Our Constitution & Our Government

The following is wise and prophetic counsel to heed, especially in this presidential election year


"The first basic principle is agency. The central issue in that premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed him stood for the former proposition- freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter- coercion and force.
The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer's primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments...
The second basic principle concerns the function and proper role of government... I believe that governments were instituted by God for the benefit of man... I believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life... In other words, the most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens... 
The third important principle pertains to the source of basic human rights. Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. We must ever keep in the mind the inspired words of Thomas Jefferson, as found in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The fourth basic principle we must understand is that people are superior to the governments they form...
The firth and final principle that is basic to our understanding of the Constitution is that governments should have only limited powers...
For the past two centuries, those who do not prize freedom has chipped away at our Constitution until today we face a crisis of great dimensions. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said:
Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.
1. We must be righteous and moral. We must live the gospel principles- all of them... To live a higher law means we will not seek to receive what we have not earned by our own labor. It means we will remember that government owes us nothing. It means we will keep the laws of the land. It means we will look to God as our Lawgiver and the Source of our liberty.
2. We must learn the principles of the Constitution and then abide by its precepts. Have we read the Constitution and pondered it? Are we aware of its principles? Could we defend it? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally sound?...
3. We must become involved in civic affairs. As citizens of this republic, we cannot do our duty and be spectators. It is vital that we follow this counsel from the Lord: '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)
4. We must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, and our advice. We must be wisely informed and let others know how we feel. We must take part in local precinct meetings and select delegates who will truly represent our feelings..."                        
 (Ezra Taft Benson, "The Constitution- A Glorious Standard", Ensign, September 1987)

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