Editorial Note: President Ezra Taft Benson’s 1969 General Conference address could have been written this morning, as his warnings pertain to individuals right now who work against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—from inside of it. I use their names because they use their names, seeking as much publicity and influence as they can get for their views that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Chris. I am awe-struck by the dead-on accuracy of President Benson’s descriptions of these people written over fifty years ago. He pegged these women and others like them perfectly. I don’t know why they still hold temple recommends, but it doesn’t matter, they are as President Benson declared anyway, and he even explains why they want to remain members. Below is some of the relevant portion of his address:
Disharmony of some members
Sometimes we hear someone refer to a division in the Church. In reality, the Church is not divided. It simply means that there are some who, for the time being at least, are members of the Church but not in harmony with it. These people have a temporary membership and influence in the Church; but unless they repent, they will be missing when the final membership records are recorded. . .
The precepts of men [and women]
Let us consider some of the precepts of men that may and do cause some of the humble followers of Christ to err.
Christ taught that we should be in the world but not of it. Yet there are some in our midst who are not so much concerned about taking the gospel into the world as they are about bringing worldliness into the gospel. They want us to be in the world and of it. They want us to be popular with the worldly even though a prophet has said that this is impossible, for all hell would then want to join us.
Through their own reasoning and a few misapplied scriptures, they try to sell us the precepts and philosophies of men. They do not feel the Church is progressive enough—they say that it should embrace the social and socialist gospel of apostate Christendom.
They are bothered that President McKay believes that “the social side of the Restored Gospel is only an incident of it; it is not the end thereof.” (Letter of the First Presidency to Dr. Lowry Nelson, July 17, 1947.)
They attack the Church for not being in the forefront of the so-called “civil rights movement.” They are embarrassed over some Church doctrine, and as Lehi foretold, the scoffing of the world over this and other matters will cause some of them to be ashamed and they shall fall away. (See 1 Ne. 8:28.)
Publishing differences with Church
Unauthorized to receive revelation for the Church, but I fear still anxious to redirect the Church in the way they think it should go, some of them have taken to publishing their differences with the Church, in order to give their heretical views a broader and, they hope, a more respectable platform.
Along this line it would be well for all of us to remember these words of President George Q. Cannon:
“A friend . . . wished to know whether we . . . considered an honest difference of opinion between a member of the Church and the Authorities of the Church was apostasy. . . . We replied that we had not stated that an honest difference of opinion between a member of the Church and the Authorities constituted apostasy, for we could conceive of a man honestly differing in opinion from the Authorities of the Church and yet not be an apostate; but we could not conceive of a man publishing those differences of opinion and seeking by arguments, sophistry and special pleading to enforce them upon the people to produce division and strife and to place the acts and counsels of the Authorities of the Church, if possible, in a wrong light and not be an apostate, for such conduct was apostasy as we understood the term.” (Deseret News, November 3, 1869.)
I say, Amen President Benson!