Religious Liberty: The Basis of a Free and Just Society

Elder D. Todd Christofferson is a Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Introduction

I am grateful for this opportunity to address you. I’m honored to be here among so many who work so hard to build better societies, to lift people out of poverty and desperation, and to protect fundamental human rights. We are all seeking for a more just and free society where every person is valued and where each has a fair opportunity to flourish. Thank you for all you do in the service of that noble end.

I speak to you today as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so, I affirm the eternal human dignity of each person as a beloved child of God. I affirm that each one of us has a divine nature and destiny. We are not merely cosmic accidents in a cold and uncaring universe. We are known and loved by an all-knowing and all-loving God.

I also affirm that each of us has the right to exercise moral agency—the right of choice to live our lives according to the truth as we understand it. Indeed, one of the primary purposes of government is to secure the freedom of all people to exercise moral agency.

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What Should a Constitution Contain in Regard to Religious Freedom?

Gary Doxey is Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.

On the occasion of this First Annual Forum on Law and Religion of the Southern Cone, I would like to address the following question: What should a constitution contain in regard to religious freedom? It is timely to consider this issue since the Republic of Chile is currently drafting a new constitution.

I must emphasize that I speak from an international perspective. I am not Chilean, although Chile is a country very dear to my heart. I deeply respect the responsibility of Chileans, beginning with the honorable members of the Constitutional Convention, to choose the provisions of their constitution. As a foreigner, I merely offer my observations as a student of this subject in the hope that they may be of benefit.

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Libertad religiosa: La base de una sociedad libre y justa

Elder D. Todd Christofferson es un Miembro del Cuórum de los Doce Apóstoles de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Día.

Introducción

Estoy agradecido por esta oportunidad de dirigirme a ustedes. Es un honor para mí estar aquí entre tantas personas que tanto trabajan para construir sociedades mejores, para sacar a la gente de la pobreza y de la desesperanza y para proteger los derechos humanos fundamentales. Todos buscamos una sociedad más justa y libre en la que se valore a cada persona y cada uno tenga una oportunidad justa de prosperar. Gracias por todo lo que hacen al servicio de ese noble fin.

Hoy me dirijo a ustedes como Apóstol del Señor Jesucristo. Al hacerlo, afirmo la dignidad humana eterna de cada individuo como hijo amado de Dios. Afirmo que cada uno de nosotros tiene una naturaleza y un destino divinos. No somos meros accidentes cósmicos en un universo frío e indiferente. Somos conocidos y amados por un Dios omnisciente y omnipotente.

También declaro que cada uno de nosotros tiene el derecho de ejercer el albedrío moral: el derecho a elegir vivir nuestra vida de acuerdo con la verdad tal como la entendemos. De hecho, uno de los principales propósitos del gobierno es garantizar la libertad de todas las personas para ejercer su albedrío moral.

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