Government dependency is dangerous. From my own experience in business and as a lawyer and church worker, and from my firsthand observations in this country and other countries of the world, there appears to me to be a trend to shift responsibility for life and its processes from the individual to the state. In this shift there is a basic violation of the law of the harvest, or the law of justice. The attitude of "something for nothing" is encouraged. The government is often looked to as the source of wealth. There is the feeling that the government should step in and take care of one's needs, one's emergencies, and one's future. Just as my friend actually became a slave to his own ignorance and bad habits by refusing to accept the responsibility for his own education and moral growth, so, also, can an entire people be imperceptibly transferred from individuals, families, and communities to the federal government. (66-01, pp. 7-8)
(Howard W. Hunter, The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 167.)

Personal unrighteousness can lead toward a welfare state. What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms.
         If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through "a democratic process" he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the "haves" and give to the "have nots." Both have lost their freedom. Those who "have," lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who "have not," lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got "something for nothing," and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.
         Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost. (66-01, p. 9)


Freedom comes through personal righteousness. A thief takes something and gives nothing. He thinks he is free, but sooner or later his freedom vanishes into walls and bars. Likewise, a person becomes a thief of his own soul by deceiving himself that he can live unrighteously, immorally, that he can cheat, lie, and take advantage of his neighbor; but all the while he is imprisoning himself behind bars and walls of his own making. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked" (Galatians 6:7).
         The only way we can keep our freedom is through our personal righteousness—by handling that freedom responsibly. We are our brother's keeper. We must be concerned for the social problems of today. We must take that responsibility upon ourselves according to the gospel plan but not according to the socialistic plan. (66-01, p. 10)
(Howard W. Hunter, The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 169.)
 

 
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