Today is the 4th of July or better known in the USA as Independence Day. It is a great day to take a minute to ponder all that we have been blessed with in this great county. Many times I think of the Constitution as the document created on the 4th of July, but it wasn’t. The Constitution was created in 1787 which was signed on September 17th during the Philadelphia Convention. It was actually the Declaration of Independence that was adopted on this day back in 1776.
Still, our Constitution is the guide for our government. I think it’s the most important document we have. It keeps all despots and dictators from overthrowing the government, but those are the obvious enemies. The much more dangerous threat to the United States is within our own government. A bright light in the political arena are those who promote the Constitution of the United States. We as a sovereign people living in the United States have the Bill of Rights as well as the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Whether it’s federal, state, or city government, any treatment or action towards any other person or law made by anyone in office should follow the Constitution as a guide.
From our right to vote to the three branches of government, we have what other countries don’t have, and we have to safeguard it. From the words of a constitutional scholar David Fellman, he says “ …The central element of the concept of constitutionalism is that in a political society, government officials are not free to do anything they please in any manner they choose; they are bound to observe both the limitations on power and the procedures which are set… in the Constitution.”
I believe the Constitution was set up in a similar fashion after the laws of God. We are a free people with God on our side as long as we regard Him with reverence and honor and follow His commandments.
Joseph Smith wrote: “Governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and … He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society”. Governments are responsible to enact and hold inviolate laws that “will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life” With respect to freedom of religion, governments are responsible to not prescribe “rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion … [or] suppress the freedom of the soul”. (Doctrine and Covenants: 134)
What better way to govern a band of colonists, who were divided on many fundamental issues of the day; but with an inspired document which separates the three branches of government, requiring the balance of all three to function properly?
From an article published in February 1992, Dallin H. Oaks former Justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and now Apostle from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints talks about the divinity and miracle of the Constitution being created:
‘It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the delegates from so many different states (which states you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances, and prejudices) should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well-founded objections.’”
This document is a miracle. And this miracle is what keeps our country moving forward to preserve our freedoms. I am so thankful for the Founding Fathers’ work and dedication, to leave their posterity and future countrymen a way to govern ourselves, and keep our freedoms. We are still celebrating Independence Day because of the miracle of the Constitution. My we ever protect it from transgression. Happy Fourth of July!
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.