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.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spirit of Freedom

                The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the fact that wherever the Spirit of Christ is, there the spirit of freedom can be found.  There can be no true freedom without the Spirit of Christ.  Satan knows that he can never bring people under his control until he destroys their faith in Jesus Christ.  One example of how this works is the former Soviet Union under Communism.  The Soviet leaders and their supporters tried very hard to destroy faith in Jesus Christ in order for them to bring their people into bondage to their government.  They almost succeeded but not quite because a few people remained who believed in Jesus Christ and knew they were meant to be free.

                Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “What is the crowning evil on earth, the evil that spreads the greatest suffering, the evil that spawns all other evils?  Surely, it is war.  War is the crowning evil.  War is the evil that spreads the greatest suffering.  Murder is the most wicked of all sins, and war is mass murder.”

                We live in a time of wars and rumors of wars.  We know that the real cause of war is wickedness.  We also know that there would never ben any wars if everyone lived the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel of Christ is a message of peace and goodwill.  Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and those who are converted to His gospel spread peace to the world.  This is why the world needs to hear His gospel.

                The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ was written for our day.  There are about twenty chapters in this book of scriptures that are known as the “war chapters.” They were written for us and teach us how we are to act during war.  These chapters cover a war that lasted about thirty years and was fought in several locations within their own nation.  This unending war was caused by wicked men who sought to bring everyone else under their control.  These wicked men ran into righteous men who had enough faith in Jesus Christ to win battles in spite of fewer soldiers and bad circumstances.

                Towards the end of the war Captain Moroni had to rescue Pahoran, the chief governor of the land, from men who had rebelled against the government and sought to establish a king over the land.  Pahoran was driven from the judgment seat and escaped to another land.  Captain Moroni sent a message to Pahoran questioning his loyalty to the cause of liberty because there were no provisions being sent to support the army.  Instead of getting upset, Pahoran recognized that Captain Moroni was actually an answer to his prayers.

                In his return message Pahoran told Captain Moroni that his message brought joy to him.  He told Captain Moroni to “come unto me speedily with a few of your men, and leave the remainder in the charge of Lehi and Teancum; give unto them power to conduct the war in that part of the land, according to the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in them” (Alma 61:15).

                Pahoran explained that he had sent a few provisions to the army but needed Captain Moroni’s assistance:  “Gather together whatsoever force ye can upon your march hither, and we will go speedily against those dissenters, in the strength of our God according to the faith which is in us” (Alma 61:17).

                In spite of the fact that they did not want to fight against their own people, Captain Moroni and Pahoran recognized that their lives and freedom were at stake.  Pahoran ended his message, “See that you strengthen Lehi and Teancum in the Lord; tell them to fear not, for God will deliver them, yea, and also all those who stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free…” (Alma 61:21).

                The wicked men were killed or put in prison until they agreed to end the war.  Peace finally came to the land because those who believed in Jesus Christ eventually won the war.  Exercising faith in Jesus Christ will help us to keep His commandments and bring peace into our lives.

                In a general conference message titled “Addiction or Freedom,” Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle and famous heart surgeon gave some suggestions to break free of the bondage of addiction.  He ended his talk with these words:  “The Lord has revealed His sacred standard to guide people in a troubled world.  You and I were born free to follow His divine guidance.  We may choose for ourselves.  Those choices may bring addiction or freedom. For freedom and joy, choose to `be faithful in Christ.’  He will lift you up.  May `the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever’ (Moroni 9:25).” 

                We were all born free because we received moral agency in our pre-earth existence.  Please be careful who you support for your political leaders or whose counsel you follow because you may be deceived into supporting someone who will bring more bondage into your lives.  Remember that people voted for Hitler because they trusted him and look how he betrayed their trust.   We must be sure to choose leaders knowing who they really are instead of who they pretend to be.  We currently have a President who pretended to be a follower of Christ, and we have at least one presidential candidate who is pretending he knows what is in the scriptures.  We must look between the words they are saying and examine who they really are.  We cannot afford to elect another President who wants to “fundamentally transform our nation”!  We need leaders who know that America is a blessed land as long as we worship the God of the land who is Jesus Christ.

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