Declaration of Belief, circa August 1835 [D&C 134]

Of Governments and Laws in General.
That our belief, with regard to earthly governments and laws in  general, may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we  have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our  opinion concerning the same.
1 We believe that Governments were instituted of God for  the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for their  acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administer ing them, for the good and safety of society.
2 We believe that no Government can exist, in peace, ex cept such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to  each individual the free exercise of con[s]cience, the right and  control of property and the protection of life.
3 We believe that all Governments necessarily require civil  officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and  that such as will administer the law in equity and justice  should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people,  (if a Republic,) or the will of the Sovereign.
4 We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that  men are amenable to him and to him only for the exercise of  it, unless their religious opinion prompts them to infringe up on the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that  human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of wor ship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for pub lic or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should re strain crime, but never control conscience; should punish  guilt, but never surpress the freedom of the soul.
5 We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold  the respective Governments in which they reside, while pro tected in their inherent and unalienable rights by the laws of  such Governments, and that sedition and rebellion are unbe coming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished  accordingly; and that all Governments have a right to enact  such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to se cure the public interest, at the same time, however, holding sac red the freedom of conscience.
6 We believe that every man should be honored in his sta tion: rulers and magistrates as such—being placed for the pro tection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and  that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without [p. 252]
Declaration of Belief, Kirtland, OH, ca. Aug. 1835; in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., pp. 252–254.