In October of 1964, Ezra Taft Benson identified “three great dangers that threaten the Church within.” The first he said was “the flattery of prominent men in the world; the second, “false educational ideas;” and the third “sexual immorality.”
Concerning the threat of false educational ideas, he stated:
Now truth, if given as much time and emphasis as error, will invariably prove itself. And if our young students could have as much time studying the truth as they and some of their professors have had time studying error, then there would be no question of the outcome. The problem arises when under the pressure of a heavy course of study and the necessity of parroting back what certain professors have said, the student does not have the time or take the time to learn the truth. If he does not learn the truth, some day he will suffer the consequences. Many an honest student, after graduation has had to do some unlearning and then fresh learning of basic principles which never change, and which he should have been taught initially . . . .
While we cannot save all the flock from being deceived, we should, without compromising our doctrine, strive to save as many as we can. For as President [J. Reuben] Clark said, “We are in the midst of the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen.”
Parents, stay close to your children; you cannot delegate your responsibility to the educators no matter how competent they may be. Parents have a duty to train their children, to talk over their problems with them, to discuss what they are learning at school. And it is neither wise nor safe, as President Stephen L Richards stated, to leave the determination of our educational system and policies exclusively to the professional educators.
Students—study the writings of the prophets … on vital issues facing this nation. Students, pray for inspiration and knowledge. Counsel with your parents. Let Sunday be the day to fill up your spiritual batteries for the week by reading good church books, particularly The Book of Mormon [Another Testament of Jesus Christ]. Take time to meditate. Don’t let the philosophies and falsehoods of men throw you. Hold on to the iron rod. Learn to sift. Learn to discern error through the promptings of the Spirit and your study of the truth.
Parents, students, if we were in the midst of “the greatest exhibition of propaganda that the world has ever seen” in 1964 – and we were – how much greater is the propaganda threat in 2015, 51 years later! and how much greater the task before us to wisely and even courageously counter it with truth!
Source: Ezra Taft Benson: Excerpt from his October 1964 General Conference address “Three Threatening Dangers.”
Called Unto Liberty is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional introductory notes and commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2015 Steve Farrell.