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Topic: Morality, Matches 55 quotes.



But everybody seems still to pin faith to economic and technological reconstructions. We hear much about elevating the standard of living of peoples. But almost exclusively those improvements seem to be conceived of as providing more things—greater physical satisfactions, greater ease, more leisure, less work, more guarantees of physical security. Long ago Jesus taught that “life consisteth not in the abundance of the things one possesseth” and that “life is more than meat and the body more than raiment.” Principles are pushed aside in the interest of immediate gain. When the American colonies were having their disputes with the mother country, the latter fixed it so that they could buy their tea and pay the tax cheaper than they could smuggle the tea in without tax. It was thought this would beguile them into yielding and paying the inconsequential tax. But the colonists were standing for a principle. If they could be subjected to a small tax, they could, when the custom was firmly established, be subjected to a larger tax. They resisted and took the consequences. That is the essence of spiritual supremacy. What is needed today in Christendom is a revived faith in the spiritual basis upon which it was built rather than more machines and things. Devotion to principle rather than victims of the bribery of easy satisfaction through immediate gain!

The war is not the cause of the world’s trouble; it is only the outward manifestation of an inner decay. When the war is over, the trouble will not be over, which is the reason for the great concern about the postwar world. The world will still have the spiritual sickness, which is the real cause of the war, to deal with. The moods and notions which have permeated the minds of men cannot be shot with bullets. They will still be rampant when the fighting is over. We may not flatter ourselves that they are confined to the aggressor countries. In one degree or another they have penetrated into all lands. They are doing their work of corroding, corrupting, undermining, destroying.

You can’t pick up peace and put it on people; it is a state of the spirit. You can’t hand over liberty or freedom as a gift to people who are not spiritually prepared to receive it. Disputes about means of accomplishing ends agreed upon are of little consequence, but when the ends themselves are in dispute you have a difference that goes right into the heart and spirit of things.

And the disputes which divide the peoples of the world today are disputes about ends, about the whole spirit that governs in human relationships. Nothing but spiritual unity will work the cure.

And that spiritual essence must rest in a power standing above all to command their allegiance. It must rest in God.

Source: Elder Albert E. Bowen
General Conference, April 1945

Topics: America, History; Christianity; Morality; Taxes



In a real way, each generation of Americans has its chance to re-ratify the Constitution. We can do this by abiding by its principles and by leaving our own legacy to posterity; likewise, by both preserving our rights and filling our responsibilities. Otherwise, expressions of patriotism are no more than verbal veneration without actual emulation! Re-ratification will require statesmanship among both people and leaders. Statesmanship does not treat symptoms, but cures the underlying diseases. Our founding fathers did statesman-like work in 1776 and 1787. In our time, sadly, we seem preoccupied with treating symptoms, with quick fixes, and with getting by a little longer.

Yes, our Constitution has a marvelous system of checks and balances. But if uninspired individuals lack their own checks and balances, the inspired Constitution cannot correct that imbalance.

More remedies for our nation’s ills are to be found in individual restraint than in restraining orders. More remedies are to be found inside our souls than inside our courts. Or, in families than in legislative bodies! There is more need for neighborly affection than for litigation in resolving local disputes. Yes, courts can adjudicate between citizens, but courts cannot supply one citizen with esteem for his fellow citizens.

Washington in his “Farewell Address” counseled: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness—the firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”

Source: Neal A. Maxwell
Address given 4 July 1993 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Government, Limited; Morality; Responsibility



Joseph Smith’s concept of government and law was divinely enlightened. Government was instituted by Almighty God, and the Constitution of the United States was written by men inspired of God to bring just civic life to the world, for there is a sacredness of citizenship which we all should know. It requires the faithful use of political rights. He saw the wrong of slavery and advocated that the government buy the slaves from their masters, and give them the opportunity to develop their own lives adapted to them. What a tragedy this could have averted. There must be a revival of civic pride in America, a keener respect for law and order. All the written laws in the world cannot bring back that fine old love of justice and the ways of God. There must be the spirit of consecration, of self-discipline, of devotion to the righteous teachings of God. Far back in the ages, Isaiah, six hundred years before the Savior of mankind came, wrote: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may entr in.” (Isaiah 26:2.) There is a conscience of nations as there is of individuals. We had once a national conscience, as expressed by the Puritans, Quakers, and the many other religious devotees who settled these shores. They knew moral integrity, moral purpose, moral restraint.

Source: President Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1945

Topics: Citizenship; Morality; Responsibility; Virtue



Freedom as a Postulate of Morality

All the teachings and precepts of ethics, whether based upon a religious creed or whether based upon a secular doctrine like that of the Stoic philosophers, presuppose this moral autonomy of the individual and therefore appeal to the individual’s conscience. They presuppose that the individual is free to choose among various modes of conduct and require him to behave in compliance with definite rules, the rules of morality. Do the right things, shun the bad things.

It is obvious that the exhortations and admonishments of morality make sense only when addressing individuals who are free agents. They are vain when directed to slaves. It is useless to tell a bondsman what is morally good and what is morally bad. He is not free to determine his comportment; he is forced to obey the orders of his master. It is difficult to blame him if he prefers yielding to the commands of his master to the most cruel punishment threatening not only him but also the members of his family.

This is why freedom is not only a political postulate, but no less a postulate of every religious or secular morality.

Source: Ludwig von Mises
The Economic Foundations of Freedom
The Freeman, April 1960

Topics: Compulsion; Freedom; Morality



The Law and Morals

You say: “Here are persons who are lacking in morality or religion,“and you turn to the law. But law is force. And need I point out what a violent and futile effort it is to use force in the matters of morality and religion?

It would seem that socialists, however self-complacent, could not avoid seeing this monstrous legal plunder that results from such systems and such efforts. But what do the socialists do? They cleverly disguise this legal plunder from others-and even from themselves-under the seductive names of fraternity, unity, organization, and association. Because we ask so little from the law-only justice-the socialists thereby assume that we reject fraternity, unity, organization, and association. The socialists brand us with the name individualist.

But we assure the socialists that we repudiate only forced organization, not natural organization. We repudiate the forms of association that are forced upon us, not free association. We repudiate forced fraternity, not true fraternity. We repudiate the artificial unity that does nothing more than deprive persons of individual responsibility. We do not repudiate the natural unity of mankind under Providence.

Source: Frederic Bastiat
The Law

Topics: Law; Morality



The Test of Right or Wrong.

Are there not, in reality, underlying, universal principles with reference to which all issues must be resolved whether the society be simple or complex in its mechanical organization? It seems to me we could relieve ourselves of most of the bewilderment which so unsettles and distracts us by subjecting each situation to the simple test of right and wrong. Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complicated. There is always a right and a wrong to every question which requires our solution. . . .

We cannot well lay claim to being a grown-up, mature, civilized people until we have come to the point where morality is the determinant, and we ask simply what is, in good conscience, right. The conclusion seems inescapable that the confusion and distraction and conflicts and antagonisms and uncertainties and bewilderment which plague the world today present mankind with what is at bottom a purely moral issue — the issue between right and wrong. That, then, should be the final test of the propriety of all courses of action.

Source: Jerreld L. Newquist
Prophets, Principles, and National Survival

Topics: Morality



I have ever cherished the same spirit with all nations, from a consciousness that peace, prosperity, liberty and morals have an intimate connection.

Source: Thomas Jefferson to George Logan, 1813. ME 13:384

Topics: Morality; Peace



Whether we recognize it or not, it is beliefs—the beliefs that get themselves accepted—that rule the world. Those beliefs may exalt a nation or drag it down to degeneracy and degradation depending upon their inherent quality. Ships and tanks and airplanes and guns, while necessary implements for waging physical warfare, are not the real source of a nation’s strength. Its strength lies in the basic integrity of its people and that depends upon the beliefs they cherish which fashion their lives.

Source: Albert E. Bowen
General Conference, October 1945

Topics: Morality



There is no other platform that any government can stand upon and endure, but the platform of truth and virtue.

Source: Brigham Young
Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941), p. 355

Topics: Government; Morality

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