There is a big elephant sitting in the room—a really big elephant. It sits in the United States of America. The elephant is the United States Constitution and our responsibility to our government, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in keeping that Constitution alive.
Let’s face it: we are complacent. We are complacent about our freedoms and our liberty. Andrew Biggs, a Church member and member of the Arizona Fifth District House of Representatives, said:
“We live in a time when our own fellows would vote us into bondage.”
Our freedoms are under attack: freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of speech, and many others. Most importantly, we must realize that our freedom is required for the development, continuation, and success of the gospel of Jesus Christ as we know it.
But I get it. As baby boomers, we have lived with freedom for so many years that we don’t know what it’s like any other way. Most of us living in the United States have never experienced a dictatorship or any other form of government. But it’s like the “frog in the boiling pot of water” idea. Frogs don’t pay attention when they are put into a pot of cold water and the heat is turned up slowly, but they do pay attention when they are thrown into a pot of boiling water—and that’s where our freedoms are going if we don’t pay attention.
Someone once said these words:
“The Constitution is not a document for the government to restrain the people: it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”
After all if you think about it, the war in heaven was about having our freedoms (agency) versus a dictatorship (Lucifer’s plan).
So, this is how it goes: we get our rights from God. It says so in the Declaration of Independence (with added emphasis):
“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.”
In order for us to keep those rights as written, we need to keep a watchful eye on what our government is doing for us and then speak up to support our rights. Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have difficulty following through in our support for liberty. Maybe it’s the fact that it takes years to really understand our purpose in all of this, or maybe it’s our fear of being mocked that keeps us quiet. Whatever the reason, we cannot wait too long to speak up, otherwise it will be too late. We must be watchful in government.
We are blessed to live in this country where we can find our own employment, worship our own God, and raise our own families however we choose. The fight is continuing, and it will be a long time before it’s over.
Just remember what James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers:
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
The blessings of liberty are precious and worth saving. Stay tuned for what is to come in the future.
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.