Legion wrote:What was President Benson's stand on Prohibition? ....speaking of Benson Principles....
Other prophets like Heber J. Grant? George Albert Smith? Spencer. W. Kimball? Gordan B. Hinckley?
It was never a commandment from the Lord to force a prohibition. Prophets are entitled to their own opinions like any other man. Joseph Smith clearly taught that it was WRONG and harmful to treat any prophet's opinion as the word of the Lord. This is why Church leaders never taught the people that it was their duty to God to enforce the Prohibition. (Otherwise all who voted to end it should have lost their temple recommends, which was not the case).
President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident which happened to him:
“I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Heber J. Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home … Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.’ Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’” (Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78.)http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/four ... t?lang=eng
To which I say:
Millennial Star, Vol 14, Number 38, pages 593-595. [(Apostle Samuel Richards on Nov. 13, 1852, recorded in the Millennial Star, 14:393-395.)] We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told do by their presidents they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842-43, p.237-38. President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel - said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church - that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls - APPLIED IT TO THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS - SAID IF THE PEOPLE DEPARTED FROM THE LORD, THEY MUST FALL - THAT THEY WERE DEPENDING ON THE PROPHET, HENCE WERE DARKENED IN THEIR MINDS, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.
Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. ... is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.
—LDS Newsroom, "Approaching Mormon Doctrine," lds.org (4 May 2007)
Joseph Smith: "This morning . . . I visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that ‘a prophet is always a prophet'; but I told them that a prophet is a prophet only when he was acting as such" (Joseph Smith, _History of the Church_, 5:265).
Brigham Young at the Provo, Utah Bowery Conference in 1867 Brethren, this Church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people. Then God will raise the one mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, to save and redeem this church.
http://www.lds.org/ensign/1999/09/the-c ... h?lang=eng
By the time Elder Heber J. Grant became Church President in 1918, America was in a reform crusade called Prohibition. One year earlier, in December 1917, the U.S. Congress had approved an amendment to the Constitution making the production and sale of alcohol illegal; the states ratified the amendment in January 1919. President Grant, a Word of Wisdom advocate, called Prohibition “the greatest financial and moral blessing that has ever come to humanity.” 10 But Prohibition failed to end the alcohol trade, driving it underground instead.
I have never felt so humiliated in my life over anything as that the State of Utah voted for the repeal of Prohibition.
- President Heber J. Grant, Conference, Oct. 1934
From this very stand he pleaded with us not to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He didn't speak as Heber J. Grant, the man, he spoke as the President of the Church and the representative of our Heavenly Father.
- George Albert Smith, Conference, Oct 1943
One of the saddest days in all of Utah's history was when the people, including the Latter-day Saints (for it could not have been done without them), rejected the counsel and urging of the Lord's prophet, Heber J. Grant, and repealed Prohibition long years ago--yet many of those voters had sung numerous times, "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet."
- The Teachings of Spencer. W. Kimball
I go back to the words of Jehoshaphat: “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2 Chr. 20:20.)
There are many little things that test our willingness to accept the word of the prophets. Jesus said, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37.)
So it has been through the history of mankind, and so it is today. In our own communities, even here in Utah, we have experienced some of this. President Grant carried to his grave a deep sense of sorrow that, contrary to his counsel, the people of Utah cast the final vote, in 1934, that repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
I am grateful to say that we had a different experience some years ago when we joined with other citizens in a campaign to control the distribution of liquor. There is no question in my mind that great benefits have come as a result of the overwhelming response to direction from our prophet.
- President Gordan B. Hinckley, "Believe His Prophets", General Conference April 1992
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2 ... y?lang=eng
I make you a promise, my dear brethren, that while I am serving in my present responsibility I will never consent to nor advocate any policy, any program, any doctrine which will be otherwise than beneficial to the membership of this, the Lord’s Church.
This is His work. He established it. He has revealed its doctrine. He has outlined its practices. He created its government. It is His work and His kingdom, and He has said, “They who are not for me are against me” (2 Ne. 10:16).
In 1933 there was a movement in the United States to overturn the law which prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages. When it came to a vote, Utah was the deciding state.
I was on a mission, working in London, England, when I read the newspaper headlines that screamed, “Utah Kills Prohibition.”
President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel.
On this occasion I am not going to talk about the good or bad of Prohibition but rather of uncompromising loyalty to the Church.
How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter-day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position. And I am especially grateful to be able to say that among those who are loyal are men and women of achievement, of accomplishment, of education, of influence, of strength—highly intelligent and capable individuals.
Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.
Thank you, my dear brethren, you men of great strength and great fidelity and great faith and great loyalty.
Finally, loyalty to God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
http://www.lds.org/ensign/1974/07/i-hav ... n?lang=eng
From the time of prohibition the Church has opposed every law that made liquor easier for anyone to use at any age. The Church leaders opposed the repeal of prohibition, they have spoken against laws that would permit liquor by the drink, and they have discouraged action that would allow the sale of liquor to minors.
The logic of their arguments, which I fully support, is simple. The Lord has said that liquor is not good for man and that it is to be avoided.
There is no question that the health of the body affects the spirit, or the Lord would never have revealed the Word of Wisdom. God has never given any temporal commandments—that which affects our bodies also affects our souls.
To a great extent, we are physically what we eat. Most of us are acquainted with some of the prohibitions of the Word of Wisdom, such as no tea, coffee, tobacco, or alcohol.