Religious Freedom



Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Push Back Against the World

‘We should also push back against…the expectation that the extended family or the community or the government will provide what you desire with a minimum of effort on your part. As required by the spiritual growth that is the purpose of the plan of salvation, the gospel teaching of self-reliance pushes back against the idea or culture of dependency. …Don’t be part of the worldly attitude described in the characterization of your generation as the “me generation,” interested only in “what’s in it for me.” Always be willing to cooperate and even sacrifice in cooperative efforts for the benefit of the larger community.’


Bonnie L. Oscarson

Rise Up in Strength, Sisters in Zion

‘…we live in “perilous times.” The conditions of our day should not be a surprise to us. They have been foretold for millennia as a warning and admonition so that we can be prepared. …Moroni says he has seen our day, and it includes wars and rumors of wars, great pollutions, murders, robbing, and people who tell us that there is no right or wrong in God’s eyes. …Joseph Smith—Matthew indicates that in the last days even the “very elect … according to the covenant” will be deceived… Even we are at risk of being deceived by false teachings.’


President David O. McKay

“What About Jesus Christ”

“‘…we are a body who aid one another in the productive life; we waste none of our substance in vice, luxury, or ostentation; we do not dissipate our energy in brawling, gambling, or unwholesome habits; we conserve our resources of body and mind and devote them to the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God, which is not a mystical, but a real kingdom; it is a body of people dominated by ideas of productivity, which is mutual service.'”


Albert E. Bowen

Law and Labor

“So intimately are the two intertwined that democracy and the Christian religion must survive or perish together. Neither has worked perfectly in human hands. But the failure of the perfect working of the principles of free government probably is fairly in proportion to the failure of men to live the Christian religion.”


Albert E. Bowen

“Whom Say Ye That I Am?”

“We of this Church have a particular regard for freedom under the protection of law. With us it is a religious tenet. …Only a free soul is fit to enter His kingdom. Men must learn here to live as free men and to apply the restraints which true freedom imposes to be fit for the heavenly realm. Hence we are unalterably opposed to the attempt of any nation or man or group of men, foreign or domestic, to take away or destroy or abrogate the freedoms guaranteed under the law of our land.”


Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve

Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations

‘Sometimes [God] temporarily grants to men their unwise requests in order that they might learn from their own sad experiences. Some refer to this as the “Samuel principle.” The children of Israel wanted a king, like all the nations… The Lord responded by saying to Samuel, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” The Lord told Samuel to warn the people of the consequences… Samuel gave them the warning, but they still insisted on their king. So God gave them a king and let them suffer… Sometimes in our attempts to mimic the world, contrary to the prophet’s counsel, we run after the world’s false educational, political, musical, and dress ideas. New worldly standards take over, a gradual breakdown occurs, and finally, after much suffering, a humble people are ready to be taught once again a higher law.’


Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Faith, Fairness, and Religious Freedom

‘Our society has become so blinded by its quest to redress wrongful discrimination against one class of people that it is now in danger of creating another victimized class: people of faith, like you and me. …The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stood consistently for freedom of choice and conscience. …“We believe … that all men are created equal, and that all have the privilege of thinking for themselves upon all matters relative to conscience.” …A war in heaven was fought for agency, and it is a gross violation of that agency to force you to betray your conscience because your views do not align with the crowd.’


Elder Dalling H. Oaks

Elder Oaks Testifies before U.S. Congressional Subcommittee

“The conflict between individual rights to freely worship God and government attempts to regulate or interfere with religious practices remains today…. If past is prologue, the forces of local, state, and federal governmental power, now freed from the compelling governmental interest test, will increasingly interfere with the free exercise of religion. We fear that the end result will be a serious diminution of the religious freedom guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”