Contemplate the Mangled Bodies of Your Countrymen

On Memorial Day 2023, we turn our minds to our war dead – those who sacrificed everything for their country, their values, and their loved ones. One author has written:

“America was born in blood. America suckled on blood. America gorged on blood and grew into a giant, and America will drown in blood” (Thomas W. Chittum, Civil War Two: The Coming Breakup of America, 1). 

Traditionally, Americans have loved peace. We have disdained conquest. We have championed the rights of oppressed peoples and nations and the cause of Independence. However, our defense of our principles, our peace, and our People has often led us to war with its abhorrent carnage, misery, and bloodletting. We have also fought unjust wars of aggression that were shameful and an affront to God. 

Not every soldier who has ever fought or died is a hero. Not every one has been an exemplary person who served with honor. They don’t all deserve our unwavering respect simply for wearing the uniform or dying on the field of battle. However, the majority of American servicemen who have lost their lives have been sincere people who believed, wrong or right, that they were fighting for a higher cause that was just, noble, and good. 

Those who have sincerely believed in the correctness of their cause, who served in an upright and honorable manner in God’s eyes, and who gave their lives doing what they truly thought would liberate or bless other peoples, deserve our honor and respect. Those honorable dead who willingly fought for God and country are the ones I honor today. 

Such were the men who fought the British monarchists and traitors for Independence at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and Trenton, Kings Mountain and Yorktown. Such were the men who demolished the British invaders with General Jackson in New Orleans. Such were the soldiers and militiamen who ended the Indian wars against white settlers and Pioneers. Such were the Confederate warriors who defended their states against Union invasion. Such were the men of the Alamo who warred against Santa Anna and his Mexican aggressors. And on the list goes. 

Shortly after Independence had been declared in 1776, Samuel Adams, the Father of the Revolution, gave a rousing speech where he reminded his countrymen of the stakes of the war and the sacrifices that had already been made to secure national sovereignty. He cried: 

“Courage, then, my countrymen; our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty. Dismissing, therefore, the justice of our cause as incontestable, the only question is, What is best for us to pursue in our present circumstances? . . . . 

“We are now on this continent, to the astonishment of the world, three millions of souls united in one cause. We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations, and foreign nations are waiting to crown our success by their alliances. There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us. 

“The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity and a better preparation for defense; more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence and support us in the dignity of free imperial States. We can not suppose that our opposition has made a corrupt and dissipated nation more friendly to America, or created in them a greater respect for the rights of mankind. We can therefore expect a restoration and establishment of our privileges, and a compensation for the injuries we have received from their want of power, from their fears, and not from their virtues. The unanimity and valor which will effect an honorable peace can render a future contest for our liberties unnecessary. He who has strength to chain down the wolf is a madman if he let him loose without drawing his teeth and paring his nails. . . . 

“. . . When the spirit of liberty, which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms, is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin and render us easier victims to tyranny. Ye abandoned minions of an infatuated ministry, if peradventure any should yet remain among us, remember that a [Joseph] Warren and [Richard] Montgomery are numbered among the dead. Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plow, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen! . . . . 

“We have no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains; desolation and death mark their bloody career, while the mangled corpses of our countrymen seem to cry out to us as a voice from heaven. 

“Our Union is now complete; our Constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties: We may justly address you as the decemviri did the Romans, and say: “Nothing that we propose can pass into a law without your consent. Be yourselves, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends.” 

“You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and Montgomery, it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent” (Samuel Adams, Speech, August 1, 1776). 

If we wish to continue as free states in this mighty confederacy called the United States, we must remember our fallen warriors. We must remember why they fought. We must remember the values and principles they held so dearly that they were willing to fight, bleed, and die to defend. We must remember their sacrifices – their mangled bodies and corpses. More importantly, we must resolve to make the same ultimate sacrifice for our Faith, Families, and Freedom that they made when the time comes. 

The blood of our fallen heroes nourished the American soil. From that fertile ground grew a Liberty tree whose branches have provided more people with the cool shade of Freedom than any Liberty tree ever has. Today, however, many of the branches have withered, the leaves have fallen, and the soil is parched. 

After Shay’s Rebellion, Thomas Jefferson made an intriguing remark: 

“[G]od forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. the people cannot be all, & always, well informed. the part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. we have had 13. states independant 11. years. there has been one rebellion. that comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. what country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure” (Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787). 

Rebellion to tyrants is the American tradition because rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. God is the Founding Father of America. He required His own Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice for mankind and to lay down His life for those who would repent and follow Him. He redeemed America by the shedding of the blood of her valiant patriots. He will yet preserve America from her current distress through the shedding of her patriotic blood. 

Sometimes, doing what is right requires daunting sacrifice. It requires enduring hardship, persecution, trials, false accusations, tribunals, enemy armies, tyrannical governments, enraged mobs, and the scorn of friends. But if it’s right, the only course of action that is honorable is to walk through the fire. If we want the Liberty tree to flourish and cover our children in the cool shade of its lush branches, then we must refresh it with the blood of patriots and tyrants. 

Tyrants are a dime a dozen; patriots are rarer. Be a patriot. Be a freeman. Be a warrior for truth and light. There’s so much to do! There’s a war to win. There’s Freedom to regain. There’s a country to save. There’s immortal glory to gain through our sacrifices and toil. 

As we now contemplate the mangled bodies of our war dead who fought and died for their American principles – for their Faith, Families, Freedom – and honor their bravery, future generations will honor us if we stand up boldly, fight manfully, and sacrifice to restore the Republic. Some of us may die, some of us may live; but the outcome will be Liberty! If we die, what better cause is there to die for? If we live, what better action to have taken part in than the reestablishment of Freedom? And, if we live to see the fruits of our labor, we will have the privilege to honor those who did not, but whose blood sanctified our free nation and ensured a bountiful harvest of Liberty. 

Today, the best way to honor our dead is to defend what they died defending – their Faith in Christ who redeemed them, their moral values, their virtue, their honor, their traditional Families, their sovereignty, their rule of law, their Constitution, and their Freedom. John Adams highlighted this great truth when he reflected: 

“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it” (John Adams to Abigail Adams, April 26, 1777). 

Our war dead are no doubt rolling in their graves watching Americans squander the Freedom they died for. They no doubt burn with regret and righteous fury watching us elect tyrants, allow despots to steal elections, and to generally sit by silently as a wicked cabal rides roughshod over us. They doubtless mourn for America – the only bastion of Liberty on planet earth. 

Do we truly honor our dead if we continue to vote for the same political parties that have sold out our rights and have presided over our demise? Do we respect or spit upon their memory if we let our rights of free speech, association, religious worship, self-defense, jury trial, state sovereignty, and private property, to name a few, be stripped from us? In short, do we really honor our fallen heroes if we let fall the constitutional form of government, and, with it, the God-given natural rights it secures? 

American, you must be better. Don’t place flowers on graves or wave the flag or post flowery messages memorializing spilled American blood if you aren’t man enough to publicly, vociferously, and literally fight for Freedom. To do so is hypocrisy and an insult to their memory. The only true memorial to our fallen warriors is to uphold, defend, and perpetuate the Faith, Families, and Freedom they secured with their noble blood. 

Zack Strong, 
May 29, 2023

The Deformed and Glorious Bodies of Christ

In the book of Daniel, that great prophet interpreted a dream had by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel described the “great image” seen by the king as “terrible” (Daniel 2:31). He recounted: 

“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay” (Daniel 2:32-33). 

The body of this “great image” was odd, disjointed, and terrible. Of course, what the king saw was not a real man made of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay. Those are symbols. The image represented a series of evil kingdoms that would be set up by Satan to oppose God’s work of salvation among men. 

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul used a similar analogy to sketch the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church is described as a “body” comprised of different members. Though the parts of the body served different functions, they operated together as “one.” He said: 

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 

“For the body is not one member, but many. . . . 

“But now are they many members, yet but one body. 

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

“Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary. . . . 

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. . . . 

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 20-22, 25, 27-28). 

Paul taught that the “body of Christ,” which is the Church of Jesus Christ, is one. It is not splintered into 45,000 denominations and sects. It cannot permit schism. A divided body of Christ is no body of Christ at all. 

Moreover, no part of the body can say to the other parts that they aren’t necessary. If bishops say apostles are no longer necessary, those bishops are in error, have denied the faith, perverted the Plan of God, and mangled the body of Christ. If you find a church that denies apostles and prophets, you can rest assured that it is not the Church of Jesus Christ and that it is out of harmony with the Bible. 

The “body of Christ,” or, rather, modern Christendom, is misshapen, disjointed, deformed, contradictory, and corrupt. It bears no resemblance to Biblical Christianity. Protestantism is nothing but schism, division, and chaos. It is a smorgasbord or buffet approach to salvation – whatever you want goes. Every preacher, pastor, or minister thinks he is called of God and goes off and forms his own church. By what authority? Certainly not God’s! Do you recall how the Savior conferred His authority to His apostles? Let me refresh your memory: 

“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 

“And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:1-2). 

The significant point is that Jesus called His apostles – they didn’t call themselves. He empowered them and endowed them with authority – they didn’t endow themselves with authority. He sent them to preach His Gospel – they didn’t send themselves to preach their own version of salvation. 

Herein lies the difference between the true Church of Jesus Christ with its legal administrators of Gospel ordinances and all other denominations, sects, and churches that – however sincere they might be – are unauthorized and unapproved by the Lord. The Lord has only ever authorized one Church to bear His name, preach His Gospel, and officiate in His saving ordinances. He taught this doctrine and the apostles taught it after Him. 

The great Thomas Jefferson, who affirmatively declared himself to be a “real Christian” (Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thomson, January 9, 1816), wrote a letter wherein he observed: 

“no doctrines of [Jesus] lead to schism. it is the speculations of crazy theologists which have made a Babel of a religion the most moral and sublime ever preached to man, and calculated to heal, and not to create differences. these religious animosities I impute to those who call themselves his ministers, and who engraft their casuistries on the stock of his simple precepts” (Thomas Jefferson to Ezra Stiles, June 25, 1819). 

Unity is one of the hallmarks of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Disunity, discord, and division are hallmarks of Satanic influence and apostasy. It is absurd to believe the twelve apostles branched off and created their own churches. Obviously, they did not. They remained intact, united, and under one head. It was only after the apostles were hunted down and murdered by the Jews and Romans that an uninspired bishop in Rome and other conniving sophists in other parts of the world derailed the Church by severing its moorings connecting it to the pure doctrine of Christ, eventually leading to monumental schisms, religious wars and persecutions, and centuries of spiritual darkness and apostasy. 

I repeat that the body of Christ, His Church, is deformed and disfigured today because of schisms, persecutions, and apostasy spanning a full 1,700 years. Yet, it is incorrect to say that the Church of Jesus Christ is divided. His Church never can be divided for He is at its head. Those professing allegiance to Him, however, have divided themselves among warring factions. 

About 1.3 billion people have chosen the Catholic Church as their spiritual home, though who can honestly claim they are united? The Catholic faith is perpetually at war with itself – and with the Bible. Research “anti-popes” to convince yourself that no unbroken line of apostolic succession from Peter could have ever existed in the Catholic Church. Consider also that the office of “pope” is unBiblical. And what of apostles and prophets, seers and revelators? 

It is basic history that the bishop of Rome illegitimately usurped authority from the apostles. The apostle John, the last living and highest-ranking apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ, was alive when the bishop of Rome, Linus, claimed authority over the Church. Catholics variously claim that Linus received authority either from Peter or from Paul (and some say Clement was the first bishop). At any rate, Linus’ claim was false. It was a usurpation. Power is not merely granted. No prophet chooses his own successor – only God chooses who will lead His Church. 

Besides these facts, no bishop has authority to govern the Church of Jesus Christ because the office of bishop is a lesser authority and does not hold the keys to officiate over the Church. Only apostles hold those keys. By denying apostles, the Catholic Church denies and contradicts its own claim to be the Church of Jesus Christ. 

Let’s be clear, the Catholic Church rejects the idea that their popes have been or are apostles. From the Vatican’s own documentation, I quote the following: 

“Bishops, therefore, with their helpers, the priests and deacons, have taken up the service of the community, presiding in place of God over the flock, whose shepherds they are, as teachers for doctrine, priests for sacred worship, and ministers for governing. And just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles, is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ.” 

In the Catholic view, bishops somehow “succeeded to the place of the apostles,” replacing the office altogether. This is a blatant usurpation. Where in holy writ was the office of apostle or prophet discontinued? Where in the Bible is the office of bishop elevated to the status of apostle or granted the same authority to preside? It is convenient for the Catholic Church that hundreds of years after the true apostles were martyred that bishops magically elevated themselves to a position of leadership over the Church of Jesus Christ. 

Logic, scripture, and history dictate that the Catholic claim to leadership over the body of Christ is flawed, unscriptural, and unhistorical. Did not Christ teach the following? 

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 

“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 

“Wherefore by their afruits ye shall know them. 

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:15-21). 

This passage condemns the Catholic Church as an organization. Many of its members have been the salt of the earth, and I personally know many Catholics whose values I happily share and whose friendship I cherish, but, regardless, institutional corruptness has produced bitter, rotten, detestable fruit. It has produced a “body of Christ” that is “terrible” like the monstrous figure interpreted by Daniel. 

History testifies to the effusion of blood, the cries of persecution, the blinding of minds, the reveling in debauchery, and the centuries of schism that the Catholic Church has produced. Numerous popes have been debauched, adulterers, murderers, warmongers, persecutors, and the vilest of sinners; Alexander VI, Leo X, Boniface VIII, John XII, and Sergius III, to cite only five of many. 

And what of “anti-popes”? All Catholics know that there have been periods in its church’s history where there have been competing claims to the throne. Where in the Bible do you find such contention? Where do you find the apostles competing over who will lead? Where do you find the prophets killing each other and buying off voters to gain power? History condemns the Catholic claim to supremacy and legitimacy. 

Sometimes Catholics blame Protestants for the great schisms that occurred in Christendom. How so? The schisms began 1,700 years ago when Constantine – a fake Christian who introduced paganism to the Catholic Church and fused it together with a perverted version of Christianity that is completely unBiblical – who used the state to mandate his own creedal version of Christ’s Gospel and then persecuted dissenters who rightly rejected it. 

And what of the Greek and Russian versions of the Catholic Church? Those broke away long before Protestants arrived on the scene. It was because of so many centuries of bitter division and mass confusion that a few men like Martin Luther – who bothered to read the Bible – began to question the Catholic Church’s man-made doctrines created after the apostles died, man-made offices (such as pope), and man-made ordinances not found in the Bible. 

However, in a sense, Protestantism made the situation even more confusing and impossible. Instead of there being several major denominations, there sprang up hundreds, and then thousands, and now tens of thousands. All of them are false because they all come out of the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church was wrong, how could its children be right? If the Catholic tree produced corrupt fruit, how could a branch from that tree produce good fruit? 

Protestantism, as worthy as its idea of getting back to Bible-based Christianity was, did not provide a solution to the problems of disunity in the body of Christ, disharmony in Christian doctrines, or the issue of authority. Let’s take each of these three problems individually. 

First, by their very existence and exponential multiplication, Protestant churches have further fractured the “body of Christ,” dividing this group from that, disowning this part or that, and creating great havoc. No one knows the exact number of Christian churches in the world, but it is around 45,000. That is a staggering number and perfect evidence of the continuing dark day of apostasy that enveloped Christendom at least 1,700 years ago. 

It is self-evident that not all of these 45,000 churches can be right. It is impossible. Each believes its own doctrine laid down by its own leaders. Each pastor teaches his own unique dogmas, relying on his own learning and understanding and not on the scriptures and the Holy Ghost which is the source of all truth. 

Second, the disharmony of Christendom is rampant. Baptists disagree with Methodists, Presbyterians disagree with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Congregationalists disagree with Lutherans, Pentacostals disagree with Episcopalians, and on it goes. Each has a unique mode of baptism, laying on hands, paying tithes, calling/electing leaders, preaching, giving confessions, worshiping, etc. Each church chooses its own doctrines, ordinances, policies, and programs. They take what they like and discard the rest. They preach their own wisdom; all other ideas be damned. 

Martin Luther and the 95 Theses

What is there in this mode of Protestant operations that accords with how the Lord’s Church functioned in Biblical times? Most Protestants, like Catholics, deny the need for apostles and prophets. Taking it further than Catholics, however, Protestants often deny the need for any church structure, Priesthood hierarchy, or organization. Who can read the New Testament’s clear teachings on how Christ organized His Church by calling apostles, seventies, and others, sending missionaries out two by two, requiring baptism and the laying on of hands, and so forth, and yet belong to a church that doesn’t admit prophets and apostles or that changes what the Lord instituted? 

Protestantism is synonymous with confusion; Catholicism isn’t any better, though they at least admit the need for a Priesthood hierarchy as confirmed umpteen times in the Bible. It seems that Protestants are hellbent on believing the Bible, but only the parts they agree with. They preach the Bible, as they interpret it, and they allow others (within reason) to believe whatever they’d like as well. There’s no unity, no harmony, no brotherhood of faith. It’s every man for himself. Is not this precisely what the Lord warned about when He said: 

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). 

Protestants fancy themselves the “few there be that find it,” yet none of them agree on anything. How can they flatter themselves they are on the straight and narrow when they are wandering in strange paths that lead in every direction and there is no unity among them? The Bible rebukes them and rejects their doctrines. If the Lord were here today, they were reject Him just as they have already rejected His Gospel and have left the covenant path of salvation. 

Third, it is farcical for Christians to claim to teach or perform saving ordinances without authority to do so given to them from God. Be assured, reader, your preacher does not have this authority unless he can directly trace it back to Jesus. He can’t claim to have felt “called” or “led.” That is delusion, fantasy, and folly. 

The apostles did not call themselves to the ministry; Jesus called them directly. Abraham, Elijah, Moses, Samuel, Peter, Paul – none of them called themselves; they were called by the Lord through revelation. They didn’t merely feel a burning in their heart and go out to preach; they received an actual call, either through an authorized servant of God who visited them in person or by direct revelation or visitation from the Lord Himself. Moses had his burning bush, Abraham had visions, Peter was invited and called by the mouth of the Lamb of God. Your pastor had what – a “feeling”? Nice try. 

“Christ Calling Peter and Andrew” by James T. Harwood

The issue of authority is perhaps the biggest of all. Either the Lord sent your leader and authorized Him to preach and save through ordinances, or He did not. If He did, it should be easy for them to show their Priesthood line of succession back to Christ. If they can’t, they are false teachers who must repent and whose congregants who follow them are being led to damnation unless they check themselves and get on the true path led by shepherds called by the True Shepherd. 

Catholics have no legitimate claim to the Lord’s Priesthood authority because their founding bishops were usurpers who did not follow John, the last living apostle, and who have formally denied the office of apostle with its presiding authority. They have elevated bishops above what the Bible allows, twisting the word of God. Yet, their claim is closer than the Protestants’ claim. Protestants have zero claim to Christ’s Priesthood authority because they came out from the Catholics and were a millennium and a half removed from the Savior and don’t even pretend to trace their Priesthood lineage to Peter. 

If Catholics and Protestants don’t have authority, how do they baptize? How do they lay their hands on heads and allegedly confer the gift of the Holy Spirit? How do they pretend to officiate in ordinances and in the affairs of the Church (which of the 45,000 churches, anyway)? How do they administer to the sick or cast out evil spirits? How do they lead by revelation which they usually deny? How can they pompously claim authority when they know full well they have no such authority and couldn’t trace it back to Christ if their lives depended on it? 

No ordinances entered into are valid unless they are solemnized by the legitimate Priesthood authority of Almighty God. The last presidency of men who held this Priesthood was Peter, James, and John. This authority was shared by the twelve apostles and those who were later added to the apostleship like Matthias and Paul. But Peter, James, and John presided by Christ’s command. When they were martyred, their authority did not devolve onto others and, as one Catholic writer put it, the “Apostolic age [was] over.” 

If all of the evidence was not enough to prove apostasy and a revocation of divine authority, an intriguing fact misunderstood by most Christians seals the deal. John the Beloved did not die, but, like Elijah, Enoch, and others who were taken to God, remained. The resurrected Lord, in fact, had said that John “shall not die” but that he should “tarry till I come” and it became a general saying throughout the primitive Church (John 21:21-24). If John still tarries on earth and will remain until the Lord comes, how is it that Linus or any other bishop in Rome claimed to lead the Church of Jesus Christ? John never abdicated his Priesthood. It was a flagrant usurpation of John’s rightful authority for a lesser bishop to claim to succeed Peter. 

With all of these facts in mind, it’s impossible not to conclude that the current body of Christ is deformed and disfigured beyond recognition. Were Christ to return today, He would not recognize the mass of confusion that bears His holy name. This is what Thomas Jefferson concluded, and who can disagree with his statement? He said: 

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel, and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what it’s Author never said nor saw. they have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognise one feature” (Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thomson, January 9, 1816). 

It is historical fact that the Catholic authorities engrafted Gnostic, Hellenist, Platonic, and other pagan philosophies, forms, titles, and rites onto primitive Christianity, perverting it and changing it. It now resembles Mithraism more than Christianity. Creeds were concocted that diverge from scripture and, in fact, outright deny its plain truths about the nature of God, the nature of man, and the doctrines of Christ. While rejecting most of the outward forms and rites, Protestantism has retained the corrupted doctrines and creedal dogmatism. 


If Catholics and Protestants are all wrong, have departed from the correct path, and lack authority to perform the most basic saving ordinances, where do we turn for truth and salvation? And let’s be clear, salvation has never been found outside of a revealed and organized Church structure. Never. Not in ancient times, not in the Savior’s day, and not during the age of the apostles. Where, then, do we turn? 

It was the faith of learned men like Thomas Jefferson that there would be a “restoration” of pure Christianity. Not a new Reformation, which clearly didn’t work despite its noble intentions, but a Heaven-led Restoration. In a letter to James Smith regarding the advance of Unitarianism and the emergence of civil religious Freedom, Jefferson said: 

“I have to thank you for your pamphlets on the subject of Unitarianism, and to express my gratification with your efforts for the revival of primitive Christianity in your quarter. no historical fact is better established than that the doctrine of one god, pure and uncompounded was that of the early ages of Christianity; and was among the efficacious doctrines which gave it triumph over the polytheism of the antients, sickened with the absurdities of their own theology. nor was the unity of the supreme being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. the hocus-pocus phantasm of a god like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads had it’s birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs. and a strong proof of the solidity of the primitive faith is it’s restoration as soon as a nation arises which vindicates to itself the freedom of religious opinion, and it’s eternal divorce from the civil authority. the pure and simple unity of the creator of the universe is now all but ascendant in the Eastern states; it is dawning in the West, and advancing towards the South” (Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, December 8, 1822). 

Little did Jefferson know that two years prior to this letter, the most glorious event since the Ascencion of the Savior in the Holy Land occurred in upstate New York and formally began the “restoration” of “primitive Christianity” and the bringing of a glorious body of Christ to the earth. 

In 1820, a young man walked into a grove of trees to pray. He had read in the epistle of James, first chapter, fifteenth verse, this promise: 

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). 

This young man had been tossed on the current of Christian revival. He saw one sect condemn all others and each preach its own unique interpretation of scripture. He expressed his concern that “the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.” He wrote: 

“At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture. 

“So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. . . . 

“After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. 

“But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. 

“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! 

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. 

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” 

“He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time” (Joseph Smith – History 1:12-20). 

This event is known to those of us who believe it and know it to be true by the power of the Holy Ghost as the First Vision. In 1820, the Eternal Father and the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ appeared in glorious vision to a young man who prayed to know the truth in sincerity and humility. They told this lad, Joseph Smith, that an apostasy had overtaken the Church of Christ and that Joseph was to be an instrument in Their hands to restore the truth and authority of Heaven. 

Before I say another word, I want to testify to you that I have zero doubt about this happening. I know with every particle of my soul that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God called by Jehovah to restore and preside over His Church in these last days. I testify that this Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that it possesses the only authentic Priesthood authority on the face of the earth. I witness that the “dispensation of the fulness of times” that Paul foretold (Ephesians 1:10) is now and that it was ushered in when the Father and Son appeared to Joseph Smith in upstate New York in 1820. 

On April 6, 1830, after years of heavenly tutoring at the hands of angels, Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1829, he received the Priesthood keys and authority to minister and officiate in the Gospel of salvation when John the Baptist first, and Peter, James, and John next, appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery and placed their hands on their head and conferred them. Thus, the Priesthood line initiated by the Savior during His Ministery, which was alive in John, continued through Joseph Smith.  

This line of authority continues today through an unbroken chain of apostles and prophets. The full keys and authorities are exercised today by the presiding apostle, President Russell M. Nelson. The presiding authorities – the chief apostles or prophets – of this Dispensation are: Joseph Smith; Brigham Young; John Taylor; Wilford Woodruff; Lorenzo Snow; Joseph F. Smith; Heber J. Grant; George Albert Smith; David O. McKay; Joseph Fielding Smith; Harold B. Lee; Spencer W. Kimball; Ezra Taft Benson; Howard W. Hunter; Gordon B. Hinckley; Thomas S. Monson; Russell M. Nelson. 

These men are true messengers from Heaven; duly authorized servants of the living Lord who appeared to Joseph Smith. I testify with all my soul that I know through the Holy Spirit’s sacred manifestations to me that these men were called by revelation and that they are led by the Master. I sustain them and support them because I sustain and support the One who called them and whose Priesthood authority they bear. 

Only through the Priesthood authority is salvation found. Yes, salvation comes through Jesus Christ. He is the author of salvation. His Atonement makes it possible. However, He has mandated that we pass through ordinances – that is how we access His divine grace and achieve salvation. For instance, did He not say: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). No one can baptize or be baptized without proper authority. You could be baptized every day the rest of your life and it wouldn’t wash your sins away or open the gate to the Kingdom of God unless the one administering the ordinance had authority from the Savior to perform it. 

And what about being born of the Spirit? We know very well how the Spirit is given as a gift after baptism. Acts chapter 8 teaches us the process: 

“[W]hen they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. . . . 

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 

“And when Simon [the sorcerer] saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 

“Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 

“But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8:12, 14-20). 

This shows perfectly the order of the Church of God. Who baptized the people of Samaria? Philip – an authorized apostle. The report of his baptisms was given to higher authorities – Peter and John. They arrived and laid their hands on the baptized individuals to confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ and to grant the gift of the Holy Ghost. If Philip did not have authority to baptize, the baptisms would have meant nothing. If Peter and John would not have had authority to lay on their hands, they could not have given the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Also note that the Holy Ghost did not magically come upon the baptized individuals. In only one instance recorded in the Bible did the Holy Ghost ever fall upon people. That was the case of Cornelius, the Gentile. To open the eyes of the Jews to the fact that the Gentiles were also permitted to receive the Gospel and enter His Church, the Lord poured out the Holy Ghost upon the Gentiles. Read Acts 10 for the account. 

It “astonished” Peter and the others because it was highly irregular – a singular sign that departed from the usual order. After the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, Peter ordered those who received it to be baptized – showing that the laws and ordinances of God must be complied with at all time. Thus, even this incident proves the necessity of authority. The Holy Ghost would have fallen upon these Gentiles in vain if they had not then complied with the ordinance of baptism ordered by Peter who was God’s recognized and chosen authority. 

Again, I say, that there is no salvation outside of ordinances, and no ordinances are acceptable to God unless they are completed in His way and by His authority. A random believer cannot take another person down into his local river and baptize him and expect it to be recognized in Heaven. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s unauthorized by the Savior, and, thus, null and void. 

Can your pastor, priest, preacher, minister, or guide trace his Priesthood authority back to Jesus? All Latter-day Saint Priesthood holders can. We can trace our Priesthood to Joseph Smith who received the lower Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist and the higher Priesthood through Peter, James, and John. Peter, James an John received their higher Priesthood directly under the hands of the Author of that Priesthood – the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and thus become candidates for the Kingdom of Heaven, only a duly-authorized Latter-day Saint Priesthood holder may officiate in those ordinances according to the revealed pattern. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Protestant organization formed from schisms or attempts to repair what was broken; it is a restored organization. It did not come because a man studied in books and had a different idea, but because the God of Heaven appeared to him and elected Him to be His instrument in taking His truth to the world. This was prophesied in the Bible, but few Bible believing Christians recognize it or interpret the numerous references wrongly. 

Peter, James, and John conferring the Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery

For example, Paul spoke of the “dispensation of the fulness of times” in which all things would be gathered in one in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). 

John testified of the Gospel being revealed anew from Heaven in the last days before Christ’s return: “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every enation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). 

Isaiah spoke of a future apostate age in which people would honor the Lord with their lips but will have “removed their heart far from me.” This age of apostasy would be interrupted by an inspired man that would receive another book of scripture that would be given to him from Heaven and which would commence a “marvellous work and a wonder” that would defy the so-called wisdom of the self-wise (Isaiah 29:10-14). 

Ezekiel also saw this book of scripture and said that it would join the Bible and be one in the Lord‘s hands: “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand” (Ezekiel 37:19). 

Malachi said that Elijah would appear before the Lord returned; but what Christian denomination claims such a visitation? (Malachi 4:5-6). 

Micah foretold that “in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2). Where is the house of God set up in the mountains and where is the law that issues forth from a Zion that is clearly not the same as Jerusalem? 

Finally, Daniel prophesied of a “stone cut out of the mountains without hands” that is His Church, or Kingdom. “[T]he God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44-45). 

What other church beside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fulfills each of these divine requirements from the Bible? Which other church is built on a foundation of apostles and prophets, seventies and elders, patriarchs and teachers, and sends men and women two by two into all the world in their tens of thousands to preach the everlasting Gospel? Which other church practices the laying on of hands to give the Holy Ghost, to administer to the sick, and to perform sacred ordinances? Which other Christian denomination worships in holy temples as the Lord and His apostles did? 

It simply defies reason to reject The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s claims to be the Lord’s only true and living Church. If it is not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then please show me the other organization that fulfills all of these requirements, that is led by apostles and prophets with Priesthood authority they can trace back to the Savior, that can show when an angel brought them the everlasting Gospel, that can show when and where Elijah returned, that has another book of scripture that has joined the Bible as a witness of Christ, that has houses (or temples) of God set up in the mountains of Zion, or that fulfills any of the other glorious promises about restoration and uniting all things in Christ. 

Modern Christendom is more like the disfigured and terrible man of brass, iron, and clay than the unified body of Christ spoken of by Paul. Truly, all of the 45,000 sects that claim Christ are incorrect except one. There can be only one. If it was not the Catholic Church, and it clearly was not, then it cannot be any Protestant church or Orthodox church that broke off of it. Instead, we must look for a Kingdom set up without hands by God through heavenly manifestations, revelations, and angelic visitations. We must look for a new book of scripture that complements and confirms the Bible and stands as another witness for Christ. We must look for new apostles and prophets and the Priesthood authority to perform miracles, officiate in ordinances, and lead the Church of Jesus Christ. 

I submit that only one institution fits the bill. That is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of His Church and His restorative work initiated with Joseph Smith in these last days the Lord testified to the world via revelation in this manner. His words offer a stinging rebuke, but hold out the hand for all to search these things, learn the truth, and join themselves to His Church and prepare for His coming: 

“For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape. . . . 

“And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed. 

“And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these clast days. 

“And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them. 

“Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments [The Doctrine and Covenants], which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth. 

“Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled. 

“And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious; 

“Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure— 

“Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man. 

“Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: 

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 

“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 

“And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 

“For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; 

“They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth fold and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall. 

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; 

“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets— 

“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— 

“But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world; 

“That faith also might increase in the earth; 

“That mine everlasting covenant might be established; 

“That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers. 

“Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. 

“And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; 

“And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; 

“And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; 

“And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time. 

“And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon. 

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased. . . . 

“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. 

“For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth bideth forever and ever. Amen” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:2-30, 38-39). 

I again bear my personal, independent testimony that I know the Lord has spoken in these last days through Joseph Smith. I know that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a companion to the Holy Bible and that it witnesses of Christ’s divinity, mission, and Atonement. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only Church of Christ on earth. I know that God’s Priesthood is on the earth and that all men and women who want to be saved must humbly receive the ordinances of salvation under the hands of authorized Latter-day Saint Priesthood holders. And I witness that the Lord directs this marvelous work via revelation through prophets and apostles, the chief of whom, at present, is President Russell M. Nelson. 

My witness is unimpeachable because it is from the Holy Ghost. The Spirit does not lie. These truths fill me with light and joy and expand my understanding of who I am, my relationship to Heavenly Father, and the reality and nature of my Redeemer Jesus Christ. They are good fruits from a good tree. I invite everyone to join me in feasting upon the truths of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The body of Christ is not divided or deformed, however wavering and feeble some of its professed members may be. Its doctrines emanated from Heaven. Its scriptures came through revelation and by angels. Its Priesthood was conferred by the ancient apostles who received it from Christ, and is held by living prophets. The fullness of the everlasting Gospel with its sacred covenants and saving truths and ordinances is in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints only. Of this, I bear my personal witness which I have from God. 

Zack Strong, 
May 28, 2023

Righteous Mothers

Motherhood should be encouraged and celebrated. However, righteous motherhood should be honored, praised, and encouraged even more. Except those who have prohibitive medical conditions, all women are naturally capable of becoming mothers. What’s more, they are expected by their God and Creator to become mothers to rear and nurture His children in this mortal existence. All women, then, regardless of age, should have their eyes fixed upon the goal and potential of not only becoming mothers, but becoming righteous mothers. 

The first command ever given to mankind, to our first parents Adam and Eve, has never been rescinded and is in full force today: 

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28). 

Men and women are supposed to procreate and multiply. Making families is not merely an incidental part of the Plan of Salvation, it is a central tenet. From the very beginning, the family unit has been the most fundamental and important unit in society. It is the mainspring of all virtue and vices, Freedom and slavery, righteousness and iniquity. And it is the fundamental unit of government and civilization revealed by Heaven. 

The patriarchal pattern and order of marriage was established at the time God joined man and woman together in the covenant of marriage and commanded them to multiply: 

“[T]he Lord God . . . made . . . a woman, and brought her unto the man. 

“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 1:22-24). 

Both man and woman were created to complement each other and to be helpmeets to one another. The man was given specific duties, talents, and proclivities, and the woman was given other duties, talents, and proclivities. While men and women share the same basic human nature and desires for good, our male and female microchip has been programmed differently for the Lord’s special purposes. 

Subsequent scriptural declarations describe the type of relationship that should prevail within the sacred and holy bonds of marriage. The Apostle Paul taught the Ephesian Saints: 

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 

“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh” (Ephesians 5:21-31). 

This is the pattern for a superb marriage. A Christian marriage is founded on love, mutual respect, holiness, careful care for one another, selfless sacrifice for the other’s wellbeing, faithfulness to the Lord, and a harmonious working relationship between the husband and wife in their separate and respective duties. 

There is not a word in this passage about either domineering or servile behavior. Men are not intended to rule as tyrants and women are not required to slavishly comply with every word and demand uttered by their husbands. Yet, the fact is that God choose the man to lead. He is supposed to lead in love, respect, and righteousness. He is supposed to nourish and cherish his wife. In his inspired role as patriarch, he is to provide, protect, instruct, discipline, and uplift his family. 

Likewise, the woman was chosen by God for special purposes. She is to follow, assist, and help her husband in the work of founding their family on the rock of the Redeemer Jesus Christ. She is meant to be a shining example of virtue. She is designed to be the heart of the home, the light of the family, the one who warms the hearth with her sweet spirit, the one who nurtures and exudes love and comfort, and the blessed homemaker who turns a house into a home. 

Through a barrage of slanderous teachings, distortions, and propaganda, modern feminist society has successfully convinced women that motherhood, homemaking, and good old-fashioned wifery are boring, outdated, unproductive, less valuable than “a man’s work,” mundane, a waste of talent, and even oppressive. These malicious myths have prodded many women into the workforce. Instead of being the housewives, homemakers, and mothers God, nature, and all true men want them to be, they are now workplace pawns slaving away in 9-5 jobs and wasting their talent on things that no one will remember or care about in the eternities. 

Let’s dispel a massive myth right now; namely, the idea that you can successfully be a full-time mother and a full-time employee. This is logically impossible. If you work full-time with little children shipped off to day care, a babysitter, or a relative’s, how can you possibly believe you are a full-time mother? Delegating your duties makes you something of a surrogate mother. The one who cares for, feeds, changes, plays with, and teaches your child is more of a mother than you are. 

I want to quickly clarify that I don’t condemn those who must work to help support their family. There are many good women who, because of financial difficulties or a husband’s injury or some other extenuating factor, have to work outside the home. God bless you for the righteous desires. These mothers are still doing their duty and should be helped in their challenging circumstances. 

There are tens of millions of women, however, who work as a matter of course or who choose to put their families second after their careers. That’s exactly what is happening – they prioritize work, career, personal advancement, money, status, reputation, or physical things over the wellbeing of their family. Such is the opposite of righteous motherhood. 

In 1981, a great man of God, Ezra Taft Benson, gave a sermon titled “The Honored Place of Woman.” In it, he warned women of prioritizing incorrectly. He emphasized the prime importance of women in the home. He gave counsel on how women can help save the souls of God’s children and claim a crown of eternal happiness in Heaven. I hold his talk close to my heart and consider it the most poignant and powerful address ever given on motherhood and womanhood. I therefore quote generously from its inspired declarations. President Benson taught: 

“We must ever keep in mind that it is the design of Satan to thwart the plan of our Eternal Father. The plan of the adversary is to destroy the youth of the Church . . . and to destroy the family unit. 

“In the beginning, God placed a woman in a companion role with the priesthood. God said, “It was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.” (Moses 3:18.) 

“Woman was given to man as an helpmeet. That complementary association is ideally portrayed in the eternal marriage of our first parents—Adam and Eve. They labored together; they had children together; they prayed together; and they taught their children the gospel together. This is the pattern God would have all righteous men and women imitate. 

“Before the world was created, in heavenly councils the pattern and role of women were prescribed. You were elected by God to be wives and mothers in Zion. Exaltation in the celestial kingdom is predicated on faithfulness to that calling. 

“Since the beginning, a woman’s first and most important role has been ushering into mortality spirit sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven. 

“Since the beginning, her role has been to teach her children eternal gospel principles. She is to provide for her children a haven of security and love—regardless of how modest her circumstances might be. 

“In the beginning, Adam was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow—not Eve. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother’s place is in the home! 

“I recognize there are voices in our midst which would attempt to convince you that these truths are not applicable to our present-day conditions. If you listen and heed, you will be lured away from your principal obligations. 

“Beguiling voices in the world cry out for “alternative life-styles” for women. They maintain that some women are better suited for careers than for marriage and motherhood. 

“These individuals spread their discontent by the propaganda that there are more exciting and self-fulfilling roles for women than homemaking . . . They also say it is wise to limit your family so you can have more time for personal goals and self-fulfillment. . . . 

“It is a misguided idea that a woman should leave the home, where there is a husband and children, to prepare educationally and financially for an unforeseen eventuality. Too often, I fear, even women in the Church use the world as their standard for success and basis for self-worth. . . . 

“Some Saints are deluded into believing that more and better circumstances will improve their self-image. A positive self-image has little relationship to our material circumstances. Mary, the mother of our Savior, was of most modest circumstances, yet she knew well her responsibility and took joy in it. Remember her humble exclamation to her cousin Elisabeth: “He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48; italics added.) Her strength was inward, not from outward material things. 

“It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. 

“We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. 

“Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. 

“It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. 

“Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. 

“How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected! 

“I do not wish to wound any feelings, but all of us are aware of instances of active Latter-day Saint [i.e. Christian] families who are experiencing difficulties with their children because mother is not where she ought to be—in the home. . . . 

“The seeds of divorce are often sown and the problems of children begin when mother works outside the home. You mothers should carefully count the cost before you decide to share breadwinning responsibilities with your husbands. It is a truism that children need more of mother than of money. . . . 

“Years ago, a son wrote to his mother and asked her what she did to successfully rear her children—all nineteen of them! She wrote him this reply: 

““The writing anything about my way of education I am much adverse to. It cannot, I think, be of service to anyone to know how I, who have lived such a retired life for so many years, used to employ my time and care in bringing up my own children. No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my methods; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed.” (Franklin Wilder, Immortal Mother, New York: Vantage Press, 1966, p. 43; italics added.) 

“That mother was Susannah Wesley, and the son who wrote was John Wesley, one of the great reformers. Twenty years of the prime of life in the hopes of saving the souls of her children! Such a task required skill, competence, courage, intelligence, and ingenuity far above any career. 

“Do you want a principle for successful motherhood? Make time to teach your children the gospel and principles of gospel living when they are young. It may be that you too will need to “renounce the world” and “devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of [your] children.” 

“No accomplishment transcends the building of the character of a son or a daughter of God.” 

Women, mothers, do you understand how important you are in God’s Plan for the salvation of His children? You are essential! Your role is no lesser than a man’s because it takes place in the home away from the eyes of the world. Your efforts are not wasted because you don’t receive a paycheck in dollars and cents. Your talents are not squandered because they are not on public display. Quite to the contrary! Your talents can be fully used and perfected only in the home! 

Ladies, the home is where you were designed to shine! Only as mothers do you fully fulfill the measure of your creation. If you remain single or childless through no fault of your own, yet remain faithful to your covenants with God, all of these blessings will be bestowed upon you in the eternities. However, if you neglect or intentionally put off your opportunity to marry, have children, and experience the joy of motherhood and traditional homemaking, you will reap regret. As President Benson said, you may even forfeit your exaltation in Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. 

A woman’s place in the home is a place of honor and eternal reward. A righteous mother is a benefit to her family, community, nation, and world. Her influence is far greater than the influence of CEOs, scientists, realtors, bankers, or news anchors. Climbing the corporate ladder doesn’t get you one inch closer to Heaven, while raising little boys and girls to become faithful and upright men and women and remaining virtuous in the process will write your name in the book of life. 

When women embrace detrimental philosophies, like feminism, and live the type of life that prevents them from embracing marriage or motherhood, or from fully participating in them as first priorities, they heap upon themselves judgment. If women would be honored by God, they must honor Him by obeying His commandments to become one flesh with a man, submitting to that man as a helpmeet and full partner in the work of creating a family, raising righteous posterity, and turning a house into a home by their sweet, feminine influence. 

We have pointed out that men are appointed by God to lead their families. But where, pray tell, does a child’s obedience and willingness to follow his father’s direction originate? It comes from the mother’s example! Why would a little toddler listen to his father if he sees his mother ignore or disobey him? Why would a little girl respect her father if her mother doesn’t respect him? 

The pioneer leader Brigham Young often gave counsel to women on how to magnify their divine calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers. On one occasion, he said

“What faults do I discover in my neighbors’ families? I can see their women go off visiting, riding on horseback, attending parties, while their little ones are neglected, and left to run at large in the streets, exposed to the pernicious examples of vile company. Hear it again! The blood of these wicked children will be required at the hands of their mothers! Should your husbands be called out to fight the Indians, or go to the islands of the sea to gather the poor, it is none of your business, when it is their calling to be away from home. 

“I want education to commence here. I wish you strictly to follow out this principle, and when children are old enough to labor in the field, then the father will take them in charge. If children are not taught by their mothers, in the days of their youth, to revere and follow the counsels of their fathers, it will be hard indeed for the father ever to control them. I know it is so, for it is too true. Mothers will let their children go to the Devil in their childhood and when they are old enough to come under the immediate guidance of their fathers, to be sent out to preach the Gospel in the world, or to learn some kind of mechanism, they are as uncontrollable as the winds that now revel in the mountains. . . . 

“Let education commence at this point, you mothers! . . . Let mothers commence to teach their children while in their laps, there do you learn them to love the Lord, and keep His commandments. Teach them to keep your commandments, and you will learn them to keep the commandments of your husbands. It is not the prerogative of a child to dictate to his mother, or his father; and it is not the prerogative of the father to rise up and dictate to his God whom he serves. Is it right that my wife should dictate to me? It is just as reasonable, and as right, as it is for your children to rise up and dictate to their mother. It is not their business to dictate to you, their duty is to obey, and not to dictate. . . . 

“I wish to impress my lecture more particularly upon the minds of mothers. Am I not continually exhorting the brethren to be kind to their families, and never to ill use a human being on the earth? I exhort you, masters, fathers, and husbands, to be affectionate and kind to those you preside over. And let them be obedient, let the wife be subject to her husband, and the children to their parents. Mothers, let your minds be sanctified before the Lord, for this is the commencement, the true foundation of a proper education in your children, the beginning point to form a disposition in your offspring, that will bring honor, glory, comfort, and satisfaction to you all your life time. To the mothers who may be here today, who have not the experience they will have, and young women who are perhaps just entering upon the stage of life, let me say (and I wish you always to keep it in remembrance, even you younger females who have newly entered into the sacred state of matrimony), fulfil the commandments of Eloheim, fill up the measure of your creation, that the joy of your hearts may be full in the day of the resurrection, in that you have done all you could to fulfil His law, and bring to pass the purposes of the Lord. Always keep your minds pure before the Lord. You may say it is impossible, because of your temptations, but let me inquire, Do you pray? Did you pray this morning, before you left your houses? Did you pray last evening, before you laid your bodies down to rest? Did you pray that the Holy Spirit might rest upon you, so that your sleep might be sweet and refreshing? Some of you may reply, that you have children, and have not time to pay attention to this duty in the morning. Some of you may have sick families, and others of you may be afflicted in other ways, and you will offer these facts as reasons for similar neglect. In these circumstances the mind must be centered upon the Lord, and upon His work, continually. When you embark to fill up the end of your creation, never cease to seek to have the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you, that your minds may be peaceable, and as smooth as the summer breezes of heaven. Never cease a day of your life to have the Holy Ghost resting upon you. Fathers, never cease to pray that your wives may enjoy this blessing, that their infants may be endowed with the Holy Ghost, from their mother’s womb. If you want to see a nation rise up full of the Holy Ghost, and of power, this is the way to bring it about.” 

Righteous motherhood begins with personal righteousness. Prayer, scripture study, service, worship, charity, fidelity, love, and all other virtues, are necessary. It is hard for a woman, as a mother, to teach her children virtue, chastity, prayer, or devotion to God if she herself does not live, or try to live, them. From birth, children should be taught about their Father in Heaven, His Plan of Salvation, their Savior Jesus Christ and His redemption, and the other teachings of the Gospel. Who better to teach children at this tender age than mothers who spend the most time with them? 

Another time, Young observed the powerful influence women have over the affairs of the earth. In a mighty sermon to Christian sisters, he declared: 

“When I reflect upon the duties and responsibilities devolving upon our mothers and sisters, and the influence they wield, I look upon them as the mainspring and soul of our being here. It is true that man is first. Father Adam was placed here as king of the earth, to bring it into subjection. But when Mother Eve came she had a splendid influence over him. A great many have thought it was not very good; I think it was excellent. After she had partaken of the fruit she carried it to her husband, saying, “Husband, a certain character came to me and said if you will eat of this fruit you will find it excellent, and it will make you as Gods, knowing good from evil; and I have tasted it, and I assure you it is excellent.” Her influence was so great with Adam that he also partook of it, and his eyes were opened. You know the result—they were both driven from the garden. Before this, however, they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and thus fill the measure of their creation. 

“Now, I say the women have great influence. Look at the nations of the earth. Any nation you like, no matter which, and you enlist the sympathies of the female portion of it and what is there you cannot perform? If the government wants soldiers, they are on hand; if means, it is forthcoming. If you want influence and power, and have the ladies on your side, they will give it you. You take a nation that is going to war, whether our nation or any other; in the late struggle, for instance, between the Northern and Southern States, suppose all the mothers, sisters and daughters of the Republic had set their will and determination that no soldiers should go to the field, how many do you suppose would have been obtained? A few Irishmen and Germans might have been hired, but that is all. This is the influence the ladies hold in the nations of the earth. It is true that they are not allowed to go to the ballot-box, but let the females in any district be united and say that such a man shall not go to Congress, and I reckon he cannot go. He may make up his mind to stay at home and make shingles, raise potatoes, or do something else. If he is a lawyer, he may try to get a living by pleading law, but he cannot go to Congress. And when the ladies say send such a man, he is pretty sure to go if they are united and determined that it shall be so. The ladies may not know that they wield so much influence as this, and they would probably want some outward sign before they could be convinced, but it is nevertheless true that their influence is as powerful as I have stated. 

“Now, a few words directly to my sisters here in the kingdom of God. We want your influence and power in helping to build up that kingdom, and what I wish to say to you is simply this, if you will govern and control yourselves in all things in accordance with good, sound, common sense and the principles of truth and righteousness, there is not the least fear but what father, uncle, grandfather, brothers, and sons will follow in the wake. . . . 

“One thing is very true and we believe it, and that is that a woman is the glory of the man; but she was not made to be worshipped by him. As the Scriptures say, Man is not without the woman, neither is woman without the man in the Lord. Yet woman was not made to be worshipped any more than man was. A man is not made to be worshipped by his family; but he is to be their head, and to be good and upright before them, and to be respected by them. It is his privilege to walk erect, to converse the same as God, in fact he is made in the express image of his Heavenly Father, and he should honor this position. Yet he is not made to be worshipped, but to be the head and superior, and to be obeyed in all love and kindness, and the woman is to be his helpmeet. Woman has her influence, and she should use that in training her children in the way they should go; if she fails to do this she assumes fearful responsibilities. 

“We have instances in this Church of mothers full of faith and good works, and if you mark their children you cannot find one that is froward in his ways; I do not remember an instance among the children of such mothers but what believed in and delighted in the Gospel. We have also here the children of mothers of an opposite character—mothers who have been careless and indifferent about the Gospel or the kingdom of God, and, if you mark their children, they are the same, and they stray away from the kingdom of God and from the ordinances of life and salvation. This is the result of the influence of the mother; I am an eyewitness of it. 

“If our sisters comprehended the power they bear and the influence they wield in the midst of the people it does appear to me that they would consider their condition a little more than they do.” 

While many women seek a false form of “liberation” from their God-given duties and the roles for which they were designed, righteous women recognize their power and influence. In seeking for power and influence outside the home, feminist women have abdicated their greatest potential for influence – motherhood. 

Godly women embrace their powerful influence not by living a single and “independent” life, as they suppose it is, but by becoming righteous mothers in the home who raise faithful posterity to the Lord. Nothing is more important to society and the world than righteous motherhood. And women have been called by God Almighty to fulfill this all-important role. What a blessing! What privilege! 

Women, what more could you want? What can a career in an office give you in terms of things that matter most in eternity that motherhood and molding the minds and manners of the rising generation can’t? If you find motherhood drudgery, might I suggest you’re doing it wrong or have the wrong attitude. Speaking as a man, I guarantee you that if God wanted me in the home instead of providing for my family, nothing could keep me away. What better life could I desire than to be in the home with my spouse and my children?  

Finally, of women’s innate influence over their children and, thus, over society, President Brigham Young stated

“I know that mothers can teach their children; and they ought to teach them, and this is my duty to tell you what to do in this case. Remember to traditionate your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teach them as they ought to be taught, that they will have faith from their youth up, and the Spirit of the Lord to direct them, that they may never lose sight of this faith in Christ, and our Heavenly Father; and when they are old they will not depart from the good path. I am firm in the faith, and verily believe, that if mothers will bring up their children aright, and give them that early training that they should have, their children will grow up and never depart from the path of rectitude and truth. 

“The mothers are the moving instruments in the hands of Providence to guide the destinies of nations. Let the mothers of any nation teach their children not to make war, the children would grow up and never enter into it. Let the mothers teach their children, “War, war upon your enemies, yes, war to the hilt!” and they will be filled with this spirit. Consequently you see at once what I wish to impress upon your mind is, that the mothers are the machinery that give zest to the whole man, and guide the destinies and lives of men upon the earth.” 

It is a proverb that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. In a very real sense, it is true. The training mothers give their children in one generation becomes the principles and policies of adult men and women in the next generation. Many women complain about the conduct of men, yet they decline to be mothers – nullifying the validity of their arguments and marking them as hypocrites. The quiet, unsung, humble women who cheerfully embrace motherhood are the ones who are doing the most to shape the future, fix society’s problems, and raise the leaders, husbands, prophets, warriors, and statesmen of the next generation.  

I honor my own mother and her selfless devotion to our family and home. I also recognize her firm faith in our Father in Heaven and in His Son’s Gospel. She is a righteous woman and a righteous mother. Whatever else my mother may have accomplished in life, such as becoming an EMT and CNA since her children left home, it takes a back seat to her decades of loving, tireless service as a full-time mother and homemaker committed to the rearing of her sons and daughters in holiness. I love you, Mom. 

To the other women, I would say continue being mothers even though your children may have left the nest. You can love, encourage, and nurture them now as before. You can continue being a beacon of light and love for them. Encourage them in their motherly duties, instruct them, and provide a worthy example for them. 

To all the young women, I say prepare for the day when you will become a mother. After serving God in faith, make becoming a righteous mother your number one priority. Nothing you ever do will be as important and impactful. If you don’t feel a desire to be a mother, pray to receive it. Being a mother will bless your life and you will be in a greater position to bless the lives of others and your community more by being a mother than by going into the workforce. Generations of those yet unborn will remember you and praise your name if you do your best to be a righteous mother who raises children to the Lord. 

To all the mothers currently raising children, which includes my wife and my sisters, I say God bless you! You are doing what the world despises. You are swimming against the current. You are enduring the mocking and scoffing of Babylon, but you are fulfilling the commandments of your Eternal Father. You are a partner with Him in raising His precious sons and daughters. Nothing is more important in this life! 

Now and in the eternities, your roles as wife and mother are the highest and holiest callings you will receive. In mortality, it is rare to find an old woman without children who doesn’t regret not having them. It is equally rare to find an old woman with many children and grandchildren who isn’t grateful for them and who doesn’t think they are their biggest blessing. 

Stay strong, mothers. Step into your critical role more fully. Use your myriad of talents and abilities, your God-given gifts and skills, to better our world by molding its next generation. If you work outside the home by choice, go home and make it your sanctuary and abode and devote your life to your family and children. Be full-time mothers and watch the blessings flow. If you work because you are compelled to, may the Lord ease your burdens and assist you in finding a way back home and keeping your children on the straight and narrow per your righteous desires. In all cases, mothers, your selfless sacrifices are noted in Heaven and by those who love you and who are indebted to you for so much. 

Ladies, please remember that the home is where you were designed to shine! You will find infinitely more fulfillment, joy, peace, Freedom, and influence as a wife, homemaker, and mother than you ever can in the corporate or business world. Your names will be remembered and blessed by your posterity for all time. Being a righteous mother of virtue, loving service, and firm faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, will not only make you infinitely valuable to your community, but will also earn you a crown of glory in the world to come. God bless you! 

Zack Strong, 
May 14, 2023

Where There’s Smoke

America is engulfed in billowing black smoke. America is on fire. America is burning to the ground. 

I was recently walking home from the park with my awesome two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She said, “Daddy, I smell smoke.” I pointed down the street where a neighbor was burning some brush. You could see smoke rising into the air. I told my little one, “See the smoke. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” She repeated the phrase in her cute little voice. 

I’ve reflected that it’s amazing such a small child could comprehend “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” but most adults in America – indeed, the world – can’t seem to grasp the idea. Most see the smoke, but they can’t put two and two together and realize the smoke is a result of a burning society engulfed in a raging fire being deliberately stoked by their enemies. They blindly plod forward following the herd of apathetic and unthinking people to their doom – the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14). 

The first step on the road to recovery from a host of problems, both personal and societal, is to acknowledge there’s a problem. If we continue waltzing forward without admitting there are serious issues that are eroding and imploding everything good around us, we’ll one day wake up in the chains of Marxian high-tech feudalism. 

Look around. What do you see? Contention. Confusion. Ignorance. Apathy. Hedonism. Lust. Debauchery. Mental illness. Hatred. Vengefulness. Evil. Discrimination. Lies. Hypocrisy. Dishonor. Consumerism. Vanity. Disloyalty. Disunity. Radicalism. Pride. Boastfulness. Selfishness. Greed. Envy. Jealousy. Entitlement. Indifference. Inhumanity. Violence. Abuse. Rage. Foppishness. Weakness. Slavishness. Fear. Darkness. 

As the wise Master Yoda once said: “Fear is a path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Each of the above-listed elements is a path to the dark side – the Devil’s side. They are not Christlike attributes. They are not the fruits of Christian discipleship. Instead, they are the fruits of following rejecting God, walking in strange paths, and – wittingly or unwittingly – following Satan. 

For instance, the Lord taught: 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35). 

How do we feel about our fellow human beings? Do we love them? All evidence is to the contrary. We don’t attack, hate, and try to destroy those we love, yet that’s what we do in our personal relationships, in our communities, in our nations, and on the global scene. Collectively speaking, we are clearly not the Lord’s disciples, though we may call our nations “Christian.” 

We are also an exceedingly fearful society. We’re afraid of so-called “terrorists,” people of other political parties, people of other races, people of different nationalities, etc. We fear things we don’t understand. And where does this fear come from? The Apostle John wrote: 

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

“We love him, because he first loved us. 

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 

“And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:15-21). 

You don’t truly love if you live in fear – fear of others, fear of government, fear of society, fear of death, etc. Fear and faith can’t exist at the same time in the same heart. Neither are love and fear compatible. Love is the core of Christian discipleship. It is the hallmark of a disciple of the Master. Fearful nations, then, are not Christian nations. 

Also, according to John, you don’t love God if you hate others. Do you despise Republicans or Democrats, blacks or whites, Jews or Gentiles, gays or straights, rich or poor? If so, you are no Christian, though your mouth may profess to follow the Master. 

A word of caution. Don’t take John too literally when he speaks of confessing that Jesus is the Son of God. You can’t merely confess that Jesus is the Christ and pretend you’re “saved” or that you’re approved of God. The Savior rebuked those who would think such a thing in these words: 

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:20-27). 

I dare say that most of those who claim to be Christians are among those who say “Lord, Lord” but don’t truly follow Him. Christendom is writhing in apostasy. With over 40,000 denominations all with their own unique dogmas, doctrines, and creeds, the “body of Christ” is fractured, broken, and deformed. Disunity prevails. Factionalism triumphs. The philosophies of men, and more self-appointed but not God-called preachers than you can shake a stick at, rule the day. 

I single out Christians because we are meant to be a light for others. Because we have failed to hold aloft the Lord’s light and demonstrate shining examples of humble, consistent, united, fervent, and loving discipleship, we have caused non-believers to become more hardened and society to falter. Ultimately, if America and the West fail and fall, we won’t be able to blame non-Christians; we will only have ourselves to blame. 

We circle back to where we began. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Dear reader, our Faith, Families, and Freedom are on fire. 

First, Faith. Who can doubt that our national Faith in the Son of God is waning? Self-proclaimed Christians are often false and Christendom is fractured into tens of thousands of sects and denominations despite the fact that the Apostle Paul taught, and logic dictates, that there can only be “one lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). There is certainly no “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13). Christians, fearful of being denounced as weirdos, religious fanatics, or intolerant, have bent over backwards to accept LGBT ideology, put women into the ministry, permit the impermissible, excuse sin, slavishly bow to tyranny instead of stand in the gap for Liberty, and shake hands with Babylon.  

What’s more, because of our abysmal examples and our failure to lead society, the number of non-Christians is rapidly rising. It is absolutely factual that Witchcraft, Wicca specifically, is the fastest growing religion in the United States. Occultism, astrology, New Age philosophies, energy healing, Hindu Yoga, Spiritism, and other such anti-Christian trends, are increasing. Our land is now full of sorcery, Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), and Devil worship, with avowed Satanic organizations like The Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan becoming prominent in political advocacy, education, city council prayer meetings, and other very public displays of rebellion to God. 

Second, Families. Our Families have been decimated. Traditional men have been smeared, attacked, and singled out as “oppressors,” “tyrants,” “abusers,” and even “rapists.” Public schools have been fashioned to squash the energy and spirit of boys and to instill in them the idea that they are dumb, inferior, and blundering. TV and Hollywood reinforce these idiotic and degrading stereotypes by showing bumbling husbands, drunken frat boys, lazy and irresponsible men, and generally pathetic male specimens. 

Women have also been degraded, but in a different way. Instead of being indoctrinated to believe they’re moronic malcontents, women have been told how perfect and smart and capable they are. “Anything you can do, I can do better,” is their delusional slogan. Hollywood reinforces this idea by depicting woman as stronger, smarter, more determined, more virtuous, and better at literally everything than their male counterparts. 

At the same time that society preaches female superiority, it also preaches female victimhood. The entire Women’s Liberation movement and its feminist progeny are based on the idea that women are “oppressed” victims of the fictitious male “patriarchy.” The idea was concocted by the Order of Illuminati and spearheaded by the standard bearers of Illuminism – the Marxists. Their goal, as stated by Marx in his vile Manifesto, was the “abolition of the family.” The best way to do that is through the women, as Illuminism’s founder Adam Weishaupt schemed: 

“There is no way of influencing men so powerfully as by means of the women. These should therefore be our chief study; we should insinuate ourselves into their good opinion, give them hints of emancipation from the tyranny of public opinion, and of standing up for themselves; it will be an immense relief to their enslaved minds to be freed from any one bond of restraint, and it will fire them the more, and cause them to work for us with zeal, without knowing that they do so; for they will only be indulging their own desire of personal admiration” (John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy, 111). 

If I had to single out one group for the wholesale destruction of families, it would be women themselves. They have only been victimized by themselves and their emotionalism which led them to buy the enemy’s propaganda. Over 80% of divorces in the United States are initiated by women – and don’t believe for a second this is because women had finally had enough of their stupid, problematic men. 

Women have abandoned the hearth for the workplace, to the detriment of civilization. It’s no surprise that crime, infidelity, rudeness, ignorance, instability, servility, and all the other vices, are rising at the same time women have risen in the workforce, government, and public leadership positions. The type of leadership they are fitted for is the shepherding of children in the home. This is also where their talents are most desperately needed. 

Women, thus, are surrogate mothers at best (whenever they decide to ditch the birth control and embrace responsibility), opting to hire babysitters and schoolteachers rather than participate in true parenting. The home is where women were designed to shine, but most women have been taught to believe homemaking is oppressive, boring, unproductive, drudgery, and tantamount to slavery. As they abandon the home, however, they abandon their purpose, undermine their families, put a wedge between themselves and their husbands, and sell their children out to a corrupt society that desires to have them, twist them, and mold them in their Marxian image. For these and so many other reasons, Families have imploded. 

Third, Freedom. Freedom is that thing without which life has no meaning. Yet, our Liberty is being stripped away from us by the minute. From one regime to the next, Americans have been dragged away from their constitutional moorings into the land of serfdom. Freedom of speech is being restricted and punished. The right of self-defense is under attack. Jury trials are being replaced by activist judges. States rights are often usurped by the bloated federal government. The Patriot Act and other deplorable laws have allowed government goon squads to violate our guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures and warrants being issued without witnesses, to name only two. Government agencies steal land and property. On and on it goes. 

We are in the enemy’s end game. They are in their mad dash for global power and domination. They are erecting a one-world Marxian superstate – our rights and protest be damned. No honest person can say we have more Freedom today than our forefathers. No one can say that the Constitution is as faithfully followed as it once was. No person can confess that we have entered a political paradise that is wealthier, more stable, and freer than our past. 

Our Faith, Families, and Freedom and on fire. The evidence – the terrible billowing black smoke – is everywhere. We can’t help but acknowledge the inferno. But what will we do about it? Will we watch as everything burns? Will we try to squelch the blaze? From my perspective, the first step should be to raise the alarm. You don’t sit and watch everything burn around you; you jump up, shout, and warn others. Together, and only together, can you all put out the blaze.  

Let’s put out the blaze. The smoke is starting to choke us. It’s becoming unbearable. The final act is upon us. Will we play our part? Will we raise the alarm? Will we do our best to extinguish the flames? If not, we deserve to be choked by the smoke and burned by the flames. 

Zack Strong, 
April 30, 2023

Hyphenated America

Divide and conquer – that is how we are being defeated. The name of our great confederacy is the United States of America, but we are the furthest thing from being united as a People. We are divided along religious, cultural, racial, gender, educational, economic, and linguistic lines. Instead of identifying as “Americans” first, we identify as black or white, male or female, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, Christian or atheist, and so forth. Because we are confused about our identity, we are easily divided and sifted in other ways and are preparing for cultural collapse. 

What is an African American? What is an Asian American? What is a Hispanic American? What is a European American? What is a Native American? Have you ever stopped to think how absurd these titles are? Have you ever considered how incorrect, flawed, and divisive they are? 

How far do you have to reach back to determine your identity? What is the cut-off point? Not one single race in the world originally inhabited its current location. Blacks did not originate in Africa (neither did the human race). Whites did not pop up magically in what is today Europe. Asians did not sprout out of the Asian snow like daisies (bonus points if you caught the pop culture reference). American Indians were not planted in the Americas by the gods. Human migration is a fact of history and people of all races have mixed with people of all other races. 

I ask again, how far do you have to go back to define yourself? If you go back far enough, you reach Adam and Eve. We are all derived from that lone man and his wife. Mankind did not evolve, as postulated Darwin and his frenzied followers who deny God, reject the scriptures, and propose an impossibly unscientific theory devoid of evidence and sense. What did evolve, however, and is not inherent in us, is our race, skin color, and other outward characteristics. 

I do not suggest that race is a human construct, because there are eternal differences in people that go back beyond our birth in mortality. I also do not suggest that there are no inherent differences in what we call the various races of mankind. There most certainly are personality differences and proclivities stemming back to times in the distant past which God has seen fit not to reveal much about, though these seemingly racial differences are primarily learned differences and are determined far more by culture, religion, and tradition than by genetics. On this point, Harvard University has made some interesting observations: 

“Estimating our ancestral composition down to 0.1% seem to suggest that there are exact, categorical divisions between human populations. But reality is far less simple. Compared to the general public’s enthusiasm for ancestry testing, the reaction from scientists has been considerably more lukewarm. Research indicates that the concept of “five races” does, to an extent, describe the way human populations are distributed among the continents—but the lines between races are much more blurred than ancestry testing companies would have us believe. 

“A landmark 2002 study by Stanford scientists examined the question of human diversity by looking at the distribution across seven major geographical regions of 4,000 alleles. Alleles are the different “flavors” of a gene. For instance, all humans have the same genes that code for hair: the different alleles are why hair comes in all types of colors and textures. 

“In the Stanford study, over 92% of alleles were found in two or more regions, and almost half of the alleles studied were present in all seven major geographical regions. The observation that the vast majority of the alleles were shared over multiple regions, or even throughout the entire world, points to the fundamental similarity of all people around the world—an idea that has been supported by many other studies. 

“If separate racial or ethnic groups actually existed, we would expect to find “trademark” alleles and other genetic features that are characteristic of a single group but not present in any others. However, the 2002 Stanford study found that only 7.4% of over 4000 alleles were specific to one geographical region. Furthermore, even when region-specific alleles did appear, they only occurred in about 1% of the people from that region—hardly enough to be any kind of trademark. Thus, there is no evidence that the groups we commonly call “races” have distinct, unifying genetic identities. In fact, there is ample variation within races. 

“Ultimately, there is so much ambiguity between the races, and so much variation within them, that two people of European descent may be more genetically similar to an Asian person than they are to each other. . . . 

“The popular classifications of race are based chiefly on skin color, with other relevant features including height, eyes, and hair. Though these physical differences may appear, on a superficial level, to be very dramatic, they are determined by only a minute portion of the genome: we as a species have been estimated to share 99.9% of our DNA with each other. The few differences that do exist reflect differences in environments and external factors, not core biology. 

“Importantly, the evolution of skin color occurred independently, and did not influence other traits such as mental abilities and behavior. In fact, science has yet to find evidence that there are genetic differences in intelligence between populations. Ultimately, while there certainly are some biological differences between different populations, these differences are few and superficial. The traits that we do share are far more profound” (Vivian Chou, “How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Century”). 

I again emphasize that there are inherent differences in people that stem back to pre-mortality, but these differences are not “racial” since we are all children of our Father in Heaven and because we all hail directly from two earthly individuals, Adam and Eve. In our pre-earth existence, we developed our various attributes, tendencies, desires, and proclivities. On earth, then, the Lord places us with other people with whom we share similar character traits, skills, and preferences. Race, then, is what is incidental – our true identities and the reasons we were born black, white, yellow, or red, go much deeper. 

A modern prophet of the Lord, David O. McKay, made this detailed remark on mankind’s origin and our division into different groups: 

“Revelation assures us that [the Father’s] plan antedates man’s mortal existence, extending back to man’s pre-existent state. In that pre-mortal state were “intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good.” (Abr. 3:22-3) 

“Manifestly, from this revelation, we may infer two things: first, that there were among those spirits different degrees of intelligence, varying grades of achievement, retarded and advanced spiritual attainment; second, that there were no national distinctions among those spirits such as Americans, Europeans, Asiatics, Australians, etc. Such “bounds of habitation” would have to be “determined” when the spirits entered upon their earthly existence or second estate. . . . 

“. . . Songs of expectant parents come from all parts of the earth, and each little spirit is attracted to the spiritual and mortal parentage for which the spirit has prepared itself. 

“Now if none of these spirits was permitted to enter mortality until they all were good and great and had become leaders, then the diversity of conditions among the children of men as we see them today would certainly seem to indicate discrimination and injustice. But if in their eagerness to take upon themselves bodies, the spirits were willing to come through any lineage for which they were worthy, or to which they were attracted, then they were given the full reward of merit, and were satisfied, yes, and even blessed. 

“Accepting this theory of life, we have a reasonable explanation of existent conditions in the habitations of man. How the law of spiritual attraction works between the spirit and the expectant parents, has not been revealed, neither can finite mind fully understand. By analogy, however, we can perhaps get a glimpse of what might take place in that spirit world. In physics we refer to the law of attraction wherein some force acting mutually between particles of matter tends to draw them together and to keep them from separating. In chemistry, there is an attractive force exerted between atoms, which causes them to enter into combination. We know, too, that there is an affinity between persons – a spiritual relationship or attraction wherein individuals are either drawn towards others or repelled by others. Might it not be so in the realm of spirit – each individual attracted to the parentage for which it is prepared. Our place in this world would then be determined by our own advancement or condition in the pre-mortal state, just as our place in our future existence will be determined by what we do here in mortality. 

“When, therefore, the Creator said to Abraham, and to others of his attainment, “You I will make my rulers,” there could exist no feeling of envy or of jealousy among the millions of other spirits, for those who were “good and great” were but receiving their just reward. . . . 

“By the operation of some eternal law with which man is yet unfamiliar, spirits come through parentages for which they are worthy – some as Bushmen of Australia, some as Solomon Islanders, some as Americans, as Europeans, as Asiatics, etc., etc., with all the varying degrees of mentality and spirituality manifest in parents of the different races that inhabit the earth. 

“Of this we may be sure, each was satisfied and happy to come through the lineage to which he or she was attracted and for which, and only which, he or she was prepared” (David O. McKay, in Jerreld Newquist, ed., Prophets, Principles, and National Survival, 499-501). 

Yes, our differences are derived not from our skin color or physical place of birth on this earth, but from our pre-earth deeds, achievements, and attainment. I defy all the world to counter this truth. This doctrine is in the Bible and the various revelations of God, and one day we will have a fuller understanding of what we know in embryo now about our shared heritage – the lineage of the Gods

Another fact is that regardless of our race or skin color, we all have unlimited potential for greatness. Each individual may, if he or she meets the terms and conditions of God’s Gospel Plan, earn a seat in the Kingdom of God. Each may, if worthy, inherit a spot at the right hand of God with their Savior Jesus Christ who makes such a destiny possible and without whom this reality is unattainable. An ancient prophet living in the Americas circa 600 B.C. declared: 

“[God] doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw call men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. 

“Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. 

“Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. 

“Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance. 

“Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden. . . .   

“. . . [God] doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:24-28, 33). 

This is crystalline truth. All individuals are privileged in God’s eyes. He invites them all to come to Christ. If they come to Christ, repent, are baptized in His name by proper authority, and follow His commandments, they will all receive the same eternal reward. The resurrected Lord did not exaggerate or lie when He enjoined His disciples: 

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

He did not tell them to go into all nations, except India, or except the Sub-Saharan Africa, or except white Europe. He did not tell them to treat anyone differently because of superficial skin color differences, nationality origins, cultural upbringings, socio-economic status, gender, or any other factor. Rather, He invited all to come to Him and commanded His followers to teach all nations

If the Lord commanded us to reach out to all peoples everywhere, but the prevailing opinion of our day is that we should all be divided into groups, classes, races, genders, and self-identities, then who did this idea come from? Satan. He is the Father of Lies and the source of division, contention, hatred, prejudice, and evil. If you are guilty of following his plan of division along any lines except merit, I invite you to shake off your false philosophies, repent, and heed the words of God. 

I can’t express how very little it matters to me that some people will think I’m naïve for referencing scripture, citing prophets, or basing my ideas on unpopular yet revealed truth. At the end of the day, however, man-made “science,” personal opinions, and both multicultural and identarian politics, will melt away into nothingness and pure truth will remain. 

The point of all of this is to show how flawed and nearsighted our self-definitions are. We divide ourselves when there is no reason for it. We overemphasize skin color and other traits that are out of our control, yet focus little on merit, worthiness, and the overarching fact that we are all children of the same God, who is our literal Father. It is an inherently Marxian practice to identify people by classes and then pit them against each other. If you look at the origin of most of the contentious self-identifying groups (LGBT, Black Lives Matter, etc.), you find that they grew out of a Judeo-Marxian mindset and were deliberately created to fuel division and break down the existing societal order. 

This brings us back to the title of this article: Hyphenated America. I took the title from Teddy Roosevelt. He may have been a deluded Progressive, but he was an American first. In 1915, he gave a speech called “Americanism.” It deserves to be read by all now living. In it he condemned the trend of labeling people by superficial qualities, like their nation of origin, and forgetting the unifying factors. He affirmed: 

“What is true of creed is no less true of nationality. There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else. 

“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else. 

“I appeal to history. Among the generals of Washington in the Revolutionary War were Greene, Putnam and Lee, who were of English descent; Wayne and Sullivan, who were of Irish descent; Marion, who was of French descent; Schuyler, who was of Dutch descent, and Muhlenberg and Herkemer, who were of German descent. But they were all of them Americans and nothing else, just as much as Washington. Carroll of Carrollton was a Catholic; Hancock a Protestant; Jefferson was heterodox from the standpoint of any orthodox creed; but these and all the other signers of the Declaration of Independence stood on an equality of duty and right and liberty, as Americans and nothing else. . . . 

“For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American or an English-American is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic.” 

Powerful words. They are also true. These United States united not around racial lines or because most of their ancestors had come from the various nations of Europe, but, rather, they united around principle. They shared common aspects but diverged in many others. Europeans, though they have nearly always been white-skinned, have been some of the most fractious and tribalistic people on the planet. The people of America, though they came from every nation in Europe, threw aside those differences that didn’t matter to form a new nation founded on law, ordered Liberty, and natural rights. 

The French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, after exploring the United States in its early years, observed many things about what unified us and made us great. In part, he said: 

“If we carefully examine the social and political state of America after having studied its history, we shall remain perfectly convinced that not an opinion, not a custom, not a law, I may even say not an event, is upon record which the origin of that people will not explain. The readers of this book will find the germe of all that is to follow in the present chapter, and the key to almost the whole work. 

“The emigrants who came at different periods to occupy the territory now covered by the American Union, differed from each other in many respects; their aim was not the same, and they governed themselves on different principles. These men had, however, certain features in common, and they were all placed in an analogous situation. The tie of language is perhaps the strongest and most durable that can unite mankind. All the emigrants spoke the same tongue; they were all offsets from the same people. Born in a country which had been agitated for centuries by the struggles of faction, and in which all parties had been obliged in their turn to place themselves under the protection of the laws, their political education had been perfected in this rude school, and they were more conversant with the notions of right, and the principles of true freedom, than the greater part of their European contemporaries. At the period of the first emigrations, the parish system, that fruitful germe of free institutions, was deeply rooted in the habits of the English; and with it the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people had been introduced even into the bosom of the monarchy of the house of Tudor. . . . 

“All the British colonies had then a great degree of similarity at the epoch of their settlement. All of them, from their first beginning, seemed destined to behold the growth, not of the aristocratic liberty of their mother-country, but of that freedom of the middle and lower orders of which the history of the world has as yet furnished no complete example. . . . 

“The settlers who established themselves on the shores of New England all belonged to the more independent classes of their native country. Their union on the soil of America at once presented the singular phenomenon of a society containing neither lords nor common people, neither rich nor poor. These men possessed, in proportion to their number, a greater mass of intelligence than is to be found in any European nation of our own time. All, without a single exception, had received a good education, and many of them were known in Europe for their talents and their acquirements. The other colonies had been founded by adventurers without family; the emigrants of New England brought with them the best elements of order and morality, they landed in the desert accompanied by their wives and children. But what most especially distinguished them was the aim of their undertaking. They had not been obliged by necessity to leave their country, the social position they abandoned was one to be regretted, and their means of subsistence were certain. Nor did they cross the Atlantic to improve their situation, or to increase their wealth; the call which summoned them from the comforts of their homes was purely intellectual; and in facing the inevitable sufferings of exile, their object was the triumph of an idea. 

“The emigrants, or, as they deservedly styled themselves, the pilgrims, belonged to that English sect, the austerity of whose principles had acquired for them the name of puritans. Puritanism was not merely a religious doctrine, but it corresponded in many points with the most absolute democratic and republican theories. It was this tendency which had aroused its most dangerous adversaries. Persecuted by the government of the mother-country, and disgusted by the habits of a society opposed to the rigour of their own principles, the puritans went forth to seek some rude and unfrequented part of the world, where they could live according to their own opinions, and worship God in freedom. . . . 

“In England the stronghold of puritanism was in the middle classes, and it was from the middle classes that the majority of the emigrants came. The population of New England increased rapidly; and while the hierarchy of rank despotically classed the inhabitants of the mother-country, the colony continued to present the novel spectacle of a community homogeneous in all its parts. A democracy, more perfect than any which antiquity had dreamed of, started in full size and panoply from the midst of an ancient feudal society. . . . 

“The remarks I have made will suffice to display the character Anglo-American civilization in its true light. It is the result (and this should be constantly present to the mind) of two distinct elements, which in other places have been in frequent hostility, but which in America have been admirably incorporated and combined with one another. I allude to the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty. 

“America Guided By Wisdom”

“The settlers of New England were at the same time ardent sectarians and daring innovators. Narrow as the limits of some of their religious opinions were, they were entirely free from political prejudices. 

“Hence arose two tendencies, distinct but not opposite, which are constantly discernible in the manners as well as in the laws of the country. 

“It might be imagined that men who sacrificed their friends, their family, and their native land, to a religious conviction, were absorbed in the pursuit of the intellectual advantages which they purchased at so dear a rate. The energy, however, with which they strove for the acquirements of wealth, moral enjoyment, and the comforts as well as the liberties of the world, was scarcely inferior to that with which they devoted themselves to Heaven. . . . 

“These two tendencies, apparently so discrepant, are far from conflicting; they advance together, and mutually support each other. 

“Religion perceives that civil liberty affords a noble exercise to the faculties of man, and that the political world is a field prepared by the Creator for the efforts of the intelligence. Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. 

“Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 1, 27-29, 31-32, 35, 42-44). 

There are some profound ideas acknowledged here. First, we note that the thing that unified the early settlers to America was their belief in God and devotion to His laws, as they interpreted them. Second, we see that the political laws they enacted were designed to accord with scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These two loyalties were key. One may add that families were crucial. Thus, we have the trio of values that I have personally sworn to defend – Faith, Families, and Freedom. 

Alexis de Tocqueville noted that it was the settlers’ principles and beliefs, not their country of origin, skin color, or physical location that bound them together with ties of unity and strength. He noted a shared language also as being of great value, and surely it is. However, even linguistic ties are not as powerful as ideological ones. 

Now, and forever, those societies that bind themselves together with their principles – especially if those principles are correct and point their souls to Jesus Christ and to human Freedom – will prosper, while those that form themselves upon other principles – whether race, skin color, or anything else – will eventually fail. America is failing precisely because we have allowed other factors to define us and nudge us toward class warfare – race, LGBT identities, economic status, etc. 

When will my countrymen wake up to the awful reality that their sorrows have been deliberately caused by them following Marxists in sheep’s clothing who stoke conflict, create contention, emphasize differences rather than similarities, sew division and discord, and who salivate over the idea of a new American civil war with brother against brother, father against son, and neighbor against neighbor. 

That is exactly where this is all heading – to the breakdown of the United States as a unified “nation under God” and guided by His laws and an inspired charter of Liberty. These calamities are on our doorstep. Prepare your family to whether the storm with their faith in Christ Jesus who will deliver a righteous remnant. 

A righteous remnant is one that looks at first principles, cherishes truth, defends human Freedom, stands firm in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and welcomes all of any race, nation, and background who wish to join our ranks. The bickering divisiveness, partisanism, and sectional strife must end. 

Am I preaching peace at all costs? Of course not! Far from it. That would entail capitulating to the enemy, accepting that which is evil, and shaking hands with the Devil. There is no compromise with sin and wrong principles; disciples of Christ must stand uncompromisingly for the Lord’s truth and be a witness for Him at all times, in all things, and in all places. That is precisely why I reject those with whom I otherwise nearly completely agree but who make race their guiding issue and who refuse to acknowledge the importance of principles over people, parties, and partisanship. 

Let me illustrate the stupidity of looking solely at skin color, ancestry, or national origin, as if one’s skin color, family tree, or place of birth gives them merit or worth in the eyes of God or any rational human being. My wife is a beautiful, brown-skinned Latina from the nation of Panama. Were you to judge her purely on her skin color, you would classify her as “other,” as an “outsider,” or as “foreign.” 

Interestingly, most of her ancestors were not Panamanian or Latin. Rather, they were Europeans from France and Spain. They migrated to Panama to help build the Panama Canal barely more than a century ago. Yet, if the identarians (with whom I agree far more than not) have their way, my wife, whose blood is as European as mine, would be rejected. Yet, she stands for more American values – like closing the border to illegal immigrants, prohibiting LGBT maniacs from entering our schools, mandating the death penalty for pedophiles and rapists, rejecting feminism, safeguarding the home, and worshiping Christ – than many white, native-born “Americans.” 

Can you see how idiotic, superficial, and unintelligent it is to view people through such a lens as skin color and nationality? Many of the people who promote a race-based ideology are Europeans – Europeans who are utterly oblivious to their own history. Europeans are highly mixed. 

Some Europeans and Americans are of the vaunted “white nationalist” variety. I’ve never condemned so-called “white nationalism” because, as noted, I share the majority of their views and reject the controlled media’s slanderous use of the term. As all sane people are, I’m against forced and unregulated immigration that artificially mixes a society, such as the deliberate browning of the white portion of the world that we see taking place. 

Societies that mix naturally over time have no problems, as formerly was the case in the United States, but ones that throw groups together too fast and without rhyme or reason have severe problems. This is mostly, though, because of the glaring disparity in understanding and culture more than about racial differences. The trend of third world hordes that bring to America socialist tendencies and a mindset of obedience to government (except to the government whose laws they are violating by sneaking into its territory) is an example of forced, artificial, and detrimental mixing. 

Somalis being airlifted and transplanted by the thousands to Minnesota is another unnatural example and strains society. You can’t simply take uneducated people of different backgrounds, different cultural heritages, different educational and economic levels, different religions and morals, and, to top it off, different races, throw them together overnight, and expect peaceful, problem-free coexistence. It doesn’t work, and those who insidiously promote and fund this volatile mixture know it. 

I don’t personally care one iota if my neighbor is from Somalia or Iraq, Australia or Brazil. I don’t care if their skin color is red, yellow, black, brown, or white. I naturally feel an affinity for fellow white people, as people of all races generally feel more comfortable with fellow members of their own race, but this has more to do with the fact that races often share different values and mine are more compatible with other white people’s values. But, if my neighbors are decent and sincere people who want to be in my country, who respect our laws and heritage, and who want to become “American” in principle and loyalty, welcome! 

To those who would obsessively point out skin color, race, or national heritage, I might ask, what about me? My family line – the Strong family – goes back nearly four hundred years on this continent. Our ancestors are from England, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, and beyond. Intriguingly, I am also related – on both my mother’s and father’s sides – to the Indian princess Pocahontas, as well as to a Cherokee woman. So, what should I be called? English? Scottish? Swiss? Indian? Perhaps it’s best to call me an English Scottish German Swiss Native American. I’ll settle simply for “Native American.” If, after 400 years in this land, my family can’t be called “native,” then who can? 

As you no doubt sense, I’m being somewhat sarcastic, though what I said about my heritage including Indians and people of numerous nationalities is perfectly true. Does me having American Indians in my family tree change a single thing about me, my principles, my beliefs, or my defense of Americanism, America-first principles, the U.S. Constitution, or our unique American heritage? Of course not. Doest the fact that I am literally of the blood of the house of Israel through the tribe of Ephraim, as is my wife, alter anything? Does the fact that I married outside of my own race, though with a fellow Ephraimite, change anything about my values, commitment to Americanism, knowledge of right and wrong, or anything conceivable? No. 

In terms of identity, I only want you to call me three things – a Christian, an Ephraimite, and an American. The rest is fluff. I’m white and very happy to promote our Western civilization’s traditional values and defend its noble institutions, because they have far surpassed those produced by any other races or nations and they are most compatible with the holy scriptures, but what does that matter in the eternal scheme of things? 

I’ve met numerous non-white people who defend these same values and systems with equal fervency. I’ve chatted with people from Chile who are more adept at recognizing communism and opposing it than many white Americans. I’ve met kind and good people – true Christians – from around the world. I’ve met rational, family-oriented, good-hearted men and women from the Middle East and elsewhere who excelled many European-derived people I’ve known. 

When I lived in Russia for two years as a missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and talked with everyone I could about God and life, I found the Muslims from Central Eurasia to be vastly more polite and willing to talk and listen than the atheists, hedonists, and fake white Orthodox Christians of Russia who are Christians-in-name-only. Though on paper I have more in common with Russians, I have far less in common with them in reality than with many other non-white peoples around the globe. 

It is our principles and morals that should unify us. A statement attributed to Benjamin Franklin states: “Where Liberty dwells, there is my country.” An old Latin phrase similarly states: “Ubi libertas, ibi patria.” Who can honestly disagree? 

I would not have much difficulty leaving the United States and settling elsewhere, even among people who don’t look or sound like I do, if we lacked Freedom and they possessed it. As it is, however, my years abroad have filled me with increasing anticipation for the day I will return to my blessed homeland. I love America. There is no place like her. In our degraded state, we still surpass any nation in the world in terms of our potential, greatness, beauty, resources, constitutionally guaranteed rights, and heritage of Liberty. God has watched over His land of America, it is a promised land, and He will yet rule over her and cleanse us until we are again righteous enough for Him to dwell among us. 

In my article “America Needs Nationalism,” I explained the type of unity that ought to prevail throughout the world: 

“The type of proud nationalism that once dominated the United States was primarily of the ideological type. America was often called an “Empire of Liberty.” This referred to the fact that the principles of Liberty were the glue that held our People together. Our unique Americanist ideology – that of limited government, checks and balances, constitutional republicanism, states rights, individual Liberty, power in the People springing from the ward level on up, free enterprise economics, and so forth – was the rallying point for all who wanted to be Americans. People of all races, religions, and backgrounds were free to join this confederacy of love for law and Liberty. 

“Theoretically, this American brand of nationalistic sentiment could expand beyond borders and encompass all of humanity, binding them together in the love of Freedom. Perhaps a cross-border ideology sounds the opposite of nationalism, but in fact it’s not. Love of law and Liberty would not destroy nations and rope them into a collectivized super state. Rather, it would embolden their inherent nationalist tendencies and make them into free and independent states like the United States. 

“Remember, though we are one People, the United States is a confederacy of sovereign units representing the individuals within them. Each state has its own culture, customs, geography, demographics, and so forth. But each is bound together under the principles set forth in the national Constitution and in their shared heritage of Liberty unsurpassed by any other people on earth. It is this example of ideological nationalism in action – this patriotic love of Liberty that propels a people to sacrifice to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” – that America can offer to the world. 

“. . . I plead with Americans of all races, faiths, and backgrounds to rally around the principles and ideologies that made the United States the greatest nation in world history. The Constitution and its sublime principles should be our standard. We should cling to the laws of God that undergird the Constitution. We must defend our Faith, Families, and Freedom at all costs from the international communist conspiracy. Join with me in rallying around principles and ideas, not parties and individuals.” 

I again plead with people everywhere to humble themselves before Christ the Lord, unite with His Church, embrace His laws and doctrines, hold high the standard of Liberty as embodied in the U.S. Constitution, reject error and evil, discard false beliefs such as race-based ideologies that looks more at outward characteristics rather than on one’s principles, and seek unity with people who stand for Faith, Families, and Freedom regardless of their background, appearance, nationality, or past. 

“Above Them All” by Jon McNaughton

I echo Teddy Roosevelt’s declaration – there is no room in America for hyphenated Americans. There is zero place for “African” Americans or “Hispanic” Americans or “LGBT” Americans or any of the other divisive identifiers being used today. There are only Americans and non-Americans. There are those loyal to this nation, her heritage, and her Constitution, and traitors. There are those committed to Christ’s Gospel and the universal precepts of right and wrong upon which the laws and institutions of the United States were founded, and those who are not. Those who are not deserve dignity as children of God, but they are not with us. 

This should be our dividing line. We can accept people of all races and nationalities and create an Empire of Liberty, or, if you rather, the Kingdom of God. He is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10) and neither should we be. Those who join our cause – the cause of Faith, Families, and Freedom – are our allies and friends regardless of whether they come from Sweden or Sudan, Cuba or Canada, Israel or Ireland, Japan or Germany. 

Here, in the United States, seeing ourselves as Americans first is paramount, all other factors notwithstanding. If you come here from another country, or if you are from a minority group, ditch the self-identifier. You are not “African” American, you are simply an American. If you have an allegiance that you feel more strongly matches your beliefs, leave and go there. If you are a Jew (or Chrisitan, for that matter) who loves Israel more than your home soil, vacate this continent and go there to make your home. The same goes for anyone of any race, creed, and persuasion. Put America first or surrender your citizenship; and don’t come here in the first place unless you are willing to abandon your citizenship elsewhere and America as your home.  

We torpedo ourselves when we divide into groups, factions, and tribes. I’m belaboring the point, but it’s crucial. The Founding Fathers talked much about unity. They did not preach “diversity makes us stronger,” because as it is interpreted today, that is not true. Forced “diversity” never strengthened anyone. But an organic admixture of Liberty-loving, moral patriots who want to call this land home does strengthen us. 

I end with a quote from Thomas Paine regarding the American experiment in principle-focused brotherhood. Early America is a model for all other nations who would be free, prosperous, and united. The key is to be united for the right reasons. Paine wrote: 

“The revolution of America presented in politics what was only theory in mechanics. So deeply rooted were all the governments of the old world, and so effectually had the tyranny and the antiquity of habit established itself over the mind, that no beginning could be made in Asia, Africa, or Europe, to reform the political condition of man. Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. . . . 

“. . . The independence of America, considered merely as a separation from England, would have been a matter but of little importance, had it not been accompanied by a revolution in the principles and practice of governments. She made a stand, not for herself only, but for the world, and looked beyond the advantages herself could receive. Even the Hessian, though hired to fight against her, may live to bless his defeat; and England, condemning the viciousness of its government, rejoice in its miscarriage. 

“As America was the only spot in the political world where the principle of universal reformation could begin, so also was it the best in the natural world. An assemblage of circumstances conspired, not only to give birth, but to add gigantic maturity to its principles. The scene which that country presents to the eye of a spectator, has something in it which generates and encourages great ideas. Nature appears to him in magnitude. The mighty objects he beholds, act upon his mind by enlarging it, and he partakes of the greatness he contemplates. — Its first settlers were emigrants from different European nations, and of diversified professions of religion, retiring from the governmental persecutions of the old world, and meeting in the new, not as enemies, but as brothers. The wants which necessarily accompany the cultivation of a wilderness produced among them a state of society, which countries long harassed by the quarrels and intrigues of governments, had neglected to cherish. In such a situation man becomes what he ought. He sees his species, not with the inhuman idea of a natural enemy, but as kindred; and the example shows to the artificial world, that man must go back to Nature for information” (Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 13-14). 

Brothers united in principle and gathered around the Liberty tree is what we need to be. Hyphenated Americans, those who promote class warfare and division, and those who see only superficial differences instead of overarching primary truths, have no place in America. As our forebears once told each other, “Join, or Die.” That’s our ultimatum – unite as a People or fall into tribalistic oblivion. 

Zack Strong, 
April 22, 2023

“American Communist” – An Oxymoron

I recently saw an otherwise accurate social media post that said we need to stop calling the enemy “liberals” and call them what they really are – “American Communists.” While I emphatically agree that the greatest enemies are the Satanic communists – that is precisely what the so-called “globalists” are – I also emphatically disagree that a communist can be an American. Yes, communists exist in this land. Some of them were even born and raised in the United States. Yet, they are no more American than if they had been born and raised in Red China. 

What does it mean to be an “American”? That title is sacred to me. An “American” is one who believes in the true principles of Liberty, who defends Faith, Families, and Freedom, and who honors the U.S. Constitution as humanity’s finest charter of Liberty. An American embraces the unequalled heritage of America, most particularly the legacy of those noble men who settled this blessed continent, waged war for its Independence, and founded the United States’ unique government through inspiration from on high.  

Communists, by contrast, despise the United States, hate our history, ridicule our forefathers, call them and us “racists,” “anti-Semites,” and “Nazis,” for manfully opposing their schemes, spit upon our Constitution which inhibits their power grabs, advance a culture of moral degradation and godlessness, and promote an unconstitutional system of top-down bureaucratic rule of the Elite and collectivized serfdom for the rest. 

Americans, then, cannot be communists, and communists cannot be Americans. Never call a communist an “American.” Such is an oxymoronic contradiction. Americans and communists are eternal enemies. We are diametrically opposed and can never find common ground. For a true American, there is no compromise with communism. 

One of the most outspoken anti-communists in our history made this statement: 

“Let’s get one thing straight at the very beginning. International communism is the self-avowed enemy of every loyal American. It has declared war against us and fully intends to win. The war in which we are engaged is total. Although its main battlefields are psychological, political and economic, it also encompasses revolution, violence, terror and limited military skirmishes. If we should lose this war, the conquering enemy’s wrath against our people and our institutions will result in one of the greatest blood-baths of all history. Call it a “cold war” if it makes you feel better, but our freedom and our very lives are the stakes of this contest” (Ezra Taft Benson, An Enemy Hath Done This, 165). 

This is a point we must never forget. Even if we wanted to proclaim peace and enact a treaty of friendship with the communists (and most of us naturally prefer peace), it is impossible to do so because they have declared war against our Faith, Families, and Freedom. Many people say, “it takes two to tango.” In war, however, this is false. It only takes one side to start and continue a war. And the communists both declared and started this way long before any of us now living were born. They have waged it doggedly for generations. They are entering their end game for world conquest as we speak. 

Another time, in his superb exposé on how socialism is a conjoined twin of communism and leads intentionally to Marxian “paradise,” Benson declared: 

“I say to Americans and to people everywhere; no true Christian, no true believer in Christ, can be a communist. These dangerous philosophies of communism are anti-Christ and are wholly incompatible with our God-given freedom and the true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

“It is not alone hunger and poverty and oppression that afflict so many in this sweeping program of man’s inhumanity to man. In country after country faith in God has been ruthlessly destroyed. 

“We have long known that the abolition of all religion is the ultimate goal of communism. Lenin has said: “Atheism is a natural and inseparable portion of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism. Our propaganda necessarily includes propaganda for atheism”” (Ezra Taft Benson, The Red Carpet: Socialism – The Royal Road to Communism, 35). 

Because of its overt hostility to the Savior Jesus Christ and the foundational precepts of His Gospel and of eternal law generally, communism is “anti-Christ.” It is “wholly incompatible” with the Lord’s Gospel of Liberty. It is also illegal under the Constitution of the United States and according to laws passed, but never enforced, by the federal government during the Cold War. See my article “Communism is Treason” for more on the inherent and declared illegality of communism. 

In 1936, the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which I belong and encourage you to investigate if you are not a member, issued a bold statement on communism that helps illustrate the war we are in with communism, the stakes, and the seditious nature of the communist ideology: 

“With great regret we learn from credible sources, governmental and others, that a few Church members are joining directly or indirectly, the Communists and are taking part in their activities. . . . 

“. . . Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before Communism could be set up in the United States. 

“Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism. 

“To our Church members we say: Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto; Communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action; Communism involves forceful despoliation and confiscation, the United Order voluntary consecration and sacrifice. 

“Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that Communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the Gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church. Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist. 

“We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.” 

I repeat it fearlessly: No patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism. It is impossible. Communism has no place in America. You cannot be a loyal American, let alone a loyal Christian, and be a communist. 

Communists are not welcome in America and their Satanic ideology is a threat to everything we hold dear. Its heritage is opposed to ours. Its morals are anathema. Its tactics, and their sure results, are evil. 

Communism is poison to nations, to families, to societal relationships, to different races that it pits against each other, and to the world. More important, it is poison to the soul. No communist can have faith in Jesus Christ in his heart. No communist possesses that crowning attribute of Heavenly Father and Jesus – love. Communists are anti-Christs and are hostile to every principle of pure religion and truth no matter where they are found. 

In 1966, the same governing body, the First Presidency, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a statement that I consider the definitive position on communism: 

“The position of this Church on the subject of Communism has never changed. We consider it the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work among men that exists on the face of the earth. . . . 

“The entire concept and philosophy of Communism is diametrically opposed to everything for which the Church stands – belief in Deity, belief in the dignity and eternal nature of man, and the application of the gospel to efforts for peace in the world. Communism is militantly atheistic and is committed to the destruction of faith wherever it may be found. . . . 

“Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state, to which he must look for sustenance and religion. Communism destroys man’s God-given free agency. 

“No member of this Church can be true to his faith, nor can any American be loyal to his trust, while lending aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies; for if he does, they will prove snares to his feet” (President David O. McKay, “Only One Standard of Morality,” April 9, 1966). 

Communism is the “greatest satanical threat” to the world, bar none. “Globalism” is not the greatest threat – no one can even define what “globalism” ought to mean. The first true “globalism” was communism and its tentacles truly wrapped around the globe with the rise of the Communist International, or Comintern. Its bristling threat of “world revolution” is the most comprehensive of any ideology ever codified and peddled by agents of destruction in world history. 

As more and more traitors continue to be unmasked and exposed on almost a daily basis, we see how all of their connections go back to communist front groups, to the communist-created U.N., or directly to Russia and China. The quintessential “globalist,” Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, has a bust of Vladimir Lenin on his desk. When will my fellow conspiracy researchers finally admit that we are not dealing with some vague chimera named “globalism,” but that we are contending with the Kabbalistic philosophy of the Order of Illuminati codified in 1848 by Karl Marx, finetuned by Lenin, financed by socialist comrades in the West, and pushed on every front by Russia and China and their treasonous agents throughout the world?! 

A religious leader and patriot, David O. McKay, who was one of the three men responsible for the previous statement, issued this concise warning in 1953: 

“Today two mighty forces are battling for the supremacy of the world. The destiny of mankind is in the balance. It is a question of God and liberty, or atheism and slavery. The success of Communism means the destruction of Religion” (President David O. McKay, Church News, July 18, 1953, cited in Jerreld Newquist, ed., Prophets, Principles and National Survival, 215). 

Six years previous, McKay had similarly warned: 

“Today America is reputedly the only nation in the world “capable of sustaining western civilization.” 

“Opposed to her is Russia, which has renounced faith in God and in his overruling power in the universe. 

“The threatened impending clash between these two nations is more than a test of political supremacy, more than a fight between capitalism and communism – it is the ever-contending conflict between faith in God and in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and disbelief in the philosophy of Christian ideals” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay, 275). 

This warning may have been issued yesterday, for it is equally valid. All I would add is the name “Red China” next to Russia’s. For all our faults, America is still the only hope for the world. Our Constitution is the only one that bears the stamp of approval of Almighty God. 

Our People, as ignorant, apathetic, and debauched as many have become, possesses the greatest heritage of Freedom and excellence of any nation in recorded history. The greatest potential for the restitution of human Liberty and authentic progress rests with America. Don’t ever be fooled by propaganda into believing any other nation, let alone KGB-controlled Russia or CCP-dominated China, offer the world a better path. They only offer death, for communism is death. 

In 1948, President McKay again raised his voice to present the world its choice: 

“The choice today is between dictatorship with the atheistic teachings of communism, and the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which alone can make us free” (President David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, 273). 

The Bible declares: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). In another place, it encourages: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). Since communism disavows God and impels people to rebel against him, as its founder, the Devil, did in the War in Heaven, it can never exalt a nation. Only obedience to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ can do that. 

Another statement from David O. McKay seems appropriate. In April 1951, he cautioned: 

“More destructive to the spreading of Christian principles in the minds, particularly of the youth, than battleships, submarines, or even bombs, is the sowing of false ideals by the enemy. . . . 

“Misrepresentation, false propaganda, innuendoes soon sprout into poisonous weeds, and before long the people find themselves victims of a pollution that has robbed them of their individual liberty and enslaved them to a group of political gangsters” (McKay, Gospel Ideals, 284). 

The communists themselves understand this fact. They know that their propaganda is more effective in making communists than war or conquest. Those conquered by the sword will feel resentment and may rebel. Those cunningly convinced to embrace communism bit by bit will fight for communism and will resist all attempts of patriots to tell them the truth. This is why a prominent Chinese communist, Lin Biao, called Marxism a “spiritual atom bomb.” Avoid the communist virus at all costs. Protect your children from the Red Plague

I quote another statement from Ezra Taft Benson. Said he: 

“Now we should all be opposed to Socialistic-Communism, for it is our mortal and spiritual enemy – the greatest evil in the world today. But the reason many liberals don’t want the American people to form study groups to really understand and then fight Socialistic-Communism is that once the American people get the facts they will begin to realize that much of what these liberals advocate is actually helping the enemy. 

“The liberals hope you’ll believe them when they tell you how anti-Communist they are. But they become alarmed if you really inform yourself on the subject of Socialistic-Communism. For after you inform yourself you might begin to study the liberal voting record. And this study would show you how much the liberals are giving aid and comfort to the enemy and how much the liberals are actually leading America towards Socialism itself. 

“Communism is just another form of socialism, as is fascism. 

“So now you can see the picture. These liberals want you to know how much they are doing for you – with your tax money of course. But they don’t want you to realize that the path they are pursuing is socialistic, and that socialism is the same as communism in its ultimate effect on our liberties. When you point this out they want to shut you up – they accuse you of maligning them, of casting aspersions, of being political. No matter whether they label their bottle as liberalism, progressivism, or social reform – I know the contents of the bottle is poison to this Republic and I’m going to call it poison. 

“We do not need to question the motive of these liberals. They could be most sincere. But sincerity or supposed benevolence or even cleverness is not the question. The question is: “Are we going to save this country from the hands of the enemy and the deceived?” (Ezra Taft Benson, “An Internal Threat Today,” December 19, 1963, in Newquist, ed., Prophets, Principles and National Survival, 287-288). 

Communism is poison. Communism is fatal to the soul. Communism is a vicious virus. Communism is treason. Communism is death. Communism is Satanism. Communism must die for America to survive. 

America cannot be saved if we allow communism to exist here. And the name it goes by does not matter. You can call it “globalism,” if you wish, or socialism, or Progressivism, or liberalism, or any other variation; the ideology is the same and the consequences for our faltering nation are identical. I repeat: Communism must die for America to survive! 

There is no alternative. “Neither can live while the other survives,” as J.K. Rowling wrote. Either Americanism will triumph or communism will. Either the Freedom philosophy espoused by our Founding Fathers and guaranteed by our inspired Constitution will prevail or Illuminism as codified by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto will conquer. Humanity has no other choice, for the American Freedom philosophy was sanctioned and inspired by God through the U.S. Constitution while communism is an outgrowth of the Order of Illuminati which was founded by Satanists. 

To close, I say, please, call our enemies “communists,” for that is exactly what they are, but don’t ever call them “Americans.” No real American can be a communist or support ideologies or principles promoted by the socialist-communism complex. Communism is anathema to Americanism. Communism seeks to destroy the U.S. Constitution with its protection on God-given rights ranging from free speech to Freedom of religion to the right of assembly to jury trials to separation of power to the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. If you cherish any of those rights, you simply cannot support or sympathize with communism. 

Communism is Satanic, and that, ultimately, is why we know it will lose. Satan has already lost. The Redeemer Jesus Christ has already triumphed over death, hell, and the Devil. Lucifer lost in the War in Heaven, and he has lost the battle here on earth, too. His henchmen are running wild precisely because we are in the end times directly preceding the return of the Savior in glory. It is the time of sifting. Now it is when we must use our God-given agency to show whose side we’re on

Knowing that Christ has already won the victory, why would you ever side with the anti-Christ communists? I plead with you to join the winning team. Embrace the U.S. Constitution and the American Freedom philosophy as articulated by the Founding Fathers. Work to restore Faith, Families, and Freedom everywhere. Humble yourself before God and promote His Gospel and its sublime principles that give dignity to man, protect individualism, exalt nations, and make peoples prosperous and powerful. Do as Paul encouraged and “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). 

The outcome of the war is not in question – Christ has won the victory – but your own soul hangs in the balance. You may save your soul, and perhaps your country, by choosing the right, coming to Jesus Christ, following Him in obedience to divine law, joining yourself to His Church, living righteously, promoting truth, opposing the Church of the Devil, and standing as a witness of Christ at all times, in all places, and in all things. We have room here. We have an extra jersey with your name on it. The Lord loves you and wants you on His side – the winning side. 

Zack Strong, 
April 16, 2023

Choose the Right

The supreme mission of human existence may be summed up in a single phrase: Choose the right. 

This phrase is popular among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of our most beloved hymns contains these inspiring, instructive, and hopeful words: 

“Choose the right when a choice is placed before you. 
In the right the Holy Spirit guides; 
And its light is forever shining o’er you, 
When in the right your heart confides. 

“Choose the right! Choose the right! 
Let wisdom mark the way before. 
In its light, choose the right! 
And God will bless you evermore. 

“Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression 
Overcome you in the evil hour. 
There’s the right and the wrong to ev’ry question; 
Be safe thru inspiration’s pow’r. 

“Choose the right! Choose the right! 
Let wisdom mark the way before. 
In its light, choose the right! 
And God will bless you evermore. 

“Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing. 
Choose the right! There’s safety for the soul. 
Choose the right in all labors you’re pursuing; 
Let God and heaven be your goal. 

“Choose the right! Choose the right! 
Let wisdom mark the way before. 
In its light, choose the right! 
And God will bless you evermore.” 

Fundamental truths are taught by these words. For instance, “there’s the right and the wrong to ev’ry question” reinforces in the mind the facts that truth is not relative and that there is a correct and a wrong path. There is no “all roads lead to Rome” concept in the economy of Heaven. Only one road leads to Heaven, while all others, no matter how worthy in some respects they may be, lead elsewhere. 

During His Ministry, the Savior Jesus Christ taught this doctrine: 

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). 

This is at once one of the saddest and most startling of all scriptural declarations. “Few there be that find it” are words that have imprinted themselves on my mind in recent times. I’ve thought of them again and again. They motivate me to work harder to center myself on the covenant path of discipleship.  

Isaiah called this single path that leads to eternal life “the way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8). A modern prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, President Russell M. Nelson, has called it the “covenant path,” stating the following in his first address as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 

“[T]o each member of the Church I say, keep on the covenant path. Your commitment to follow the Savior by making covenants with Him and then keeping those covenants will open the door to every spiritual blessing and privilege available to men, women, and children everywhere. . . . 

“Now, if you have stepped off the path, may I invite you with all the hope in my heart to please come back. Whatever your concerns, whatever your challenges, there is a place for you in this, the Lord’s Church. You and generations yet unborn will be blessed by your actions now to return to the covenant path. Our Father in Heaven cherishes His children, and He wants each of us to return home to Him. This is a grand goal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—to help each of us to come back home.” 

The “covenant path,” “way of holiness,” or “narrow way,” is the road of Christian discipleship, sacred covenants, and righteousness. The path leads through Jesus Christ and through Him alone. His Atonement activates righteousness in our lives, rewards obedience, and makes our covenants effective. 

In the ancient Israelite record revealed by the Lord, titled The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a prophet named Jacob gave a majestic doctrinal sermon on the Atonement of the Savior. In it, he taught of the strictness and narrowness of the path to Heaven: 

“O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth call things, and there is not anything save he knows it. 

“And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. 

“And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. 

“And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. . . . 

“O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name. 

“And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them” (2 Nephi 9:20-23, 41-42). 

Truly, the Lord “employeth no servant” at the gate of Heaven. Peter doesn’t stand there. Neither does any other mortal. The Lord Himself stands at the gate. Only by following His narrow path of righteousness, exercising faith in Him, entering into His covenants and ordinances, and knocking on the right door, may we be saved by the Redeemer. 

Jesus is the “keeper of the gate.” Our hope is in Him. Salvation is in Him. Another ancient American prophet-king similarly testified of the Savior’s life, death, and redemption for mankind: 

“For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. 

“And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. 

“And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. 

“And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. 

“And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him. 

“And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men. 

“For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned. 

“But wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God! For salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

“And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them. . . . 

“And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:5-13, 17). 

Through the Lord Jesus Christ, all who exercise faith, repent of their sins, and walk in His footsteps by keeping the commandments, “might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy.” Salvation is in Christ. The missionary Amulek once taught: 

“[T]he word is in Christ unto salvation. . . . 

“And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. . . . 

“And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ; 

“That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you. 

“Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing. 

“And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them; 

“But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions” (Alma 34:6, 8, 37-41). 

Yes, salvation is in Christ! The right way is to follow Him. We do that, in part, by believing in Jesus Christ, being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost as our guide, praying continually, resisting the Devil, enduring the afflictions of this life with hope and faith in Christ, and constantly expressing our gratitude to Him for His mercies and blessings. Doing all this is part and parcel of choosing the right. 

Choosing the right means choosing the Christ. He is the Keeper of the gate. He is the only way and means to salvation and exaltation. He came to earth, gave us a perfect example of perfect obedience to divine law, atoned for our sins, bled horrifically from every pore of His mortal body, died a cruel death on the cross, and rose again triumphantly to shatter death forever. His Atonement also can free us from the chains of sin, hell, and the Devil. This is contingent upon our faithfulness in following the covenant path of holiness. 

The hymn quoted at the beginning tells us “there’s safety for the soul” in choosing the right. The Holy Spirit guides us in choosing the right, which is why we must be baptized by authorized servants of God and choose to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that they bestow by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-20). The hymn tells us to make “God and Heaven . . . your goal.” When we do, and when we choose to walk the covenant path and approach the strait gate where the Lord Jesus stands as the sole Keeper, we are promised to be blessed “evermore.” 

I know, and testify, that the times in my life when I have carefully walked the path of holiness and have circumspectly kept the commandments with my eyes fastened firmly on my Savior, have been the best and happiest times of my life. As glamorous as sin sometimes looks, and as popular as the selfish paths of hedonism and me-centered living may be, they lead to spiritual death and, ultimately, misery. 

There is only one path to Heaven, and “few there be that find it.” Most Christians, despite professing the name of Jesus, are out of the way and off the path. The path is narrow and strict and does not admit error, sanction sin, or permit false doctrines and man-made creeds. It does not accept ordinances performed without authority. You can be baptized a hundred times and none of them will count unless the one performing the act has been authorized by the Lord, through the proper channels of His Priesthood, to do so. The Lord cannot be deceived; He is the One who keeps the gate. 

The way to find the path, then, is to want to find it and walk it more than anything; to not be content with the “you do you” buffet style of salvation preached by most of Christendom. You should not merely find a church, but the true Church of Jesus Christ. There is only one (Ephesians 4:4-6). And I testify to you with all the fervor of my soul that it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that its officers hold the Lord’s Priesthood authority to properly officiate in saving ordinances that keep us on the covenant path that leads to the Savior who saves us. 

Choose the right? Yes! In the end, it is the only thing that matters. We must choose the right and follow the commandments of God. This is the “whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). I challenge you to use your agency more boldly to come to Christ and follow Him, for choosing the Christ is choosing the right (Hebrews 4:16).  

I close with the words of the chorus of the hymn that is this article’s namesake. I know they are true: 

“Choose the right! Choose the right! 
Let wisdom mark the way before. 
In its light, choose the right! 
And God will bless you evermore.” 

Zack Strong, 
April 14, 2023

Jesus Was No Milksop

On the Monday after His Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and before His sadistic Crucifixion on Good Friday, the Lord Jesus Christ did something, for the second time, that outraged the corrupt Jewish leaders of the day; He cleansed the outer court of the temple. 

We take these words from Matthew describing the event: 

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 

“And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13). 

Mark also recorded the event and added crucial details about officialdom’s murderous reaction: 

“And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 

“And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 

“And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. 

“And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine” (Mark 11:15-18). 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He commanded us to love one another, to love our enemies, and to pray for those who treat us badly and persecute us. He turned the other cheek to abusers. He enjoined His disciples to be peacemakers and to proclaim peace. However, this same Lord was a Man of passion, a defender of righteousness, and a zealot for truth. 

Passivity has never been a characteristic of Jesus Christ nor of His Gospel. Compliance with error and evil is not in His playbook. Blind obedience to authority was not something He preached or exemplified. 

Rather, the Lord called the authority figures of His day “vipers,” “liars,” “hypocrites,” and “children of hell.” He snubbed them, disobeyed their orders, broke their traditions, taught His disciples to not follow their example, and was constantly at variance with not only the ecclesiastical, but political, authorities. In the end, He submitted to crucifixion not because He blindly obeyed authority, but because it was the will of our Heavenly Father and He submitted to it in faith as a little child. 

The Lord’s martyrdom was necessary to complete His Atonement and provide means whereby the rest of us could receive remission of our sins and ascend with Christ to Heaven. It was, and is, the central point in the Plan of Salvation. Without the Lord’s Atonement, which required the Lamb’s pure blood to be shed to atone for sinners as a token, none of us could be saved, none of us could receive forgiveness, and none of us could escape the powers of death and hell. If not for this higher and holier purpose in His death, I submit to you that the Lord who is just and disdains evil, lies, and injustice, would have pushed back against the egregiously illegal and farcical trial which condemned Him to death. 

The angry Jewish mobs had often surrounded Jesus with the intent of murdering Him. They once tried to push Him off a cliff. Other times they picked up stones to stone Him. What happened? How did He escape? The mobs didn’t have a change of heart. They didn’t simply let Him pass by to safety. Rather, the Lord exercised His supernatural power to disappear from their presence or otherwise miraculously shield Himself (Luke 4:29-30; John 8:58-59; John 10:30-39). 

It’s impossible to believe that Jesus simply walked through these demon-inspired crowds wielding rocks and fury and murderous intent. Not so. The Lord performed miracles to escape from them because His time to die for the sins of the world was not yet. Thus, if it had not been His time to die on that awful and prophesied Passover, I believe the Lord would have resisted or disappeared as He had done before. He would not have tamely submitted to injustice and murderous mobs. 

Modern society likes to picture Jesus as a loving, caring, tolerant, even permissive Being who accepts anyone, forgives anything, and thinks you’re “perfect just the way you are.” This depiction is at odds with the scriptures. 

Jesus never tolerated sin. He never justified it. He never accepted it. The Lord always preached against evil, debauchery, adultery, wickedness, lust, evil thinking, anger, pride, envy, violence, and every other wicked act, thought, and tendency. He would be described as intolerant, hateful, a bigot, angry, and rebellious were He to live in our day. I have no hesitation in saying that modern “Christendom” would want to murder Jesus were He here among them and were He to teach the same uncompromising and strict doctrines He preached in ancient Israel. 

People don’t comprehend the Lord’s character. They know little to nothing about Him and the Father. They make God in their own image, which is a corrupt, worldly, and imperfect image. They completely ignore the Lord’s doctrine that to know Him and the Father – Their real character and attributes – is eternal life, and the implication that to not know Them is damnation (John 17:3).  

What follows is a keen description of the aspects of the Lord’s character that were at play when He stormed the temple and overthrew the moneychangers’ tables. President Charles W. Penrose said: 

“True, Jesus Christ taught that non-resistance, was right and praiseworthy and a duty under certain circumstances and conditions; but just look at him when he went into the temple, when he made that scourge of thongs, when he turned out the money-changers and kicked over their tables and told them to get out of the house of the Lord! “My house is a house of prayer,” he said, “but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Get out of here! Hear him crying, “Woe unto you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and then ye make him ten-fold more the child of hell than he was before.” That was the other side of the spirit of Jesus. Jesus was no milksop. He was not to be trampled under foot. He was ready to submit when the time came for his martyrdom, and he was to be nailed on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, but he was ready at any time to stand up for his rights like a man. He is not only called “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” but also “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” and He will be seen to be terrible by and by to his enemies. 

“Now while we are not particularly required to pattern after the “lion” side of his character unless it becomes necessary, the Lord does not expect us to submit to be trodden under foot by our enemies and never resist. The Lord does not want us to inculcate the spirit of war nor the spirit of bloodshed. In fact he has commanded us not to shed blood, but there are times and seasons, as we can find in the history of the world, in Bible and the Book of Mormon, when it is justified and right and proper and the duty of men to go forth in the defense of their homes and their families and maintain their privileges and rights by force of arms. . . . 

“. . . Does the Lord permit the shedding of blood and justify it? Yes, sometimes he does. Was not the war of independence of this country justifiable? Were not the rights and privileges of the people of this land trampled under foot, and did they not rise in their might and the God of Battles strengthen their arms and they went forth to victory and brought liberty, not only to themselves and their immediate families, but to hosts of people from down-trodden Europe who are rejoicing today under the Stars and Stripes with liberty of conscience and liberty of speech and liberty of action within proper guidance and direction of righteous law. These principles are to go forth to all flesh. Don’t you forget it. The time will come when they will be carried to all the nations of the earth and they will be delivered from tyrants and oppressors” (President Charles W. Penrose, General Conference, April, 1917). 

The Lord is no milksop! He was a real Man, leader, and warrior. Though perfectly humble, He was full of passion. After He cleansed the temple the first time at the beginning of His Ministry, the scriptures tell us that “his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:13-17). 

Jesus was zealous. He was fervent in His faith in God the Father. He would no doubt qualify for the smears “religious nut” or “religious zealot” used so commonly today. He was a bold defender of all that was good, holy, righteous, and true. By extension, He was also undaunted in His rebuke of all that was bad, impure, and evil. 

Jesus once told the Pharisee Nicodemus that one of the reasons people didn’t come to Him was because they didn’t want their sins to be exposed and rebuked. Their condemnation was rejecting the light and the truth it revealed: 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:16-21). 

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ can be challenging. Persecution and hatred are your constant companions. The world that loves wickedness and perversion despises those who don’t join them in their revelries. They call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Therefore, they call those who expose evil “evil” while those who revile and reject good are held up as “good,” celebrated as “heroes,” and honored as “philanthropists.” Up is down and black is white – and all by Devilish design. 

When the Lord rebuked evil spirits, He was told that He was possessed by evil spirits. When He healed others, He was smeared as unclean. When He did good, He was called a traitor. Everything He did was criticized, twisted, and mislabeled. Everything He said was discounted. Everything He stood for was rejected. That is why the Lord lamented: 

“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 

“Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:33-38). 

The Lord didn’t shy away from the truth to spare people’s feelings. Though we should be as tactful as we can be, facts trump feelings every time. Thus, Jesus emphatically spoke the truth in total sincerity and out of the purest love. Even as He called the unbelieving Jews “vipers,” He held out His hand to them. Even as He listed their crimes and their rejection of His prophets, He said He would gather them if they would only come to Him. 

When the Savior went into the temple at the beginning of His last mortal week on earth and began throwing over tables and chairs and castigating the moneychangers as “thieves” who polluted His Holy House, it was an act of love, devotion, and righteousness. Love requires discipline. It requires rules and consequences for misbehavior. It requires hard, even violent, action, at times. It requires unyielding obedience to eternal law. 

Jesus is the Lord of Hosts or the Lord of Armies. It was He, as Jehovah, who commanded ancient Israel to wage war against the corrupt and pagan inhabitants of the land of Canaan. It was He who flooded the earth when man’s wickedness precluded children having a chance of living normal lives without corruption. It was He who will allow the horrific destructions of the last days to fall upon those who have forsaken or forgotten Him, and who will destroy the armies of Gog and Magog in Israel. Yet, all of it is done out of perfect redeeming love. 

Revelation 19:11-20

Had not the Lord said, through the great prophet Isaiah, that He was pierced and died for us and that He can never forget us? 

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. 

“But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. 

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:13-16).  

This is a clear reference to the Crucifixion and to the marks that even today appear on the Lord’s palms, wrists, and feet. They are constant reminders to Him, and us, of His everlasting care over the House of Israel and over mankind generally. He died for each of us, and His blood will cleanse all who come to Him, enter into sacred covenants with Him that are authorized by the Holy Priesthood, and faithfully walk in His commandments. 

When we think of being like Jesus, we often don’t think of the zealous, defiant, table-throwing version of Him. We think of a benign figure with a head surrounded in a halo of light, speaking pleasing words. That’s the Jesus many want, but it’s not the Jesus we need – and it isn’t the Jesus of scripture. The Lord’s two cleansings of the outer court of the temple serve as a reminder that the Gospel is stricter than we sometimes think, that the path truly is narrow and difficult to traverse, and that the Lord is more fervent in detecting and reproving falsehood and sin than we dare imagine. 

The welcome corollary to the strictness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the promise of eternal joy, complete forgiveness, and perfect healing. We are all sinners, and we all need the Master’s touch. It may be difficult to confess sins, to mend old ways, to ditch bad habits, to reject worldly pleasures, to part company with false friends, to speak out against popular perversion, to stand up against evil in high places, and to engage in consistent repentance, yet it is the only path that leads to satisfaction, happiness, and salvation. It is the only way to do better and be better

Let the Lord cleanse the temple of your heart. Let Him throw out the moneychangers, thieves, and hypocrites who have polluted your mind and soul. Let His zeal rest upon you, engulf you, and motivate you. You may momentarily feel the bite of His whip or flinch from the sound of crashing chairs and tables, but this is the cleansing process in action. The tranquility that will follow will be priceless and sweet. You will, if you endure and glory in the cleansing, stand with Jesus in the eternal temple – His Holy House. 

I repeat: Let Him make His abode with you, cleanse you from the inside out, and make you into the man or woman you are meant to be. Go to Him – to the Light – and let Him reprove you, illuminate your imperfections, and begin the process of healing and betterment. It isn’t a depressing journey, but one full of love, joy, and victory. 

When you let Jesus into your heart, and truly pour through the holy scriptures that speak of Him, don’t be shocked to find a far different Being than you once imagined or that society preaches. But that is ok. The world rejects the truth and the light/Light. Cleave to the Light regardless of the opposition. Let your temples be cleansed. And join in the divine work of redemption by following the example of the Savior in ridding your heart, home, and community of that which pollutes them. May the Lord strengthen, guide, and bless you as you follow Him. 

Zack Strong, 
April 5, 2023

Mountains, Molehills, and Morons

What is wrong with people today? All of society is unhinged and frothing at the mouth. It’s a feeding frenzy. You step one toe out of line and the piranhas bite it off. You dare to take a contrary opinion to someone and hold your horses, you’re about to be tongue lashed, smeared, and character assassinated. Since when did we lose the ability to politely and civilly disagree with each other? 

My political hero, the great sage Thomas Jefferson, was a far better man than I am. I am more like John Adams – fiery, stubborn, blunt, unrelenting, and adamant. However, Jefferson’s approach to politics and life was better. His genteel character, calmness, and reasonableness won him friends and even converted many of his enemies to his side. Jefferson once remarked: 

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. during the whole of the last war, which was trying enough, I never deserted a friend because he had taken an opposite side; and those of my own state who joined the British government can attest my unremitting zeal in saving their property, and can point out the laws in our statute books which I drew, and carried through in their favor. however I have seen during the late political paroxysm here, numbers whom I had highly esteemed draw off from me, insomuch as to cross the street to avoid meeting me. the fever is abating, & doubtless some of them will correct the momentary wanderings of their heart, & return again. if they do, they will meet the constancy of my esteem, & the same oblivion of this as of any other delirium which might happen to them” (Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton, April 22, 1800). 

What noble sentiments! Few men exhibit such virtuous character today. We have become polarized, balkanized, divided, and tribalistic. If you choose the opposite on an issue – regardless of how trivial, fleeting, or passe the issue is – you automatically become my enemy. That’s the attitude. A lapse of judgment is considered betrayal. An incorrect viewpoint is condemned as treason. A different perspective, no matter how well articulated and despite whether it comes from a lifelong friend speaking in sincerity, is met with harsh ire, personal aspersions, and unnecessary opprobrium. 

It is extraordinarily important to take a stand on issues that matter. It’s crucial to seize upon truth and correct principles and never budge. We must never move an inch on moral problems, revealed wisdom, or natural law. However, society at large is utterly bewildered on how to discern between a rejection of a principle and a personal attack. 

Hundreds of times online, I have, in a civil way, disagreed with a principle someone espoused, only to have them react angrily and with unhinged ferocity as if I had attacked their character or insulted their wife. They failed to understand that my rejection of their espoused idea was not a rejection of them, and that my judgement about their proposal had nothing whatsoever to do with my thoughts about them as individuals. 

Aren’t we allowed to disagree with ideas and even principles? That doesn’t mean we hate or oppose the person sharing the idea. If that logic was sound, then no family would ever remain intact because no family, no couple, no friends, ever agree 100% of the time. As we all know, though, such logic is wrong. 

It’s rather easy to know when someone is attacking you directly versus opposing your ideas if you think with your brain instead of with your emotions. We have lost the art of critical thinking. We don’t know how to analyze words and extract meaning. We are governed by our emotions and preconceived ideas instead of by the facts of the situation at hand. 

My advice to everyone, including myself, is this: Stop, I plead with you, stop taking everything personally. And stop, I beg you, stop responding to a civil disagreement with personal attacks. That accomplishes nothing. It is dishonest. And, frankly, it makes you look idiotic to anyone with common sense and self-control. 

I named this article “Mountains, Molehills, and Morons” because I like alliteration. Also, the phrase “mountain out of molehill” has been on my mind. As for the third term, the word “moron” is of fairly recent date. It was created in 1910 and refers to adults who have the mental abilities of children. Specifically, it means you have a mental age of between seven and ten. To me, one of the most moronic, or childish, things that we do is make mountains out of molehills – especially in politics. We have lost all sense of proportion, take things out of context, and focus on the messenger instead of the message. This must stop. 

I have lost so many friends over the years, including recently, because they fail to differentiate between differences of opinion/principle and personal attacks. They thought every difference of opinion was an attack on their character and they responded with personal smears, insults, and condescending language. Though infrequently, I have also been guilty of this. Nearly all of us have. It is therefore not lightly that I say that weak people respond with personal insults when someone has not insulted them. 

The hardest thing is to hold your peace and keep the moral high ground when you are attacked despite having never attacked first and never desiring contention. To remain civil and keep your head held high when others foolishly condemn you, call you ignorant, talk down to you, and insult your character, is an artform and a virtue. It is one I have not mastered fully, but I continuously strive to be like Thomas Jefferson. 

More often than not, despite having very strong opinions and using forceful and passionate language, I haven’t been guilty of assaulting people’s character. I have consciously tried to be diplomatic and civil and to focus on principles and messages instead of people and messengers. Despite my intense exterior and my obvious passion for what I believe in and know to be true, I have successfully remained civil in most of my online political interactions. Those who disagree with my assessment are those who can’t differentiate between attacks on ideas and attacks on people. 

In most online debates I have had – and I’ve had many – I have initiated the conversation with a definite opinion, backed up by my best logic, and with references to sources. I often include quotes, scripture citations, links, and forth. In the majority of situations, the response has been an immediate attack on my character. Personal attacks. Name calling. Swearing. References to my religion. Etc. When I refuse to join in the mudslinging, the attacks become more heated and devoid of all relation to facts, evidence, or civility. It gets even worse if I ask the other person to clean up their language or to be civil. 

I renew my plea for us all to rise above pettiness. I want to be able to have civil conversations on serious issues, to disagree, and to express contrary points of view, without being attacked, having my Mom insulted, having my religion savaged, or being called a traitor, heretic, or an ignorant blankety blank insert your favorite curse word. It’s tiring talking with people who have no sense of proportion, who think it’s ok to insult you because you dared see something through different eyes, or who throw years of friendship to the wind because of the smallest disagreement. 

Dear reader, don’t moronically make mountains out of molehills. We all do it at times and we all need to forgive each other for doing so, but let’s be better. Let’s rise above this gross and childish tendency to demean our allies and friends, even our family members, for our every difference – especially the small ones that don’t impinge upon core values. If our Founding Fathers would have bickered and stubbornly denounced each other for every difference of opinion, they would’ve never accomplished anything. They frequently disagreed, even on fundamentals, but they united around what was most important – their Faith, Families, and Freedom. 

A little common sense, compassion, and civility can turn those monstrous mountains of discord into trivial molehills of momentary difference that are hardly noticeable and which don’t divide us or break up friendships. Let’s apply reason and discernment to our conversations. Let’s learn to identify when a message is about us and when it is about our principles. An attack upon the latter is not an attack upon the former. Once we learn this difference, we can again communicate competently and improve each other just as iron sharpens iron. 

Zack Strong, 
April 5, 2023

Blood Token

When the ancient House of Israel was in bondage in Egypt, the Lord sent progressively worse plagues upon Egypt until wicked pharaoh finally agreed to let Moses and the Israelites depart and be at Liberty. The last plague was the most severe of all – the killing of the firstborn of every family that did not possess a special token. The token was symbolic – the blood of a lamb. The scriptures recount what the Lord told His prophet, the indomitable Moses: 

“I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 

“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Exodus 12:12-14). 

After receiving these harrowing instructions, Moses relayed them to the Israelites. What he said bears repeating: 

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 

“And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 

“For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 

“And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 

“And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 

“And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 

“That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped” (Exodus 12:21-27). 

What was it that saved the Israelites? Was it Moses? Was it their sheltering at home? Was it the blood of the slain lambs? No. What saved them was their faith in, and obedience to, Jesus Christ who was the true Lamb who would be willingly sacrifice Himself to atone for the world. The blood of Christ, not the blood of beasts, redeemed the Israelites. 

Blood is an important symbol in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the passage cited above, it is called a “token.” A token may be defined as “a sign,” “a mark,” or “a memorial of friendship.” The sign of the slain lamb’s blood is a foreshadowing of the death and Atonement of Jesus Christ. The mark of the blood is an identifier of true disciples. The memorial of friendship of the blood is an eternal covenant between Israel and the Savior of mankind. 

“Gethsemane” by J. Kirk Richards.

Several scriptural references to the redeeming blood of Christ seem appropriate. The Apostle Paul taught of Christ Jesus that “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). 

The same man of God also told the Romans: 

“[A] all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:23-26). 

Paul then told the Colossians to give: 

“thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. . . . 

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:12-14, 19-20).  

Writing to the Hebrews, Paul explained that the Lord had to sacrifice His own blood to bring about the redemption of the world. The eternal law of God required a blood sacrifice. Paul taught in the context of the Passover, Moses, and the sacrifice of lambs under the ancient law. He explained that redemption comes: 

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 

“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 

“For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. . . . 

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. . . . 

“. . . now once in the bend of the world hath [Christ] appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:12-17, 22, 26-28). 

Jesus sacrificed Himself because the eternal law by which even God is bound required it. It is by the blood of a God that man is purged of wickedness. It is by the shedding of blood that remission of sins is possible. It is by the Garden of Gethsemane, the Cross of Calvary, and the empty Tomb, that mankind could, if they would have faith in the Lord and heed His counsel to “follow me,” ascend with their Redeemer into Heaven to inherit all that God their Father is and has. 

The Savior foretold His own death and the purpose His shed blood would serve. He told those who would listen: 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 

“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; cand I will raise him up at the last day. 

“For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. . . . 

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:53-56, 63). 

Note that the Savior was not speaking literally. No one drinks His blood or eats His flesh when they partake of the sacraments of the Lord’s supper. This is figurative and symbolic – a token. A blood token. The Lord was simply confirming what all the prophets had prophesied about His death and Atonement, and further teaching that only by looking to Him, doing His words, and partaking of His spirit, could man be saved. 

An Israelite prophet-king named Benjamin, who lived in ancient America in the second century B.C., gave an amazing sermon about the Atonement of Jesus Christ scarcely equaled in holy writ. He persuasively and powerfully taught: 

“For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. 

“And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. 

“And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. 

“And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. 

“And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him. 

“And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men. 

“For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned. 

“But wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God! For salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

“And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them. 

“Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked people, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses. 

“And many signs, and wonders, and types, and shadows showed he unto them, concerning his coming; and also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his coming; and yet they hardened their hearts, and understood not that the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood. . . . 

“. . . I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. 

“For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:5-15, 17-18). 

Jesus Christ is the only One who can save us. His redemption is for all who will believe in Him, repent of their sins, and walk in faithful obedience to the commandments. A remission of sins comes only through His blood, on His terms, in His way. Unless we humble ourselves and trust in “the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent,” we have no promise of salvation. 

Some fifty years after King Benjamin delivered those inspired words, a great missionary named Amulek also testified of the necessity of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. He preached: 

“Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. 

“For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. 

“For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. 

“Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. . . . . 

“And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law [of Moses], every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. 

“And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. 

“And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. 

“Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; 

“Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. . . . 

“Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. . . . 

“For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. 

“And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb” (Alma 34:8-11, 14-18, 31, 35-36). 

Powerful doctrine. An atonement was necessary to redeem fallen man. In our fallen state, we could not save ourselves. We had to rely upon the mercy of the Son of God. We had to exercise faith in Him and repent, per the terms and conditions He set in the beginning. Those who do not follow the terms and conditions are subject to the justice of the law. Those who follow the Lord in faith are surrounded by mercy and grace and are redeemed by the Redeemer. 

Without the blood of the Lamb of God, ancient Israel could not have escaped Egypt. Without the blood of the Lamb of God today, none of us can escape our fallen natures and our sins. It is only by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the faith we have in Him which activates it on our behalf, that we are saved. 

One of the clearest teachings on the salvific nature of the Lord’s sinless blood comes from Enoch. Enoch related that the following instruction was given to Adam by the Lord: 

“[B]y reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; 

“For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified” (Moses 6:59-60). 

When we keep the commandments, we receive the Spirit as our companion and the blood of Jesus redeems us, cleanses us, and sanctifies us. Whereas we are born into earth life in blood, we are reborn into eternal life in the blood of Christ. Unless we do as the Savior commands, we have no life in us, no Spirit to abide with us, and no blood to cleanse us. 

“The Angel of Death and the First Passover” by C. Schonhew, 1897

We now bring this full circle by a quote from a modern prophet of the Lord, John Taylor, who wrote in The Mediation and the Atonement the following: 

“[W]hen the destroying angel passed by the houses of the children of Israel he found the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the door post; which was a type of the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. The angel who was the executor of justice could not touch those who were protected by that sacred symbol; because that prefigured the sacrifice of the Son of God, which was provided at the beginning of creation for the redemption of the human family, and which was strictly in accordance with provisions then made by the Almighty for that purpose — “the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world” —and accepted in full as an atonement for the transgressions of mankind, according to the requirements of eternal justice and agreed to by the Savior and His Father. A proposition is made to meet the requirements of justice, which proposal is accepted by the contracting parties, all these contracting parties being satisfied with the arrangement thus made. . . . 

“Who the redeemed, except those who have accepted the terms of the ransom thus provided? The ransom being provided and accepted, the requirements of justice are met, for those contracts are provided and sanctioned by the highest contracting parties that can be found in the heavens, and the strongest, most indubitable and infinite assurances are given for the fulfilment of that contract, and until the contract is fulfilled the sacrifices are offered as a token and remembrance of the engagements and covenants entered into. God gave a token to Noah, of a rainbow, which should be a sign between Him and mankind that He would nevermore destroy the earth by water; He accepted these sacrifices as a token of the covenant that the Messiah should come to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and thus fulfil the covenant, pertaining to this matter, made before the world was. . . . 

“. . . the Lord, through the sprinkling of the blood of a lamb on the door- posts of the Israelites, having saved the lives of all the first-born of Israel, made a, claim upon them for their services in His cause. It is written: 

““And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the first- born that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel; therefore the Levites shall be mine; because all the first- born are mine; for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the first -born in Israel, both man and beast; mine they shall be : I am the Lord.” — Num., iii, 12, 13. 

“But the first-born of the Egyptians, for whom no lamb as a token of the propitiation was offered, were destroyed. It was through the propitiation and atonement alone that the Israelites were saved, and, under the circumstances they must have perished with the Egyptians, who were doomed, had it not been for the contemplated atonement and propitiation of Christ, of which this was a figure” (John Taylor, An Examination Into and an Elucidation of the Great Principle of the Mediation and Atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 106-108). 

Israel would have been lot without the Lord and the promise of His redemption, just as the Egyptians were lost and cursed without it. We, too, sit in an apostate condition if we reject the Lord Jesus Christ, His living oracles, His Priesthood authority, and His revealed words, laws, and ordinances. His blood does not redeem those who do not obey His terms and conditions. Those who voluntarily use their agency to submit to Him, have faith in Him, and give service in His cause, have the supreme token of God’s friendship, blessing, and approval to rely upon – the blood of the Lamb of God. 

As Passover and Easter approach, we can worship the Lord, and show authentic appreciation for His atoning blood, by rekindling our faith in His holy name, repenting of our sins, humbling ourselves as an innocent little child, and following the teachings which come from His lips and from the mouths of the men He has set as prophets and apostles in His Church

I testify that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives, that He loves each of us, that He died for all mankind, and that His blood will protect, purge, purify, and eventually perfect those who follow Him in faith. If, at the Judgment Day, the blood of the Lamb of God is found upon the doorposts of our heart, we will hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21). 

Zack Strong, 
April 1, 2023