The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that we must worship the God of this land in order to survive and prosper. Any society existing upon the American continents must worship God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, or be swept off the land when they become ripened in iniquity.
Knowledge of the American continents was kept from the general population of the world for thousands of years. A few groups of people were led by God to America, but no one else knew of it. Finally in 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America while searching for a sea route to India. He took knowledge of this continent back to Europe and started a great migration to America.
The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Christ tells of God's dealings with some of the ancient inhabitants of the American continents. Information is given about four different groups of people: Jaredites, Mulekites, Nephites, and Lamanites. Remnants of only one group remain on the American continents.
The Jaredites left the Old World at the time of the Tower of Babel when the languages of all people were confounded. Jared and his brother were faithful followers of God. In answer to their prayers, God did not confound their language or the language of their families and a few friends and their families. Jared and his brother followed instructions from God to build barges and equip them for a voyage across the sea.
"And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.
"And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.
"And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them." (Ether 2:6-8)
The Jaredites were brought by the power of God to the New World where they lived and prospered for about fifteen hundred years. When they turned from God and ripened in iniquity, they fought a civil war that destroyed all of them except one man. This man was named Coriantumr, and he lived long enough to see another group of people possess his land. He was discovered by the people of Zarahemla among whom he lived for about nine months until he died. A prophet by the name of Ether kept a record of this people and wrote it on twenty-four gold plates. This record was discovered by a third group of people, the Nephites.
The people of Zarahemla, also known as the Mulekites, left Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon - around 600 B.C. Zedekiah watched his sons killed and then was blinded by his enemies. Unknown to the king's enemies, one of his sons by the name of Mulek was secreted out of Jerusalem and taken into the wilderness. The Mulekites journeyed in the wilderness and were eventually brought to the American continents across the "great waters" by the hand of the Lord. The Mulekites did not bring any records with them. Because they did not have any records in order to maintain their beliefs and language, they began to deny the existence of God and their language became corrupted. The Mulekites were discovered by the Nephites and merged with them.
Lehi was a prophet in Jerusalem during the time that Zedekiah was king of Judah. The people in Jerusalem did not like Lehi and threatened to kill him. After being warned by God, Lehi took his family and the family of Ishmael into the wilderness about 600 B.C.
While they were in the wilderness, Nephi, one of the sons of Lehi, was obedient to the Lord and was a great support to his father. The Lord told Nephi, "Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.
"And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands." (1 Nephi 2:19-20)
Lehi and his people were led through the wilderness for about eight years and eventually came to the ocean. There Nephi and his brothers built a boat, and the families crossed to the Americas. After the death of Lehi, his older sons named Laman and Lemuel were determined to kill Nephi. Nephi was warned of God that he should depart into the wilderness and take all those who would go with him. The ones who went with Nephi were those who believed in the warnings and revelations of God.
Nephi's people became known as the Nephites, and the other part of the family became known as Lamanites. The skin of the Lamanites became dark, and they became "an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey."
The Lord told Nephi, "They [the Lamanites] shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction." (2 Nephi 5:25)
The Nephites and Lamanites lived and prospered or fought and declined for nearly a thousand years. Sometimes they consisted of one society, and at other times they fought each other bitterly. Eventually, the Nephites ripened in iniquity and were destroyed by the Lamanites about 400 A.D. The Lamanites are some of the ancestors of Native Americans today.
The Jaredites and Nephites were warned numerous times by prophets to repent or be destroyed. Sometimes the people listened to the prophets, repented and prospered. In the end, they rejected the counsel of the prophets and were destroyed.
Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a modern-day prophet and speaks for God today. The Washington Post carried an article by President Monson about 9/11. I found his article interesting and appropriate to this discussion.
"The calamity of September 11th 2001 has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world….
"There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding….
"Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and heart as well….
"Our Father's commitment to us, His children, is unwavering….
"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.
"The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly `need Him every hour,' not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.
"It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm."
The United States of America - and the world at large - is now in a state of decline. The world-wide economy hangs by a string. There are numerous groups of people and societies that long for the downfall - the destruction - of America. If Americans want to survive and prosper, we must worship the God of this land!