Many people today hold the position or belief that the United States Constitution is a document which was created under the inspiration of God. I fervently share that perspective. Based upon the record they left, I am certain that the men who founded this nation held that position also. Moreover, I have the testimony of latter-day prophets and latter-day scripture that that is the case. Briefly noting a few of the sources that offer evidence of my position is perhaps sufficient for our purposes:
During the Constitution Convention, the great “Elder Statesman,” Benjamin Franklin sought the blessings of heaven on their efforts, saying:
I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel….
I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business (Benjamin Franklin, 1787 Federal Convention).
In writing of the effort to create the new Constitution, and in the effort to achieve its ratification, James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” wrote:
The real wonder is that so many difficulties should have been surmounted, and surmounted with a unanimity almost as unprecedented as it must have been unexpected. It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution (James Madison, Federalist No. 37).
And as he assumed the solemn responsibility of President of the United States, George Washington noted the hand of God in the creation of the nation, saying:
In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good…No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency (George Washington, First Inaugural Address).
In August, 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 98:4–7 the Lord stated:
4 And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.
5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
In December, 1833, the Lord revealed the following in Doctrine and Covenants 101:77–80:
77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day payday masks of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I have raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
The Prophet Joseph Smith testified that the Savior dictated to him the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple. That dedicatory prayer is recorded as Doctrine and Covenants section 109. Verse 54 of that section reads:
54 Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.
Among his many statements on the Constitution, Joseph Smith declared:
[H]ence we say, that the constitution of the United States is a glorious standard, it is founded in wisdom, it is a heavenly banner, and is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of its liberty, like the cooling shade and refreshing water of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land: it is like a great tree under whose branches, men from every clime, can be shielded from the burning rays of an inclement sun (Times and Seasons, Vol.1, p.133)
We say that God is true, that the Constitution of the United States is true, that the Bible is true, the Book of Mormon is true, that Christ is true, that the ministering of angels is true (Times and Seasons vol. 1, page 134; also, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 148)
It is of interest to me the close association which Joseph Smith makes with these great and important truths!
Among the many testimonies of Brigham Young regarding the United States Constitution is his following statement:
I want to say to every man, the Constitution of the United States, as formed by our fathers, was dictated, was revealed, was put into their hearts by the Almighty, who sits enthroned in the midst of the heavens; although unknown to them, it was dictated by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, it is as good as I could ask for [Henry, D. “The Prophets on the Christ.” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal (26 Dec 1908) 6:678; also in Roberts, B. H. Mormonism, 27-28]
In the Idaho Falls dedicatory prayer President George Albert Smith succinctly captured the crux of the matter we consider:
We thank Thee, O God, for the choice land upon which we reside, and for the marvelous promises Thou hast made concerning America, that it should be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under Heaven so long as the inhabitants of the land should worship the God of the land who is Jesus Christ. Thou hast revealed unto us that in the great controversy which took place in Heaven that the cornerstone of Thy plan of salvation was the free agency of man, and that Lucifer, who was an angel in authority in Thy Holy presence, proposed a different way; that Lucifer’s plan was rejected because the effect of its application would be to deprive Thy children of their free agency. When Lucifer’s plan was rejected by Thee he rebelled against Thee; there was war in Heaven and he and his followers were cast out. We thank Thee that Thou hast warned us by revelation that Satan would deceive the nations in our time. Thou hast said: “I will give you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived, for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations.” As we look about the world among the various countries we find philosophies and forms of government the effect of which is to deprive men of their free agency, but by reason of thy timely warning to us, the God of this choice land is Jesus Christ, we know that His philosophy of free agency should prevail here. Thou didst amply demonstrate this great principle to us by raising up wise men for the very purpose of giving us our Constitutional form of government, concerning which Thou hast said: “I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; that every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up into this very purpose.” There are those, our Heavenly Father, both within and without our borders who would destroy the Constitutional form of government which Thou hast so magnanimously given us, and would replace it with a form that would curtail if not altogether deprive man of his free agency. We pray Thee, therefore, that in all these matters Thou wilt help us to conform our lives to Thy desires, and that Thou wilt sustain us in our resolve so to do. We pray Thee that Thou wilt inspire good and just men everywhere to be willing to sacrifice for, support and uphold the Constitution and the government set up under it and thereby preserve for man his agency.
We thank Thee that Thou hast revealed to us that those men who gave us our Constitutional form of government were men wise in Thy sight and that Thou didst raise them up for the very purpose of putting forth that sacred document.
Wilt Thou, O our Father, bless the Chief Executive of this land that his heart and will may be to preserve for us and our posterity the free institutions Thy Constitution has provided. Wilt Thou too bless the Legislative and Judicial branches of our government as well as the Executive, that all may function fully and courageously in their respective branches completely independent of each other to the preservation of our Constitutional form of government forever. (Temples of the Most High, compiled by N. B. Lundwall, Bookcraft, pg. 187-189)
The message to preserve the United States Constitution has been repeated throughout this dispensation. The following statement by David O. McKay has been repeated many times in subsequent talks:
In conclusion, I repeat that no greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this Republic and of neighboring Republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States. (David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1950, p.37)
In his monumental October 1987 general conference address, President Ezra Taft Benson made the follow remarks about the challenges we face today:
I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. It will be saved by the righteous citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church—among others—men and women who understand and abide the principles of the Constitution.
I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it.
I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has now sent other choice spirits to help preserve it.
We, the blessed beneficiaries of the Constitution, face difficult days in America, “a land which is choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:10).
May God give us the faith and the courage exhibited by those patriots who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
May we be equally as valiant and as free, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (“Our Divine Constitution,” President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1987, pages 4-7)
And President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke reverently of the founding of this nation, and particularly the character of those whom God raised up to establish this nation:
A news magazine writer asked me the other day during an interview concerning my belief in the Constitution of our country. I replied that I felt it was inspired; that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were brought forth under the inspiration of God, to establish and sustain the freedom of the people of this nation. I told him that I looked upon the Founding Fathers as men who believed in God, as men who prayed to God, as men who recognized God, and wished to do his will. What a singular and remarkable group they were.
As I look across the world today, I search in vain for such a group as walked together across the stage of history when this nation was born. . .
Just think for a moment of George Washington, of Franklin, of Madison, of the Adams, of Thomas Jefferson, and their associates who signed the Declaration of Independence, or participated in the Constitutional Convention. Where in all the world today can even one or two such men be found let alone the great aggregation who participated in the birth of America. Can anyone deny that they were raised up unto this very purpose; that working together they brought forth, on this continent, an independent nation at the risk of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor? It is my conviction that while we’ve had a few great leaders since then, there has not been before or since so large a group of talented, able and dedicated men, as those who we call the Founding Fathers of this nation. For as long as they lived, they acknowledged the hand of the Almighty in the affairs of this Republic. (President Gordon B. Hinckley, Fireside Address, 29 June 1997)
Many who desire to call a constitutional convention suggest that if we believe the Constitution was inspired, why not immediately invoke the option defined under Article V for a constitution convention (which, logically, God must have also inspired to have included in the document). Perhaps, at a later time, I may address some of the unmeasured risks of that approach in TODAY’S environment, but please give consideration to the following thought as to why that option is available for future application:
The Founding Fathers of this nation cut their political teeth on the idea that God operates through the process of law. Indeed, the very underpinnings of our Americanist concepts of liberty, individual rights, and proper government originate in the quest to discover God’s laws in regards to His children, and to emulate those laws through the creation of laws which will govern nations; thereby creating an environment in which a free, prosperous, happy, and peaceful people may thrive. Those whom the founders studied fostered this concept. While I have addressed this concept in greater detail in my book and lecture series, for the purposes of this article one example must suffice from the writings of Blackstone and his Commentaries on the Laws of England:
This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when He created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when He created man, and endued him with free will to conduct himself in all parts of life, He laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free will is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.[Man is bound by God’s laws, and by diligent application of his ability to think and reason, man may identify and come to understand God’s laws.]
Considering the Creator only a Being of infinite power, He was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws He pleased to His creature, man, however unjust or severe. But as he is also a Being of infinite wisdom, He has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, TO WHICH THE CREATOR HIMSELF IN ALL HIS DISPENSATIONS CONFORMS; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such, among others, are these principles; that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to everyone his due; to which three general precepts Justinian has reduced the whole doctrine of law.
But if the discovery of these first principles of the law of nature depended only upon the due exertion of right reason, and could not otherwise be obtained than by a chain of metaphysical disquisitions, mankind would have wanted some inducement to have quickened their inquiries, and the greater part of the world would have rested content in mental indolence, and ignorance its inseparable companion. As, therefore, the Creator is a Being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness, He has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter than to inquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own self-love, that universal principle of action. For He has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter. In consequence of which mutual connection of justice and human felicity, He has not perplexed the law of nature with a multitude of abstracted rules and precepts, referring merely to the fitness or unfitness of things, as some have vainly surmised; but has graciously reduced the rule of obedience to this one paternal precept, ‘that man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness.’ This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law. For the several articles into which it is branched in our systems, amount to no more than demonstrating, that this or that action tends to man’s real happiness, and therefore very justly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destructive to man’s real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it. (Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, original edition, Vol. 1, pages 39-41. Emphasis added in CAPS.)
The point of this lengthy excerpt from Blackstone—the concept that God operates within and is bounded by law—was a concept the Founding Fathers were familiar with, and one which we should consider as we ask ourselves why the founders included the future possibility of a constitutional convention. The 1787 Constitutional Convention demonstrates that such a convention may radically alter or change our form of government.
Considering the scriptures noted above, and in light of the insightful prophetic statements noted above, can we not conclude that the Lord’s intention is to preserve this Constitution—even into the Millennium?
Consider these concepts:
1. God operates within and is bound by law.
2. God ordained and established the United States Constitution.
3. The Constitution was intended by God to govern forever.
4. Is it reasonable to infer from President Gordon B. Hinckley’s statement that men of the character, principle, and caliber of those who founded this nation are in short supply on the earth at this time?
5. When the Savior returns, is it possible that, in order to institute His complete plan for governance on the Millennial earth, He may wish to institute some changes in the form of government He established?
If the answer to these concepts and questions is affirmative, then will you please prayerfully consider the possibility that the option of a constitution convention was written into the document to be applied within the framework of the established “law of the land” under the direction of the Savior (and those He will raise up) during His Millennial reign under the Constitution, to modify the Constitution to meet the needs of the earth at that time and under those circumstances? In other words, God will work within the framework of divinely established law to bring forth His will in this matter during the Millennium, including a Constitution Convention as needed. Remember the Savior’s words on a previous occasion (and remember the unequivocal testimonies we have of the scriptures and the prophets that the Book of Mormon was written for our day, and that we may apply it with confidence to the circumstances which will face us in these times):
46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.
47 Old things are done away, and all
2 And it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he perceived that there were some among them who marveled, and wondered what he would concerning the law of Moses; for they understood not the saying that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.
3 And he said unto them: Marvel not that I said unto you that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.
4 Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses.
5 Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfill the law; therefore it hath an end.
6 Behold, I do not destroy the prophets, for as many as have not been fulfilled in me, verily I say unto you, shall all be fulfilled.
7 And because I said unto you that old things have passed away, I do not destroy that which hath been spoken concerning things which are to come.
8 For behold, the covenant which I have made with my people is not all fulfilled; but the law which was given unto Moses hath an end in me.
9 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.
10 Behold, I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments. And this is the law and the prophets, for they truly testified of me.
So, Christ gave the law, and He fulfilled the law. He did not destroy it. He worked within it and delivered all that it required. I believe that in this we may find a “type and a shadow” of how He works, and we may logically apply the concept to His other operations, including the fulfillment of His purposes under the Constitutional law He has given in the latter-days.
Things are to be done in His way and by His timing. Let us not “jump the gun” as some sought to do in the days after the sign of the birth of Christ:
19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
22 And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.
23 And it came to pass that Nephi went forth among the people, and also many others, baptizing unto repentance, in the which there was a great remission of sins. And thus the people began again to have peace in the land.
24 And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures.
25 But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults.
Yes, it is my conviction that the timing of calling a convention is the critical issue. Now is not the time! It must be done in the Lord’s way and time. It would seem to me that we are in a time (similar to the 3 Nephi Chapter 1 information just mentioned) in which we must be bringing people back to the eternal truths which have been revealed regarding proper government so we may prepare a generation to receive Christ when He returns, and so we may be able at that time to step forward and perform our labors as we are called upon by Him to perform. We are now in a time of restoration and conversion, not turning from, throwing off and destroying.
And these concepts are in perfect harmony with the following scriptures, and the enlightenment which the prophets have given us in regards to understanding them and applying them:
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Do we wish today to put our divinely established Constitution at risk by our early and preemptive strike in a time when evil and designing men and women will likely hijack the movement to further advance their decades-old efforts to destroy our form of government and merge us into a globalist socialist one-world government that contradicts everything God established? In spite of well-intended efforts by good and caring people at this time, our feeble attempts to “correct” what God established will assuredly result in the effort being lost to the likes of the foundations of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, the Council on Foreign Relations cabal, and a whole raft of others who have been attempting to get a constitution convention called for many decades (and who have already laid the plans to control such a convention, and who already have compiled new constitutions to be adopted through that process).
It is not my intention to make this review a complete dissertation regarding the restoration of the foundational principles which must occur, and the plan to bring it about. Certainly, much more could also be said in regards to the dangers associated with this matter of calling a convention today (such as the Article V Constitutional FACT that after 34 States have applied for a convention, the States have NO more constitutionally assigned role to play in the organization, structure, format, selection of delegates, etc. of the convention that SHALL be called; after the required number of States apply, the States and the people have no power to control the actions of the congress; and after the congress has called a convention, the congress has no power to control the convention. A careful reading of the exact words of Article V reveals that the matters of the convention are completely out of the hands of the people, the States, and the congress. And just as was done in 1787, the ratification process could be changed if a new constitution was brought forth from the convention), but rather than attempt to expose all of the issues, risks, and evidences regarding the willingness of the enemies of the Constitution to use whatever means they can to call a convention so they can work their dastardly deeds (including agitating good and caring people who are full of righteous intentions), I will close with the position that I currently hold as we await the will of the Lord:
Statesmen of the caliber of the American founders must be raised up. The timeless wisdom that established the United States must again be vigorously applied. The foundational Americanist principles must be learned, understood, and embraced. The results will be as they were in the beginning. America may become again the freest, most prosperous, most respected, and happiest nation on earth if we will return to the plain English words of the Constitution. Education in the correct foundational principles established by God is the key to our preparation for the RESTORATION we are all working for.
Image: Travis Wise – CC BY 2.0
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