Monday, March 21, 2016

Elder Benson and the Birch Society

So, I've had this blog post on my mind for over a month now. But rather than writing it, I've continued researching Elder Ezra Taft Benson's political talks of the 1960s and the LDS Church's subsequent responses to his talks.

Right now, I can't even write what I set out to say. I'm too heartbroken. This goes so much deeper than I expected.

False prophecies, lies, physical assault, and so much more. I just sit here, thinking of all the people who were hurt by the careless actions of the Birch Society and it's influence among Mormons in Utah and I'm totally heartbroken.

But I will say this. Don't throw your anit-communist Elder Benson quotes at me. Don't you dare. If you aren't educated enough to see that, as a junior member of the quorum of the twelve, he delivered prophecies and speeches that never came to fruition then we can't have a civil conversation about his politics. If you aren't educated enough to realize that as Prophet he almost never spoke of politics -- even though he was Prophet during the fall of the Berlin wall -- than we can't have a civil conversation about his earlier speeches. He was Prophet during one of communism's greatest falls, and he made NO mention of it. Is that not strange? Does that not demonstrate a change of heart, at the very least, a change of direction?

President Ezra Taft Benson was a prophet of God. He was present during one of the Church's greatest revelations. As Prophet he delivered some amazing speeches (Beware of Pride is one of my personal favorites). His declaration to study The Book of Mormon and his bold testimony of that book will be a lasting legacy of this great man.

So please, please stop pretending like his anti-communist crusade was his greatest achievement. He eventually turned away from it for things of greater spiritual importance. Shouldn't we all follow that example?

1 comment:

Pa said...

Thanks for your comments. Made me rethink my opinion of ETB. As you know, he said at one time that "You can't be a strong Democrat and a good member of the Church" or something akin to that. That has always stuck in my craw. Shortly thereafter Wayne Owens, a former very liberal Democratic representative from the state was called to be a mission president in Montreal Canada. I always figured that was one way of shutting him up. Spencer W. Kimball and ETB were called as apostles on the very same day, and I heard it said (don't know if this is sound or not) that ETB was scheduled to be set apart first, but was late for the appointment, so they set President Kimball apart first. Whether or not that is true, it was certainly a blessing to the church that SWK was prophet before ETB. The blacks would have had to wait much longer to have the priesthood, as I do not believe ETB would have been in tune for such a revelation. That said, I did notice a strong change in ETB when he became prophet. He no longer was the political monstrosity he had been prior to that time. He even apologized for his earlier remarks toward Democrats. I don't think her personal beliefs ever changed much however. It was quoted in the SLT that his sister voted for Bo Gritz when he ran, and I wouldn't be surprised if ETB did the same -- but then we had David O McKay who cozied up to Richard Nixon vs. John F. Kennedy and we all know there was no bigger crook to reside in the White House than RMN. Apostles do make mistakes as Elder Uchdorf has so wisely said. I believe prophets do as well (BY and his bigotry, JS and polygamy, etc.). One must look at the overall person and his her good works, and I can honestly say ETB's positive outweigh his negatives. There now you've aroused the sleeping apostate within me!!! I have to teach SS tomorrow, so I'd better start repenting NOW. Love, Pa

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