Just as the Israelites viewed the law of Moses as the word of God on how to be governed so too members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view the Constitution of the United States as being inspired of God and written through the instrumentality of men, in much the same way Protestants believe the Bible was written. Therefore, to a Latter-day Saints the Constitution is considered to be a sacred document that contains eternal and holy principles on self governing.
Yet, Joseph Smith prophesied that the day would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread and that if it was to be saved it would be by the elders of Israel (the priesthood holders of the Church).
From the time the Constitution was written, there have been those who have sought to change it and, over the years, bits and pieces of it have been discarded and replaced with different principles. More recently there have been a number of Supreme Court rulings that have interpreted the Constitution, not according to the intent that the Founding Fathers meant it, but according to their own personal feelings.
And, in addition to this, over the years Congresses and Presidents have enacted laws that have either weaken or strip away provisions of the Constitution, thereby changing the form of government that our Founding Fathers so carefully crafted. Things like freedom of speech, particularly, political speech, the right to bear arms, and the practice of religion have especially come under assault as our elected official in Washington, D.C. have sought to pass laws that are designed to take away these basic rights that guaranteed to us by the Constitution.
And yet, even though these rights have been systematically whittled away over the years, without any outcry of indignation from the public, with the election of Barack Obama, the Constitution has been flagrantly disregarded and tossed aside by both the White House and the Democratically controlled Senate and House of Representative. They have passed laws that are expressly prohibited by the Constitution as they deliberately and swiftly seek to change the very structure of our government, from that of a representative republic to one that is, for all intents and purposes, a dictatorial regime that feels it can impose its will on the public as it wants.
At this point in our country's history, the Constitution is not just hanging on by a thread, it is being discarded like old piece of clothing that has outlived its usefulness. Those in political power today now openly talk about establishing a new order, based on what THEY think is now best for our country. But this change will not come about because of a Constitutional Convention, as what happened with our Founding Fathers, but rather, they will make the changes unilaterally without any input from the people they govern.
The framers of our Constitution created a government that was run by the people, for the people, and was made up of the people. It granted to the Federal government only certain limited powers and expressly forbids that government from enacting laws not specifically found in the Constitution. However, over the years, the Federal government has gradually taken upon itself the right to do more and more things that are prohibited by the Constitution until today, those in Washington now feel bold enough to attempt to completely alter our entire way of governing.
Under their new system it will become a government by the politicians, for the politicians and made up exclusively of the politicians. Instead of having a society where people are free to pursue happiness as they see it, those in power today want to make our country into a society that is compelled to live according to the dictates of their government. Instead of allowing a free-market economy to exist, they want to convert it into a government-run economy.
I will grant you that it appears that those who propose this new system genuinely think that their idea of how to govern people is far superior to the way we have been governed for the past 220 years. However, rather than putting their ideas to a vote of the people, they falsely claim that, because they were elected to office, that this automatically gives them the authority - from the people who elected them - to make whatever changes they feel is in the best interest of the public. But, that was not the basis upon which they were elected. They were elected to uphold the Constitution, not transform it. Even though they have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, those in power today behaved as though the Constitution is an embarrassment that must be done away with and replaced with something more modern.
But that's not the worst of it. This current White House is flirting with the idea that our country should be governed, not by the laws chosen by us, the American people, but by some world body of bureaucrats that we will have no voice in voting for. Rather than protecting the interests of the United States, this current President seems more concerned about protecting the world's interest. Rather than protecting the sovereignty of the United States, where its people are free to decide their own laws, Barack Obama seems interested in making our country subject to the rules and regulations of other nations or the United Nation. Rather than seeing America as a shining example for the rest of the world to emulate, he seems intent on showing the world that we are no better than any other country.
Those who love and cherish our sacred Constitution are appalled and angered by what we see, yet, it was prophesied that this day would come and the question that many people are asking themselves is: What can we do about it?
First of all, this situation is not unique. This sort of thing has happened many times throughout the history of the world. In the Book of Mormon we read that, somewhere around 73 B.C., the people of Nephi were ruled by judges but there was man named Amalickiah who "was desirous to be a king… and there were the greater part of the lower judges of the land [who] were seeking for power. And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah that if they would support him and establish him as their king that he would make them rulers over the people. Thus they were led away by Amilickiah to dissentions" (Alma 46:4-6).
And, "because [Amalickiah] was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek… to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them" (Alma 46:10).
But there was another man whose name was Moroni "who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites. [When] he had heard of these dissentions, he was angry with Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat and he took a piece thereof and wrote upon it - In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children. And he fastened it upon the end of a pole…and he called it the title of liberty" (Alma 46:11,12)
Then he went about the land of Nephi, "crying with a loud voice, Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land let them come forth in the strength of the Lord and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights and their religion that the Lord God may bless them. And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins" (Alma 46:19-21).
After that Moroni "went forth and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissentions and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented" (Alma 46:28).
Although Moroni was able to assemble a military army to combat those who sought to take away the freedom of his people, that is not a practical solution for us to do today, nor is it advisable. Those who seek to take away our freedom can only do so by violating both the spirit and letter of the Constitution but those who revere that founding document can only defend it by abiding by its principles. To do otherwise would render it meaningless in our own life and leave us with no moral ground to stand on.
Yet, while this may not be a military battle, it is nonetheless a battle against a very determined and committed foe who is cunning and devious and who has shown a willingness to maintain their power at any cost. To fight against them we must use the weapons that the Constitution has given us, which is the power of free speech, the power to assemble and peacefully protest, and the power to vote. But, because these are our weapons, the other side will do everything they can to deny us their use. They will seek ways to limit or take away our right to speak, and they will try to corrupt our votes. But they can't do that very effectively as long as our Constitution stands as written. That is why they want to over throw that sacred document. Therefore, we must be just as determined and dedicated to the cause of freedom as they are to take that freedom away from us.
As stated earlier, Joseph Smith prophesied that if the Constitution is to be saved, it will be by the elders of Israel. But how will they save it and why them?
The reason it will be them is because they have a special reverence for the Constitution. To them it is the word of God and, since no one else has quite this attitude towards it, especially in such large numbers, they have a greater commitment to its preservation than anyone else. More than that, they have a God-given duty to protect it (D&C 98:6)
But this doesn't mean they are the only ones who feel this way. There are also many others who have just as strong a commitment to the Constitution and who are just out outraged over what they see happening. In addition to them, more and more average Americans are becoming increasingly alarmed at what they see this administration doing.
Then what can we do to protect and defend the Constitution from being destroyed? To understand the answer to that question we first have to understand how we got to where we're now at.
Less than seventy years ago schools gave our children a more accurate understanding of how this country was founded, how its constitution was created and why. But today, political correctness has stripped much of that vital information from our children's textbooks and replaced it with revisionist history. For example, seventy years ago Christopher Columbus was honored for discovering American but today there are some schools who even refuse to celebrate Columbus day because they believe it is offensive to native Americans.
Another example is the Pilgrims, a small group of deeply religious people who came here to escape religious persecution from their government. They relied upon God in all they did and celebrated their first year's bounteous harvest in America with great thanksgiving to God for His goodness to them. However, today our schools are not allowed to teach anything about our religious heritage so they teach American history from a purely secular viewpoint.
Instead of teaching the moral goodness of our founding fathers, some textbook portray them as being white imperialists who came here to enslave the native Americans and steal their land. Instead of teaching the uniqueness of our Constitution among all the governments of the world, it's presented as though there is nothing exceptional about it.
Most people are taught the mechanics of government, such as, what the three different branches of government are, how bills are passed, and how the president signs them into law. But very few schools teach the principles of government. Ask the question: "What's the difference between a Federal government and a National government?" or "Why did the Founding Fathers set up the electoral college?"and 98% of Americans can't give the correct answer. Ask the question: "What is so important about states rights?"and 98% of Americans won't even understand the question let alone know the answer to it. While many Americans are technologically smart, most of them don't have a clear understanding of why our capitalist, free-market system has brought us so much wealth and prosperity and why that can't happen under a Socialist form of government.
Today, only a relatively small number of people even pay attention to what our political representatives are doing and just barely half of all eligible Americans even exercise their right to vote. The great majority of Americans today only understand what is going on in the political world from what they casually see on television a few minutes each day and usually only become interested in politics sixty days before an election.
It has been said that "those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it" and that's the reason why we see what is happening today. Because we have not properly learned the history of our country, without even realizing it, we are blindly allowing ourselves to revert back to the very kind of tyrannical form of government that our Founding Fathers rebelled against. And it is precisely because of this lack of knowledge that those who seek to take away our freedom are able to so easily fool so many Americans into giving up our liberty.
There are several ways they prey on our ignorance. The first is by eliminating God from any public, political discussion. The reason why this is important to those who want to take away our freedoms is because, in the Declaration of Independence, it states that our rights come from God, and the specific rights they are referring to are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." If God is eliminated from our vocabulary then it becomes easy to say that our rights come from the government. However, the reason why these words were written in the Declaration of Independence was precisely to make clear to the King of England that our rights do not come from his or anyone else's government but from God.
Another way they take advantage of our ignorance is by changing words or the definition of words. For example, the form of government we have under the Constitution is a representative republic but, because most people are not aware of that fact, those who want to take away our freedoms keep referring to it as a democracy, which is a form of government our founding fathers examined and rejected.
Another example is by misusing the word "rights." Today it is used to mean something very different than that used in the Constitution. And it is by changing the meaning of this word that a "right" has come to mean that everyone should have affordable health insurance, or a government pension (known as Social Security), or a minimum wage. And so we see that it's by changing the wording or meaning of words that corrupt politicians are able to sway an ignorant public into allowing them to do things they could never get away with if people understood the Constitution.
The Lord warn us about this very thing through His prophet Hosea, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6). We could restate this to fit our current times by saying, "The people of America are being destroyed as a nation because of their lack of knowledge. Because they have rejected the law I gave unto their Father, they have forgotten Me. Therefore, I will forget their children."
The way to save the Constitution is not with guns blazing away but with people who have a love for the Constitution ablaze in their hearts going forth throughout this land and lighting a fire in the hearts of others. The way to save the Constitution is not by force but by persuasion. It is by converting people to our cause by bringing them to a knowledge of the truth about the founding principles of our country.
*It is only when a sufficient numbers of citizens, who are properly educated about the Constitution and why its important that we follow it, that our nation can then elect honest good, and wise people to represent us in government. But if the people of our country are politically uneducated, they will cast their vote, not based on sound principles, but on emotion. If that is allowed to continue happening then we will lose our Constitution and with it all the rights that it grants us.
To prevent that from happening we need to do as Moroni did and go throughout the land, proclaiming the title of liberty and gathering people to our cause by teaching them correct principles. We need to inspire, and motivate others to "enter into a covenant that [we] will maintain [our] rights and [our] religion."
To do this we must let our voice be heard. We must gather together in rallies, in seminars, in businesses, and in meeting places both public and private to proclaim and teach the principles found in the Constitution. We must get our message out in print, radio, TV, the internet and every other form of communication available to us. We need to encourage and support those candidates whose values are the same as ours and help get them elected to represent us in the halls of government, both state and national. We must also work for the defeat of those government officials who do not uphold and support the principles contained in the Constitution.
But this will not be an easy task because the opposition will not sit idly by while we do this. Those who speak out for freedom can expect to be mocked, ridiculed, viciously criticized, slandered and even physically attacked. The foes of liberty will seek to shout down those who speak up, disrupt our meetings, and use fear and intimidation to silence those who disagree with them. And when they begin to feel in danger of losing their power, then, like a cornered animal, they will fight back in desperation with a ferocity I'm afraid we have not yet seen.
With their power to pass laws and have them enforced with some sort of a national police force, they will attempt to shut down free speech in the name of preserving the peace. They will want to arrest those who speak out against the government, charging them as being agitators who incite civil disorder. They will endeavor to take control of the various news mediums to make sure that people hear only the government's side of an issue. This is not an over-exaggeration of what can happen because this is how dictators throughout history have controlled their people and have been able to stay in power.
But that doesn't mean we can't prevail. This country has become great because ordinary people were willing to take risks that defied the odds of success. When fifty-six men signed their name to a piece of paper declaring their independence from England, they had no illusion about the danger that awaited them. At that time, England was the lone super-power of the world. Britannia ruled the waves, literally because they had the most powerful navy in the world. Their army was well disciplined, battle seasoned, and directed by some of the most competent military commanders of that time. More than that, England had plenty of money to finance anything they wanted to do. So, when those fifty-six men, who represented the will of the American people, signed that declaration on July 4, 1776, they knew they were bringing down on their heads the power and wrath of the greatest nation on earth.
At that time America had no navy and its army was made up of uneducated, undisciplined farmers who were armed with hunting muskets and pitchforks, and who volunteered to fight when they wanted to. More than that, America was a poor country who didn't have much money to spend on defense. And this became painfully obvious during the war as its soldier started running out of ammunition, weapons, clothing, and food.
In the beginning, they lost every battle badly. The exhilarating joy that came from declaring their independence soon changed to gloom, dread, and fear. As the war dragged on soldiers left the battlefield and returned to their farm rather than fight. Those who remained grew increasingly hungry, weary, and tired of fighting. More than that, there were some Americans who were never in favor of the war in the first place, who mocked those who did fight and who acted as informants to the British in order to win their favor.
If ever there was a situation that looked hopeless, this was it. For those who fought on, the task was not easy and the conflict was not short, but, because of their commitment and courage to maintain their rights and liberties, for themselves, their wives, their children, and their country, and, despite the great the odds against their success, in the end it was the mighty English army who went home in defeat, leaving Americans to live their lives in freedom.
But, even though our cause is just, we can't hope to win this battle by ourselves. We need to go forth, not in our natural strength, but in the strength of the Lord. We need to cry unto God for His blessings upon our efforts just as our forefathers did. And, just like them, we must be willing to live according to His way, including those principles contained in the Constitution, if we expect Him to answer our prayers.
There are many scriptures, both ancient and modern, that tell us if we are obedient to Him, God will go before us and fight our battles, but perhaps the one that applies best to our fight to preserve the Constitution is found in the counsel God gave to Joshua, the successor to Moses when He said, "be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:7-9).
This is how our forefathers were able to win the Revolutionary war against overwhelming odds. During the contentious debates over the forming of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin reminded the assembled delegates of this fact, saying, "how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest [war] with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered.
"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favour. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we so imagine we no longer need it's assistance?
"I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
"We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that `except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this. And I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Bable….
"I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth, prayers, imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business."
What Benjamin Franklin said to the people of his day is just as valid for us today. It is by gathering ourselves together, in the strength of the Lord, entering into a covenant to maintain our liberty and our rights, speaking out and bringing people to a knowledge of those governing principles that God established for the rights and protection of all flesh and which our founding fathers gave us with their blood that we can then expect God to help deliver us from evil.
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