Latter-day Saints and the United Nations
There has been much controversy and debate over the existence of the United Nations. Many see the United States involvement in the UN as unconstitutional, anti-freedom, and anti-sovereignty.
According to Wikipedia: The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a center for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established (in 1945) after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193 (Source: Wikipedia).
Most are not aware of the Marxist origins of the UN. Communists, such as Alger Hiss, were involved in the establishment of the UN. The communists even promoted it in their publications:
“Great popular support and enthusiasm for the United Nations’ policies should be built up, well organized and fully articulate. But it is necessary to do more than that. The opposition must be rendered so impotent that it will be unable to gather any significant support in the Senate against the United Nations Charter and the treaties which will follow.” (Source: Political Affairs (April 1945), the official publication of the American Communist Party (CPUSA))
In a 1971 speech on the Senate floor, Senator Barry Goldwater (Arizona), stated:
“The time has come to recognize the United Nations for the anti-American, anti-freedom organization that it has become. The time has come for us to cut off all financial help, withdraw as a member, and ask the United Nations to find headquarters location outside the United States that is more in keeping with the philosophy of the majority of voting members, someplace like Moscow or Peking.”
As Latter-day Saints, we can turn to the scriptures to further enlighten us on the topic of government, laws, and the Constitution. “We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man..” and should “..secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.” (D&C 134: 1-2) We also believe that the Lord “established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men .. raised up unto this very purpose..” (D&C 101: 77-80)
Furthermore, let us consider what the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have said specifically regarding the United Nations.
Statements from LDS Church Leaders on the United Nations
David O. McKay
“Unless the spirit of Christianity permeate the deliberations of the United Nations, dire tragedies await humanity.” (Source: David O. McKay. General Conference, October 1947)
Harold B. Lee
“Except the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and principles contained within the Constitution of the United States are inherent in world plans now being formulated, they are but building on sand and the Lord is not in that building.” [Comment: This was said in 1945 when the United Nations was being established.] (Source: Youth and the Church by Harold B. Lee, Deseret Book Company, 1970, p. 220)
J. Reuben Clark
“In furtherance of the general plan in contemplation of a world-state, we have made treaties of alliance containing obligations that infringed upon our sovereignty. We have made multipartite treaties – the League of Nations (which, when it was understood, the people rejected), the United Nations Charter, to which the Senate gave its advice and consent just one month and two days after its signature, the people having no time to examine its merits before it became operative. All of these surrendered some of our sovereignty. Not infrequently they involve commitments for the Chief Executive which he cannot fulfill, as also for the nation which the Chief Executive cannot guarantee shall be carried out.
“These circumstances have brought into high places an expressed feeling that our treaty powers are uncontrolled, even unlimited; that we may by treaty do what our Chief Executive may wish, with the Senate’s prescribed approval.” (Source: An Address Delivered by J. Reuben Clark, Jr. to the 67th Annual Congress of The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, July 1957)
Ezra Taft Benson
We are in the midst of continuing international crises. The outlook for world peace and security is dark indeed. The gravity of the world situation, it appears, is increasing almost daily. The United Nations seems unable to settle the troubles of the world. In truth we are faced with the hard fact that the United Nations, it seems, has largely failed in its purpose. Yes, the days ahead are sobering and challenging ones. We might well ask, America–what of the future? (Source: Ezra Taft Benson: April 1952. General Conference Talk. America – What of the Future?)
“We should pay no attention to the recommendations of men who call the Constitution an eighteenth-century agrarian document — who apologize for capitalism and free enterprise. We should refuse to follow their siren song of concentrating, increasingly, the powers of government in the Chief Executive, of delegating American sovereign authority to non-American institutions in the United Nations, and pretending that it will bring peace to the world by turning our armed forces over to a U.N. world-wide police force.” (Source: Ezra Taft Benson, Title of Liberty 176; from an address given at Los Angeles, CA, 11 Dec 1961 ))
“Never forget that history is filled with examples of men who mean to be good rulers but who nevertheless mean to rule.
“With reference to the United Nations and spurious appendages, I would like to quote the Internal Security Annual Report for 1956, p. 213, as made by the Senate Internal Security Sub-Committee, as follows: ‘What appears, on the surface at least, to be by far the worst danger spot, from the standpoint of disloyalty and subversive activity among Americans employed by international organizations, is UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Among less than ninety Americans employed by UNESCO the International Organizations Employees Loyalty Board found fourteen cases of doubtful loyalty.’ Then, in the footnote, we see this: “Information in the possession of the sub-committee, indicating a great deal of evidence not yet publicly adduced, points to the possibility that the parent body, the U.N., may be the worst ‘spot’ of all.” There is no indication that there has been the slightest improvement in the United Nations or its satellites since that time.
“Commenting on the United Nations Charter and the “travesty on exhaustive consideration” as the charter was hastily approved by the Congress, under urging from the State Department, [J. Reuben Clark, Jr.] continues with a devastating analysis and a sober warning to the American people that there will be a day of reckoning. I believe that day is near at hand. The hopes and the aspirations of the people have been betrayed… I urge all to read the solid volume, Stand Fast by the Constitution, which embodies much of J. Reuben Clark’s timely instruction.
Meantime let us have no further blind devotion to the communist-dominated United Nations.” (Source: Ezra Taft Benson December 10 1963. A Race Against Time))
“Should we disarm? And does it really make any difference whether we disarm unilaterally or collaterally? Either course of action would surrender our military independence. Should we pool our economic resources or our monetary system with those of other nations to create some kind of regional common market? It would constitute the surrender of our economic independence. Should we enter into treaties such as the U.N. Covenants which would obligate our citizens to conform their social behavior, their educational practices to rules and regulations set down by international agencies? Such treaty obligations amount to the voluntary and piece-meal surrender of our political independence. The answer to all such questions is a resounding “no,” for the simple reason that the only way America can survive in this basically hostile and topsy-turvy world is to remain militarily, economically and politically strong and independent.
“We must put off our rose-colored glasses, quit repeating those soothing but entirely false statements about world unity and brotherhood, and look to the world as it is, not as we would like it to become. Such an objective, and perhaps painful, survey leads to but one conclusion. We would be committing national suicide to surrender any of our independence, and chain ourselves to other nations in such a sick and turbulent world. President George Washington, in his immortal Farewell Address, explained our true policy in this regard:
‘The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible…’Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments on a respectably defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.’” (Source: Ezra Taft Benson. Address delivered on June 21, 1968, at the Farm Bureau Banquet in Preston, Idaho)
“Among the nations of the world today, there are precious few common bonds that could help overcome the clash of cross-purposes that inevitably must arise between groups with such divergent ethnic, linguistic, legal, religious, cultural, and political environments. To add fuel to the fire, the concept woven into all of the present-day proposals for world government (The U.N. foremost among these) is one of unlimited governmental power to impose by force a monolithic set of values and conduct on all groups and individuals whether they like it or not. Far from ensuring peace, such conditions can only enhance the chances of war.
“In this connection it is interesting to point out that the late J. Reuben Clark, who was recently described as ‘probably the greatest authority on [the Constitution] during the past fifty years’ (American Opinion, April 1966, p. 113), in 1945 – the year the United Nations charter was adopted – made this prediction in his devastating and prophetic ‘cursory analysis’ of the United Nations Charter:
‘There seems no reason to doubt that such real approval as the Charter has among the people is based upon the belief that if the Charter is put into effect, wars will end… The Charter will not certainly end war. Some will ask – why not? In the first place, there is no provision in the Charter itself that contemplates ending war. It is true the Charter provides for force to bring peace, but such use of force is itself war… It is true the Charter is built to prepare for war, not to promote peace… The Charter is a war document, not a peace document.
‘Not only does the Charter Organization not prevent future wars, but it makes it practically certain that we will have future wars, and as to such wars it takes from us the power to declare them, to choose the side on which we shall fight, to determine what forces and military equipment we shall use in the war, and to control and command our sons who do the fighting.” (Source: Ezra Taft Benson. Address delivered on June 21, 1968, at the Farm Bureau Banquet in Preston, Idaho)
In conclusion, let us again consider the statement of Ezra Taft Benson; “let us have no further blind devotion to the communist-dominated United Nations.”