Quotes by Stephen L. Richards:

The capitalistic system in its inner essence, is little, if anything, more than a man’s free right to work, to choose his work, and enjoy the rewards of his efforts. In my estimation, it is a most precious thing, and it is indispensable to the liberty and freedom of which America boasts. It is the only tried and tested system of free enterprise in this world and every other opposing system is built on an abridgment of personal liberty .. But we will lose it if we do not understand it and recognize its virtues. It is not the capitalistic system itself that makes some men rich and some men poor. The men themselves do that, again with some exceptions. The system merely offers the opportunities.

Conference Report, Oct. 1939, p. 67.

I am sure that it is regrettable and a point of real hazard to individual liberty that in many countries, even to some extent in our own beloved America, there is a clearly discernible tendency to relieve people of responsibilities which they have long been accustomed to bear and to extend paternalistic solicitude and care to vast portions of the population. However well intentioned such policies, I am confident they are destined to result in weakening of moral fiber, increased dependencies, and, more importantly and worse than all, eventually, a destruction of the fundamental concepts and philosophies that have been responsible for the progress of humanity in the world.

True Liberty and Individual Achievement. Conference Report, April 1939.

Have you ever heard of a voice being raised in any of the sessions of the United Nations since its inception more than two years ago protesting the infractions of God’s laws or importuning his help in achieving the purposes of that organization? I think you have not, unless perhaps in some innocuous way, because I suspect that it is tacitly agreed that God and religion shall be shut out of the proceedings. Well, my friends, it is a part of the message that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bears to the world that God and religion cannot be shut out from the consideration of world affairs without mortal hazard to the cause of goodness and peace.

Conference Oct. 1947, p. 133.

A threat to our unity derives from unseemly personal antagonisms developed in partisan political controversy. The Church, while reserving the right to advocate principles of good government underlying equity, justice, and liberty, the political integrity of officials, and the active participation of its members, and the fulfillment of their obligations in civic affairs, exercises no constraint on the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and affiliations.

Conference Report, Oct. 1951, pp. 109-118. Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion.

Men may entertain honest differences of opinions with reference to governmental policy. In America, and in many other countries, an orderly system has been devised for the determination of issues arising out of such differences. With such methods available, why should any men, particularly those in the brotherhood of Zion, permit themselves to entertain personal animosities against their opponents. There is surely nothing Christian in impugning motives merely because of a difference of opinion .. I have been going about this Church for nearly thirty-five years, filling assignments to install officers in stakes and wards and missions, and I have never yet asked a single person about his politics, and in very few instances have I ever had any knowledge on the subject. I think my own experience has been comparable to that of my brethren. We have been fair with you, my fellow members of the Church. Now we ask you to be fair with each other.

General Conference, Oct. 1951. Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion.
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