What do you think of the Constitution?  Is it a heaven inspired document or something that is now outdated and is not that  important when compared to the other issues we have to face?  How important is it for Latter Day Saints to try and support the Constitution?

Here are some quotes you may find illuminating.

“You and I have heard all our lives that the time may come when the Constitution may hang by a thread. I do not know whether it is a thread, or a small rope by which it now hangs, but I do know that whether it shall live or die is now in the balance.

I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes, and, as one of the brethren said today, set up so that this Church might be established, because under no other government in the world could the Church have been established as it has been established under this Government.

. . .

I suppose you brethren will all know, but I will recall it to your attention, that the Constitution of the United States is the basic law for all of the Americas, or Zion, as it has been defined by the Lord.

You brethren from Canada know that, your great British North America Act, in its fundamental principles, is based upon our Constitution, and you know that in the courts of Canada, the reports of our Supreme Court, and our Federal courts generally, are just as persuasive as the decisions of the courts of England, and even more so, where questions of constitutional law and constitutional interpretation are involved.

You brethren also know that from the Rio Grande down to the Horn there is no constitutional government except those that are rounded primarily upon our own Constitution. In Mexico the revolutionary party which more than a century and a quarter ago rebelled against the king of Spain and established a republic, copied almost verbatim, and practically overnight, our Constitution, and made it their own. Neither Mexico nor the others to the South interpret their Constitutions as we interpret ours. They have different standards and different canons of interpretation, for their fundamental system is the civil law, while ours is the common law. But the great essentials of that document, the Constitution of the United States, which God Himself inspired, is the law of Zion, the Americas.

So, brethren, I wish you to understand that when we begin to tamper with the Constitution we begin to tamper with the law of Zion which God Himself set up, and no one may trifle with the word of God with impunity.”

J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1942, Evening Meeting pp. 58-59

I have often been taught that the Constitution was heaven inspired, but I have never really heard it taught that it is part of our religion and that it is also the “word of God”.

“President David O. McKay said on more than one occasion that the maintenance of constitutional principles was one of the most important tasks that members of the Church had before them. In an editorial in The Instructor in 1956, he said: ‘Next to being one in worshiping God there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.'”

Gerald N. Lund, The Coming of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971], 59.

The Church is unfortunately so very far from being united in “upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States”.  Perhaps the first thing would be to study it and learn what it means.

“If those who so carefully drafted the checks and balances into our Constitution could have looked into the future and seen what the Supreme Court of the United States would do to their masterpiece, they would have been dismayed. Through the process of supposedly “interpreting” the Constitution, the Court has twisted beyond recognition just about every conceivable clause to justify the transfer of all sovereignty from the states to the federal government, to broaden the powers of the federal government beyond any definable limit, and then to make it possible for all such powers to fall into the hands of the executive branch of government. We may still give lip service to the checks and balances of our constitutional republic, but the phrase is now quite hollow. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 265-67.)

We, the people, have allowed the government to ignore one of the most fundamental stipulations of the Constitution-namely, the separation of powers. In recent years, we have allowed Congress to fund numerous federal agencies. While these agencies may provide some needed services and protection of rights, they also encroach significantly on our constitutional rights. The number of agencies seems to grow continually to regulate and control the lives of millions of citizens.

What many fail to realize is that most of these federal agencies are unconstitutional. Why are they unconstitutional? They are unconstitutional because they concentrate the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches under one head. They have, in other words, power to make rulings, enforce rulings, and adjudicate penalties when rulings are violated. They are unconstitutional because they represent an assumption of power not delegated to the executive branch by the people. They are also unconstitutional because the people have no power to recall administrative agency personnel by their vote. (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, pp. 25-26.)”

Ezra Taft Bensen, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Bensen [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 613.

Are you listening?  What should we be doing about this?  The Church very clearly observes political neutrality and encourages people to get involved in the political process.

There are mass meetings on March 25th this year for both the Democratic and Republican parties.  There are other parties as well such as the Constitution Party.

There has been a lot of criticism by members of the Church of one party or another that a “good” member of the church should not be a member of one party or the other.  This is garbage.  The party platform of any party is a collective vote of the party members.  How can you change the direction of any party if you categorically refuse to be involved with it?  If millions of Latter Day Saints or the Christian Coalition or other groups chose to join the Democratic party, it might be possible to change the party’s position on abortion or some other moral issue that people feel strongly about.

The important thing is to get involved and do what you can to uphold the Constitution.

Comments Welcome

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