Monday, July 3, 2017

President Heber J. Grant on the inspired Constitution of the United States

President Heber J. Grant (1856-1945) was ordained an apostle in 1882 when he was 25 years old.  He served as president of the Church from 1918 until his death in 1945 at age 88.  His tenure as president lasted over 26 years; only Brigham Young had a longer term (over 29 years).
"From my childhood days I have understood that we believe absolutely that the constitution of our country is an inspired instrument and that God directed those who created it and those who defended the independence of this nation. Concerning this matter it is my frequent pleasure to quote the statement by Joseph Smith, regarding the Constitution:
"'The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner; it is, to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty, like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a weary and thirsty land. It is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of the sun.'
"And such the Constitution of the United States must be to every faithful Latter-day Saint who lives under its protection. That the Lord may help him to think straight, and to pursue a straight course regardless of personal advantage, factional interest, or political persuasion, should be the daily prayer of every Latter-day Saint. I counsel you, I urge you, I plead with you, never, so far as you have voice or influence, permit any departure from the principles of government on which this nation was founded, or any disregard of the freedoms which, by the inspiration of God our Father, were written into the Constitution of the United States."
- Heber J. Grant, "Admonition and Blessing," Conference Report, October 1944, pp. 6-13
Click here to read the full talk

Our understanding of the inspired origins of the United States government have been described by a number of Church leaders. President Grant shared his thoughts in this excerpt, and quoted Joseph Smith for the foundational doctrine:

So what does that foundational idea mean to us? If we believe the Constitution is an inspired document, it should guide our thought and behavior in efforts to preserve the principles it defines—"regardless of personal advantage, factional interest, or political persuasion." It's important that we learn and understand those principles in order to be ready to defend them effectively.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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