Elder Oaks speaks on freedom of religion, Prop. 8

by | Oct. 13, 2009

What We Believe

The free exercise of religion — as protected by the United States Constitution — is under attack, an LDS leader says, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are being called upon to rally in its defense.

"There is a battle over the meaning of that freedom," said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve. "The contest is of eternal importance, and it is your generation that must understand the issues and make the efforts to prevail."

He listed several examples of such current controversies regarding religious freedom — laws governing marriage and adoption, laws regulating activities of church-related organizations in furthering their religious missions, and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment circumstances against people with unpopular religious beliefs or practices.

The former University of Chicago law professor, Brigham Young University president and Utah Supreme Court justice acknowledged during his devotional talk Tuesday afternoon at BYU-Idaho's Hart Auditorium that, thanks to the Internet age, his message would be received by an even wider, more diverse audience.

Christian principles of human worth and dignity made possible the Constitution's formation more than 200 years ago, and only those principles in the hearts of a majority of a diverse American population can sustain the Constitution today, he said.

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