Proclamation on economy
Update 28 Oct 2008 - It has been pointed out that this posting is inaccurate. Read Orson Scott Card's article about this topic here: Proclamation on the Economy
Most families have the proclamation on the family and the proclamation of the twelve apostles hanging somewhere on their walls. In 1875, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a proclamation on the economy. If it was applicable then, it should be even more applicable today. A part of it was to push the community's self-sustainance with ZCMI (which eventually went directly against the proclamation before it was sold a few years ago).
The experience of mankind has shown that the people of communities and nations among whom wealth is the most equally distributed, enjoy the largest degree of liberty, are the least exposed to tyranny and oppression and suffer the least from luxurious habits which beget vice. Under such a system, carefully maintained, there could be no great aggregations of either real or personal property in the hands of a few; especially so while the laws, forbidding the taking of usury or interest for money or property loaned, continued in force.
One of the great evils with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended so steadfastly and courageously, and which they bequeathed to us as a priceless legacy, are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations. By its seductive influence results are accomplished which, were it equally distributed, would be impossible under our form of government. It threatens to give shape to the legislation, both state and national, of the entire country. If this evil should not be checked, and measures not taken to prevent the continued enormous growth of riches among the class already rich, and the painful increase of destitution and want among the poor, the nation is likely to be overtaken by disaster; for, according to history, such a tendency among nations once powerful was the sure precursor of ruin.
Years ago, it was perceived that we Latter-day Saints were open to the same dangers as those which beset the rest of the world. A condition of affairs existed among us, which was favorable to the growth of riches in the hands of a few at the expense of many. A wealthy class was being rapidly formed in our midst whose interests in the course of time, were likely to be diverse from those of the rest of the community. The growth of such a class was dangerous to our union; and, of all people, we stand most in need of union and to have our interests identical...
...the Latter-day Saints were acting in utter disregard of the principles of self-preservation. They were encouraging the growth of evils in their own midst which they condemned as the worst features of the systems from which they had been gathered. Large profits were being consecrated in comparatively few hands, instead of being generally distributed among the people. As a consequence, the community was being rapidly divided into classes, and the hateful and unhappy distinctions to which the possession and lack of wealth give rise were becoming painfully apparent....
Brigham Young, George A. Smith, Daniel H. Wells, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Frankling D. Richards George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jr., Albert Carrington
The full text can be found here.