For decades, Americans have skated though what we call education without basic information about the founding of this nation and the principles of liberty that our Founding Fathers taught. We are vastly more familiar with the shallow thoughts and embarrassing deeds of Hollywood celebrities and athletes than we are with those inspired geniuses who gave us unprecedented liberty. It is painfully sad to watch this nation reach a point where we think that it progress when we surrender personal liberty to allow a massive and nearly bankrupt government pretend to take care of us. What happened to the fundamental ideals and principles that made America great? Where is the shock at the thought of a government eroding its currency by creating money out of thin air? Where is the concern when vast new powers to control and destroy are appropriated without explicit Constitutional authority? Where is the horror at the thought of forcing someone else to work for us, or at the thought of forcing others to turn over their goods for our comfort? When we believe that a vote of a majority justifies taking anything from or doing anything to a minority or that a majority vote allows the winner to do whatever the majority supposedly wants, we have utterly abandoned the principles of the Republic that was given to us at such great cost.
If you doubt the widespread ignorance behind the apathy I refer to, walk into a crowd of college graduates and ask them to explain the difference between a republic and a democracy. Ask them what the source of rights and government authority is in the eyes of our Founding Fathers. Ask them why the rights protected in the 2nd Amendment mattered to them. Ask them what grave dangers were in their mind when they gave us the cumbersome checks and balances in the Constitution. Ask them what the 10th Amendment means. Ask them when the last time was, if ever, that they had a class where the details of the Constitution were read and studied. Ask them if they have read it.
We live in such ignorance that modern journalists and “thought leaders” like the highly celebrated Thomas Friedman can openly wish we could be a dictatorship for a day, giving government unlimited power to just do what needs to be done, without being seriously challenged by their peers. We live in a day when government officials can openly declare that they support the principles of communism or Marxism without being challenged by the mainstream media and without being thrown out of office. We live in a day when citizens would rather have bread and circuses than freedom, when politicians of both parties can work to enrich themselves and spend us into oblivion in crass violation of the Constitution without much of a peep of protest. We live in a day when we have forgotten that the spirit of freedom led early Americans to reject the tyranny of Big Government and elitists rulers, and demand that government be small, accountable, and strictly limited.
We live in a day much like those in the Book of Mormon before the First Coming of Jesus Christ, when Kingmen tolerate or collaborate with external enemies to pull down liberty and amass power for themselves. When was the last time you had a healthy discussion about the lessons of the Kingmen threat in Book of Mormomn times, or the role or pervasive “combinations” in eroding liberty? We tend to treat the Book of Mormon far too superficially.
These are dangerous time – they have been for many years. We need to remember the captivity of our fathers – one of the biggest themes of the Book of Mormon. We need to return to the principles of liberty and throw of our ignorance of our history. We must review and internalize the lessons of history from the founding of this Republic and the lessons of liberty in the Book of Mormon, especially those in the books of Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, and 3rd Nephi, in the amazing era before the First Coming of Jesus Christ.
These are not matters to take lightly. When liberty is eroded, and we’ve been losing it gradually for some time now, you reach a point where you don’t just go back and fix things with an election. We need to throw off our ignorance now and preserve liberty while we still have as much as we do. When you become Cuba for a day, it will be a very long day indeed.