Daily Messages

Words for You to Ponder Today


Freedom

  • "I believe one important way to move forward is to minimize talk of rights and to increase talk of responsibilities. From the standpoint of religion, I urge my fellow believers to remember that the scriptures contain very little talk of rights, only commandments that create responsibilities. Others, who choose to reason in pragmatic terms, should remember that we strengthen rights by encouraging the fulfillment of responsibilities."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "It surely demeans free speech to reject it in a public setting because of the assumed motives of the speaker. The same result follows if speech is disqualified according to stereotypes affixed to the speaker. … I see a parallel between denying judicial access to a person on racial grounds and excluding public consideration of a person’s opinions on religious grounds."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "I submit that religious leaders and religiously motivated persons should have the same privileges of speech and participation as any other persons or leaders and that churches should stand on at least as strong a footing as any other corporation when they enter the public square to participate in public policy debates. The precious constitutional right of free speech does not exclude any individual or any group, and the exercise of that right with religious speech is especially protected in view of the companion guarantee of the free exercise of religion."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "To achieve our common goals we must have mutual respect for others whose beliefs, values, and behaviors differ from our own. This does not expect that we will deny or abandon our differences but that we will learn to live with others who do not share them. It will help if we are not led or unduly influenced by the extreme voices that are heard from various contending positions. Extreme voices polarize and create resentment and fear by emphasizing what is nonnegotiable and by suggesting that the desired outcome is to disable the adversary and achieve absolute victory. Such outcomes are rarely attainable and never preferable to living together in mutual understanding and peace"

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "Religious leaders and believers must unite to strengthen our freedom to teach what we have in common, as well as to teach and exercise our very real religious differences. We must walk shoulder to shoulder on the same path in order to secure our freedom to pursue our separate ways when that is necessary according to our distinctive beliefs. We must also insist on our constitutional right to exer­cise our beliefs and to voice our con­sciences on issues in the public square and in the halls of justice. These are the rights of all citizens, including religious believers, leaders, and organizations."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "We must enlist the support of persons who have what is called “spirituality” but who lack denominational affiliation. Religious freedom must not be seen as something serving only the interests of churches and synagogues. It must be understood as a protection for religious people, whether or not their beliefs involve membership or behavior. Support for the First Amendment free exercise of religion should not be limited to those who intend to exercise it, individually or through denominational affiliation."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom

  • "On the subject of religious freedom, leaders of various religious denominations—Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—are coming together in unprecedented ways. New organizations and informal coalitions are operating to defend religious freedom. Speakers on religious campuses and other gatherings are crossing denominational lines that were insurmountable a few years ago. Religious people are coming to see one another not as adversaries but as fellow worshipers who must unite to protect their freedom. … The reality, of course, is that freedom of speech and freedom of religion benefit all people, nonbelievers as well as believers."

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Hope for the Years Ahead"
    Topics: Freedom