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      Patriotism and loyalty in defense of the Constitution of the United States is constantly enjoined upon us. President McKay again this morning has made reference to the cause of liberty in his remarks. To be effective in such teaching, we must begin by inspiring in each heart the faith that the Constitution of the United States was written by inspired men whom God raised up for that very purpose.

      It was Joseph Smith who has been quoted as having said that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as by a thread and at that time when it was thus in jeopardy, the elders of this Church would step forth and save it from destruction.

      Why the elders of this Church? Would it be sacrilegious to paraphrase the words of the Apostle Peter, and say that the Constitution of the United States could be saved by the elders of this Church because this Church and this Church alone has the words of eternal life? We alone know by revelation as to how the Constitution came into being, and we, alone, know by revelation the destiny of this nation. The preservation of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" can be guaranteed upon no other basis than upon a sincere faith and testimony of the divinity of these teachings.

Harold B. Lee
General Conference, October 1952



      Wait until it becomes popular to do," says the devil, "or, at least, until everybody in the Church agrees on what should be done." This fight for freedom might never become popular in our day. And if you wait until everybody agrees in this Church, you will be waiting through the second coming of the Lord. Would you have hesitated to follow the inspired counsel of the Prophet Joseph Smith simply because some weak men disagreed with him? God's living mouthpiece has spoken to us—are we for him or against him? Where do you stand?

      It might hurt your business or your family," says the devil, "and besides, why not let the Gentiles save the country? They aren't as busy as you are." Well, there were many businessmen who went along with Hitler because it supposedly helped their business. They lost everything. Many of us are here today because our forefathers loved truth enough that they fought at Valley Forge or crossed the plains in spite of the price it cost them or their families. We had better take our small pain now than our greater loss later. There were souls who wished afterwards that they had stood and fought with Washington and the Founding Fathers, but they waited too long—they passed up eternal glory. There has never been a greater time than now to stand up against entrenched evil. And while the Gentiles established the Constitution, we have a divine mandate to preserve it. But, unfortunately, today in this freedom struggle many Gentiles are showing greater wisdom in their generation than the children of light (Luke 16:8).

Ezra Taft Benson
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.659-660



      Allow me to announce that from the day of Joseph Smith to this identical day, the leaders of this people have had absolute respect, love and reverence for their country. Allow me to announce further that we are patriotic Americans to the core, and that we have learned it, many of us, at our mother's knees, where we said our prayers. We believe absolutely in the inspiration of God to the men who framed our Constitution.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, October 1919




      I testify that America is a choice land (see 2 Nephi 1:5). God raised up the founding fathers of the United States of America and established the inspired Constitution (see D&C 101:77-80). This was the required prologue for the restoration of the gospel (see 3 Nephi 21:4). America will be a blessed land unto the righteous forever and is the base from which God will continue to direct the worldwide latter-day operations of His kingdom (see D&C 21:1-7; 107:91-92, 112:15). He receives revelation from God to direct His kingdom. Associated with him are others who are prophets, seers, and revelators, even those who make up the presiding quorums of the Church, namely the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see D&C 112:30).

Confrontations between good and evil

      I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society (See D&C 1:14-16; 84:49-53). It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. [See Ether 8:18-25]

President Ezra Taft Benson
General Conference, October 1988



      As I have said to you before, so I say again, the Constitution of the United States is a great and treasured part of my religion, and the revelations of the Lord and the words of our inspired leaders compel it to be so. The overturning, or the material changing, or the distortion of any fundamental principle of our constitutional government would thus do violence to my religion.

      God grant that this people shall never give the lie to Brother Brigham, and that ever and always "the Elders of Israel will protect and sustain civil and religious liberty and every constitutional right bequeathed to us by our fathers."

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
Stand Fast by Our Constitution, pp 8-9



Our Allegiance

      God provided that in this land of liberty, our political allegiance shall run not to individuals, that is, to government officials, no matter how great or how small they may be. Under His plan our allegiance and the only allegiance we owe as citizens or denizens of the United States, runs to our inspired Constitution which God Himself set up. So runs the oath of office of those who participate in government. A certain loyalty we do owe to the office which a man holds, but even here we owe, just by reason of our citizenship, no loyalty to the man himself. In other countries it is to the individual that allegiance runs. This principle of allegiance to the Constitution is basic to our freedom. It is one of the great principles that distinguishes this "land of liberty" from other countries. Thus God added to His priceless blessings to us.

J. Reuben Clark
Stand Fast by Our Constitution



      That Sabbath day after the dedicatory exercises of the monument of Paul Revere, an old priest stood before hundreds of Italians in the old church near by and spoke on the "God-given Constitution of the United States." It did my heart good to see those alien people pay deference to our flag and to Paul Revere. Herein is a lesson. You Italians, you Germans, and French, you Scandinavians and all other foreigners who have joined the Church and come to America have found freedom and liberty as you have never known before, and you may rest assured that this is a country blessed of God, and its Constitution was written by men who were God-inspired. Be true to your country and its Constitution which is for all time, for never can anything better take its place. The ideal of America was stated by President Grover Cleveland in Philadelphia at the centennial exercises in honor of the drafting of the Constitution in 1887. Said President Cleveland: "When we look down one hundred years and see the origin of our Constitution, when we contemplate all its trials and triumphs, when we realize how completely the principles upon which it is based have met every national need and every national peril, how devoutly should we say with Franklin, 'God governs in the affairs of men,' and how solemn should be the thought that to us is delivered this ark of the people's covenant and to us sealed with the test of a century. It has been found sufficient in the past, and it will be found sufficient in all the years to come, if American people are true to their sacred trust. Another centennial day will come, and millions yet unborn will inquire concerning our stewardship and the safety of the Constitution. God grant they may find it unimpaired; and as we rejoice to-day in the patriotism and devotion of those who lived one hundred years ago, so may those who follow us rejoice in our fidelity and love for Constitutional liberty.

Elder Levi Edgar Young
An Appeal For Loyalty To The Constitution
General Conference, October 1940



Constitution Inspired

      I speak today as an American citizen who believes as he believes in Deity, that God inspired the framing of our Constitution and the setting up of our form of government thereunder,-an American citizen who believes that the preservation of this government under our Constitution as it now stands is necessary that liberty and free political and religious institutions may not disappear from the earth.

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr
General Conference, October 1939



      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."

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



      Every faithful Latter-day Saint believes that the Constitution of the United States was inspired of God, and that this choice land and this nation have been preserved until now in the principles of liberty under the protection of God.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, October 1944



A Kingdom That Will Never Fall

      Our attention has been called, during this conference, to the establishment of the Lord's work in the founding of these American institutions, and that God inspired the men who wrote the Constitution. We believe that his hand has been over it. I believe myself that it is part of God's great work in the building up and establishment of a kingdom for himself when he will come, for come he will, to reign as King of kings. All the kingdoms of the world shall go on, attempting to solve their problems and utterly failing, until, in desperation, after the days of their sorrow, they will turn to him and elect him to be their King. He will reign as Lord of lords in his Church--this Church builded and established by him, and which shall go forward and never fail. Wonderful, is it not, to think that we are favored above all other men in the world, privileged to live in an age when we are contributing towards the establishment of that order of things that will never perish.

      This government, its principles and doctrines, will never perish from the earth. Neither will this Church nor the principles and the doctrines that it announces. They are not competitors, they are handmaidens preparing the way for his coming. It is glorious to know that he has risen, and more glorious to know that he will come again and will live and rule and reign with his saints for a thousand years, and peace shall be here. This is the mission and the destiny of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What then is our duty? My brethren, it is to go to our stakes and wards and rally our forces as watchmen upon the towers of Zion, to see the dangers that threaten, and while they are not disastrous now, being forewarned, forearm ourselves, and induce our brethren and sisters not to be weary in well-doing, but to subscribe their lives to these simple gospel principles, for in abiding by them is all this future glory assured to us. By keeping the commandments of God, we shall never cease to prevail untl the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard
General Conference, April 1928



      We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

      Yet some people write that we are in rebellion against the United States; that we would like to set up a republic of our own; that we are a great financial combine of people who are arranging to eventually conquer our country. Our boys who gave their lives in France; our boys who went forth in far greater number than the government had requested, according to our population; our money so freely given for Liberty and Victory bonds; our declaration to all the world, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the men who wrote the Constitution of this country were inspired of the living God -- all of these things give the lie to all the liars who are perpetually saying that we are opposed to this country. When the Latter-day Saints were being driven from their homes, when they were coming to these Rocky mountains in fulfilment of the prediction of Joseph Smith -- they were being expatriated; they were driven from the confines of the United States, and were coming to Mexican soil. Our country was then in trouble with Mexico, and the government called on Brigham Young for 500 men to help fight Mexico. To this call President Young replied: "You shall have your men, and if we have not enough men we will furnish you women;" and within three days the men were ready. That Mormon Battalion went to California and discovered gold. Show to me, if you can, in all the history of the world another case of a people being expatriated, being driven from their own country, from their own lands which they had purchased, being driven out from a beautiful city, the last remnant of them crossing the Mississippi river in the dead of winter, on the ice, nine babies being born during the night of that terrible expulsion, with no shelter but their mother's breasts, going forth on their journey of a thousand miles in the wilderness, after having appealed to the president of their republic, who could only say: "Your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you" -- show me another people, I say, who under like circumstances would have furnished 500 men to fight their country's battles! Show me greater patriotism and loyalty to country than this! It can't be done. Allow me to announce that from the day of Joseph Smith to this identical day, the leaders of this people have had absolute respect, love and reverence for their country. Allow me to announce further that we are patriotic Americans to the core, and that we have learned it, many of us, at our mother's knees, where we said our prayers. We believe absolutely in the inspiration of God to the men who framed our Constitution.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, October 1919



      To you young people, do not lose faith in the Church. Do not lose faith in the government. There may be things done by men in high places that you do not approve, but do not judge the government by that. Think of your founding forefathers, of your Constitution, divinely inspired of the Lord, and you will not lose faith in your land or in your government.

Bishop Thorpe B. Isaacson
General Conference, October 1951



      We believe that the Lord has been preparing that when he should bring forth his work, that, when the set time should fully come, there might be a place upon his footstool where sufficient liberty of conscience should exist, that his Saints might dwell in peace under the broad panoply of constitutional law and equal rights. In this view we consider that the men in the Revolution were inspired by the Almighty to throw off the shackles of the mother government, with her established religion. For this cause were Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and a host of others inspired to deeds of resistance to the acts of the King of Great Britain.

Brigham Young
Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 359.



      Every government of the world has the seeds of its own destruction in itself. I hope and trust and pray that the government of our country may remain, because it is so good; but if they cut off this, and cast out that, and institute another thing, they may destroy all the good it contains. This, I hope, they will not do; they cannot do it. I expect to see the day when the Elders of Israel will protect and sustain civil and religious liberty and every constitutional right bequeathed to us by our fathers, and spread those rights abroad in connection with the Gospel for the salvation of all nations. I shall see this whether I live or die.

Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses, Vol.11, p.262, August 12, 1866



      And, furthermore, not only did the Lord raise up these men and inspire them to write free agency into the government of this land, but he declared his intention that the elders of this Church should defend that Constitution and the freedoms and the rights allowed us in that great document. And so he said, "that law of the land, which is constitutional," and I call your attention to the phraseology:

      . . . that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining the rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D. & C. 98:5-7.)

      In regard to that last sentence, it is my interpretation that laws which are not in harmony with the principle of free agency and therefore not in harmony with the spirit of the Constitution, "cometh of evil."

Elder Mark E. Petersen
General Conference, April 1946



Divine Principle Of Free Agency

      I appeal to every Latter-day Saint to accept the divine principle of free agency and to adopt it in his life. I appeal to you to remember this principle when you are confronted by organizations and groups and movements in this country, which are now arising and assuming great power. Before you become engulfed in them, measure their practices and their purposes by the measuring rod of free agency, and you remember that God said it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. Remember, also, what Richard Evans told you yesterday, that it is not right that we should be commanded in all things, and don't you allow yourself to be commanded in all things by any group or agency. You preserve the free agency that God has given to you, because if you don't you will suffer all the days of your life.

      You remember that you are to be true to the Constitution of the United States. I appeal to you to accept as the word of God, the declaration that appears in the revelation in section one hundred one of the D&C, wherein the Lord says he did raise up men and inspired them to write the Constitution. I appeal to you, every one, to be true to the trust that God has placed in you, to preach the gospel throughout the world, as has been declared here today. But remember that you cannot preach that gospel without freedom of speech, and you cannot publish that gospel without freedom of the press, and you cannot gather together in congregations without freedom of assembly, and you cannot worship the Lord your God according to the dictates of your own conscience without freedom of religion. And remember that every time you give up any of your freedoms, whether it be to some economic or political group, or to any other group, you jeopardize these four freedoms of which I have spoken.

      I appeal to you to accept as the word of God that which I have quoted to you which says that you, the elders of Israel, are justified by God in defending your constitutional privileges. I appeal to you to be true to your one hundred thousand sons who have fought for liberty, to the eight thousand of your sons who have been wounded and bled in battle. Do not betray the five thousand Latter-day Saint boys who died that freedom might live. Remember that you have a responsibility to preserve freedom in America. Remember always the glorious prayer that is written into the last stanza of "America" which was sung so beautifully this morning by the Tabernacle choir.

Our father's God! to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light!
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

      I pray that we may have the courage and the wisdom to accept the truth, that the truth may keep us free, and I ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Elder Mark E. Petersen
General Conference, April 1946



      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.

President Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1945



      From my childhood days I have understood that we believe absolutely that the constitution of our country is an inspired instrument and that God directed those who created it and those who defended the independence of this nation. Concerning this matter it is my frequent pleasure to quote the statement by Joseph Smith, regarding the Constitution:

      The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is, to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a weary and thirsty land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.

      And such the Constitution of the United States must be to every faithful Latter-day Saint who lives under its protection. That the Lord may help him to think straight, and to pursue a straight course regardless of personal advantage, factional interest, or political persuasion, should be the daily prayer of every Latter-day Saint. I counsel you, I urge you, I plead with you, never, so far as you have voice or influence, permit any departure from the principles of government on which this nation was founded, or any disregard of the freedoms which, by the inspiration of God our Father, were written into the Constitution of the United States.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, October 1944



Our Country Under Divine Guidance

      No nation has been more greatly blessed than has the United States. We live in a land which has been called choice above all other lands by divine pronouncement. The Lord has watched over it with a jealous care and has commanded its people to serve Him lest His wrath be kindled against them and His blessings be withdrawn. Our government came into existence through divine guidance. The inspiration of the Lord rested upon the patriots who established it, and inspired them through the dark days of their struggle for independence and through the critical period which followed that struggle when they framed our glorious Constitution which guarantees to all the self-evident truth proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." That is to say, it is the right of every soul to have equal and unrestricted justice before the law, equal rights to worshp according to the dictates of conscience and to labor according to the individual inclinations, independently of coercion or compulsion. That this might be, the Lord has said, "I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." (D.&C. 101:80)

      The founders of this nation were men of humble faith. Many of them saw in vision a glorious destiny for our government, provided we would faithfully continue in the path of justice and right with contrite spirits and humble hearts, accepting the divine truths which are found in the Holy Scriptures. The appeal of these men has echoed down the passing years with prophetic warning to the succeeding generations, pleading with them to be true to all these standards which lay at the foundation of our government. This country was founded as a Christian nation, with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world. It was predicted by a prophet of old that this land would be a land of liberty and it would be fortified against all other nations as long as its inhabitants would serve Jesus Christ; but should they stray from the Son of God, it would cease to be a land of liberty and His anger be kindled against them.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith
General Conference, April 1943



False Political Isms

      We again warn our people in America of the constantly increasing threat against our inspired Constitution and our free institutions set up under it. The same political tenets and philosophies that have brought war and terror in other parts of the world are at work amongst us in America. The proponents thereof are seeking to undermine our own form of government and to set up instead one of the forms of dictatorships now flourishing in other lands. These revolutionists are using a technique that is as old as the human race,--a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over Whom they thus gain mastery, and then enslave them.

      They suit their approaches to the particular group they seek to deceive. Among the Latter-day Saints they speak of their philosophy and their plans under it, as an ushering in of the United Order. Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion; the United Order exalts the individual, leaves him his property, "according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs," (D. & C. 51:3) and provides a system by which he helps care for his less fortunate brethren; the United Order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency: the United Order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr
General Conference, April 1942



An Apostasy From True Democracy

      And as I view conditions today in the light of Jefferson's prophecy, a great apostasy has taken place from "the law and the testimony" of American democracy, or the Constitution of the United States. Just as there has been an apostasy from the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, there has been an apostasy from those divinely given principles of Government which have been transmitted to us by the inspired' men who founded this great nation.

      What is apostasy? Webster defines apostasy as being: "Abandonment of what one has voluntarily professed; total desertion of principles or faith."

      Stop and think for a moment if you will, of the statement of Jefferson and then of what is transpiring today. "A single zealot may become persecutor." And a situation of this kind is evidenced in our Government today wherein bureaucrats call free men before them, try them, and sentence them. In addition thereto, bureaucrats have assumed the right or taken the privilege of enacting law, depriving the national assembly and representatives of the people of the sole right to legislate, and have deprived the judiciary of its right to try offenders of the law.

Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin
General Conference, October 1941



      And now, I pray that those who belong to this Church will hearken to that warning. I sincerely hope the American nation will turn for counsel toward these great mountains where the House of the Lord is established, where His inspired servants may be found, and, above all, that this nation's people will hearken to that counsel, to achieve the place that Thomas Jefferson predicted would be our blessing if we followed the fundamentals of government as laid down by the founders of this great nation, and to avoid the catastrophe that now lies immediately ahead:

      Let us then with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and republican principles, our attachment to our Union and representative government. Kindly separated by Nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the hundredth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal rights to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting, not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed and practised in various forms, yet all of them including honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter; and with all these blessigs, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens, a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

      As members of this Church we know what our relationship to the Government of the United States is. We know what our responsibilities are, for God has revealed them to us. I sincerely pray as citizens of the United States, as members of this great Church, we will set an example which will create, if it is possible, a restitution of all those glorious privileges and blessings that we have lost and are losing--and we will arouse America by our example.

Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin
General Conference, October 1941



Upholding The Constitution

      Finally, if we would make the world better, let us foster a keener appreciation of the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the government of the United States as framed by the founders of this nation. Here again self-proclaimed progressives cry that such old-time adherence is out of date. But there are some fundamental principles of this Republic which, like eternal truths, never get out of date, and which are applicable at all times to liberty-loving peoples. Such are the underlying principles of the Constitution, a document framed by patriotic, freedom-loving men, who Latter-day Saints declare were inspired by the Lord.

      This date, October 6, has been set apart by churches as "Loyalty Day." It is highly fitting, therefore, as a means of making the world better, not only to urge loyalty to the Constitution and to threatened fundamentals of the United States government, but to warn the people that there is evidence in the United States of disloyalty to tried and true fundamentals in government. There are unsound economic theories; there are European "isms," which, termite like, secretly and, recently, quite openly, and defiantly, are threatening to undermine our democratic institutions.

      Today, as never before, the issue is clearly defined--liberty and freedom of choice, or oppression and subjugation for the individual and for nations.

President David O. McKay
General Conference, October 1940



      A hundred and fifty years ago, the founders of our Republic announced the sublime truth that men are free and equal. A century and a half have rolled away since then, and the history of the world has no chapter to compare with the accomplishments of America in that time. Standing on Saxon foundations, and inspired by Latin example, we have done what no race or nation or age has ever accomplished. The American people have founded a Republic on the unlimited suffrage of the millions of souls that inhabit this land. They have worked out the problem that a man, as God created him, may be entrusted with self-government.

      Our forebears had a virgin continent to conquer. The fundamental problems they met with hard work and a faith in themselves. They had inherited from their fathers, the ideals of home-life, freedom of religion, the free state, the public school, and the lands of the vast continent to till, on which they built their homes.

Elder Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1937



      May the Lord be with us at all times, under all circumstances; may he bring into our lives a burning desire to uphold the Constitution, a living faith in its inspired origin, that we may always be found among those who shall support it to the last breath.

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr
General Conference, April 1935



Latter-day Saints Should Set Example

      Eighteen months ago, when first I stood before you I called attention, as earnestly and seriously as I knew how, to what looked to me to be the dangers that were ahead, and I urged you at that time to practice the old virtues of thrift, of honesty, of truthfulness, of industry, and so on through the list of those I named. All that I said then I say again.

      One year ago, on this occasion, I called your attention to the abuses that had crept into the distribution of our public funds, and I urged you and pleaded with you that, so far as the Church and its membership were concerned, we do not soil our hands with the bounteous outpouring of funds which the government was giving unto us. I renew that plea now. My brethren and sisters, for the sake of the government which we love, for the sake of the government which we believe was divinely inspired, be honest with it. Be honest, just ordinarily gold honest. That is all I ask.

      Do you know that all of the money that we are spending, that the government is spending, must come from you? The government has no great pile of gold to which it can go to get what it gives you. The government has not one cent that it does not take from your pockets. Do not imagine, do not believe, do not go on the theory that you are not to pay this bill, unless the fundamentals of our government are to be overturned.

      What we get, we members of the Church, compared with the total mass that is distributed, is almost microscopic, but the spirit in which we might take it, the spirit in which we might spend it, is the leaven that might leaven the whole lump. Let us be patriotic; let us love the government under which we live.

      I am persuaded, from all the facts that have come to me, that it would have been possible, if we had functioned as the Lord intended us to function, if we had paid our tithes and our offerings as the Lord intended us to pay them, we might have gone on without one dollar from our federal government. And has it ever occurred to you what a mighty influence we should have exercised for good and for respect and for all of the virtues that we have been taught, and that God has commanded us to exercise and cultivate and practice, if we had just followed along what he has asked us to do?

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr
General Conference, October 1934



      The Latter-day Saints believe that they must be loyal to their country, honoring its laws, upholding its institutions, its constituted authorities, and doing all things that American citizens ought to do. They are taught that the Constitution of the United States was inspired of God and framed by wise men whom the Almighty raised up for this very purpose, and that it "should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh," so that every man may act according to the moral agency which God has given him, that he "may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment."

      Believing this, they cannot be otherwise than loyal. They do not blame the government of the United States for their past persecutions at the hands of lawless mobs. They realize that such things were not because of the Constitution and the Government, but in spite of them; and they stand ready at all times to honor the laws of this nation and to defend it against foes without or within.

Elder Reed Smoot
General Conference, October 1933



Eternity's Constitution

      The God we worship is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of men's rights, and a guardian of them--a fact clearly shown in the heaven-inspired Constitution of our country, and in the Gospel itself, which might be termed the Constitution of Eternity.

Elder Orson F. Whitney
General Conference, October 1930



      This Gospel is a plan of liberating mankind from bondage. "The whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin" (Doc. and Cov. 84:49), but the truth from heaven has a mission to perform, namely, to liberate us and make us free. It is no wonder that the Latter-day Saints have espoused the great cause of human liberty, that they regard this great government of which we form a part as having been inspired of Almighty God, that they regard the Constitution of our land and that instrument that preceded it, known as the Declaration of Independence, as being inspired of the Almighty for the salvation and the protection of the children of God. We rejoice in being citizens of this great republic, the freest country in all the world. Its principles, the very foundations upon which it has been established, are set forth in that Declaration of Independence, wherein it is stated that "all men are created equal and that they have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable righs, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Let it not be felt that these rights are given to us by any government. Not so. We live not because a government has given us the privilege to live; we live because God gave us life. We are free not because any government has given us our liberty--we are free not because we have received that power and that right from any human source; we are free because God made us free.

      The Lord inspired the fathers of our country, our Revolutionary fathers, with this same spirit of human liberty, this right of free agency. This great struggle for liberty did not begin on this earth; it began before the foundations of it were laid. The Lord devised the plan whereby we might be liberated and made free and independent. The Lord designs that we shall be so. There was war in heaven before the foundations of this earth were laid. And what was that great conflict over? It was a struggle for the liberties of the children of God.

Elder Rulon S. Wells
General Conference, April 1930



      Mormonism is pre-eminently an American religion, as was more fully presented by the First Presidency this morning. It stands for America, North and South, and particularly for the government of the United States. It teaches that this western hemisphere is a land choice above all other lands--a land of liberty dedicated to freedom and righteousness. The Constitution of the United States is believed in with religious devotion, that its framers were heaven-inspired. And well may such a belief be cherished. Gladstone, the great English premier, said of it:

      "As far as I can see the American Constitution is the greatest and most wonderful work ever struck off at one time by the brain and purpose of man."

Elder Charles H. Hart
General Conference, October 1928



A Land Of Liberty

      Think of the blessings that came to America. How Columbus was inspired to go out upon the great waters and find his way to this western land. Then the settlers of Jamestown, the pilgrim fathers, and all those early pioneers who came to America because they desired to serve God according to the dictates of their conscience. The Lord blessed them and finally raised up a nation that is the wonder and the admiration of the earth. Those men who framed the Constitution of the United States were not only wise in the things of this world, but they were inspired by our Heavenly Father who raised them up for that very purpose. This marvelous government that we enjoy in this favored land of liberty, was given to man that it might be a blessing to him. Here men and women are permitted to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. Our Heavenly Father will not coerce or compel mankind, but in loving kindness has given to them from the age when the world was first peopled until now, opportunity to know the tuth.

Elder George Albert Smith
General Conference, October 1928



Our Attitude Towards The Constitution

      Is it to be wondered at, brethren and sisters, that the Latter-day Saints as a people have profound respect for the Constitution of the United States? We believe that the Constitution was inspired of the Lord. If other people draw away or lose their interest, or their faith in the Constitution and the flag of our country, the Latter-day Saints will be expected to rally around it. We propose to maintain the Constitution and all that it stands for. Our children are taught to respect the flag and to honor the law-givers of the nation. In Scout law, our boys are taught to be obedient and to honor the law, to be honest, to be truthful, to be upright. They do not always have a good example set before them by men of influence and men of power in the nation, men who have rightly earned the designation of "bootleggers." We hope that the Scouts who are growing up will be safeguarded against the pernicious example of these men.

President Rudger Clawson
General Conference, April 1928



Jefferson And Rousseau

      Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration, though some of its phrases were current in that day--common property. Jefferson, heaven-inspired, breathed into them the breath of life and made them live forever. It was a glorious achievement. "All men are created equal." This phrase is Rousseau's--he whose pen kindled the fierce fires of the French Revolution. It does not mean, of course, that all men are equal in intelligence and capacity, any more than they are equal in stature or in weight. But all have equal rights to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness, and are entitled to equal opportunities for possession and promotion.

Elder Orson F. Whitney
General Conference, October 1926



      The faith of the Latter-day Saints and the teaching that I have had since I was a child at my mother's knee, as well as from this stand, is that the Constitution of our country was written by men inspired of the Lord God Almighty. Therefore we, as Latter-day Saints, more than any other people, ought to be supporters of the Constitution, and all constitutional law.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, April 1926



      I believe that it is my duty and your duty to teach our children concerning this great God-inspired Constitution, this great law of liberty which he has given to this world, and which was never given before to any nation in any land. Never before has there been a representative government of this kind. Republics have been tried, hundreds of times, thousands of years ago, but never was there anything like this Government.

Bishop Charles W. Nibley
General Conference, April 1925



      The world has seen many civilizations rise and fall, most of which have been founded upon the lust for power, wealth and dominion over others. We have noticed this in the old civilization of Europe. Such was the condition in other parts of the world, whereas the Constitution of our great country was established by men who were inspired of the Lord, and this land of America was redeemed by the shedding of blood; and upon this continent, this land of Zion, there is being established a better and a higher type of civilization, based upon human liberty and freedom.

Elder John Wells
General Conference, April 1925



We Should Not Be Led Astray By Fallacies

      In these days of confusion, when the Constitution of Our country is assailed, by those who have no understanding of the purpose of God regarding this great country, it behooves those who do understand to consider seriously and faithfully, the benefits that will flow to us by honoring and sustaining the government that was reared under the direction of our heavenly Father.

      We are a peculiar people in many ways, and in this particularly are we peculiar, in that we believe that the constitution of the United States was inspired by our heavenly Father, and he has told us that he raised up the very men who should frame the Constitution of the United States. Knowing that, we should not be led astray by the fallacies of individuals whose selfishness inclines them to attack that which our heavenly Father has prepared for the people of this land.

Elder George Albert Smith
General Conference, October 1924



      By natural means, as the Lord always operates for the accomplishment of his purposes, means so simple that the thoughtless and unbelieving do not see the manifestation of his power, he brought the Puritans from the old world to New England, the Dutch to New York, the English Cavaliers to Virginia and the French to New Orleans, a combination of races which, paradoxical as it may appear, was just calculated to give us the composite America who made the United States of America what it is, the greatest nation of the world today.

      Inspired men have been raised up, who have given us our form of government, and the code of laws by which we are controlled, the best ever evolved by man, so far as we are able to judge. The Lord has strengthened the arms of the patriots who have defended us against the assaults of all those who have come up against us, and delivered us until today, from those who would have torn us asunder. Against all opposition, I sometimes think almost against ourselves, the Lord has brought us to our present condition, until this nation, like a city set on a hill, has become the light of the world.

President Anthony W. Ivins
General Conference, October 1924



      What can priesthood holders do? There are many things we can do to meet the challenge of the adversary in our day.

      First, we should become informed about communism, about socialism, and about Americanism. What better way can one become informed than by first studying the inspired words of the prophets and using that as a foundation; against which to test all other material. This is in keeping with the Prophet Joseph Smith's motto, "When the Lord commands, do it." (Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 170.)

      The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York on which President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., served as a board member, continues to supply sound freedom literature. We should know enough about American free enterprise to be able to defend it. We should know what makes it possible for six percent of humanity--living under our free economy--to produce about one-half of the earth's developed wealth each year.

      We should know why paternalism, collectivism, or unnecessary federal supervision will hold our standard of living down and reduce productivity just as it has in every country where it has been tried. We should also know why the communist leaders consider socialism the highroad to communism.

Elder Ezra Taft Benson
General Conference, October 1961



      Patriotism and loyalty in defense of the Constitution of the United States is constantly enjoined upon us. President McKay again this morning has made reference to the cause of liberty in his remarks. To be effective in such teaching, we must begin by inspiring in each heart the faith that the Constitution of the United States was written by inspired men whom God raised up for that very purpose.

Elder Harold B. Lee
General Conference, October 1952



Decries Conditions In America

      I am sure we all love America. I am sure there are no more patriotic people on the face of the earth than the Latter-day Saints; in fact, our belief is that the men who established this country were blessed of God, that they were inspired of God, and as we depart from those things we are not doing that which is pleasing to our Heavenly Father. I think that without doubt we are getting just about as far away as we can at the present time--shall I say, politically. I do not care how you put it. We are starting on the broad path that leads to destruction, and had we stayed in the straight and narrow path we would not need to be arranging to be in a war. The Lord points out the way, and if we walk in it all will be well.

      Many of the Latter-day Saints have surrendered their independence; they have surrendered their free thought, politically, and we have got to get back to where we are not surrendering the right. We must stay with the right and if we do so God will bless us.

President Heber J. Grant
General Conference, October 1941

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