Quote Category: ‘Honor the Law’

We are charged with the duty of sustaining and upholding the laws of the land. It is dishonest to intentionally violate the law. It doesn’t make any difference how one may feel personally about the fairness or justness of the rules which have been established by society, one’s duty is to respect and sustain the law. The commission of major crimes is condemned by nearly all such persons, yet some will intentionally violate lesser laws, such as traffic ordinances, without any sense of guilt.

Is it because of fear of the penalties of law that men observe statutes and ordinances? Is it only because of the great commandments “Thou shalt not!” that he keeps the moral code? I am of the opinion that there are higher motives – that most persons have a real sense of moral responsibility and duty. . . .

It is not fear of the law, it is not what others may think, but rather the sense of responsibility which causes man to live the higher moral law. He has his free agency, and most men know the difference between right and wrong and are willing to follow that which is right.

( Source: “Intelligence Quickens Knowledge”, Baccalaureate Address, University of California, Berkley, California, 7 June 1963 )

It is part of our religion to be good drivers, to obey the traffic laws, to support and assist the policeman, not dodge him nor dog him. Officers are public servants. We would have chaos without them. As people who honor the law, who believe in being honest, who believe in doing to others as we would have others do to us, we are duty bound to keep the law.

( Source: “Our Automobile Manners”, Youth Fireside Series, April 10 1962 )

As Latter-Day Saints we are supposed to honor, uphold and sustain the law. That is one of our Articles of Faith. We can hardly say that we will be Latter-Day Saints when we are out of a car and forget the rule of our religion when we are in a car.

If we are Latter-Day Saints, we should be Latter-Day Saints all the time, whether in a car, or on the football field, on the basketball floor, in the classroom, or in our own homes. Our religion is for all the time.

( Source: “Our Automobile Manners”, Youth Fireside Series, 10 April 1962 )

It was observed this morning that the government of the United States was the best or most wholesome one on the earth, and the best adapted to our condition. That is very true. And if the constitution of the United States, and the laws of the United States, and of the several States, were honored by the officers, by those who sit in judgment and dispense the laws to the people, yes, had even the letter of the law been honored, to say nothing of the spirit of it, of the spirit of right, it would have hung Governors, Judges, Generals, Magistrates, etc., for they violated the laws of their own States. . . .

I say again that the constitution, and laws of the United States, and the laws of the different States, as a general thing, are just as good as we want, provided they were honored. But we find Judges who do not honor the laws, yes, officers of the law dishonor the law. Legislators and law makers are frequently the first violators of the laws they make. “When the wicked rule the people mourn” (D&C 98:9), and when the corruption of a people bears down the scale in favor of wickedness, that people is nigh unto destruction.

( Source: Journal of Discourses 2:310-11 )