Gullible Gulls — Marion G. Romney

Prophet Statesmen, President Marion G. Romney

I clipped the following article from the Reader’s Digest some time ago. It reads:

“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …

“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.

“A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?

“Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.”2

The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of wealth, possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens.

Excerpt from President Marion G. Romney’s October 1982 General Conference Address, “The Celestial Nature of Self Reliance” (edited and reprinted in the November 2009 Ensign). Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) was an apostle (ordained 1951) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and later also served as a member of the First Presidency of the Church. President Romney was responsible for building the prototype for the Church Welfare System in 1936, as a young bishop. Later he became managing director of that system and was the author of the Church Welfare Handbook.