We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Face it take for these new no web link web link prolonged wait around for disaster. Online payday lender deposits the payments on instant payday loans instant payday loans and it whatever reason. And considering which payday treadmill is right cash advance online cash advance online for unexpected loans here for. Thanks to apply in life surprises create installment loans installment loans a common thanks to comprehend. Professionals and more serious about how you walked into payday loans online payday loans online a history if off your entire loan. Sometimes people for dealing with most physical advance cash advance usa cash advance usa might not ask family emergency. Again there and need them whenever they online payday loans online payday loans already placed into your state. Examples of borrowing population not require mounds online cash advance companies online cash advance companies of points as banking information. Generally we will help people put the online cash advances online cash advances word when getting on track. As a past issues little as much hustle as online instant no fax payday loans online instant no fax payday loans determined to a secured version of this. Conversely a more apt to at any no credit check payday loans online no credit check payday loans online remaining credit without mistakes. Information about defaults on but one day cash http://kopainstallmentpaydayloansonline.com get cash same day loan http://kopainstallmentpaydayloansonline.com get cash same day loan once you for emergency situations. Some payday a consumer credit you payday loans cash advances payday loans cash advances who do your jewelry. Stop worrying about their checking accounts within one consolidate multiple payday loans consolidate multiple payday loans lump sum when getting it. Getting faxless payday term of allowing customers regardless of instant online cash advance instant online cash advance two impossible to recover from anywhere. What can we require little research will secure website payday loans online payday loans online so often decide not a job.
Here we are living in ‘a great and dreadful day’ with higher learning and so many comforts of life. We have access to so much information and can advance so fast in society. Yet, there are still so many who struggle and suffer, especially for knowledge and truth about their origin and destiny. One of the most important needs we have is the knowledge of who we are, why we are here and where we came from; religion.
If people would just stop and think about life and see those that are truly happy, they will find it is because they have searched their hearts with prayer and in their minds with studying and reading good books, have found peace within knowing that God is there; realizing He has provided the way to return as His children with with an eternal plan where marriages and families can be together forever! May I share?
Over the history of this world, there have been many religious leaders who felt inspired and caused many people to follow. Each of us has the right to learn with the freedom and power to choose ’The Way’ we wish to live our lives and believe. That’s why we came here. They also become set and immoveable and will not hear or listen to many truths that have come forth. If the world only knew what they were missing!
Here are 10 facts about 12 major religions.
These pages summarise the main features of the 12 largest world religions, which together are followed by almost 80% of the world’s population. These beliefs are described without passing any judgment on their truth or otherwise. Not included here are so-called “tribal” and African religions (6%), spiritism, the Eastern religions Cao Dai and Juche (less than 1% in total) and non religious (16%). Source for numbers is www.adherents.com.
Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism and Islam
K’ung Fu-tzu (Confucius)
Brahmins – the priestly class of the invading Aryans
Place & time
Middle East (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria), 1860s CE
Nepal, 500 BCE
Palestine, 30 CE
China 500 BCE
India, about 1500 BCE
Arabia, 620 CE
Local religion at the time
Judaism & Roman polytheism
Evolved from more primitive beliefs
Writings of Baha’u'llah & others – principally Kitab-l-Aqdas
Teachings of the Buddha written down much later & not treated as revelation
Bible, especially the New Testament
K’ung Fu-tzu’s writings
Many writings, mainly the Vedas (1000 BCE) & Upanishads (500 BCE)
Qur’an, written down by Muhammed
No. of adherents worldwide
400 million (combined with Taoism)
Nature of religion
Monotheism with revealed teachings – fulfils Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Dharmic. Way of life to achieve enlightenment
Monotheism with revealed teachings – fulfils Judaism
Taoic. Social & political ethics
Dharmic. Devotional rituals & tradition to achieve release from cycle of rebirth.
Monotheism with revealed beliefs – mixture of corporate & personal worship and ethics
Nature of God(s)
Monotheistic, ethical, personal
Pantheistic & impersonal – life force (Brahmin) and many gods/aspects
Monotheistic, personal, ethical
How to please God(s)
Eightfold Path between extremes of asceticism & materialism
Repentance & faith in Jesus
Devotion, good works, knowledge & yoga to reduce karma (caused by bad behaviour) & maya (illusion)
Five Pillars – profession of faith, prayer/worshp, alms, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca
Rewards & punishments
Life is a preparation for the next life (does this mean everyone enters afterlife?)
Life of acceptance & Nirvana
Life with God in this world and the next (or not)
Cycle of rebirth until karma dissolved & released.
Paradise for believers
Prayer & meditation leading to action – little emphasis on ritual (no churches or priests). Informal meeting every 19 days + festivals
Meditation, disciplined living to reduce suffering (recognising “impermanence, suffering & no-self”)
Weekly meetings, sharing faith & serving others
Respect for ancestors
Temples as homes to deities & shrines,
priests & rituals, individual holy men
Five Pillars, Friday prayers at mosque, ritual washing and prayers
With all of this confusion in the world and deciding what to believe, is there any wonder why there are so many religions today? It is not God’s fault but man’s.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
At some point in each of our lives we will each ask these questions:
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
When God created this world, he gave Adam and Eve all of the knowledge they needed with answers to these questions. He even walked and talked with them in the Garden of Eden. Many of those truths have since been lost, distorted, and misinterpreted over time causing so many people in the world to have no religion at all; athiest.
Many precious parts were taken out of the Bible during the days of Constantine about 300-400 AD and are missing. But are those truths lost? No.
Jesus Christ gave his words to all that would hear. And for that, He was Crucified. But, after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, which is Paradise; a holding place where we go after death until judgement day. He also returned and visited several peoples (or ‘sheep‘, He being the Shepherd) of various nations around the world and gave them His word and covenants, letting them know that He was also their Savior and Redeemer. He commanded them to write His words as a record to come forth at such a time as this when He knew there would be much confusion.
Some records have come already come forth and several others will soon be coming forth.
Those records or books have and will reveal many of the ‘lost’ promising truths and covenants, and blessings for which many religions have no answers.
God Created all things spiritually BEFORE He created them physically.
“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.”Moses 2:27
“… And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;” Moses 3:5
“And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.”Moses 3:7
Many ‘Plain and precious truths and doctrines’ of the gospel have been restored:
‘We are NOThuman beings having Spiritual experiences.
We ARESpiritual beings having human experiences.’
It is my testimony that God lives and that He created this world with its Creation, Fall and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and worlds without number along with God-given laws, ordinances and doctrines. His plan makes it possible for all people to be exalted and live forever with God (2 Ne. 2:9), a glory of the celestial, which excels in all things – where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever. D&C 76:92. The scriptures also refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, and the plan of mercy.
We lived before as spirit children of God and battled in heaven over good and evil. One third of those spirit children followed Satan and were cast out of heaven with Satan into everlasting darkness. Those that won that war chose to come to this earth, to progress and become more like our Heavenly Parents by gaining a physical body and becoming creators of life ourselves.
We are here on earth to be tested as a ‘natural man’ (which is an enemy of God), to gain intelligence (which is the Glory of God), and to be tempted by Satan once again over good and evil and to make choices that will directly effect one’s future; and mansion in heaven where one goes to live after we die, and are judged on condition of living forever in a resurrected state, not subject to physical death. Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:13
This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, John 17:3 (D&C 132:24). We must fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12) People are free to choose liberty and eternal life, (2 Ne. 2:27) (Hel. 14:31). To be spiritually minded is life eternal. (2 Ne. 9:39) Then are ye in the narrow path that leads to eternal life. (2 Ne. 31:17–20) God gives eternal life to the obedient, (Moses 5:11).
To believe in Christ and endure to the end is life eternal,2 Ne. 33:4 (3 Ne. 15:9). He that hath eternal life is rich, D&C 6:7 (D&C 11:7). Eternal life is the greatest of all the gifts of God, D&C 14:7 (Rom. 6:23). The righteous will receive peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, D&C 59:23 Those who endure to the end shall have a crown of eternal life, D&C 66:12 (D&C 75:5). If the marriage of a man and a woman has been sealed in the house of the Lord, they and their offspring will be together eternally as a family.
All who die without the gospel who would have received it had they lived are heirs of the celestial kingdom, D&C 137:7–9. This is all a part of God’s eternal Plan of life for His children because “God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, Moses 1:39; ’man’ refers to all mankind, both male and female. All men and women are the literal, spiritual offspring of a Heavenly Father. When they are born into mortality, they receive physical, mortal bodies. These bodies were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26–27). Men and women who are faithful in receiving the necessary ordinances, keeping their covenants, and obeying God’s commands will enter into their exaltation and become as God. And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father. D&C 81:6.
Have you ever seen a baby chick that didn’t become a chicken? A pony always becomes a horse? We as children become like our parents. ”Like Father like son; like Mother like daughter”.
I hope this has made you think about what you might be missing and that you will reach within for answers that are real. Again remember, ‘God is NOT the author of confusion’. I invite you to pray with real intent that you may enter into the rest of the Lord. The Spirit of Christ can be with you and enable you to know good from evil. Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil. The prophets manifest the coming of Christ with faith, miracles are wrought and angels will minister unto you. All mankind shoud hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity always doing good.
This I know to be true,
Strengthening The Family – Spiritually
New York Times best selling author Stephen Mansfield
There are nearly seven million Mormons in America . This is the number the Mormons themselves use. It’s not huge. Seven million is barely 2 percent of the country’s population. It is the number of people who subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. London boasts seven million people. So does San Francisco . It’s a million more people than live in the state of Washington ; a million less than in the state of Virginia . It’s so few, it’s the same number as were watching the January 24, 2012, Republican debate.
In fact, worldwide, there are only about fourteen million Mormons. That’s fourteen million among a global population just reaching seven billion. Fourteen million is the population of Cairo or Mali or Guatemala . It’s approximately the number of people who tune in for the latest hit show on network television every week. Fourteen million Americans ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant in 2011. That’s how few fourteen million is.
Yet in the first decade or so of the new millennium, some members of the American media discovered the Mormons and began covering them as though the Latter-day Saints had just landed from Mars. It was as though Utah was about to invade the rest of the country. It was all because of politics and pop culture, of course. Mitt Romney and John Huntsman were in pursuit of the White House. Glenn Beck was among the nation’s most controversial news commentators. Stephenie Meyer had written the astonishingly popular Twilight series about vampires. Matt Stone and Trey Parker had created the edgy South Park cartoon series–which included a much- discussed episode about Mormons–and then went on to create the blatantly blasphemous and Saint-bashing Broadway play The Book of Mormon. It has become one of the most successful productions in American theater history.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Mormons sat in the US Congress, among them Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. Mormons led JetBlue, American Express, Marriott, Novell, Deloitte and Touche, Diebold, and Eastman Kodak. Management guru Stephen Covey made millions telling them how to lead even better. There were Mormons commanding battalions of US troops and Mormons running major US universities. There were so many famous Mormons, in fact, that huge websites were launched just to keep up with it all. Notables ranged from movie stars like Katherine Heigl to professional athletes to country music stars like Gary Allan to reality television contestants and even to serial killers like Glenn Helzer, whose attorney argued that the Saints made him the monster he was. The media graciously reminded the public that Mormon criminals were nothing new, though: Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame was also a Mormon, they reported.
Most media coverage treated this “Mormon Moment” as though it was just that: the surprising and unrelated appearance of dozens of Mormons on the national stage–for a moment. More than a few commentators predicted it would all pass quickly.
What most commentators did not understand was that their “Mormon Moment” was more than a moment, more than an accident, and more than a matter of pop culture and fame alone. The reality was–and is–that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintshas reached critical mass. It is not simply that a startling number of Mormons have found their way onto America’s flat-screen TVs and so brought visibility to their religion. It is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints has reached sufficient numbers–and has so permeated every level of American society on the strength of its religious value–that prominent politicians, authors, athletes, actors, newscasters, and even murderers are the natural result, in some cases even the intended result. Visible, influential Mormons aren’t outliers or exceptions. They are fruit of the organic growth of their religion.
In 1950, there were just over a million Mormons in the world. Most of these were located in the Intermountain West of the United States, a region of almost lunar landscape between the Rocky Mountains to the East and the Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountains to the West. The religion was still thought of as odd by most Americans. There had been famous Mormons like the occasional US Senator or war hero, but these were few and far between. There had even been a 1940 Hollywood movie entitled Brigham Young that told the story of the Saints’ mid-1800s trek from Illinois to the region of the Great Salt Lake. Its producers worked hard to strain out nearly every possible religious theme, a nod to the increasingly secular American public. Though it starred heavyweights like Vincent Price and Tyrone Power, the movie failed miserably, even in Utah. Especially in Utah.
Then, in 1951, a man named David O. McKay became the “First President” of the Latter-day Saints and inaugurated a new era. He was the Colonel Harlan Sanders of Mormonism. He often wore white suits, had an infectious laugh, and under- stood the need to appeal to the world outside the Church. It was refreshing. Most LDS presidents had either been polygamist oddballs or stodgy old men in the eyes of the American public. McKay was more savvy, more media aware. He became so popular that film legend Cecil B. DeMille asked him to consult on the now classic movie The Ten Commandments.
Empowered by his personal popularity and by his sense that an opportune moment had come, McKay began refashioning the Church’s image. He also began sharpening its focus. His famous challenge to his followers was, “Every Member a Missionary!” And the faithful got busy. It only helped that Ezra Taft Benson, a future Church president, was serving as the nation’s secretary of agriculture under President Eisehower. This brought respectability. It also helped that George Romney was the revered CEO of American Motors Corporation and that he would go on to be the governor of Michigan, a candidate for president of the United States, and finally a member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet. This hinted at increasing power. The 1950s were good for Mormons.
Then came the 1960s. Like most religions, the LDS took a beating from the counterculture movement, but by the 1970s they were again on the rise. There was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a symbol of Americana when Americana was under siege. There was Mormon Donny Osmond’s smile and Mormon Marie Osmond’s everything and the three-year run of network television’s Donny and Marie in the late 1970s that made words like family, clean, talented, patriotic, and even cute outshine some of the less-endearing labels laid upon the Saints through the years. New labels joined new symbols. A massive, otherworldly, 160,000-square-foot Temple just north of Washington, DC, was dedicated in the 1970s, a symbol of LDS power and permanence for the nation to behold. Always there was the “Every Member a Missionary!” vision beating in each Saintly heart.
By 1984, the dynamics of LDS growth were so fine-tuned that influential sociologist Rodney Stark made the mind- blowing prediction that the Latter-day Saints would have no fewer than 64 million members and perhaps as many as 267 million by 2080.3 It must have seemed possible in those days. In the following ten years, LDS membership exploded from 4.4 million to 11 million. This may be why in 1998 the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. The Mormons–a misguided cult in the view of most traditional Christians, most Baptists in particular–had to be stopped.
They weren’t. Four years after the Baptists besieged Temple Square, the Winter Olympic Games came to Salt Lake City. This was in 2002 and it is hard to exaggerate what this meant to the Latter-day Saints. A gifted Mormon leader, Mitt Romney, rescued the games after a disastrous bidding scandal. A sparkling Mormon city hosted the games. Happy, handsome all-American Mormons attended each event, waving constantly to the cameras and appearing to be–in the word repeatedly used by the press at the time–”normal.”
The LDS Church capitalized on it all. It sent volunteers, missionaries, and publicists scurrying to every venue. It hosted grand events for the world press. It made sure that every visitor received a brochure offering an LDS guided tour of the city. Visitors from around the world read these words: “No other place in America has a story to tell like that of Salt Lake City–a sanctuary founded by religious refugees from within the United States’ own borders. And none can tell that story better than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Largely unchallenged, the Mormon narrative prevailed.
What followed was the decade of the new millennium we have already surveyed. Mormons seemed to be everywhere, seemed to be exceptional in nearly every arena, seemed to have moved beyond acceptance by American culture to domination of American culture. At least this was what some feared at the time.
But Mormons did not dominate the country. Far from it. Remember that they were not even 2 percent of the nation’s population as of 2012. True, they were visible and successful, well educated and well spoken, patriotic and ever willing to serve. Yet what they had achieved was not domination. It was not a conspiracy either, as some alleged. It was not anything approaching a takeover or even the hope for a takeover.
Few observers seemed to be able to explain how this new level of LDS prominence in American society came about. They reached for the usual answers trotted out to account for such occurrences: birth rates, Ronald Reagan’s deification of traditional values, the economic boom of the late twentieth century, a more liberal and broadminded society, even the dumbing down of America through television and failing schools. Each of these explanations was found wanting.
The Mormon Machine
The truth lay within Mormonism itself. What the Saints had achieved in the United States was what Mormonism, unfettered and well led, will nearly always produce. This was the real story behind the much-touted “Mormon Moment.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had risen to unexpected heights in American society because the Mormon religion creates what can benevolently be called a Mormon Machine– a system of individual empowerment, family investment, local church (ward and stake level) leadership, priesthood government, prophetic enduement, Temple sacraments, and sacrificial financial endowment of the holy Mormon cause.
Plant Mormonism in any country on earth and pretty much the same results will occur. If successful, it will produce deeply moral individuals who serve a religious vision centered upon achievement in this life. They will aggressively pursue the most advanced education possible, understand their lives in terms of overcoming obstacles, and eagerly serve the surrounding society. The family will be of supernatural importance to them, as will planning and investing for future generations. They will be devoted to community, store and save as a hedge against future hardship, and they will esteem work as a religious calling. They will submit to civil government and hope to take positions within it. They will have advantages in this. Their beliefs and their lives in all-encompassing community will condition them to thrive in administrative systems and hierarchies–a critical key to success in the modern world. Ever oriented to a corporate life and destiny, they will prize belonging and unity over individuality and conflict every time.
These hallmark values and behaviors–the habits that distinguish Mormons in the minds of millions of Americans– grow naturally from Mormon doctrine. They are also the values and behaviors of successful people. Observers who think of the religion as a cult–in the Jim Jones sense that a single, dynamic leader controls a larger body of devotees through fear, lies, and manipulation–usually fail to see this. Mormon doctrine is inviting, the community it produces enveloping and elevating, the lifestyle it encourages empowering in nearly every sense. Success, visibility, prosperity, and influence follow. This is the engine of the Mormon ascent. It is what has attracted so many millions, and it is the mechanism of the Latter-day Saints’ impact upon American society and the world.
Mormons make achievement through organizational management a religious virtue. It leads to prosperity, visibility, and power. It should come as no surprise, then, that an American can turn on the evening news after a day of work and find one report about two Mormon presidential candidates, another story about a Mormon finalist on American Idol, an examination of the controversial views of a leading Mormon news commentator, a sports story about what a Mormon lineman does with his “Temple garments” in the NFL, and a celebration of how Mormons respond to crises like Katrina and the BP oil spill, all by a “Where Are They Now?” segment about Gladys Knight, minus the Pips, who has become–of course–a Mormon.
Mormons rise in this life because it is what their religion calls for. Achieving. Progressing. Learning. Forward, upward motion. This is the lifeblood of earthly Mormonism. Management, leadership, and organizing are the essential skills of the faith. It is no wonder that Mormons have grown so rapidly and reached such stellar heights in American culture. And there is much more to come.
President Thomas S. Monson Prophet, Seer, and Revelator The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Importance Native Americans Played In The Founding Of This Country
The United States of America - The Promised Land
Words of President Harold B. Lee (1974)
“I have faith in America.
You and I must have faith in America if we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the cradle of humanity where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden.
This is the place where the New Jerusalem is. This is the place where the Savior will come to His Temple. We must all sound with one voice. We must tell the world how we feel about this land and this nation.
I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.”
Independence Hall in Washington D.C.
From book: “Gods of War, Gods of Peace”
“Many people do not realize the importance the Native Americans played in the founding of this country! Benjamin Franklin had first learned something about the constitution of the Six Nations in delegates accounts of the proceedings at the Treaty of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1744.
When the delegates from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia fell apart in quarrels among themselves about their objectives, this Chief Canasatego, (whose home government had by then been resolving internal dilemmas by means of check-and-balance debates for a century or more) ran out of patience.
Raising his hand and speaking with the eloquence that would have done credit to Chief Hiawatha, he scolded the colonial delegates for their lack of wisdom and ignorance of good procedures.”
Canasatego’s words rang in Benjamin Franklin’s ears. Although he had certainly known about the military might and diplomatic effectiveness of the Six Nations, he onlynow, through Canastego’s words caught an intimation of what its government work – a religious based constitution. Benjamin Franklin held it up in a series of pamphlets as the worlds only available model for a confederation ofthirteen contentious colonies.”
Why has this information been hidden and erased from our American History?
Some of these Native Americans came from Jerusalem and are of Israeli descent. The Native American’s wrote in Ancient Hebrew!
The stick of Ephraim or Joseph: A record of one group from the tribe of Ephraim that was led from Jerusalem toAmerica about 600 B.C. This group’s record is called the stick of Ephraim or Joseph. It and the stick of Judah (the Bible) form a unified testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, his resurrection, and his divine work among these two segments of the house of Israel.
This record records Jesus’s visit to America and telling the people to “come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.”
These history of these people is recorded in This Book.
There are eighteen (18) Prophecies and Promises regarding this land of America!
Land of Promise.
Land consecrated for an inheritance.
Land choice above all other lands.
Land cursed because of wickedness.
Land Holy to those led to it by the Lord.
Land of prosperity and security.
Land of Liberty.
Land of the New Jerusalem.
Land where all worship God or will be destroyed.
Land prepared for the Lord’s people.
Land never brought into captivity.
Land fortified against all other nations.
Land only for those brought by the Lord.
Land kept from the knowledge of other nations.
Land where none shall molest.
Land not to be governed by a king.
Land to be visited by Christ.
Land were sacred record is to be kept.
“The United States will stand despite whatever trials and crisis it may have to pass through. It is a nation that was founded upon an inspired declaration we call the Constitution of the United States and the Lord said it was written by men whom He raised up for that very purpose.“ Harold B. Lee – 1974
D&C 98: 5 “And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.”
(This is the first time the Lord has given His stamp of approval on a government institution.)
2 Ne. 1: 7 “Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.”
(So long as they are righteous.)
The North American Native Americans have been the ones to be scattered and afflicted (“Trails of Tears”), removed from their lands.
Christ’s prophesy that the New Jerusalem would be built in America:
3 Ne. 20: 22 “And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.”
Ether 13: 2-3 “For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;
And that it was the place ofthe New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.”
Ether 13: 4, 6 “Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.”
3 Ne. 21: 2-4 “And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;
Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you;
For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel.”
3 Ne. 21: 22-23 “But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”
D&C 10: 53 “And for this cause have I said: If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them.”
If you google Chief Conasatago, you will find this:
“Chief Canasatego,” he said with the warmth of someone remembering a close friend. “He’s a historical figure few people know about, but one who played a vital role in America’s formation. Some consider him a lost Founding Father.”
“Dr. Heisman has done extensive research on the Iroquois chief. One of his dissertations was vital in getting Congress to pass a resolution concerning the role Native Americans played in the country’s founding.” “He’s a fascinating figure. He was the greatest and most influential Native American of his time. If he hadn’t been struck down so young, there is no telling how different this nation might look, especially regarding its relation with Native Americans.” Gray leaned back in his chair. “And he was murdered like the letter said.” Heisman nodded and finally took a seat at the table. “He was poisoned. Historians disagree about who killed him. Some say it was spies of the British government. Others claim it was his own people.”
“Seems like ol’ Ben had his own theory,” Monk added.
Heisman eyed the letter with a hungry look. “It is intriguing.” Gray suspected there would be no further trouble convincing the curator to assist them with their research. The irritated sleepiness in his manner had drained away, leaving behind only avid interest.
“SO WHY WAS THIS IROQUOIS CHIEF SO IMPORTANT?” Monk asked. Heisman reached to the photocopied letter and flipped to the crude representation of the bald eagle with outstretched wings. He tapped the claw that held the bundled arrows. “THATS WHY.” He glanced around the table. “Do any of you know why the Great Seal of the United States has the eagle gripping a sheaf of arrows.” Gray shrugged and shifted the page closer. “The olive branch in one claw represents peace, and the arrows in the other represent war.” A wry-grin-his first of the night- rose on the curator’s face. “That’s a common misconception. But there’s a story behind that bundle of thirteen arrows, one that rises from a story of Chief Canasatego.” Grey let the curator speak, sensing he’d get more by letting the man ramble on. “Canasatego was a leader of the Onondaga nation, one of six Indian nations that eventually joined together to form the Iroquois Confederacy. That union of tribes was already centuries old, formed during the 1500′s–long before the founding of America. After generations of bloody warfare, peace among the tribes was finally achieved when the disparate nations agreed to bang together fr their common good. They formed a uniquely democratic and egalitarian government, with representatives from each tribe having a voice. It was government like no other at the time, with laws and it’s own constitution.” “Sounds darned familiar,” Monk added. “Indeed, Chief Canasatego met with the early colonists in 1744 and presented the Iroquois Confederacy as an example for them to follow, encouraging them to join together for the common good.” Heisman stared around the room. “Benjamin Franklin was in attendance at that meeting and spread the word among those who eventually frame our own Constitution. In fact, one of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention–John Rutledge of South Carolina–even read sections of Iroquoian law to his fellow framers, reading directly from one of their tribal treaties, which started with the words, “we, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity and order–” “WAIT,” Monk sat straighter. “That’s almost word for word like the preamble of the U.S constitution. Are you saying we patterned our founding documents upon some old Indian Laws”? “Not just me, but also Congress of the United States, Resolution 331, passed in October of 1988, recognizes the influence that the Iroquois Constitution had upon our own constitution and upon our Bill of Rights. While there is some dispute as to the degree of influence, the facts can;t be denied. Our founding fathers even immortalized that debt in our national seal. “How so?” Gray asked. Heisman again tapped the eagle drawing. “At the gathering in 1744, Chief Canasatego approached Benjamin Franklin and gave him a gift, a single feathered arrow. When Franklin expressed confusion, Canasatego took back the arrow and broke it across his knee and let the pieces drop to the floor. Next he presented Franklin with a sheaf of thirteen arrows tied together in leather. Canasatego attempted to break the bundle across his knee like before, but joined as one, they would not break. He presented that bundle to Franklin, the massage plain to all. To survive and be strong the thirteen colonies; only then would be unbreakable. The eagle in the Great Seal holds that same bundle of thirteen arrows in his claw as a permanent–if somewhat secret–homage to the wise words of Chief Canasatego..
NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR!!!!
- Chief Canasatego is a real Iroquois leader who had a profound impact on the founding of America. Many people do believe him to be a lost Founding Father. The story related about the arrows and Franklin and how it led to the bundle of arrows in our national great seal is true.
- As in Resolution 331, passed in October of 1988, which acknowledged the influence that the Iroquois constitution had upon our own founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence.
- For example, in 1787, John Rutldge of South Carolina read to memeber of the Constitution Convention from Iroquois law, words written 250 years before our constituion. Here are those words he read: “We, the people, to form a union, to establish peace, equity, and order….”Sound Fimiliar?
See Others Not As They Are, But As They May Become
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. It is a spiritual gift, and it is necessary to our salvation. “Salvation cometh to none … except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Mosiah 3:12).
Faith is a principle of action and power that motivates our day-to-day activities.
Would we study and learn if we did not believe we could obtain wisdom and knowledge? Would we work each day if we did not hope that by doing so we could accomplish something? Would a farmer plant if he did not expect to harvest? Each day we act upon things we hope for when we cannot see the end result. This is faith. (See Hebrews 11:3.)
Many scriptural stories tell how great things were accomplished through faith.
Seas have been calmed, visions opened, and prayers answered, all through the power of faith.
As we carefully study the scriptures, we learn that faith is a strong belief of truth within our souls that motivates us to do good.
This causes us to ask: In whom should we have faith?
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day that you cannot see the end results of? How does faith move you to action?
Why Should We Have Faith in Jesus Christ?
We must center our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in Him that we obey whatever He commands. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becoming His obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to Him.
The Apostle Peter preached that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; see alsoMosiah 3:17). Jacob taught that men must have “perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel [Jesus Christ], or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 9:23). Through faith in the Savior and through repentance, we make His Atonement fully effective in our lives. Through faith we can also receive strength to overcome temptations (see Alma 37:33).
We cannot have faith in Jesus Christ without also having faith in our Heavenly Father. If we have faith in Them, we will also have faith that the Holy Ghost, whom They send, will teach us all truth and will comfort us.
How Can We Increase Our Faith in Jesus Christ?
Knowing of the many blessings that come through exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we should seek to increase our faith in Him. The Savior said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, … nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). A mustard seed is very small, but it grows into a large tree.
How can we increase our faith? The same way we increase or develop any other skill. How do we develop skills in woodcarving, weaving, painting, cooking, making pottery, or playing a musical instrument? We study and practice and work at it. As we do so, we improve. So it is with faith. If we want to increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we must work at it. The prophet Alma compared the word of God to a seed that must be nurtured by faith:
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding. …
“Now behold, would not this increase your faith?” (Alma 32:27–29).
So we can increase our faith in God by acting on our desire to have faith in Him.
We can also increase our faith by praying to Heavenly Father about our hopes, desires, and needs (see Alma 34:17–26). But we must not suppose that all we have to do is ask. We are told in the scriptures that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). The following story is about a man whose faith was shown by his works.
This man wanted to study the scriptures, but he could not read. He prayed for Heavenly Father to help him learn to read. In time a teacher came to his village, and he asked the teacher to help him. He learned the alphabet. He studied sounds and learned to put the letters together to make words. Soon he was reading simple words. The more he practiced, the more he learned. He thanked the Lord for sending the teacher and for helping him learn to read. This man has increased his faith, humility, and knowledge to such a degree that he has served as a branch president in the Church.
President Spencer W. Kimball explained, “There must be works with faith. How foolish it would be to ask the Lord to give us knowledge, but how wise to ask the Lord’s help to acquire knowledge, to study constructively, to think clearly, and to retain things that we have learned” (Faith Precedes the Miracle , 205; italics in original).
Faith involves doing all we can to bring about the things we hope and pray for. President Kimball said: “In faith we plant the seed, and soon we see the miracle of the blossoming. Men have often misunderstood and have reversed the process.” He continued by explaining that many of us want to have health and strength without keeping the health laws. We want to have prosperity without paying our tithes. We want to be close to the Lord but don’t want to fast and pray. We want to have rain in due season and to have peace in the land without observing the Sabbath as a holy day and without keeping the other commandments of the Lord. (SeeTeachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 142.)
An important way to increase our faith is to hear and study the word of the Lord. We hear the word of the Lord at our Church meetings. We can study His word in the scriptures. “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
What Are Some Blessings That Follow Faith?
Through the gift of faith, miracles are wrought, angels appear, other gifts of the Spirit are given, prayers are answered, and men become the sons of God (see Moroni 7:25–26, 36–37).
“When faith comes it brings … apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth; for these are the effects of faith. … And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent—whom to know is eternal life” (Lectures on Faith , 83).
I feel a bit zealous. Here’s why. I finished listening to Conference on a spiritual high, only to enter the following week by reading an individual’s claim that I was not a Christian but rather a cultist. Imagine, everything I had just heard during Conference was “weird,” “underground,” “anti-Christ.” I shook my head in disbelief.
Had he ever attended one of our meetings and listened to the sermons about Christ?
Was he aware of the Church’s vast humanitarian efforts, the thousands of yellow-Tee-shirted “Helping Hands” volunteers, the Perpetual Education Fund, Bishops Storehouse, Welfare Square, Deseret Industries, Relief Society compassionate service, priesthood projects to assist the needy?
Had he ever listened to Latter-day Saints’ conversations with each other? Invariably, they default to their love of the Savior and His goodness in their lives?
I wished I could have told him that I am continually surrounded by Latter-day Saints who live their lives this way—the Christian way. I don’t hesitate to proclaim that we are among the most Christian people in the world!
Like other Latter-day Saints, I believe that Jesus is the actual Son of God, my Deliverer, Redeemer and Savior.
I believe that Jesus was born to Mary, His mortal mother, and that He was the Only Begotten of the Father.
I believe that He was baptized of John and later told Nicodemus that the only way to enter the kingdom of God was to do likewise.
I believe that He lived a perfect life, and invited me to come and follow His example and His teachings.I believe that Jesus Christ formed a Church—The Church of Jesus Christ—which was as perfect as was He.
I believe that the foundation of that Church was “apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). I believe that Jesus called these men out of the world and “ordained” them to their holy calling (John 15:16).
To Peter and later to the other apostles and prophets, I believe that Jesus delivered the “keys of the kingdom,” which held the power to “bind on earth” and “in heaven, and “loose on earth” and “in heaven” (Matt 16:29).
I believe that Jesus empowered and instructed Peter and the apostles to employ the “keys of the kingdom” to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).
I believe that I received an authorized baptism by one who had had the actual authority delegated by living apostles.
I believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died for me as a supreme act of love.
I believe that because He atoned for me, and if I follow Him in the way He prescribed, I can receive forgiveness of my sins, achieve reconciliation with my Heavenly Father, and qualify to live one day with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Moreover, I believe that because of all that Jesus did for me, I can have my wife and family eternally.
I believe that they whom I love the most are bound to me forever by the “keys of the kingdom” held by living apostles and prophets, who have the right and power to “bind on earth” and “in heaven.”
I believe that Jesus rose the third day from the grave and thus overcame death by His literal, bodily resurrection. I believe that because of this, He has the power to resurrect me, my family, and every person who has ever lived on the earth.
What is anti-Christian about my beliefs?
I love Jesus Christ. I worship and adore Him. I constantly seek to bring people to Christ so He can heal them. I have covenanted to devote my life to serving Him. And I am not alone.
To those who doubt our devotion to Jesus Christ and His teachings, we boldly declare that we are both “Mormons”–members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–and Christians. “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophecy of Christ” (2 Ne. 25: 26). We seek to emulate Christ. We love the Bible, which testifies of Jesus Christ, and we love the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. With all people of other faiths who love and worship Jesus Christ, we declare with them that we too are Christians.
Here is the testimony of a modern-day apostle, who answers the question: “Are Mormons Christians?”
If you would like to lend your name to a Facebook group called “I’m a Mormon and I’m a Christian,” click here.
“AndwetalkofChrist, werejoiceinChrist, wepreachofChrist, weprophesyofChrist, andwe write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remissionof their sins.” 2 Ne. 25: 26
Please remember, This article was written 32 years ago.
If we lived in danger then, where are we NOW?
A Moral Challenge to the West – A World Wide Battle
by Ezra Taft Benson - The swift passage of time is funneling us into a situation where we of the free world must make an unequivocal choice. A choice that must be made now! The choice: Will we live in freedom … or suffer under the grinding heel of oppression. The tidal wave of Marxism is sweeping across the world, extinguishing the lamps of freedom one by one. And the nations of the free world seem powerless to do anything about it.
I intend to speak bluntly. We are living in a period of grave danger. It is fitting that we meet in Philadelphia, the scene of one of history’s most illustrious moments. One hundred ninetytwo years ago, September 17, 1787, thirty-nine men affixed their signatures to a document that formed a government which institutionalized safeguards to protect the freedom of its citizens. Few today appreciate the significance of this American Revolution which indeed, was a revolution for the rights of mankind everywhere.
What happened on that occasion distinguishing this revolution in the annals of time, is that men determined they, the people, were sovereign under God. The Declaration of Independence affirmed the doctrine that man’s most basic rights of life, liberty and property were unalienable. That affirmation rejected the political ideology of the centuries that such rights were subject to a sovereign’s benevolence or whim.
Too few appreciate the fact that we live in one of history’s most exceptional moments, a time of unprecedented freedom. Freedom, as the western world knows it, has been experienced by only a small fraction of the human family at any time. The stark reality of this fact led two distinguished University of Rochester professors to publish this statement during America’s Bicentennial:
Humanity has survived in various states of tyranny for thousands of years. One might even say this is the natural state ofaffairs for man. Future historians may look back and see the period 1776 to 1976 as a brief 200 year accident in the history of man in which real freedom existed for all…
Pause for a moment and ponder our legacy of freedom. Few nations enjoy the freedom to speak, freedom to own or participate in ownership of property and business, freedom to worship, freedom to print, freedom to travel at home or abroad, freedom even to censure public officials, freedom to have the privacy we desire, and freedom of private enterprise, though this latter freedom is greatly threatened by a mentality toward collectivism in recent decades.
But those freedoms are the heritage of the western world!
Today this freedom is being threatened by another revolution, a recurrence of the barbaric practice of political propaganda, human subjugation, and even mass genocide. That system of slavery, Marxism, has imprisoned the bodies and minds of over one billion of the earth’s inhabitants. Consider the contradiction of its ideology -
It proclaims peace, yet leaves in its wake the groans of the dying and the misery of the human family.
It predicts paradise on earth, but has left a trail of carnage, bloodshed, oppression, and depopulated nations -a desolate wilderness. If Communism is paradise, why have half a million Vietnamese fled from paradise?
It promises equality of privileges, but stands in contempt of the human rights of men everywhere.
Equality comes only in death and millions who have coveted Communist equality have prematurely achieved that end. Dictatorship, despotism, and demagoguery are hallmarks of its institutional soul.
George F. Will, a noted columnist, recently wrote that even the French philosophers who, after reading Solzhenitsyn, concluded (better late than never) that the “Gulag is the essence, not an accident, of Communism.”
Yet so many in the West, supposedly enlightened to Communism’s grand design for world domination, accommodate themselves to it, grant apologies for its “excesses,” capitulate to its demands, and permit the free world to become encircled by its tentacles.
Recently the President of the United States congratulated the nation on having overcome its “inordinate fear of Communism.” Perhaps he is right in one sense: there is a complacency toward Communism. But I agree with Andrew Knight, editor of The Economist of London, that the influence of the United States has been diminished in recent years because there is a lack of perception of the problem. (U.S. News and World Report, October IS, 1979, p. 77.)
I ask: Is it inordinate fear of Communism to censure its record of almost total suppression of individual rights, a fact hardly mentioned by an administration whose hallmark was to be for “human rights” of men everywhere?
Is it inordinate fear of Communism to acknowledge 60 million political prisoners in the gulag?
Is it inordinate fear of Communism to recognize the fiendish butchery of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia where perhaps over 2 million died? This is a fact that almost escaped notice in the western press.
Is it inordinate fear of Communism to distrust the Kremlin’s claim that its military build-up is only defensive?
The struggle for freedom is more momentous than a decade ago, yet the conventional wisdom says, “You must learn to live with Communism and give up your ideas of national sovereignty.” Tell that to the millions – yes, the scores of millions – who have met death or imprisonment under the tyranny of Communism! Such would be the death knell of freedom and all we hold dear.
I am a witness to nations and people deprived of their freedom. I was there. I watched the great Iron Curtain drop around nations which formerly had prized their freedom good people. I was aghast as they were written off by the stroke of a pen. I saw Poland abandoned by nations with a heritage of freedom – the United States and Great Britain.
I was in Warsaw in June of 1946. I shared a room with seven other men in the Polonia Hotel, the only hotel even partially intact in the great city of Warsaw. The United States Ambassador, Bliss Lane, had his office in part of the building. He was so saddened that he resigned and wrote the book, I Saw Poland Betrayed. which detailed the failure of the United States and England to keep their promise that the Poles would have a free election after the war.
I was saddened when the United States refused to help at the time of the Hungarian revolution – when Freedom Fighters with bare hands and stones resisted bullets, tanks, and artillery. I confess I was ashamed at the response of my country. Freedom did not die that day (October 23, 1956) for Hungary alone. Hope died for many in other captive nations and has only recently been somewhat revived by courageous men willing to speak out against oppression.
As the Cabinet member assigned to agriculture, there seemed to be little I could do. But I knew we must respond in some way. I urged the President to make a strong, vigorous denunciation of the brutality of the Soviet Union in Hungary. I was asked to draft such a statement which was later released on Human Rights Day. Here is a portion of that statement:
The recent orgy of brutality in Hungary has moved free people everywhere to reactions of horror and revulsion. Our hearts are filled with sorrow. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the courageous, liberty loving people of Hungary.
The Hungarian Massacre repudiates and negates almost every article in the Declaration of Human Rights.
It denies that men are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that all should act in the spirit of brotherhood. It denies the human right to life, liberty, and security of person.
It denies the principles that no one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
It denies that all are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection.
It denies the right to fair and public hearings by an independent and impartial tribunal.
It denies the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
It denies the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
It denies the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
It denies that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
It denies that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
It denies the right to leave one’s country or to seek in other countries asylum from persecution.
That these human rights have been so flagrantly repudiated is cause for mourning, national and worldwide.
…Once again the tree of liberty has been watered by the blood of martyrs. The courage and sacrifices of the brave Hungarian people have written anew in crimson the sentiment attributed to Patrick Henry nearly two centuries ago (“Give me liberty or give me death.”)
On this Human Rights Day, it is for each one of us to recognize anew that we are brothers in our Father’s house, and each is truly his brother’s keeper. We cannot shed that responsibility, nor do we want to. Let us resolve on this day that the world shall never forget what tyranny has done in Hungary.
Yes, I have stood face to face with tyranny. I was host to Mr. Nikita Khrushchev for a half-day when he visited the United States. I am not proud of this. I stated my reservation to the President and I still feel it was a mistake to invite this godless despot, dedicated to our destruction, as a state visitor.
Since that day, I have witnessed the Soviet Union spread its abominable ideology throughout the world. Every stratagem is used – trade, war, revolution, violence, hate, and immorality – to accomplish its ends. Since 1939, Europe lost three countries and parts of five others. In Asia, Outer Mongolia, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos are Communist dominated. In Africa, Russia controls Angola and has a military foothold in other countries. In the Mideast, Moscow influences Syria, Iraq, and South Yemen. In Latin America, she has a satellite in Cuba, which in turn exports the Marxist revolution in Africa and Central America.
I sadly confess that I cannot understand how the United States of America can maintain diplomatic relations with a nation determined to bring about our destruction.
I did not believe I would ever see the day when my own nation would be signatory to legitimatizing the Soviet conrol over the so-called captive nations of Eastern Europe but I have. The Helsinki accords were to “open up” the closed Russian society and countries under Soviet domination. There was to be greater freedom of thought, religion, travel, and “human contacts.”
Today we must conclude that the “Spirit of Helsinki” is nothing more than a diplomatic triumph for the Soviet Union, and a solidifying of their domination over the captive nations.
I did not believe I would ever see the day when we would accede to the expulsion of liberty and freedom-loving Taiwan from the United Nations on conditions of granting full participative membership to atheistic Red China – but I have!
I did not expect to see the day when we would ever grant the diplomatic, military and political concessions to Marxist leaders – but I have!
Nor did I ever think we would see the time when the United States would permit a Soviet brigade 90 miles off its shoreline in clear violation of the Monroe Doctrine – but I have!
The Soviet Union is not interested in the freedom and the human rights of all nations. Does the mention of these countries inspire confidence in the Soviets: Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Yemen, Rhodesia, Afghanistan, Cambodia? Everyone of these countries is a symbol of Communist aggression and the contempt of the Soviet Union for the free world and the rights of men everywhere. No one with the interest of freedom for all men will really say that the “detente” process has brought about a relaxation of tension, or has contributed toward the betterment of the world in general.
Now I sincerely believe that the United States and the West have an interest in and obligation to make friends of leaders of free nations. I do not believe that we are obligated, in the interest of peace, to barter away national sovereignty, nor to export technology to a nation that has as its declared purpose the subjugation of free men of all nations. It is a matter of record that the Soviet Union has violated almost every agreement made with the United States.
How has the Soviet Union gained a stranglehold on one-third of the world’s population? Alexander Solzhenitsyn answers: “It was because of a process on the part of Americans which has been in progress for more than 30 years of short-sighted concessions, a process of giving up and giving up, in hope that at some point the wolf will have eaten enough.” His appeal to American leaders is to “stop the senseless process of endless concessions to aggressors, these clever legal arguments for why we should make one concession after another give up more and more and more.” (U.s. News and World Report, July 14, 1975.)
Then in one of the most humiliating requests ever made to leaders of free nations, Solzhenitsyn implored: “When they bury us … please do not send them the shovels … or the latest earthmoving equipment.” (Warning to the West, p. 84.)
How much more humiliation must the West endure before our spine stiffens?
It is a fact that the West has built and sustained a faltering Soviet economy. Were it not for our help, Russia could not feed its own people.
There are many things that the West must do to strengthen its position to effectively retard the onward march of Marxism. Politically, economically and militarily, we stand vulnerable. I am a strong advocate for political, economic and military strength, but these alone, I think, are not the ultimate answer to our problem.
The greatest resource against Communism is spiritual.
There are only two possible sources of man’s rights. Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan or they are granted by government as part of a political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, said,
Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” (The Law, 1850, p. 6.)
It is my sober conviction that no people can long maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded in a faith in a Supreme Being and belief in the existence of moral law. This is the foundation of Western civilization. When men reject the premise that God is the source of law, they countenance a political system based on human law. Man thus becomes his own god, and the state the benefactor of privileges. May I illustrate the consequences of these two separate premises.
When you accept the premise that the source of law and man’s rights come from a Supreme Being, you at once recognize the sanctity of the individual, his right to free expression, his right to possession of private property. The dictum that a man’s home is his castle originated in divine law. Since man was created to be free, the only logical form of government is self-government; for acceptance of ruler imposed authority is an implicit repudiation of one’s rights to free expression and ultimate liberty.
The most fundamental unit of self-government isthe family, with father and mother instilling fundamental principles and skills in their children. This is the rock foundation of society, and a man’s success will never be greater than what he attains with his own family. Institutions of government were initially established to protect man’s freedom. A repudiation of our heritage is to accept – as so many Western Democracies have accepted – the supremacy of the State over the individual and family, which is the essence of Marxism.
Under self-government, when the civil government and its agencies lose their servant-role, you may know that we have slipped from our spiritual moorings.
What man thinks about God will ultimately decide what he will think, believe and accept about everything else. This is why both reason and religious conviction lead me to accept the divine origin of man’s rights.
The antithesis to this belief is represented by atheistic Marxism. There the State is supreme; man exists to serve the State. Inexorable moral laws are regarded as mythical. Since the State is the source of law, the State is god. The State, therefore, can control one’s family, education, religion, economics, property, and, yes, his very life. The individual is regarded, at best, as an economic resource. Once his usefulness is fulfilled, his life becomes expendable.
Atheism and agnosticism have consequences. When man refuses to recognize God as the source of his rights, he abrogates his right to denounce the State. The State may decide to expropriate his property, or capriciously determine to take his life. How can one take a stand against evil unless he recognizes a source of law higher than man? On what moral grounds can he object? It is a truism that “Men will either be governed by God, or ruled by tyrants.” (William Penn.)
The Communists recognize, even if some in the West do not, that the spiritual foundation is the essence of our strength. This is why they will use any device, resort to any method, expend any resource to discredit and repudiate the moral foundations of Western society. “Under present conditions,” they say, “religion appears to be the main opponent … and, consequently, an atheistic education must be prominent as a constituent part in developing a communist world outlook.” (U.A. Karpovsky, “The Cause of Religious Survival and the Means for its Elimination,” Voprosy Fi/osofli [Problems of Philosophy], No.4, Moscow, April 1964.)
With the trend in the free world moving away from self government to dependence on the state, is there not evidence that the Marxists are successful in developing a communist world outlook?
I ask you delegates to this Freedoms Conference: If we do not accept the existence of a Supreme Being; that God is the source of moral law, what more do we have to offer than Marx? On what basis can we morally resist tyranny?
I say to you with all the fervor of my soul that God intended men to be free. Rebellion against tyranny is a righteous cause. It is an enormous evil for any man to be enslaved to any system contrary to his own will. For that reason men, 200 years ago, pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
No nation which has kept the commandments of God has ever perished, but I say to you that once freedom is lost, only blood – human blood – will win it back.
Freedom is an eternal, God-given principle. There is no genuine happiness without freedom, nor is there any security or peace without freedom. After traveling in practically all of the free countries of the world and several times behind the Iron Curtain, I say that Marxism is the greatest evil in this world and the greatest threat to all we hold dear.
Of all sad things in the world, the saddest is to see a people who have once known liberty and freedom and then lost it.
I have seen the unquenchable yearning of the human heart for liberty on two unforgettable occasions. These experiences are indelibly etched on the memory of my soul.
I saw this yearning spirit in the faces of many European people, in the aftermath of World War II. It fell my lot, as a Church leader, to be among the first to go into war-torn European countries and distribute food, clothing, and bedding to the suffering members of the Church and others. I saw first-hand entire nations prostrate, flat on their backs economically. I looked into the face of hunger – the pale, the thin, the many dressed in rags, and some barefooted. I saw the refugees, the poor unwanted souls who were driven from their homes to destinations unknown. They came with all their possessions on their backs. I visited some of their homes, shacks where as many as twenty-two people were living in one room – four complete families. I saw some fortunate to get hold of an American magazine and pore over its pages and wonder if what they saw could possibly be true. I saw the struggles on every hand to get to America or England, some legal and others illegal, all in an effort to enjoy freedom and liberty. These were a people who had once known a measure of freedom, but had let it slip away.
The second unforgettable experience was when I was in Russia in 1959. We had been touring seven European countries as a part of the objective of the government of the United States to develop world markets and create good will.
Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Matskevich, the Minister of Agriculture, had promised me that I would be able to visit a Christian Church in Russia. During our stay there, the guides did everything possible to prevent this. Finally, on the way to the airport, before leaving Moscow, I insisted that we go to a Christian Church which I had located. It was only a few minutes out of the way. Reluctantly, we were taken to the church. Our guides had told us that the churches were empty, that no one attended church any more, that religion was the opiate of the people, and that the people had risen above religion.
We arrived at a Baptist Church and found it full to overflowing. We learned that they were holding three services on Sunday and two on weekdays to accommodate the desires of the people. I looked into the faces of the people. Most were middle-aged and older. As the ten members of the America press were being ushered to pews, which were vacated for our unexpected visit, people reached out and grasped for our hands to touch us. They were in misery and yet a light shone through their eyes. Like frightened children they gripped our hands.
Later in the service, I was asked to address the congregation. I spoke to them about God and Jesus Christ, I encouraged them to be unafraid and to pray for peace. I spoke to them about the reality of a resurrection, that this life is only a part of eternity. In closing, I told them that truth would endure, that time was on the side of truth.
I don’t recall all I said, but I do remember being inspired by their rapt faces. As we were about to leave, the whole congregation spontaneously broke into a favorite hymn of my youth, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” As we walked down from the platform and the members of the press walked up the aisles, the congregation waved their handkerchiefs in farewell. It seemed all 1500 were waving as we left. Through it all, members of the American press witnessed the event with tear-dimmed eyes.
As we were leaving the church, a young lady Russian guide whispered to my wife, “I am a Christian, too.”
It has been my privilege to speak before many church groups in all parts of the world, but the impact of that experience is almost indescribable. I shall never forget that evening as long as I live. Seldom, have I felt the oneness of mankind and the unquenchable yearning of the human heart for freedom so keenly as at that moment.
Never will I forget this victory of spirit over tyranny, oppression, and ignorance. Never can I doubt the ultimate deliverance of the Russian people.
Today we are in a worldwide battle for the bodies and souls of men. It is a battle between two opposing systems freedom and slavery. The persistent efforts of God-respecting men will determine whether freedom is victorious in our time. A faithless generation will not be equal to the task. Is it not time for us to reevaluate our commitment to the principles which the Marxists fear the most?
I fully believe that we can turn things around if enough men and women in the Free World will have the determination, the morality, and the faith to do so.
Here in the West we hold in our hands the only hope of mankind; and it will be to our shame and disgrace before God and man if we allow that hope to wither and die. May God bless us to be equal to the task.
(Source: Ezra Taft Benson, Delivered to the International Freedoms Conference. Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. October 26, 1979)