Quote Category: ‘Elections’
[Political and economic rights] are the things we are inclined to take for granted as American citizens.
The rights as listed included the right to worship God in one’s own way, rights to free speech and a free press, the right to assemble and freely to speak our own minds without any fear whatever. There are many countries of this world where you cannot do that today.
The right to petition for grievances, the right to privacy in our homes, the right to trial by jury, and to know that we are innocent until we are proven guilty. The right to move freely at home and abroad, the right to own private property, the right to free elections and personal secret ballot. The right to work in callings and localities of our choice. The right to bargain with our employees and employers. The right to go into business, to compete, to make a profit. The right to bargain for goods and services in a free market. The right to contract about our affairs.
These are an impressive list of rights which lay at the very foundation of the American way of life and preserve the dignity of the individual. Our constitutional government desires to serve the people, and basic in our beliefs is our fundamental belief in God and in the eternal principle of free agency, the right of choice.
What really prompted me to emphasize this principle is the presence in our own United States of influences the avowed object of which is to sow discord and contention among men with the view of undermining, weakening, if not entirely destroying our constitutional form of government. If I speak plainly, and in condemnation lay bare reprehensible practices and aims of certain organizations, please do not think that I harbor ill-will or enmity in my heart towards other United States citizens whose views on political policies do not coincide with mine. But when acts and schemes are manifestly contrary to the revealed word of the Lord, we feel justified in warning people against them. We may be charitable and forbearing to the sinner, but must condemn the sin. . . .
. . . There is another danger even more menacing than the threat of invasion of a foreign foe. It is the unpatriotic activities and underhanded scheming of disloyal groups and organizations within our own borders. . . .
Latter-day Saints should have nothing to do with secret combinations and groups antagonistic to the Constitutional law of the land, which the Lord “suffered to be established,” and which “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
And for this purpose have 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 101:77-80)
Of course there are errors in government which some would correct, certainly there are manifest injustices and inequalities, and there will always be such in any government in the management of which enter the frailties of human nature. If you want changes go to the polls on election day, express yourself as an American citizen, and thank the Lord for the privilege that is yours to have a say as to who shall serve you in public office.
The Saints feel dispose [sic] to exercise those rights which the Constitution & Laws of the United States guarrentee [sic] unto us equal with all other citizens in attending the elections & voting for whom we please.
I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike.