Comments about ‘LDS World: The U.S. Constitution: A divine standard’

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Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....It is chilling when citizens of the United States are not taught, are discouraged from and are punished for teaching or learning about the Constitution...."

I have no idea what the author is referring to here. If citizens are being punished for teaching or learning about the Constitution, I wish she would cite at least one instance of that. And if the Constitution is divinely inspired, I’d like to hear her explanation for why the founders began with the words “We the people.”

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I applaud the author’s reverence for these documents and her citing of Adam’s defense of Captain Preston is great example of his noble character - which was indicative of the character of most of the brilliant elites who articulated and codified our founding.

But can we please start to grow up and stop mythologizing the world and our place in it? Really, three thousand years (likely much longer) is enough… it’s time to put away childish things.

And if this really was the work of God – “The laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established…” – for the sake of consistency and some moral certitude, it would be nice if he would repudiate some his earlier suggestions.

It would be nice if the Bible contained a final chapter that said in effect – “once you reach the New World and establish your three branches of government, etc., you’re free to toss out all the barbarism I (God) recommended in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, etc…”

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Just more of the usual religious people overstepping their bounds and hijacking our history.

The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence are not, and never were, religious documents in any way, shape or form. They contain NO religious references, but instead are filled with direct quotes and paraphrases from secular philosophers (particularly John Locke).

The Founders never meant for this to be a "Christian Nation" (rendering all others second-class citizens by default), and they deliberately excluded religion from government for very good reasons.

Stop hijacking our history. Non-believers are Americans, too!

the truth
Holladay, UT

@A Scientist

No one said they were religious documents,

they said they divinely inspired documents that created the freedom and prosperity we now enjoy.

Is God not capable and willing to inspire men for our benefit be it morals, science, or government?

Huntsville, UT

It is ironic that those who claim the document is divinely inspired are so willing to use their own religious freedom (guaranteed by the document) to violate the Constitutional rights of others.

(Is this better, moderators?)

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

For things to be sacred, it has to have a purpose to or for the preservation of life. The rule of law does that.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@the truth – “Is God not capable and willing to inspire men for our benefit be it morals, science, or government?”

I assume an omnipotent being would be capable of anything, by definition.

The question is, what evidence is there that such a being had anything to do with our founding or even the Age of Enlightenment which produced (or revived) the ideas that fertilized its creation? I don’t see much, but I do see lots of evidence pointing in the other direction.

Western civilization was built on the twin pillars of Athens and Jerusalem. When the values of Jerusalem became dominant, we descended into a thousand year Dark Age and only began to crawl out of it when the values of Athens (and Rome) were re-emphasized and built upon.

Our country was modeled on these values far more than the values of Jerusalem as any unbiased reading of history makes clear.

So if our founding was the work of God, we did it take him (and his earthly messengers) so long to get on the right side of history?

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Tyler D

My understanding is the founding fathers studied the philosophies of liberty, governing, and morality of over 30 greatest philosophers of history,

And one they followed the most in creating our founding documents was Jesus Christ.

The chief and basest being our rights, freedoms and liberties come from God, not government and not men, or else government or certain men will always seek to control and regulate and be the dispenser of them.

Something we unfortunately see happening today. Which is why we must get back to the original intent of our founding documents.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Tyler D,

"....The question is, what evidence is there that such a being had anything to do with our founding or even the Age of Enlightenment...."

If proponents of divine inspiration of the Constitution knew their history as well as they like to think they do, they would know that the Age Enlightenment was anti-clerical, as was to a lesser extent its greatest political triumph, the American Revolution of 1776 and the Constitution of 1787.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


I would add that the Declaration of Independence citing “unalienable Rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was not an expression of religious sentiment so much as it was a political justification for renouncing allegiance to the English monarchy. Prior to the Declaration, the colonists had been arguing their rights under English law which had gotten them nowhere with their grievances against the Crown. Invoking “unalienable Rights” was their basis for affirming that English law no longer mattered.

Salt Lake City, UT

"....It is chilling when citizens of the United States are not taught, are discouraged from and are punished for teaching or learning about the Constitution...."

Punished for teaching or learning about the Constitution? Citation needed.

Mesa, AZ

“I will here say that two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.

These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them.

I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McAllister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others. I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three. “ JD 19:229, September 16, 1877.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@the truth – “And one they followed the most in creating our founding documents was Jesus Christ.

I understand this is what you believe, but what is your evidence for this claim? Other than an ethic grounded in the Golden Rule how is anything Jesus said connected our founding political ideas?

We haves scores of evidence that the ideas that underwrote our founding came from the Greeks, the Roman Republic (visit D.C. for more “concrete” evidence), Spinoza, Hume, Voltaire, Locke, Smith, Rousseau, etc…; and then modeled these ideas through the highly agnostic lenses of people like Franklin, Paine, Adams, Madison and Jefferson among others. Here’s what John Adams had to say about the whole enterprise:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Your statement is not supported simply by the fact that some of the founders attended church, and without evidence history is no different than mythology. It’s up to you if you want to champion myth, but it certainly goes against the spirit of your moniker.

layton, UT

@ Tyler D, Other than an ethic grounded in the Golden Rule how is anything Jesus said connected our founding political ideas?

OK,“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

One of the fundamental functions of any government is to provide public order. A government that cannot enforce the rule of law over its citizens cannot achieve its objectives. This is the underlying reason that Paul exhorted us to be subject to higher powers. The authorities that exist have been established by God to promote order. Romans 13:1 Paul warned us that to resist authority is to rebel against God. Romans 13:2. Paul continues to exhort Christians to pray for the government and pay their taxes.

“For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule and charge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat. Indeed, we hear that some among you are disorderly that they are passing their lives in idleness, neglectful of duty, being busy with other people’s affairs instead of their own and doing no work.” Paul(2Thess 3)The Protestant ethic.

St. George, UT

@ zoar63

just curious, what was the point of you quoting from the journal of discourse??

Eldersburg, MD

The premise of the article is "inspired of God", which does not mean religious consignation of people forced to adhere with Christian beliefs and laws. God knew Christianity of that day was splintered at best with creedal and reformation churches that had not the Priesthood authority of God stated in the Bible.

America would have never succeeded with a theocracy as an underpinning of its foundation. Rather, the Constitutional focus was freedom and liberty to all, which was then implemented by successive leaders who were imperfect people, and thus, not all the rights and provisions were fairly enacted as intended due to bias and prejudice. From inception, the Constitution within practices of government is no guarantee all people will have the promises of liberty and freedom.

Just as religious leaders of the past imposed their beliefs in attempts to force subversion of the Constitutional freedoms, so too, the liberal / secular movements of today seek to do the same under the guise of political correctness, class / racial warfare, and many other causes. The Constitution was indeed divinely inspired, but it requires faith to know for certain. Regardless, it has always been carried out by imperfect people.

layton, UT

RE: EternalPerspective,”reformation churches that had not the Priesthood authority”?

Thee priesthood of the believer Martin Luther. There is only one High Priest, that is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:23-8:13).Each believer priest has a responsibility to be committed to Christ and to share Christ through word and deed.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(1Peter 2:9).

Mormons claim their authority comes from the priesthood, what they fail to realize is that do not have the right to hold any of them. The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood ended with the death of Christ. The entire function ,and the term Cohen means, ’one who stands up for another, and mediate the cause.” Before the *Great Sacrifice ,the priest had to stand in the gap for the people and offer animal sacrifices. Do Mormons still carry out this function. No! Therefore their office is insignificant.

Eldersburg, MD


You have done the best you could from the Bible to understand the Priesthood, but additional scripture and revelation is needed to know proper organization, purpose, and ordinances performed with God's authority.

What authority do you think had been conferred upon the Apostles in the New Testament to lay on their hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost? With the ordinance of Baptism, what authority was given to those whose witnesses written in the New Testament?

Jesus Christ is certainly the great High Priest and Son of God, but there is absolutely evidence to support that worthy males did in fact receive the Priesthood in the New Testament by the laying on of hands, exactly how it was done in the Old Testament.

The Levitical Priesthood was not done away, but was always the lesser authority. Jesus Himself restored the greater Priesthood and the Apostolic keys to build up His Church after He died.

Authority makes all the difference between true religion and the Church of Christ, and man-made doctrine and blasphemy. There are many scripture references in the Bible I could cite to support what I say here, but it won't convince you.

Mesa, AZ


I used that to support the premise that God had a hand in setting up this nation and its constitution. The Latter-Day Saints believe that document was divinely inspired which is further supported with this quote.

"Nearly two hundred years ago, some inspired men walked this land of America-not perfect men, but men raised up by the Perfect Man to perform a great work. Foreordained were they, to lay the foundation of this republic, the Lord's base of operations in these latter days. Blessed by the Almighty in their struggle for liberty and independence, the power of heaven rested on these founders as they drafted that great document for governing men, the Constitution of the United States. Like the Ten Commandments, the truths on which the Constitution was based were timeless; and also, as with the Decalogue, the hand of the Lord was in it. They filled their mission well. From them we were endowed with a legacy of liberty-a constitutional republic."

Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1967, Second DayMorning Meeting, p.59)

Temple City, CA

I agree that the founding documents of the United States are inspired.

I would like to point out that the documents are often included in other textbooks besides history. I teach English, where the Declaration is included in most standard American Literature textbooks. I suspect that you might find the Constitution in a government textbook.

A problem with the Constitution in the classroom is not whether or not it was inspired by God (which I believe), but how to help students find the importance and inspiration in the dry, legalistic text. It's pretty slow going sometimes.

The best class I took on the Constitution was taught at a state university in California where the professor opened up a discussion on how the Constitution ought to be revised. That is where I first realized fully that God has His hand in it. (And, yes, that includes both the ability to amend it and the difficulty of the amendment process.)

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