The wickedness of the children of men is what influences them to fear. They are not afraid of their own laws, because they originated from themselves; they can manage them and blot them out of existence whenever they wish. But when that which is said to be the Kingdom of God, or the theocracy of heaven, is upon the earth, many of the inhabitants thereof tremble, and fear that it is not correct. 
Five years ago the census of New York gave 15,000 prostitutes in that city. Is that law? Is that good order? Look at your Constitution, look at the Federal law, look at every wholesome principle, and they tell you that death is at your doors, corruption in your streets, and hell is all open, and gaping wide to inclose you in its fiery vortex. To talk about law and good order while such things exist, makes me righteously angry. Talk not to me about law. 1
Ezra Taft Benson
No people can maintain freedom, unless their political institutions are founded on faith in God and belief in the existence of moral laws. God has endowed all people with inalienable rights, and no government may morally limit or destroy these rights. 
It was a divine way in which this nation began. The rules of conduct were taken from the Decalogue, from the Bible, from the Gospels and other scriptures. They kept a sacred Sabbath. They maintained other high standards. They frowned upon profanity and other vices. They prohibited gambling. They encouraged people not to keep bad company, to repeat no grievances. They emphasized the spiritual values.
Many years later when the nation was founded, Washington, echoing the feeling of the early Pilgrim fathers and others who had come from abroad, acknowledged God’s direction and the importance of spirituality in the lives of our people and in this great country. 
Mosiah 29:11–12, 25
Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.
Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the claws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.
Neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath commanded you—
And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to akeep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.
And now I say unto you that it was expedient that there should be a law given to the children of Israel, yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God;
Alma 1:13–20, 31–32
And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance.
Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law.
And it came to pass that they took him; and his name was Nehor; and they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death.
Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.
Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief.
And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death.
But it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
Yea, they did persecute them, and afflict them with all manner of words, and this because of their humility; because they were not proud in their own eyes, and because they did impart the word of God, one with another, without money and without price.
And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.
For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible.
- ↑ Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 77
- ↑ Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure, p 68-69
- ↑ Ezra Taft Benson, “Responsibilities of Citizenship,” BYU, Provo, Utah, 22 October 1954.
- Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 1: 362. ↩