Today I had a conversation with a friend who had been to a meeting wherein some of the doctrines of communism seemed to have moved him.
I sent him the following email:
I have a communist friend. She's an extraordinary person. We've talked some about her views. Also, on my mission to Lithuania (which was part of the Soviet Union until just 5 years previous to my mission), I had ample opportunity to discuss the doctrines of Communism with some devout believers in it. Some of the doctrines resonate with a strong appeal because many of them are centered on true principles--which is why I think they're so broadly embraced.
Today after our conversation I did a search on lds.org and found an interesting article about communism from President (of the LDS Church) Ezra Taft Benson:
The conclusion I drew from the article--which I took as prophetic--is that the overall impact of embracing or empowering communism at any social level will ultimately be detrimental to nations and the Lord's kingdom (and the growth of Christianity).
As for what you felt in the meeting you described--It makes sense that "the counterfeit gospel of the anti-Christ" (as it was described by Elder Romney) would carry with it a spirit of conversion. It's certainly not my place to judge what you felt. And who can doubt that the Lord would, indeed, speak to you to make some personal changes for good--in any meeting. I'm sure you can discern it.
Doubtless the principles of generosity, love, and compassion for our fellow man--as well as focus on giving as opposed to gluttony--ought to always be improved in our personal lives. I am convinced, though, that the institutional implementation of these virtues at a secular social or governmental level (as called for by a communism) will ultimately have an extremely negative social impact. I believe that just as feelings and promptings for improvement are personal--so are generosity, charity, and the other virtues with which the Spirit of God capacitates mankind. They are not meant to be regulated by any social implement.
Communism introduced into the world a substitute for true religion. It is a counterfeit of the gospel plan. The false prophets of Communism predict a utopian society. This, they proclaim, will only be brought about as capitalism and free enterprise are overthrown, private property abolished, the family as a social unit eliminated, all classes abolished, all governments overthrown, and a communal ownership of property in a classless, stateless society established.
Since 1917 this godless counterfeit to the gospel has made tremendous progress toward its objective of world domination.
Today, we are in a battle for the bodies and souls of man. It is a battle between two opposing systems: freedom and slavery, Christ and anti-Christ. The struggle is more momentous than a decade ago, yet today the conventional wisdom says, “You must learn to live with Communism and to give up your ideas about national sovereignty.” Tell that to the millions—yes, the scores of millions—who have met death or imprisonment under the tyranny of Communism! Such would be the death knell of freedom and all we hold dear. God must ever have a free people to prosper His work and bring about Zion.
. . .
I have seen the Soviet Union, under its godless leaders, spread its ideology throughout the world. Every stratagem is used—trade, war, revolution, violence, hate, detente, and immorality—to accomplish its purposes. Many nations are now under its oppressive control. Over one billion people—one-fourth of the population of the world—have now lost their freedom and are under Communist domination. We seem to forget that the great objective of Communism is still world domination and control, which means the surrender of our freedom—your freedom—our sovereignty.
. . .
The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America” (signed: Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, The First Presidency, in Deseret News, 3 July 1936; italics added).
More recently, President Marion G. Romney, in the First Presidency Message in the September 1979 Ensign, wrote: “Communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and … it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land” (p. 5).
The truth is, we have to a great extent accommodated ourselves to Communism—and we have permitted ourselves to become encircled by its tentacles. . . .
Never before has the land of Zion appeared so vulnerable to so powerful an enemy as the Americas do at present. And our vulnerability is directly attributable to our loss of active faith in the God of this land, who has decreed that we must worship Him or be swept off. Too many Americans have lost sight of the truth that God is our source of freedom—the Lawgiver—and that personal righteousness is the most important essential to preserving our freedom. So, I say with all the energy of my soul that unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God.
No nation which has kept the commandments of God has ever perished, but I say to you that once freedom is lost, only blood—human blood—will win it back.
. . .
My single-minded concern is for the freedom and welfare of my countrymen and my posterity, the freedom of all men.
I testify to you that God’s hand has been in our destiny. I testify that freedom as we know it today is being threatened as never before in our history. I further witness that this land—the Americas—must be protected, its Constitution upheld, for this is a land foreordained to be the Zion of our God. He expects us as members of the Church and bearers of His priesthood to do all we can to preserve our liberty.
May God bless us that, with His help, we will not fail to bring to pass His purposes on earth.
I heard on the news today that a recent poll revealed that 70% of Utah parents would prefer a new sex ed. curriculum that speaks more to contraceptives, controls, and 'how to' methods as opposed to mentioning anything about abstinence.
I was surprised by the poll results (mostly because the report varied so much from my own perception of what Utah parents' would prefer). I was surprised until at the end of the news story, they mentioned that the poll was called for and funded by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. I don't know the association very well. That is, I don't know if they ARE the abortion clinics, or just the funding/advocating arm of them. All I know is that when referring to this group, 'planned parenthood' really seems to mean "let us help you mitigate the consequences of sex in such a way as to alleviate all the responsibilities typically associated to it."
So, I have a few questions:
Is the poll fair? -- It's easy to arrange questions to create results you want. I have no question the poll was 'rigged', and is in no way an accurate portrayal of "Utah parents' preferences" as it purported to be.
It was obvious the newscast was designed to sway listeners to believe that they were certainly in the narrow minority (of 30%) if they supported abstinence. Why is the news reporting supposedly 'empirical data' (if you can call loaded business marketing questions ["the poll"] some kind of empirical polling process). . . why is the news reporting such slanted data as though it has some kind of statistical credence. What is the news channels' interest in supporting the business of abortion clinics?
Anyway, I find it morbidly odd that anyone would support an abortion clinic's advocacy of a new curriculum designed around the ability to generate more business for the clinic.
[quick logic on "more business": students are a great market, getting more of them to simply "mitigate" results--one such option, of course, being their "clinical options"--is a great way to drive business to clinics, offering "education" (which I think "propaganda" is a MUCH better word for it) as a state-instituted level is a PERFECT opportunity to have your marketing funded. . . etc.]
How have we let such advocacy become so powerful? Assume 70% of parents in Utah really would prefer their kids just have sex and abort unwanted pregnancies... (which I really doubt). Certainly there was a time when the majority would have been different. Assuming there really are 70% in this group, where did they come from? Are we all really THAT confused on the societal repercussions of negating the consequences of procreation and devaluing life? Assume I'm right, though, and it's really nowhere near the 70%. . . How and why have we let this group be the one advocated by the newscasts?
NOTE: This post is less about my stance on abortion (that's easy: I'm very against it.) This post is more a question about how the media is controlled. It's interesting that such 'left' views are advocated in such a 'right' community as Utah. I'm sure I would find the converse situation as fascinating as this one--maybe less frustrating because I happen to fall into the 'right' category--but just as fascinating, all the same.