The Gospel Key to Constitutional Freedom
Based on an address by Jerome Horowitz to the Newquist Group on October 3, 1998.
Copyright 1998 and 1999 by Jerome Horowitz. May be copied for non-commercial use provided source is shown.
Archive Publishers, Grantsville, Utah 84029
Jerome Horowitz was raised in New York City. He became acquainted with the Mormon Church while serving in the U. S. Army during the Second World War. After much study, prayer and participation in LDS servicemens activities, he joined the LDS Church in 1945 in the Philippine Islands. He has held many Church positions over the years.
The enlightenment of understanding mentioned in Alma 32:28 that accompanied acceptance of the gospel led him to recognize that many of the ideas he had believed to be wise and sound were really only parts of the pattern of thought sometimes called the philosophy of men or the philosophy of the world that in the long run would prove to be unsound and harmful.
In rethinking his ideas to conform to true principles, he became aware that the Constitution has been reinterpreted into a different political system based on the philosophy of the world, and that if that orientation continues we can expect the misery and loss of freedom experienced in other countries.
He has done much writing and speaking to help Latter-day Saints recognize what has happened and understand and appreciate the nature and soundness of the original Constitution of the Founding Fathers.
Jerome Horowitz has practiced law in New York, California and for many years in Ogden, Utah.
Related books by Jerome Horowitz:
The Elders of Israel and the Constitution
The Constitution of the Founding Fathers
The Gospel Key to Our True Constitution
The Gospel Key to Constitutional Freedom
There was a particular question John Adams asked many times. That question was: What do we mean by the revolution?
He would then explain that the war they had fought was the result of the revolution, but the war was not the real revolution. He said the real American Revolution was the radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people that took place before the war began. (H. Trevor Colbourn, The Lamp of Experience, p. 3)
In other words the key to the establishment of this marvelous nation, including the adoption of our Constitution, was the prior transformation of the ideas accepted by the people.
Today the world view of the founders of our nation is no longer believed by most of our people, including most law professors and judges.
Since the Framers Constitution is incompatible with the modern predominant world view, adherents to the modern world view have invented a flexibility concept not found in the Framers constitution, and have used that flexibility concept to reinterpret the Framers Constitution into a different constitution that fits their world view.
For example, Professor Leonard W. Levy, a respected constitutional scholar and author, has written that the Supreme Court
. . . is and must be for all practical purposes a continuous constitutional convention in the sense that it must keep updating the original charter . . . it simply cannot decide cases on the basis of what the Constitution says. (Jerome Horowitz, The Gospel Key to Our True Constitution, p. 1)
While they call their reinterpretation the Constitution, it is really very different from the Framers Constitution.
I believe it will be helpful to consider some significant areas where the two competing world views result in widely differing specific ideas and their constitutional consequences.
Then I will briefly examine the freedom responsibility of Latter-day Saints and the revealed understanding available to them to help fulfill that responsibility.
The Size and Function of Government
The first and perhaps the most obvious difference resulting from the two sets of competing ideas has to do with the size and function of government.
The Framers world view results in a small government primarily concerned with preserving individual freedom of choice, while people solve their own problems, both individual and societal.
In contrast the modern predominant world view results in a large government looking after the welfare of the people, and controlling them for their own good.
For many years those committed to the modern world view have insisted that their position was consistent with the Framers Constitution. But when they sought to replace our Constitution with a different constitution, Rexford G. Tugwell gave an unusually accurate description of government under the Framers Constitution, as part of explaining why it was inadequate and needed to be changed. He wrote:
The Constitution was a negative document, meant mostly to protect citizens from their government . . . . Above all, men were to be free to do as they liked, and since the government was likely to intervene, and because prosperity was to be found in the free management of their affairs, a constitution was needed to prevent such intervention . . . . The laws would maintain order but would not touch the individual who behaved reasonably. He must pay taxes to support a smallish government and he must not interfere with commerce; but otherwise laws would do him neither good nor ill. The government of the Constitution was this kind of government. (Jerome Horowitz, The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, p. 90hereinafter cited as Elders)
In summarizing the differing attitudes toward the function of government and its consequent size, it might be said that under the Framers Constitution the government is small and has the primary function of protecting people from compulsion by others, while under the predominant modern world view the government is large and itself exercises major compulsion on the people.
The Attitude of the People Toward Government Officials
Another consequence of the competing world views has to do with the attitude of the people toward government officials.
The Framers point of view is similar to Doctrine and Covenants 121:39 which reads:
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
In the Federalist No. 51 James Madison points out the reason for all the safeguards built into the Constitution. He wrote:
If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 8)
Those safeguards against improper actions by government officials are what most of the Constitution is about, including limiting government authority, and providing a system of separation of powers, and checks and balances.
In contrast those committed to the predominant modern world view have great faith in government as a benefactor to supply peoples needs, to solve their problems, and as a general source of blessings, in fact almost as a sort of god substitute.
Even when they know of major deficiencies in specific officials, they seem to regard those deficiencies as unfortunate individual problems that do not affect their faith in government as a father or big brother concerned about their welfare, and to whom they can look for solutions to their problems.
The Nature of Man
Consideration of the difference in attitude toward government and government officials under the two world views leads to the next major difference that pertains to the nature of man, and particularly whether his inherent nature is to do good or evil.
The Framers world view with respect to the nature of man is indicated by their attitude toward government officials and the detailed provisions they developed to protect against their misuse of power. That attitude is consistent with Thomas Jeffersons famous declaration:
In questions of power, then, let not more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. (Ibid., p. 8)
Statements made in the Constitutional Convention and The Federalist confirm that the Framers orientation was in harmony with the scriptural point of view that mans inherent tendency is to do evil.
For example, when the brother of Jared approached the Lord on the question of light in the vessels they had built, he said:
We know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually. (Ether 3:2; see also Mosiah 16:3)
From the Framers point of view the answer to mans inherent tendency to do evil is not government programs but religious conversion. (Some Bible references familiar to Americans of our founding era include John 3:3-8; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:22-23 and 6:15; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 2:29 and 3:9.)
An especially clear Book of Mormon example of that concept is the peoples response to King Benjamins address when they said:
We believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. (Mosiah 5:2)
The early American recognition of the necessity for such a religious conversion to have a people qualified to be free is indicated in de Toquevilles report that:
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 27)
Recognizing the way Americans of our founding era could not conceive of liberty apart from Christianity helps us to understand the operative principle of our freedom system under the Framers Constitution
That operative principle may be compared to the fuel that makes a car run. Without it you may have an automobile, but it wont take you anywhere.
The Framers position was that since freedom involves the minimizing of government compulsion, the operative principle of the Constitution could not be political laws that can only operate by compulsion, because that approach would destroy the freedom they were trying to preserve.
They believed the only possible way for freedom to survive was to have a people whose inward religious motivation to righteousness was strong enough so they would tend to act righteously without external compulsion.
They also believed that the only way that could occur was through the peoples religious conviction, and especially their commitment to Christ. The operative principle on which the successful functioning of our Constitutional system is based is therefore religion.
This is the understanding behind John Adams famous statement:
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. (Charles E. Rice, The Supreme Court and Public Prayer, p. 47)
The fact that Americans of the founding era looked to religion as the operative principle of our Constitutional system is confirmed by the unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Holy Trinity Church case more than 100 years later in which the official reported opinion declared the United States to be a Christian nation. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 31)
While the First Amendment was adopted to prevent federal involvement in favor of a particular religious denomination, it was the Framers position that government should affirmatively encourage religious commitment in general. For example, in his Farewell Address George Washington said:
Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structurereason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 28)
Those oriented to the modern predominant world view believe the nature of man is to do good.
This leaves them with the problem of how to account for the history of the world which is filled with examples of what has come to be called mans inhumanity to man.
Rather than question their basic assumption that the nature of man is to do good, they explain mans contrary actions by insisting that the reason man acts contrary to his inborn tendency to do good is because he has been corrupted by his environment.
From their point of view the way to achieve a better society is by controlling the environment and using it to mold better people. The environment they refer to is not just the physical environment, but also the cultural environment. It includes capitalism, poverty and redistribution, education and religionincluding parents who might corrupt a child by teaching that their particular religion is true.
For an operative principle to make their reinterpreted constitution work, those committed to the popular modern world view rely on control through the compulsion of political law.
They place so high a value on use of government to provide material benefits, and to control the physical and cultural environment for the good of the people, that they gloss over the fact that their use of the compulsion of political law as their operative principle itself undermines freedom.
The Nature of Law
Those committed to the two world views also apply different concepts to the nature of law.
The Framers believed that just as there are natural laws in the physical world, there are similar God-given natural laws in the realm of government and human relations.
An interesting example of this position is the expression the Laws of Nature and of Natures God found in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
To the Framers the function of men in enacting laws was not to invent their own but to grope for and seek to discover and coordinate with the eternal laws of God on the particular subject.
That orientation is familiar to Latter-day Saints since it echoes Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.
There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
In contrast those committed to the predominant modern world view reject the concept that there are fixed, God-given natural laws that must be discovered and adhered to in the political and human realm as well as the physical world. To them proper human law is whatever the legislature decides to enact.
That attitude helps explain why so many of the laws enacted by those oriented to the predominant modern world view have unintended side effects that seem to be worse than the original problem they thought they were solving.
The Source of Freedom
Another area where the two world views differ is in their beliefs concerning the source of freedom.
As expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Framers believed that men were endowed with their freedom as a part of their creation by God.
There is a very significant consequence of this concept that God is the source of our freedom. That is that if we as a nation stop believing in God, we eliminate the justification for our claim that we have a right to be free.
Recognition of this consequence was clearly expressed by Thomas Jefferson who said:
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that those liberties are of the gift of God, that they are not to be violated but with his wrath. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 30)
Those committed to the predominant modern world view look to mens ideas as the source of rights.
Under that world view the right to be free tends to be weak. This is partly because mens changeable ideas do not carry equivalent authority to divine pronouncements, and partly because under that world view freedom is only one of a number of competing values for government officials to consider.
The Key to Prosperity
Another major difference between the two world views pertains to the key to prosperity.
The Framers believed that the key to prosperity is to be found in freedom itself. They accepted the ideas of Adam Smith in his book Wealth of Nations published in 1776.
The great principle of prosperity was expressed by Adam Smith in these words:
The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security, is so powerful a principle, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations. (Ibid., p. 117)
It was under this system that our nation prospered and we became the envy of the world for our prosperity, as well as our freedom.
In contrast those who hold to the modern popular world view are opposed to free enterprise. They focus on the bad things some people do when they are free and look to government to make everything right.
They dont seem to realize that government control undermines the very principle of prosperity, and that their trying to make everything right by government compulsion does much more harm than good.
Helping the Needy
Another major difference between the contrasting world views is in the area of helping the needy.
While the Framers believed in helping those in need, they felt it was best done voluntarily rather than by government that functions by compulsion.
An example of that attitude is this statement by Thomas Jefferson:
If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. (Ibid., p. 89)
The Framers considered the giving of aid to the needy to be a serious matter. While they felt it was a Christian duty to relieve suffering, they were concerned that using the compulsory power of the state to collect and distribute the aid tended to politicize it and make it much more expensive as politicians used it to buy political support with taxpayers money. They were also concerned about government aid making the recipients dependent, and souring the feelings of unity and brotherhood that should be fostered by such aid.
When aid is handled by government compulsion there is a tendency for the recipient to feel he is entitled to the aid, and not to feel grateful to those who give it. Also the givers feel resentful because they are forced to give, instead of happy that they have the opportunity to be helpful. All this undermines national unity and fosters ill will, contention and bitterness.
Continued recognition of these concerns more than 100 years after the adoption of the Constitution is shown in this extract from President Grover Clevelands message vetoing a minor welfare bill.
The Friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune . . . . Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood. (Ibid., p. 123)
The Framers also recognized that government welfare undermines freedom itself since a part of being free is having the right to control the disposition of ones own property. For example, James Madison emphatically said:
Government is instituted to protect property . . . . This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own . . . . That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has . . . is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. (Ibid., p. 86)
Alexis de Toqueville reported that in America even major societal needs were handled by voluntary associations of the people without government involvement. He emphasized that individual citizens habitually devoted substantial time and effort to forming and operating such associations. (Alexis de Toqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. II, pp. 112, 114)
De Toqueville also said that he was frequently told by such individuals that their efforts were not without a selfish motivation, but were based on self-interest rightly understood. (Ibid., pp. 129-130) De Toqueville himself commented that to the extent the efforts of such voluntary associations were supplanted by government action, an insupportable tyranny would follow. (Ibid., pp. 116-117)
Those oriented to the modern contrary world view see nothing wrong with using the compulsory power of government to take property from some to give to others, or the anti-freedom expansion of government to implement such policies, since they see government as a source of material benefits, rather than a protector of freedom.
They argue that private solutions cannot be the answer because the welfare need today is too great. But it should not be forgotten that the greater need has been caused by government programs that have made multitudes dependent. Furthermore, government programs have a built- in conflict of interest. To the extent those who operate such programs succeed in getting people off welfare dependency, they diminish their own power and influence, and may even work themselves out of a job.
The Meaning of Equality
Related to helping the needy is the concept of equality. This is another area of major difference between the world view of the Framers and the popular world view.
The Framers believed all men are equal in the sight of God and before the law as a result of their equal creation by God.
The implication of that concept is that there should be no special treatment because of who a person is. All should be judged by the same law, including those of noble birth or high office, or those at the lower end of the economic and social strata.
In other words the Framers believed in equality of judgement.
Since people have different interests, abilities, opportunities, and inclinations as to how hard they want to work, equality of judgement results in great temporal inequality.
The Framers regarded any attempt to apply what they called the leveling principle to take from some and to give to others as destructive of freedom and prosperity, since an essential element of freedom is inviolate property rights.
In contrast those who believe in the predominant modern world view speak of equality of judgement, but they promote the opposite principle of equality of result, that not only violates equality of judgement, but requires the application of compulsion and consequent diminution of freedom.
That diminution of freedom is accompanied by an increased bureaucracy with authority to exercise compulsion to enforce equality of result.
The Meaning of Freedom
The two competing world views also differ greatly in their attitude toward the meaning of freedom.
To the Framers, freedom was much more than inviolate rights to life, liberty and property. That referred to the benefit part of freedom.
But they believed freedom also included the responsibility of continual involvement in the political process to do all one can to insure that the freedom system functions as it should.
In contrast many committed to the predominant modern world view focus on freedom as the right to do as one pleases with minimal constraints.
They look upon freedom as an absence of responsibility rather than an increased responsibility
Gun Ownership and the Militia
Consideration of the meaning of freedom leads to another major difference between those oriented to the world view of the Framers and those committed to the predominant modern world view. With their focus on freedom, the Framers considered an armed citizenry indispensable to the preservation of freedom.
To them private gun ownership was not only an inalienable part of being free, but it was an essential physical means of preserving the other aspects of freedom.
There seems to be so much misunderstanding in this area that some historical clarification may be helpful.
The great objective in designing the Constitution was the preservation of individual freedom. The great danger to protect freedom against was the human nature tendency of people with authority to misuse that authority.
If that authority were misused in various ordinary lawmaking or law enforcing ways, political vigilance and political influence might reasonably be expected to deter or correct excesses.
But there was another great overriding danger that could not be so corrected. That was the danger that the federal executive or other federal officials might use the military forces of the country to take away the peoples freedom and establish what the Framers called a tyranny and what we would call a dictatorship. For example, in his biography of George Washington, Henry Cabot Lodge wrote:
There was throughout the colonies an inborn and a carefully cultivated dread of standing armies and military power. (Henry Cabot Lodge, George Washington, Vol. 1, p. 332)
How could that danger be protected against?
One of the ideas considered was not to have a standing army at all. The states already had state militias which were the people themselves who were supposed to be armed and trained and organized so that they could be called up very quickly to defend the nations freedom or maintain order.
Since the militias were the people themselves who would be fighting to protect their families and their homes and their freedom, that was where many felt the military force should be rather than in a standing army that could be used to extinguish freedom.
However, during the Revolutionary War it was found that on the whole the occasional training the militias had received did not make them equivalent to a professional army.
So in drafting the Constitution, the Framers provided for a professional army, but with various safeguards to keep it small and keep it in check.
They also provided for the state militias, which were the people themselves, armed, organized and trained so that if needed they could be added to the professional army, but who otherwise would be a superior force able to defend against the possibility of government officials trying to use the professional army to take away the peoples freedom.
That possibility was examined by James Madison in The Federalist No. 46 in some detail. In that essay he affirmed that if the President were to attempt to use the federal military forces to destroy our freedom, the armed and trained state militias would be able to defeat the federal army and restore our constitutional freedom system.
The importance of the state militias to the preservation of freedom itself is why the Second Amendment is worded in a way that has caused some confusion. It not only affirms the individual right of gun ownership as a part of being free, but it stresses the overriding importance of that right as essential to having a militia, which is the means though which the people themselves are empowered to preserve their freedom against would be tyrants, who might try to use military or police force to take away the peoples freedom.
Today there is concern over possible use of internal military or police force to take away our freedom and turn the country into a dictatorship. This is because there really are no state militias in the constitutional sense today. The militia is essentially the whole able-bodied male population organized under the authority of the state governments, and armed, equipped, and trained for defense of our freedom against real professional military forces. It is not either the National Guard or private groups of people who voluntarily get together for some military or other training.
In contrast to the world view of the Framers, those committed to the predominant world view have such confidence in our rulers that they dont seem to comprehend the possibility of federal officials trying to use our national armed forces to take away our freedom. They even seem to have difficulty understanding that the right to keep and bear arms is about preserving freedom, not about the sport of hunting.
Many mistakenly believe gun control laws reduce crime, not realizing that for every highly publicized gun tragedy there are a far greater number of unpublicized cases where tragedies are prevented by ordinary citizens with guns without a shot being fired. In fact, since criminals avoid armed citizens, banning adult possession of guns in schools and churches increases the likelihood of tragedies occurring in those places.
Significantly some-gun control advocates have admitted that they considered gun control laws to be important as steps toward the goal of disarming the American people whether or not such laws reduced crime.
That attitude should be viewed in the light of Norman Dodds account of information developed in the Reece Committee investigation in the 1950s that a dreadful national crime emergency would be created to induce Americans to give up their freedom on the ground that it is necessary to fight crime. That this plan is being carried out is confirmed by the tremendous gun control agitation over relatively few gun tragedies compared to the suppression of information about the far greater benefits of an armed citizenry in reducing crime as well as preserving freedom.
The Reality of Secret Combinations to Destroy Freedom
Another significant area of difference between the Framers world view and the predominant modern world view pertains to the concept of conspiracy against freedom.
While today it is popular to scoff at what is condescendingly called the conspiracy theory of history, it is clear from the Declaration of Independence that the colonists believed that they were the intended victims of a conspiracy against freedom. Most of the Declaration of Independence consists of a lengthy bill of particulars listing things the King has done that demonstrate that he is pursuing a deliberate plan to destroy the colonists freedom.
Bernard Bailyn, a history professor at Harvard University, after studying hundreds of pamphlets published during the colonial era, said:
In the end I was convinced that the fear of a comprehensive conspiracy against liberty throughout the English- speaking world . . . lay at the heart of the Revolutionary movement. (Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, p. ix)
The Declaration of Independence itself and Professor Bailyns conclusion are consistent with the world view of the scriptures recognizing the reality of conspiracies against freedom.
For example, in the Book of Mormon we learn that the Jaredite and Nephite civilizations were destroyed (Ether 8:21) and the Nephite Republic was overthrown (3 Nephi 6:28-30 and 7:5-6) by secret combinations induced and led by the devil.
The Responsibility of Latter-day Saints
In writing his abridgment of the Jaredite record Moroni interrupts his historical account and writes directly to us warning us of the awful danger we are in because of a worldwide secret combination against freedom in our day. That warning includes the statement that the sword of the justice of God will fall upon us to our overthrow and destruction if we let that murderous secret combination get above us. (Ether 8:23)
What do Mormons know about stopping worldwide conspiracies against freedom?
In Ether 8:25 we learn that the one behind the murderous secret combination seeking to overthrow the freedom of all nations is the devil.
In the 4th chapter of the book of Moses we have remarkable information about how Satan works.
In that chapter there is a description of a premortal meeting in which the Lords freedom of choice plan was presented. Satan objected to the Lords plan on the ground that it was unfair because it would result in inequality since under a freedom of choice system, the differing choices people would make would result in some of Gods children failing and some receiving greater rewards than others. He proposed a contrary plan under which everybody would be equal because they would be deprived of the freedom to make their own choices.
The real instead of the falsely promised result of Satans contrary proposal was clearly described by President McKay who said:
Even in mans pre-existent state, Satan sought power to compel the human family to do his will by suggesting that the free agency of man be inoperative. If his plan had been accepted, human beings would have become mere puppets in the hands of a dictator, and the purpose of mans coming to earth would have been frustrated. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 84)
President McKay not only clearly showed the falsity of Satans deceptively attractive premortal proposal, but he described with equal clarity how the same devil-inspired technique is used in mortality to destroy freedom here. After warning our people in America of those seeking to overthrow our constitutional government and set up a dictatorship in this country, he described their method of operating in these words:
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. (Ibid., p. 83)
When I first became acquainted with the Mormon Church I was surprised to learn that Latter-day Saints had so much inspired material on freedom and government and conspiracies seeking power and gain.
While the Book of Mormons primary mission is to bear witness of Christ, it has a major secondary mission of teaching about secret combinations, mainly by historical examples.
This means that the Latter-day Saints have an important resource of accurate information to give them increased understanding of both the reality and method of operation of secret combinations.
Another heavy burden placed on Latter-day Saints by Doctrine and Covenants 98:4-7 is to support only those laws that are constitutional. Likewise, it has been prophesied that Latter-day Saints are to play a key role in saving the Constitution from destruction.
How can they carry out those responsibilities when the experts cant agree on what is constitutional?
I believe the answer is found in a great revelation on the Constitution in Doctrine and Covenants 101 where in verse 80 the Lord says he established the Constitution by the hands of wise men he raised up unto that very purpose.
If the Constitution was established by God through wise men he raised up and inspired, then I believe we are justified in concluding that the Constitution is built on true principles, which are gospel principles.
When the realization comes to us that the Constitution is based on gospel principles, and that what is really needed to understand it and apply it correctly is an understanding of the gospel, we can feel a great sense of appreciation as the key to understanding and applying the Constitution illuminates and expands our understanding.
That key is that to understand the Constitution and apply it correctly it must be interpreted according to gospel principles. This means that Latter-day Saints who understand the gospel are a people especially prepared to understand and apply the Framers Constitution.
In that same revelation the Lord tells why he established the Constitution. He said it was to preserve every mans moral agency that every man may be accountable for his own sins on the day of judgement, and that one man should not be in bondage to another, in other words it was to preserve individual freedom of choice.
This is another application of the great foundation gospel principle of individual freedom of choice.
From a review of the ideas of the Framers we have discussed it is apparent that their world view is in harmony with gospel teachings.
It is also clear that the modern predominant world view is in opposition to the Lords purpose, and in fact is built on Lucifers anti- freedom compulsion orientation.
Latter-day Saints also have a helpful overall example of how the Constitution should function in correct operation. That is by using the law of consecration as a standard.
Like the law of consecration, the Framers Constitution can only function successfully if there is a sufficiently high level of righteousness and dedication among the people involved. It is a private property, free enterprise system in which those in need are helped in an organized voluntary way with practically no involvement by compulsion political government.
In promoting true constitutional principles and opposing Lucifers anti-freedom secret combination, it is essential that we always remember that the main battle that will control the overall outcome is in the realm of ideas. This is because the world view most of our people believe in will determine the system of government we live under.
More than 100 years ago, James Russell Lowell was asked how long he thought the American Republic would endure. Lowells reply was perceptive and true. He said:
So long as the ideas of the men who made it, continue dominant. (Charles Warren, The Making of the Constitution, p. 780)
Today the ideas of the Framers are no longer dominant and we are rapidly losing our freedom. We are now engaged in an uphill struggle to help Americans understand what has been happening and return to the ideas of the Founding Fathers. Since the odds against us are so great, I believe we have to be very careful to keep our efforts focused on the main battle which is in the realm of ideas, and avoid being diverted into engaging in unnecessary confrontational, contentious activities that tend to detract from our effectiveness in that main battle.
Understanding the importance of ideas gives us a deeper appreciation of the soundness of Joseph Smiths admonition to Latter-day Saints when he said:
There is one thing more I wish to speak about, and that is political economy. It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. (Jerome Horowitz, Elders, p. 193)
I hope and pray that we will valiantly and unceasingly go forward as dedicated servants of the Lord striving to make popular the true principles of our inspired Constitution, and to help people to understand the reality and method of operation of the worldwide secret combination seeking to overthrow our freedom.