Lorenzo Snow

“Lorenzo Snow,” in Latter-day Prophets and the United States Constitution, ed. by Donald Q. Cannon (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1991), 80–83.

Biographical Information

Born: 3 April 1814

Ordained an Apostle: 12 February 1849

Additional Counselor to Brigham Young: 8 April 1873

Assistant Counselor to Brigham Young: 9 May 1874

President of the Twelve: 7 April 1889

President of the Church: 13 September 1898–10 October 1901

Died: 10 October 1901

Relationship with the Constitution and the U.S. Government

A native of Ohio with more formal education than earlier Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lorenzo Snow had a deep affection for the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. He said relatively little about these subjects, but his feelings are nonetheless evident. Although his administration occurred after Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, some conflict with the government over polygamy continued.

Themes Discussed in the Quotations

Main Theme: The Constitution was founded by noble and inspired men.


As an Apostle

5.1 We trace the hand of the Almighty in framing the constitution of our land, and believe that the Lord raised up men purposely for the accomplishment of this object, raised them up and inspired them to frame the constitution of the United States. (JD 14:301; also in Brown 359)

5.2. We look upon George Washington, the father of our country, as an inspired instrument of the Almighty; we can see the all-inspiring Spirit operating upon him. And upon his co-workers in resisting oppression, and in establishing the thirteen colonies as a confederacy; and then again the workings of the same Spirit upon those men who established the constitution of the United States. (JD 14:304)

5.3. Well, Governor, so far as I am concerned personally, I am not in conflict with any of the laws of the country. I have obeyed the laws as faithfully and conscientiously as I can thus far, and I am not here [Utah State Penitentiary] because of disobedience of any law. I am here wrongfully convicted and wrongfully sentenced. . . . We honor the law administered rightfully. (“Gov. West Is Baffled” 4)

As the President of the Church

5.4. They will sustain the constitution and laws and institutions of the United States, and be the champions of liberty and of that constitution when its integrity shall be threatened. (JH [15 Sep 1898] 3)

5.5. We thank thee for this opportunity to show our love for these heroes who have accomplished such wonders for the beloved United States, which was founded by noble and inspired men. (“Mighty Demonstration of Joy and Rejoicing Greet the Heroes Everywhere” 1)

5.6. We thank thee for the opportunity of thus displaying our feelings and love for these magnificent heroes who have accomplished wonders in the interests of these United States, this great republic, the foundation of which was laid by the noble, generous men inspired of thee, and as thou hast been favorable to this republic even from the date of its foundation to the present time, and hast raised up men and boys willing to serve their country. (“Boys Are Welcomed Home by Patriotic Multitude” 1)