We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
Ezra Taft Benson:
A free-market philosophy recognizes property rights as sacred. Because the individual is entitled to ownership of goods and property that he has earned, he is sovereign, so far as human law is concerned, over his own goods. He may retain possession of his goods. He may pass his wealth on to family or to charitable causes. Charity, that greatest of godly virtues, would never be possible without property rights, for one cannot give what one does not own.
The currently favored instrument of collectivization is the Welfare State. The collectivists have not abandoned their ultimate goal – to subordinate the individual to the state – but their strategy has changed. They have learned that socialism can be achived through welfarism quite as well as through nationalization. They understand that private property can be confiscated as effectively by taxation as by expropriating it. They understand that the individual can be put at the mercy of the state – not only by making the state his employer – but by divesting him of the means to provide for his personal needs and by giving the state the responsibility of caring for those needs from cradle to grave .. they have discovered that welfarism is much more compatible with the political process of a democratic society.
Ludwig von Mises:*
Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state. It sets limits to the operation of the authoritarian will. It allows other forces to arise side by side with and in opposition to political power. It thus becomes the basis of all those activities that are free from violent interference on the part of the state. It is the soil in which the seeds of freedom are nurtured and in which the autonomy of the individual and ultimately all intellectual and material progress are rooted.
Ezra Taft Benson:
D&C 134, verse 2, states that government should hold inviolate the rights and control of property.* This makes important reading in a day when government controls are increasing and people are losing the right to control their own property.
Howard W. Hunter:
The right to own and control private property is not only a human right it is a divine right. We will largely be judged, if I understand the Savior’s teachings correctly (see Matthew 25), by how we use our property voluntarily for the blessings and benefit of our Father’s other children. President McKay continually teaches us that this right of free agency is our most precious heritage. It is our greatest gift in this world and is to be valued even more than life itself. If you deprive a man of his right to fail in the righteous use of his property, you also deprive him of his right to succeed. If you remove from a man his right to “go to hell,” you likewise remove his free agency to go to heaven. Satan’s entire philosophy is based on a “something for nothing” philosophy: salvation without effort – a free gift. This counterfeit doctrine was rejected by God our Father.
David O McKay:
We must recognize that property rights are essential to human liberty…’it is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to property. Property, per se, has no rights but the individual – the man – has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his life, the right to his liberty, and the right to his property. The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes life worth living. To give him liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.’
Ezra Taft Benson:
Is the united order a communal system? Emphatically not. It never has been and never will be. It is “intensely individualistic.” Does the united order eliminate private ownership of property? No. “The fundamental principle of this system is the private ownership of property” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, October 1942, p. 57).
H. Verlan Andersen:
As originally interpreted, the United States Constitution denied government the right to regulate and control the citizen in the use of his property. Over the years the commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been so interpreted as to permit both the state and Federal governments to regiment labor, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, communication, finance and all other forms of economic activity. Today, if there is any limit on the power of government to regulate, no one knows what that limit is.