Samuel Adams:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!

Speech, State House of Pennsylvania, August 1, 1776.

David O McKay:

Above all else, strive to support good and conscientious candidates of either party who are aware of the great dangers inherent in communism, and who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our founding fathers. They should also pledge their sincere fealty to our way of liberty – a liberty which aims at the preservation of both personal and property rights. Study the issues, analyze the candidates on these grounds, and then exercise your franchise as free men and women. Never be found guilty of exchanging your birthright for a mess of pottage!

October 1962 General Conference

Ezra Taft Benson:

There is a God in Heaven who is the sovereign power of the universe, and we are His literal offspring. He has endowed us with inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This He has implanted in the human breast. This is why men cannot be driven indefinitely or led by despotic rulers to intellectual or physical slavery and bondage. Fear and despotism may rule for a generation or two or three, but in time the human spirit rebels, the spirit of liberty manifests itself, and its tyrannous hand is overthrown. Yes, as the offspring of God, we share a common paternity that makes us literally brothers, and thus a common destiny. When this truth sinks into the human heart, men demand their rights-life, liberty, and happiness. It is as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

This Nation Shall Endure, p. 69.

Jack Monnett:

According to President Benson, freedom is the major underlying theme of the Book of Mormon. If we read the scriptures but do not recognize this theme, we have missed a giant part of its specific message to our dispensation.

Awakening to our Awful Situation, p. 5

Marion G. Romney:

As a youth, I was stirred by Patrick Henry’s famous battle cry, “Give me liberty or give me death!” The meaning of the word liberty is difficult to circumscribe. Abraham Lincoln was of the opinion that “the world has never had a good definition of the term. We all declare for liberty,” he said “but in using the same word we do not mean the same thing. With some, the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor while with others liberty may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor.”

General Conference, Oct. 1981. The Perfect Law of Liberty.

Hyrum L. Andrus:

The world, having largely rejected the Lord’s plan of greater freedom and union, is now caught in the mesh of the welfare state without sufficient insight to develop a dynamic society of freedom and social justice. The social and economic problems of modern times have so pressed themselves upon the world’s free institutions, aided by zealous idealists who are seeking primarily for social and economic justice, that freedom is being sacrificed to the cause of social and economic well-being.

Liberalism, Conservatism and Mormonism.

Gordon B. Hinckley:

What was once controlled by the moral and ethical standards of the people, we now seek to handle by public law. And so the statutes multiply, enforcement agencies consume ever-increasing billions, prison facilities are constantly expanded, but the torrent of dishonesty pours on and grows in volume.

We Believe in Being Honest. Ensign Oct. 1990.

D. Todd Christofferson:

Societies .. try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments. One columnist observed that “gentlemanly behavior for example, once protected women from coarse behavior. Today, we expect sexual harassment laws to restrain coarse behavior .. “Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.” .. There could never be enough rules so finely crafted as to anticipate and cover every situation, and even if there were, enforcement would be impossibly expensive and burdensome. This approach leads to diminished freedom for everyone. In the memorable phrase of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, “We would not accept the yoke of Christ; so now we must tremble at the yoke of Caesar.”

General Conference, Oct. 2009. Moral Discipline.

Jerome Horowitz:

One of the most insidious aspects of government paternalism is that it deprives people of the will to be free. By means of continued doses of government welfare, people are transformed from lovers of freedom, motivated by a spirit of independence, to seekers after security unsure of their ability to stand on their own feet with the help of God. They are willing to forget about freedom if the government will promise them security .. This condition is little different in principle from a willingness to barter one’s own freedom in exchange for a promise of security from a master—in other words, to sell oneself into slavery. Slaves have their lives and considerable freedom of movement if they convince their masters they will do only what their masters wish. Any property they have would be subject to the control of their masters but this is not of great importance to a slave because he is fed, clothed and housed by his master anyhow.

The Elders of Israel and the Constitution, p. 87. 1970.

David O. McKay:

Force rules in the world today. Individual freedom is threatened by international rivalries and false political ideals. Unwise legislation, too often prompted by political expediency, if enacted, will seductively undermine man’s right of free agency, rob him of his rightful liberties, and make him but a cog in the crushing wheel of regimentation.

Conference Report, October 1965, pp. 6-11. Two Great Forces

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.

D&C 98:5.

Joseph Smith:

It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 345, 2007.

Marion G. Romney:

Liberty and free agency are worth fighting for. Patrick Henry’s cry, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ ought to find an echo in the heart of every true Latter-day Saint.

Seek the Lord to Establish His Righteousness, November 10, 1964.

John Taylor:

Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and maintenance of liberty, freedom and the rights of man.

Journal of Discourses 23:63.

M. Russell Ballard:

The freedom and independence afforded by the Constitution and Bill of Rights are divine rights – sacred, essential, and inalienable.

Religion in a Free Society, Ensign October 1992.

Ezra Taft Benson:

Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise.”

BYU Devotional, 16 September, 1986.

Benjamin Franklin:

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters.

Speech at the Constitutional Convention, Sept. 17, 1787.

Ezra Taft Benson:

As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue that determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the War in Heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The War in Heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare or will they heed the counsel of the prophets and their freedom? We believe that the gospel is the greatest thing in the world why then do we not force people to join the Church if they are not smart enough to see it on their own? Because this is Satan’s way, the Lord uses persuasion and love.

God, Family, Country pg. 384 / Teachings of Ezra T. Benson p. 658.

Ezra Taft Benson:

Satan argued that men given their freedom would not choose correctly therefore he would compel them to do right and save us all. Today Satan argues that men given their freedom do not choose wisely therefore a so-called brilliant, benevolent few must establish the welfare government and force us into a greater socialist society.

Conference Report, April 1965, pp. 121-125. Not Commanded in All Things.

Ezra Taft Benson:

The central issue in that pre-mortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed Him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice Satan stood for the latter—coercion, and force. The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments.

BYU devotional, Tuesday, 16 September 1986.

Marion G. Romney:

The free agency of Americans has been greatly abridged. Some argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government. Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery.

BYU Speeches of the Year—March 1, 1966.

Gordon B. Hinckley:

Religion and the free exercise thereof, the right to worship God according to one’s own conscience — how precious and treasured a boon it is. How necessary that it be safeguarded. Established religion becomes the guardian of the conscience of the people, the teacher of moral values, the defender of belief in the Almighty, the bridge between God and man. No people will live for long in freedom without it. The history of communism, whose founding father declared religion to be the opiate of the people, speaks with harshness and suffering concerning this basic matter .. Congress shall not abridge ‘the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’ .. The history of tyrants is a history of the muzzling of free expression and the denial of assembly.

Gathering of Eagles, June 20, 1991.

Ezra Taft Benson:

How strong is our will to remain free—to be good? False thinking and false ideologies, dressed in the most pleasing forms, quietly—almost without our knowing it—seek to reduce our moral defenses and to captivate our minds. They entice with bright promises of security, cradle-to-grave guarantees of many kinds. They masquerade under various names, but all may be recognized by one thing—one thing they all have in common: to erode away character and man’s freedom to think and act for himself. Effort will be made to lull us away into a false security. Proposals will be and are being offered and programs sponsored that have wide appeal. Attractive labels are usually attached to the most dangerous programs, often in the name of public welfare and personal security. Again, let us not be misled.

Watchman, Warn the Wicked. General Conference, April 1973.
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