Brother Joseph on The US Constitution

Weary of the unsubstantiated whispers of white horses that are passing as journalistic scholarship, I thought I’d share some of what Joseph Smith actually said about the US Magna Charta and his bid for President.  As I’ve said before, LDS appreciation of the Constitution stems from a love Liberty of conscience and adequate protection of such.

On defending the Constitution:

It is one of the first principles of my life, and one that I have cultivated from my childhood, having been taught it by my father, to allow every one the liberty of conscience.  I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth.  In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights.

On his candidacy for President of the United States:

I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike.  But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning.  Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief.  And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence; and if I lose my life in a good cause I am willing to be sacrificed on the altar of virtue, righteousness and truth, in maintaining the laws and Constitution of the United States, if need be, for the general good of mankind.

We have as good a right to make a political party to gain power to defend ourselves, as for demagogues to make use of our religion to get power to destroy us.  In other words, as the world has used the power of government to oppress and persecute us, it is right for us to use it for the protection of our rights.  We will whip the mob by getting up a candidate for President.

It was never about theocracy; it was about protecting liberty, freedom of conscience, and protection of those rights for all.

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