Rediscovering the Proper Role of Government

by Robert John Stevens, May 8, 2017

Friday afternoon I hand-delivered to Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee and his assistant Brian Voeks new copies of Ezra Taft Benson’s immortal, “The Proper Role of Government” in hopes Bill will give up central planning and endorse the founding principles of liberty that made America great.

Every American should read and rediscover its concepts at least once a year. I read it again on Friday.

Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet

I am pretty sure I was in the audience when this speech was given on Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University. The points Ezra Taft Benson made would probably sound blasphemous to the Christian world today but explain several of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and priorities and behaviors of its members.

–Robert John Stevens, August 3, 2015


Greeks and all of humanity who have accumulated debt beyond their ability to pay now have two choices, 1) Slavery or 2) Freedom

All of us as Americans have a patriotic responsibility not to contribute to the inflation danger by needlessly building still higher the mountain of total debt. All of us as individuals-and above all, as members of families-have an obligation in conscience not to mismanage our resources. &mash; Ezra Taft Benson, Pay Thy Debt and Live, General Conference, April, 1957

In the book of Kings we read about a woman who came weeping to Elisha, the prophet. Her husband had died, and she owed a debt that she could not pay; and the creditor was on his way to take her two sons and sell them as slaves.

By a miracle Elisha enabled her to acquire a goodly supply of oil. And he said to her:

Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. (2 Kings, 4:2.)

“Pay thy debt, and live.” How fruitful these words have ever been! What wise counsel they are for us today! — Ezra Taft Benson, Pay Thy Debt and Live, General Conference, April, 1957

Related Talks

Putin enacts law banning ‘undesirable’ NGOs—A case study for constitutional protection

By Robert John Stevens, May 24, 2015

Putin is fully aware of how foreign governments and secret societies fund NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to destabilize the internal affairs of nations, cause chaos and murder. Although his law limits freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, and will likely be abused to falsely charge the innocent and seize their assets, it is a defensive measure to rid Russia of internal parasites and conspiring organizations.

Lessons from history teach us to never allow such organizations to arise and infiltrate government because of their ability to destroy constitutional government. The Book of Mormon also teaches prevention:

it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain.—Ether 8:23

Repentance requires a turning of the heart and will to God and renunciation (the formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action).

When conspiring secret societies are discovered, according to the Book of Mormon, God commands believers to awaken to their awful situation:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. — Ether 8:24

The scriptural record doesn’t offer much advice for counter measures, which makes Putin’s efforts fascinating and a future case study; however if nothing is done, God’s judgment is definitive:

the work of destruction [shall] come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. — Ether 8:23

Historic attempts to rid one’s government of conspiring NGOs have had limited success. Propaganda is used to deceive the people. When the infiltration is complete, war and democide commence (democide is murder by one’s own government). The University of Hawaii reports in the 20th Century alone, 262 million humans were murdered by their own governments.

Americans were warned of this pattern in 1830:

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning. — Ether 8:25

Putin’s efforts to ban mischievous NGOs are fascinating. I wonder how many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) will see its relationship to the Book of Mormon and remember the words of President Ezra Taft Benson when he warned Americans of the United Nations because he believed they and other such organizations were designed to destroy the U.S. Constitution and usher in world government, and must therefore be banned.

Read the story: Putin enacts law banning ‘undesirable’ NGOs