Doctrine and Covenants

Week 22: The relationship of the Lord’s people to secular government

D&C 98–99, 102, 106, 108, 134

1 April 2021


Additional reading and links

  • In March 1907, the First Presidency issued a proclamation affirming that the Church is politically neutral, and that the state should not control the church, neither should the church control the state: “An Address: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the World,”, Improvement Era 10, no. 5 (May 1907): 492–93.

  • Today's First Presidency has continued to reaffirm this policy; see “Political Neutrality,” Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” Ensign (June 1976): 3–6. President Kimball’s message, criticizing militarism among Latter-day Saints, was published one month before the commemoration of the U.S. bicentennial.

  • Rodney Stark, “The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History,” PBS Frontline: From Jesus to Christ, April 1998. Stark, a world-renowned sociologist of religion, argues that what made early Christianity unique—and one reason why it prospered and became a world religion—was because it “taught that mercy is one of the primary virtues—that a merciful God requires humans to be merciful.”


Gordon B. Hinckley, “War and Peace,” General Conference, April 2003. President Hinckley’s remarks were given two weeks after the start of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In October 2002 General Conference, Elder Russell M. Nelson taught, “Because of the long history of hostility upon the earth, many feel that peace is beyond hope. I disagree. Peace is possible. We can learn to love our fellow human beings throughout the world. Whether they be Jewish, Islamic, or fellow Christians, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or other, we can live together with mutual admiration and respect, without forsaking our religious convictions. Things we have in common are greater than are our differences. Peace is a prime priority that pleads for our pursuit.” (“Blessed Are the Peacemakers”)