Zion's Best 25 LDS Talks
These talks, essays and articles are the most discussed documents in
the Mormon Internet community.
- The Talk to the All-Church Coordinating
Council by Boyd K. Packer
This is the most controversial talk ever circulated
on the Internet. It led to the creation of my ZION email list, caused a
lengthy flame war over whether or not Elder Packer is a "fascist,"
and ultimately led to the expulsion of Mormon-l from the BYU computers.
Absolutely polarizing, virtually everyone who reads it either agrees strongly
or disagrees strongly depending on his type of testimony.
- Beware of Pride by Ezra Taft Benson
Perhaps the best remembered of all Ezra Taft Benson's
talks, even here President Benson gets in a "last word" on the
subject of secret combinations. Regardless, members from all over the political
spectrum love and agree with him here. This talk is NOT controversial,
- Fourteen Fundamentals in Following
the Prophets by Ezra Taft Benson
Nothing separates the Iron Rods from the Liahonas like
this one. The liberals and Signaturi detest it. And the Bruce R. McConkie
Mormons love it for its hard-core orthodox view. Test your own opinions
against these strong words from a mighty prophet.
- What the Church Means to People
Like Me by Richard Poll
Are you an Iron Rod or a Liahona? Find out here. This
is the essay that started it all and originated these terms for the two
types of Latter-day Saints. At one time a history professor at BYU, Richard
Poll may be gone, but these words will live long after him. Check the next talk
for a rebuttal from the Brethren.
- The Iron Rod by Harold B. Lee
Thought by many to be a rebuttal of Richard Poll's essay
above, this conference talk by Elder Harold B. Lee contains the famous
line "A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.&qrch is merely one who does not have a testimony."
By reading both, a person can see which way he leans. To the right...or
to the wrong.
- Seven Deadly Heresies by Bruce
This talk is outrageous in the eyes of some Latter-day
Saints because it teaches for doctrine the "opinions"of Bruce
R. McConkie. And in his opinion the theory of evolution is one of the seven
deadly heresies. So what becomes of those "heretics" who believe
this popular myth. Read this and find out.
- All Are Alike Unto God by Bruce R.
Did Elder McConkie ever say that the blacks would not receive the Priesthood
in mortality or until the Millenium? If he did, then he was wrong. This
is the talk that McConkie's foes use to prove from his own lips that he
once made such a false prophecy. Is that what he really said, or is he
just trying to be conciliatory? Read this and decide for yourself.
- Bruce R. McConkie's Last Talk
This is Elder Bruce R. McConkie's last talk, given three days before his death. It is the final testimony of one of this dispensations greatest prophets.
- A Proclamation on the Family by the First Presidency and the Twelve
Is gender determined before birth in the preexistence? This proclamation finally puts this question to rest. Signed by the puts this question to rest. Signed by the entire First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, it leaves little room for misinterpretation. Sometimes it seems like half the discussion on the Mormon email lists is about homosexual issues. This document really clears things up.
- "Who Are the Signaturi" by John W. Redelfs
Hey! How did my essay get in here? I'm no prophet or bigshot BYU professor. Well, here on the Internet my essay is widely known and discussed even if it doesn't mean anything elsewhere. And if you are going to survive spiritually in cyberspace, you need to know what's lurking in the bushes. Beware of the testimony stealers.
- The Charter of the ZION Email List by John W. Redelfs
This is the charter to my email list, ZION. Along with my essay on the Signaturi, it is one of the foundation documents of the list. We don't always live up to this charter, but we have a clear vision of what we are trying to do: provide a refuge in cyberspace from the spirit of criticism towards the Brethren that is so prevalent elsewhere.
- Becometh As a Child by Neal A. Maxwell
Do the General Authorities lurk in cyberspace? Who knows. This talk certainly addresses many of the topics discussed on the Mormon email lists. He almost sounds like he is talking about the Signaturi, doesn't he? And at one point he speaks of the "steadfast ironrodders" being ridiculed by Church members who are really tares masquerading as wheat.
- Divine Constitution by Ezra Taft
Delivered in General Conference while he was President of the Church, this talk by Ezra Taft Benson continues a theme that was strong throughout the fifty plus years that he was a general authority. If you shared a love for the Constitution with President Benson, you'll love this talk.
- The Constitution--A Glorious Standard by Ezra Taft Benson
"Our Constitution," said John Adams, first vice-president and second president, "was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Here, during the bicentennial celebrations of our nation, Elder Benson underlines the conditions under which we can remain a free and prosperous nation. Is the U.S. Constitution for the U.S. only? Will American civilization be swept off as the Jaredites and Nephites were. Find the answers in this marvelous talk.
- Stand Independent Above All
Other Creatures by Bruce R. McConkie
What do you think? Will there ever be a nuclear holocaust, World War III, such as all men and nations have feared since our nation dropped the Atom Bomb on Japan? And how do we prepare for such a thing? Here Elder Bruce R. McConkie gives the inspired answer to these and related questions. The talk has special significance for me because it is what motivated me to move out of the big city (Los Angeles), and I have been living in remote rural areas ever since.
- Leaders to Managers: The Fatal
Shift by Hugh Nibley
Did Jesus have an Executive Secretary? And what were his hometeaching percentages? Did he do his own income tax returns? Was the early Church run by bean counters and pencil pushers? Or were the early Church leaders great teachers, filled with the Holy Ghost, preaching words of power unto salvation? In this essay, Hugh Nibley talks about the difference between ministering and administering, between teaching and managing. Perhaps people really are more important that programs.
- Civic Standards for Faithful
Saints by Ezra Taft Benson
Are there modern Gadianton Robbers in our government? Ezra Taft Benson thought so. Of all the talks he ever gave on the subject of conspiracy and secret combinations, this is undoubtedly the most controversial. At one point he said, "I would highly recommend to you the book NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY by Gary Allen." But the quote was mysteriously missing from the ENSIGN and CONFERENCE REPORT record. Why did a prophet of God recommend a book published by the John Birch Society, and who deleted the recommendation from the record? Even without the missing material, this is vintage Benson at his best.
- I Testify by President Ezra Taft
Must a Prophet of God say "Thus saith the Lord" to speak scripture? Or can he just say, "I testify?" This talk, given while he was President of the Church in General Conference, is one of several that demonstrate President Benson did NOT change his tune about conspiracies and secret combinations after becoming President of the Church. All claims to the contrary are just unfounded gossip.
- A Witness and a Warning by Ezra
Will America be "swept off" as the Jaredites and Nephites were? Can the gospel flourish without freedom? Can freedom flourish without righteousness? In yet another stirring speech, the great anti-Communist, Ezra Taft Benson, continues the primary theme of his fifty plus years of service as a prophet, seer and revelator. Here also are corroborating testimony from Presidents McKay and Heber J. Grant, as well as President Marion G. Romney
- To Young Men Only by Boyd K. Packer
Elder Packer's enemies love to make fun of this talk. In it he gives open and honest counsel to young men struggling with those temptations that might prevent them from serving missions.
- The False God's We Worship by Spencer W. Kimball
Are we Latter-day Saints guilty of modern day idolatry? We are according to President Spencer W. Kimball. If we put a higher value on our cars, homes and jobs than we do on our service to the Lord, then we are "worshipping" the workmanship of our own hands. And we are thus no different from idolaters in the past.
- The Historicity of the Book of Mormon by Dallin H. Oaks
Is the Book of Mormon a record of a people who actually lived in ancient America? Or is it true only in the sense that it contains many profound teachings that are true? Was there actually a Lehi colony, a city named Zarahemla, a man named Lehi? Or is the Book of Mormon the "word of God" only in the sense that God "inspired" Joseph Smith to write it? There are actually active members of the Church who hold to this latter view. And here Elder Dallin Oaks addresses their concerns.
- The Day of the Amateur by Hugh Nibley
Did you know that Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest violinist of his time, was barred from teaching violin at a prominent west coast university, while at the same time the head of the music department went about giving performances with primarily his degree to recommend him? Since I read this in 1971, the first Nibley I ever read, the glamor of a college degree has dwindled somewhat for me. Of fafor me. Of far greater importance is what one can actually perform for himself and for others. I don't believe this essay is available on the CD-ROM with Nibley's collected works.
- The Proper Role of Government by Ezra Taft Benson
What is the proper role of government? Throughout the centuries, especially since the Enlightenment in Europe, this has been a very important topic of discussion in the Western World. Locke and Hobbes locked in ideological combat over these ideas. The United States of America was founded by men who could not agree with their English overlords on these matters. In this talk, a true prophet of God, Ezra Taft Benson, who also served in one of the highest offices of the land on the President's cabinet as the Secretary of Agriculture, makes clear his views on this critical issue. What IS the proper role of government? You decide after reading President Benson's doctrine on the subject.
- The Unwritten Order of Things by President Boyd K. Packer
Have ever noticed that the Bishop is served the sacrament first during sacrament meeting, or that his first counselor generally sits on his right hand instead of his left? Why can't the presiding officer in a unit, either a stake or a ward, sit in the congregation instead of the stand if he is not speaking? Are these things written down somewhere? If not, why are they so generally followed in the Church. According to President Boyd K. Packer, there is an "unwritten order of things" in the Church, protocol and such that is passed down by word of mouth in leadership training sessions and one on one communication among the priesthood. This talk discusses a few of these things.
- Our Relationship With the Lord by Bruce R. McConkie
In 1982 Elder McConkie gave this talk at a BYU devotional. It offended some people who have been expressing their outrage ever since. There was a popular religion teacher at BYU named George Pace who had a cult like following. He wrote a book about developing a personal relationship with Christ which contained some false doctrine. Elder McConkie, who was in the Twelve at the time, gave this talk to correct the problem. And his critics have been angry with him since then because they don't feel he was diplomatic enough.