Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Look up, not down, to find the origin of man

A few years ago, BYU Zoology Professor Duane Jeffery (now retired) announced that, "Amongst vertebrates, there is a sequence (in the fossil record) all the way from fish to humans." (BYU Daily Universe, June 5, 1996; see also Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 11, 2006.) Some Church members have suggested that this explains the origin of man.

Boyd K. Packer didn't agree. He said, "When confronted by evidence in the rocks below, rely on the witness of the heavens above." ("The Law and the Light," BYU, 1990.)

Currently, the Church's web site (JesusChrist.LDS.org) features Boyd K. Packer discussing "Who is Jesus Christ" and, in the process, explaining why we must look up, not down, to find the origin of man.

"Created in His Image

"We are taught in Genesis, in Moses, in Abraham, in the Book of Mormon, and in the endowment that man's mortal body was made in the image of God in a separate creation. Had the Creation come in a different way, there could have been no Fall.

"If men were merely animals, then logic favors freedom without accountability.

"How well I know that among learned men are those who look down at animals and stones to find the origin of man. They do not look inside themselves to find the spirit there. They train themselves to measure things by time, by thousands and by millions, and say these animals called men all came by chance. And this they are free to do, for agency is theirs.

"But agency is ours as well. We look up, and in the universe we see the handiwork of God and measure things by epochs, by aeons, by dispensations, by eternities. The many things we do not know, we take on faith.

"But this we know! It was all planned 'before the world was' (D&C 38:1; see also D&C 49:17, 76:13, 39, 93:7, Abraham 3:22—25). Events from the Creation to the final, winding-up scene are not based on chance; they are based on choice! It was planned that way.

"This we know! This simple truth! Had there been no Creation and no Fall, there should have been no need for any Atonement, neither a Redeemer to mediate for us. Then Christ need not have been."

(JesusChrist.LDS.org, click the image below.)

The above passage affirms and amplifies what he once said in general conference:

"Surely no one with reverence for God could believe that His children evolved from slime or from reptiles." (Ensign, Nov. 1984.)

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

The earth, God's handiwork

D&C 104:14: "I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine."


Spencer W. Kimball: "The watchmaker in Switzerland, with materials at hand, made the watch that was found in the sand in a California desert. The people who found the watch had never been to Switzerland, nor seen the watchmaker, nor seen the watch made. The watchmaker still existed, no matter the extent of their ignorance or experience. If the watch had a tongue, it might even lie and say, 'There is no watchmaker.' That would not alter the truth....

"The Gods organized the earth of materials at hand, over which they had control and power. This truth is absolute. A million educated folk might speculate and determine in their minds that the earth came into being by chance. The truth remains. The earth was made by the Gods as was the watch by the watchmaker. Opinions do not change that.

"The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true." (Ensign, July 1979.)


Thomas S. Monson: With thoughtful consideration the Living Prophet reasons, if there is design in the world, there "must be a designer." According to President Monson, "the Grand Designer" created the heaven and the earth. For example, there was light, President Monson said, because the Grand Designer said "Let there be light." The sun, moon, and stars "came by His design."

"Man alone," said President Monson, "received intelligence, a brain, a mind, and a soul. Man alone with these attributes had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition." He said man is "the noblest work of the Great Designer." (Ensign, May 2010.)


Jeffrey R. Holland: "The simple truth is that we cannot fully comprehend the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ and we will not adequately appreciate the unique purpose of His birth or His death—in other words, there is no way to truly celebrate Christmas or Easter—without understanding that there was an actual Adam and Eve who fell from an actual Eden, with all the consequences that fall carried with it.

"I do not know the details of what happened on this planet before that, but I do know these two were created under the divine hand of God, that for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family." (Ensign, May 2015.)

D. Todd Christofferson: "We came to dwell on the earth that He [our Heavenly Father] created for us. ... our claims for the role of marriage and family rest not on social science but on the truth that they are God’s creation. It is He who in the beginning created Adam and Eve in His image, male and female, and joined them as husband and wife." (Ensign, May 2015.)

Neil L. Andersen: "The Lord declared, 'I am able to do mine own work.' (2 Nephi 27:20.) We each try to do our part, but He is the grand architect. Under the direction of His Father, He created this world. 'All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.' (John 1:3.) As we are spiritually awake and alert, we see His hand across the world and we see His hand in our own personal lives." (Ensign, May 2015.)

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hearing the voice of the Lord

"Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear.

"...and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;...

"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:11, 14, 38.)

This post is an updated reprint from ten years ago (click here).

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Exposing the enemies of Christ

According to Ezra Taft Benson, exposing the enemies of Christ is the second of two basic ways that the Book of Mormon brings men to Christ. In a 1975 general conference talk titled, "The Book of Mormon is the Word of God," Ezra Taft Benson said the Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and His gospel. And second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ.

Ezra Taft Benson gave this 1975 talk again during the April 1986 Regional Representatives' Seminar on the eve of his first general conference as Prophet. He subsequently gave the same talk more than twenty times in regional and area conferences during his first year as Church President (see Church News, Dec. 21, 1986, p.3). He gave a copy of this talk to the general authorities in a temple meeting on March 5th, 1987 (as reported in the Ensign, Mar. 1994, p.61). And he published this talk as his January, 1988, First Presidency message during his third year as Church President. Based on the number of times he repeated this talk, it's message is probably crucial to understanding his ministry as Prophet. He said:

"Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time....

"The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations." (Ensign, Jan. 1988 ; emphasis added.)

Below are six statements by Ezra Taft Benson regarding a secret combination that is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. These warnings have come to us from God through Ezra Taft Benson. All six statements were made after his call in 1985 to be President of the Church. They cannot be safely ignored. Without an understanding of these prophetic warnings, we cannot correctly interpret national and world events.

In addition, Ezra Taft Benson's apostolic statements during the 42 years prior to his becoming President of the Church are also helpful as we seek to understand his counsel on this important subject. Remember, God does not call as Prophets men who teach false doctrine.


1.1.  Oct. 1986: "From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality. . . .

"We should constantly ask ourselves, 'Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?'" (Conference Report, Oct. 1986, Ensign, Nov. 1986, pp. 6-7; also The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 59.)

1.2.  April 1989: "Secret combinations . . . are built up to get power, gain, and glory of the world. (See Hel. 7:5; Ether 8:9, 16, 22-23; Moses 5:31.) . . . Secret combinations brought down both the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations and [have] been and will yet be the cause of the fall of many nations. (See Ether 8:18-25.)" (Conference Report, April. 1989, Ensign, May 1989, p. 6.)

1.3.  Jan. 1988: "The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations." ("The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God," Ensign, Jan. 1988, p. 5.)

1.4.  April 1986: "Our nation will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of the God of this land, Jesus Christ, and quit building up and upholding the secret combinations which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of both previous American civilizations." ("The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God," Regional Representatives' Seminar, Friday, April 4, 1986, pp. 3-4; as quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 61.)

1.5.  Oct. 1988: "Wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14- 16; 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18-25.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1988, Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87; italics added.)

1.6.  April 1987: "Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers 'had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils' (Helaman 6:38)." (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4; italics added.)


2.1.  In a General Conference of the Church, Ezra Taft Benson said: "One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which 'seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries.' (Ether 8:25.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 953; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 348.)

For more than thirty years, the modern prophet Ezra Taft Benson echoed the ancient prophet Moroni's warning that "each gentile nation of the last days [must] purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world." (Ibid.)

2.2.  Ezra Taft Benson said: "Moroni seemed greatly exercised lest in our day we might not be able to recognize the startling fact that the same secret societies which destroyed the Jaredites and decimated numerous kingdoms of both Nephites and Lamanites would be precisely the same form of criminal conspiracy which would rise up among the gentile nations in this day. . . .

"Moroni described how the secret combination would take over a country and then fight the work of God, persecute the righteous, and murder those who resisted. Moroni therefore proceeded to describe the workings of the ancient secret combinations so that modern man could recognize this great political conspiracy in the last days. (See Ether 8:23-25.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 954; as quoted in God, Family, Country, p. 349.)

"Today the Christian constitutionalist mourns for his country. He sees the spiritual and political faith of his fathers betrayed by wolves in sheep's clothing. He sees the forces of evil increasing in strength and momentum under the leadership of Satan, the arch-enemy of freedom. He sees the wicked honored and the valiant abused. He senses that his own generation faces Gethsemanes and Valley Forges that may yet rival or surpass the trials of the early Apostles and the men of '76. And this gives him cause to reflect on the most basic of fundamentals—the reason for our existence. Once we understand that fundamental, the purpose for mortality, we may more easily chart a correct course in the perilous seas that are engulfing our nation." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 397.)

2.3.  In the April 1972 General Conference of the Church, President Benson stated: "Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the 'keystone of our religion' and the 'most correct' book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) This most correct book on earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. 'And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking,' says Moroni, 'and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.' (Ether 8:21.)

"Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity and the spread of God's work, but it has singled out as the greatest threat the Godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon—it is a conspiracy fact." (Conference Report, April 1972, Ensign, July 1972, p. 60; as quoted in God, Family, Country, pp. 321-322.)

2.4.  Ether 8:22. President Benson emphasized over and over the ancient prophet Moroni's warning that "whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations . . . until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed." (See, for example, God, Family, Country, pp. 322 & 349; and An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 331 & 333.)

2.5.  According to Ezra Taft Benson, we are "building up and upholding" this great world-wide conspiracy; we have been "seduced . . . to believe its words," and it is "flourishing" and "increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world." (See section 1 above.)


3.1.  2 Timothy 3:13. Ezra Taft Benson said of this verse: "The Apostle Paul saw our day. He . . . warned that 'evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived' (2 Timothy 3:13)." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 88; italics added.)

3.2.  Mark 13:22. "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." (Italics added.)

Matthew 24:24. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Ezra Taft Benson said of this verse: "There is a conspiracy of evil. The source of it all is Satan and his hosts. He has a great power over men to 'lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken' to the voice of the Lord (Moses 4:4). His evil influence may be manifest through governments; through false educational, political, economic, religious, and social philosophies; through secret societies and organizations; and through myriads of other forms. His power and influence are so great that, if possible, he would deceive the very elect (see Matthew 24:24)." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 404.)

3.3.  Helaman 6:38. The Modern Prophet Benson, quoting the Book of Mormon Prophet Helaman, has noted that secret combinations flourish because they are able to seduce "the more part of the righteous" to "believe in their works and partake of their spoils." (Conference Report, April 1987, Ensign, May 1987, p. 4.)

This seduction happens by deception. And the greatest deceptions were not among the Nephites, but are among us today. Ezra Taft Benson said: "We are going through . . . the greatest propaganda campaign of all time. We cannot believe all we read." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 302; see also p. 90.)

3.4.  Ezra Taft Benson said: "It is from within the Church that the greatest hindrance comes. And so, it seems, it has been. Now the question arises, will we stick with the kingdom and can we avoid being deceived? Certainly this is an important question, for the Lord has said that in the last days the 'devil will rage in the hearts of men' (2 Nephi 28:20), and if it were possible he 'shall deceive the very elect' (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22)." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 406-407.)


4.1.  Ezra Taft Benson said: "If you use the scriptures as a guide, you know what the Book of Mormon has to say regarding murderous conspiracies in the last day and how we are to awake to our awful situation today (see Ether 8:18-25). I find certain elements in the Church do not like to read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants so much—they have too much to say about freedom." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 81; see also p. 42.)

Ezra Taft Benson continues: "The Book of Mormon warns us that when we see these murderous conspiracies in our midst, we should awaken to our awful situation (see Ether 8:24). Now, why should we awaken if the Lord is going to take care of us anyway? Let us suppose that it is too late to save freedom. It is still accounted unto us for righteousness' sake to stand up and fight. Some Book of Mormon prophets knew of the final desolate end of their nations, but they still fought on, and they saved some souls, including their own, by so doing. For, after all, the purpose of life is to prove ourselves, and the final victory will be for freedom." (Ibid., p. 660.)

4.2.  Ezra Taft Benson warned: "Our complacency as a nation is shocking—yes, almost unbelievable! We are a prosperous nation. Our people have high-paying jobs. Our incomes are high. Our standard of living is at an unprecedented level. We do not like to be disturbed as we enjoy our comfortable complacency. We live in the soft present and feel the future is secure. We do not worry about history. We seem oblivious to the causes of the rise and fall of nations. We are blind to the hard fact that nations usually sow the seeds of their own destruction while enjoying unprecedented prosperity.

"I say to you with all the fervor of my soul: We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction in America and much of the free world today. It is my sober warning to you today that if the trends of the past continue, we will lose that which is as priceless as life itself—our freedom, our liberty, our right to act as free men. It can happen here. It is happening here. . . .

"The sad and shocking story of what has happened in America in recent years must be told. Our people must have the facts. There is safety in an informed public. There is real danger in a complacent, uninformed citizenry. This is our real danger today. Yes, the truth must be told even at the risk of destroying, in large measure, the influence of men who are widely respected and loved by the American people. The stakes are high. Freedom and survival is the issue." (Ibid., p. 582.)

4.3.  "The fight for freedom is God's fight. . . . When a man stands for freedom he stands with God. And as long as he stands for freedom he stands with God. And were he to stand alone he would still stand with God—the best company and the greatest power in or out of this world. Any man will be eternally vindicated and rewarded for his stand for freedom." (Ibid., p. 656.)


This blog post brings together a number of statements by Ezra Taft Benson about an international conspiracy that seeks to overthrow freedom in all countries and rule the world. These warnings have caused embarrassment among some members of the Church and have received limited attention in Church curriculum materials. Some Church members go so far as to belittle the idea of a conspiracy to take over the world. Those who would mock the words of a Prophet should carefully consider the Lord's warning: "Fools mock, but they shall mourn." (Ether 12:26.)

Ezra Taft Benson is one of sixteen latter-day Prophets. To the extent that a person rejects what is taught by a Prophet, to that extent he or she rejects that Prophet. Only when so instructed by the living Prophet, may we safely discard the unpleasant or difficult counsel of earlier Prophets.

As we study the teachings of Ezra Taft Benson in our Sunday meetings, let us ask ourselves: Are we merely paying lip service to the memory of a former Church President or do we actually believe what this Prophet of God taught about the Book of Mormon and how it exposes the enemies of Christ?

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Counsel from modern prophets about drought

According to the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, "The 2015 water supply is considerably lower than average and reservoirs are not expected to fill. Weber Basin Water Conservancy District invites and urges you to continue to follow conservation practices and policies that have been previously implemented." (Downloaded Mar 28, 2015 from WeberBasin.com.)

The above statement by Weber Basin Water is confirmed by the following snowpack report, last updated Saturday, Mar 28, 2015.

(Downloaded Mar 28, 2015 from KSL.com.)

Two modern prophets, Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinckley, have pointed to Sabbath observance as the cure for drought.


"Early this year when drouth conditions seemed to be developing in the West, the cold and hardships in the East, with varying weather situations all over the world, we felt to ask the members of the Church to join in fasting and prayer, asking the Lord for moisture where it was so vital and for a cessation of the difficult conditions elsewhere.

"Perhaps we may have been unworthy in asking for these greatest blessings, but we do not wish to frantically approach the matter but merely call it to the attention of our Lord and then spend our energy to put our lives in harmony.

"One prophet said:

"'When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

"'Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.' (1 Kgs. 8:35–36.)

"The Lord uses the weather sometimes to discipline his people for the violation of his laws. He said to the children of Israel:

"'If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;

"'Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

"'And your threshing shall reach into the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

"'And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: ...neither shall the sword go through your land.' (Lev. 26:3–6.)...

"'The Lord gave strict commandments: "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.' (Lev. 19:30.)

"Innumerous times we have quoted this, asking our people not to profane the Sabbath; and yet we see numerous cars lined up at merchandise stores on the Sabbath day, and places of amusement crowded, and we wonder.

"Numerous times have we quoted:

"'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

"'Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

"'But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

"'For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.' (Ex. 20:8–11.)

"But today numerous of the people of this land spend the Sabbath working, devoting the day to the beaches, to entertainment, to shows, to their weekly purchases.

"The Lord makes definite promises. He says:

"'Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.' (Lev. 26:4.)

"God does what he promises, and many of us continue to defile the Sabbath day." (Ensign, May 1977.)


[From the Church News, June 7, 2003.]

Tracts of newer housing are scattered around the cropland and cattle pastures of Eagle Mountain and the surrounding Cedar Valley. Population growth in the past five years has been so substantial that two stakes of the Church now bear the name Eagle Mountain.

It was the construction of a new stake center in the town that drew the attention of President Gordon B. Hinckley....

Thus the members of the Eagle Mountain Utah West Stake, formed last September from a division of the Eagle Mountain Utah Stake, had the treat of having the Church president dedicate their new building....

Perhaps it was natural that President Hinckley would touch on the five-year drought that has afflicted Utah and revisit a theme he spoke on at general conference.

"I think the Lord is trying us a little," he said. He quoted Leviticus 26:3-6, which promises, "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season."

"What a magnificent promise," he exclaimed and added that as he traveled to the stake center that morning, "I looked at the store parking lots that were filling on the Sabbath day. I looked at the farms that were being tilled on the Sabbath day. I looked at some of the other activities that were going forth on the Sabbath day, and I said to myself, maybe the Lord is reminding us that we need to draw closer to Him and be more true and faithful and deserving of His great and good and marvelous blessings."

He went on to quote from Solomon's temple dedication: "When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against thee, if they pray toward this place and confess thy hand and turn from their sin when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants" (2 Chronicles 6:26-27).

"I believe, my brothers and sisters, that the Lord is reminding us that we ought to be more faithful," President Hinckley said. "We ought to be more diligent. We ought to draw closer to Him. We ought to be more anxious to keep His commandments and do His divine will."

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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Snubbing Benson

To snub means to rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully, and that is exactly what the LDS blog Approaching Justice (hereinafter, "A.J.") did last September when it commemorated Constitution Day with a short animated cartoon and summed up the U.S. Constitution this way:

"It is about how to make laws. Really, that is it. It is rules about how laws are made and who has the power to make what laws."

Click on the image below to visit A.J.'s post.

Meanwhile, Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was a modern apostle and prophet who explained the U.S. Constitution over and over and in detail throughout his 51 year ministry. In fact, no Prophet has taught the principles and importance of the U.S. Constitution more thoroughly or more often than did Ezra Taft Benson.

So here's the snub: After setting forth its own oversimplified, 28-word explanation of the Constitution, A.J. arrogantly asserts:

"Anyone that adds anything to that is selling you something. DO NOT BUY IT."

But Ezra Taft Benson did add something to that, a lot in fact, and he was sent by God to do it. Hence, today I am answering A.J.'s post. My response is in three parts. The first two parts were posted here on this blog last month.

Part one (click here): Preparation for his prophetic calling included Ezra Taft Benson's worldwide experience as a government official. It was not just a coincidence that he presided over the Church during the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution.

Part two (click here): According to Ezra Taft Benson, verses 77 and 80 of section 101 in the Doctrine and Covenants are fundamental to a correct understanding of the Constitution. Over the years, he quoted these two verses of scripture again and again as he urged the Saints to defend and preserve the U.S. Constitution.

Part three: Every Latter-day Saint with interest in the U.S. Constitution should listen to this 1986 speech by then Church President Ezra Taft Benson. It is titled, "The Constitution—A Heavenly Banner." (Note the introduction by Jeffrey R. Holland.)

There is no animation. It is audio only. And it might seem a little long compared to A.J.'s animated cartoon. But unlike the cartoon, it is a message from a Prophet and it actually talks about the U.S. Constitution.

If you wish, you can follow along, reading the text of the speech as you listen (click here). Or you might just quickly skim over the text and call that good enough.

But whatever you decide, don't forget who established the U.S. Constitution and don't forget who prepared a modern Prophet to teach us what it is really "all about."

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