The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the inspiration involved in writing the Constitution of the United States. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that the Lord prepared the men who wrote the Constitution for their important task. Latter-day Saints also believe that the Lord influenced the Framers to include inspired principles in the Constitution.
According to President Dallin H. Oaks and scholar of the Constitution, said that the Constitution of the United States contains at least five divinely inspired principles. The first divine principle in the Constitution is that it makes the source of government power to be the people. “The Constitution established a constitutional democratic republic, where the people exercise their power through their elected representatives.”
The second divine principle of the Constitution is the division of delegated power between the nation and its subsidiary states. Each state is a sovereign government, and the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution gives all powers to the people and the states that were not specifically given to the federal government.
The third divine principle of the Constitution is the separation of powers, or the division of federal power into the “independent executive, legislative and judicial powers so these three branches could exercise checks upon one another.”
The fourth divine principle is the cluster of guarantees of individual rights and specific limits on government authority in the Bill of Rights.
The fifth divine principle is “the vital purpose of the entire Constitution. We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any officeholder.”
When Latter-day Saints say that the Constitution was inspired by God, they do not mean that every word was inspired. They mean that the process was inspired by God as well as the principles that are included in the Constitution. Latter-day Saints also believe that they have a unique responsibility to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution by praying for guidance from the Lord on the nation and by living in obedience to the conditions contained in the Supreme Law of the United States.
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