Joseph F. Smith condemns "secret organizations."

Nov 17, 1900
News (traditional)
Joseph F. Smith
Scribed Verbatim

"Opposes Secret Societies," Globe-Header (Payson, UT), November 17, 1900, 2

Globe-Header (Payson, UT)
Joseph F. Smith
Latter-day Saints

President Joseph F. Smith is strongly against secret organizations. In the tabernacle in Salt Lake Sunday he gave vent to his sentiments regarding them, and spoke at length against members of his church joining secret societies. He said:

"There have been a great many circumstances to show us the un-wisdom of Latterday Saints identifying themselves with secret orders unless it is under the inspiration and direction of the holy priesthood. No man among us, I contend, is exempt from blame for disregarding his faith as to join himself by an oath to any of these orders. We heard some reasons this morning, and there are many more. Think of the fallacies and wickedness in the people doing this. They are bound to hold secret all the transpires and to defend their members whether they are doing right or wrong.

"We heard this morning of a cattle thief who was in one order and a good, moral man who could not bring him to justice because of an oath he had taken. Another man will tell us he cannot go on a mission because it takes all the spare money he can earn to pay his dues to the vairous lodges he belongs to. He is a slave, bound under oath. Another tells us he can't pay tithing for the same reasons. Another says he cannot go to meeting, because its lodge night.

"Now, I'll tell you what the church has done about this. We have passed a resolution that men who are identified with these secret organizations shall not be preferred as bishops or sought for as counselors. The same when it comes to selecting M. I. A. officers. The men who have done this have disqualified themselves and are not fit to hold these offices.

"On my own responsibility I will say that any man who is a member of any of these organizations ought not to be allowed the privileges or blessings of the gospel. No man who observes the law of chastity as revealed to this people can consistently join an oath bound society, where unchastity is permissable. Could I associate with a band of drunkards? Could I associate with a crowd of thieves? No, I hope that God will keep his people from that."

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