The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that God established this land as a land of promise for the righteous and a land of refuge for the oppressed. Various groups of people were brought to the American continents to establish a land of righteousness, for religious freedom, or to escape oppression.
This principle is beautifully stated in the following words of a prophet of God, even President Joseph Fielding Smith: “America is not only a land of promise reserved for a righteous people, but it is also a land of refuge for the downtrodden and oppressed. The Puritans came here seeking religious freedom when oppression raged in the old world. The same is true of earlier colonies. The Jaredites came seeking a land of freedom. The Nephites came out of Jerusalem because the Lord had called them from a land of sin and bondage whose people were about to go into captivity as a punishment.
“There was also another colony which came to this land of promise from Jerusalem at the time Nebuchadnezzar was waging war on the Jews. This colony was also led by the hand of the Lord. We know very little of their journeyings, how they came and the number in their company, for they had no records. We have learned, however, that they brought with them the youngest son of Zedekiah, king of Judah.
“The Bible states that the sons of Zedekiah were slain before his eyes, and then the Babylonians put out his eyes and carried him in fetters into Babylon [2 Kings 25:7]. Mulek, son of Zedekiah, was spared by the power of the Lord and with other fugitives was directed across the `great waters’ to this land. Here they multiplied, but without religious teachings. It was this people who discovered Coriantumr, the Jaredite, who lived with them for nine months before his death [Omni 1:21]. These Mulekites were later discovered by the Nephites and the two people became one, the Mulekites being known henceforth as Nephites, sharing with them in the blessings of their faith.
“In brief, such is the story told in the Book of Mormon of the ancient inhabitants of America. They were highly civilized. They worshiped the true and living God, in a land which is dedicated to his worship and held in reserve for a righteous people until they became confirmed transgressors. Let the Gentiles upon this land heed the warning and serve Jesus Christ, lest destruction also come upon them, for it has been prophesied that the present inhabitants if they turn from the worship of the true and living God shall bring down upon them the same destruction, `as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done’ [Ether 2:11]” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. III, pp. 322-323).
God established this land as a promised land for the righteous and a place of refuge for the downtrodden; He has decreed that only those people who worship Him will be allowed to live on this land. Several colonies of people have lived in America and were swept off the land because of unrighteousness. I believe that we will also be swept off the land if we fail to worship Jesus Christ, the God of this land.