I wanted to write an article that is dear to my heart and one that exemplifies just how much this country means to me. Too often, we as American citizens take July 4th for granted. We look at this day as a day for barbecues, parades, and fireworks. It should be a day for celebration. But do we really understand what we are celebrating?
My full-time career is as an educator in the public education system. About three years ago, I taught United States History. One thing that surprised me when I taught was the absolute ignorance students had in regards to our nation’s history. By my estimation, about two-thirds of the students that I taught had never read The Declaration of Independence or The United States Constitution. How can this be? These two documents serve as the foundation for which freedom is established in our country.
Many of my students believe that history is boring and isn’t important. However, we need to understand our history in order to understand the world we live in. For instance, if we don’t understand the arrogance and utter disdain King George III and England’s Parliament had toward the American colonists prior to and during the American Revolution, we won’t be able to see the parallels that today’s U.S. Presidency and Legislative branch have toward American citizens.
Some of today’s politicians even consider the Constitution outdated and that it needs to be changed. This is called progressivism. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “[A progressive is] one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action.” How is this done? Through gradual changes, edits, and/or deletions to the U.S. Constitution. The key words in this definition are “social improvement.” Is it really the job of the government to demand social improvement?
Woodrow Wilson (the 28th U.S. President) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (the 32nd U.S. President) were progressive presidents who overstepped their executive power and issued wide-sweeping changes to the constitution in order to promote “social justice” – Woodrow Wilson with his “14-Points Doctrine” and League of Nations proposal, promoting a New World Order and FDR with his New Deal. Many will argue and have argued that it was Roosevelt’s New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression. No…it wasn’t the New Deal that lifted us out of the Great Depression, it was World War II. His policies just prolonged the depression until war pulled us out.
As a student of history, I have learned a common pattern. History repeats itself! I ask you, the reader, the following questions:
- Is it the government’s job to control health care?
- Is it the government’s job to bail poorly and mismanaged businesses out of their financial mess?
- Is it the government’s job to control the economy (i.e. the Economic Reform Bill – a.k.a. Socialism/Communism)?
- Can the government use a tragedy, such as the BP oil spill to pass a Cap and Trade Bill that could skyrocket taxes on any carbon based products that we use?
You know my answer to the preceding questions. Of course not. The United States Constitution was written to protect the people from the government, not to be changed to meet the secular standards of the day. In the words of Benjamin Franklin:
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny…When the government fears the people, there is freedom.”
Is the Constitution hanging by a thread today? Joseph Smith foresaw this day. He states:
Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people [(all good God-fearing people, not just Mormons)] will be the Staff up[on] which the Nation shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. . . (Ehat & Cook, p. 416).
How will this happen? Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook (1980), authors of The Words of Joseph Smith, state the following:
President J. Reuben Clark Jr. warned that if we continued on the course that allowed “one man, or . . . a small group of men, . . . [to] amend the Constitution, ” [referring perhaps to amendment by interpretation of presidents or government regulators or inappropriate judicial decree] “then we shall lose the Constitution.” He continued, “I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this Church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known, heavy as our sacrifices and grievous as our persecutions of the past have been” (p. 416).
In other words, the shredding of our Constitution will happen and is happening through subtle changes in philosophies and ideologies with past and current legislation.
Ezra Taft Benson, who served as the Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower administration, described the dangers we are facing today. Please view the video below. They put into context the dangers that exists right now:
Despite the threats to our freedom and Constitution, there is hope. Benson (1987) states:
I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened [citizens] – men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution (pp. 43-44).
Many progressives have stated that their goal is to transform America. Let me ask you this, why does America need to be transformed? Didn’t our founding fathers provide us with a road map to follow in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence? If you ask me, we need to restore America back to what it was. Today’s America is not what it was meant to be. We need to restore our honor.
In conclusion, whether you agree that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God-fearing and loving citizens from all denominations and sects stand together to uphold the freedoms and liberties that our loving Heavenly Father gave to us in the God-inspired documents of The United States Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. To stand up to the progressive/communist agenda of a nationalized economy, national health care system, promotion of sexual promiscuity, etc. Therefore, we must stand for the values we hold to be true…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…(Declaration of Independence)
I urge you as fellow American citizens who value freedom to share this article with your friends, families, and acquaintances. Freedom is a God-given right, so long as we abide by the principles and commandments of God.
Shaun F. Messick
Benson, Ezra Taft. “The Constitution – A Heavenly Banner.” In Brigham Young University Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 1986-87. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1987.
Declaration of Independence
Ehat, Andrew F., and Lyndon W. Cook, eds. The words of Joseph Smith. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1980.