By Janet Walgren
There is a certain responsibility and accountability that comes with knowledge. William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a British statesman and member of Parliament who toiled out his days fighting to abolish the slave trade said, “Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way… but you can never say again that you did not know.”
In the D&C, Section 123: 13-17, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed the saints on their duty in relation to the persecution that had been heaped upon them:
Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven –
These should then be attended to with great earnestness.
Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.
You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
The Mormons were suffering severe persecution at the time of this proclamation. The prophet Joseph Smith was imprisoned in the Liberty, Missouri jail. The jailers had given him human flesh from a slave for a meal (that he didn’t eat) and were boasting of raping the Mormon women. The Mormons had been driven from state to state and Governor Boggs, of the state of Missouri, issued an extermination order against the Mormons. (The political power of a voting block that was against slavery was considered a threat to swing states and others, especially those in the clergy of other churches, didn’t like Joseph Smith’s claim of having a vision where he saw God the father of our spirits and Jesus Christ, his son.)
Today physical slavery still exists in many parts of the world including the United States. Works of darkness and evil still prevail around the globe. Governments are bribed and corrupted. Voters are lied to. Consumers are defrauded. Financial slavery has reached pandemic proportions with no government that dares to check the power of the global financial elite. There is a war of evil against all that is good among men. A secret combination here and silence there enables the enemy of righteousness to conduct this clandestine war which results in carnage and havoc among all the nations of the earth.
So, what do you know? Knowledge is never free.