are not taken to be direct quotations. However, there is one place where Joseph was purported to have been quoted directly. It is referred to as the White Horse Prophesy.

What is the “White Horse Prophecy”? (more…)

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Getting Started with Politics

First of all, to those of you who are deciding to start caring about politics, or acting on that interest, bravo!  To those who are confident in your understanding of politics and would like to know my reading suggestions, this post is also for you!  For some of you, this is a really big step and you might be pretty concerned about how overwhelming this "politics stuff" is, and you may feel like a child in your understanding of what’s going on.  That’s ok, I often do too.  However, I actually think politics becomes very simple and interesting when you study the principles.  We soon discover why John Adams considered politics "the divine science" and "the science of social happiness" (John Adams, Apr. 1776 Papers 4:86-93, web link).

So many people have been asking me for information about politics and how to be more involved.  There is so much to say, do, and read that I’ve decided to put some of the most important things into a post, and this is the result! (more…)

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Confidence in Voting

This has been a very interesting election, for all of us I’d imagine.  We can safely say that one theme of this election has been: "Must we vote for ‘the lesser of two evils’?"  Most say "Yes, in order to prevent the worse of the two evils from gaining an office of immeasurable power", and some simply say "Never".

This morning while mowing the lawn, instead of considering the candidates and the issues, I considered how people on either side of this theme have presented their arguments.  Many people I’ve spoken with have expressed their confidence that they could gladly give an accounting of their vote to God at His judgment bar.  That general statement has been on my mind a lot, and I have some feelings I’d like to share on what a comment like that means to me.

Accountability to God

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