The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that America has a continuing need for national defense. America has enemies who are simply waiting and preparing for an opportunity to attack but will not attack until they think America is weak enough to be beaten.
Abraham Lincoln made the following statement during a speech in 1838: “All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” (Quoted by Brian T. Kennedy in a speech delivered on March 4, 2014, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.; printed in Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College, Vol. 43, No. 3.)
In my scripture study this week, I was intrigued by an account given about the struggles of an ancient American civilization. In the midst of a series of wars, contention arose among the Nephite people. A minority of the people wanted to alter e a few “particular points of the law.” When Pahoran, the chief judge, refused to alter the law, the people tried to “overthrow the free government and establish a king over the land.” The matter was put to the people, and voice of the people declared they – known as freemen - wanted the free government. The people who wanted a king – king-men – refused to accept the voice of the people and “sought power and authority over the people.”
The division among the people took place at a critical time because the enemy – Lamanites – were being stirred up to anger against the Nephites. When the Nephites learned the Lamanites were coming to do battle, the king-men “were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.”
Captain Moroni faced an enormous problem. He had to break down the wars and contentions among his own people and establish unity among them before he could fight the enemy. To do so, he was forced to do battle with his own people. Four thousand people were killed, and the leaders of the king-men who were not killed in battle were put in prison to await trial. The remainder of the living king-men were “compelled” to “take up arms in defence of their country.”
While Captain Moroni was settling the problems among his own people, the enemy came into the edge of the nation and began to kill the citizens. The survivors were driven out of their homes and cities. The contentions and fighting among the Nephites kept them so distracted that they were not prepared to fight the real enemy. (See Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma 51:2-24.)
This scriptural story reminded me of the United States and the great divide among American citizens in the present time. We are distracted and divided by race issues and economic issues are not focused on defending our nation. Barack Obama and other Democrats seem intent on weakening our military. We hear how good people are being driven out of the armed forces, our military being weakened by political correctness, and even ammunition being destroyed. Republicans are more interested in fighting members of the Tea Party than standing on principle.
Abraham Lincoln was right. When Americans are united in a cause, no nation on earth can defeat us. If we are ever taken into bondage by another nation, it will happen because we allowed it. Our nation is in danger, and we are fighting among ourselves. We must settle our problems and prepare to face our enemies!