Religious Freedom

Ezra Taft Benson

America—What of the Future?

I wonder if [our pioneer fathers] would not recognize that our liberties have already been abridged, that there has been too much of a tendency for us to call upon our federal government every time we felt the need for the accomplishment of any particular objective. …which our forefathers would have done willingly for themselves.

John Taylor, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880-1887

“God will have a free people”

God will have a free people, and while we have a duty to perform to preach the Gospel, we have another to perform, that is, to stand up in the defense of human rights—in the defense of our own rights, the rights of our children, and in defense of the rights of this nation and of all men, no matter who they may be…

President Ezra Taft Benson Speaking.

“It Cannot Happen Here”

…I declare to you this morning that human liberty is the mainspring of human progress. The one great revolution in the world is the revolution for human liberty. This was the paramount issue in the great council in heaven before this earth life. It has been the issue throughout the ages. It is the issue today.

Ezra Taft Benson speaks at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square, Feb 11, 1966

Stand Up For Freedom

Speaking out against immoral or unjust actions of political leaders has been the burden of prophets and disciples of God from time immemorial. It was for this very reason that many of them were persecuted. Some of them were stoned, some of them were burned, many were imprisoned. Nevertheless it was their God-given task, as watchmen on the towers, to speak up. It is certainly no different today.

Ezra Taft Benson

The American Heritage of Freedom—A Plan of God

In the war in heaven the devil advocated absolute eternal security at the sacrifice of our freedom. Although there is nothing more desirable to a Latter-day Saint than eternal security in God’s presence, and although God knew, as did we, that some of us would not achieve this security if we were allowed our freedom—yet the very God of heaven, who has more mercy than us all, still decreed no guaranteed security except by a man’s own freedom of choice and individual initiative.

President Ezra Taft Benson speaks in conference, October 1979.

A Witness and a Warning

…unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God.