On to Sodom: Misguided Approach to Church and State

Called Unto Liberty, John Taylor: 1844, 19th Century Sermons

No one can be more opposed to an unhallowed alliance [between Church and State] of this kind than ourselves; but while we would deprecate any alliance having a tendency to deprive the sons of liberty of their rights, we cannot but think that the course taken by many of our politicians is altogether culpable—that the division is extending too far, and that in our jealousy, lest a union of this kind should take place, we have thrust out God from all our political movements, and seem to regard the affairs of the nation as that over which the Great Jehovah’s providence has no control, about which his direction or interposition never should be sought, and as a thing conducted and directed by human wisdom alone.

Either God has something to do in our national affairs, or he has not. If he has the oversight and charge of them—if “he raises up one kingdom and puts down another, according to the counsel of his own will”—if “the powers that be, are ordained of God,” then it becomes necessary for us, in all our political movements, to look to God for his benediction and blessing. But if God has nothing to do with them, we will act consistently—we will cease to pray for the president, our legislators, or any of our rulers, and each one will pursue his own course, and “God shall not be in all our thoughts,” so far as politics are concerned.

By a careful perusal of the scriptures, however, we find that God in ancient days had as much to do with governments, kings and kingdoms, as he ever had to do with religion . . . .

Certainly, if any person ought to interfere in political matters, it should be those whose minds and judgments are influenced by correct principles—religious as well as political—otherwise those persons professing religion would have to be governed by those who make no profession; be subject to their rule, have the law and word of God trampled under foot, and become as wicked as Sodom, and as corrupt as Gomorrah, and be prepared for final destruction.


Source: John Taylor: Millennial Star, Volume 5: 8-9, 1844. John Taylor (1808-1887), served as the third President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1880-1887).

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