To embrace socialism is to embrace a satanic counterfeit of the Gospel. You may have heard that socialism and its cousin communism are the same as the Lord’s law of consecration or the United Order, but that is not true. Those who told you that, purposefully or not, were deceiving you into embracing principles that are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Greatest Satanical Threat
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not neutral or silent on socialism, in fact, it is vehemently opposed. Latter-day Prophets and Apostles have warned us repeatedly of the evils of socialism. President David O. McKay taught, “The position of this Church on the subject of Communism [and socialism] has never changed. We consider it the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work among men that exists on the face of the earth.”1https://latterdayfreemen.com/talk/communism-a-statement-of-the-position-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints/ And President J. Reuben Clark said, “And never forget for one moment that communism and socialism are state slavery.”2Deseret News, Church Section, Sept. 25, 1949, pp. 2, 15.
The fight for freedom against Satan’s counterfeits began in the premortal life and in the war in Heaven. Satan presented a plan of force that was seductive in its guarantees of “equal outcome” for all of God’s children at the expense of agency. Christ’s plan was the plan of freedom and agency. Unfortunately, a third part of the host of heaven fell for that counterfeit plan then and many are deceived today by Satan’s modern repackaging of his plan of coercion: socialism and communism.
Aside from the moral and religious differences, socialism is the devil’s counterfeit of the law of consecration and the United Order in 2 key ways:
- Socialism deprives the individual of their agency.
- Socialism abolishes private property.
Agency or individual liberty is sacred and held inviolate by our Heavenly Father. So important to our progress is our agency that our Heavenly Father Himself respects it fully, He does not compel our obedience to His laws so that we can become exalted, He does not compel our repentance, He did not compel the Savior to suffer for our sins. So important to the plan of salvation is agency that God authorizes or justifies the ugliness of force and war to defend agency. The use of force is ONLY justified by God when it secures agency.
Socialism uses the power of the government to force individuals to redistribute their wealth or to “be charitable.” However, something cannot be charitable or moral if it is not freely chosen. This is not a use of force to secure agency. This use of force violates agency and thus is immoral and contrary to the laws of God. As President David O. McKay said “Any form of government that destroys or undermines the free exercise of free agency is wrong.”3Conference Report April 1940 pg.118
On the other hand, the joining of the United Order and living of the law of Consecration is completely voluntary. You decide if you want to live by its precepts, it is not thrust upon you by a government. Due to it being voluntary, it is in accordance with agency. As President Benson said, “It has been fundamental to our way of life that charity is to be voluntary if it is to be charity. Compulsory benevolence is not charity.”4 https://latterdayfreemen.com/talk/freedom-and-free-enterprise/ Righteousness must be freely chosen to be righteous. That is the plan of salvation, the plan of Christ. Coerced righteousness was the plan of the devil, and socialism is a manifestation of that at work in the world.
President Marion G. Romney summed this up best when he said, “In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, “that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property” (D&C 134:2) the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management. God-given agency is preserved in the United Order. Thus in both implementation and ownership and management of property, the United Order preserves to men their God-given agency, while socialism deprives them of it.” 5https://latterdayfreemen.com/talk/socialism-and-the-united-order-compared/
Remember, socialism forces. The United Order invites.
Under the United Order, individual private property still exists. When the individual enters the order they consecrate their goods to the bishop who then deeds back as a stewardship property and goods back to them which becomes their private property to use and enjoy as they see fit. Private property and stewardships are an eternal principle. The earth itself is God’s. It is the workmanship of His hands and so by natural law belongs to Him. Our property becomes ours because God has given the earth to man to acquire through labor and acquisition and has commanded since Sinai that we must respect the property of others and not violate the rights of others to property through theft and robbery.
Socialism destroys private property. It forces one to give to another which is immoral and creates commonly held goods. It is state sanction plunder and robbery, even if it is for “a good cause.” This violates the 10 Commandments. As such, socialism must be contrary to the principles of the Gospel and is immoral.
Remember, the spirit of Socialism is “we’re going to take” while the spirit of the United Order is “we’re going to give.” One is the spirit of coercion, force, and tyranny. The other is the spirit of invitation, freedom, and Christ-like love.
President Benson said, “We are not here to sit by complacently while our birthright of freedom is exchanged for a mess of socialist-communist pottage.”6Righteousness Exalteth An Nation We as members of Christ’s Church and as Latter-day Freemen have a responsibility to stand for freedom, to stand for agency and reject, as we did in the war of heaven, Satan’s plans of coercion and expose his counterfeits for what they are. We must reject socialism and teach those around us the key differences that they may not be deceived. Not only our own freedom and happiness is at stake, but the freedom and ability to progress of those around us is as well. May we rise to the challenge before us, and like the Freemen of old, defeat Satan’s attacks on our freedom and rights.
|↑2||Deseret News, Church Section, Sept. 25, 1949, pp. 2, 15.|
|↑3||Conference Report April 1940 pg.118|
|↑6||Righteousness Exalteth An Nation|