28) DEFAMATION: What attempts have been made to discredit the work of righteous statesmen in the past? Why do some work to defame the characters of righteous political leaders?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young

The General Constitution of our country is good, and a wholesome government could be framed upon it, for it was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty . . . God’s purpose, in raising up these men and inspiring them with daring sufficient to surmount every opposing power, was to prepare the way for the formation of a true Republican government . . . The signers of the Declarationn of Independence and the framers of the Constitution were inspired from on high to do that work. [1]

John Taylor

[And] why should we feel ashamed to acknowledge that those patriots and and statesmen who framed the constitution of the United States were led by inspiration? It is an honor to any man or group of men to seek the inspiration of the Almighty. It is a greater honor to receive it. [2]

[It] was by and through the power of God, that the fathers of this country framed the Declaration of Independence, and also that great palladium of human rights, the Constitution of the United States. [3]

Wilford Woodruff

The Lord inspired the men that framed the Constitution of our country, and has guarded the nation from its foundation, in order to prepare free people in which to establish his kingdom. Columbus was inspired of God to persevere as he did to discover this continent, and thus prepare the way for a class of people upon whom the Spirit of the Lord moved to follow; and when they were oppressed hard enough they declared themselves independent, and by the help of God they established and have maintained the government which God gave our forefathers, which is one of the best constitutional governments ever known among men. [4]

[T]he God of heaven has raised up our nation, as foretold by His Prophets generations ago…. It is also well known how our forefathers found a home and an asylum in this land from the hand of persecution, and how they planted here the tree of liberty and jealously guarded it from the attempt of the mother country to uproot and destroy it. The hand of God was in this; and it is through the intervention of His providence that we enjoy to-day the freest and most independent government the world ever saw. [5]

Before I left St. George, the spirits of the [Founding Fathers] 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.”

Everyone of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them.

I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister 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.

When Brother McAllister had baptized me for the 100 names I baptized him for 21, including General Washington and his forefathers and all the Presidents of the United States–except three. Sister Lucy Bigelow Young went forth into the font and wa baptized for Martha Washington and her family and 70 of the ’eminent women’ of the world. [6]

In the April 1898 General Conference, President Woodruff again recalled this sacred experience:

“I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord.

Another thing I am going to say here, because I have a right to say it. Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them…. Would those spirits have called upon me, as an elder in Israel, to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God?” [7]

Ezra Taft Benson

We honor our founding fathers of this republic . . . God raised up these patriotic partners to perform their mission, and he called them “wise men.” [8]. The First Presidency acknowledged that wisdom when they gave us the guideline a few years ago of supporting political candidates “who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers.” [9]. That tradition has been summarized in the book The American Tradition by Clarence Carson.

The Lord said that “the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8.) Our wise founders seemed to understand, better than most of us, our own scripture, which states that “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority … they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” [10]. To help prevent this, the founders knew that our elected leaders should be bound by certain fixed principles. Said Thomas Jefferson: “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

These wise founders, our patriotic partners, seemed to appreciate more than most of us the blessings of the boundaries that the Lord set within the Constitution. . . In God the founders trusted, and in his Constitution—not in the arm of flesh. “O Lord,” said Nephi, “I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; … cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” [11]. [12]

Every American citizen should understand God’s purpose for this great nation in which we live, and how we may avert the decadence and destruction suffered by other mighty empires. Here is what the Book of Mormon says about the founding of this nation and how we may survive as a free country.

God inspired “a man among the Gentiles” [13] who, by the Spirit of God was led to rediscover the land of America and bring this rich new land to the attention of the people in Europe. That man, of course, was Christopher Columbus, who testified that he was inspired in what he did.
“Our Lord,” said Columbus, “unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my enterprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” [14].

God revealed that shortly after the discovery of America, this nation would be colonized by peoples of Europe-called Gentiles—who would desire to escape the persecution and tyranny of the Old World. Book of Mormon prophets foretold the time that the Gentiles would scatter and kill the inhabitants of the land whom we know today as the Indian nations [15].

God revealed over twenty-five hundred years ago that the kingdoms of Europe would try to exercise dominion over the colonists who had fled to America, that this would lead to a struggle for independence, and that the colonists would win [16]. The Book of Mormon foretold the time when the colonists would establish this as a land of liberty which would not be governed by kings. The Lord declared that He would protect the land and whoever would attempt to establish kings from within or without would perish. [17]. [18]

When Columbus and his men sighted the lands of this hemisphere in October 1492, one of their first acts was to fall on their knees and give thanks to God. There is evidence that they were directed to these shores by the hand of Providence [19].
The Pilgrims of Plymouth, the Calverts of Maryland, Roger Williams, William Penn-all had deep religious convictions that played a principal part in their coming to the New World. They too, I believe, came here under the inspiration of heaven. [20].
When Washington was desperately hard pressed at Valley Forge, his men found him on his knees praying for guidance and aid. Yes, this nation has a spiritual foundation. [21]

America as a nation has been built on prayer. It has a spiritual foundation, a prophetic history. When the God-fearing Pilgrims arrived in the Western Hemisphere, Governor William Bradford recorded these words: “Being thus arrived in good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven.” [22]

In the early frontier days of this country, a special breed of men and women came here from all over the world, seeking not only opportunity, but freedom. They were strong, proud, and fiercely independent. They believed that the surest helping hand was at the end of their own sleeves. They shared one thing in common-an unshakable faith in God and in themselves. And that, without doubt, is the secret of success as viable today as it was yesterday. [23]

Socialist and Communist Statements


Founders Statements

Supporting Statements

Heber C. Kimball

We are born of the fathers who won our liberties. We are the children of that God who spoke to our fathers, and gave them the law, and inspired them to write the Constitution of our country. [24]

  1. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:13-14
  2. John Taylor, The John Taylor Papers, 1:269
  3. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 24:126
  4. Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 23:81
  5. Wilford Woodruff, Millennial Star, 51:801-802
  6. Wilford Woodruff, in a Conference Report, April 10, 1898; Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 160-61; Wilford Woodruff Journal, August 21, 1877
  7. Wilford Woodruff, April 1898, General Conference
  8. D&C 101:80
  9. Deseret News, November 2, 1964
  10. D&C 121:39
  11. 2 Ne. 4:34
  12. Ezra Taft Benson, LDS General Conference, April 1972
  13. 1 Nephi 13:12
  14. Jacob Wasserman, Columbus, Don Quixote of the Seas, pp. 19-20
  15. Nephi 15:17
  16. Nephi 13:17-19
  17. 2 Nephi 10:11-14
  18. Ezra Taft Benson, “A Promised Lord-A Promised Land-A Promised People,” Wichita, Kansas, 11 November 1976; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.578
  19. 1 Nephi 3:12
  20. 1 Nephi 13:13
  21. Ezra Taft Benson, American Association of School Administrators, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 14 February 1960; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 569
  22. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country, p. 115; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.569
  23. Ezra Taft Benson, “A Tribute to Pioneer Ideals,” Sandy Utah Historical Marker Dedication, 14 September 1977; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.569
  24. Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 8:86
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