The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Freedom

For centuries our forefathers suffered and sacrificed that we might be the recipients of the blessings of freedom. If they were willing to sacrifice so much to establish us as a free people, should we not be willing to do the same to maintain that freedom for ourselves and for future generations? — Ezra Taft Benson (October 1987)

To the Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Constitution of the United States is as a tree of liberty under whose cooling branches one might find a haven from the scorching sun of turmoil and oppression and have his rights protected according to just and holy principles. To them, the Constitution was established by the hands of wise men whom God raised up for this very purpose, and they devoutly believe that if it should be in danger of being overthrown, their lives, if need be, are to be offered in defense of its principles. — Harold B. Lee (Ye Are the Light of the World 1974)

Our freedom to choose our course of conduct does not provide personal freedom from the consequences of our performances. — Marvin J. Ashton, General Conference, October 1990

Satan is an enemy to man and seeks to destroy his freedom and his obedience to the Lord and to keep man from developing his divine nature and godliness. Satan is the author of evil, sin, and wickedness, and we should not by our thoughts or acts love or serve him. — Bernard P. Brockbank, General Conference, April 1971

Are we not now seeing in our society today the lack of a responsiveness to teach these basic values? Are we not seeing a growing harvest of public and private crime, irresponsibility, vandalism, shoddy work, immorality and the lack of personal discipline? Because of our unwillingness to get involved in the preservation of these values, small, radical, Godless groups are literally stealing from us our rights to enjoy the freedom to choose our own value system. — L. Tom Perry, General Conference, April 1976

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church-men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution. — Ezra Taft Benson, BYU Speeches, 16 September 1986

All of us should ever keep in mind that there are some eternal principles more precious than peace, dearer than life itself.  Our revolutionary fathers sensed this, and their innermost feelings were expressed in the words of Patrick Henry: 'Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?'  Free agency, for example, is a divine gift, more precious than peace, more to be desired even than life.  Any nation, any organized group of individuals that would deprive man of this heritage should be denounced by all liberty-loving persons. — David O. McKay, General Conference, October 1951

The only way we can keep our freedom is to work at it.  Not some of us. All of us.  Not some of the time, but all of the time.  So if you value your citizenship and want to keep it for yourself and your children and their children, give it your faith, your belief, and give it your active support in civic affairs. — Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 405

May I cite two oft-quoted scriptures, and put some added emphasis on them: 'Verily, I say men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness (D&C 58:27, emphasis added).'  Another: 'Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold....' (D&C 98:10)  I infer from this that we have an obligation to be active in public issues, in civic problems, and to provide honest and good men and wise men to serve and give leadership on public affairs.  We shouldn't be sideline sitters. — Richard L. Evans, Conference Report, October 1968, p. 44

Human liberty is the mainspring of human progress.  The one great revolution in the world is the revolution for human liberty.  This was the paramount issue in the great council in heaven before this earth life.  It has been the issue throughout the ages.  It is the issue today.... — Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1962, p. 14

We have no right to expect a higher degree of morality from those who represent us than what we ourselves are.  In the final analysis, people generally get the kind of government they deserve. — Ezra Taft Benson, The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, p. 28

Samuel Adams, who is sometimes called the father of the American Revolution, wrote: 'I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends upon her virtue.' (Wells, The Life of Samuel Adams, 3:175.) — M. Russell Ballard, "Religion in a Free Society," Ensign, October 1992, p. 68

I think it is time we should all awaken. Our concern isn't about the flames of freedom which burn so brightly in our generation; the concern is that in the upcoming generation the fire has never been kindled. Our youth have never known anything but criticism of the United States of America. We need some faithful, free-loving patriots who will issue forth a clear, loud trumpet call. Remember Paul's counsel: 'For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare... to the battle?' (1 Cor. 14:8.) Freedom ought to ring in the heart of every Latter-day Saint regardless of his country. — Vaughn J. Featherstone, "But Watchman, What of the Night?" Ensign, November 1975, p. 8

Latter-day Saints, of all people, should stand firm in defense of freedom. Free agency has a special meaning to us. We know that without free agency there would be no progress. We all know that the gospel itself is based upon the principle of free agency. Yet there are some among us who have allowed themselves to slip to one side or the other, and they need to reorient themselves in line with the divine revelations we have received concerning the principle of freedom. — Mark E. Petersen, "Conference Report," April 1946, Afternoon Meeting, p. 168

That means it depends on us. If we would maintain the independence and freedom the Founding Fathers intended, we must work to preserve and protect the moral foundation upon which they built the U. S. government. We must stand boldly for righteousness and truth, and must defend the cause of honor, decency, and personal freedom espoused by Washington, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, and other leaders who acknowledged and loved God. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in the same predicament President Lincoln observed in 1863.

Said Lincoln:'We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of their own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!' (A Proclamation 'to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation.') — M. Russell Ballard, "Religion in a Free Society," Ensign, Oct. 1992, 68–69

The history of the people of ancient America, recorded in the Book of Mormon, teaches that civilizations are built on moral foundations; that when people are morally strong, they do well; that when they are morally weak, they suffer. It teaches us that freedom cannot outlive morality and that freedom is not free—it must be earned. — Royden G. Derrick, "Moral Values and Rewards," Ensign (CR), May 1981, p.66

The only way to avoid being deceived is to get the facts. There are people who would try to hide the facts from us and replace the truth with a falsehood. They want us to believe that America is a failure, that her system of capitalistic free enterprise is doomed, that she must remedy her failures by adopting theories of collectivized control. I recognize these voices. I heard them in forty-three nations which I visited in the past. I heard them often during my eight years in Washington. None of them came to me in the name of communism or even socialism, but they came. And while many of us fought them and resisted them on every front, nevertheless, it was alarming to discover how many others were willing to believe and follow. Why do otherwise loyal Americans believe and follow? Because these voices came from masters of deception. — Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p.405

A person whose life is characterized by ingratitude is, by definition, very self-centered, and when he thinks only of himself his latitude of choice is extremely limited. For him, life's constant injustices demand revenge, and the list of personal injustices is lengthened by injustices to others until the option of forgiveness drops off the radar scope. The ability to forgive others is truly one of our most precious personal freedoms, and when we lose that our agency is seriously curtailed. Certain nations in the world have very restrictive diplomatic policies dictated by the insatiable demand for revenge and quick retaliation in kind. They are in bondage to their own policies. — Spencer J. Condie, "Your Agency, Handle with Care," p.33

If there is an emperor, asking, a president, a ruler of any nation or people, whether a monarchy, kingdom or republic—that takes away from any of his subjects or fellow-citizens the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, he deprives them of a right which the God of heaven has guaranteed unto them. These are the sentiments of the Latter-day Saints. We believe in giving to all men freedom, freedom in spirit and action; we believe in religionists of every creed and faith enjoying the liberty to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, which right is guaranteed unto them by God himself; and the man or set of men that would deprive their fellows of this God-given right, assume a responsibility that they must answer for before the bar of God. If I had the power and control of the whole world I would never think of depriving any man, woman or child of this natural, this inherent right, whether their religious views were true or false. — "The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff," edited by G. Homer Durham, p. 189

Today we find ourselves engaged in a worldwide struggle to preserve liberty and tolerance, the foundations of peace in the earth. Let it be remembered that these were the very principles for which our progenitors have made the tragic sacrifices.... Every shrine of the Church is a monument to freedom and truth. There have been no more sincere and valiant defenders of true democracy than the Latter-day Saints. No higher concepts of the liberty of man, the Sonship of God, and the brotherhood of race have been given to the world than those which have emanated from the Prophet of the last dispensation. — Stephen L Richards, "Conference Report," October 1942, First Day—Morning Meeting, p. 23

Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying 'Look, don't get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel.' That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound. — Ezra Taft Benson, "Conference Report," October 1966, Afternoon Meeting, p. 122

Just as following wrong alternatives restricts free agency and leads to slavery, so pursuing correct alternatives widens the scope of one’s agency and leads to perfect liberty. As a matter of fact, one may, by this process, obtain freedom of the soul while at the same time being denied political, economic, and personal liberty. — Marion G. Romney, "The Perfect Law of Liberty," Ensign (CR) October 1981

Because the fight for freedom is God's fight. For free agency is an eternal principle. It existed before this world was formed; it will exist forever. Some men may succeed in denying some aspects of this God-given freedom to their fellowmen, but their success is temporary. Freedom is a law of God, an eternal law. And, like any of God's laws, men cannot break it with impunity. They can only break themselves upon it. So when a man stands for freedom, he stands with God. And as long as he stands for freedom, he stands with God. Therefore, any man will be eternally vindicated and rewarded who stands for freedom. - Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1967, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p. 59

Be loyal to yourself, your family, your God and church, your country, friends, and employers. This will assure you true freedom and independence and result in peace, great achievement, happiness, and eventually eternal life. It has been said by W. H. Murray that until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment one definitely commits himself, then Providence moves too. I know this is true. - Franklin D. Richards, "Conference Report," April 1969, First Day—Morning Meeting, p. 21

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