The Basic Law of Zion

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

The Constitution of the United States is the basic law for all of the Americas, of Zion, as it has been defined by the Lord.

You brethren from Canada know that your great British North America Act, in its fundamental principles, is based upon our Constitution, and you know that in the courts of Canada, the reports of our Supreme Court, and our Federal courts generally, are just as persuasive as the decisions of the courts of England, and even more so, where questions of constitutional law and constitutional interpretation are involved.

You brethren also know that from the Rio Grande down to the Horn there is no constitutional government except those that are founded primarily upon our Constitution. In Mexico the revolutionary party which more than a century and a quarter ago rebelled against the king of Spain and established a republic, copied almost verbatim, and practically overnight, our Constitution, and made it their own. Neither Mexico nor the others of the South interpret their Constitutions as we interpret ours. They have different standards and different canons of interpretation, for their fundamental system is the civil law, while ours is the common law. But the great essentials of that document, the Constitution of the United States, which God Himself inspired, is the law of Zion, the Americas.

So, Brethren, I wish you to understand that when we begin to tamper with the Constitution we begin to tamper with [p. 76] the law of Zion which God Himself set up, and no one may trifle with the word of God with impunity.

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Source: J. Reuben Clark Jr., The Annual and Semi-annual Conference Reports of the Church, Volume 10, Section 42:58-59. 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.