Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Importance of the Right Question

Democracy and capitalism work best in countries whose citizens adhere to religions that teach strong moral values and who live by principles of honesty and integrity because of a fear of God and not just of police power.

Elder Clayton M. Christensen, an Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke about the power of religion in democratic states in a commencement address entitled, "The Importance of the Right Question," at Southern New Hampshire University on May 18, 2009.

In his speech, Elder Christensen spoke extensively of a conversation with a Chinese friend who came to America expressly to study democracy and capitalism. He studied the history of democracy in America and in those countries where America has helped establish democracy. His Chinese friend concluded that in order for democracy and capitalism to work, religions had to be strong enough that they held power over the behavior of the population. People had to believe that God would punish them even if the police and court system did not. Elder Christensen then addressed his concerns of what will happen to our America if religious values continue to be fought in the name of separation of church and state.

Read this speech. It isn't very long but it addresses some very interesting, thought-provoking points. I am grateful for the God in whom our founding fathers trusted. I am grateful for the God under whom our nation and government was formed. I am grateful for the God who teaches us correct principles that we may govern ourselves and wisely use our agency and truly be free.