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Oct 4th 2006

Mormon Beliefs: Obeying the Laws of the Land

This article on Mormonism was written by Pamela. It is one of a series of informational posts about perceived mysteries or secrets of the LDS Church. –Admin

Obeying the laws of the land

In response to a request by John Wentworth, the Prophet Joseph Smith received through revelation the thirteen Articles of Faith. These are statements pertaining to the basic beliefs of the Mormon Church and are considered to be scripture along with the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

Article of Faith #12 states that, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”[1]

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each is admonished to learn about the history, heritage, and laws of the land in which they reside. It is believed that God established the Constitution of the United States of America ‘by the hands of wise men whom [He] raised up unto this very purpose.’ [2] Finding and voting for good leaders, supporting improvements in laws, volunteering and helping to improve the community are all ways in which citizens can and should participate.

Mormons believe that there are three types of laws; spiritual, nature and civil. These are rules that define the existence of man and in which guides each person’s actions. Through obedience to these laws, blessings and rewards are given. Through abuse of these laws, suffering, deprivation, and even punishment result. The Mormon Church sustains the constitution as the best course in maintaining peace and individual freedom.

“All the laws of God and the laws of nature and the laws of the land are made for the benefit of men, for his comfort, enjoyment, safety, and well-being; and it is up to the individual to learn these laws and to determine whether or not he will enjoy these benefits by obeying the law and by keeping the commandment…to be happy and successful we must obey the laws and regulations pertaining to our activities; and these laws will function either to our joy and well-being or to our detriment and sorrow, according to our actions.”[3]

“Patriotism is more than flag-waving and fireworks. It is how we respond to public issues. If we ask only, ‘What’s in this proposal for me”, What do I get out of it?, we are not patriotic and we are not good citizens. But is we ask, ‘Is this right? Is it good for the…people?, Would it preserve and strengthen our freedom?’, then we deserve to stand in the company of [great patriots]. Patriotism is trying always to give more to the Nation than we receive.”[4]

For more information about the Mormon Church and its beliefs in regard to government and laws, please see the following websites:
Mormon Church
Basic Beliefs

[1] Pearl of Great Price; Article of Faith 1:12
[2] “Doctrine and Covenants 101:80″
[3] Improvement Era”; Tanner; 1970; p62
[4] “The Red Carpet”; Benson; 1962; p96

2 Responses to “Mormon Beliefs: Obeying the Laws of the Land”

  1. Doug

    In reference to the article: “Mormon Beliefs, obeying the laws of the land.” To the author: Pleas refrain from using the following words together, ever: “in which.” I teach writing to a lot of students, many of whom happen to be LDS and they suffer with the same affliction. There is always a more succinct alternative to “in which.” The reason I mention LDS students is that I am thinking there is some causal link between their frequent reading of the scriptures – trying to pray in the King’s English – and the use of “in which.”

  2. Doug

    Sorry I claimed to be a writing instructor and then left an e off of please – typo.