Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Prophet Leroy S Johnson Said

February 3, 1963 in Salt Lake City
(The beginning of the UEP, The 1953 raid attorneys, opposition still, other fundamentalist groups, preparing for the coming of the Lord)


"It is an easy thing, my brothers and sisters, to grieve the Spirit of God. But it is a hard thing to regain the favor of the Lord after we have once grieved His Spirit. It requires complete repentance from the thing which we have committed in order to gain His Spirit again and to be favored of Him. So it is a very dangerous thing to grieve the Spirit of God.

"The first order that the Priesthood tried to establish in Short Creek was the United Trust. Some of the men who put in all their possessions, their land, especially, when they saw a good chance to draw it out, drew it out and asked for their deeds back. After they had received them back, one or two wanted to come back into the work again. When the United Effort Plan was presented to them, they wanted to come back. But you know, it was the hardest thing in the world for those men to part with the deeds to their property again. Several who drew their land out and took their deeds out never were able to return. There was only one man, that I know of, that returned, and it took him a year or more of continual effort and continual tutoring under the hand of President Barlow before he could bring himself to a point where he could re-enter this work. He has been a very faithful man since, but he said to me several times that he never wanted to go through that ordeal again. One of the worst ordeals that he ever undertook was to re-enter this work after he had once pulled out of it. So it is a mighty hard thing, my brothers and sisters, to regain the favor of the Lord after we have once lost His confidence. It requires a complete repentance of our sins in order to do so. This man, before he was able to come back into the work, applied for baptism and was rebaptized and had hands laid upon his head for the reception of the Holy Ghost again. He told me several times that he feared very much for his safety in this work because of the temptations that came to him. So we can see that it is a mighty hard thing for us to dilly dally along with the principles of righteousness when we have once had an understanding of them.

"The Lord is very good to us. He has provided for our needs, both spiritually and temporally. I had the privilege the other day of visiting our attorneys that fought our cases through the courts in the days of the raid of '53. When we hired these attorneys, there were three of them in the firm. They had one secretary taking care of the work of the three attorneys, and they were soliciting for cases to keep their firm alive. They were barely making enough to pay their expenses and get food enough to take care of their needs. Today, they have seven secretaries and have added one more lawyer to their firm, making four of them, and they have seven office rooms. These office rooms are filled with law books. It would surprise you to go into them. Mr. Kinney told me the other day, "I want you to know that we know the cause of our expansion." He said, "Until we took the case of the Short Creek people, we were hardly able to live. Today we can't take care of the business. We have to hire outside help to come in. We have women who are searching the books continually for us. We had to add a new office the other day in order to provide for another set of law books. We could keep another secretary going, too."

"They got a call from a man in Texas who is the head of a big firm there that was deeply in trouble. He called Mr. Kinney and wanted to know if his firm would take his case. He said, "Haven't you any lawyers in Texas? You are too far away. We don't want to take your case." He said, "Listen, Mr. Kinney, we want somebody that can win our case. Anybody that can win a case like you won in '53 when you fought the polygamous case in the court can win any case that comes up before them, and we want somebody who can win." Mr. Kinney had just returned from Texas where he had fought their case and won it for them. Such cases as that have brought those men out of the kinks, you might say.

"Whenever I go to Phoenix I call them. The next move I have to make is to go to the office where they can see me, possibly take me out to dinner, if I will go with them. He told me the other day that he was never going to take another group case unless it was the Short Creek people. "If they ever come into court again, " he said, "I want their case. And, Mr. Johnson, the next time we take your case, we will do just what you asked us to do before, which we thought we couldn't do."

"When Mr. Kinney took the case before, I told him that the first thing I wanted them to do was to fight this case from the standpoint that we were not law-breakers. He said, "No, Mr. Johnson, we can't. You have broken the constitutional law." I said, "No, Mr. Kinney, we have not broken the constitutional law. We have broken no law of this land or of God. Until we can get a law firm that will take our case and fight it from that standpoint, we will never win the case." But the other day he told me if he ever took our case again, he would fight it from the standpoint that we were not law-breakers. He said, "We are not afraid. The reason I told my firm that I would never take another group case unless it was yours is because in the Short Creek case, when it first came to us, I drew a long breath and told my partners here that we had taken on something that was going to stifle the firm because there were so many women involved. Any case we take where there are women involved, we have trouble. It takes three phones in this office to answer the calls from women. One wants the case fought this way and one that way. But in your case, we had one man to deal with. That was you. If we had any problem come up, we told you what it was. You went and met with your people and came back with the answer, and that was it. I have never had a more pleasant case in my life. And the other boys will tell you the same thing."

"When the others found out I was in Mr. Kinney's office, they all had to come in and shake my hand and welcome me back to the city. And they left this word, "If any of your people ever come to Phoenix, we want you to give us a call--either come to the office or call us on the phone and let us know you are here."

"Some time ago we understood there was a movement on foot to try to come in and pick up some of our people down there. I made a trip to Phoenix and asked the lawyers if I could leave a retainer fee and have them keep their ears to the ground so that if they heard any rumors about picking up our people, they could let us know about it so we could prepare for it. They said, "We don't need a retainer fee. All it takes is a telephone call, and we will be on the job." I don't blame them for that. We only left $50,000 in their hands, so I think we have a little interest coming.

"Be that as it is, we still need to be humble in our efforts to obey the Gospel. I will tell you, it is a mighty big job to try to fight our way through so much opposition as this people has. We had threats come to us such as this in 1944, "If you don't join up with us, you are going to be cut off at the pockets." That is one thing. Another thing is that we are imposters, because we won't join up with some of the offshoots of the Church that feel we have less Priesthood than somebody else has. But we are glad for all these things because the fire is taken away from us. The Church now is about to fight some of these offshoots because they have carried the fight to the Church, and we have kept our mouths shut as far as the Church is concerned. We are trying to establish the principles of righteousness in the hearts of men that God can use. We might say a few things here that sound like we are fighting the Church teeth and toenails, but we have kept the commandments of the Lord in this. The Lord has said to agree with your adversary quickly that he might not turn and rend you. So we are trying to agree with those who persecute us insofar as we don't have to displease the Lord in doing so. If we have to stand and face the enemy, we will do it. But if the Lord has another offshoot from the Church to take the fire away from us while we do our work, that is all right, because we want to get our work done. We want to keep alive in the hearts of this people the necessity of preparation.

"In my study of the revelations the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph Smith, time and time again, I see that He has instructed the people to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord; prepare to meet the bridegroom. Our message to you today is to prepare to meet the bridegroom and to be prepared to meet our dear Savior when He comes to make up His jewels; because we have that promise that if we will prepare ourselves, He will choose from among the people those who are worthy to carry on His work. The great urge that the Lord is pushing onto His servants at the present time is the need for preparation. We have to have more who are not afraid to stand up for that which is right in face of all opposition. We have to stand our ground. We have had to in the past, and we will have to again."


1 comment:

cheese said...

"They got a call from a man in Texas who is the head of a big firm there that was deeply in trouble. He called Mr. Kinney and wanted to know if his firm would take his case. He said, "Haven't you any lawyers in Texas?"

"Well, yes there's Ron in Houston, but......"

Just kidding, Ron!