President Dallin H. Oaks was honored for his lifelong work to promote the values of God, family, freedom, and country on Thursday, July 1, 2021. The awards night was held at the Utah Valley Convention Center.
After receiving the award, President Oaks gave a brief speech highlighting the importance of both upholding and improving g the imperfect but resilient United States Constitution,
“Our original Constitution, adopted in 1787, had what our distinguished [former] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, herself a member of our most prominent minority, called some ‘birth defects,’” President Oaks said. “Nevertheless, it was our best hope for freedom and self-government. It remains so. Let us be united to defend the great principles of the United States Constitution and to use our precious freedoms to further the work of our faith and to serve our fellow men.”
“Almighty God … has given us our inspired United States Constitution,” he said. “He acted through the wisdom and courage of our Founding Fathers.”
President Oaks has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency for a combined 37 years. Aside from the freedom award, he was also the recipient of the prestigious Canterbury Medal in 2013 for his dedication to the defense of freedom.
President Oaks’ professional life included practicing law in Chicago and teaching for 10 years at the University of Chicago Law School. He was president of Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1980. He later served as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court from 1980 until his resignation in 1984 to accept his call to the apostleship.
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