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Topic
The Constitution


Quotes

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.” (George Washington)


“I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security.” (James Madison, in letter to Henry Lee June 25, 1824.)


“It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go….In questions of power, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.(Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson struck out with all the force that tounge and pen could muster against trusting in human nature. Kentucky Resolutions, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, pp. 389-390. November 10, 1798.)


“On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter To Justice William Johnson, Monticello. June 12, 1823.)


“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” (Thomas Jefferson)


“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” (Thomas Jefferson, To Archibald Stuart in Philadelphia 1791.)


“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” (Thomas Jefferson)


“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, ME 10:173. September 23, 1800.)


The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we, upon many occasions see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions…This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so thoroughly persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 1)


“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independance, July 4, 1776.)


“Sound principles don't have expiration dates.” (G. Vance Smith)


“Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, ‘You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” (Wilford Woodruff, JD, 19:229. September 16, 1877.)


“Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1950.)


“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” (Joseph Smith, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City July 19, 1840.)


“I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on earth…Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the communities who interfere with the rights of the people on account of their religion. Its sentiments are good, but it provides no means of enforcing them. It has but this one fault. Under its provision, a man or a people who are able to protect themselves can get along well enough; but those who have the misfortune to be weak or unpopular are left to the merciless rage of popular fury. The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment; and then the president of the United States would not say, ‘Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.’” (Joseph Smith)


“I consider that it is not only prudential, but absolutely necessary to protect the inhabitants of this city from being imposed upon by a spurious currency…I think it much safer to go upon the hard money system altogether. I have examined the Constitution upon this subject and find my doubts removed…Article I, Section 10 declares that nothing else except gold and silver shall be lawful tender…The different states, and even Congress itself, have passed many laws diametrically contrary to the Constitution of the United States…The Constitution acknowledges that the people have all power not reserved to itself.” (Joseph Smith)


“And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.(Scriptural, Doctrine and Covenants, 98:5-7. August 6, 1833.)


“The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner;” (Joseph Smith, HC, vol. 3, p. 305. March 25, 1839.)


“According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and 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.” (Scriptural, Doctrine and Covenants, 101:80. December 16, 1833.)


Constitution So Far gone That Tremendous Dedication Required To Save It

“How urgent is it that Latter-day Saints commence their efforts to save the constitution? In the Spring of 1966 Clarence Manion, Dean of Notre Dame Law School and a constitutional law professor for many years, spoke in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. It was interesting to hear him begin his talk by saying that he had heard that the Mormons had a prophesy that the Constitution would one day hang by a thread, and they would be the means of saving it. Then he very earnestly said that if the Mormons are going to save the Constitution, they had better wake up and get going, because it seemed to him that it was already almost too far gone to save.” (Dean of Notre Dame Law School and Constitutional Law Professor Clarence Manion, The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, p. 198. 1966.)


“May the appeal of our Lord in his intercessory prayer for unity be realized in our homes, our wards and stakes, and in our support of the basic principles of freedom.” (David O. McKay, Unity in the Home - The Church - The Nation, Improvement Era, February 1954.)


“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” (Marbury vs.Madison, 1803.)


“Life, Faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws [for the protection of them] in the first place.” (Frederic Bastiat, The Law, p. 5-6.)


“It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices [as Constitutional chains] should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? ... If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. [But lacking these] in framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 51.)


“And that is what the Constitution is all about - providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change—namely, human nature.(Cleon Skousen, The Five Thousand Year Leap, p. 166. 1981.)


“Government is instituted to protect property of every sort.... This being the end of government, that alone is not a just government which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.… That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” (James Madison, The Complete Madison, p. 267.)


“No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact.... The legislature, therefore, had no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without a just compensation. It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of social alliance in every free government; and lastly, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.(Justice William Paterson VanHorne's Lessee v. Dorrance, 2 U.S. 304, 28 F.Cas. 1012 C.C.Pa. 1795.)


“If history could prove and teach us anything, it would be the private ownership of the means of production as a necessary requisite of civilization and material well-being. All civilizations have up to now been based on private property. Only nations committed to the principle of private property have risen above the penury and produced science, art, and literature. There is no experience to show that any other social system could provide mankind with any of the achievements of civilization.” (Dr. Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, p. 583. 1951.)


“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevelent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve thier fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.” (President Grover Cleveland, Why The President Said No, Essays on Liberty)


“To solve problems by peacful means was the primary purpose of the United States Constitution.” (Cleon Skousen)


“It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another.

“The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.

“The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, is one instance, may be the instruments of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.(George Washington, Farewell Address, Writings of George Washington, 35:228.)


“I repeat that no greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this republic and of neighboring republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.” (David O. McKay, Conference Report p. 37. 1950.)


“To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages. . . . So fundamental in man's eternal progress is his inherent right to choose, that the Lord would defend it even at the price of war.” (David O. McKay, Conference Repot, 1942.)


“There are those who would destroy the Constitution of this land; and there are some who would rejoice if they could overthrow this Nation, not realizing that our heavenly Father has given us the best government on earth. No loyal member of this great Church will raise his voice against the government, but he will be found upholding it; he will be found praying for those who have been exalted to the office of presidency and for those who make the laws, under the Constitution.” (George Albert Smith, Conference Report, p. 94-95. October 1922.)


“There are those, our Heavenly Father, both within and without our borders, who would destroy the constitutional form of government which thou hast so magnanimously given us, and would replace it with a form that would curtail, if not altogether deprive, man of his free agency....We pray thee that thou wilt inspire good and just men everywhere to be willing to sacrifice for, support, and uphold the Constitution and the government set up under it and thereby preserve for man his agency....We pray that kings and rulers and the peoples of all nations under heaven may be persuaded of the blessings enjoyed by the people of this land by reason of their freedom under thy guidance and be constrained to adopt similar governmental systems, thus to fulfil the ancient prophecy of Isaiah that '. . . out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' ” (George Albert Smith, Idaho Falls Temple Dedicatory Prayer)


“Now, there are many things that I might talk about, tonight, but I want to raise my voice to you and say, our Heavenly Father raised up the very men that framed the Constitution of the United States....Yet, there are those who go around whispering and talking and saying, 'Let us change this thing.' I am saying to you that to me the Constitution of the United States of America is just as much from my Heavenly Father as the Ten Commandments. When that is my feeling, I am not going to go very far away from the Constitution, and I am going to try to keep it where the Lord started it, and not let anti-Christs come into this country that began because people wanted to serve God.” (George Albert Smith, Conference Report, April 1948.)


“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.” (George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1924.)


“Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.(Scriptural, prayer offered at the dedication of the Kirtland temple. Doctrine and Covenants, 109:54.)


“We have no fault to find with our government. We deem it the best in the world. But we have reason to deplore its maladministration, and I call upon our legislators, our governors and president to pause in their careers and not to tamper with the rights and liberties of American citizens, nor wantonly tear down the bulwarks of American and human liberty. God has given to us glorious institutions. Let us preserve them intact and not pander to the vices, passions, and fanaticism of a depraved public opinion.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 23:65-66. April 9, 1882.)


“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 58, 1942.)


“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.” (J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 58, 1942.)


“A democracy is three wolves and two sheep voting on dinner.   A simple republic is three wolves and two sheep electing a committee to plan dinner.   A contitutional republic is a system of limited government in which no one has authority to plan dinner for others and in which the sheep are armed.”


“Constitutional Law today has become a fraud. A cover for a system of government by the majority vote of a nine person committee of lawyers; unelected and holding office for life.” (Professor Lino A. Graglia)


“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (John Adams, October 11, 1798.)


“...the Church has not found it possible to follow along the lines of the present general tendency in the matter of property rights, taxes, the curtailment of rights and liberties of the people, nor in general the economic policies of what is termed the “New Deal”....unless the people of America forsake the sins and the errors, political and otherwise, of which they are now guilty and return to the practice of the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and of Constitutional government, there will be no exaltation for them spiritually, and politically we shall lose our liberty and free institutions....We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from the underlying spirit common to Naziism, Fascism, and Communism, namely the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution, and would set up such a reign of terror as exists now in many parts of Europe....We confess to you that it has not been possible for us to unify our own people even upon the necessity of such a turning about, and therefore we cannot unfortunately, and we say it regretfully, make any practical suggestion to you as to how the nation can be turned about.” (Heber J. Grant, also J. Ruben Clark, Jr. and David O. McKay signed as the First Presidency, written during World War II Letter to the U.S. Treasury, September 30, 1941.)


“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.” (W. Somerset Maugham, Strictly Personal, 1941.)


“The powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” (James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 45.)


“Every law consistent with the Constitution will have been made in pursuance of the powers granted by it. Every usurpation or law repugnant to it cannot have been made in pursuance of its powers. The latter will be nugatory and void.” (Thomas Jefferson, Elliot, p. 4:187-88.)


“The purpose of politics, [our founders] understood, was to keep government in its properly subordinate role, thereby leaving people free to build a better and more civilized world.” (William Norman Grigg, A Better World, The New American, October 20, 2003.)


“It is the people, and not the judges, who are entitled to say what their constitution means, for the constitution is theirs, it belongs to them and not to their servants in office—any other theory is incompatible with the foundation principles of our government.” (President Theodore Roosevelt, 1912.)


“Any Christian constitutionalist who retreats from this battle jeopardizes his life here and hereafter. Seldom has so much responsibility hung on so few, so heavily; but our numbers are increasing, and we who have been warned have a responsibility to warn our neighbor.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 591.)


“The concentrating of these [legislative, executive, and judicial] in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic government.” (Thomas Jefferson, quoted by James Madison Federalist Papers, No. 48. February 1, 1788.)


“Do I not know that a nation like that in which we live, a nation which is blessed with the freest, the most enlightened and magnificent government in the world today, with privileges which would exalt people to heaven if they lived up to them—do I not know that if they do not live up to them, but violate them and trample them under their feet, and discard the sacred principles of liberty by which we ought to be governed—do I not know that their punishment will be commensurate with the enlightenment which they possess? I do. And I know I cannot help but know—that there are a great many more afflictions yet awaiting this nation.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, p. 141. July 3, 1881.)


“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist.” (John Adams, The Works of John Adams, 6:9, p. 280.)


“We 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.” (Scriptural, Doctrine and Covenants, 134:2.)


“I consider it…as subverting the fundamental and characteristic principle of the Government…and as bidding defiance to the sense in which the Constitution is known to have been proposed, advocated, and adopted. If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one.” (James Madison, Early in this country's history an attempt was made to enlarge the intended powers of the federal government by interpreting the Welfare Clause as a separate grant of power authorizing Congress to enact laws it deems desirable involving the use of tax money to promote the general welfare. This attempt was energetically opposed by James Madison, who is noted for the great part he played in designing our constitutional system.)


“A frequently mentioned objection to capitalism is the argument that free enterprise, without government intervention, does not adequately provide for the poor and underprivileged. But it should be remembered that the free enterprise system is the one system that provides the framework under which the poor can become rich, and that under it America has been the land of opportunity the poor of other lands have struggled to enter. Instead of having to build a wall to keep people in, the United States has the problem of multitudes anxious to sacrifice greatly to enter and establish their posterity in this land of freedom and opportunity.” (Jerome Horowitz, The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, p. 121. 1970.)


“We are bound to maintain public liberty, and, by example of our own system, to convince the world that order and law, religion and morality, the rights of conscience, the rights of persons, and the rights of property may all be preserved and secured.” (Daniel Webster)


“As originally interpreted, the United States Constitution denied government the right to regulate and control the citizen in the use of his property. Over the years the commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been so interpreted as to permit both the state and Federal governments to regiment labor, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, communication, finance and all other forms of economic activity. Today, if there is any limit on the power of government to regulate, no one knows what that limit is.” (H. Verlan Andersen, Many are Called But Few are Chosen)


“As the British Constitution is the most subtle organism which has proceeded from progressive history, so the American Constitution is the most powerful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” (William E. Gladstone, four time prime-minister of Britain)


“Let every loyal member of the Church look down with scorn upon any man or woman who would undermine [the] Constitution.” (David O. McKay, Church News, May 29, 1954.)


“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 governments 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.” (Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, October 1944.)


“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.” (David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1939.)


“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“Will the Constitution be destroyed? No; it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ‘The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At this critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:15.)


“There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, #78.)


“No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to.

“Let the National Government be entrusted with the defence of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself.

“It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Joseph C. Cabell Letters, p. 1388. 1816.)


“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Great Political Thinkers, p. 133.)


“The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.” (Samuel Adams, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, 1:22-23.)


“Government is not the answer to our problems — government is the problem.” (Ronald Reagan)


The power of Congress:
“The Congress shall have Power...To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water...To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8)

The Power of the Executive:
“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States” (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2) (The Constituion which describes the near plenary powers of Congress and the minute powers of the Executive concerning war and military conduct.)


“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801.)


“Shall we be such fools as to be governed by its laws, which are unconstitutional? No!…The Constitution acknowledges that the people have all power not reserved to itself. I am a lawyer; I am a big lawyer and comprehend heaven, earth and hell, to bring forth knowledge that shall cover up all lawyers, doctors and other big bodies.” (Joseph Smith, Latter-day Prophets and the United States Constitution)


“…he taught us relating to the Kingdom of God, as it would become organized upon the earth through ‘all nations learning war no more,’ and all adopting the God-given constitution of the United States as a Palladium of Liberty and Equal Rights.” (Joseph Smith, Latter-day Prophets and the United States Constitution)


“I believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss. I regard it as a flagrant violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution for the federal government to make it a criminal offense to use gold or silver coin as legal tender or to issue irredeemable paper money.” (Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, 1974.)


“When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, vol. 21, p. 8. August 31, 1879.)


“It is a firm principle that the smallest or lowest level that can possibly undertake the task is the one that should do so.… This is merely the application to the field of politics of that wise and time-tested principle of never asking a larger group to do that which can be done by a smaller group. And so far as government is concerned the smaller the unit and the closer it is to the people, the easier it is to guide it, to keep it solvent and to keep our freedom.” (Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 610. 1969.)


“Come, all ye lovers of liberty, break the oppressor's rod, loose the iron grasp of mobocracy, and bring to condign punishment all those who trample under foot the glorious Constitution and the people's rights. [Drawing his sword, and presenting it to heaven, he said] I call God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed my sword with a firm and unalterable determination that this people shall have their legal rights, and be protected from mob violence, or my blood shall be spilt upon the ground like water, and my body consigned to the silent tomb. While I live, I will never tamely submit to the dominion of cursed mobocracy. I would welcome death rather than submit to this oppression; and it would be sweet, oh, sweet, to rest in the grave rather than submit to this oppression, agitation, annoyance, confusion, and alarm upon alarm, any longer.” (Joseph Smith, the last speech to the Nauvoo Legion History of The Church, Volume 6, Page 500. June 1844.)


“If our Constitution, our laws, and the fundamental principles of our Government are to be trampled underfoot, it would seem to be high time that all honorable men should stand up in defense of liberty and the rights of man.” (John Taylor, Ecclesiastical Control in Utah, JT Papers, Volume 2, Page 300.)


“The people — are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” (Abraham Lincoln, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, p. 435. December 1859.)




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