Defending the Judeo-Christian Heritage, limited government, and the American Constitution
Thursday February 11th 2016

L. Tom Perry on the Bill of Rights

Called Unto Liberty, 20th Century Sermons, L. Tom Perry

L. Tom Perry

L. Tom Perry

Alexander Hamilton and others gave three reasons why the Bill of Rights was not necessary. First: the Constitution is a declaration of rights from beginning to end; nearly three hundred rights are pinpointed in the document itself. Second: under our limited form of government, with only twenty specific, enumerated powers granted to the federal government, there is absolutely no authority included to regulate or invade a citizen’s freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, or freedom of petition. Third: there was a danger in making a list of individual rights, because under the law any right accidentally left off of the list might be presumed to be forfeited.

In spite of all this, however, the people insisted on a Bill of Rights. They feared from the bitter experiences of the past that the courts or government executives might somehow twist the meaning of certain words of the Constitution so as to deprive them of their rights, precisely as King George and his officers had done.

That is why George Mason, a leading patriot from Virginia, declared that he would rather have his right hand chopped off than to sign the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. It was on December 15, 1791, that the Bill of Rights was ratified, marking the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Source:  L. Tom Perry, excerpt from 23 June 1991 address at the Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah. Lowell Tom Perry (born 5 Aug 1922) is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has served in that Quorum of the Twelve since 1974.

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Called Unto Liberty is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.

The Moral Liberal recommends Ezra Taft Benson’s: The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner