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Topic: Freedom, Matches 23 quotes.



The multipurpose use of the word liberty and its synonym freedom has not changed. The sweets of liberty about which we usually speak may be classified as (1) political independence, (2) economic freedom, and (3) free agency.

I would have us strive for that liberty which comprehends all three of these freedoms, and more. I would have us strive for a freedom of the soul to which they all contribute. I would have us attain that blessed state foreshadowed by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he said, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” (D&C 121:45.) One who enjoys such liberty is, in the words of Jesus, “free indeed.” (John 8:36.) He is possessed of perfect liberty.

Source: President Marion G. Romney
The Perfect Law of Liberty
General Conference, October 1981

Topics: Freedom



Freedom as a Postulate of Morality

All the teachings and precepts of ethics, whether based upon a religious creed or whether based upon a secular doctrine like that of the Stoic philosophers, presuppose this moral autonomy of the individual and therefore appeal to the individual’s conscience. They presuppose that the individual is free to choose among various modes of conduct and require him to behave in compliance with definite rules, the rules of morality. Do the right things, shun the bad things.

It is obvious that the exhortations and admonishments of morality make sense only when addressing individuals who are free agents. They are vain when directed to slaves. It is useless to tell a bondsman what is morally good and what is morally bad. He is not free to determine his comportment; he is forced to obey the orders of his master. It is difficult to blame him if he prefers yielding to the commands of his master to the most cruel punishment threatening not only him but also the members of his family.

This is why freedom is not only a political postulate, but no less a postulate of every religious or secular morality.

Source: Ludwig von Mises
The Economic Foundations of Freedom
The Freeman, April 1960

Topics: Compulsion; Freedom; Morality



The Economic Power To Dissent

The simple truth is that individuals can be free to choose between what they consider as right or wrong only where they are economically independent of the government. A socialist government has the power to make dissent impossible by discriminating against unwelcome religious and ideological groups and denying them all the material implements that are required for the propagation and the practice of their convictions. The one-party system, the political principle of socialist rule, implies also the one-religion and one-morality system. A socialist government has at its disposal means that can be used for the attainment of rigorous conformity in every regard, “Gleichschaltung” as the Nazis called it. Historians have pointed out what an important role in the Reformation was played by the printing press. But what chances would the reformers have had, if all the printing presses had been operated by the governments headed by Charles V of Germany and the Valois kings of France? And, for that matter, what chances would Marx have had under a system in which all the means of communication had been in the hands of the governments?

Whoever wants freedom of conscience must abhor socialism. Of course, freedom enables a man not only to do the good things but also to do the wrong things. But no moral value can be ascribed to an action, however good, that has been performed under the pressure of an omnipotent government.

Source: Ludwig von Mises
Essays on Liberty, Vol 7, pp. 48-9.

Topics: Citizenship, Dissent; Freedom; Socialism



The Meaning Of Freedom

So much has been talked about liberty; so much has been said about fighting for freedom. What good is the winning of battles if we shall negate them by acts of unwarranted hatred? About this matter of freedom, I should like to say this regarding personal responsibility: too many people think of freedom in terms of license. Freedom is not the right to do as one “jolly well” pleases. Freedom stops for someone when someone else commits an act detrimental to his neighbor. I have no right to any conduct which would impede the progress of my neighbor. I have no right to any act which would take the freedom from someone else. And that thought carried a little further is of tremendous significance to the Latter-day Saints. This is a missionary Church. Upon us rests the responsibility of crying the gospel to the world because only by it can peace and liberty come.

Source: Elder Joseph F. Smith
General Conference, October 1945

Topics: Freedom; Responsibility; Rights



We have to accept some government limitations on freedom if we who live in communities are to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A condition of uninhibited individual freedom would allow the strong to oppress the weak. It would allow the eccentric desires of one person to restrict the freedom of many.

Interferences with our freedom do not deprive us of our free agency. When Pharaoh put Joseph in prison, he restricted Joseph’s freedom, but he did not take away his free agency. When Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, he interfered with their freedom to engage in a particular activity at a particular time in a particular place, but he did not take away their free agency.

The Lord has told us in modern revelation that he established the Constitution of the United States to assure “that every many may act ... according to the moral agency which I have given unto him” (D&C 101:78). In other words, God established our Constitution to [10] give us the vital political freedom necessary for us to act upon our personal choices in civil government. This revelation shows the distinction between agency (the power of choice), which is God-given and freedom, the right to act upon our choices, which is protected by the Constitution and laws of the land.

Freedom is obviously of great importance, but, as these examples illustrate, freedom is always qualified in mortality. Consequently, it would be better if we did not conduct a public policy debate in terms of a loss of free agency, which is impossible under our doctrine. We ought to focus on the legality or wisdom of a proposed restriction of our freedom.

Source: Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Free Agency And Freedom
Forty-Fifth Annual Joseph Smith Memorial Service
LDS Institute of Religion, Logan, Utah
Sunday, January 17, 1988

Topics: Free Agency; Freedom



God hath made them free

And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free. . . . according to the Spirit of God, which is also the Spirit of freedom which is in them.

God will deliver them, yea, and also all those who stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free.

Source: Alma 61:9, 15, 21

Topics: Freedom



Force cannot be used in the interests of freedom—except for self-defense and rebellion against slavery. This holds true whether the force is applied by a majority or a minority. It holds true whether the force is applied by a robber with a pistol or by a representative of the majority of the people who have voted to force other persons to do what the majority considers “best for them.” The theory now held in this country that the votes of the majority automatically insure freedom is incorrect. It is now leading us to our own destruction. Might has never made right. It never will.

This is not to deny that a republic or representative democracy is the most desirable form of government we have yet discovered. It is not to deny that freedom is safer in the hands of the many than in the hands of the few. But it is to deny that freedom is automatically safe just because the franchise has become widespread in America; just because we call ourselves “a democracy.” It requires more than a vote to preserve liberty; it requires understanding on the part of the voters; it requires the knowledge that all governmental decrees and actions must be grounded on moral and natural law if they are to benefit the people.

Source: Dean Russell
What Can I Do?, Essays on Liberty, volume 3

Topics: Force; Freedom; Voting



Maintaining our Freedom

What is our position today? Take, for example, public affairs. I read recently a comment of one of our national statesmen, Adlai Stevenson, “Our condition has nothing to do with any deficiency of technology or resources. It is a matter of people forgetting that political freedom can be sustained only by continuing individual commitment.” As he continues: “The great German poet Goethe, who also lived through a crisis of freedom, said to his generation ‘What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves or it will not be yours.’ We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that it has to be remade and re-earned in each generation of man.”

Source: Elder Henry D. Moyle
April 1959 General Conference

Topics: Freedom



True Freedom

Someone has said, “There are two freedoms; the false freedom where one is free to do what he likes, and the true freedom where one is free to do what he ought to do.”

I think it is appropriate and timely to discuss some things as they are and can be, as well as to consider the difference between loyalty and disloyalty as pertains to the true and false freedoms.

First, loyalty to true freedom principles or causes embraces love, dedication, faith, allegiance, willingness to sacrifice, and many other qualities that contribute to achievement and happiness.

Disloyalty to true freedom principles or causes embraces betrayal, unfaithfulness, disaffection, sedition, infidelity, and other qualities that contribute to failure, destruction, and unhappiness.

Loyalty to false freedom principles can only bring delusion, a counterfeit happiness, and eventual destruction. False freedom principles include such things as the abuse of one’s body by the use of drugs, liquor, and tobacco, as well as sexual immoralities. False freedom principles likewise include the spread of communistic doctrine and protest by force.

In reality, true freedom can only exist in doing what is right, in being loyal—yes, in doing what we ought to do.

Source: Elder Franklin D. Richards
General Conference, April 1969

Topics: Freedom

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