Quote Category: ‘Inspired Constitution’
“In harmony with our belief that the U.S. Constitution is an inspired document and that America has a special mission,” President Monson said, “the Deseret News will defend and promote the principles of the Constitution and the great freedoms for which the nation stands; indeed, it will promote the free agency of all mankind. We view ourselves as being not just in the newspaper business but in the communication business. As technology or public preferences change, our methods of communication may change, but at all times ours shall be a voice for the principles of our owner, for the canons of responsible journalism and for all other righteous and compatible interests and causes.”
The Constitution under which we live, and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.
I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.
I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.
I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew.
I am familiar, as are you, with the declarations of modern revelation that the time will come when the earth will be cleansed and there will be indescribable distress, with weeping and mourning and lamentation (see D&C 112:24).
Now, I do not wish to be an alarmist. I do not wish to be a prophet of doom. I am optimistic. I do not believe the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us. I earnestly pray that it may not. There is so much of the Lord’s work yet to be done. We, and our children after us, must do it.
On one occasion a journalist asked me about my belief regarding the Constitution. I replied that I felt it was inspired, that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were brought forth under the inspiration of God to establish and maintain the freedom of the people of this nation. I said it and I believe it to be true. There is a miracle in its establishment that cannot be explained in any other way.”
I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land [D&C 101:76–80]. I testify that the God of Heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has sent other choice spirits — even you who read my words — to preserve it.
May we pledge anew that the divine principles embodied in the divinely inspired documents that govern our country be written on the tablets of our own hearts. I pray that our eyes might be single to the will of God, that we might thereby bless our families and our country and that we shall, with increased devotion, work for less government, more individual responsibility, and, with God’s help, a better world.
It is my conviction that the Constitution of the United States was established by the hands of wise men whom the Lord raised up unto this very purpose.
The Lord expects us to safeguard this sacred and inspired document for the blessing of all of us and our posterity. If we fail so to do we will not only lose our priceless freedom but jeopardize the cause of truth throughout the entire world.
Another standard I use in determining what law is good and what is bad is the Constitution of the United States. I regard this inspired document as a solemn agreement between the citizens of this nation which every officer of government is under a sacred duty to obey.
The Lord raised up the Founding Fathers. He it was who established the Constitution of this land — the greatest document of freedom ever written. This God-inspired Constitution is not outmoded. It is not an outdated “agrarian document” as some of our would-be statesmen, socialists, and fellow travelers of the godless conspiracy would have us believe. It was the Lord God who established the foundation of this nation; and woe be unto those — members of the Supreme Court and others — who would weaken this foundation.
I believe one of the most serious mistakes a President could make would be to weaken the Constitution.
From the time I was a small boy I was taught that the American Constitution is an inspired document. I was also taught that the day will come when the Constitution will be endangered and hang as it were by a single thread. I was taught that we should study the Constitution. . . . I expect to continue my efforts to help protect and safeguard our inspired Constitution.
It is not, however, enough to be acquainted with the grave dangers facing these United States. We must also instruct ourselves, and others, in the great spiritual values underlying our divinely inspired Constitution and our American free-enterprise system.
The scriptures also tell about our inspired Constitution. If you accept these scriptures, you will automatically reject the counsel of men who depreciate our Constitution. If you use the scriptures as a guide, you know what the Book of Mormon has to say regarding murderous conspiracies in the last day and how we are to awake to our awful situation today (see Ether 8:18–25). I find certain elements in the Church do not like to read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants so much — they have too much to say about freedom.
I do not believe an American citizen can be patriotic and loyal to his own country and its God-inspired Constitution of freedom without being anti-communist—anti-socialist.
Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any earthly possession. As a United States citizen I believe it is guaranteed in our heaven-inspired Constitution.
I thank God for freedom — the right of choice. I am grateful for this great nation. Every true Latter-day Saint throughout the world loves the USA. The Constitution of this land is part of every Latter-day Saint’s religious faith.
This is not just another nation, not just a member of a family of nations. This is a great and glorious nation with a divine mission and a prophetic history and future. It has been brought into being under the inspiration of heaven.
It is our firm belief, as Latter-day Saints, that the Constitution of this land was established by men whom the God of heaven raised up unto that very purpose. It is our conviction also that the God of heaven guided the founding fathers in establishing it for his particular purpose.
The founders of this republic were deeply spiritual men. They believed men are capable of self-government and that it is the job of government to protect freedom and foster private initiative.
Our earliest American fathers came here with a common objective — freedom of worship and liberty of conscience.
They were familiar with the sacred scriptures, and they believed that liberty is a gift of heaven. To them, man as a child of God emphasized the sacredness of the individual and the interest of a kind Providence in the affairs of men and nations.
These leaders recognized the need for divine guidance and the importance of vital religion and morality in the affairs of men and nations.
Every member of the priesthood should understand the divine plan designed by the Lord to raise up the first free people in modern times. Here is how scripture says it was achieved: . . .
Sixth: Having declared America to be a land of liberty, God undertook to raise up a band of inspired and intelligent leaders who could write a constitution of liberty and establish the first free people in modern times. The hand of God in this undertaking is clearly indicated by the Lord himself, in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith in these words:
I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose. . . . (D&C 101:80.)
Seventh: God declared that the United States Constitution was divinely inspired for the specific purpose of eliminating bondage and the violation of the rights and protection which belong to “all flesh.” (D&C 101:77–80.)
Eighth: God placed a mandate upon his people to befriend and defend the constitutional laws of the land and see that the rights and privileges of all mankind are protected. He verified the declaration of the founding fathers, that God created all men free. He also warned against those who would enact laws encroaching upon the sacred rights and privileges of free men. He urged the election of honest and wise leaders and said that evil men and laws were of Satan. (D&C 98:5–10.) . . .
Eleventh: In connection with the attack on the United States, the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang as it were by a thread, and at that time, “this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” (Journal History, Jul 4, 1854.)
It is my conviction that the elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will, at the crucial time, successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of constitutional government.
To every Latter-day Saint, we have a tremendous obligation to be good citizens, to uphold the Constitution of this land, to adhere to its basic concepts, to do all in our power to protect the freedoms and the liberties and the basic rights which are associated with citizenship. The Lord has said even in our day, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, that we have an obligation. He has not only spoken about the Constitution being inspired, he has said that if we are to be good Latter-day Saints, we also have to take an interest in this country in which we live and we are to see to it that good men are upheld and sustained in public office.
Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. (D&C 98:10.)
Now that is a commandment to his Church and to his Saints. To me it means that we have a responsibility as Latter-day Saints to use our influence so honest men and wise men and good men will be elected to public office in the community, in the county, in the state, and in the nation. To me this commandment of God is just as binding upon the Latter-day Saints as is the law of tithing, or the Word of Wisdom, or any other commandment which the God of heaven has given us.
As I read that for the first time some years ago I thought, “What an indictment of corrupt would-be political leaders in many parts of the world — demagogues who deal in half-truths, innuendos, and falsehoods! Here the God of heaven has pointed out the type of men he wants elected to public office among his people.” It is not enough, my brethren and sisters, just to stand on the sidelines and criticize what is taking place, and to point the finger of scorn at some political leader. It is our job, our duty, and our responsibility to take an active interest in these matters, and carry out the admonition and the commandment which God has given us to see to it that men of character — good men, as measured by the standards of the gospel — are elected to public office.
So, today, I would like to throw out a challenge to the elders of Israel, my brethren of the priesthood, that we put forth an effort to prepare ourselves for statesmanlike work. The Prophet Joseph, as you will recall, had something to say regarding the important part which the elders of Israel would play in the safeguarding, if not the saving, of the Constitution of this land.
It is my conviction that only in this land, under this God-inspired Constitution, under an environment of freedom, could it have been possible to have established the Church and kingdom of God and restored the gospel in its fulness. It is our responsibility, my brethren and sisters, to see that this freedom is maintained, so that the Church can flourish in the future.
I am grateful for the Constitution of this land. I am grateful that the Founding Fathers made it clear that our allegiance runs to that Constitution and the glorious eternal principles embodied therein. Our allegiance does not run to any man, to a king, or a dictator, or a president, although we revere and honor those whom we elect to high office. Our allegiance runs to the Constitution and to the principles embodied therein. The Founding Fathers made that clear and provided well for checks and balances and safeguards in an attempt to guarantee this freedom to those of us who live in this land.
I am grateful that the God of heaven saw fit to put his stamp of approval upon the Constitution and to indicate that it had come into being through wise men whom he raised up unto this very purpose. He asked the Saints, even in the dark days of their persecution and hardship to continue to seek for redress from their enemies “According,” he said, “to the laws and constitution . . . which I have suffered to be established and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh.” (D&C 101:77.) And then he made this most impressive declaration:
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 101:80.)
It is gratifying that the Constitutions in many of the other lands of our neighbors in the Americas are patterned very much after this divinely-appointed Constitution, which the God of heaven directed in the founding of this nation. It isn’t any wonder, therefore, that Joseph Smith, the Prophet—a truly great American—referring to the Constitution, said,
“[It] is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 147.)
In framing that great document which Gladstone declared “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man,” our early leaders called upon a kind Providence. Later the product of the constitutional convention was referred to as our God-inspired Constitution. They had incorporated within its sacred paragraphs eternal principles supported by the holy scriptures with which they were familiar. It was established “for the rights and protection of all flesh according to just and holy principles” [D&C 101:77]. Later the Lord himself declared, “I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” [D&C 101:80].
We are grateful that thou didst cause this land to be rediscovered and settled by people who founded a great nation with an inspired constitution guaranteeing freedom in which there could come the glorious restoration of the gospel and the Church of thy Beloved Son.
Youth must never forget that this the government of the United States was established “According to the laws and constitution of the people, which (God) has suffered to be established. . . . That every man may act in doctrine and principle . . . according to the moral agency which (God) has 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.” It was to accomplish this lofty purpose basic to all liberty that God “established the Constitution of this land by the hands of wise men whom (he) raised up unto this very purpose.” (D&C 101:77–80.) Contained within the principles of that great heaven-inspired document is the message of this Church to the world in this fateful hour. Except the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and principles contained within the Constitution of the United States are inherent in world plans now being formulated, they are but building on sand and the Lord is not in that building.
The Constitution of the United States has been mentioned several times by speakers in this conference as the basis of wise decisions in fundamental principles as applied to all matters pertaining to law and order, because it was framed by men whom God raised up for this very purpose. But in addition to that inspired document, we must always keep in mind that the greatest weapons that can be forged against any false philosophy are the positive teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We would hope that we might be instrumental in developing statesmen — men not only with unsurpassed excellence of training in the law, but also with an unwavering faith that the Constitution of the United States was divinely inspired and written by men whom God raised up for this very purpose [D&C 101:80].
Teachers, hold up before your students the prophetic statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith — that if and when our inspired Constitution should hang as by a thread, there would be prepared, well-qualified defenders of the faith of our fathers, the elders of this church, who would step forth and save the Constitution from destruction.
May I voice a plea for all Americans to love this country with a fervor that will inspire each to so live as to merit the favor of the Almighty during this time of grave uncertainties, as well as in times to come. I would that all men could believe in the destiny of America as did the early pioneers: that it is the land of Zion; that the founders of this nation were men of inspired vision; that the Constitution as written by the inspiration of heaven must be preserved at all costs.
The art of printing along with the other inventions and discoveries which preceded the coming of Moroni and the restoration of the Gospel, had to be revealed before the Church could be established in the earth. The framing of the American Constitution, we well know, was by divine inspiration. And thus, revealing line upon line and precept upon precept, the Lord prepared the way for the restoration of His work in fulness in the earth.
The attitude of the members of the Church towards the Constitution of the United States and the fundamental principles of our Government has always been one of loyalty. Even in the days of our greatest tribulation, the Latter-day Saints have defended and sustained these sacred principles. Never have they lifted their hands or their voices against the fundamental principles upon which our nation with its liberty and freedom is based. It is well understood by all that the Constitution was given by inspiration of the Almighty to honorable and wise men raised up for this purpose. The character of our government has always been defended and sustained. The Prophet Joseph Smith, while suffering unjustly at the hands of officials who had sworn to uphold and defend the sacred principles of the Constitution, and who had violated their oath in the vilest manner, and who heaped upon him and his companions in tribulation cruelties which only fiends could inflict, wrote to the Saints to defend and sustain the constitutional law of the land and to be loyal to the fundamental principles of our government.
From the very beginning of this latter-day work we have been taught that the Constitution of the United States was and still is an inspired document. Such it was when it came forth from the hands of the framers. Above all peoples on the face of the earth the Latter-day Saints should uphold, defend and cherish this sacred document. It has been predicted that the time will come when it will be threatened with destruction, and when that time comes the true Latter-day Saints will rally to its support.
Our attitude should be based on the word of the Lord given us for our guidance until the time shall come when the authority of the Redeemer shall be fully established in the earth.
It is a part of our “Mormon” theology that the Constitution of the United States was divinely inspired; that our Republic came into existence through wise men raised up for that very purpose. We believe it is the duty of the members of the Church to see that this Republic is not subverted either by any sudden or constant erosion of those principles which gave this Nation its birth.
In these days when there is a special trend among certain groups, including members of faculties of universities, to challenge the principles upon which our country has been founded and the philosophy of our Founding Fathers, I hope that Brigham Young University will stand as a bulwark in support of the principles of government as vouchsafed to us by our Constitutional Fathers.
We should love the stars and stripes, and accept the constitution of these United States as divine. Don’t hesitate to stand on the right side.
As we celebrate the birthday of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, one hundred and eighty-eight years ago, let us catch the spirit of that morning and awaken appreciation for the blessings and privileges that are ours if we but remain loyal and true to the Constitution of the United States as established by our Founding Fathers. . . .
After the Revolutionary War was over and nine years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Founding Fathers met in that same Old State Hall to frame the Constitution of the United States.
The French historian, Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, while visiting in the United States, asked James Russell Lowell, “How long will the American Republic endure?” Lowell’s answer was: “As long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant.”
And what were those ideas? Two fundamental principles were: Freedom from Dictatorship and Freedom of the Individual! This goes right back to our free agency, which is as precious as life itself. . . .
. . . Do we realize what it means to have a knock come at our door at night, and to have fear because it is the police, then to hear a voice commanding: “Open the Door!”? One woman who was alone got just such a command, and, scantily dressed, was taken, not down in the elevator, but rushed down four flights of stairs, put in a black wagon with guards on each side and carried off to prison. She was innocent, but the door closed behind her and that was the beginning of a nine-year prison sentence. This is a frequent happening in dictator countries in this the twentieth century!
That is the kind of treatment the spirit of man rebels against; that is why we had the Declaration of Independence; that is why we had the Constitution of the United States drawn up by men who were inspired; and that is why we have the Bill of Rights, granting protection to each individual. The government was established to protect the individual; the individual is not a part of the State, nor should he be used as part of the State. The government is set up to protect him in his rights.
What other fundamental prompted these men when they framed the Constitution – “the greatest instrument,” said one man, “ever written by the hands of man”? I name it as Faith in God, next to free agency, or correlative with free agency. As an illustration, during the critical time when the representatives of the colonies were trying to frame the Constitution in that Old State Hall, Benjamin Franklin, the oldest man present, arose and stated his faith in an overruling Providence and in the power of prayer, and then said:
I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. . . .
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.
. . . However, the point I wish to make is that Benjamin Franklin emphasized that faith in God is a fundamental principle of the Constitution of the United States. I should also like to refer to a remark made by George Washington, who, following the establishment of the Constitution, and the acceptance of it by the thirteen Colonies, wrote this:
Of all the dispositions of habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. . . .
Actuated by these two fundamental and eternal principles – the free agency of the individual and faith in an overruling Providence – those 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, those who drew up the Constitution of the United States nine years later, gave to the world a concept of government which, if applied, will strike from the arms of downtrodden humanity the shackles of tyranny, and give hope, ambition, and freedom to the teeming millions throughout the world.
When the Constitution of our country is assailed, openly or subtly, 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 principles of government that were divinely established. . . .
There is only one way whereby we may enjoy peace and happiness, and that is by observing the law of our land, and by sustaining the principles embodied in the Constitution which was inspired by our Heavenly Father at the inception of this great government. So, as Latter-day Saints, we may know that no man is a faithful member of this Church who lends himself in any way to break down that organized system of laws that has been prepared for the good of all mankind. . . .
I say to you: Sustain the Constitution of the United States, and let not our voices be heard among those that deride or would violate the Constitution that is so important for us and for all men.
I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for his advice to us that we support the Constitution of the United States and maintain the liberty that we enjoy under it.
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.
During the great struggle for independence in the country under the leadership of George Washington, our Heavenly Father was preparing the way for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity.
He gave to certain individuals the inspiration to frame the Constitution of the United States that has been referred to in this conference, the greatest palladium of human rights that we know anything about. Under such a Constitution the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth one hundred nineteen years ago. . . .
Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his brother Hyrum (the great-great-grandfather of the man who sits at my left here on the stand and grandfather of the man who sits behind me in this congregation) died as martyrs at the hands of a wicked mob. They were sacrificed not for any wrong they had done but because they had sought to teach the truth and call the people of the world to repent before it was too late. The work has gone on and under the Constitution of the United States we have been permitted to carry on in this great land. We have been permitted to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our missionaries of course have gone all over the world, but I am speaking now of the United States of America. However, there are many people, many men and women in this land, some of whom may be friends or relatives who are misguided by the idea that the Constitution of the United States isn’t as fine a system of government as they have in Russia or Germany or Italy or some other part of the world, notwithstanding the fact that the Lord himself said that he raised up the very men who framed the Constitution of the United States and directed that the membership of this Church should pray for and sustain those who represented the Constitution of this land. I hold in my hand the Bible and can read the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses for the guidance of the people wherein the Lord told Moses what the people should live for and do. If those Ten Commandments had been lived up to by the people of the world down to the present time, this earth could long ago have been celestialized. But the people refused.
You know, and I know, that the Ten Commandments contain the will of our Heavenly Father, and I am grateful, not only for the civil laws but also for the laws God has given to us. I feel bound to conform my life to the teachings of the Ten Commandments. I feel equally bound to sustain the Constitution of the United States which came from the same source as the Ten Commandments. Unless the people of this great nation can realize these things and repent, they may forfeit the liberty that they now enjoy, and the blessings that are so multiplied among us. I do hope and pray that they will discover before it is too late that God has spoken again. Your responsibility and mine is to let our light so shine that others seeing our good works will be constrained to glorify him who is the Author of our being.
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.
It is pleasing to me as a member of the Church to know that our heavenly Father is interested in us, and in our government. . . .
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.
It is pleasing indeed, to me, that the Lord not only inspired men to prepare the Constitution but that he made record of the fact that he did raise them up for that purpose. In that particular we are peculiar as a people, for we believe that the Constitution was inspired by our heavenly Father. It is marvelous to contemplate what has occurred since that day . . . when wise men and great men gathered together and counseled with each other to bring about the document that is said to be the greatest palladium of human rights that the world has ever seen. . . . The Lord referred here [D&C 101] to the Constitution of the United States, and it is evident that he was looking down into the future; for he was preparing the way for the bringing forth of his own Church, and he called attention to the fact that in the preparation of the Constitution it was to be such an instrument that men would be required to observe it, if they observed his laws for he said, [D&C] Sec. 58, par. 21: “He that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.” . . . We are loyal to this country and to its institutions—and have evidenced that by sending more than thirteen thousand of our sons to assist in this great conflict: and mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who remain at home are giving of their substance. . . .
. . . The Constitution was so framed that every one might worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, and we see the result of it in the wonderful blessing that has been poured out upon this most favored of all lands.
. . . When our Father in heaven inspired men to write the Constitution, and give unto us the great charter that vouchsafed to us the liberty we enjoy, he did it in order that men might develop and be free, as the gospel of Jesus Christ intends that all men shall be. . . . They did not understand that underlying this apparent peacefulness, in this great land, there was a fixed determination that men should be free; that God himself had written it, as it were by his own finger, in the Constitution of our great government, . . . and then, when the time came, he inspired his sons to rally around Old Glory and, if need be, give their lives that liberty might be perpetuated in the earth.
. . . On this day, so near the anniversary of the birth of that great document, the Constitution of the United States, it is fitting that we should assemble ourselves together in commemoration of it. It is proper that the governors of the several states of this nation, and the mayors of cities, should call attention to it. On next Tuesday, in the city of Salt Lake, here in the valleys of the mountains, and I presume in other cities, but in this city in our public schools and high schools there will be delivered addresses to the children explaining to them the birth of the Constitution, and it will be brought to their attention in a more forceful way, perhaps, than it has ever been before.
These things are fundamental. The real purpose is that the children of men may learn to observe the laws of man, and observing those laws fulfill the requirement of our Heavenly Father to obey him and keep his commandments. So the government of the United States was begun under the direction of our Father in heaven, as declared by his own word of mouth to be an example unto the nations of the earth, and the liberties that we enjoy are pointed out in a most forceful way to the children of men. . . .
Today this wonderful land is not only a land of liberty and hope to us, but there goes out from these shores across the mighty ocean to other peoples encouragement in the struggle that they are making, that they may have something to do with the government that directs their destinies.
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. . . .
These principles are fundamental to our belief, fundamental to our protection. And in the providences of the Lord, the safeguards which have been incorporated into the basic structure of this nation are, if we preserve them, the guarantee of all men who dwell here against abuses, tyrannies, and usurpations. 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. . . .
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. (”Admonition and Blessing” 694-95)
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. . . .
. . . 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. . . . 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.
The Constitutional Convention met and out from it came our God-inspired Constitution — ”the most wonderful work,” said Gladstone, “ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”
The Lord Himself has declared as to this great document of human liberty, “I established the Constitution of this land by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose,” and He added, referring to the war it cost to gain us our liberties: “and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.” (D&C 101:80.) . . .
Thus we had set up, under the guidance of God Himself, a government that made of this land the kind of land Lehi and Jacob had foreseen and prophesied — ”a land of liberty.”
Every Latter-day Saint believes that Abraham Lincoln was raised up and inspired of God, and that he reached the Presidency of the United States under the favor of our Heavenly Father. . . .
The following quotation from Lincoln with respect to the observance of law is . . . worth repeating often:
“Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the revolution never to violate, in the least particular, the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor. Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be written in primers, in spelling books, and almanacs. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. In short, let it become the Political Religion of the Nation.” . . .
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” [TPJS 147].
And such the Constitution of the United States must be to every faithful Latter-day Saint who lives under its protection.
We honor the man that God honors. We honor Abraham Lincoln because we believe absolutely that God honored him and raised him up to be the instrument in His hands of saving the Constitution and the Union.
From my childhood days I have understood that we believe absolutely that the Constitution of our country was an inspired instrument, and that God directed those who created it and those who defended the independence of this nation. In other words, that He fought with Washington and others in the Revolutionary War.
The Church does not interfere, and has no intention of trying to interfere, with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of its members, under and within our Constitution which the Lord declared: “I established . . . by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” [D&C 101:80], and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever” [D&C 109:54].
But Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before Communism could be set up in the United States.
Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism. . . .
Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that Communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the Gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church.
Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist.
We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.
Sustain the constitution of the United States. The Lord himself has said that he raised up the very men who prepared it to the end that it might be an example to all the world. Do you believe it? If you do then sustain it and don’t let your voice be among those that shall deride and break down the things that are so important for us. This is our Father’s work. We are his children, heirs to all blessings.
The Latter-day Saints believe and have taught from the beginning that God raised up the men who wrote the Constitution of this country: that it was an inspired document, and that the Lord fought on the side of our revolutionary fathers.
The Latter-day Saints believe absolutely that the Constitution of our country was written by inspired men. We believe in upholding the laws of our country. We believe in being obedient to the laws. One of the Articles of our Faith [no. 12] says that it is our duty to do so.
The “Mormons” have taught, from the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the men who wrote the Constitution were raised up by God, and that it was adopted by inspired men. We believe in the inspiration of the living God, in the forming of our government.
All Latter-day Saints believe absolutely that the Constitution of our Country was inspired of God, and that he used wise men, noble men, as instruments in his hands for establishing that Constitution, and when any law is enacted and becomes a constitutional law, no man who spends his money to help men break that law can truthfully say that he is a loyal citizen.
I pray for the people of the world; not only for the Latter-day Saints, but I pray God’s blessings upon every loyal, patriotic man and woman that is endeavoring to do right, and to uphold the laws of the countries where they reside. I pray God’s blessings upon the President of these United States of America. I thank God for the loyalty and the patriotism of the Latter-day Saints. I thank God that we believe that the constitution of our country was given to us under the inspiration of the Living God, and that the Lord supported George Washington and the patriot fathers of this country. I pray that God will inspire us to continue loyal and true to him, to our country, and to its institutions; and that we may in very deed preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by our acts; that, as we grow in years and increase in understanding, we may grow in the power and ability to live the Gospel, that our example of integrity, of honesty, of loyalty to God and country may inspire others to investigate the message of life and salvation.
We thank Thee, our Father in Heaven, for the victory which came to the armies of the Allies, and we beseech Thee that that victory may lead to increased liberty and peace throughout all the nations of the earth. We pray for Thy blessing to be upon the kings, and upon the nobles, and upon the rulers in all nations, that they may have it in their hearts to administer justice and righteousness and to give liberty and freedom to the peoples over whom they rule. We thank Thee that thou didst inspire the noble men who wrote the Constitution of our beloved country, and we beseech Thee that the principles of that inspired document may ever be maintained; that the people may overcome selfishness and strife, and contention, and all bitterness, and that they may grow and increase in the love of country, in loyalty and patriotism, and in a determination to do that which is right and just. We thank Thee for this land of liberty in which we dwell, which Thou hast said is choice above all other lands. We do thank Thee, O God our Father, for the noble men who have presided over our country from the days of George Washington until the present time. We pray Thee to bless Woodrow Wilson, the president of these United States. Touch him with the healing power of Thy Holy Spirit and make him whole. We pray that his life may be precious in Thy sight, and may the inspiration that comes from Thee ever abide with him. We pray for the vice-president of the United States, for the members of the president’s cabinet, for the senators and congressmen, and for all the officers of this great and glorious government in every state and territory, and in every land where the United States bears rule. We also remember before Thee, all those who have been selected to administer the law in this favored land of Hawaii. We beseech Thee, O God in heaven, that the people of the United States of America may ever seek to Thee for guidance and direction, that Thy declaration and promise that this is a land choice above all other lands, and shall be protected against all foes, provided the people serve Thee, may be realized and fulfilled, and that the people may grow in power, and strength and dominion, and, above all, in a love of Thy truth.
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 . . . give[s] the lie to all the liars who are perpetually saying that we are opposed to this country. . . . We believe absolutely in the inspiration of God to the men who framed our Constitution.
That man Joseph Smith, when he stood as the prophet and the leader of the people, proclaimed that the Constitution of our country was inspired by God. I ask if intelligent people are going to believe that the Latter-day Saints, guided by a prophet who proclaimed that the Constitution of our country was inspired, are in rebellion against the political system of our country? I say that the statement is absolutely false.
It was part of the design of the Almighty when He influenced the fathers to leave the old world and come to this continent; He had a hand in the establishment of this government; He inspired the framers of the Constitution and the fathers of this nation to contend for their liberty.
I wish to say this, there isn’t a feeling in my soul, nor in any fibre of my being that is disloyal to the government of the United States or to the desire that we have in our souls to maintain the principles of individual and National liberty, justice and freedom that have been established in the Constitution of our country. I believe in the Constitution of the United States. I believe in the principles which that instrument promulgates — the freedom of mankind to do right, to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, freedom to pursue their way in peace and to observe and maintain their rights, their freedom, their liberties, and justly recognize and equally preserve and defend their rights, freedom and liberty of their neighbors and of their fellow beings — and of all God’s creatures. I believe that the Constitution of the United States was and still is an inspired instrument. The Lord God Almighty inspired the minds that framed it, and I believe it ought to be most sacredly preserved. It is worthy of the defense and should be upheld by all the people of our land.
The Lord Almighty has prepared the way for the coming forth of the kingdom of God in this dispensation by establishing the republican government of the United States; a government affording the widest liberty and the greatest freedom to man that has ever been known to exist among men, outside of those governed by the direct communication of heaven. It was part of the design of the Almighty when He influenced our fathers to leave the old world and come to this continent; He had a hand in the establishment of this government; He inspired the framers of the Constitution and the fathers of this nation to contend for their liberties; and he did this upon natural principles, that the way might be prepared, and that it might be possible for Him to establish His kingdom upon the earth, no more to be thrown down.
We thank thee for this opportunity to show our love for these heroes who have accomplished such wonders for the beloved United States, which was founded by noble and inspired men.
We look upon George Washington, the father of our country, as an inspired instrument of the Almighty; we can see the all-inspiring Spirit operating upon him. And upon his co-workers in resisting oppression, and in establishing the thirteen colonies as a confederacy; and then again the workings of the same Spirit upon those men who established the constitution of the United States.
We trace the hand of the Almighty in framing the constitution of our land, and believe that the Lord raised up men purposely for the accomplishment of this object, raised them up and inspired them to frame the constitution of the United States.
I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord. Another thing I am going to say here, because I have a right to say it. Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them. Would those spirits have called upon me, as an elder in Israel, to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God?
Thou knowest all hearts and art our witness that in the misunderstandings and differences that have occurred, the people of these mountain vales have been loyal upholders of the constitution of our country and those republican institutions which Thou didst inspire the fathers of the nation to institute and establish. We desire, our Father, to maintain them inviolate. And now that we have acquired, through Thy blessing, the power to aid in their preservation, we pray Thee to bless us so to do and to secure that liberty to others which we prize for ourselves.
We declare that there is nothing in the ceremony of the Endowment, or in any doctrine, tenet, obligation or injunction of this Church, either private or public, which is hostile or intended to be hostile to the Government of the United States. On the contrary, its members are under divine commandment to revere the Constitution as a heaven-inspired instrument and obey as supreme all laws made in pursuance of its provisions.
As far as constitutional liberty is concerned, I will say, the God of heaven has raised up our nation, as foretold by His Prophets generations ago. . . . It is also well known how our forefathers found a home and an asylum in this land from the hand of persecution, and how they planted here the tree of liberty and jealously guarded it from the attempt of the mother country to uproot and destroy it. The hand of God was in this; and it is through the intervention of His providence that we enjoy to-day the freest and most independent government the world ever saw. And what was the object of this? It was to prepare the way for the building up of the kingdom of God in this the last dispensation of the fullness of times; and as long as the principles of constitutional liberty shall be maintained upon this land, blessings will attend the nation.
I feel to bear my testimony to these things. They are true. God is with this people. And we say to our nation — maintain the Constitution and we are satisfied. Give us the rights of that Constitution and we are satisfied. It is an instrument inspired by the power of God. Our forefathers were inspired when they framed it. Yet it is marvelous to reflect upon some principles that have been laid down — perhaps I ought not to allude to these things, but I am only expressing my own reflections — even by the supreme court of the United States. In effect it has said that we may think as we please, but must not act. I would ask, in the name of the Lord, was that all Thomas Jefferson, and others had in their minds when they framed the clause in reference to religious liberty? What about men acting? If it was only intended that men should think and not act, why not say so in the instrument? Why should it be stated that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” [U.S. Constitution Amendment I] if men were not to be allowed to act? Why, in the exercise of their religion, men must act: and it is straining points, it is overstepping the bounds of the Constitution to pass laws taking away the rights and privileges of any people because of their religion — because they happen to differ from their neighbors. Where will such a course land our government? I will tell you what it will do. It will rend the government in twain like unto a potter’s vessel. It will lay the nation in the dust. It will overthrow the government. When they get through with the Mormons there will be somebody else to deal with. The Constitution is good enough for anybody. It is good enough for the Latter-day Saints. We have no principles but what are in accord with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of God. We are perfectly willing to trust ourselves and our interests in the hands of God, and to leave our nation in His hands also; for God will judge our nation; He will judge us; He will judge all the children of men and He will judge righteous judgment. What men sow they will reap. What measure they mete, it shall be measured to them again.
I pray God to bless this nation. I pray God to give our legislators wisdom, that they may maintain the Constitutional principles of the government, the only government on the face of God’s earth where the Lord could have established His Church and Kingdom.
We have an anxiety to honor God and keep His commandments, and to honor our country and the Constitution of our Government. That Constitution we believe was given by revelation, and whatever laws are passed agreeable to it we desire to honor. It guarantees to all men the right to enjoy their religion, to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.
We live in a government raised up by the God of heaven. We have a constitution that was given by inspiration from God to man. I believe it is the best human form of government that was ever given to the human family. Now, I say if our rulers and governors become corrupt and attempt to trample those principles under their feet; though the nation itself might go to pieces, yet it is beyond the power of man to destroy the principles of the constitution. They may destroy one another, yet the principles contained in that instrument will live, and the God of heaven will maintain them until Jesus Christ comes in the clouds of heaven to set up His throne in Jerusalem, and to reign on the earth a thousand years.
But O!! America America!! whose land is choice above that of all the footstool of God, whose constitution was framed by the Spirit of inspiration & whose Government was established by the hand of Omnipotent power.
It was through and by the power of God, that the fathers of this country framed the Declaration of Independence, and also that great palladium of human rights, the Constitution of the United States. There is nothing of a bigoted, narrow-contracted feeling about that instrument; it is broad and comprehensive.
Do not permit any of these abuses with which we have to cope, to tempt you to retaliate in kind, or to violate any Constitutional law of the land. You will remember that Joseph Smith has said that that sacred instrument was given by inspiration of God, and it becomes our bounden duty to sustain it in all its provisions. . . .
During the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith he predicted that the time would come when it would devolve upon the Latter-day Saints to uplift, defend and maintain the Constitution of the United States. Recent events in our Territory have given great significance to this prediction, and have brought it forcibly to the minds of all who have heard concerning it. These events appear to be forcing us into the exact position so plainly described by the Prophet through the spirit of prophecy. Attempts are now being made to destroy our rights under the Constitution, and to effect this, that instrument — which the Prophet Joseph Smith said was given by inspiration of God — is being trampled upon by those who should be its administrators and guardians. This compels us to contend for constitutional principles. We must uphold them to the best of our ability. An attack has been made upon our religion, and it appears to be determined that we shall either abandon it or be visited with the most severe pains and penalties. Under the cover of this attack upon the principle of patriarchal marriage, we are denied the most of the rights which belong to freemen, and which our ancestors enjoyed for ages before even they were enunciated in writing in the Constitution of the United States. For proof of this we need but refer to our right to be tried only by a jury of our peers — a right which men of our race have enjoyed from the most remote times. Our religion is made the pretext for this deprivation of rights, and for bitter threats against the few remaining liberties which we possess. To preserve these liberties, and to regain the rights of which we are already unjustly deprived, we must contend earnestly, manfully, legally and constitutionally.
. . . We have rights under the Constitution, and however much these may be denied to us, it is still our bounden duty to contend for them, not only in behalf of ourselves, but for all our fellow citizens and for our posterity, and for humanity generally throughout the world. Were we to do less than this, we would fail in performing the mission assigned to us, and be recreant to the high trust which God has reposed in us. . . .
. . . And while we at present are in circumstances that are painful, and that have been brought about by the action of inconsiderate, unreflecting and, in many instances, wicked and unscrupulous men, some of whom are officials, yet we have never felt like wavering in our fidelity to our government, nor like ignoring the principles of equal rights guaranteed by that sacred palladium of human liberty—the Constitution of the United States. . . .
We repeat, that we desire that all men should be aware of the fact that we have been the upholders of the Constitution and laws enacted in pursuance of that sacred instrument. We still entertain the same patriotic disposition, and propose to continue acting in conformity with it to the last. Neither have we any desire to come in active conflict even with statutes that we deem opposed to the Constitution both in letter and spirit. . . . Were we to make such a surrender, our conduct in that respect would not be in harmony with the guaranties [sic] of the Constitution, which we are in duty bound to uphold.
Have we been opposed to the United States? No! no! no! We never have and we are at the defiance of all men to prove anything of the kind. There are falsehoods set afoot by low, degraded, unprincipled men. We believe that the Constitution of the United States was given by inspiration of God. And why? Because it is one of those instruments which proclaims liberty throughout the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof [Lev 25:10]. And it was because of those noble sentiments, and the promulgation of those principles which were given by God to man, we believe that it was given by the inspiration of the Almighty. We have always esteemed it in this light, and it was so declared by Joseph Smith. Did we do any wrong in coming here in the way we did? I think not. Did we transgress any of the laws of the nations we left? I think not. We gathered together simply because we were told there was a Zion to be built up.
Again in regard to political matters, where is there a nation to-day, under the face of the whole heavens that is under the guidance and direction of the Lord in the management of their public affairs? You cannot find one. It is true that the founders of this nation, as a preliminary step for the introduction of more correct principles and that liberty and the rights of man might be recognized, and that all men might become equal before the law of the land, had that great palladium of liberty, the Constitution of the United States, framed. This was the entering wedge for the introduction of a new era, and in it were introduced principles for the birth and organization of a new world. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that “The Constitution of the United States was given by the inspiration of God.” But good, virtuous and holy principles may be perverted by corrupt and wicked men. The Lord was opposed by Satan, Jesus had his Judas, and this nation abounds with traitors who ignore that sacred palladium of liberty and seek to trample it under foot. Joseph Smith said they would do so, and that when deserted by all, the elders of Israel would rally around its shattered fragments and save and preserve it inviolate. But even this, good as it was, was not a perfect instrument; it was one of those stepping stones to a future development in the progress of a man to the intelligence and light, the power and union that God alone can impart to the human family. And while we acknowledge, as citizens of the United States, the laws and institutions thereof (which by the way are very easily complied with), we have a higher law, more noble principles, ideas that are more elevated and expansive; principles that reach to the whole human family, and which he will continue to reveal to us. Does that prevent us from obeying the laws of the land? Certainly not. But then, is that a perfect system? I do not think that many of you will say it is, nor do I think that the people of the United States of any political party will tell you it is. . . . We are united, then, as a body politic, as an integral part of this Government, and it becomes our duty to submit to the laws and institutions of that Government — to all that are constitutional, framed and based upon correct principles, and not in violation of what the fathers of the country instituted.
Under a government just and equitable . . . this country flourished, following the arts of industry and peace, as no nation ever did before. . . . She prospered under the direction, the guidance and protection of the Constitution. Well might Joseph Smith exclaim, “It was given by inspiration of God.” In such a condition, surrounded by so many blessings, what might have been her destiny?
And why should we feel ashamed to acknowledge that those patriots and statesmen who framed the Constitution of the United States were led by inspiration? It is an honor to any man or group of men to seek the inspiration of the Almighty. It is a greater honor to receive it.
The Constitution of the United States has ever been respected and honored by us. We consider it one of the best national instruments ever formed. Nay, further, Joseph Smith in his day said it was given by inspiration of God. We have ever stood by it, and we expect when the fanaticism of false, blatant friends shall have torn it shred from shred, to stand by the shattered ruins and uphold the broken, desecrated remnants of our country’s institutions in all their primitive purity and pristine glory.
We believe that our fathers were inspired to write the Constitution of the United States, and that it is in instrument, full, lucid, and comprehensive; that it was dictated by a wise and foreseeing policy, and does honor to the heads and hearts of its framers; that it is the great bulwark of American liberty; and that the strict and implicit observance of which is the only safeguard of this mighty nation. We therefore rest ourselves under its ample folds.
That people (the Latter-day Saints), whom the very great majority have striven to obliterate, will step forward and continue to honor the Heaven-inspired Constitution bequeathed to us so rich a legacy by our forefathers.
I want to say to every man, the Constitution of the United States, as formed by our fathers, was dictated, was revealed, was put into their hearts by the Almighty, who sits enthroned in the midst of the heavens; although unknown to them, it was dictated by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, it is as good as I could ask for.
We are more indifferent in regard to this subject in a religious than in a political sense, for, whether we are organized in a Territorial or State capacity, Government is bound to protect us in the rights of conscience, or over-ride plain Constitutional guarantees. And no intelligent person holds in very high estimation that union which is hourly endangered by the frenzied zeal of rampant, misguided, and fanatical demagogues, who trample that heaven-inspired instrument—the Constitution—into the dust, and regard neither their fathers’ legacy nor their children’s inheritance.
To accuse us of being unfriendly to the Government, is to accuse us of hostility to our religion, for no item of inspiration is held more sacred with us than the Constitution under which she acts. As a religious society, we, in common with all other denominations, claim its protection; whether our people are located in the other states or territories, as thousands of them are, or in this territory, it is held as a shield to protect the dearest boon of which man is susceptible—his religious views and sentiments.
. . . She [the government] has calmly looked on and permitted one of the fundamental and dearest provisions of the Constitution to be broken; she has permitted us to be driven and trampled under foot with impunity. Under these circumstances what course is left for us to pursue? I answer that, instead of seeking to destroy the very best government in the world, as seems to be the fears of some, we, like all other good citizens, should seek to place these men in power who will feel the obligations and responsibilities they are under to a mighty people; who would feel, and realize the important trusts reposed in them by the voice of the people who call them to administer law under the solemn sanction of an oath of fidelity to that heaven inspired instrument, to the inviolate preservation of which we look for the perpetuity of our free institutions.
In this view we consider that the men of 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, who might also have been led to those aggressive acts, for aught we know, to bring to pass the purposes of God in this establishing a new government upon a principle of greater freedom, a basis of self-government allowing the free exercise of religious worship.
It was the voice of the Lord inspiring all those worthy men who bore influence in those trying times, not only to go forth in battle, but to exercise wisdom in council, fortitude, courage, and endurance in the tented field, as well as subsequently to form and adopt those wise and efficient measures which secured to themselves, and suceeding [sic] generations, the blessing of a free, and independent government. This government, so formed, has been blessed by the Almighty until she spreads her sails in every sea, and her power is felt in every land.
The American Government is second to none in the world in influence, and power, and far before all others in liberal, and free institutions. Under its benign influence the poor, down trodden masses of the old world can find an asylum where they can enjoy the blessings of peace, and freedom, no matter to what caste or religious sect they belong, or are disposed to favor, or whether they are disposed to favor any, or none at all. It was in this government, formed by men inspired of God, although at the time they knew it not, after it was firmly established in the seat of power and influence, where liberty of conscience, and the free exercise of religious worship were a fundamental principle guaranteed in the Constitution, and interwoven with all the feelings, traditions, and sympathies of the people, that the Lord sent forth His angel to reveal the truths of heaven as in times past, even as in ancient days. This should have been hailed as the greatest blessing which could have been bestowed upon any nation, kindred, tongue, or people. It should have been received with hearts of gratitude and gladness, praise and thanksgiving. . . .
. . . No! Whenever the iron hand of oppression, and persecution has fallen upon this people, our opposers have broken their own laws, set at defiance, and trampled under foot every principle of equal rights, justice, and liberty found written in that rich legacy of our fathers, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. . . .
. . . And should it not be the duty, as well as the pride, of every American citizen to extend that provision of the CONSTITUTION to us which he claims for himself? And is not that sacred instrument invaded, and broken as much in debarring, and excluding this people from its privileges, rights, and blessings, as it would be if your rights, and privileges were thus invaded? No, gentlemen, we have broken no laws, our Glorious CONSTITUTION guarantees unto us, all that we claim. Under its broad folds, in its obvious meaning, and intents, we are safe, and can always rejoice in peace. All that we have ever claimed, or wish to, on the part of the government, is the just administration of the powers, and privileges of the National Compact.
It is yet in the power of the people of the United States to lay a foundation to redeem themselves from the growing consequences of past errors. What would be the result, were the United States to take this course—viz., to strike out that clause in the Constitution that limits the services of a President to four years, or the term of service of any good man, and continue to revise the Constitution and laws as they become familiar with their defects; then reduce the salaries of all officers in all the departments? . . .
The General Constitution of our country is good, and a wholesome government could be framed upon it, for it was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty; he moved upon Columbus to launch forth upon the trackless deep to discover the American Continent; he moved upon the signers of the Declaration of Independence; and he moved upon Washington to fight and conquer, in the same way as he moved upon ancient and modern Prophets, each being inspired to accomplish the particular work he was called to perform in the times, seasons, and dispensations of the Almighty. God’s purpose, in raising up these men and inspiring them with daring sufficient to surmount every opposing power, was to prepare the way for the formation of a true Republican government. They laid its foundation; but when others came to build upon it, they reared a superstructure far short of their privileges, if they had walked uprightly as they should have done.