There must be a return to consciousness of [moral] values. Every nation which has dropped out of sight can trace its downfall to the breakdown of its moral structure. There are no walls or forts which can protect a nation or a people from invasion but the wall of righteousness. France built the series of impregnable forts along its borders, but the Germans paid little attention to the Maginot line of forts, for there was an easier way in—through the flimsy veil of the countrys’ bad morals. China could never be safe behind the GREAT WALL or even one ten times as high and long and thick so long as corruptible officials have the keys to the doors through it . . . .
Our complacency and feeling of security toward honor and integrity in our teachings starts our children on their way to dishonesty and corruption. Are we doing all we can in our own homes? No public official goes to power other than through the legalized individual votes. Do we send to political office men because they are our friends, relatives, townspeople regardless of their honor and decency and integrity? Why need enforcing officers? In an uncorrupted world it would be enough to point out that certain speeds were dangerous to ourselves and to our neighbors whom we are commanded to love, and we would obey the rules without Officers and sirens and tickets. In order to preserve the game and the fish so there would be some for all, not only today but in years to come, it should be sufficient to Christian peoples, and especially to members of the Lord’s true Church, that there must be game wardens to watch us and enforce regulations. What a travesty that in a Christian community stores must employ detectives, officers, and plants have watchmen, banks must have police in their lobbies, institutions must transfer their money in armoured cars, and dark alleys and parks must be patrolled! Must we not return to fundamentals and teach our children that they should never touch anything which is not their own.
Source: Spencer W. Kimball, Brigham Young University address, 1958. Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) served as the 12th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.