The wisdom of these provisions in the Constitution which protect the liberties and inherent rights of the citizens, should be apparent to all. They should be guarded and protected with a jealous care. The Constitution is our assurance against anarchy and despotism. Every Latter-day Saint should be familiar with every part of this great document. Such knowledge is essential to an understanding of the significance of the word of the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants. . . .

With this provision of the Constitution, that there should be no religious test, and that every person should have the right to worship according to the dictates of conscience, the fulness of religious liberty was born. This principle, we may see from a study of the past, has been of gradual growth and development since the days of the emancipation of the people from religious tyranny at the time of the Protestant revolution. It took several centuries for the seed to develop and bring forth the fully developed fruit which it did when the government of the United States was formed. In this way the Lord prepared the way for the restoration of the Gospel with all its keys and powers in a humble way in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. It would be wrong to say that it was impossible for the Lord to establish his work had not religious freedom come and been guaranteed as we find it in our Constitution. But it is a fact, nevertheless, that he, in his infinite wisdom, prepared the way, commencing several hundred years ago and working through brave and humble men, many of whom became martyrs to the cause of truth, when darkness ruled supreme over the face of the earth.

( Source: The Progress of Man 298-99 )