Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists

Letter of the Danbury Baptists to Pres. Thomas Jefferson

The address of the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut,
assembled October 7, 1801.

To Thomas Jefferson, Esq., President of the United States of America

Sir,
Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your inauguration, to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the Unite States. And though the mode of expression may be less courtly and pompous than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, sir, to believe, that none is more sincere.

Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter, together with the laws made coincident therewith, were adapted as the basis of our government at the time of our revolution. And such has been our laws and usages, and such still are, [so] that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those who seek after power and gain, under the pretense of government and Religion, should reproach their fellow men, [or] should reproach their Chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dares not, assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States is not the National Legislator and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each State, but our hopes are strong that the sentiment of our beloved President, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these States–and all the world–until hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and goodwill shining forth in a course of more than thirty years, we have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which he bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you–to sustain and support you and your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth and importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

Signed in behalf of the Association,

Neh,h Dodge }
Eph’m Robbins } The Committee
Stephen S. Nelson }

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Lance Richardson’s NDE and the Founding Fathers

"The Message by Lance Richardson" by Oak Norton

From http://www.oaknorton.com/themessage.cfm – personal emphasis added.

A couple years ago (2003’ish) I had the opportunity to meet Cleon Skousen, quite a well known individual in church and government circles. I spent a wonderful afternoon talking with him about a variety of subjects and over the course of that conversation he made a fascinating statement to me about a man named Lance Richardson. He told me that Lance had had an NDE (Near Death Experience) where he died, went to the spirit world, and came back. When Lance returned he said that he was told by some of the men who lived with the founding fathers of our country to read several books when he returned to help him better understand why our founding fathers were inspired to organize this country the way they did, and several of those books were written by Cleon. (more…)

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Thomas Jefferson on the Restoration of Christ’s True Church

On November 4, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Reverend Jared Sparks. He stated:

"I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man.  I adhere to the principles of the first age; and consider all subsequent innovations as corruptions of His religion, having no foundation in what came from Him. The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere relapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible.  The religion of Jesus is founded in the Unity of God, and this principle chiefly, gave it triumph over the rabble of heathen gods then acknowledged.  Thinking men of all nations rallied readily to the doctrine of one only God, and embraced it with the pure morals which Jesus inculcated.  If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by His pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity.  This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.”

(The Writings of Thomas Jefferson V15: Containing His Autobiography, Notes on Virginia, Parliamentary Manual, Official Papers, Messages and Addresses, And Other Writings And Private (Lipscomb and Bergh, Eds.; Kessinger Publishing, 2006), 15:288 (emphasis in original))

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Manti Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 21–23 May 1888
by Lorenzo Snow

Almighty and Eternal Father, Creator of heaven and earth, and all that they contain, Thou who art the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of all living; to Thee, Thy believing children here present bring our offering and beseech Thee to grant Thy listening ear while we dedicate this Temple unto Thy most holy name.

We realize our weakness, our utter feebleness and inability to advance the interests and honor of Thy name upon the earth, except Thou dost guide us by Thy Holy Spirit; therefore, we humble ourselves in Thy presence, and earnestly entreat Thee to forgive us our sins and all vanity and unworthiness which Thy purity and perfection have discovered in any one of us, inasmuch as we are truly penitent therefore, and ready to forgive those who trespass against us. (more…)

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President Thomas S. Monson at Cleon Skousen’s Funeral – Excerpts

From: latterdayconservative.com

 

At the funeral of author W. Cleon Skousen, Thomas S. Monson recited, from memory, a passage found in The First 2,000 Years (by Skousen). President Monson said that he had previously quoted this to a man who had asked about Skousen’s character:

“Often the wisdom of God is foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson to be learned in mortality is that when God commands and a man obeys, that man will always be right.”

President Monson also said: “Everyone he spoke to, everyone he taught, is closer to Christ than before they met Cleon Skousen.” (more…)

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Idaho Falls Temple Rededicatory Prayer (2017)

From: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865681491/Idaho-Falls-temple-rededicatory-prayer.html

Following is the prayer offered by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, on Sunday, June 4, to rededicate the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.


Almighty Father, Thou great Elohim, we come before Thee in love and humility, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are assembled to rededicate this, Thy holy house and a prophesied place of rest for Thy Son (see Acts 7:49).

This beautiful temple has been a haven in the past for all who have entered herein and who have felt of its spirit. We thank Thee for it and ask for Thy Spirit to once again dwell continuously within its walls.

We are thankful for those who laid the foundations of this and other nearby communities. Now their posterity enjoys the sweet fruits of those efforts and the crowning blessings that come from faithful service in this magnificent and beautiful temple.

We are profoundly grateful for the Constitution of the United States, with its Bill of Rights. These are the guarantees of our freedom and our liberty. Preserve them through the generations to come that Thy children may be free to worship Thee without restraint or hindrance of any kind.

Bless those who govern in this nation that they may be inspired to do that which will ensure peace and freedom for the people of this land. Similarly, bless leaders in all nations, where Thy children dwell. (more…)

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Salt Lake, Utah Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 6–24 April 1893
by Wilford Woodruff

Our Father in heaven, Thou has created the heavens and the earth, and all things that are therein; Thou most glorious One, perfect in mercy, love, and truth, we, Thy children, come this day before Thee, and in this house which we have built to Thy most holy name, humbly plead the atoning blood of Thine Only Begotten Son, that our sins may be remembered no more against us forever, but that our prayers may ascend unto Thee and have free access to Thy throne, that we may be heard in Thy holy habitation. And may it graciously please Thee to hearken unto our petitions, answer them according to Thine infinite wisdom and love, and grant that the blessings which we seek may be bestowed upon us, even a hundred fold, inasmuch as we seek with purity of heart and fullness of purpose to do Thy will and glorify Thy name. (more…)

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 18 September 2016
by Henry B. Eyring

O God, our Heavenly Father, Thou Great Elohim, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we come before Thee in love and humility to dedicate this holy house. We are grateful for the blessings that have been showered upon us.

First and foremost, we remember the gift of Thy Son, the great Jehovah, Savior of the world. We are grateful that He came down from His place in glory at Thy side to offer the infinite sacrifice that makes it possible for us to be purified and to return to Thee.

We are grateful for the hospitality of this historic city and pray that it may be blessed by the very presence of Thy house. May the light of the gospel that emanates from this holy temple be felt throughout the community.

We thank Thee for all who have made possible this day, those who have made the decision to place a temple here, the architects and contractors, the city officials who have granted the necessary permits, the workmen and all associated with this undertaking. Bless the faithful tithe payers of the Church who have given to further the building of temples. Keep Thine promises made by the prophet Malachi to open the windows of heaven and shower blessings down upon them.

We are profoundly grateful for the Constitution of the United States and for the Bill of Rights. These are the guarantors of our independence and our liberty.

We pray for this nation of which we are part. Preserve the freedom of the people now and for generations to come. May these blessings rest upon its citizens without restraint or hindrance of any kind. Bless those who lead and inspire them in their endeavors that righteousness may grow, that the people may look to Thee, and that this nation, under God, may continue as a base from which Thy work may spread throughout the earth. (more…)

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Idaho Falls Temple Dedicatory Prayer (1945)

Dedicated 23–25 September 1945
by George Albert Smith

O Thou great and eternal God, Father of our spirits, Creator of the heavens, the earth and all things therein; before whom all things are present, whether past or yet to come; full of mercy and love, guided by wisdom, judgment and justice in their perfection; in humility and with thanksgiving and with our hearts filled with gratitude unto Thee, we approach Thee through Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our elder Brother, who, through the great and exquisite sacrifice wrought out for us magnanimous beyond our comprehension, made it possible that we might approach Thee in humility on this great occasion, with our petitions and supplications, in this House which we have built to Thy most holy name.

We pray Thee that Thou wilt cause our hearts to be purified in Thy sight and our faith in Thee to be multiplied and increased so that our petitions may reach Thy holy habitation and be answered in our behalf in accordance with Thy infinite wisdom and love, and grant that the blessings we here seek may be fully realized to Thy name’s honor and glory. (more…)

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Speech: "Righteousness Exalteth A Nation" at the Provo Freedom Festival

Righteousness Exalteth A Nation

Ezra Taft Benson

Provo Freedom Festival

Marriott Center

Sunday, June 29, 1986, 7:30 pm

 

[Jacob’s note: As far as I can tell, the text of this speech is not on the internet anywhere in its entirety. I have only been able to find a few quotes from it. I used an OCR app to pull the text off some of my documents and then edited the speech to clean it up. Let me know if you find any errors! Enjoy!]


My fellow Americans. I would like to use as a text for my address this day a verse from the Old Testament. The book of Proverbs says: “Righteousness exalteth a nation" (Proverbs 14:34). This is the key to understanding our heritage and this is the key to maintaining it. The foundations of America are spiritual. That must never be forgotten nor doubted. Lest we forget, let us review those beginnings, looking for the spiritual moorings which underpin our nation. (more…)

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