A Father’s Day Call to Proclaim Liberty

Jun 19
Dad's with flag - Civic duty

Around age 30 I had my first life changing experience. Up to that point I had led a mostly happy-go-lucky life. I grew up in a wonderful area with a wonderful family and basically operated under the notion that if I just lived the gospel and performed my church duties and raised a family, I would obtain all the blessings of heaven I desired. Little did I know that God expected something more of me. At that point, I didn’t understand the nature of and obligation to preserving liberty.

My experience started when I realized that I had grown up knowing that the Constitution of the United States was inspired by God, and yet I had never read it. My “idyllic” life and education included a government class that I don’t remember actually studying the Constitution as part of it. Perhaps we did, but as a youth, it wasn’t explained in a manner that caught my attention. I was never taught the amazing miracles of God in the establishment of this nation which might have inspired me to want to know more.

Soon after my realization, I stumbled upon (IE. led by the Spirit) a conference talk from 1965 by Elder Ezra Taft Benson entitled, “Not Commanded in All Things.

In this powerful talk, the Spirit convicted me of my lack of knowledge of the duties I had as a member of the church.

No Greater Responsibility – The War Rages Today

Elder Benson said:

“Hear [President David O. McKay’s] words: ‘No greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this Republic and of neighboring Republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.‘ (Cited in Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival [SLC: Publishers Press, 1964], p. 157.) As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue which determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the war in heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The war in heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: ‘Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare’ or will they heed the counsel of the prophet and preserve their freedom?”

Now some will say, “look at that word ‘immediate’. He was just talking about that critical time in history when the Cold War was going on and Communism was a real threat.”

To those who say this, I say you’re not paying attention or reading your scriptures. Totalitarianism is a threat that started in the pre-mortal life and continues in this life. The Lord has made this clear in every period of time. For example:

Jeremiah 34:17. “Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour…”

Today’s threat is no different. We are being poisoned by degrees and lulled to sleep by the devil.

Elder Benson’s talk shares 7 ways the devil neutralizes us individually. All 7 lies are things I’ve heard in my life from members of the Church who believe the Constitution was inspired but felt no obligation to understand it or preserve freedom in the way the founders of America were inspired by God to set it up.

Agency is Self-Government

The purpose of the Constitution was to preserve agency, which is self-government. Self-government is the privilege to:

“act in doctrine and principle…according to the moral agency which [God has] given [to us], that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (D&C 101:78).

John Adams wrote,

“We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

In George Washington’s farewell address in 1796 as he left public office, he shared this insight:

…Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Religion establishes morality, and together they establish freedom and self-government.

The law that Moses gave the Israelites in Deuteronomy has been shown to have had the greatest influence on the development of the U.S. Constitution than any other source. It established the principles of restitution when someone trampled on someone else’s life, liberty, or property.

Satan would have all this stripped away and have us slaves where there is no growth in bondage and we are unable to even be accountable for our actions because they are dictated by political masters.

Civic Duty in Scripture

The scriptures contain many statements of our civic duty, including clear calls to action such as proclaiming and defending the principles of liberty mentioned above.

Among the other commands in scripture, we are to obey the authorities (Romans 13:1) and pay our taxes. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matt. 22:21). Those should be obvious.

Article of Faith 12 tells us:

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

I will call that the terrestrial level of obedience to civil government. What is celestial? It gets a little harder for the average citizen when we disagree with a ruler (both political and religious) and the scriptures tell us things like:

Exodus 22:28 “You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.

1 Samuel 24:6 “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.”

Ecclesiastes 10:20 “Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king…”

Acts 23:5 “And Paul said, ‘I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’’”

Don’t like the person in office? Can we separate the person (a child of God) from the policies they implement? Or do we speak evil of them?

Can we further separate the policies they implement into the proper categories of promoting life, liberty, and property rights, versus, decreasing the quality of life, liberty, and property rights? Have we made a study of at least the basics of economics and freedom with a scriptural understanding of the doctrine of agency, so we recognize where a policy truly falls?

Do we elect righteous, principled people?

Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

Our Challenge Today – The Secret Combination in Power

We have in front of us, the greatest challenge in the history of the world. A secret combination has obtained power by deception and seeks now to close the loop on America, the last bastion of hope against tyranny because of the strength of the U.S. Constitution. For over 200 years it has withstood tyranny in spite of being whittled away at over and over again. Few people today understand these principles in spite of claiming to. Fewer yet take action to preserve them.

Do we “design” our lives and time to preserve our “rights and privileges?”

Alma 43:9. “And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.

We may rest assured that we were put on earth at this time for a purpose. God has given us talents to save the principles of agency. Will we multiply those talents or bury them like the one who was condemned.

Our part in this story is stated exceptionally well by President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility–I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”

The Success Formula

Secretary Ezra Taft Benson served in the Eisenhower administration and stated, “I have faith that the Constitution will be saved …. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the righteous citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by … men and women who understand and abide the principles of the Constitution.” (Ezra Taft Benson)

Our Roles

As a father on this Father’s Day, I must recommit myself to the duties and responsibilities before me.

From the proclamation on the family:

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”

These roles as fathers and mothers, necessitate an understanding of the doctrine of agency, the original intent of the Constitution as inspired by God, and designing our time to thwart the devil’s plans to make us complacent to bury our talents and think some other individual will do the hard work of learning, teaching, and promoting these principles of liberty.

Awakening to our Situation

Individual abilities and capacities will vary between people so I do not condemn anyone for their inaction for I do not know their circumstances. But we must all awaken to our awful situation (Ether 8:24) and do what we are able with the talents we have received.

Are we awake to the agenda of the enemies of freedom to destroy the middle class of the world so there are only the rich rulers and the poor who “own nothing and will be happy”?

Are we awake to the agenda to literally depopulate the earth to a more manageable level of citizenry so that global authorities can maintain control?

Are we awake to the child sacrifice taking place to destroy their God-given identity, sacrificing their gender with chemicals and mutilation, somewhat parallel to ancient practices of child sacrifice to Moloch?

Don’t be a Victim

These are not conspiracy theories, they are conspiracy facts. We have before us actual secret combinations operating in plain sight with their agenda freely talked about in happy tones and smiles on their faces. Their boldness comes because they believe they have control of political power and the media and nothing can stop them so they are comfortable openly sharing their agenda. We have merely to believe them at their word.

As the world’s elite, the rest of us should just accept their wisdom and rule and give up liberty for temporary safety such as when Giddianhi wrote a flattering letter to Lachoneus and invited them to join in their conspiracy (3 Nephi 3) rather than be destroyed.

God forbid we fall prey to these delusions and give up in the eternal struggle to maintain our freedom. We won the war in the pre-mortal life, and with God’s help we shall again bear off triumphant in the struggle for freedom.

From the wisdom of Tolkien’s Gandalf:

“Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

The Blessings of Heaven are Upon the Few

It was only 3% of Americans that fought and opposed the British in the Revolutionary War. That’s a minuscule number, but it’s big enough for God to do something with.

Getting Started

I commend to your further instruction the following materials I have found vital to a freedom library.

1) A pocket Constitution with these verse references written inside the cover (D&C 98:5-6; 101:77-80; 109:54)

2) The 5,000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen. This is an amazing book. It’s got short chapters detailing 28 principles of freedom the Founders relied on to create the Constitution. It’s the best summary book of these principles you can read and every person should read it to understand civil government under Biblical law.

3) The Making of America by Cleon Skousen. I called the last book amazing, but this one is even more remarkable. This is a textbook where the author takes every sentence of the Constitution and amendments, and gives lengthy quotes from the Founders which explains why that principle was included.

4) The Majesty of God’s Law by Cleon Skousen. My understanding is this book was written by invitation of President McKay. Cleon went to BYU to research the notion that “if the Elders of Israel were to save the Constitution, how would they do it.” The bulk of the book is a history of Israel and God’s law as it operated for them. It’s the background story the Founders relied on from the Bible. He then gives a synopsis of the 28 principles explained in item 2 above, and then a summary of the individual laws pertaining to what to do in every circumstance outlined in the Bible. It is essentially a guide to setting up God’s law in civil society.

Back in 2003 I had the privilege of meeting Cleon Skousen. If you want to understand that one mission he had in life was to research and write about the principles of freedom and the work of the Founders, you can read an interesting story on my first (old) website here. (http://www.oaknorton.com/themessage.cfm)


(Featured Image by vitaliyukr @ 123rf.com)


About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.

  • Brother Norton,
    this was so beautifully and powerfully written. Thank you for the reminder. I have been a freedom fighter for so many years but lately I have become complacent. Another book that reminds us how Satan distracts us is The Screw Tape Letters. It was from that book written by CS Lewis that I realized how Satan was keeping me distracted with anger towards my political leaders instead of separating them, a child of god, from their politics.
    I have taught many courses on the Constitution of the United states, I have ran for political office twice, & I have held offices in a major political party. It is so important that we keep this involvement so that we, as president Benson said,may be those who save the Constitution.
    I appreciate the time it took for you to do research and to gather the quotes and then share your passion and testimony.

  • Eric Wright says:

    Preach, Brother. I’ve been involved with the Constitution Party of Utah for years trying to promote these principles, but it has been an uphill battle. It always seems there are too few that want to do the work required, which causes the eventual burnout of those that do. But we’ll keep trying. It’s all we can do, and pray the Lord will magnify our efforts!

    • Oak Norton says:

      Thanks Eric. I think you’ll like the project I’m helping to work on. Hopefully we can announce something about it in the coming days.

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