Our Real Trouble

Called Unto Liberty, Stephen L. Richards: May 30th, 1948, 20th Century Sermons

Unfortunately, many who support the cause of the dignity of man in public do not support it in their private lives. That’s the real trouble with our nation. We are trying desperately to sell the peoples of the world our concepts of liberty, of equity, and justice in our way of life. We know these principles are right and conform to divine law, but we are using poor ways in teaching them to others. I saw it recently in South America. We try to tell in our broadcasts (expensive broadcasts, too; the people of this state could afford to pay something to keep some of them off the air)—we try to tell about the excellence of American life, our marvelous industries, [p. 67] our great agriculture, our beautiful homes, our education, and our free government. And while we are telling them these things, spending enormous sums to promote the good neighbor policy, our Hollywood picture shows are depicting on the screens in South America lurid scenes of marital infidelity, broken homes, licentiousness, gangsterism, revolting crime in all its forms, immodest, extravagance, and obscene jokes. For everyone who hears the expensive broadcast of the Department of State, there are a hundred or a thousand who see the pictures. And then, too, the press play up sensational stories of crime and degradation in North America, sometimes with premeditated design to prejudice their peoples against us.

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Source: Stephen L. Richards. The Church News, May 30, 1948. Stephen L. Richards (1879 – 1959) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also served as First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church.