Allegiance to Constitution Overrides Party Loyalty

Called Unto Liberty, J. Reuben Clark Jr., 20th Century Sermons

Now, I am not caring today, for myself, anything at all about a political Party tag. So far as I am concerned, I want to know what the man stands for. I want to know if he believes in the Constitution; if he believes in its free institutions; if he believes in its liberties, its freedom. I want to know if he believes in the Bill of Rights. I want to know if he believes in the separation of sovereign power into the three great divisions: the Legislative, the Judicial, the Executive. I want to know if he believes in the mutual independence of these, the one from the other. When I find out these things, then I know who it is who should receive my support, and I care not what his party tag is, because, brethren, if we are to live as a Church, and progress, and have the right to worship as we are worshipping here today, we must have the great guarantees that are set up by our Constitution. There is no other way in which we can secure these guarantees. You may look at the systems all over the world where the principles of our Constitution are not controlling and in force, and you will find there dictatorship, tyranny, oppression, and, in the last analysis, slavery . . . . Today, our duty transcends party allegiance; our duty today is allegiance to the Constitution as it was given to us by the Lord.

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Source: J. Reuben Clark Jr., The Annual and Semi-annual Conference Reports of the Church 10/42, p. 59. J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1871–1961), served as a mem­ber of the First Pres­i­dency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1931–1961. Prior to his full-time church ser­vice he was assis­tant solic­i­tor to the State Depart­ment, worked in the Attor­ney General’s office, Under Sec­re­tary of State, the author of the clas­sic study, the “Clark Mem­o­ran­dum on the Mon­roe Doc­trine” and U.S. ambas­sador to Mex­ico. Among those who knew his work best, J. Reuben Clark was rec­og­nized as the fore­most con­sti­tu­tional scholar of the 20th Century.