Ideal Of Government Is Self-Government

Called Unto Liberty, 20th Century Sermons, Albert E. Bowen

So long as wrong is held in suppression by force, the force will still have to be maintained.

That is all basic in the teachings of Jesus. His ideal of government is self-government. His concern was for purging out of the human heart the ignoble desire supplanting it with worthy purpose. To this end He taught the principle of overcoming evil with good, of supplanting fear with confidence, of substituting love for hatred, of doing to others what we should like them to do to us, of being generous and unselfish and gentle and kind, instead of cruel and selfish and vengeful and insolent. We may withstand the invader of our homes, but so long as he has the will to invade we can know no contentment. A nation may repel the onslaught of a devastating foe but so long as the foe stands ready to strike, the nation may never lay down its arms. To maintain itself as a perpetual armed camp would be intolerable as well as impossible. Security and lasting peace of mind, the inescapable conditions of national peace and prosperity, can come only when the enemy has ceased to want to invade. This comes through teaching the better way, through soul-conversion that threat and force and compulsion bring no enduring rewards. In the end the way of the peace-maker and the meek must prevail.

In that respect the history of the world teaches but one lesson. No world conqueror has ever been able to perpetuate his empire. When the force that created it was no longer adequate to its maintenance, it has crumbled before the onslaught of the subject peoples who have nursed their grievances awaiting the day of retribution. The present attempt at swollen dominion is foredoomed to failure. It has within itself the seeds of its own destruction. It rests upon force and will be broken by force and in the end nothing but suffering will have resulted.


Source: Albert E. Bowen, Conference Reports, October 1941. Albert E. Bowen was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Return to “Called Unto Liberty” Home Page.


Called Unto Liberty is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.


The Moral Liberal recommends Ezra Taft Benson’s: The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner