Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith and the Constitution (Chapter Only)

Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith and the Constitution (Chapter Only)

Author John W. Welch

By 1830, Joseph was aware that the Constitution provided the right to a trial by jury, freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and press, and he wrote about and claimed these rights. But during Joseph Smith's lifetime, it was unclear to what extent the federal government could prevent states from denying citizens religious freedom, from abusing their entitlement to due process, or even from withdrawing from the Union. From the time of Mormon engagement in Missouri, Joseph was involved in political struggles involving the Constitution. This chapter describes his views of the principles contained in the preamble and his writings about the Constitution.