Sunday, January 3, 2010
Secure the Blessings of Liberty
The seventh principle of the United States Constitution is the last one found in the Preamble: The purpose of the Constitution was to secure the blessings of liberty to the Founders and to their posterity. This principle tells us that Americans have the Right to expect their government to protect the freedom of the people from that time forward. "The Constitution was designed to provide a `divided, balanced, limited' government so that it would remain in the center of the political spectrum and not drift toward anarchy or tyranny. "The Founders were well aware, however, that no structure of government, regardless of how perfect, would long remain in full force and effect unless the people were trained in knowledge and qualities of virtuous character to make it operate successfully" (W. Cleon Skousen in The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p 245). Skousen listed numerous quotes which show clearly that our Founders were very concerned with preserving liberty. One of the quotes tells us that power will corrupt even good people. Other quotes explain that we should grant our leaders no more power than absolutely needed to do their jobs. Power belongs to the people, but corrupt leaders will take as much power as they can get, even until there is complete tyranny. Other quotes tell us that we should always be suspicious of our leaders for liberty is in the most danger when the people are the least suspicious. The Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, told us: "We have learned through sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion" (Doctrine and Covenants 121:39). George Washington is a very good example of a man who received power and authority and used them both wisely. I am impressed with the way General Washington lead the military in battle for years to obtain liberty to the people and then returned the power and authority to Congress when the war was over. George Washington was so loved and trusted by the people that many would not have accepted the new Constitution without his being in support of it. While he was President, he was very concerned that he made the right decisions in order to set the correct precedents for those who would follow him. He very easily could have become King of America, but he knew there was a better system of government. I believe that George Washington was one of the greatest of all our Founders. We live in troubled times when our President, Congress, and Courts are abusing the powers granted unto them. We must be vigilant if we are to retain our liberty. The Constitution itself tells us how to bring an abusive government under control and that is through the amendment process. We need to make sure that our representatives know that they have no power or authority unless we grant it unto them! To teach the difference between tyranny and liberty to your children, do some role playing. Let Dad act like a tyrant giving orders to everyone. Then let Dad and Mom gather the children around them to hold a family counsel about a problem the family is experiencing. The difference between the two approaches should be obvious to even the youngest of children.