Sunday, July 4, 2010
Our Inspired Constitution
There is one thing that I have great trouble doing without getting emotional, and that is saying the pledge of allegiance. I never had that problem until I lived outside the country. But having seen the way people live in other countries, and the privileges and human rights that are denied them, I appreciate even more the freedoms that we enjoy here. I do pledge my allegiance to this Republic and it's flag, and to the ideals that were set in place by our founding fathers. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to study in college about the founding of this country, and the purposes intended in the Constitution. It gave me a greater appreciation for that great inspired document. In modern day scripture we get this further insight from the Lord about the writing of the Constitution:
"I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80)
I do believe that our Constitution was inspired of God. Elder L. Tom Perry gave some other witnesses of this fact:
"I look around me and find some very definite signs of the decay that is beginning to occur. Corruption, crime, dishonesty, immorality, pollution, laziness, devotion only to special interests—these are signs that precede the fall of great civilizations. We see so much evidence of these signs before our eyes. Yet I realize the promise that has been given to us in this great land of America. I also remember the prophecies concerning our great responsibilities to preserve that which we have been blessed with by God. The Lord has promised to sustain the truth in this land.
Our commitment to America has been testified to by many, but I will point out to you special witnesses who have indicated our responsibilities to this land.
First from Brigham Young, second president of the Church: “Will the Constitution be destroyed? No: it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ‘The time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so.” (Journal of Discourses, 7:15.)
Now another witness, John Taylor, third president of the Church: “When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth, and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations.” (The Gospel Kingdom, Deseret Book Co., 1943, p. 219.) This is part of the program.
A final witness is from George Q. Cannon, former member of the First Presidency, who said that “the day will come when the Constitution and free government under it will be sustained and preserved by this people.” (JD, 23:104.)
Now, I declare to you that if we are not in the beginning stages of the fulfillment of this prophecy, we are at least in the stages where we are preparing for its fulfillment."
..."No constitution on earth has endured longer than ours. We seek and usually find the answers to today’s hardest legal questions within this document of yesterday. The Constitution was and is a miracle. Both Washington and Madison referred to it as such. It was an inspired document, written under the divine guidance of the Lord. James Madison, commonly called the Father of the Constitution, recognized this inspiration and gave the credit to “the guardianship and guidance of the Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations whose blessings have been so conspicuously displayed to the rising of this republic.” (Prologue, p. 95.) We believe that the Constitution was brought about by God to insure a nation where liberty could abound, where his gospel could flourish. Joseph Smith said, “The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 147.) Again from Brigham Young, “[The Constitution] was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty.” (John A. Widtsoe, ed., Discourses of Brigham Young, Deseret Book Co., 1966, p. 359.) From our current living prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, “One of the reasons America is great today is because those men who formulated the Constitution had vision. They looked ahead to today, and all of us here are recipients of their wisdom and foresight.” Among other things, the Constitution guarantees the religious freedom that allowed the Reformation to continue and flourish. The great religious reformers began to throw off the rituals and dogmas that had been attached to Christianity during the dark ages and sought to return to the pure and simple truths of the New Testament."
L. Tom Perry, “God’s Hand in the Founding of America,” New Era, Jul 1976, 45 Adapted from an address delivered on February 24, 1976, at BYU
On this "birthday" of our Nation, I am thankful for those who established this nation, and to those who have defended it. I am thankful to have been born in one of the greatest countries the World has ever known.