The Constitution of the Founding Fathers
The Constitution of the Founding Fathers

Table of Contents

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3

Appendix 1: Some Action Thoughts For Latter-day Saints

  1. Just as the proverb, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” (Proverbs 23:7) applies to a man so that a person is what his thoughts make him, the same principle applies to a government—the substance of the government will be what the predominant philosophy of its people makes it
    1. If its people believe democracy is the desirable philosophy of government, it will be a democracy regardless of whether the outward structure is a limited republic
    2. The return to our constitutional freedom system then requires changing the philosophy of the people from a commitment to democracy to a commitment to true constitutional freedom principles—this is the area where we must devote our main effort
  2. The task is not as insurmountable as it may seem—all people present at the organization of Church could fit into one room but the gospel is to go to all the world
    1. The principle “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1 Cor 5:6) is applicable and the work will be contagious as it rolls forth
    2. We are on the Lord’s side and will have his help (1 Nephi 14:14)
    3. The following quotation from page 227 of The Rebirth of Liberty, by Clarence B. Carson is pertinent:

            “It was men who breathed the breath of life into the government, who provided the flesh to the bones of the Constitution, who in their contest with one another held the government in check, and who gave impetus and direction to it. But it was neither the majority of men who did this nor even all of those who held office in the government. Madison’s comment after looking over the roll of those elected to the first Congress may have been somewhat harsh, but it was much to the point: he said that there were few members who would take an active hand ‘in the drudgery of the business.’ That part would be played, as it usually is, by a few men with the tenacity, the ambition, the drive, and the determination to make the government work. Critics abound; leaders who get things done are few.” [p. 109]

    4. While rejection of true principles of freedom will surely result in much sorrow and tribulation in this country and the future looks bleak indeed, the Lord’s command that we awake to our awful situation and not suffer the murderous combinations to get above us indicates that it is within our power to stop them (Ether 8:23-24)
    5. Although many believe the point of no return is passed, the outcome of the overall battle is in the hands of the Lord—the responsibility resting on each of us is to keep his commandments, including laboring with our might to preserve freedom and prevent the devil-inspired murderous secret combinations from getting above us in this land
  3. Foreseeing that correct understanding of the Constitution would be obscured by many contending points of view, the Lord prepared a solution in advance
    1. The various political statements in the scriptures are part of the “key of knowledge” (D&C 128:14) opening to us a correct understanding of the Constitution
    2. This knowledge is essential to fulfill our responsibility to save the Constitution from near destruction (Elders p. 1-2 and the following version of Joseph Smith prophecy)

            “Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is on the brink of ruin this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.” (Joseph Smith Papers, LDS Church Historical Archives, Box 1, March 10, 1844; June 1976 Ensign, p. 64-65)

  4. In D&C 101:80 the Lord informs us that he established our Constitution “by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose”
    1. J. Reuben Clark has stated that this makes the Constitution a part of our religion (Elders p. 156)
    2. If the Lord established the Constitution through inspiring certain wise men, it would seem that we can learn correct political principles by examining the political philosophy they incorporated into the Constitution
  5. In examining the Framers’ political philosophy it is desirable to start with clearly accepted gospel teachings—otherwise we may not be willing to accept their philosophy because so many of us have been taught that it is wrong [p. 110]
    1. In Moses 4:1-4 we have the beginning point for our understanding of the Constitution—the conflict between two different systems under which men might live in mortality
      1. Under the Lord’s program, each individual would be fee to make his own choices and would be rewarded or condemned according to the choices he makes
      2. Under Lucifer’s contrary program, salvation was promised to all and there would be no condemnation—this was to be achieved by giving Lucifer the power to control all men so that, deprived of freedom of choice, they would not be able to make wrong choices
    2. Lucifer’s program was rejected
      1. Lucifer’s supremely enticing promise of guaranteed salvation was false because it could not be kept—salvation involves a process of personal growth that cannot take place without individual freedom of choice
      2. In spite of Lucifer’s seeming great concern for the welfare of those who might fail under the Father’s program, the real result of Lucifer’s counter program would have been to enhance his own power and glory through depriving the rest of us of the growth potential and basic human dignity of freedom of choice (David O. McKay, Elders p. 84)
    3. Lucifer and his followers were cast out and permitted to come to earth to tempt and test us
      1. One of Lucifer’s most successful temptations is a warmed-over version of his pre-mortal program—he promises a guaranteed temporal salvation in exchange for freedom (David O. McKay, Elders p. 83)
      2. Knowledge of the true nature of Lucifer’s pre-mortal program is of great help in discerning the true nature of his temporal program
  6. The Lord has informed us that the purpose for which he established the Constitution is to protect men’s individual freedom of choice (D&C 101:77-80)
    1. Moral agency refers to individual freedom of choice
    2. Being accountable for one’s own sins requires moral agency because a person is not responsible for sins he was compelled to commit—the axe is not responsible for what the woodsman does with it [p. 111]
    3. The statement that it is not right that any man should be in bondage to another means that it is contrary to true principles that one man’s will should be subject to the will or control of another (Compare Daniel Webster, Elders p. 122)
    4. Being in harmony with gospel truth, the principles of the Constitution are not limited to our government but are of limitless and eternal application (D&C 109:54)
  7. Many think the freedom approach is not workable because they have been conditioned to believe that government control is necessary to solve problems
    1. People so conditioned often raise what they have been led to believe are unanswerable questions such as: What about helping those in need? What about promoting prosperity? What about those who exploit others?
    2. It is hoped that any who have such thoughts will have enough confidence in the fact that it was the Lord who set up our freedom system and charged us with the responsibility of preserving it that they will withhold judgment until they understand the freedom solutions to those problems
    3. While control solutions often sound logical and impressive, their results are really much inferior to freedom solutions.
  8. The Lord holds us responsible for our acts in relation to government, both in the laws that are enacted and in the way they are administered (D&C 134:1) including the following:
    1. We are to obey, honor, and sustain law, and are to respect government officials and uphold the governments under which we live, particularly when they protect us in our “inherent and inalienable rights” (freedom) because without law there would be anarchy and terror (Articles of Faith 12, D&C 134:5-6)
    2. In the United States we have a special responsibility to uphold constitutional law which is referred to as supporting freedom, and to oppose laws that are more or less than this (D&C 98:4-8)—to do this we must understand the Constitution so we can distinguish between constitutional and unconstitutional laws
    3. We are to seek and uphold honest, wise, and good men to serve as government officials (D&C 98:9-10)
    4. We are to be alert to a world-wide secret combination among us seeking to [p. 112] combination to get above us the sword of the justice of God will fall upon us (Ether 8:22-26)
    5. We are to promote righteousness and religion because without these any nation upon this land will be swept off when it is ripened in iniquity (Ether 2:7-12)
  9. Fulfilling our political responsibility is part of living the gospel
    1. The Church takes political stands only in limited areas
      1. Where a moral issue is involved or the particular matter directly concerns the Church itself
      2. Where it gives overall counsel to point us in the right direction leaving it up to us to use our own judgment and initiative to take action in that direction (D&C 58:26-29)
      3. More detailed political leadership by the Church would subject it to the charge of improper political activity in violation of the principle of separation of church and state
    2. We have no excuse to justify our slowness in responding to the general direction given us by the Church
      1. The scriptures are available to us and we are supposed to be skilled in their use
      2. We have been repeatedly admonished on these matters by living prophets (Elders p. 191-196 and more recent statements)
    3. We must not wait for a consensus even among Church members because a consistent trait of Israel has been slowness to hearken and obey (D&C 105:2; Jer 7:23-26)
  10. Fulfilling our political responsibility requires major effort and sacrifice
    1. We must overcome the tendency to postpone action till we “have more time”
    2. We should remember that it is sacrifice that brings forth the blessings of heaven and that sacrificing to fulfill the Lord’s purposes is individually important to us as is highlighted by these words from the sixth lecture of the Lectures on Faith [p. 113]

            “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation . . . . It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice. . . . unless they, in like manner, offer unto him the same sacrifice.”

    3. Both Satan and the Lord work through men in mortality
      1. Satan’s followers are much more numerous than the Lord’s (1 Nephi 14:10-14)
      2. One of Satan’s major temptations is to get us to labor half heartedly or not at all on the Lord’s side (2 Nephi 28:21-25)
      3. If we fall for that temptation we are both letting down the Lord and jeopardizing our own salvation [p. 114]

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