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Topic: Freedom, History, Matches 1 quotes.



Mormonism holds a singular and unique position in the world, claiming as it does to be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a creed founded in righteousness, established, in this perfect law of liberty, and it challenges the world to produce anything like the organization which the Lord has revealed, and through which He makes manifest His righteousness and His purposes in the earth. Without this Priesthood, we are told, the power of godliness is not made manifest to men in the flesh.

We mistake greatly if we think that in the struggle for this liberty, in the fighting which began three hundred years ago, and continued during two hundred years—we mistake greatly if we think that that contention and struggle was for the purpose of establishing any particular creed, or branch of the Church. The contention of the Protestants, who protested against the misrule of the Catholic Church, was not that they should establish any particular kind of a church, it was a contention and fight against tyranny; it was a fight for liberty—liberty that they might establish a church, if they chose to do so, or do without one if they chose; but it was for liberty and against oppression. I say all honor to Protestantism. No man shall go before me in honoring that spirit of patriotism which was manifested all through the struggle in the Netherlands, in the low countries, in fighting that terrible oppressor the Duke of Alva, sent by the Spanish government and the Pope—not in the interests of liberty but to crush out the spirit of liberty. But the little thing that the Lord had planted, this desire for liberty, grew in the hearts of the children of men, and it became the great thing in England, as well as in Holland, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, with Sir Francis Drake scouring the seas and capturing the Spanish galleons, with their treasure loads of gold from Peru and Mexico. All that was not that any particular brand of church might be established; that is to say, that they wanted this church or the other church; the fight was—let me tell you again—that liberty should be established, so that men could worship as they pleased, how they pleased, or not worship at all, if they so pleased. The time had not yet come for the Church of Jesus Christ to be established; and all honor, I say, to the Protestant countries and Protestant peoples who caused liberty to become established.

So, a little later, in our own Country, the same fight, the same contention, the same struggle is on—not to establish one church or the other, but for liberty. In Washington’s time, the liberty, which this flag [pointing to the national emblem], now represents was fully accomplished, when there was enacted in our Constitution a full fruition of this fighting and struggling,—in these words: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” That being enacted into law and becoming the law of the country, then the liberty that all these people had been fighting for was granted to our country, and became an accomplished fact. Now, when that was accomplished, God Almighty, in His own way, sends forth what? A more perfect law of liberty and righteousness, more perfect than the Constitution of the country itself, in the bringing forth of His Church in these last days, in raising up the Prophet Joseph Smith as He did and instructing him how to prepare this wonderful organization, with the Priesthood of the Son of God as its governing power.

Source: Bishop Charles W. Nibley
General Conference, October 1909

Topics: America, Heritage; Freedom; Freedom, History; US Constitution, Amendments

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