First Presidency Message on Communism, 1936

Statement published in the Improvement Era, July 1936 by the First Presidency, under date of July 3, 1936. Reprinted in “The Messenger Presiding Bishopric Publication, Oct. 1961


WARNING TO CHURCH MEMBERS

With great regret we learn from credible sources, governmental and others, that a few Church members are joining directly or indirectly, the Communists and are taking part in their activities.

The Church does not interfere, and has no intention of trying to interfere, with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of its members, under and within our Constitution which the Lord declared: “I established . . . by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose,”(D&C 101:80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever.”(D&C 109:54)

But Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before Communism could be set up in the United States.

Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism.

To our Church members we say: Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto; Communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action; Communism involves forceful despoliation and confiscation, the United Order voluntary consecration and sacrifice.

Communists cannot establish the United Order, nor will Communism bring it about. The United Order will be established by the Lord in His own due time and in accordance with the regular prescribed order of the Church.

Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that Communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the Gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church. Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist.

We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.

First Presidency:
HEBER J. GRANT
J. REUBEN CLARK, JR.
DAVID O. MCKAY

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4 Responses

  1. Jeff Shoell says:

    This along with Ezra Taft Benson’s addresses on this subject is certainly as important today as it was when these were issued. My question to those in authority is why have the Brethren been virtually silent on this issue in light of the fulfillment of several prophetic warnings in our day and age. Shouldn’t we as members be further put on alert in the prevention of Socialism and Communism which has not only gotten their foot in our nation’s door, but is nearly complete in the process we have been told would happen if we weren’t vigilant.

  2. Angie Patterson says:

    What a great message. I do wish I had heard this before. But it’s great we can easily find it.
    In response to the brother’s comment above…I am sure the Brethren are very aware of our current issues. Some were even in the high councils of the Church when (then) Elder Benson addressed this topic at a BYU devotional (http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=85). But our Church is now a world-wide Church. It’s also a much more visible Church in the eyes of governments and of peoples of all races. I am sure the Lord, in His wisdom and for His purposes, has been less direct about these issues. Didn’t the Lord ask Mormom and Ether to stop saying things to their peoples as wickedness increased in their day? They had had their warning. So have we. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting for freedom. That doesn’t mean we stop clinging to the principles in which the US Constitution was built. And we don’t stop uniting with people who share the same beliefs for preserving our freedoms and rights.

    • Angela E. says:

      You’re exactly right Angie. Very insightful of you to connect the dots. We are running out of time to spread love, light, goodness and wisdom before many will be forced to figure things out the hard way.

    • Mike says:

      Excellent thought Angie. I agree 100%

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