Howard W. Hunter
Quotes on Freedom, America, Constitution, Liberty, Etc…
There are several principles which undergird the significance of work in the Lord’s plan. First, as the covenant people we must be as self-sufficient as possible. We are to be free from dependence upon a dole or any program that might endanger our free agency. Second, we must work to support the families with which the Lord has blessed us.
What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms. . . .
If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.
Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which they have lost.
From my own experience in business and as a lawyer and church worker, and from my firsthand observations in this country and other countries of the world, there appears to me to be a trend to shift responsibility for life and its processes from the individual to the state. In this shift there is a basic violation of the law of the harvest, or the law of justice. The attitude of “something for nothing” is encouraged. The government is often looked to as the source of wealth. There is a feeling that the government should step in and take care of one’s needs, one’s emergencies, and one’s future. Just as my friend actually became a slave to his own ignorance and bad habits by refusing to accept the responsibility for his own education and moral growth, so, also, can an entire people be imperceptibly transferred from individuals, families, and communities to the federal government.
We are charged with the duty of sustaining and upholding the laws of the land. It is dishonest to intentionally violate the law. It doesn’t make any difference how one may feel personally about the fairness or justness of the rules which have been established by society, one’s duty is to respect and sustain the law. The commission of major crimes is condemned by nearly all such persons, yet some will intentionally violate lesser laws, such as traffic ordinances, without any sense of guilt.
Is it because of fear of the penalties of law that men observe statutes and ordinances? Is it only because of the great commandments “Thou shalt not!” that he keeps the moral code? I am of the opinion that there are higher motives – that most persons have a real sense of moral responsibility and duty. . . .
It is not fear of the law, it is not what others may think, but rather the sense of responsibility which causes man to live the higher moral law. He has his free agency, and most men know the difference between right and wrong and are willing to follow that which is right.
It is part of our religion to be good drivers, to obey the traffic laws, to support and assist the policeman, not dodge him nor dog him. Officers are public servants. We would have chaos without them. As people who honor the law, who believe in being honest, who believe in doing to others as we would have others do to us, we are duty bound to keep the law.
As Latter-Day Saints we are supposed to honor, uphold and sustain the law. That is one of our Articles of Faith. We can hardly say that we will be Latter-Day Saints when we are out of a car and forget the rule of our religion when we are in a car.
If we are Latter-Day Saints, we should be Latter-Day Saints all the time, whether in a car, or on the football field, on the basketball floor, in the classroom, or in our own homes. Our religion is for all the time.
How can men of conscience ignore the teachings of the Master in their daily affairs, in business, or in government? We stand by and wink at many things because we fear to do anything about them. We may be against crime or communism, but what do we do about it? We may be against corruption in government or against juvenile delinquency, but what do we do about it? We may have a belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but what are we doing about it? We need to push fear into the background and come forward with a definite, positive declaration, and assume responsibility.