Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator 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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Silver Lining

                    Could there be a silver lining in the fact that Mitt Romney campaigned for the office of President of the United States but lost the election?  Like many of my fellow conservatives, I was shocked that Barack Obama was declared the next President.  In the first place, I could not understand how anyone could choose Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney.  When the two men stand together and their resumes are displayed, there is no comparison as to who is the better prepared man to lead our nation.  How could so many Americans be so blind that they could not see the difference in the men?  I was stunned and in shock at the results of the election. 

                    On another level, I was confused.  Like many of you, I fasted and prayed that Mitt Romney would win the election, and I felt the peace that only the Holy Ghost can bring.  I thought that my peaceful feelings meant that Romney would win, and I continued to hope for a miracle even after Obama was declared the winner.  As the days passed, I was still stunned and confused.  I kept wondering, how could this happen?  I questioned my own ability to receive answers from God, and yet I continued to feel that peace.

                    I was still in this stunned, confused state when I received an e-mail with a message written by Dr. Ed Lauritsen.  This message helped me come out of the fog and begin to see the silver lining to our dark national nightmare.  I will share most of his message with you in order to bring peace and hope to others.  He wrote that he had three distinct thoughts as he listened to Governor Romney give his concession speech.

                    "The first comes with a scripture:  `Behold, I will hasten my work in its time' (Doctrine and Covenants 88:73).  If the Lord's `work' is to `bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39), and if that process begins by hearing about [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] and seeing its members, then the sooner and the faster the greatest number of people can see and hear about the Latter-day Saints -- especially about exemplary Saints like the Romneys -- the more the work is hastened.  And though the Church has 55,000+ missionaries who are quietly and patiently roaming the world knocking on doors, the Lord has brought the LDS Governor and his LDS family into the very homes of millions of people around the U.S. and the world via TV, radio, and Internet for more than a year now -- people who might never have received or accepted the missionaries or LDS neighbors, let alone have learned about the LDS way of life.  But now they have listened, watched, and learned, and many of them will likely be more curious and receptive to the missionaries in the future.  And that also goes for many of the Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics who locked arms with the Latter-day Saints (thanks to Glenn Beck) during this long presidential campaign.  Bottom line:  the Romneys lost a hard-fought political battle, but they -- and the Church -- won a decisive, long-awaited cultural and spiritual victory in opening the minds and hearts of millions." 

When Mitt Romney felt the prompting to run for President, he made himself an instrument in the hands of God.  Many Americans wanted him to win the election, but maybe God never intended Romney to win.  Maybe God's purpose was simply to show the nation and the world the kind of people who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Romney family members were great examples of active members of the LDS Church, and no one could deny their goodness, even those who disagreed with their religion or politics.  Other members of the Church were also highlighted by the media.  Another thought is this:  maybe God wanted to give all of us an opportunity to use our agency in selecting our future and thus become responsible for the consequences of our choice.

                    "Another post-election thought:  `Be careful what you pray for.'  Had Romney won, it is highly doubtful that he and his team would have been able to rescue the nation's wounded economy from the purposeful destruction that Obama has intentionally inflicted upon it, Obama having done so in order to `fundamentally transform'  our free enterprise system into a Socialist state.  Had Romney won, the only possible way to have saved the nation and its economy would have been to make deep cuts in the welfare and entitlement programs -- cuts that would have been branded `murderous, discriminatory and racist' at every turn by the Liberal mainstream media.  And the ever-increasing drumbeat of these accusations over the next four years would have given license to thousands -- perhaps millions -- of malcontents to take to the streets in `civil unrest' (aka anarchy).  As such, Romney's never-ending vilification in print and in the electronic media would have soon painted him -- and his fellow Mormons -- as the enemies of America, with all the resulting antagonism, stress, and persecution of the Church, both at home and abroad.  As is, over the next four years, right-wing zealots -- not Christian Conservatives -- will likely become increasingly resistant, confrontational, and possibly violent in response to the creeping Socialism.  Thus, `social unrest' may begin at the other end of the political spectrum, likely precipitating equally violent responses from the pro-Socialist masses."

When I read this thought, I immediately realized that a President Romney would actually be too good for the kind of people who would elect Obama for a second term.  Most of his supporters are interested in receiving stuff and/or power and are not interested in what is good for our nation.  They have not yet suffered enough to recognize the good that Romney could do for them, and his goodness and many talents would be lost on them.

"And this foregoing scenario brings me to the third and final thought tonight, one which also was accompanied by the written word, this time in the form of a powerful metaphor by Hugh Nibley.  I close with it:
                    "`On the last night of a play, the whole cast and stage crew stay in the theater until the small, or not so small, hours of the morning striking the old set.  If there is to be a new opening soon, as the economy of the theater requires, it is important that the new set should be in place and ready for the opening night; all the while the old set was finishing its usefulness and then being taken down, the new set was rising in splendor to be ready for the drama that would immediately follow.  So it is with this world.  It is not our business to tear down the old set -- the agencies that do that are already hard at work and very efficient -- the set is coming down all around us with spectacular effect.  Our business is to see to it that the new set is well on the way for what is to come -- and that means a different kind of politics, beyond the scope of the tragedy that is now playing its closing night.  We are preparing for the establishment of Zion.'  (Nibley, Hugh.  Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless:  Classic Essays of Hugh W. Nibley, Provo, UtahBrigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1978, p. 302)"

                    Dr. Lauritsen continued with words similar to those of President Gordon B. Hinckley.  We may be inconvenienced and may lose some of our liberties.  We may not have peace for awhile, but we may be comforted by knowing that God is watching over this nation and all people who love Him.  Psalms 33:12:  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.  Our safety and security lie in repentance and obedience to God's commandments.  Psalms 46:20:  Be still, and know that I am God.  We do live in dangerous and even perilous times, but we need not fear.  We can have "peace in our hearts and peace in our homes" as we continue to "be an influence for good in this world."

                    Dr. Lauritsen concluded by quoting three modern-day prophets of God.  President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke in the October General Conference of the Church just as the bombing started in Afghanistan, and I remember that his entire talk was very comforting.  He said, "The Constitution under which we live, and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law….
                    "May the God of heaven, the Almighty, bless us, help us, as we walk our various ways in the uncertain days that lie ahead.  May we look to Him with unfailing faith.  May we worthily place our reliance on His Beloved Son who is our great Redeemer, whether it be in life or in death, is my prayer in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."  ("The Times in Which We Live," Ensign, Nov. 2001)    

                    In his closing remarks at the same General Conference, President Hinckley reminded us, "Our safety lies in the virtue of our lives.  Our strength is in our righteousness.  God has made it clear that if we will not forsake Him, He will not forsake us.  He, watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps (see Psalms 121:4)."  (Ensign, Nov. 2001) 

                    President Harold B. Lee stated, "Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.  This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden.  This is the place of the New Jerusalem.  This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world.  This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple.  This is the favored land in all the world.  Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail.  I have faith in America; you and I must have faith in America, if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are living in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.
                    "I plead with you not to preach pessimism.  Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world.  This is the favored land.  This is the land of our forefathers.  It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."  (Ye Are the Light of the World [Salt Lake City:  Deseret Book, 1974])

                    In 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson, who was also a former Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower, shared his thoughts about the U.S. Constitution.  He said that our Constitution is a "heavenly banner inspired by God for this nation."  He said that "the federal government is trying to destroy it but at last it will be saved but not in Washington."   He said that it would be saved by the "enlightened members" of the Church and other patriotic Americans.  He said that blood may have to be shed but he felt that the "Stars and Stripes" would be flying over this nation when Jesus Christ returns to earth.  President Benson made the following suggestions for what we can do to help save our Constitution and nation:  

                    "1. We must be righteous and moral.  We must live the gospel principles - all of them.  We have no right to expect a higher degree of morality from those who represent us than what we ourselves are.  To live a higher law means we will not seek to receive what we have not earned by our own labor.  It means we will remember that government owes us nothing.  It means we will keep the laws of the land.  It means we will look to God as our Lawgiver and the source of our liberty.

                    "2. We must learn the principles of the Constitution and then abide by its precepts.  Have we read the Constitution and pondered it?  Are we aware of its principles?  Could we defend it?  Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound?  The Church will not tell us how to do this, but we are admonished to do it.  I quote Abraham Lincoln:  `Let [the Constitution] be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling-books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.  And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation.'  (Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, vol. I [New York:  Francis D. Tandy Co., 1905], p. 43)

                    "3. We must become involved in civic affairs.  As citizens of this republic, we cannot do our duty and be idle spectators.  It is vital that we follow this counsel from the Lord:  `Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil' (Doctrine and Covenants 98:10).  Note the qualities that the Lord demands in those who are to represent us.  They must be good, wise, and honest.  We must be concerted in our desires and efforts to see men and women represent us who possess all three of these qualities.

                    "4. We must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, and our advice.  We must be wisely informed and let others know how we feel.  We must take part in local precinct meetings and select delegates who will truly represent our feelings."

                    The videos containing President Benson's remarks come from the following talks: "Stand Up For Freedom," Assembly Hall at Temple Square, February 11, 1966; "The Constitution:  A Heavenly Banner," September 16, 1986; and "The Proper Role of Government," 1968. 

                    We have much corruption in our federal government as well as in our state governments.  There are numerous cover ups going on by the Obama Administration, but I will name just two - Fast and Furious and the Benghazi murders, both of which involved the running of guns.  I know that the truth will eventually come out about these and other actions taken by the administration, but I want peace now.  I share the following quotes that might bring peace to you also and help you to see the silver lining to Romney's loss in the election. 

                    The John the Beloved wrote, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).  President George Washington echoed this thought when he said, "Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light."

                    We may be living in the days that the Prophet Joseph Smith saw when he prophesied, "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 will be the Staff up[on] which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction."

                    The people of the United States and the world know Mitt Romney, and they know of his talents and capabilities.  When the policies of the Obama Administration are obvious losers to most Americans, the American citizens may yet call upon Mitt Romney to step up and preserve this nation.  None of us know exactly how the future will unfurl, but I know that there are millions of good men and women who are ready and willing to step forward to save our Constitution and nation.

                    We must all remember that the Constitution of the United States was inspired of God and "should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh" (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77).  God wants our Constitution to stand for the benefit of all mankind.  As long as true patriots defend and protect the Supreme Law of this land, God will help us.  If God is on our side, we cannot lose!  We must not let the current political loss destroy our courage, but we must fight on for a better day and put our trust in God.  We must look for the silver lining behind the dark clouds that currently block our view of glorious light and freedom.  May we look forward to a bright and prosperous future and may God bless America!

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