From the time of Joseph Smith to today, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always preached “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12). They have also encouraged us to be grateful for the blessings of living in America or other great countries. As we approach America’s Independence Day, take the chance to read some of the best General Authority quotes—both old and new—about patriotism.
“Brethren and friends, we who have lived to three-score years, have beheld the government of the United States in its glory, and know that the outrageous cruelties we have suffered proceeded from a corrupted and degenerate administration, while the pure principles of our boasted Constitution remain unchanged. …
“… As we have inherited the spirit of liberty and the fire of patriotism from our fathers, so let them descend [unchanged] to our posterity.”
—Phineas Richards, quoted in “The Test” by Boyd K. Packer
“We need to feel again what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America. We need to feel the thrill and sensation and have the swellings within our bosom about this country. The priesthood of God should be an example of patriotism and loyalty to our country. As I talk about the United States of America, each one should consider his homeland, his flag, and his country.”
—Vaughn J. Featherstone, “But Watchmen, What of the Night?”
“[We] assured [the president] that no matter what his name or his political party, we [of the Church] were frequently on our knees, praying God that he and the leaders of this nation and of the world would bring us through the crises of the present.”
—Harold B. Lee, “A Time of Decision”
“[The writers of the Constitution] were inspired, and the Constitution they provided can be designated accurately as a divine document.
“But even a divine constitution requires something further; it demands a kind of people who will, by their very natures, receive and respect such a constitution and function well within the conditions it establishes.”
—Paul H. Dunn, “‘Oh Beautiful for Patriot Dream’”
“Popular sovereignty necessarily implies popular responsibility. Instead of blaming their troubles on a king or other sovereign, all citizens must share the burdens and responsibilities of governing. As the Book of Mormon teaches, ‘The burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.’ (Mosiah 29:34.)”
—Dallin H. Oaks, “The Divinely Inspired Constitution”
“Patriotism is not just paying taxes or serving in the military. It is living so that we create a better country for future generations.”
—Neal A. Maxwell, “Patriotism”
“Great are the promises concerning this land of America. We are told unequivocally that it ‘is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ’ (Ether 2:12). This is the crux of the entire matter—obedience to the commandments of God.”
—Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live”
Do you have a favorite patriotic quote or scripture that we haven’t listed? Share it in a comment! And this Fourth of July, take the time to remember what it means to be a good citizen and how you can show God your gratitude for the nation you call home.