A Covenant With God to Obey the Constitution

Anthony W. Ivins
Anthony W. Ivins

Called Unto Liberty, 20th Century Sermons, Anthony W. Ivins

It appears to me that three things are more responsible than all else for our present condition. The first is the unusual disposition upon the part of many of the citizens of our country to disregard the obligation of obedience to civil law. I do not need to quote these notes that I have here to show you that in the opinion of the best thinkers of our country, chaos hangs over it unless something can be done to restrain crime and the open violation of law which exists in the United States today. Criminals sit upon juries where their own friends are being tried, while business men and others who should be there decline or avoid such service. Murder is committed in the light of day. Murderers and thieves are released from jail or from courts by habeas corpus many times before the prisoner ever reaches the bar of justice. Lawlessness is in every city of the land. Wicked men go out in the darkness at night like animals of prey, here in our own city, seeking whom they might devour, preying upon the innocent and unprotected. The officers of the law do the best they can to prevent it. We who are citizens pay too little attention to it and give them too little support. Just as long as prominent men in our nation, bankers, merchants, business men, congressmen and legislators ignore the law themselves, how can they expect that this condition can be overcome? Do I exaggerate when I say that men are elected to office who are unworthy, and never should have been chosen? Every man who goes to the Congress of the United States holds up his hand and covenants with God that he will obey the Constitution of our country, and then frequently he goes right out and violates it. It applies to men who are sent up to our legislature. They enter into that covenant and then disregard it. I know how I should feel if I did a thing of that kind. I would know that I was a perjurer and I would expect to be impeached and sent home where I belonged. Some such method as that will have to be adopted before our house cleaning will be complete.

Source: President Anthony W. Ivins (1852-1934), First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Excerpt from his General Conference talk of in October 1932.

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