Assuredly in the preservation of virtue, morality, and intelligence she [America] may look for the perpetuity of her free institutions, and the preservation of her liberty. And in the moment of her disregard of these principles, when wickedness and sin can run riot with impunity, and not moral influence and force enough be found in the people to check it, and walk it under foot, then may she reckon on a speedy downfall. When moral obligations cease to exert an influence, and virtue hides its face, and the unblushing effrontery of sin and foul corruption takes it place, then may the nation consider there is danger. “When the wicked rule the people mourn.”
. . . To serve God and keep His commandments, are first and foremost with me. If this is higher law, so be it. As it is with me, so should it be with every department of the Government; for this doctrine is based upon the principles of virtue and integrity; with it the Government, her Constitution, and free institutions are safe; without it no power can avert their speedy destruction. It is the life-giving power to the government; it is the vital element on which she exists and prospers; in its absence she sinks to rise no more . . . .
In the sincere observances of the principles of true religion and virtue, we recognize the base, the only sure foundation of enlightened society and well-established government . . . . That city, nation, government, or kingdom which serves not God, and gives no heed to the principles of truth and religion, will be utterly wasted away and destroyed.
Source: Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 2:176-8, 1855.
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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