Things I want to remember


A short list of powerful quotes about government.

John Adams

Posterity. You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.

Alexander Fraser Tytler

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.

Joseph Smith

In 1836 . . . I attended one of the meetings where Joseph Smith, Martin Harris and John Smith were present. Martin said there would not be a living Gentile on the earth in four years. Joseph reproved him and said, “Brother Martin, you are too fast; after messages are sent with lightning speed, with iron carriages drawn by iron horses snorting fire and smoke, with less speed than the messages were carried, then, it may do to talk about the time for the destruction of the Gentiles. But before that takes place they will make wonderful improvements in machinery of every kind, especially implements of husbandry for the working of the land and raising grain, saving a great deal of labor to the saints in building up the kingdom. The Lord will inspire the Gentiles to do this, but they will not acknowledge his hand in it, nor give him the glory, but will take the glory to themselves, and when their destruction comes the wicked will slay the wicked; the saints will not destroy the Gentiles, they will be divided among themselves and destroy one another. But the time is with the Lord. The benefits of all their ingenuity and inventions will be the means of advancing the building up of Zion with greater speed. The Lord will have the glory” (“Statement Made by Isaac Decker,” 21 September 1870, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah).

Brigham Young

We need to learn, practice, study, know and understand how angels live with each other. When this community comes to the point to be perfectly honest and upright, you will never find a poor person; none will lack, all will have sufficient. Every man, woman, and child will have all they need just as soon as they all become honest. When the majority of the community are dishonest, it maketh the honest portion poor, for the dishonest serve and enrich themselves at their expense (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232).

It would be hard for the people to explain away the idea that the Government of the United States is shutting down the gate upon us, for it is too visible; and this is what hastens the work of the Lord, which you are praying for every day. I do not believe that there is a man or woman here, who prays at all, but what prays every day for the Lord to hasten his work. Now take care, for if he does, maybe you will not be prepared to meet it.

The time must come when there will be a separation between this kingdom and the kingdoms of this world, even in every point of view. The time must come when this kingdom must be free and independent from all other kingdoms. Are you prepared to have the thread cut today? (Journal of Discourses volume 5, 2 August 1857).

George Q. Cannon

The last time the Prophet [Joseph Smith] addressed the people he predicted that peace should be taken from the earth, and that terrible calamities would come upon its inhabitants, and particularly upon our own nation (Journal of Discourses, volume 22, 3 July 1881).

The day will come when the Constitution and free government under it will be sustained and preserved by this people (Journal of Discourses, volume 23, 20 November 1881).

John Taylor

Some, in speaking of war and troubles, will say, are you not afraid? No, I am a servant of God, and this is enough, for Father is at the helm. It is for me to be as clay in the hands of the potter, to be pliable and walk in the light and countenance of the Spirit of the Lord, and then no matter what comes. Let the lightnings flash and the earthquakes bellow, God is at the helm, and I feel like saying but little, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth and will continue his work until he has put all enemies under his feet, and his kingdom extends from the rivers to the ends of the earth (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, Chapter 16: Strengthening Our Relationship with God).

We have got this kingdom to build up; and it is not a phantom, but a reality. We have to do it, God expects it at our hands. We have got to have—now do not tell any body for it is a great secret; we have got to have political power. What, will not that be treason? Perhaps so, but no matter; we have got to go on and progress in these things. We have got to establish a government upon the principle of righteousness, justice, truth and equality and not according to the many false notions that exist among men. And then the day is not far distant when this nation will be shaken from centre to circumference. And now, you may write it down, any of you, and I will prophesy it in the name of God. And then will be fulfilled that prediction to be found in one of the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Those who will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come, saying we do not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk about that some other time. Will we protect such people? Yes, all honorable men. When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the programme, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances (Journal of Discourses, volume 21, 31 August 1879).

Joseph Fielding Smith

I fear for the United States, and I fear for other nations. The trouble that we read about in Spain, today, is the result of accumulated wickedness coming down through ages. People are not destroyed in righteousness, but in wickedness, and the Lord has decreed that the wicked shall slay the wicked, and in that land that is taking place today. Similar things will take place in other lands; and this country, in which we live, shall not escape, unless men turn again to the worship of God and accept Jesus Christ. They have discarded him, and they have ridiculed his commandments (Doctrines of Salvation, volume 3, p. 26).

Gordon B. Hinckley

Is it too much to ask of anyone, any member of this Church, that you actually fast for two meals a month? It will only bless our lives if we do so. I am satisfied that if every man and woman and child in the United States of America were to observe this great and marvelous practice, which costs no one anything, not a thing, that it would take care of all the welfare problems of this nation (Stand a Little Taller, p. 132, quote for May 5).

Leadership—of the family, an organization, our society, or even the nation—erodes and eventually falls apart without honesty and integrity. Honesty is the keystone that holds any organization together (Stand a Little Taller, p. 271, quote for September 16).

We are involved in an intense battle. It is a battle between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the design of the Almighty on the one hand and that of Lucifer on the other. For that reason, we desperately need moral men and women who stand on principle, to be involved in the political process.  Otherwise, we abdicate power to those whose designs are almost entirely selfish (Stand a Little Taller, p. 15, quote for January 14).

O God, our Eternal Father, Thou great Judge of the Nations, Thou who art the governor of the universe, Thou who art our Father and our God, whose children we are, we look to Thee in faith in this dark and solemn time. Please, dear Father, bless us with faith. Bless us with love. Bless us with charity in our hearts. Bless us with a spirit of perseverance to root out the terrible evils that are in this world. Give protection and guidance to those who are engaged actively in carrying forth the things of battle. Bless them; preserve their lives; save them from harm and evil. Hear the prayers of their loved ones for their safety. We pray for the great democracies of the earth which Thou hast overseen in creating their governments, where peace and liberty and democratic processes obtain.

O Father, look with mercy upon this, our own nation, and its friends in this time of need. Spare us and help us to walk with faith ever in Thee and ever in Thy Beloved Son, on whose mercy we count and to whom we look as our Savior and our Lord. Bless the cause of peace and bring it quickly to us again, we humbly plead with Thee, asking that Thou wilt forgive our arrogance, pass by our sins, be kind and gracious to us, and cause our hearts to turn with love toward Thee. We humbly pray in the name of Him who loves us all, even the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Savior, amen (“Till We Meet Again,” October 2001 General Conference).

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