Since Oct 22, 2009
Joseph Smith--History of the Church, 3:30.
First off, as to the entire cabal of anti-Mormons who make a daily attempt to disparage my beliefs, I try not to participate in those threads, they serve no purpose. They may feel like they are doing good, but I believe C.S. Lewis has rebuked them sufficiently better than I could:
"I think we may accept it as a rule that whenever a person's religious conversation dwells chiefly, or even frequently, on the faults of other people's religions, he is in a bad condition." -C.S. Lewis (Collected Letters Vol. 3 p. 209).
Now, on to more important matters.
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here." - Patrick Henry
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?" - Thomas Jefferson
If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against men. To God, therefore, not to man, must an account be rendered. -James Madison
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. -John Adams
Additional quotes from our Founding Fathers on the necessity of religion and Christianity associated with our Freedoms.
John Adams and John Hancock:
We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]
The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. October 11, 1798
I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen. December 25, 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson
Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell. [John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817]
He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all Our forefathers opened the Bible to all. [ American Independence, August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]
Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system. [October 4, 1790]
John Quincy Adams:
Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemers mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.
The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.
John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son. p. 61
Hamilton began work with the Rev. James Bayard to form the Christian Constitutional Society to help spread over the world the two things which Hamilton said made America great: (1) Christianity
(2) a Constitution formed under Christianity.
The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.
On July 12, 1804 at his death, Hamilton said, I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.
For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests. [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]
I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.
In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness Resolved; Thursday the 11th of May to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation and a Blessing on the Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God] That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation for the redress of Americas many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.
A Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation. Proclamation on April 15, 1775
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.
Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.
I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.
God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever. (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jeffersons Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]
Weve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. Weve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]
I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare the unsatisfactoriness [of temportal enjoyments] by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.
Letter by Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773)
In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress
It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.
A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. [Letter by Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772]
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us.
[Baron Charles Montesquieu, wrote in 1748; Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same body of principal men exercised these three powers. Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government
See also: pp.241-242 in Teaching and Learning Americas Christian History: The Principle approach by Rosalie Slater]
It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.
The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal. The Existence of God1810
I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism. By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds. [Letter written (1790s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America]
Christianity is the only true and perfect religion.
If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary.
Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education
Letters of Benjamin Rush, To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools, March 28, 1787
George Washington: Farewell Address: The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion ...and later: ...reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle... It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible. What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ. [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]
To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian [May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge]
During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words So help me God! to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible.
Some references from the Book of Mormon that speak to these times and why we must make and keep Christ in our lives, religiously, spiritually and politically.
10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.
11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of Godthat ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.
12 Behold, this 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, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.
23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gainand the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.
25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
This is not a definitive list of statements, but it's a pretty good one.