Church Leader Says: “Military in Almost Complete Control of Government”

Editors note: This talk was originally given by President J. Reuben Clark Jr., 14 Nov 1947 and appeared in the Church News 22 Nov 1947.  It has been edited for space, but can be found in full in chapter 6 of “Stand Fast by the Constitution” under the chapter heading, “Let Us Have Peace”. 

Peace has been the pearl of great price, coveted, searched for, by man during all the ages.

I regret to say, indeed I am almost ashamed to say, that at the moment, our military branches seem in almost complete control of our own government.  They appear to dominate Congress, and under the circumstances, we may assume they are in sufficient control of our foreign relations to be able to set the international scene. To us who do not know, it looks clear that we are today getting the same sort of propaganda of half-truths, told in the same evasive ways, with equivalent hints and dark forebodings that preceded the last war.  We are not justified in doubting, on the facts, we have, that we of the United States are, for the first time in our history, under a real threat from our military arm, and that if the plans of the militarists carry, we shall become as thoroughly militarized as was Germany at her best, or worst.  Certain it is we are being generously dosed with that sovereign narcotic, which designing militarists have in the past always administered to their peoples, the doctrine that to ensure peace we must maintain a great army and gigantic armaments.  But this ignores, indeed conceals, the unvarying historical fact that big armies have always brought, not peace, but war which has ended in a hate that in due course brings another war.

Our militarists will no more be able to let a great army lie unused than they were able to withhold the use of the atom bomb once they had it, even though some military men are now quoted as saying the war was won before the bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiromshima.  Under the threat that Germany was perfecting such a bomb, we were justified in perfecting ours.  But it may well be a disaster to civilization for us unnecessarily to have initiated its use.  Some of us think it was shameful.

All this is not the way to peace, but to war.

The international gospel of the Founding Gathers was forecast by Jefferson in 1793.  It was voiced by Washington in his farewell Address in 1796, when he declared we should have “as little political connection as possible with Europe,” because Europe had a “set of primary interests” with which we had “none or a very remote relation,” wherefore “must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concern;… why, by interweaving our destiny with that part of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?  It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”  The Monroe Doctrine declaring against the future colonization of the American continent by Europeans, against the extension therein of there political system, against interposition by European powers to control the destinies of the Latin Americas, implemented the principles of the Address.  And Jefferson, commenting in 1823 on the Monroe doctrine, and the complete political separation of Europe and the Americas, solemnly affirmed: “Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe; our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic affairs.”

Nor may we overlook that great doctrine of neutrality set up under Washington himself and Jefferson and Hamilton, which was aimed at and brought about the localizing of international armed conflicts, and the preservation, under prescribed rules, of peacetime intercourse between belligerents and nonbelligerents.  War was to curse as few people as possible.  This has been jettisoned for the concept that every war should involve all nations, making all suffer the ravages of a global war.

Until the last quarter of a century, this gospel of the Fathers was the polar star by which we set our international course.  In the first hundred thirty years of our constitutional existence, we had three foreign wars, the first merely the final effort of our Revolution, which made good our independence.  During the century that followed we had two foreign wars, neither of considerable magnitude.  During the next twenty-three years, we had two global wars.  While the gospel of the Gathers guided us, we had peace.  When we forsook it, two great wars engulfed us.

What has our apostasy from peace cost us?

In spiritual values it has brought great numbers of our youth and older men to the very depths of desponding atheism.  Our whole social structure seems undermined.  We are becoming a blaspheming, unchaste, non-Christian, Godless race.  Spiritually we seem ripe for another war.

In values of government and law, these wars and the intermingling’s of men of different concepts of freedom and human rights, have brought into our own system, the despotic principles of European systems, against which the Fathers warned, though they came to us through doors the Fathers did not see.  Many and influential persons amongst us, of alien concepts and sometimes of alien birth, no longer admit that man possesses  the inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence and the fundamental precepts of the Constitution.  Our courts no longer guarantee these rights and enforce these principles.  We have and are aping and adopting the policies and the legal theories of Europe.

It is time we returned to the political faith and work of the Fathers.  It is indispensable that we do so if we are to have peace.  I believe in the old faith and the old works, under which we had so much of peace.  I am a political isolationist in the full sense of the term and am not fearful in declaring it.

I am a political isolationist because:

I fully believe in the wisdom of the course defined by Washington, Jefferson and other ancient statesmen.  The whole history of America before and since the Revolution proves the truthfulness of their assertions.  All during our pre-Revolutionary history we were at war, we were robbed, plundered, and massacred because of European wars, in the issues and causes of which we had no concern.  History is repeating itself.

I believe American manhood is too valuable to be sacrificed on foreign soil for foreign issues and causes.

I believe that permanent peace will never come into the world from the muzzle of a gun.  Guns and bayonets will, in the future as in the past, bring truces, long or short, but never peace that endures.

I believe that moral force is far more potent than physical force in international relations.

So the light of the Master will ultimately break through the darkness of the infidel, and all men will return to freedom and free institutions and to the worship of Almighty God, for such has been the course of man since He came to this earth, and ultimately every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and then will come the peace of the world.

Meanwhile, let us each set his own house in order.  Let us each do a little repenting of our common sins.  Let us each recast his own life to fit th example and teachings of the Master.

About J Reuben Clark Jr

J. Reuben Clark, Jr. served as U.S. State Department Solicitor, Undersecretary of State, Ambassador to Mexico, and was also called to serve in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving under Presidents Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith and David O. McKay. Clark was a statesman and constitutionalist.
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27 Responses to Church Leader Says: “Military in Almost Complete Control of Government”

  1. D. Rolling Kearney says:

    Take that, Romney!

  2. Cyril says:

    What does it all entail. That Obama’s Government is the tool in the actualization of the Military’s Complete Control of Government?

  3. Tom says:

    This article is about the teachings of J. Reuben Clark jr and his prophetic statements that we see coming true at every hour. His counsel has nothing to do with Romney or any other political figurehead per se. It is about the wickedness of America ushering in the Military Industrial Complex in to the total control of American government.

    Taking potshots at any political figure in our society today in this discussion only goes to prove out what President Clark was saying. Our very pride and slothfulness is bringing to pass the words by a modern day Prophet of God. Let us turn to the teachings of our Master and learn more of what we are to do to insure our nation’s place of honor within the kingdom of God.

    • My comment was intended to imply that Mitt Romney could use some education on the stance of our prophets on war, specifically how they are at complete odds with Romney’s war-mongering, increase-the-military-budget-and-double-Guantanamo attitude.

  4. Ralph Hughes says:

    Why are the current members of the First Presidency or any of the Apostles not speaking or writing about the latter-day gadiantons controlling our government ? Are they no longer the threat that previous prophets tried to warn us about ? Is it too late for us to do anything about them ? Would awareness and knowledge of the LDGs (latter-day gadiantons) be too distracting from other principles of the Gospel for members to cope with now ? Would discussion of the LDGs by the Church leadership provoke retribution against the Church ?

    • John Birberg says:

      That is such a good question! It would be so interesting to hear the answer to it straight from the First Presidency it self…

      My very personal guess tho, would be that the Lord wants them to help us focus on all the positive things we can do in order to build our spiritual strength up and that of others as well, rather than getting ourselves worked up in anger towards the crooks.

      While it’s important to be aware that they are real and evil, I still think our time might be of much higher value for the progress of the Lord’s work, when spent on things like caring for our family, missionary work, family history & temple work, community service and what not.

      Then of course we should also be sure to vote for good men like Ron Paul who won’t run their errands.

    • Emmanuel Afrifa says:

      “Would discussion of the LDGs by the Church leadership provoke retribution against the Church ?” I do not think this is the case. The General Authorities of the Church will say what they have to say, no matter what the consequences might be. They will say what they have been inspired to say; they will talk when they are inspired to talk. That is what I know.

  5. Ralph Hughes says:

    I am reminded of President Packer’s article in the August 2010 Ensign magazine (Pg.23, lower right) reminding readers of Moroni’s warning in Ether 8:20, 23-24 including the commandment to “awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you”, and “suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you”. So I guess Moroni’s warning is not a totally dead issue.

  6. andrew says:

    I think the reason why the first presidency and the twelve don’t talk about it today so much is because 90 percent of church membership is to hard in there hearts to receive it. So those who are not hard in there hearts have to dig to find this doctrine.

    • Cynthia says:

      I agree and would add that the time for warning us is passed.

    • James says:

      Yeah. Sadly that is the most likely reason. And yes we do have to dig to find it. Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. parapharsing there. But yes we really do have to dig because these bits of truth and knowledge have been taken away through our past disobedience. They are no longer had among the general membership nor are they taught at the pulpit without taking a large risk that we will be sanctioned for casting pearls before swine. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I am not a swine also on many fronts. But he only gives this out when we search unceasingly for it.
      “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.” emphasis added – 1 Samuel 8:18

  7. G. Michael Craig says:

    I find it very interesting that when Pres. Grant called Elder Clark to be one of his councilors, Elder Clark was not even considered to be a member in good standing by many LDS, because of his truly conservative values, and his constant warnings to us, repeating President Heber J. Grant, that there would be NO EXALTATION for LDS who supported the latter-day secret combination running our government and our military, industrial complex. Elder Clark went to Pres. Grant and explained all this to him, expressing dismay at the calling. But Pres. Grant told him that this is exactly why he was needed as a councilor, namely, to give these warnings the force and credibility of the First Presidency. The brethren do not speak of such things today because most of us will not

  8. G. Michael Craig says:

    tolerate it, and because retribution from the secret combination would be swift and severe . Going all the way back to the administration of Pres. Grant, the members would criticize him to his face after a session of General Conference because he preached against government subsidies. Well, here we are decades later, with almost NO LDS not being dependent upon and therefore supportive of these subsidies. In short, they are killing us. To quote Pres. Harold B. Lee, “Now, keep in mind with all the crowding in of the socialistic reform programs THAT ARE THREATENING THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH, we must never forget what the Lord said, ‘that the Church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world’. Whenever we allow ourselves to

  9. G. Michael Craig says:

    become entangled and have to be subsidized from government sources–and we think that it’s the expedient way to do business in this day–or when we yield to such pressures, I WARN YOU THAT GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ARE NOT THE LORD’S WAY; and if we begin to accept, we are on our way to becoming subsidized politically as well as financially.” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 1966, p. 314), as quoted in “Many are Called But Few Are Chosen” by H. Verlan Andersen, p. 36. Well people, since government subsidies like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, AFDC, Food Stamps, etc. are “not the Lord’s way”, whose way are they? Hmm? Hint: There is only one other choice. Apparently the Celestial Kingdom will not be crowded.

    • Lynnette King says:

      Social Security is not a government ‘subside’ from the time I was 14 my social security has been taken out of my paycheck. Now that I am disabled, after working for over 30+ yrs, I am getting some of what I paid into SS back. The government stole the SS out of an account that they were not supposed to touch. Now they are ‘supposedly’ paying it back by taking $$ from those who are paying in now. Had they not stolen it, there would be none of this garbage about those on SS receiving a handout from the government…

      • James g says:

        So your saying it’s ok to use your government to steal from others since your government stole from you? What ever happened to turning the other cheek I stead of digging a pit for your neighbor? I guess as long as we eat drink and be merry it’s ok because if God finds fault with us for sinning in the end he will just beat us with a few stripes and after all we will be saved in the kingdom of God. Wait….. I think there might be a scripture or two about that.

      • If saving money was what people needed to be secure, why couldn’t they just do it for themselves? Why must the government get involved? They take the money and use it for their own means, that’s why. SS is also a Ponzi Scheme, where they send out more than they take in, so there are many people who have been paying in who will never be able to get anything out because it is unsustainable.

  10. Andy Wood says:

    1947! Thats a long time ago (65 years?)! So, I am guessing we are already living under a military dictatorship now or the ‘almost total control’ thing never happened. Or the military is so incompetant they could not bring it to pass in this amount of time. Perhaps Barrack Obama was correct in not wearing a flag lapel pin or saying the Pledge if it is to a military dictatorship?

    Am I missing something here?

    Mmmmm do I detect a certain amount of professional jealousy from a man who worked for the Department of State in a period of time where that Deprtment of Government had been relatively sidelined by the War Department and events of WWII? Mmmmm and the War Department became the Department of Defense.

    • To answer your questions:

      1. Yes, the military-industrial complex is in complete control. That’s why we have been at war constantly for years. In fact, we are in more wars than the American people even know because they are committing troops in secret to numerous places.
      2. Obama didn’t pledge allegiance because he is a globalist.
      3. “Professional jealousy” had nothing to do with it.
      4. Your comments about the “sidelining” of other departments and the War Dept being changed to the misnomer “Dept. of Defense” really both seem to answer your question about whether the military took over, don’t they?

  11. Nate says:

    I think the Lord wants them to focus on preparing the individual and families because what’s about to come within 20-30 years is very grim

    Since 1947 we’ve also become a very worldwide church and not just an American church anymore so a GC talk wouldn’t be appropriate for the rest of the worlds membership – but I’d still love to have an American-only fireside or something.

    Or it could be that we never listens to the prophets in the 20th century or never followed up on it (most Mormons today still think modern day Gadiantons are just the mafia and gangs etc and not politicians and big business and wall street fat cats etc)

    • Tom says:

      I personally think President Clark’s statements were made during a time in American history when, the Government was run largely by the Military Industrial Complex. However, President Clark’s words speak ever so loudly today. While our Generals are not necessarily in physical command of our day to day operations as a nation, it is permeated with “Private Contractors” that are or can be tied directly to politicians thus, by extension, the military is now more powerful than it ever was in the days of President Clark.

      The military controls most if not all of our satellites and communications and they are expanding through homeland security more and more each passing day. To me this makes J. Reuben Clark’s statements more true today than at any time in our history.

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  13. charles Henderson says:

    I have read that the warning been repeated more than once and warned again, It was up to saints to listen and some of them have and told others and some didn’t listen to. last night my wife was reading a article just about what you said, a guy in this article had that same thought and said why the prophet have not spoken about this. And they spoke of (love, charity and hope). And pretty much has happened on this, and he said that when you hear the General Authorities, speak these things than judgment not to far off, the man mother had told him of this!

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