“We cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom” (Ezra Taft Benson)
This video contains important highlights from a talk given by Ezra Taft Benson: Our Immediate Responsibility. (A BYU Devotional, October 25, 1966).
It is the devils desire that the Lord’s priesthood stay asleep while the strings of tyranny gradually and quietly entangle us until, like Gulliver, we awake too late and find that while we could have broken each string separately as it was put upon us, our sleepiness permitted enough strings to bind us to make a rope that enslaves us.
For years we have heard of the role the elders could play in saving the Constitution from total destruction. But how can the elders be expected to save it if they have not studied it and are not sure if it is being destroyed or what is destroying it.
An informed patriotic gentile was dumbfounded when he heard of Joseph Smith’s reported prophecy regarding the mission our elders could perform in saving the Constitution. He lived in a Mormon community with nice people who were busily engaged in other activities but had little concern in preserving their freedom. He wondered if maybe a letter should not be sent to President McKay, urging him to release some of the elders from their present Church activities so their would be a few who could help step forward to save the Constitution.
Now it is not so much a case of a man giving up all his other duties to fight for freedom, as it is a case of a man getting his life in balance so he can discharge all of his God-given responsibilities. And of all these responsibilities President McKay has said that we have “no greater immediate responsibility” than “to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.”
There is no excuse that can compensate for the loss of liberty.
Now Satan is anxious to neutralize the inspired counsel of the Prophet and hence keep the priesthood off-balance, ineffective and inert in the fight for freedom. He does this through diverse means including the use of perverse reasoning.
For example, he will argue, “There is no need to get involved in the fight for freedom — all you need to do is live the gospel.” Of course this is a contradiction, because we cannot fully live the gospel and not be involved in the fight for freedom.
We would not say to someone, “There is no need to be baptized — all you need to do is live the gospel.” That would be ridiculous because baptism is a part of the gospel.
How would you have reacted if during the War in Heaven someone had said to you, “Look, just do what’s right, there is no need to get involved in the fight for free agency.” Now it is obvious what the devil is trying to do, but it is sad to see many of us fall for his destructive line.
The cause of freedom is the most basic part of our religion.
Our position on freedom helped get us to this earth, and it can make the difference as to whether we get back home or not.