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.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Righteousness and Wickedness

                The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that righteousness leads to prosperity and happiness while wickedness leads to misery and sorrow.  Our nation is quickly sliding down a very slippery slope because there is much wickedness in our nation, particularly among those who are doing their best to destroy our God-inspired Constitution.

                This week we watched videos of Ferguson, Missouri, being trashed and burned because rioters did not agree with the decision made by the grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown.  For whatever reason the people apparently thought they had the right to destroy private property belonging to other people as well as public property belonging to the people as a whole.  Why were they rioting and trashing their community?   They believe that a white cop defending himself from assault shot a black man simply because he was black.  The cop feared for his life and testified that he would have shot the man even if he were white.  The rioters cry out for justice but will not accept justice when looking right at it.  Justice was done – just not the kind the rioters thought should happen.

                Glenn Beck  believes that the violence and unrest in Ferguson is “just the beginning of what will happen to our cities if we don’t change course.
                “The world is so screwed up.  You don’t know what up is and down is.  You have no idea what good and bad, right and wrong is….”

                After describing the rioting in Ferguson, Beck urged Americans to do what President Abraham Lincoln did.  He gave the Gettysburg Address
 and turned Americans to God.  President Lincoln gave this address at Thanksgiving time and “it turned the war.
                “We were losing everything up to that point, but it turned the world.  Because he said, `We need to humble ourselves.’  Are we not a nation that needs to be humbled?  My gosh, I don’t even know what we stand for anymore, except for money and power and greed and corruption.  That’s not the America I know or love.”

                Beck told his listeners the “biggest problem with our nation right now” is that political parties divide Americans to remain in power.  He said that radicals and revolutionaries are “trying to ignite an American spring.
                “That’s all they’re trying to do…. `If we can get the American people to riot, if we can just get them to stop being who the American people truly are…’  Don’t you see?  Everything about what they’re trying to do to us is to rip us away from the good peaceful, charitable, kind people we truly are.  That’s not how we always are, but historically, America always rights itself.  It always leans back towards decency, courage, and kindness and charity.  We always right ourselves.”

                Beck asked Americans to “look at our history and see who we truly are.”  Look for the good things and reconnect with God.  Beck knows and understands that civilizations that turn from God are eventually destroyed if they do not “right” themselves.  He too sees America heading down the slippery slope faster and faster, often with pushes by the President of the United States and other progressives working with him.

                The United States of America is not the first nation to exist on this continent.  At least two other civilizations lived here and were destroyed when they “ripened in iniquity.”  Will the USA follow the same path?  We will not if we will listen to the voice of prophets and be obedient to their counsel.  The following examples from modern scriptures exhort us to be obedient to God’s commandments and receive the blessings of prosperity and happiness; they also tell us that we cannot prosper or be happy in wickedness.

                After the Savior Jesus Christ visited the ancient inhabitants of the American continents, the people became very righteous.  “And the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land; yea, insomuch that they did build cities again where there had been cities burned.
                “And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people….
                “And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus….
                “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people
                “And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 4 Nephi 1:7, 10, 13, 16-17).

                In King Benjamin’s speech to his people before his death, he included, “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.  O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Mosiah 2:41).

                While a prophet named Alma was counseling his son, he taught about wickedness and happiness:  “Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness.  Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Alma 41:10).

                Even with all this counsel, the Nephites became so wicked they were battling each other.  They followed the Jaredites, a previous civilization, into complete extinct because they turned from God and broke His commandments.  Without obedience to the commandments, God cannot bless.

                In the latter days the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation including this information:  “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated –

                “And when we obtain any blessing form God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21).

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