Last week on Glenn Beck's radio program, Beck said the following:
"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"You can listen to the longer audio here.
Well a quick search on the LDS.org website brings up a handful of instances where "the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' [are] on [our] church Web site":
James E. Faust (1986): "It is unfortunate that it is taking so long to bring full economic justice to women. The feminization of poverty is both real and tragic. That is why you should work very hard to prepare for your future by gaining some marketable skills. The struggle to improve the place of women in society has been a noble cause, and I sincerely hope the day will come when women with equal skills will be fully equal with men in the marketplace."
James E. Faust (1995): "When we preach the gospel of social justice, no doubt the devil is not troubled."
LDS Church News (2007): "In November 2006, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was presented with an award named in [Mother Teresa's] honor, recognizing “the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice, and the arts.”
Some guy named Chris Conkling (1971): "Some skeptics see the Bible as the enemy of history and science without realizing that, in part, it made science and history possible. Surrounding Israel were religions of accommodation that merely sought to help people survive in, not change, their worlds. In contrast, “Judaism … affirmed that [history] was a meaningful process leading to the gradual regeneration of humanity.” By introducing the concept of linear historical progress—the idea that because history is leading to a millennial state, our actions matter in helping create a better world—the Old Testament inspired great changes in human history. Whereas other religions of the period never “produced a major social revolution fired by a high concept of social justice, … ‘the prophets of Judah were a reforming political force which has never been surpassed.’”
Well Mormon fans of Glenn Beck, I guess it's time for you to follow Beck away from the Church.
Though to be fair, there is also a negative use of 'social justice' from a cold war era red-scare article by some guy named Richard K. Gardiner (1971): "First, however, it must be pointed out that after the war Britain adopted an order of priorities somewhat different from that of other European countries. Rather than concentrating primarily on recreating industrial and economic wealth, the first postwar government in Britain put its energies into creating a system that would seek to do greater social justice. To this end the national health service was created and the whole welfare state came into being."
Of course, these are the only times that the words 'social justice' and 'economic justice' show up in a search on LDS.org. They, of course, represent a small fraction of the many many many times that Church leaders have advocated for social justice.
Finally, let us not forget the social and economic justice most powerfully advocated by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
. . . .
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
25 And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
With all the Mormon testimony bearing that Glenn Beck seems to do, I wonder if he has actually read the Book of Mormon. Or perhaps he really did become a Mormon just so he could have sex with his wife.