Sacred Cow #2: President Benson “mellowed” after becoming Church President

It is a common assertion, in an attempt to discredit any of his teachings, that President Benson “mellowed” on his teachings against Conspiracy and in defense of liberty.  They claim that he did not teach those things once he became President of the Church and therefore he must have changed his views, making his old views null and void.

This idea is one that is not only prevalent amongst more statist members of the Church, but also among many that consider themselves liberty lovers.

Read the rest at The Mormon Chronicle

About Ezra Taylor

Ezra Taylor is a co-founder of The Mormon Chronicle. He has appeared in national (Fox news, USA Today), as well as several other regional publications. Ezra also writes for several freedom oriented publications, has been a radio talk show host and is a grassroots organizer.
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14 Responses to Sacred Cow #2: President Benson “mellowed” after becoming Church President

  1. Jared Eastley says:

    I wrote a similar article about a year ago. Here it is.

    The Ezra Taft Benson Controversy
    By Jared Eastley

    Perhaps the most controversial church leader in modern church history was President Ezra Taft Benson. As an apostle of the Lord, he was the most outspoken General Authority we have had on record on matters of government, conspiracy, and the last days. As a result, the amount and degree of rejection, bitterness, and hostility which he received from church members, and in some cases other church leaders, was enormous and unprecedented in modern times. In response to his witness and warnings on these subjects, those church members and leaders that might be classified as liberal, socialist, globalist, or all-is-well-in-Zionists was resentful and indignant; from that quarter, he was summarily rejected and denounced as an apostle and Prophet of God.

    The classic excuse given by these heretical and apostate individuals is that after he became the Prophet, he became silent on these issues, which is, they say, a clear indication that all those unpleasant things he had been saying for all those years were clearly wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Please allow me to list five simple and easily documented reasons as to why Ezra Taft Benson was a legitimate spokesman for the Lord in ALL that he said on these issues, especially in General Conference.

    1. Ezra Taft Benson was encouraged and directed by President David O. McKay in his statements regarding the proper role of government, the threats of communism and socialism, and the warnings of God pertaining to the Last Days. The Prophet, David O. McKay, spoke through Ezra Taft Benson on these issues. President McKay also addressed these issues as the Prophet, at which times he personally endorsed Elder Benson’s remarks and made similar remarks himself. President McKay offered his testimony as a second witness!

    2. All of Elder Benson’s General Conference addresses were published and endorsed by the First Presidency as the mind and will of the Lord to the Latter Day Saints, the same as is done today in the General Conference Ensign. We do not pick and choose what to accept from our prophets and apostles, especially when it is delivered to us in General Conference and published by the First Presidency. Either our apostolic leaders are inspired or they are not. When we do not choose to believe and apply some of their teachings which we might disagree with, then we become apostates.

    3. One does not become the prophet by being wrong most of the time. When Ezra Taft Benson became the Prophet he was exonerated, not the other way around. Besides, as an apostle of the Lord, he should have been given almost equal credence as when he became The Prophet; in both cases, he was an anointed servant of the Lord and those who spoke evil of him were clearly in violation of their temple covenants, i.e. “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed…”

    4. After Ezra Taft Benson became the Prophet he never changed his tune or amended or rescinded any of his past assertions. In fact, the last public address he gave in General Conference, with his name on it, was his famous speech, Beware of Pride. Within this talk he gave emphatic reaffirmation of the dangers of pride and the threat of sudden destruction for those that ignore the warnings given by the Lord’s servants.

    5. Since President Benson’s passing, our prophets and apostles have continued to endorse The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the proper role of government as outlined in the scriptures and in the official literature of the church. They have also continued to give warning about secret combinations/the great and abominable church of the devil, and the last days.

    Those who persist in denigrating and rejecting this humble and faithful servant of the Lord will some day be made accountable for their actions before the judgment bar of God. If they do not repent, they will not be exalted; rather, they will be damned.

  2. Ralph Hughes says:

    Folks who believe Ezra Taft Benson mellowed on the subjects of secret combinations, freedom and constituitonal principles need to read his General Conference talks on October 1987 and October 1988. In those talks he spelled out very clearly how we were to “befriend” the US Constitution.

  3. Dan Kuroiwa says:

    reference all of the above,
    Amen and Amen.

  4. G. Michael Craig says:

    Having read everything I can get my hands on about this great man and his family, including his biography, I believe I am correct in saying the following about him.
    At the time of his death, “T.” Benson was arguably the most loved, admired, and respected man on this planet. As a result of his reputation in both his professional as well as in his ecclesiastical career as a man of a perfect integrity, he was able to open more doors around the world for missionary work than anybody before or since. The hand of God in his life was as evident as was the prophetic mantle of authority he so humbly but effectively wore. As an apostle, it wasn’t only President David O. McKay that he spoke for and represented, but also Heber J. Grant, John Taylor, and every other latter-day prophet going back to Joseph Smith. The conservative positions on the issues of the day that was so characteristic of him and which resulted in his being the loathsome target of every LDS socialist were not actually initiated by him but were simply a reiteration of the attitudes of every previous prophet. The same holds true for his warnings about increasing numbers of satanic men getting baptized and then getting called into leadership positions on the ward, stake, and general level. Those warnings about the Church becoming increasingly infiltrated by these imposters whom he referred to as “ravening wolves” were first raised by President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. in 1943. By the time David O. McKay was sustained as President of the Church, LDS socialists had become so numerous and well organized that there were a goodly number of them on the staff at BYU. Pres. McKay assigned his councilor, Pres. Clark, to interview every BYU professor and administrator, and summarily fire all those who would not renounce socialism and promise to stop teaching it. But there have been no more purges since then. As a result, BYU is now heavily infiltrated by socialists, so much so that even as far back as the mid 1980’s, they managed to get Pres. Benson’s best friend, H. Verlan Andersen, kicked off the faculty after heavily persecuting him and his children. Well, here we are 25-30 years later, and it is evident that Pres. Benson’s son Mark was telling the truth when he told a close personal friend of mine in SLC that with the death of his Father, the socialists have taken over the Church.
    This is an especially nauseating thing to contemplate when I hear members say that the words of dead prophets are no longer authoritative, that the words of the present prophet trump those of all previous prophets, and that all we have to do to be exalted is be obedient to everything we are told by our ward, stake, and general leaders, never question anything they tell us, and therefore that if the present prophet did not speak of some particular matter at general conference, it must no longer be important. Such ignorant spiritual laziness totally blows me away. The result is that nowadays the LDS “ravening wolves” that the Lord earlier warned us about have a free reign to teach all the “precepts of men” that Nephi warned us about(2nd Nephi 28:14) that they care to without fear of reprisal, especially not on the ward or stake level. My own former branch president, who is now in our branch presidency again, referred to Pres. Benson as a “right wing radical”, such that we did not need to take seriously his council to defend the Constitution. It is no wonder to me that the Lord said “Therefore wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men,…”(2nd Nephi 28:24–26)
    Salvation is free, but exaltation has to be earned, and it won’t be earned by listening to the “ravening wolves” who preside over us, who ridicule the words of true Prophets of God like “T” Benson. Such an attitude is foolishness to the extreme.

  5. Sunnie Thompson says:

    That Ezra Taft Benson was unwavering as a patriot prophet is a truth that I defend steadfastly. His love of liberty never wavered. The truths he taught about individual responsibility, both through words and example, will never dim nor lessen with the passing of time. I know of what you speak when you say there were those who chose to silence his message by belittling the messenger. Once, in response to a letter I had written to him expressing frustration over opposition from fellow church members to what I considered a very real individual responsibility, Brother Benson lovingly advised that I remember that NEVER are we alone in this freedom battle. With God, he wrote, we are always in the majority.

  6. Genielle Brown says:

    This great man was watched by me from the time he was the
    Secretary of Agriculture under DDE, until the day he passed away. He was always my hero because of how he taught the Constitution. We discussed him and his philosophy around the dinner table in my home when I was a child, and the courage that he had while the Department of Agriculture head.
    We prayed for him at that time, and as I grew, I kept praying for him, hoping that he would clean up the socialists in the Church while he was president. He was unable to do that, but he never faltered in trying to teach them the need for a return to the principles of the Republic. I’m afraid that we didn’t listen too well then, but I keep hoping that the Elders of the Church will wake up and take the bull by the horns, and save the Constitution. I’m an old woman now, but I still plan to fight to help bring about that dream.

  7. Spencer Grant says:

    RE: Michael Craig comments.
    I grew up in Salt Lake, Mark Benson was my Stk President and ward member. I knew him well. While I cannot speak specifically to what he thinks in his heart relative to socialists in the church taking over at the death of his father, it seems inconsistent that he would say that the socialists have taken over the church unless under the strictest confidence, much less wish it to be repeated even if he did say it. Rather than pass on something second hand, why don’t you contact him to verify what he actually said. He is still alive and I believe would welcome the clarification so as to make sure his views are purely represented. Besides it would be great if he would contribute something to this web site as the son of a beloved prophet and great defender of the faith and liberty.

  8. I’ve heard many of the same comments on my blog, some made by those at The Mormon Worker and elsewhere.

    It seems that many confuse or conflate the principles of the gospel with the basic principles of socialism (Introduction to Notes on Socialsim).

  9. Randy says:

    These secret combinations are not so secret anymore. See the following:
    Note the wolf in sheeps clothing in their logo:
    Then there’s the American Communist party:
    Their peaceful world comes at a cost of freedom, liberty, religious freedom. Just how many have died at the hands of communist governments because the “people” they claim come first are only “people” so long as they bow to the new government.

    • Nathan says:

      As soon as I read the following: “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,” I immediately thought of the radical Muslims and the spread of Shariah Law. Yes, Communism can be an answer to what Pres. Benson was referring, but in 2011 it could possibly be more of a Medusa-looking image: with Communism/Socialism, Radical Muslim, and any other evil form of way of life hellbent on removing the individual’s right to exercise their free agency as God intended it. Of course, all of these are tools used by Satan. He is the master of evil and uses multiple tools to implement his goals.

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