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Topic: Free Agency, Matches 41 quotes.



Blue Eagles and Déjà Vu

If the proponents of central planning came right out and said they wanted to create an economic police state, their cause would never get off the ground. So, they resort to “doublespeak,” as Mario Pei so aptly called it, the usual camouflage for the ultimate use of force against the individual. Ludwig von Mises summed it up when he wrote: “All this talk: the state should do this or that ultimately means: the police should force consumers to behave otherwise than they would behave spontaneously. In such proposals as: let us raise farm prices, let us raise wage rates, let us lower profits . . . the us ultimately refers to the police. Yet, the authors of these projects protest that they are planning for freedom and industrial democracy.”

Perhaps the oldest lesson of history is that an assault on one aspect of freedom is an attack on the whole, as the framers of the Constitution were well aware. To think that the bell that tolls for economic freedom does not toll for academic freedom or for freedom of the press is a delusion, and a dangerous one . . . .

All current proposals for a managed economy rest on an underestimation of the intelligence of the American people. They assume that you and I are just not smart enough to decide how to spend the money we earn.

Source: Walter Wriston
The Freeman, September 1975

Topics: Free Agency; Government



Freedom is a natural condition; each individual controls himself.

It is also a condition of total risk. Each individual has the ability to impose cruelty and even death upon his fellows. This ability conceals a two-way street. Each individual is vulnerable to the thoughts and actions of others of his own kind. A free society is a society in which anyone could do as he pleases with himself or with others. Given a “society” of only one person, risk between all persons disappears. In such a society, the word freedom could not possibly have a social context.

But now we imagine a society in which total freedom reigns yet there are many persons in it. Each individual can think and act as he pleases; at the same time, any other person has the ability to impose upon him by a little or a lot.

Take one further step. Imagine a free society in which the capacity for man’s inhumanity to man is not impeded by any human organization . . . but yet the violation of one’s person or property does not occur.

Such would be a free society, and only such. A society in which free men interact, retaining all their natural capacity to be free, and yet do nothing to limit the freedom of their fellows, ah, that is the goal yet to be achieved.

Source: Robert LeFevre
Thinking About Freedom, The Freeman, February 1983, p120-121

Topics: Free Agency



We have to accept some government limitations on freedom if we who live in communities are to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A condition of uninhibited individual freedom would allow the strong to oppress the weak. It would allow the eccentric desires of one person to restrict the freedom of many.

Interferences with our freedom do not deprive us of our free agency. When Pharaoh put Joseph in prison, he restricted Joseph’s freedom, but he did not take away his free agency. When Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, he interfered with their freedom to engage in a particular activity at a particular time in a particular place, but he did not take away their free agency.

The Lord has told us in modern revelation that he established the Constitution of the United States to assure “that every many may act ... according to the moral agency which I have given unto him” (D&C 101:78). In other words, God established our Constitution to [10] give us the vital political freedom necessary for us to act upon our personal choices in civil government. This revelation shows the distinction between agency (the power of choice), which is God-given and freedom, the right to act upon our choices, which is protected by the Constitution and laws of the land.

Freedom is obviously of great importance, but, as these examples illustrate, freedom is always qualified in mortality. Consequently, it would be better if we did not conduct a public policy debate in terms of a loss of free agency, which is impossible under our doctrine. We ought to focus on the legality or wisdom of a proposed restriction of our freedom.

Source: Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Free Agency And Freedom
Forty-Fifth Annual Joseph Smith Memorial Service
LDS Institute of Religion, Logan, Utah
Sunday, January 17, 1988

Topics: Free Agency; Freedom



Slavery will not Prevail

In conclusion, I will hazard one suggestion:

Unless all history is reversed and its lessons and principles all blotted out, it is inconceivable that any system can be set up by a personal despot or by an oligarchy either of intellectuals or of cruel, heartless, ambitious men, that can permanently rob men of their freedom and put them in slavery. This never has been done. Sooner or later such a system has always broken down; it always will break down, because, despite what atheists and scoffers say or think, man is the child of God, who planted in man’s soul certain eternal concepts and urges that are stronger than mortal life or any of the intellectual or physical incidents of mortality.

Source: J. Reuben Clark
“Stand Fast by Our Constitution”, Page 79

Topics: Free Agency



Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted.

Source: Ayn Rand
Essays on Liberty, vol 11, p106-7

Topics: Free Agency; Law



The state is called the government, but it cannot actually govern the individual acts of any person because of the nature of human energy. Men in public office are only men, and no man can control another’s thoughts, speech, or creative actions. No possible use of physical force can compel anyone to think, speak, or act. It can only limit, hinder, and prevent.

Source: Henry Grady Weaver
The Mainspring of Human Progress, p. 57.

Topics: Free Agency; Government, Power



While perhaps it is seldom, if ever, contended that either political independence or economic freedom alone brings perfect liberty, it is not, however, uncommon for free agency to be considered as synonymous with freedom of the soul. And it is true that the God-given right to choose one’s course of action is an indispensable prerequisite to such freedom. Without it we can scarcely enjoy any type of liberty—political, economic, or personal. It is one of our greatest heritages. For it we are deeply indebted to our Father in Heaven, to the Founding Fathers, and to the pioneers. God gave it to man in the Garden of Eden. (See Moses 7:32.) The Founding Fathers, under the Lord’s inspiration, wrote a guarantee of it into the fundamental law of the land. And the pioneers, led by the inspiration of heaven, gave their all to perpetuate it. Surely we ought always to be alert in its defense and willing, if necessary, to give our lives for its preservation.

Source: President Marion G. Romney
General Conference, October 1981

Topics: Free Agency; Freedom



All regularly organized and well established governments have certain laws by which, more or less, the innocent are protected and the guilty punished. The fact admitted that certain laws are good, equitable and just, ought to be binding upon the individual who admits this, and lead him to observe in the strictest manner an obedience to those laws. These laws when violated, or broken by the individual, must, in justice, convict his mind with a double force, if possible, of the extent and magnitude of his crime; because he could have no plea of ignorance to produce; and his act of transgression was openly committed against light and knowledge. But the individual who may be ignorant and imperceptibly transgresses or violates laws, though the voice of the country requires that he should suffer, yet he will never feel that remorse of conscience that the other will, and that keen, cutting reflection will never rise in his breast that otherwise would, had he done the deed, or committed the offense in full conviction that he was breaking the law of his country, and having previously acknowledged the same to be just.

It is not our intention by these remarks, to attempt to place the law of man on a parallel with the law of heaven; because we do not consider that it is formed in the same wisdom and propriety; neither do we consider that it is sufficient in itself to bestow anything on man in comparison with the law of heaven, even should it promise it. The laws of men may guarantee to a people protection in the honorable pursuits of this life, and the temporal happiness arising from a protection against unjust insults and injuries; and when this is said, all is said, that can be in truth, of the power, extent, and influence of the laws of men, exclusive of the law of God. The law of heaven is presented to man, and as such guarantees to all who obey it a reward far beyond any earthly consideration; though it does not promise that the believer in every age should be exempt from the afflictions and troubles arising from different sources in consequence of the acts of wicked men on earth. Still in the midst of all this there is a promise predicated upon the fact that it is the law of heaven, which transcends the law of man, as far as eternal life the temporal; and as the blessings which God is able to give, are greater than those which can be given by man. Then, certainly, if the law of man is binding upon man when acknowledged, how much more must the law of heaven be! And as much as the law of heaven is more perfect than the law of man, so much greater must be the reward if obeyed. The law of man promises safety in temporal life; but the law of God promises that life which is eternal, even an inheritance at God’s own right hand, secure from all the powers of the wicked one.

Source: Joseph Smith
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 49

Topics: Christianity; Free Agency; Law



Peace will come and be maintained only through the triumph of the principles of peace, and by the consequent subjugation of the enemies of peace, which are hatred, envy, ill-gotten gain, the exercise of unrighteous dominion of men. Yielding to these evils brings misery to the individual, unhappiness to the home, war among nations, with resultant misery and death.

Two thousand years ago Jesus wept over Jerusalem, the inhabitants of which were blind to the things which pertained to their peace. Today contention, strife and hatred are manifest between capital and labor unions, and bitterness among advocates of Nazism, Fascism, Communism, and Capitalism. No matter how excellent any of these may seem in the minds of their advocates, none will ameliorate the ills of mankind unless its operation in government be impregnated with the basic principles promulgated by the Savior of men. On the contrary, even a defective economic system will produce good results if the men who direct it will be guided by the spirit of Christ.

Source: President David O. McKay
General Conference October 1944

Topics: Christianity; Free Agency; Government, Downfall; Peace

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