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Topic: Free Agency, Matches 41 quotes.



This Gospel is a plan of liberating mankind from bondage. “The whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin” (Doc. and Cov. 84:49), but the truth from heaven has a mission to perform, namely, to liberate us and make us free. It is no wonder that the Latter-day Saints have espoused the great cause of human liberty, that they regard this great government of which we form a part as having been inspired of Almighty God, that they regard the Constitution of our land and that instrument that preceded it, known as the Declaration of Independence, as being inspired of the Almighty for the salvation and the protection of the children of God. We rejoice in being citizens of this great republic, the freest country in all the world. Its principles, the very foundations upon which it has been established, are set forth in that Declaration of Independence, wherein it is stated that “all men are created equal and that they have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Let it not be felt that these rights are given to us by any government. Not so. We live not because a government has given us the privilege to live; we live because God gave us life. We are free not because any government has given us our liberty—we are free not because we have received that power and that right from any human source; we are free because God made us free.

The Lord inspired the fathers of our country, our Revolutionary fathers, with this same spirit of human liberty, this right of free agency. This great struggle for liberty did not begin on this earth; it began before the foundations of it were laid. The Lord devised the plan whereby we might be liberated and made free and independent. The Lord designs that we shall be so. There was war in heaven before the foundations of this earth were laid. And what was that great conflict over? It was a struggle for the liberties of the children of God.

Source: Elder Rulon S. Wells
General Conference, April 1930

Topics: Free Agency; Rights



Now these wise men that the Lord raised up during the days of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Robert Morris, and Hamilton, provided a pattern of government for us to follow, a pattern of government which has brought to us numerous blessings, a form of government that has made us the strongest, and, may I say, the richest nation in all the world, because it has been founded upon the principle of free agency. Every individual has had the right to do the thing that he has wanted to do in the fields of industry, agriculture, or whatnot. He has had the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. He has had the right to own property. He has had the right to speak as he sees fit, and he has enjoyed the privilege of a great and free press. But, on the other hand, we find that the philosophy of the evil one would teach us that, after all, our government should be centralized in the hands of one or two men. Some advocate changing the form of our government. They advocate regimentation of industry and labor. They advocate that deficit spending is the sure way to prosperity. They would pervert the Constitution. They have endeavored through the various educational systems of this great country to teach us doctrines that are contrary to the doctrines and the principles upon which this great republic is founded. They would restrict us in our religious worship. They would disrupt family relationships. And so as we compare these two great systems, we can readily see that they are but a carry-over from that great battle which took place in the spirit world.

Source: Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin
General Conference, October 1946

Topics: America, Heritage; Free Agency; Government, Downfall



And, furthermore, not only did the Lord raise up these men and inspire them to write free agency into the government of this land, but he declared his intention that the elders of this Church should defend that Constitution and the freedoms and the rights allowed us in that great document. And so he said, “that law of the land, which is constitutional,” and I call your attention to the phraseology:

. . . that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining the rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D. & C. 98:5-7.)

In regard to that last sentence, it is my interpretation that laws which are not in harmony with the principle of free agency and therefore not in harmony with the spirit of the Constitution, “cometh of evil.”

Source: Elder Mark E. Petersen
General Conference, April 1946

Topics: Free Agency; Heavenly Interest in Human Events; Responsibility



Divine Principle of Free Agency

I appeal to every Latter-day Saint to accept the divine principle of free agency and to adopt it in his life. I appeal to you to remember this principle when you are confronted by organizations and groups and movements in this country, which are now arising and assuming great power. Before you become engulfed in them, measure their practices and their purposes by the measuring rod of free agency, and you remember that God said it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. Remember, also, what Richard Evans told you yesterday, that it is not right that we should be commanded in all things, and don’t you allow yourself to be commanded in all things by any group or agency. You preserve the free agency that God has given to you, because if you don’t you will suffer all the days of your life.

You remember that you are to be true to the Constitution of the United States. I appeal to you to accept as the word of God, the declaration that appears in the revelation in section one hundred one of the D&C, wherein the Lord says he did raise up men and inspired them to write the Constitution. I appeal to you, every one, to be true to the trust that God has placed in you, to preach the gospel throughout the world, as has been declared here today. But remember that you cannot preach that gospel without freedom of speech, and you cannot publish that gospel without freedom of the press, and you cannot gather together in congregations without freedom of assembly, and you cannot worship the Lord your God according to the dictates of your own conscience without freedom of religion. And remember that every time you give up any of your freedoms, whether it be to some economic or political group, or to any other group, you jeopardize these four freedoms of which I have spoken.

I appeal to you to accept as the word of God that which I have quoted to you which says that you, the elders of Israel, are justified by God in defending your constitutional privileges. I appeal to you to be true to your one hundred thousand sons who have fought for liberty, to the eight thousand of your sons who have been wounded and bled in battle. Do not betray the five thousand Latter-day Saint boys who died that freedom might live. Remember that you have a responsibility to preserve freedom in America. Remember always the glorious prayer that is written into the last stanza of “America” which was sung so beautifully this morning by the Tabernacle choir.

Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light!
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

I pray that we may have the courage and the wisdom to accept the truth, that the truth may keep us free, and I ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Source: Elder Mark E. Petersen
General Conference, April 1946

Topics: Free Agency; Responsibility



A hundred and fifty years ago, the founders of our Republic announced the sublime truth that men are free and equal. A century and a half have rolled away since then, and the history of the world has no chapter to compare with the accomplishments of America in that time. Standing on Saxon foundations, and inspired by Latin example, we have done what no race or nation or age has ever accomplished. The American people have founded a Republic on the unlimited suffrage of the millions of souls that inhabit this land. They have worked out the problem that a man, as God created him, may be entrusted with self-government.

Our forebears had a virgin continent to conquer. The fundamental problems they met with hard work and a faith in themselves. They had inherited from their fathers, the ideals of home-life, freedom of religion, the free state, the public school, and the lands of the vast continent to till, on which they built their homes.

Source: Elder Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1937

Topics: America, Heritage; Free Agency



The world has seen many civilizations rise and fall, most of which have been founded upon the lust for power, wealth and dominion over others. We have noticed this in the old civilization of Europe. Such was the condition in other parts of the world, whereas the Constitution of our great country was established by men who were inspired of the Lord, and this land of America was redeemed by the shedding of blood; and upon this continent, this land of Zion, there is being established a better and a higher type of civilization, based upon human liberty and freedom.

Source: Elder John Wells
General Conference, April 1925

Topics: Free Agency



Let us not think even for a moment that liberty is the gift of any government or any nation. Oh, no! Life and liberty are our inalienable rights and were vouchsafed unto us in that primeval council when our great champion, even Jesus Christ, said: “Here am I, send me” for he came and organized this earth as a dwelling place for the children of God, for you and me:

To live and to be free,
To worship God alone
As conscience guideth me,
As my own heart is prone;
For these are rights God given,
He gave them all to me
They emanate from heaven,
E’en life and liberty.

This is the thought that comes into my mind when I contemplate the history of the world, that Providence is over all.

Source: Elder Rulon S. Wells
General Conference, October 1926

Topics: Free Agency; Liberty



The Meaning of Freedom

Although the promised land was a land of liberty for the people of Nephi under the reign of the righteous kings, this liberty depended more on the people’s obedience to the commandments of God than on the presence or absence of kings (2 Nephi 1:7). It is difficult to envision a people more free than those in the days of Benjamin and Mosiah. They were free to believe, worship, and act as they pleased, restrained only by the laws of justice and mercy which had been revealed “by the hand of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:25). As defined by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Free agency . . . means an exercise of the will, the power to choose; . . . freedom [means] the power and privilege to carry out [one’s] choices” (38). The transition from kings to judges did not increase anyone’s free agency, but it did give everyone an increased freedom to act, accompanied by an equal weight of responsibility. Government by the voice of the people gives the people the greatest possible latitude to act out those choices which their God-given free agency allows them to make.

Source: Byron R. Merrill
Mosiah, Salvation Only Through Christ, p. 119 - 120

Topics: Free Agency



Few of us seem to want to keep government out of our personal affairs and responsibilities. Many of us seem to favor various types of government-guaranteed and compulsory “security.” We say that we want personal freedom, but we demand government housing, government price controls, government-guaranteed jobs and wages. We boast that we are responsible persons, but we vote for candidates who promise us special privileges, government pensions, and government subsidies.

Many of us are drifting back to that old concept of government that our forefathers feared and rejected. Many of us are now looking to government for security. Many of us are no longer willing to accept individual responsibility for our own welfare. Yet personal freedom cannot exist without individual responsibility.

Source: Dean Russell
Personal Freedom and Individual Responsibility

Topics: Free Agency; Politics

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