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Topic: Government, Ideal, Matches 9 quotes.



Observing the orderliness and unity of purpose obtaining among his followers, who had been gathered from various countries of the world and from numerous nationalities and creeds, a visitor to the Prophet Joseph Smith asked:

“Mr. Smith, how do you govern these people?”

Promptly came the pregnant reply, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

Thus tersely is stated a concept fundamental in the creed of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—self-government fashioned upon fixed and enduring principles. It is a statement of the ideal in government. As concerns the individual, it is a statement of the law of progress, the law of salvation. . . .

Furthermore, if the process of the law had to be invoked to compel obedience to its established principles in every transaction in which men engaged, human intercourse would be impossible. The whole legal mechanism would come tumbling down of its own weight. Human society is able to carry on only because the vast majority of men freely and voluntarily and as a matter of individual morality conform their conduct to the body of principles laid down in the law. Indeed, because they observe principles of morality which have not been enacted into law—but are outside of and above its compulsions—they are self-governing, which brings us back to the second proposition of our discussion: Having been taught correct principles, “They govern themselves.”

Any system of government which depends for its continuance upon the compelled obedience of any considerable part of its citizens is foredoomed to ultimate failure, because it is violative of the principle of freedom which is a God-given quality coextensive with life, and, like life, one of man’s inalienable rights.

Source: Albert E. Bowen
General Conference, April 1938

Topics: Government, Ideal



So long as wrong is held in suppression by force, the force will still have to be maintained.

That is all basic in the teachings of Jesus. His ideal of government is self-government. His concern was for purging out of the human heart the ignoble desire supplanting it with worthy purpose. To this end He taught the principle of overcoming evil with good, of supplanting fear with confidence, of substituting love for hatred, of doing to others what we should like them to do to us, of being generous and unselfish and gentle and kind, instead of cruel and selfish and vengeful and insolent. We may withstand the invader of our homes, but so long as he has the will to invade we can know no contentment. A nation may repel the onslaught of a devastating foe but so long as the foe stands ready to strike, the nation may never lay down its arms. To maintain itself as a perpetual armed camp would be intolerable as well as impossible. Security and lasting peace of mind, the inescapable conditions of national peace and prosperity, can come only when the enemy has ceased to want to invade. This comes through teaching the better way, through soul-conversion that threat and force and compulsion bring no enduring rewards. In the end the way of the peace-maker and the meek must prevail.

In that respect the history of the world teaches but one lesson. No world conqueror has ever been able to perpetuate his empire. When the force that created it was no longer adequate to its maintenance, it has crumbled before the onslaught of the subject peoples who have nursed their grievances awaiting the day of retribution. The present attempt at swollen dominion is foredoomed to failure. It has within itself the seeds of its own destruction. It rests upon force and will be broken by force and in the end nothing but suffering will have resulted.

Source: Albert E. Bowen
General Conference, October 1941

Topics: Government, Ideal



This is a troublous time and the world is sick. If we can read the newspapers and rely upon what they tell us, the world is sick and needs a physician. Men are wondering what is wrong, and how we can correct it. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has within it the power which, if it were applied to the world at large, would solve all those problems.

I thank God that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a political organization; that its members, in affairs ecclesiastical, are not torn by party politics; that they have a common motive of union and unity of purpose which enables them to overcome the bickerings, the jealousies of politics. It will never be, perhaps, that the nations of the world will not be governed by politics, but I would that God might grant that those who determine the politics of those nations might be touched just a little in their hearts by his Spirit, that love and the interests of one’s fellows might, in a tiny degree at least, supplant the avarice and the greed and the jealousies that dominate those organizations, so that the Spirit of God might enter in and might lead in the councils of government and committees which represent governments. If it could, it would be a simple matter to recognize the principles of truth and justice that underlie, or should underlie all government. I thank God that we have in this Church those basic principles.

Source: Elder Antoine R. Ivins
General Conference, April 1938

Topics: Government, Ideal



Children and youth today, as they have always been, are precious in the sight of God. Can they be led to anything of richer spiritual value than the proper observance of the Sabbath day, to keep it holy and sacred? The laws of ancient Israel taught that it is wrong to steal, wrong to bear false witness against our neighbor. Are not these truths the deep and underlying principles of living? They are. The youth of today needs them as much as any other time in all history. Such truths lie at the root of all good government—both religiously and politically.

Source: Elder Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1935

Topics: Government, Ideal



Lincoln And Joseph Smith

That is the American idea, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as Lincoln expressed it in his famous Gettysburg speech.

And nothing proves more conclusively that Joseph Smith, God’s prophet, was a real and true American, than his reply to one who inquired of him how he managed to govern a people made up of so many different nationalities, with all their varied languages, customs and traditions. Said the Prophet: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

Source: Elder Orson F. Whitney
General Conference, October 1926

Topics: Government, Ideal



We should be able to invite people to settle among us in consequence of low taxes and good orderly [state/local] government, in comparison with others.

Source: Elder Charles W. Nibley
General Conference, April 1924

Topics: Government, Ideal



[The Book of Mormon] contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel, in simplicity, easy to be understood, as it was taught to the people by the Redeemer who established his Church among the Nephites. The code of morals which it teaches is beyond criticism, and if adhered to would redeem the world from the condition of moral degeneracy which now prevails. It teaches ethics in civil government which, if adhered to, would solve the perplexing political questions which bewilder the world today, would remove the burdens of taxation from the backs of the struggling masses, and bring peace to the earth and fraternity among all mankind.

Source: President Anthony W. Ivins
General Conference, April 1921

Topics: Government, Ideal



Coercion In Government Not The Lord’s Way

The Lord Himself has always favored government by the people. You will remember that in the days of Samuel the Prophet the Lord instructed him to let the people have whatever form of government they desired. They clamored for a dictator, a king, and because the Lord respected the right of free-will and human choice, because He recognized the right of men to govern themselves, and that it is better that humanity be self-governed, even though they are poorly governed, than to be compelled to obey even the divine law, He told the Prophet to let the people have a king, a dictator, since they insisted upon it. And the Bible tells us that after the decision of the Israelites to have a king, their dictatorial rulers wasted the substance of the people, they took away their personality and their freedom, and oppressed them with heavy taxes and other burdens. Instead of making a government for the people, as in a democracy, the people became the subjects of the dictators who did not rule for the good of the many but to bring power, wealth and idleness to a few.

Our government is founded on the principle laid down by the Lord Himself: that a man is capable of self-government. This is in harmony with the divine intent expressed by the Creator when He said:

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth.”

This important statement of man’s right and ability to rule is expressed in our Declaration of Independence thus: “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” And no doubt those forms of government in which there is an assumption to rule without the consent of those who are to be governed are responsible for that forceful expression, “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Source: Elder Richard R. Lyman
General Conference, October 1940

Topics: Free Agency; Freedom, Loss of; Government; Government, Ideal; Taxes



The aim of our patriotic fathers was to establish a government that would guarantee to them and to their descendants to the last generation freedom, security, and happiness. They expressed their feelings in the Declaration of Independence which says:

Appealing to the supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, we do in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare that these United States are and of right ought to be free and independent states.

Source: Elder Richard R. Lyman
General Conference, October 1940

Topics: Freedom; Government, Ideal

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