On June 21, 1788, the states voted into law the United States Constitution, according to This Day in History. General authorities from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have often spoken about the inspired document, seeking solace from its contents during times of turmoil and celebrating its creation during times of peace. Below are eight quotes from LDS leaders and church magazines about the United States document.
Upon the dedication of the Philadelphia temple last year, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, gave a dedicatory prayer that demonstrated his gratitude for this nation.
“We are profoundly grateful for the Constitution of the United States and for the Bill of Rights. These are the guarantors of our independence and our liberty. We pray for this nation of which we are part. Preserve the freedom of the people now and for generations to come. May these blessings rest upon its citizens without restraint or hindrance of any kind. Bless those who lead, and inspire them in their endeavors that righteousness may grow, that the people may look to Thee, and that this nation, under God, may continue as a base from which Thy work may spread throughout the earth.”
President Eyring gave other remarks at the dedication, commenting on Constitution Day.
“The day is historic as our nation celebrates Constitution Day, marking the 229th anniversary of the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America. That inspired document protects the religious freedom that allows us and all Americans to worship God according to the dictates of our own consciences.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was a lawyer and a law professor for more than 20 years. Elder Oaks helped draft the bill of rights for the Illinois constitutional convention of 1970, and served on the Utah Supreme Court. He has spoken of the Lord's hand in the creation of the document.
“The United States Constitution was the first written constitution in the world.” said Elder Oaks in a 1992 Ensign article. ”It has served Americans well, enhancing freedom and prosperity during the changed conditions of more than two hundred years. Frequently copied, it has become the United States’ most important export. . . . No wonder modern revelation says that God established the U.S. Constitution and that it ‘should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.’
In a 1987 conference address to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the inspired nature of the U.S. 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,” he said.
During “The Times In Which We Live,” President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke in October 2001 of the devastating events of September 11, stating that the last century has been “described as the most war-torn in human history.” Despite the turmoil at the time, though, President Hinckley reminded listeners that America is a choice land.
“The Constitution under which we live, and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.”
A 1987 Ensign Article pointed out the similarities between the Constitution and the idea of covenants.
1 The concept of covenant-making has particular significance for Latter-day Saints. And from modern scripture, we learn that America was raised up as a nation “by the power of God” to be a land of liberty (see 1 Ne. 13:12–19) and that God “established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom [he] raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C101:80).”
Another Ensign article commented on how the constitution is universal in its application of justice, just as God is.
“Keeping in mind the universality of God’s love for all of his children, whatever their race, color, or creed (see 2 Ne. 26:24–33), this explicit recognition that “all flesh” may lay claim to legal protection rejects any limited application of constitutional principles. Since the Lord is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), each individual is equally entitled to the protection of law in the exercise of personal “rights.”
Rex E. Lee, President of Brigham Young University, connected the Restoration and the Constitution by observing that Joseph Smith’s birth followed the Constitution by less than 15 years in a talk from BYU Speeches.