Last week Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan dictator, said, “Every day I am more convinced that socialism is the kingdom of God here on earth. Every day I’m more revolutionary, more socialist every day. I’m taking Venezuela toward socialism, the people and workers.”

I suppose if you’re the dictator, socialism must feel like heaven.

Contrast that with what a modern prophet has said.

Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1966, 95-101 —

No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However, notwithstanding my abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is the wave of the present and of the foreseeable future. It has already taken over or is contending for control in most nations. . . .

We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership and management of the vital means of production. In both of these areas the free agency of Americans has been greatly abridged. Some argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government. Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery.

As to the fruits of socialism, we all have our opinions. I myself have watched its growth in our own country and observed it in operation in many other lands. But I have yet to see or hear of its freeing the hearts of men of selfishness and greed or of its bringing peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring, nor will it do away with idleness and promote “industry, thrift and self-respect,” for it is founded, in theory and practice, on force, the principle of the evil one. . . .

Now, not forgetting our duty to eschew [shun, abstain from] socialism and support the just and holy principles of the Constitution, as directed by the Lord, I shall conclude these remarks with a few comments concerning what we should do about the United Order. . . . If, in the meantime, socialism takes over in America, it will have to be displaced, if need be, by the power of God, because the United Order can never function under socialism or the “welfare state,” for the good and sufficient reason that the principles upon which socialism and the United Order are conceived and operated are inimical [hostile; enemies]. . . .

That we will develop the understanding, the desire, and the courage, born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism and to support and sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted by the Lord, those just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their God-given agency. . . .

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