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Topic: Virtue, Matches 25 quotes.



Freedom today, fragile as it is, depends on total virtue. The electorate must be virtuous. If the citizens of this nation do not practice virtue and live by the restraints placed on them by their Creator; if they become intemperate in their wants and yield to politicians who pander to their pleadings, they will lose their freedom. But there must also be virtue among those elected to public trust by the people. If the elected become morally derelict, it is incumbent on the electorate to remove them. Only virtue in both the elected and the electorate will preserve our freedoms. When virtue is ignored or neglected, the Constitution indeed "hangs by a thread," and the nation becomes subject to the same divine decree that brought other nations that have occupied this land to destruction.

Source: David O. McKay
Charter of Liberty: The Inspired Origin and Prophetic Destiny of the Constitution, pp 6-7

Topics: Freedom, Loss of; Virtue



Joseph Smith’s concept of government and law was divinely enlightened. Government was instituted by Almighty God, and the Constitution of the United States was written by men inspired of God to bring just civic life to the world, for there is a sacredness of citizenship which we all should know. It requires the faithful use of political rights. He saw the wrong of slavery and advocated that the government buy the slaves from their masters, and give them the opportunity to develop their own lives adapted to them. What a tragedy this could have averted. There must be a revival of civic pride in America, a keener respect for law and order. All the written laws in the world cannot bring back that fine old love of justice and the ways of God. There must be the spirit of consecration, of self-discipline, of devotion to the righteous teachings of God. Far back in the ages, Isaiah, six hundred years before the Savior of mankind came, wrote: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may entr in.” (Isaiah 26:2.) There is a conscience of nations as there is of individuals. We had once a national conscience, as expressed by the Puritans, Quakers, and the many other religious devotees who settled these shores. They knew moral integrity, moral purpose, moral restraint.

Source: President Levi Edgar Young
General Conference, April 1945

Topics: Citizenship; Morality; Responsibility; Virtue



Liberty and Human Evolution

The author of that remarkable book, Human Destiny, wrote: “To really participate in the divine task, man must place his ideal as high as possible, out of reach if necessary.” (Lecomte du NoŁy, p. 154.)

Faith in high ideals is, indeed, the leaven of liberty. To aim at liberty as an ideal is as high as one can go. Why? Liberty is the means, the key, to human evolution! Unless a person be free to act creatively as he pleases, he cannot participate in the Divine Task; he will be unable to achieve those other ideals—virtues—on which evolutionary upgrading depends.

Source: Leonard Read
Liberty: Legacy of Truth

Topics: Liberty; Virtue



Freedom certainly cannot exist under a system where the citizens are stripped of individuality and pressed into the classless society by a despotic state, where men and women are compelled to exist as faceless worker bees. That is slavery!

Neither can freedom long survive in a society where the rights of the individual are fanatically promoted regardless of what happens to society itself. The rights of the individual, the ideal, the virtue, when pressed to the extreme, like other virtues, will presently become a vice. Without some balance, activists, lawyers, legislators, judges, and courts who think they are protecting individual freedom are in fact fabricating a new and subtle and sinister kind of dictatorship.

Source: Elder Boyd K. Packer
Address given 25 June 1989 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Freedom, Loss of; Virtue



There must be enough of us who have faith enough and who are moral enough to desire that which is right. Virtues, like love and liberty and patriotism, do not exist in general, they exist in particular. If morality exists at all, it exists in the individual heart and mind of the ordinary citizen. Such virtues cannot be isolated in any other place; not in the rocks or in the water, not in trees or air, not in animals or birds. If it exists at all, it exists in the human heart. Morality flourishes when the rank and file are free. It flourishes where a conscience is clear, where men have faith in God and are obedient to the restraints He has set upon human conduct.

Source: Elder Boyd K. Packer
Address given 25 June 1989 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Morality; Virtue



Believe it or not, at one time the very notion of government had less to do with politics than with virtue. According to James Madison, often referred to as the father of the Constitution: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of the government far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” (Russ Walton, Biblical Principles of Importance to Godly Christians [New Hampshire: Plymouth Foundation, 1984], p. 361.)

George Washington agreed with his colleague James Madison. Said Washington: “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle” (James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, published by authority of Congress, 1899, vol. 1, p. 220).

Nearly a hundred years later, Abraham Lincoln responded to a question about which side God was on during the Civil War with his profound insight: “I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” (Abraham Lincoln’s Stories and Speeches, J. B. McClure, ed. [Chicago: Rhodes and McClure Publishing Co., 1896], pp. 185-86.)

Madison, Washington, and Lincoln all understood that democracy cannot possibly flourish in a moral vacuum, and that organized religion plays an important role in preserving and maintaining public morality. Indeed, John Adams, another of America’s founding fathers, insisted: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion” (John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles E Adams, ed., 1854).

Source: Elder M. Russell Ballard
Address given 5 July 1992 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Government, Purpose; Morality; Virtue



Earlier, in his first inaugural, Washington said: “There exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness . . . we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Significantly, the Senate replied to Washington’s Inaugural, saying: “We feel, sir, the force and acknowledge the justness of the observation that the foundations of our national policy should be lain in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue.” (Thomas G. West, “The Rule of Law in the Federalist,” in Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding, ed. Charles R. Kesler [New York: The Free Press, 1987], 166-67.)

Source: Neal A. Maxwell
Address given 4 July 1993 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Morality; Virtue



As piety, religion and morality have a happy influence on the minds of men, in their public as well as private transactions, you will not think it unseasonable . . . to bring to your remembrance the great importance of encouraging our university, town schools, and other seminaries of education, that our children and youth while they are engaged in the pursuit of useful science, may have their minds impressed with a strong sense of the duties they owe to their God, their instructions, and each other, so that when they arrive to a state of manhood, and take a part in any public transactions, their hearts having been deeply impressed in the course of their education with the moral feelings—such feelings may continue and have their due weight through the whole of their future lives.

Source: Samuel Adams

Topics: Morality; Virtue



Among the most important terms used in this new language of the Republic were “moral sense” and “virtue.” Thomas Jefferson, for example, believed that if moral sense and personal virtue had not been God-given within the human being, then the building of any republic—especially the one we enjoy today—would simply have been impossible.

According to Jefferson, “passions and appetites are parts of human nature,” but so are “reason and moral sense.“17 “It would have been inconsistent [by God] in [the very act of] creation,” he insisted, “to have found man for [life in a] social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of [that] society.“18 “I believe that it is instinct[ive], and innate, that the moral sense is as much a part of our [personal] constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing. A wise Creator must have seen [this as] necessary in [a being] destined to live [together] in society.“19

17. C. E Adams, Writings of John Adams, vol. 6, p. 115.

18. Lester J. Cappon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), p. 388.

19. Ibid., p. 492.

Source: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Address given 30 June 1996 at the Freedom Festival at Provo, UT.

Topics: Morality; Virtue

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