State Flags and American Values

All Americans recognize the U.S. flag. We all know the stars and stripes when we see them. However, many Americans may not be able to identify individual state flags. There are are fifty state flags and many of them give us a hint about what we as Americans cherish and stand for. This article will give an overview of what some of our state flags reveal about the values Americans have traditionally held dear.

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The Pennsylvania flag is one of the most interesting. The state coat of arms was designed in 1777 and used on the militia flag of 1799. In 1907, the current flag, bearing the coast of arms, was finally adopted. The image shows a plow, wheat stalks, and a ship, surrounded by corn stalks and olive branches, with two horses on the sides and a bald eagle on top. The words “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence” show at the bottom. The various symbols represent the industry of Pennsylvanians, the prosperity and abundance of the state, and the loyalty of the state’s citizens to the Union.

The three words on the flag of course have the most overt message. Let’s discuss the word “virtue.” When you examine letters, documents, speeches, and sermons from the founding era, you find mention of the word “virtue” everywhere. Pennsylvania’s own Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

I understand it to be the Will of God, that we should live virtuous, upright, and good-doing Lives. . . .

. . . Faith is recommended as a Means of producing Morality: Our Saviour was a Teacher of Morality or Virtue. . . .

. . . Peace, Unity and Virtue in any Church are more to be regarded than Orthodoxy . . . Morality or Virtue is the End, Faith only a Means to obtain that End No point of Faith is so plain, as that Morality is our Duty; for all Sides agree in that. A virtuous Heretick shall be saved before a wicked Christian” (Benjamin Franklin, “Dialogue Between Two Presbyterians,” April 10, 1735).

Even those not considered particularly religious were expected, by society, to be virtuous. Being virtuous was held in high regard by the ancient Romans and early Americans believed it was paramount for their fledgling Republic. Virtue was considered a part of citizenship. President George Washington explained:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. . . .

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

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Virtue was seen as the embodiment of manliness, loyalty, morality, character, sturdiness in principle, the Christian faith, and so on. Without virtue, there could be no civil society and no Liberty. It was the “spring” from whence came our government. John Adams said it this way:

Statesmen my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. . . . The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.—They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies” (John Adams to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776).

Virtue, then, was considered the keystone of Americanism and a prerequisite of true patriotism. It was essential to the other two words on Pennsylvania’s flag – Liberty and Independence. Pennsylvania is not the only state, however, with such slogans proudly emblazoned on its flag.

Iowa’s flag proclaims: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” The words are written on a banner being carried in the beak of a flying eagle. Simple, yet powerful. The design is compelling and the expression is true. It’s sad to watch the ongoing Democratic Party caucus catastrophe making a mockery of that state and of its election process. It is equally sad to see that radicals like the homosexual socialist Pete Buttigieg, the Jewish-Marxist Bernie Sanders, and the fake Indian Elizabeth Warren leading the Democratic wolf pack in the state. Yet, if the people of Iowa ever need inspiration to guide their choices in the future, they need only look at their flag and take its words to heart. Valuing our God-given rights and maintaining them through selfless sacrifice has always been the duty of an American freeman.

Georgia’s great flag has several important messages. Set in a pattern unmistakably similar to Old Glory, the flag bears the words “Constitution,” “Wisdom,” “Justice,” “Moderation,” and “In God We Trust.” The words are part of our surrounding an arch on top of pillars. A soldier in a Revolutionary War uniform stands holding a sword, ready to defend the Constitution.

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Though not always the design of the state flag, the current image tells us a lot. The flag points our minds to those things which are most important: God, the Constitution, and values like justice and wisdom. Abraham Baldwin, one of Georgia’s signers of the U.S. Constitution, had a major hand in creating the University of Georgia. In the university’s 1785 charter, we find these wise recommendations:

As it is the distinguishing happiness of free governments that civil Order should be the Result of choice and not necessity, and the common wishes of the People become the Laws of the Land, their public prosperity and even existence very much depends upon suitably forming the minds and morals of their Citizens. When the Minds of people in general are viciously disposed and unprincipled and their Conduct disorderly, a free government will be attended with greater Confusions and with Evils more horrid than the wild, uncultivated State of Nature. It can only be happy where the public principles and Opinions are properly directed and their Manners regulated. This is an influence beyond the Stretch of Laws and punishments and can be claimed only by Religion and Education. It should therefore be among the first objects of those who wish well to the national prosperity to encourage and support the principles of Religion and morality, and early to place the youth under the forming hand of Society that by instruction they may be moulded to the love of Virtue and good Order.”

You will notice the similarity in sentiment in these ideas and those of John Adams and George Washington. Everyone in our founding era knew that Freedom – even that protected by a written constitution as marvelous of our own – cannot remain and will profit little if the People are not virtuous. If our manners are not regulated by bringing them into harmony with the principles of religion and morality, and if we are not “moulded to the love of Virtue and good Order,” our Liberty will turn to licentiousness and our Republic will crumble. Georgia’s flag reminds us that we must trust in God and embrace just principles in order to maintain our Constitution.

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Rhode Island, one of the original thirteen states, has a simple flag with another great message: Hope. The flag depicts a golden anchor above the word “Hope” surrounded by thirteen golden stars. Several sources attribute the impetus for using the word to the Apostle Paul who said that hope is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). Specifically, our hope was to rest in Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life to the faithful. Rhode Island’s flag, therefore, is another reminder that our forefathers looked to Christ and relied upon the “protection of divine Providence” in their endeavors.

Finally, I discuss what is likely my favorite state flag – the flag of Virginia. Certainly this flag is the most evocative of them all. The flag has gone through some superficial alterations, but has remained substantively the same. Virginia’s seal, which shows on her flag, was designed by a committee of four patriots in 1776: George Wythe, George Mason, Richard Henry Lee, and Robert Carter Nicholas Sr. George Wythe, the personal tutor of Thomas Jefferson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a temporary delegate to the Constitutional Convention, was the primary creator of the seal.

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The seal depicts the Roman goddess Virtus, or Virtue, standing triumphantly over the slain body of a despotic king. Virtus holds both a spear and a sword whereas the fallen king’s whip and chain, symbols of his oppressive rule, lay impotently on the ground along with his crown. The Latin phrase Sic Semper Tyrannis, “thus always to tyrants,” or, more popularly, “death to tyrants,” features prominently on the image.

Virginia’s flag sums up the core American values of resistance to tyrants and obedience to God. Americans once believed that when the laws of despotic rulers contradict those of Almighty God, they had a sacred duty to resist and depose the despots and honor God instead. They certainly did not believe the mistaken doctrine that individuals owe blind obedience to their government no matter what. Instead, they knew that freemen only owe obedience to just laws – laws that safeguard their rights. Benjamin Franklin’s proposed motto for the nation summed up our forefathers’ attitude: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

John Adams reiterated the right of the American People – or any people – to kill a tyrant. He wrote:

The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than that to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for a worse, unless the people have sense, spirit, and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against tyranny; against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many. Let it be the study, therefore, of lawgivers and philosophers, to enlighten the people’s understandings and improve their morals, by good and general education; to enable them to comprehend the scheme of government, and to know upon what points their liberties depend; to dissipate those vulgar prejudices and popular superstitions that oppose themselves to good government; and to teach them that obedience to the laws is as indispensable in them as in lords and kings” (John Adams, “Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America,” 1787).

It is further significant that Virginia’s bold flag was adopted in 1861 when Virginia succeeded from the Union after Abraham Lincoln arbitrarily and unconstitutionally raised an army to attack South Carolina. Virginians in 1861 knew that Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant who treated the Constitution like toilet paper. It was with Lincoln’s despotism in mind that they adopted the state seal with the iconic words Sic Semper Tyrannis as the official flag of the Old Dominion. It was this very phrase, death to tyrants, that John Wilkes Booth yelled when he shot President Lincoln in Ford’s Theater four years later.

Sic Semper Tyrannis is a phrase that all Americans should keep on the tip of their tongues. The great Thomas Jefferson proclaimed:

God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion . . . What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its 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 and 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 and tyrants” (Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787).

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Not only do Virginia’s tyrannical Democrat leaders who are assaulting the 2nd Amendment need to be warned and rebuked, but all American representatives who are threatening the God-given, Constitution-protected rights of Americans need to be warned and threatened. They need to know that “death to tyrants” isn’t an archaic notion, but an eternal American verity.

Many of America’s state flags are interesting and many are striking. However, it is the message they convey that matters. And, taken as a whole, they remind us of those things that made America great in the first place: Reliance upon God; hope centered in Jesus Christ; love of Liberty; ordered Freedom protected by the Constitution; and our People’s virtue. These are the things that really matter. They are the heart of what it means to be an American.

In this time of deep division and cultural crisis, we need to look to the past. The slogans of our noble past, those wise mottoes which fly overhead every day, point the way to the future. If we truly want to make America great again, we must recover and act upon the core values that made us great in the first place.

We have some very hard questions to ask ourselves as Americans. For starters, we can decide the following: Are we freemen who believe in Liberty and Independence or servile serfs who kow-tow to our own government representatives? Are we Americans whose hope centers in Christ or are we like godless socialists who put their trust in the state? Are we real Christians like our forefathers or will we reject our authentic heritage in favor anti-Christ systems of belief?

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Fellow American, look to our state and national mottoes for guidance. Make “In God We Trust” a part of your everyday life. Uphold the principles of Liberty. And stand firm in defense of your rights with “Sic Semper Tyrannis” on your lips. God help us to restore our Republic!

Zack Strong,

February 6, 2020

I Hope Bernie Sanders Wins

In the year [2020], the United States and the rest of the world face two very different political paths.” – Bernie Sanders

Yes, you read the title correctly: I hope Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic Party nomination. In 2016, I wrote an article for the Independent American Party wherein I stated that the biggest story of the year was not President Trump’s meteoric rise, but the fact that Bernie Sanders – an open and avowed socialist – was so close to securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Because of Bernie Sanders’ blatant admission that he is a socialist, I want him to win the Democratic Party nomination in 2020 so that the enemy no longer has a mask to hide behind.

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For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have pretended to be something they’re not. They’ve lied to the American People about who they are and what they stand for. They’ve deliberately obscured and downplayed their party platforms in their effort to convince average folks that they’re real patriots who love America.

If these two wings of the same bird of prey were honest, however, they’d sing a much different tune. If Democrats told the truth, they would tell the American People that they are full-fledged socialists who want to massively expand the federal government, shred the Constitution, and curtail individual rights. Republicans would also be forced to admit that their principles have drifted so far into the Red that they are also socialists, though on the whole not as extreme as the Democrats. At least many Republicans don’t yet think infanticide is a human right (though, sadly, they do little to protect the unborn).

The superficial division between socialist Democrats and socialist Republicans is similar to that between European socialists at the start of the Twentieth Century. In 1903, the Social-Democratic Workers’ Party divided into two factions, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Despite being in the minority, Vladimir Lenin’s faction called themselves “Bolsheviks,” which comes from the Russian word bolshinstvo, or “majority.” The term “Menshevik” comes from the word “menshinstvo,” or minority. The latter group included notable figures such as the Jewish Marxist Leon Trotsky who later joined Lenin and became the number two man in the Soviet Union.

The difference between the Bolshevik and Menshevik point of view was slim and primarily concerned tactics rather than principles. The Mensheviks wanted to work through the political process to gain governmental power whereas the Bolsheviks contended that violent revolution was necessary to secure control of the state. In both cases, however, the ultimate objectives of their collective ideology were the same: Establish a Marxist monopoly on power across the globe; abolish private property; abolish the family; collectivize humanity; and rid the world of the “opium of the masses” (i.e. Christianity). And considering the fact that the Russian Revolution of 1905 was led by the Mensheviks, the reality is that there was no substantive difference between them and the Bolsheviks.

Today, Republicans and Democrats are in a similar situation. They outwardly quarrel about tactics (though occasionally on principles), but lock arms in their march toward centralization of federal power, expansion of the police state, continuation of bogus foreign wars, acceptance of cultural perversions, kow-towing to Israel, playing easy with communism, eviscerating our privacy, silencing our Freedom of speech and association, restricting the 2nd Amendment, and destroying the protections of our God-given rights codified in the Constitution.

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Let’s make this even clearer: Democrats take us to war. Republicans take us to war. Democrats raise the specter of “Islamic terrorism.” Republicans raise the specter of “Islamic terrorism.” Democrats voted to pass the Patriot Act. Republicans voted to pass the Patriot Act. Democrats raise the debt ceiling and spend, spend, spend. Republicans raise the debt ceiling and spend, spend, spend. Democrats give bailouts to corporations and businesses that are “too-big-to-fail.” Republicans give bailouts to corporations and businesses that are “too-big-to-fail.” Democrats support red flag gun confiscation laws. Republicans – yes, even President Trump – support red flag gun confiscation laws. Though there has been a slight hitch to this lock-step, Republican-Democrat thrust against America’s Faith, Families, and Freedom with the rise of Donald Trump and the millions of relatively conservative folks he has emboldened, things are still substantively the same as they have been for decades.

With this context in mind, let’s bring this back to Bernie Sanders and the Democrats. Bernie Sanders is formally an “independent” running in the Democratic primary. Since Bernie is an “independent” and currently leading in the polls, it’s fair to ask: What does he really stand for?

Bolshevik Bernie, as I’ve called him for years, is nothing more than a dyed-in-the-wool socialist. He’s Red from head to foot. He’s on record visiting and vocally supporting the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Bolshevik Bernie and his wife even honeymooned in Soviet Russia in 1988. Soviet Sanders was enamored with the pristine image – the Potemkin villages – of communist paradise he was shown in Moscow and surrounding cities. He apparently loved one Soviet paradise so much that he visited another Soviet outpost in 1989 – Fidel Castro’s Cuba – which he also praised.

Bolshevik Bernie hasn’t hidden from the fact that he’s a sincere socialist. Specifically, he subscribes to “democratic socialism.” Socialists always try to confuse the rest of us by using bogus labels and distinctions like “Democratic Socialism,” “Social Democracy,” “Fabian Socialism,” “Progressivism,” “liberalism,” “Marxism,” “Maoism,” “communism,” “Bolshevism,” and so forth, when in reality they all believe in the same basic principles outlined in The Communist Manifesto.

The leftist news outlet Vox described Bolshevik Bernie’s philosophy in these rosy terms:

““Democratic socialism” in Sanders’s definition is a species of social democratic populism that pits the American people against a corrupt elite class that must be defeated outright. This emphasis on class antagonism, on the perfidies of the elite and their threat to American democracy, is what defines Sanders’s vision.”

Let’s cut through the jargon and reinterpret this paragraph in normal language. Vox is saying that Democratic Socialism is a form of working-class “populism” with an “emphasis on class antagonism” aimed at the “elite” ruling class. In other words, Sanders believes in class warfare, as every other communist in existence does. He couches his call for class warfare in classic communist terms – the working class (i.e. proletariat) vs. the “corrupt elite” (i.e. bourgeoisie). And what is his goal, according to Vox? He wants to save “democracy.”

Perhaps it would interest folks to know that The Communist Manifesto states that “the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.” Communists everywhere always work for “democracy.” For instance, Article 1 of Red China’s constitution states: “The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.” How is this different from Vox’s synopsis of Sanders’ “vision” for America?

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Communists love to hoodwink people into thinking that they use the word “democracy” the same as most average people do; that is, to denote a government by the people and for the people. Instead, what Bernie and his fellow Reds mean when they say “democracy” is the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Of course, what this means in reality is rule by a bureaucratic oligarchy claiming to speak for the people. In other words, domination by the state. Communism is the ultimate form of collectivized statism.

That Bolshevik Bernie is a communist is painfully obvious from proposals and statements he has made such as: “I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries.” Placing the “means of production” under control of the state is Marxism 101. What exactly does this socialist want to nationalize? I quote from a 2019 Washington Examiner article:

In the ideal America outlined by 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders, the majority of the economy would be centralized and socialized.

Atop our existing government spending, comprising some 40% of GDP, the Vermont Senator wouldn’t just nationalize one-fifth of the economy with a “Medicare For all” bill eliminating private health insurance. Under his Green New Deal plan, he would also nationalize most of the energy sector.

At a mere $16.3 trillion, the Sanders plan would go beyond simply spending measures to increase climate-focused research and development. It would literally centralize the means of domestic energy production. . . .

. . . Between “Medicare For all” and the Green New Deal, Sanders is seriously calling for the outright nationalization of 30% to 40% of the American economy.”

True to socialist form, Bernie claims that collectivizing society and placing the economy under the dictatorial control of the federal government will actually help create jobs and grow the economy. All history refutes this idea, but that’s what socialists claim. Whether Bernie believes his own propaganda is irrelevant. What is relevant is what placing the economy under state control really means. It means that government would gain a monopoly. It means that you would be accountable to government rather than government being accountable to you. It means that a group of unelected bureaucrats would micromanage your life. Central planning and Freedom are not compatible.

Central planning is what the Green New Deal is all about. In my books A Century of Red and Red Gadiantons, I made the case that the “green” movement is really Red. Yes, radical environmentalism is a Soviet creation. It makes sense, then, that Bolshevik Bernie and Comrade Cortez (AOC), his protege, have openly peddled this plan. Let’s discuss the Green New Deal momentarily because it really shows where Bernie stands on principle.

The Green New Deal uses as its justification for existence the hysteria over “climate change.” Despite there being zero evidence that man causes global warming or substantively effects the world’s climate, those who want to collectivize all power in the hands of an international superstate have a vested interest in scaring you to death so you will renounce your reason and give up your sovereignty. But what you should be really scared of is their top-down socialist schemes to usurp your Liberty.

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Among other absurd proposals, the Green New Deal has suggested that every building in America would have to be reconstructed to comply with environmentalist dictates. This impossible goal is part of the reason it is estimated that the Green New Deal would cost $93 Trillion. Yes, Trillion. I quote from from The Daily Signal about this socialist scheme’s projected impact on the economy:

Just how much change would the Green New Deal bring to the economy? Put simply, it would bring it to its knees.

We know, because when we tried to use the Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Model to assess how the plan would affect the economy, the model crashed. . . .

One thing is clear: to meet these goals, Washington would have to force all Americans to reduce their energy consumption and/or switch to “green” energy sources—and fast. And the only way to do that is to impose coercive taxes and regulations. . . .

Before the model’s lights went out, we found that a $300 per ton carbon tax and associated regulations would cost a family of four nearly $8,000 per year in income lost to higher energy costs, consumer prices, and foregone wages. The 20-year cost totals $165,000.

During that same 20-year period, the tax would siphon off an average of 1.1 million jobs per year and diminish gross domestic product by a total of more than $15 trillion.

That’s a hefty price to pay for getting barely halfway to the net-zero emissions goal. Is it worth it?”

I think anyone who hasn’t allowed their emotion to overrule their reason must conclude that allegedly “protecting the environment” is not worth putting ourselves and our posterity in economic bondage. Are you prepared to pay the thousands upon thousands of dollars in taxes that the plan would require? How would that stimulate the economy? It wouldn’t. But Bernie lives in such a fantasy world that he believes “a lot of people in the country would be delighted to pay more in taxes.” As the authors note, millions of jobs would be sacrificed on the altar of radical environmentalism. Another “delight,” surely.

Even the co-founder of Greenpeace has denounced the Green New Deal as a catastrophe in the making. I quote from The New American:

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The “Green New Deal” proposed by congressional Democrats is a “recipe for mass suicide” and the “most ridiculous scenario I ever heard,” Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore . . . In fact, Dr. Moore warned that if the “completely preposterous” prescriptions in the scheme were actually implemented, Americans could be forced to turn to cannibalism to avoid starvation — and they still would not survive. Other experts such as Craig Rucker, the executive director of the environmental group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), also sounded the alarm about the “green” proposal in Congress, comparing it to Soviet five-year plans and calling it a “prescription for disaster.””

Despite the absurdity of the Green New Deal and the fact that it would not only tank our economy, place Americans under an unheard of tax burden, and Sovietize our government, Bernie Sanders, at the present moment, has this on his website:

As president, Bernie Sanders will boldly embrace the moral imperative of addressing the climate crisis and act immediately to mobilize millions of people across the country in support of the Green New Deal. From the Oval Office to the streets, Bernie will generate the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society, with support for frontline and vulnerable communities and massive investments in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system.

We need a president who has the courage, the vision, and the record to face down the greed of fossil fuel executives and the billionaire class who stand in the way of climate action. We need a president who welcomes their hatred. Bernie will lead our country to enact the Green New Deal and bring the world together to defeat the existential threat of climate change.

As president, Bernie Sanders will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a ten-year, nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity during which climate change will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond.”

These openly communistic cries for the “transformation” of America and the “mobilization” of society against those “greedy” rich people are a minuscule part of a much longer diatribe of ignorance and anti-Americanism that ought to shock everyone. The mere fact that Sanders supports this abomination is reason enough why he ought never hold a position of public trust in America.

Using the same Marxist reasoning as above, Bolshevik Bernie has said the following:

We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights. That is what I mean by democratic socialism.”

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Isn’t it interesting that he sees his Democratic Socialism in economic terms? Marxists have always defined life in economic terms. The economic interpretation of history, society, and life is classic Marxism. The International Socialist Review once stated:

Karl Marx was the originator of the idea of the economic interpretation of history . . . Marx pointed out the fundamental character of economic changes in every phase of social life. His proposition was “that in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch.””

By embracing the economic view of life and parroting Marxist slogans, Sanders puts himself squarely in the communist camp. America was not founded on economic theory, however. Yes, the free enterprise system – summed up by the great W. Cleon Skousen as the Freedom to try, the Freedom to buy, the Freedom to sell, the Freedom to fail – was a part of America’s rave success. However, it was not the foundation. The foundation was our forefathers’ Faith, Families, and Freedom. They demonstrated a “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” embraced Christian values, trusted in the rule of law as opposed to the rule of autocrats or the state, valued the individual, divided power and rejected centralization, and protected the individual from government intervention in the details of his life.

Bolshevik Bernie’s bid for the presidency openly has the support of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). To them, he is the only candidate who can properly push forward their agenda. In a January 27 piece, the CPUSA ironically lambasted the Democrat-led impeachment charade as an example of the inefficiency of our constitutional form of government. They whined that political power under the Constitution doesn’t come from the American People, but from our institutions – which is not true. Political power does emanate from the People, but it is expressed and safeguarded by our institutions rather than left to the whims of the mob or the arbitrary dictates of a limitless government. The CPUSA stated that they alone have stood for the “American working class” and that they should ride Bernie Sanders’ coattails into power:

The Communist Party USA has a proud tradition of the Popular Front, which united broad sections of the American people from all nations and all political parties. This unity, far from originating in a fretful defense of the establishment, was on the contrary motivated by the overwhelming popular roar of outrage: “Enough is Enough!” The American working class has nothing to gain from an impeachment that in no way advances their interests and indeed is aimed only at shoring up the rapidly decaying political establishment while more and more profits flow up to the oligarchs in Washington and line the pockets of their professional lickspittles. Their professional activists only grease the wheels of official ideology, wheels which the working-class movement consistently reveals to have long since gone off the rails.

Of all the forces facing down Trump, only one can truly be characterized as “popular.” The presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders is not just that of a progressive personality but the backbone of a broad and transformative popular movement led by the working class. Even more important than the advocacy of democratic and progressive policies, which, as we saw in 2008 and 2012, can indeed be praised and championed even by the most rank opportunists, is the extent to which he has thrown in his lot with the American people. Drawing from the American progressive tradition of abolitionism, populism, and socialism, anti-establishment working-class movements, from the Justice Democrats to resurgent union activism to American Descendants of Slavery, allied with Sanders and facing mutual hostilities from the establishment of both parties, are rising from the earth to challenge the dying American liberal institutions. No one understands this better than Sanders himself, whose very campaign slogan is “Not Me, Us!” and who constantly states in public that real changes in history were never won by one individual but rather through concerted popular struggle against the entrenched establishment. No wonder the political elites see “Russian” or “Chinese” influences everywhere, preferring to imagine themselves besieged by foreign powers rather than face down the American working masses who are now rearing their heads for the first time in half a century.

It is and has always been the stated mission of the Communist Party USA, however, to align itself directly and unreservedly with the American working masses, and to aid in the concentration and discipline of the nation’s progressive forces. To this end, the Party should not just campaign for Sanders but must fully immerse itself within the progressive and anti-establishment movement for which Sanders is the spokesman.”

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Did you catch that? To the communists, their comrade Bernie Sanders is the “backbone” of the socialist Trojan Horse in America. Did you also notice that they called socialism an “American progressive tradition”? If socialism was the American tradition, then the Soviet Union, which Bernie Sanders loves, would not have called the United States their “main enemy.” It is only because we have engrafted socialist policies – the ten planks of The Communist Manifesto to be specific – that America has declined in greatness. And Bernie is the aging poster child for this hostile, alien movement.

The CPUSA voiced their support for Bolshevik Bernie in yet another article:

Defeating Trump and the ultra-right in 2020 means moving the electorate to the left. The most effective force doing that is the Sanders campaign, which we should become fully immersed in. Sanders has the most consistent and clear progressive, anti-monopoly program on a multitude of issues, including health care, taxation, workers’ rights, the environment, and foreign policy. That means he is a magnet for progressives working in all fields. He has made great improvements in his approach to the question of racism and has a growing base among young, progressive African Americans. Unlike any other candidate, he also raises the systemic question, defiantly rejecting appeals that he drop use of the word “socialism,” and calls additionally for a “political revolution,” meaning a grass-roots movement needed to enact and enforce his progressive agenda. Sanders is a social democrat and sees his agenda as confined within the capitalist system, but he is encouraging movement that would likely go further.”

Again, please note that the communists see Bernie Sanders’ socialist movement as “the most effective force” working for the transformation of the America into Soviet America – their decades’ old dream. Through lying Marxist slogans about “equality” and “rights,” Sanders has seduced blacks and other minorities into his fold. He is gaining “grass-roots” support by promising “free” stuff to everyone. Of course, anything you get for “free” has to be taken from someone else first. Yet, Sanders has a typically Bolshevik plan to appeal to emotion and get unthinking people to back him– blame the rich for everything and redistribute their wealth to his supporters. Truly, Sanders’ socialist “political revolution” is part and parcel of the broader agenda to plunge America into Marxist thralldom.

Finally, the CPUSA has opined that Sanders and his followers are helping move the country “left,” which will ultimately help them raise the Red flag over America. Writing back in 2017, they praised Bernie for helping spearhead the radicalization of America at a time when, because of Donald Trump and his “fascist” followers, it has never been more needed:

The anti-right fightback has brought into political life broad sections of the U.S. public. Trade union, civil rights, environmental, LGBTQ organizations have gained new strength, members and finances. This is no less true for the left and the Communist Party. In less that 3 months the party has gained more members than in 3 quarters of a typical year.

Indeed a deep and thoroughgoing radicalization process is taking place. . . .

It is a worldwide process driven at lightening speed by the internet, social networks and social media giving rise to revolutions, counter revolts, and unprecedented social change. . . .

It is process that’s given renewed meaning and life by the independent movement to elect our country’s first African American president, Occupy Wall street, the Dreamers, Black Lives Matter, marriage equality, and the political revolution energized by the Sanders bid for the presidency.”

Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2020 is a fundamental part of the Communist Party’s strategy for the conquest of America. It is the communists who stand as the power behind the hostile movements breaking apart the foundation of our Republic. Look behind the feminist, LGBT, environmentalist, Fabian Socialist, and black revolutionary movements and you find die-hard communists.

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Bolshevik Bernie’s political campaign is full of rabid communists. Earlier this month, Project Veritas released a secret video showing one of Bernie Sanders’ campaign managers, Kyle Jurek, praising the Soviet Union’s murderous GULAG, calling Donald Trump’s supporters “Nazis” who need to be reeducated, and threatening to initiate riots and burn cities if Bolshevik Bernie isn’t elected. I draw just two statements from Jurek. After saying that “gulags were a lot better than what the CIA has told us that they were” he also said, “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, f**king Milwaukee will burn.”

Jurek is not the only violent communist revolutionary in Bernie’s corner, but his comments capture Sanders’ campaign perfectly. Though they might try to disguise it, Sanders and his allies are communists leading their blind followers to the slaughter. If earning the Communist Party USA’s endorsement doesn’t prove this, perhaps nothing will.

I feel to add one more point of interest to my article. Let’s never forget that Bernie is Jewish. I’ve labored hard for the past few years to get people to understand the verifiable historical reality that the overwhelming majority of early communist leaders were Jewish. Jews made up about 85% of the first Soviet government. By the 1930s, over one-third of Jews in the Evil Empire were working for the Soviet state apparatus. The infamous intelligence services, of which the KGB is the most well-known, were created and managed by Jews. The Soviet GULAG was almost exclusively run by Jews.

Lenin, according to the latest research, was part Jewish, married a Jewess, and spoke Yiddish at home. Trotsky was Jewish. Stalin married a Jewess and his top henchmen who planned and carried out the Holodomor and Red Terror were Jews. Karl Marx was a Jew. And many of the international financiers who bankrolled the Soviet rise, such as the Warburgs, were Jews. Entire books have been written documenting the Jewishness of communism, but these few facts and the following quote by Winston Churchill will suffice for our purposes.

In 1920, Winston Churchill wrote the following in a public editorial titled “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People”:

The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek — all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.”

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The fact the Bernie Sanders, a Jewish-Marxist, is helping spearhead this hostile, anti-American, anti-Constitution movement in the United States, proves once more that we are dealing with the same enemy we’ve faced for a full century: Communism. If we are not acquainted with the communist conspiracy, and if we are not able to identify those behind it and who have been most instrumental in foisting it on us, we will never save our Republic. We cannot remedy a virus unless it is properly diagnosed. Satanic communism, with all of its occult, Freemasonic, and Zionist allies, is the Red Plague destroying the nations. Ronald Reagan said that communism is “the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind.” He was right. And Bernie Sanders, the Jewish Bolshevik, is the face of this vicious movement in our day.

Despite the nightmarish vision of Bernie Sanders’ name on the ballot in November, I would welcome it for one major reason. If Bernie secures the Democratic Party nomination, it would prove to everyone once and for all that the Democratic Party is a communist front. True, the Communist Party endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, but she shied away from the name “socialist.” Bernie, however, embraces it. And if the Democrats embrace Bernie, they therefore embrace socialism.

A Bernie-Democrat campaign would rip the mask off of the Democratic Party in the eyes of the whole world. They would not be able to hide from the socialist label. How could they if their chosen candidate is an avowed socialist? Simply, a Bernie nomination would force everyone to choose a side. Will they side with socialism or real Americanism. Socialism is not the American tradition and no true American can ever be a socialist, for socialism is antithetical to every value that made America great.

If, through some hell-inspired catastrophe, Bernie Sanders actually won the Democratic nomination and then swindled his way into the White House, it would also prove beneficial to the nation in this sense: It would focus everyone’s mind once and for all on the real enemy – socialism. People would get a full dose of the tiny spoonful of what they were fed by Obama. They would see, in living color, what socialism does to a nation. They would feel it in their pocket books, in the press, at school, at the grocery store, in social interactions. The nation would finally see what those of us who study the subject see – the Red tentacles wrapping around Lady Liberty. They would then be given the ultimate opportunity to show their true colors and to decide what type of nation they really want – a free Republic or a socialist paradise.

To close, I repeat: I hope Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination. No, I don’t wish him well in November, but I do hope he gives the nation a chance to see that they are besieged by rabid socialists who hate them, who think they’re “Nazis” who need to be reeducated in a GULAG, and who threaten them with violence if they don’t get their way (and slavery if they get it). Know your enemy. Learn his tactics. Understand how he lies, promises the world, and manipulates emotion to gain followers. And if you learn nothing else, learn that communism must die for America to survive!

Zack Strong,

January 31, 2020

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Principles of the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is America’s first formal law. It is a binding legal document. It is an official pronouncement by the first leaders of our Republic. Not only did the Declaration announce America’s Independence to the world and list our forefathers’ grievances against the British monarchists, but it set forth the basic principles that our confederated Republic is founded upon. It is incumbent upon Americans who value their Freedom, as well as their history, to study this remarkable document. Consider this article a lesson in some of the essential principles of the Declaration.

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We will discuss two principles of paramount significance: 1) The truth that our rights come from God; and 2) the reality that political power springs from the People and exists for the purpose of securing their God-given rights.

Perhaps the most prominent principle of the Declaration of Independence is its affirmation that an individual’s rights come from God and cannot justly be taken from him or curtailed. In its first paragraph, the Declaration refers to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” It elaborates in these terms:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Nature’s God, the Creator of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the source of our “unalienable Rights.” They do not come from man. They do not come from a collective consensus. And they do not come from government. They are not invented by legislative bodies, granted at the pleasure of a president or king, or voted upon. Our rights come from God alone. Alexander Hamilton put it this way:

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power” (Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February, 1775).

In 1772, Samuel Adams, often referred to as the Father of the Revolution, wrote a document titled “The Rights of the Colonists in which he expounded the very principles we are discussing today:

Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. . . .

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. . . .

In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”

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Each individual, upon birth, inherits his or her Liberty. Freedom is our birthright! It is the gift of Almighty God. It is an innate endowment and an essential factor in our life’s mission here on earth. This Freedom cannot be justly taken away or limited unless one has forfeited it through their infringement of the equal rights of others. The masterful Thomas Jefferson explained:

[R]ightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual” (Thomas Jefferson to Isaac Tiffany, April 4, 1819).

Only our own misuse of our Liberty can allow it to be taken from us by just laws rightly administered. Unless we violate the “equal rights of others,” the law has no hold on us. Any law that violates our individual rights is, by definition, tyrannical.

Our rights – life, Liberty, the ownership and control of private property, self-defense, privacy, due process, habeas corpus, free speech, discrimination/association, and so forth – come from God Almighty. They are, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, “sacred and undeniable.” Please always remember that your rights are God-given, that they are sacred, and that no just government can deny you your exercise of them.

The second great principle we can glean from the Declaration is that all political power rests in individuals. This power is granted by the People (that is, individuals working together voluntarily) for the specific purpose of protecting their rights. The People has no right nor authority unless an individual has the same right and authority. Working in concert does not suddenly increase authority or negate justice. For instance, if an individual cannot take money from his neighbor and give it to another person, then neither can the group take money (e.g. taxes) from members of the population and give it to others (e.g. welfare, federal education aid, foreign aid). The American People has just as much political power as the weakest individual in society has and no more.

After explaining that our precious rights come from God, the Declaration explains that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” What’s more, the Declaration makes it clear that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [i.e. defending individual rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

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The purpose of government is to secure our life, Liberty, and property. Frederic Bastiat, writing in his classic text The Law, explained man’s essential rights, the purpose of law and government, and how collective rights are derived only from individual rights:

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life. . . .

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups. . . .

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.”

When a government exceeds its authority and ceases to fulfill its enumerated purposes, it is not only the right of the People “to alter or to abolish it,” it is a duty. Again, the Declaration informs us:

[M]ankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

It is our duty, my fellow freeman, to throw off the shackles of tyranny when evil men slap them on our wrists. And make no mistake – a pattern of tyranny, such as we’ve seen in the United States for decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations, is a clear sign that there is a “design” to “reduce [us] under absolute Despotism.” That is to say, when we see a “long train of abuses,” we know for a surety that they are not mere mistakes or miscalculations, but that there is a conspiracy at work to enslave us.

Two years before he wrote the Declaration, the Sage of Monticello penned a lesser-known document entitled “A Summary View of the Rights of British America.” In it, he succinctly explained:

Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”

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We see so many examples of concerted attacks on our Liberty that only one totally uninformed or maliciously complicit can deny them. Republicans and Democrats alike are angling to destroy the Second Amendment’s guarantee of our right of self-defense, violate what little privacy and due process we have left, micromanage what we can and cannot say and publish, steal the remaining wealth they haven’t already stolen, and spill American blood in unconstitutional foreign wars in which we have little to no legitimate interest. When we see this “long train of abuses,” it is our sacred duty to overturn the corrupt laws, oust the oath-breakers, and “provide new Guards” who will honor their oaths to uphold the Constitution and secure our God-given rights.

Never tolerate the violation of your rights by harboring the misguided idea that we owe blind obedience to government at all times and in all things. We do not. We owe obedience only to God, the Constitution as properly interpreted, and just laws that are made in pursuance of the Constitution. Our obedience to these, George Washington said, is “sacredly obligatory upon alland is “the duty of every individual.” However, arbitrary and despotic government merits no allegiance. “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Rather, we have a right and a duty to alter or abolish such tyranny and to support a government that secures our rights.

I turn again to the first great principle of the Declaration of Independence; namely, that our rights come from God. It is only by obedience to His divine laws, and through faith on the name of Jesus Christ, that a People can escape the destruction of their Liberty. While we must step forward to safeguard our Freedom, rescue the Constitution, and resist tyranny and conspiratorial machinations, the ultimate remedy for our ailing society is repentance. We must repent, turn our hearts to Christ, and become a righteous and virtuous People once more.

The Holy Bible makes these timeless promises to peoples which serve the Lord:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord(Pslam 33:12).

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. . . .

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. . . .

And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city” (Isaiah 1:16, 18, 26).

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We must turn to God like our forefathers did. Those extraordinary patriots did not recklessly stumble into the War for Independence. They humbly bowed themselves before their Creator, petitioning Him for strength, and then went to work, having faith that their Lord would be with them and would preserve them in their just struggle. In his memorable speech, Patrick Henry proclaimed:

[W]e are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. . . .

. . . I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Surely, the Lord was with our ancestors in their bid for Independence. He presided over their conflict and gave them the victory. God is the true Founding Father of America. At the height of the fighting, General Washington was awed by God’s intervention on America’s behalf and stated:

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations” (George Washington to Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778).

The Declaration of Independence concludes with a similar statement of faith to Washington’s and Henry’s. Patriots everywhere know and cherish these iconic words:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

If we love our Liberty, then we will follow our patriot-fathers’ example. We will repent, turn to Christ, and walk uprightly. We will honor God’s laws and the principles of the Constitution. We will zealously guard our rights and ensure that our representatives honor their oaths of office and are punished when they do not. If we are freemen, we must act like freemen.

The time is at hand when neutrality is no longer an option. You must choose a side. Stand with your countrymen who are doing their utmost to defend our Faith, Families, and Freedom. Stand with constitutionalists trying to preserve the supreme law of the land and our distinct Americanist system. And fight the good fight at all times, in all ways, and in all places. I close with words from the Father of our Country. Let them echo in your ears and in your hearts from this day forward. God help us restore our Republic!

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die” (George Washington, address to the Continental Army before the Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776).

Zack Strong,

January 20, 2020

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Virginia Showdown

The eyes of the nation are fixed on Virginia. The newly-elected Democrats have been busy trying to ram tyrannical gun control down Virginians’ throats. Governor Ralph Northam is fully on board with their efforts and has disgraced the governorship of his great state in so doing. This article will explain the unfolding crisis and why it is significant even for those of us not living in Virginia.

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The current anti-gun bills that have just cleared the Virginia Senate are: Senate Bill (SB) 35, which will create additional gun-free zones and prohibit citizens from carrying firearms at public events requiring permits; SB 69, which prohibits the purchase of more than one firearm per 30 day period; and SB 70, which will severely restrict the sale and transfer of private firearms and require additional background checks and licenses. Other draconian bills, such as SB 240, which would institute a Leninist red flag gun confiscation order, have been tabled for the time being.

Virginia is going so far off the deep end that they are even pondering a bill that would charge individuals with a felony for “unlawful paramilitary activity.” If you do any of the following, it would be considered “unlawful”:

“1) Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or

“2) Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder.”

In other words, the despotic bill could effectively prohibit formal firearms training and private militias. No doubt our Founding Fathers, who fired the first shots of the War for Independence because the British were attempting to confiscate their firearms at Lexington and Concord, would recoil and oppose such a measure.

When this gaggle of anti-gun bills was first making its way down the pipe, Governor Northam made national news when a Democratic colleague suggested he call out the Virginia National Guard to enforce the unconstitutional laws. Let’s address this point for a moment. First, the governor of a state absolutely does have authority to call out the National Guard to enforce state laws. That’s not the issue. The issue is that the laws that would be enforced are unconstitutional and, thus, void and invalid.

The supremacy clause of the Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2, plainly states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

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This means that the Constitution trumps state law. It trumps Supreme Court rulings. It even trumps Congressional laws and executive orders if those are not in harmony with constitutional principles. Let’s look at how this applies in our present situation.

The relevant part of the Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” If a law – state, local, federal, it makes no difference – infringes upon the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, that law is, by the default pronouncement of the Constitution, null and void! That is, it is an unconstitutional and, therefore, unenforceable, law. All officers of government throughout the country are “bound” by the Constitution and must obey it.

Oaths are important. It is not a trivial matter to swear to one’s Maker and before the American People. Anyone swearing an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which military personnel, congressmen, the president, National Guardsmen, and others do, would be in direct violation of that oath were they to enforce unconstitutional, gun-grabbing, Liberty-destroying, property-stealing laws like SB 35, SB 70, SB 69, and SB 240. There is simply no debate on the subject – a freeman has the duty to disobey tyrannical, unconstitutional laws. This the Constitution requires.

Benjamin Franklin’s motto, which he proposed for the motto of the United States, was: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” This was a general maxim at the time of America’s founding. Everyone believed that they not only had a right, but a duty, to resist and oppose tyrants. And what is a tyrant? Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines tyranny as:

“Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.”

Since the Second Amendment to the Constitution plainly guarantees that the individual’s right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed,” and the Constitution binds everyone in a position of public trust to support only laws in harmony with its principles and directives, it follows that anyone promoting unconstitutional laws is, by very definition, a tyrant. Governor Northam and the mob of Democrats in the Virginia Legislature are tyrants. Perhaps they would do well to recall that the flag of the great state of Virginia proudly displays the words: Sic Semper Tyrannis; or, in popular expression, Death to Tyrants.

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The public reaction to the Democrats’ hostile legislation and the governor’s threats has been heated. Many Virginians are livid. Over 100 cities and counties in the state have passed resolutions declaring themselves sanctuary counties for guns. Sheriffs have gone on record stating flatly that they will disobey any anti-gun law or gun confiscation order. Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpeper County, for instance, has taken a firm stand and stated bluntly:

“My office will always encourage and support our citizens in firearms training, concealed carry permits, and the ability to defend themselves and their families. I remain very optimistic that our General Assembly will not pass the proposed bills. Obviously, if passed, there are many of us willing to challenge these laws through the courts. In addition, if necessary, I plan to properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms.”

Stories have circulated that Tazewell County is forming their own militia to resist gun control. This isn’t precisely accurate, though it is in the ballpark. Tazewell County Administrator Eric Young explained:

“We are not forming a militia. Our intent is to provide all of our residents the opportunity to own weapons, learn basic survival skills, and learn basic military discipline, if they are interested in doing so. In the unlikely event we were to need a militia, we would have a population which would include people with weapons and those skills.”

Everywhere you look in Virginia, anger is rising. As these tyrannical bills lurch closer to becoming law (albeit unconstitutional law), the free citizens of Virginia are gearing up for a fight. A pro-gun, pro-Freedom rally is scheduled to meet at the capital in Richmond on January 20. So paranoid is Governor Northam that he has declared a state of emergency and banned all guns from the premises. The tyrannical order was protested by the besieged Virginians, but an activist court allowed it nonetheless.

While thousands of patriots are projected to attend Monday’s rally to protest the assault on their rights, hordes of anti-Freedom activists are also vowing to attend. For instance, the Marxist rabble known as Antifa are planning to attend in order to stir up and provoke violence. A quick word about Antifa. Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization founded by Jewish Marxists nearly ninety years ago. I quote from the Cleveland Jewish News:

“In 1934, Milwaukee police arrested three leftists who infiltrated a pro-Nazi meeting and began scuffling with supporters of Hitler. The leftists were part of a group of several hundred anti-fascists who entered the meeting, broke it up and pelted the keynote speaker with rotten eggs. The melee ended only after 100 police arrived to restore order.

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“Today’s antifa (an abbreviation of “anti-fascist action”) sees itself as the ideological descendant of activists like these. Anti-fascist brawlers — many of them communists, socialists or anarchists — began organizing in the 1920s and ’30s.”

Antifa and those who cover for them label anyone opposed to communism as “Nazis,” “fascists,” and “white supremacists.” In truth, those who oppose the Antifa/Marxist agenda are Freedom-loving patriots. Antifa thugs were the ones who initiated the much publicized violence in Charlottseville, Virginia, among other places. They, not the alleged “white supremacists” and “Nazis,” were the ones responsible for the carnage there. And it will be they, not the Virginian patriots, who will be guilty of causing violence should there be any in Richmond.

It is interesting to note that yesterday I discovered YouTube has begun censoring my Liberty Wolf podcast just as Facebook has for censoring my work for years. YouTube recently deleted episode #17, which exposes Antifa for the domestic terrorists they are, for “hate speech.” Yes, “hate speech” is what they call truth. Truth is to communists as the cross is to vampires. And I find the timing curious. At the time that Antifa Marxist thugs are planning to shake things up in Virginia, my podcast calling them out for their violent terrorist activities is silenced. Coincidence?

There is a nation-wide effort to pin the blame for violence and civil disturbances on normal, everyday American patriots – especially those of us who are white. There are many forces, including the media, which are behind this effort. I mention only two: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The ADL is one of the most vile, tyrannical, and maniacally savage organizations in the country. It is in its own right a domestic terrorist organization. The ADL is linked with Israeli intelligence and is little more than a wing of the Israeli regime. It is also part and parcel of the Jewish Masonic sect B’nai B’rith. If one word characterizes its activities, it is, ironically, defamation. They defame patriots, constitutionalists, white folks, and anyone who opposes the Marxist-Zionist agenda. Here’s the ludicrous spin the ADL is spewing about the Virginia situation:

“White supremacists, meanwhile, are using the event to further their own violent agenda and to spread hatred of Jews and other minorities. In a post that was shared by numerous white supremacist and accelerationist channels, a user alleged that the Jews now control the state of Virginia, and that they are leading the push to “confiscate ‘assault weapons.’”

“Conspiracy theories and false information campaigns are further exacerbating tensions in Virginia. The most pervasive conspiracy theory on social media is the notion that Virginia’s Democrats intend to confiscate firearms, despite Gov. Northam’s and other Democratic lawmakers’ consistent reassurances they have no plan to do so. Another popular theory suggests the United Nations is somehow involved in Virginia’s gun debate, a conspiracy theory linked to far-right fears regarding a “globalist” takeover of the U.S.

“These conspiracy theories, however outlandish, can have real world implications. If people believe that Jews are behind efforts to confiscate firearms, then it is more likely that malicious actors will threaten or attack Jewish targets. Similarly, if people believe that the rally will be targeted by groups such as Antifa and that they might have to fight, then they are more likely to react violently to events on the ground.”

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In the ADL’s eyes, anyone who shows up to protest the Democrats’ oppressive anti-gun laws is a “white supremacist,” a “conspiracy theorist,” and, probably, an “anti-Semite.” This is the type of narrative they’ve been pushing for eons. They want everyone to think that constitutionalists and pro-gun patriots are out-of-touch, racist, anti-Semitic Nazis on the verge of violence. The reality is that we who oppose the ADL’s defamation and their radical anti-Constitution, anti-Liberty agenda are in touch with reality.

For instance, it is not a “conspiracy theory” to say that Jews support gun control. In 2017, Rabbi Eric Yoffie wrote an editorial in the Israeli publication Haaretz titled “U.S. Jews Support Gun Control, but the Political Debate Ignores It.” Speaking in the context of the Aurora, Colorado shooting, Rabbi Yoffie stated:

“And almost immediately, liberals, some Democrats, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and even a very few mainstream Republicans demanded to know why laws have not been passed to keep guns out of the hands of those who commit these outrageous crimes.

“And Jews were cheering them on.

“Americans in general may be divided about gun control, but Jewish Americans are not. They have always been among the most enthusiastic advocates of legislation that will regulate gun ownership in a reasonable way. At the Million Mom March a dozen years ago, the largest gun-control demonstration in American history, Jews attended in droves.

“This is because most Jews are still Democrats, and gun control is more of a Democrat issue than a Republican one; this is because Jews are an overwhelmingly urban people who lack a culture of hunting and gun ownership; and this is because the NRA is associated in the minds of many Jews with extremist positions that frighten Jews and from which they instinctively recoil.”

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Again, I ask, is it a “conspiracy theory” to say that Jews constitute one of the major blocs pushing the anti-gun agenda? Hardly! Is it wrong to point out that the most hardcore anti-gunners in the nation – Bloomberg, Feinstein, Schumer, et al. – are Jews? Not at all. In fact, it is dishonest to deny this important link.

Yet, to the ADL, truth is dangerous. They don’t want Americans to know the truth. Instead, they want us to be scared to criticize a Jew for any reason. They want us to be terrified of being branded with the “Nazi” stigma. Yet, patriots need to man up and realize that these false labels don’t matter. If you’re branded as a “Nazi,” “fascist,” “Klansman,” or “white supremacist,” for standing up for Liberty and Americanism, so what? Wear it as a badge of honor and know that you’re getting under the ADL’s exceedingly thin skin.

The second anti-Freedom organization I will mention is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In an absurd article titled “Conspiracy Theories, Threats of Violence Loom Over Coming Gun Rally in Richmond,” which is part of their “Hate Watch” campaign, the Marxist SPLC opined:

“Gun-rights activists and antigovernment extremists are planning a protest in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday fueled by antigovernment conspiracy theories and accompanied by online calls for violence. . . .

“Gov. Ralph Northam also declared a state of emergency before the expected protest.

““We’re seeing threats of violence,” Northam said Tuesday at a news conference. “We’re seeing threats of armed confrontation and assault on our Capitol.”

“Those threats of violence have been rampant among antigovernment and far-right groups online. The Virginia Militia, a Facebook group that shares antigovernment memes, posted a paid Facebook advertisement featuring a gallows and three hanging nooses. Beneath the photo is the caption “Government Repair Kit.” . . . .

“On Telegram, the event is being lauded by a subset of white nationalists and neo-Nazis that have enthusiastically endorsed violence and terrorism as a means to their political ends. One channel has posted the names of Jewish lawmakers in Virginia who have spoken out in favor of stronger gun regulations. The Justice Department said Thursday that three men were taken into custody by the FBI amid an investigation into the white nationalist group The Base. . . .

“The event is underpinned by antigovernment conspiracy theories.”

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Apparently SB 35, SB 69, and SB 70 are all “conspiracy theories.” Apparently there is no agenda (SB 240) to confiscate guns – it’s all just a hateful “conspiracy theory” pushed by “neo-Nazis” and “white nationalists.” Ladies and gentlemen, can you see how their false narrative goes? Can you see how they push their lies? Can you see the type of baseless smears they use to vilify their opposition? Surely you can see that their real agenda is to demonize white people, patriots, and anti-Marxists so that they can proceed to destroy our national Freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution.

It is clear that neither the ADL terrorist group nor the SPLC Marxist radicals have never looked at the Virginian flag which proclaims Sic Semper Tyrannis. “Death to tyrants” it not a threat – it is a duty. Tyrants have forfeited their right to life by attempting to destroy the lives, by demolishing the Liberty, of the people who put them into their positions of trust in the first place. In doing so, they mark themselves as enemies of the Republic and as tyrants in the fullest meaning of the definition.

Let the words of John Adams be imprinted on your heart – and let them stand as a warning to tyrants in every part of the Republic:

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than that to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for a worse, unless the people have sense, spirit, and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against tyranny; against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many. Let it be the study, therefore, of lawgivers and philosophers, to enlighten the people’s understandings and improve their morals, by good and general education; to enable them to comprehend the scheme of government, and to know upon what points their liberties depend; to dissipate those vulgar prejudices and popular superstitions that oppose themselves to good government; and to teach them that obedience to the laws is as indispensable in them as in lords and kings” (John Adams, “Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States,” 1787).

It is the right of the American People, which includes the good people of Virginia, “to kill a tyrant.” I don’t suggest they storm the Richmond Capitol and lynch the governor. I don’t recommend violent self-defense at this stage. But I am stating a true principle. The people may hang a traitor and tyrant from the highest gallows if he attempts, as Governor Northam and his Democrat cohorts are attempting, to destroy their rights vouchsafed by the Constitution.

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Virginians, like Americans everywhere, only owe obedience to God and to the supreme law of the land, which is the Constitution. Their obedience is to principle, not party; ideas, not individuals; the Constitution, not the collective whim. They owe zero obedience to the wild dictates of a president, the activist opinions of a court, or the tyrannical laws of a congress or state legislature.

Indeed, Virginians would be violating George Washington’s maxim that the Constitution is “sacredly obligatory upon all” if they were to disobey that sacred document and allow a hostile law, calculated to destroy the Second Amendment and infringe on the rights of the people to defend themselves, to go into effect. To allow evil is evil. To allow tyranny to proceed without protest is to be complicit in the destruction of Liberty. To be silent in the face of hostility is to stand guilty of aiding and abetting it.

For Virginians to allow their state to ramrod gun control down their throats is not only embarrassing, but anti-American. It flies in the face of Virginia’s noble traditional of fighting for Freedom. Good Virginians like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee are surely rolling in their graves as they watch their state be reduced to slavery.

The showdown in Virginia is important to Americans in every corner of the Republic because of a principle Thomas Paine once articulated:

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself” (Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First-Principles of Government, 32).

If we watch the Virginia regime strip the right of self-defense away from its people and merely shrug and go about our lives, will we then have a right to protest when it happens in our state? If we sit silently now, won’t it be hypocritical to speak up when the gun-control overlords seek to steal your Liberty’s teeth? Simply put, if the Constitution can be violated in Virginia, it can be violated in Montana, Idaho, Utah, or Wyoming. None of us is safe when another state can defy the Constitution at will and curtail the rights of its people.

When the War for Independence broke out against the British monarchist invaders and their ruthless mercenaries, Americans from the thirteen states rushed to the aid of their oppressed brothers wherever they needed assistance. Doubtless there will be people from many states in Richmond next Monday. God bless them for taking a stand for Freedom! And may God give you the strength, wherever you are, to raise your voice in defense of our besieged Virginian countrymen.

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I end with a statement from the Virginia Citizens Defense League which is hosting the upcoming rally and with my own plea for American patriots to rise in defense of the Constitution:

“There have been many rumors, videos, and articles flying around the internet. We cannot stress enough that this is a peaceful day to address our Legislature. Yes, we hold a rally, but the point of the day is communication with our Representatives. To our knowledge there are no credible threats of violence. That being said, please practice appropriate situational awareness. IF YOU SEE A BAD ACTOR flag down a police officer and point it out. If someone tries to provoke you, smile and walk away. There is probably someone secretly recording the interaction, with the intent of capturing some kind of inappropriate reaction on your part. Don’t take the bait. It’s not worth the bad press. The eyes of the nation and the world are on Virginia and VCDL right now and we must show them that gun owners are not the problem. Lead by example. . . .

“Thank you all for your support. For those coming from other states to stand with Virginia, we appreciate you making the long trip. This will be a notable day in history. Let’s all work together to keep it positive and to achieve our goal of protecting our right to keep and bear arms.”

Zack Strong,
January 18, 2020

Russia – Bastion of Traditionalism?

Cultural Marxism is at the root of the chaos we see in the world today. Feminism and LGBT mania, for instance, are communist front movements. The entire spectrum of anti-traditional trends has been promoted by the communist conspiracy since day one. Russia picked up the Marxist-feminist standard with the advent of Bolshevism and has carried it ever since. The purpose of today’s article is to obliterate the prevalent notion that Russia is a family-friendly “bastion of traditionalism” and share the truth that Russia is the true home of modern feminism.

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I can’t express how dismayed I am every time I see a self-proclaimed traditionalist, or a fellow Christian, refer to Russia in glowing terms. In “trad” social media groups and on traditionalist pages and websites, I routinely encounter people parroting Moscow’s propaganda about how “traditional” Russia is, how “feminine” the women are, how Russia is a “bastion of masculinity,” how there is a Christian “revival” occurring, and how wonderful Vladimir Putin is. Each and every point just mentioned flies in the face of the facts and is an inversion of reality.

I will focus primarily on the first three of the five points listed. Before discussing the first item, perhaps we should address we mean by “traditionalism.” Apart from the obvious definition that traditionalism means upholding tradition, regardless of what that tradition is, the sense in which the word is used today is defined by Google as “the theory that all moral and religious truth comes from divine revelation passed on by tradition, human reason being incapable of attaining it.”

This is an accurate enough definition, though in popular parlance it usually refers to culture and families. Traditionalism is a culture. It is a mentality and philosophy. It is a way of life. Those who live a “traditional” life are those who embrace marriage, create families, are sexually upright, reject degeneracy, and are generally conservative and modest in manners, dress, appearance, and behavior. Traditionalism is heavily linked – I would argue inexorably linked – to Christian values and Christian views on marriage, family, and morality.

With this in mind, is Russia a “bastion of traditionalism”? That is, does Russia, as a society, embrace the traditional or Christian perspective of marriage, family, sexual purity, modesty, and upright behavior? Any honest examination of the reality on the ground – and I have seen that reality firsthand as I lived in Russia for two years and spent my days talking with average folks and meeting inside their homes – must conclude that Russia is not a traditional society.

Let’s analyze a few statistics and points of history. We must remember that Russia was conquered by the alien Bolshevik forces in 1917. The first communist regime was approximately 85% Jewish. That is, it was virulently anti-Christian and devoid of morals. Christian chapels were looted and then literally demolished. Priests were shot. Nuns were raped. And Orthodox cathedrals all across Russia were converted into “Museums of Atheism,” complete with pagan statues and blatantly anti-Christ exhibits. This had the effect of hardening the people and they remain hardhearted towards religion in general to this day, only attending church on holidays to gawk and take pictures at the astonishingly fanatical and theatrical displays of Orthodox priests.

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The rhyming caption reads: “Religion is Poison. Protect Children.” It shows the Christian woman as an old, oppressive hag thwarting the child’s progression and desire to go to school by trying to force an outdated religion on her.

One of the Soviets’ first orders of business was to abolish church marriage and institute in its place civil marriage. In fact, they desired to abolish marriage altogether and began by replacing religious marriages with civil unions and figured the institution would “wither away” of its own accord. Some Communist Party members even performed “red marriages” in mockery of traditional Christian marriage.

The institution of marriage was and is viewed by the Marxists as inherently oppressive. They see marriage as slavery. It was in The Communist Manifesto that these enemies of humanity had threatened the “abolition of the family” throughout the world. In harmony with this evil design, the Reds began destroying marriage in Russia. In 1925, a Soviet publication in boasted:

Already the Soviet power has freed [marriage] from any superfluous shackles, has eliminated from it all religious and ecclesiastical survivals. . . . Marriage in Soviet legislation has ceased to be a prison” (Harold J. Berman, “Soviet Family Law in the Light of Russian History and Marxist Theory,” Yale Law Journal, Vol. 56, Issue 1, 36, 1946).

Indeed, the communists made marriage an irrelevant and unnecessary formality of social life. Not just marriage, but the family as a whole was also targeted. After effecting their coup, the Bolsheviks set to work rewriting the Russian Family Code. Soviet Russia became the first nation to institute no-fault divorce. Divorce became so absurdly easy that you could actually send your spouse a letter in the mail saying “we’re divorced” and it was legally binding. In this sort of culture, marriage lost its sacred stature and divorce became the norm. They legalized abortion-on-demand and even subsidized it. And they did their best to collectivize children and make sure they were raised out of the home and in public schools where they could be indoctrinated in Marxist thought.

Russia Beyond gives us a glimpse into the Soviet attack on traditionalism. In his article “How sexual revolution exploded (and imploded) across 1920s Russia,” Alexander Rodchenko wrote:

““On the abolition of marriage” and “On civil partnership, children and ownership” were among the first decrees of the Soviets in 1918. Church weddings were abolished, civil partnership introduced. Divorce was a matter of choice. Abortions were legalized. All of that implied a total liberation of family and sexual relations. This heralded the beginning of the raunchiest epoch in recent Russian history.

A relaxed attitude to nudism was a vivid sign of the times: on the bank of the Moskva river, near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour [which Stalin later blew up and replaced with the world’s largest swimming pool], a nude beach formed, the likes of which Western Europe could not have dreamed of at the time. . . .

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Rape by 1920s has become an epidemic. Quite strikingly, sexual violence towards former noble and bourgeois women was for a time even considered “class justice” among the proletarian males. Meanwhile, up to 20 percent of Russia’s male population had carried sexually-transmitted diseases . . . New laws on marriage and the overall atmosphere of breaking with the past encouraged promiscuity and casual approach to sex, unthinkable just years ago.

Soviet society was breeding a dangerous generation of homeless orphans – official reports indicate that, by 1923, half of the children born in Moscow had been conceived out of wedlock, and many of them were abandoned in infancy.”

Yes, the Marxist sexual revolution was in full swing in Russia before most in the West had even contemplated it. It make havoc of families and homes and left, as you have seen and will see, a trail of societal desolation, broken hearts, and destroyed individuals in its wake – just as it was designed to do.

One of the best analyses of the family during this dark era of history is found in Paul Kengor’s superb book Takedown. I excise several choice paragraphs and share them with you:

The disciples of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were committed to a revolution in family life, to a radical rupture in traditional relations between husband and wife and parents and children. Their first and most ardent practitioners, the Bolsheviks, followed the new faith with reckless abandon. . . .

The Russian Orthodox Church’s long-standing prohibition against divorce was lifted by the Bolsheviks, leading to an explosion in divorce rates and utter havoc upon the Russian family. The dramatic combined effect of an immediate full liberalization of divorce laws and institution of “red weddings” became especially acute with the corresponding complete legalization of abortion in 1920, which was an unprecedented action anywhere in the world at the time. With those changes and the squashing of the Russian Orthodox Church and its guidance in marriage and families and children and education and more, Lenin and his allies dealt a severe blow to marital and family life in traditionally religious Russia. Right out of the gate, within the first months and years after they seized power, the Bolsheviks had initiated these jolts to society. . . . .

In the Soviet Union and other subsequent communist countries that followed suit, the effect on marriage and the family was nothing short of catastrophic. The divorce rate skyrocketed to levels unseen inhuman history. In short order, it seemed as though everyone in Moscow had a divorce. One Russian man, painfully recalling his boyhood years from the late 1920s, stated, “The years 1929 to 1932 were the unhappiest period for my family. At that time there were many cases of divorce. Many of our acquaintances got divorced. It was like an epidemic.”

The numbers grew worse decade by decade. As one study reported in the 1960s, “it is not unusual” to meet Soviet men and women who had been married and divorced upwards of fifteen times.

The world certainly took notice of this domestic carnage. It looked to outsiders as if these communists really were looking to abolish marriage. In fact, it is instructive that the influential American magazine the Atlantic published a 1926 piece with the title “The Russian Effort to Abolish Marriage.”

If divorce was an epidemic in the USSR, abortion was a black plague.

The Bolsheviks legalized abortion shortly after they seized power. Like divorce, it was a rare area where the communists allowed for individual freedom. Here they enacted full privatization. So long as the family went up in flames, it seemed, the communists would eagerly allow full and free private ownership of gasoline and matches – with no rationing. You weren’t free to own a farm or factory or business or bank account or go to church or print your own newspaper, but if you wanted a divorce or abortion, the sky was the limit in Bolshevik Russia.

Having overthrown the ship of state and murdered the entire Romanov family in July 1918 – a fitting symbol to the coming war on the family – Vladimir Lenin made good on his June 1913 promise for an “unconditional annulment of all laws against abortions.” By 1920, abortion was fully and legally available and provided free of charge to Russian women. The number of abortions skyrocketed.

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By 1934 Moscow women were having three abortions for every live birth, shocking ratios that American women, in the worst, wildest throes of Roe v. Wade, never approached. The toll was so staggering that an appalled Joseph Stalin, the mass murderer, actually banned abortion in 1936, fearing a vanishing populace. . . .

. . . A more progressive Nikita Khrushchev put things back in order in 1955, reversing Stalin’s abortion ban (and ramping up religious persecution), thus allowing rates to ascend to heights heretofore unwitnessed in human history. One authoritative source from the late 1960s reported, “One can find Soviet women who have had twenty abortions.”

By the 1970s, the Soviet Union was averaging 7 to 8 million abortions per year, annihilating whole future generations of Russian children. (America, with a similar population, averaged nearer 1.5 million abortions per year after Roe was approved in 1973.)” (Paul Kengor, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, 32-35).

Let’s build on this information with a few more quotations. The next statements come from the 1926 article Kengor mentioned titled “The Russian Effort to Abolish Marriage.” It informs us:

The question whether marriage as an institution should be abolished is now being debated all over Russia with a violence and depth of passion unknown since the turbulent early days of the Revolution. . . .

One must live in Russia to-day, amid the atmosphere of torment, disgust, and disillusionment that pervades sex relations, the chaos, uncertainty, and tragedy that hover over the Russian family, to understand the reasons for this heated discussion, for these passionate pros and cons.

When the Bolsheviki came into power in 1917 they regarded the family, like every other ‘bourgeois’ institution, with fierce hatred, and set out with a will to destroy it. ‘To clear the family out of the accumulated dust of the ages we had to give it a good shakeup, and we did,’ declared Madame Smidovich, a leading Communist and active participant in the recent discussion. So one of the first decrees of the Soviet Government abolished the term ‘illegitimate children.’ This was done simply by equalizing the legal status of all children, whether born in wedlock or out of it. . . .

At the same time a law was passed which made divorce a matter of a few minutes, to be obtained at the request of either partner in a marriage. Chaos was the result. Men took to changing wives with the same zest which they displayed in the consumption of the recently restored forty-per-cent vodka.

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Street children in Stalin’s USSR

Some men have twenty wives, living a week with one, a month with another,’ asserted an indignant woman delegate during the sessions of the Tzik. ‘They have children with all of them, and these children are thrown on the street for lack of support! (There are three hundred thousand bezprizorni or shelterless children in Russia to-day, who are literally turned out on the streets. They are one of the greatest social dangers of the present time, because they are developing into professional criminals. More than half of them are drug addicts and sex perverts. It is claimed by many Communists that the break-up of the family is responsible for a large percentage of these children.)

The peasant villages have perhaps suffered most from this revolution in sex relations. An epidemic of marriages and divorces broke out in the country districts. Peasants with a respectable married life of forty years and more behind them suddenly decided to leave their wives and remarry. Peasant boys looked upon marriage as an exciting game and changed wives with the change of seasons. It was not an unusual occurrence for a boy of twenty to have had three or four wives, or for a girl of the same age to have had three or four abortions.”

This is only a snippet. I encourage you to read the full article at this link. I urge you to comprehend that communism brought about the destruction of the family in Russia – and that the wreckage can be seen everywhere today. And we need not try to divorce feminism from communism, for it was the Bolshevik revolutionary Inessa Armand (who also had an affair with Lenin) who proudly boasted:

If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”

Suffice it to say that Soviet Russia obliterated the family unit and destroyed the institution of marriage. Human life was made cheap and infanticide reached mind-boggling proportions. Marriage lost its significance and divorce became something everyone did. Even homosexuality and transgenderism flourished in the early days of the Soviet Union, with one Russian writer commenting that “members of the gay community were incredibly brave – some wore women’s dresses and corsets, wore their hair long and often looked like real women.”

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Those who think the West introduced feminism and LGBT madness to Russia need to get their story straight – it was the other way around. We are just starting to really deal with those problems that have plagued Russia for over a century. The Bolsheviks deliberately exported these feminist ideas everywhere they could – particularly to the West – with the deliberate intention of weakening us so that we would succumb to their world revolution. It was the Jewish-Marxist radical Willi Munzenberg, of Frankfurt School fame, who is quoted as saying: “We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.” Sadly, their efforts have nearly succeeded – though thankfully our culture doesn’t yet stink as badly as Russian culture.

This is the awful legacy and crumbling foundation modern Russia is working from. While you can perhaps say today’s Russia is an improvement, the difference is negligible. Despite the carefully-concocted propaganda, Russian society has yet to break free from Soviet norms and is still further advanced down the road of cultural Marxism than the United States. Russian women still abort far more of their babies than their American counterparts and have a lower birth rate. And Russia has a staggering 60% divorce rate – the highest in the world. Russian homes are in tatters and their culture remains hostile to the traditional family. In no sense whatsoever can Russia be considered a “bastion of traditionalism.”

Let’s now move on to the second point. How feminine are Russian women? And do they really reject “Western” feminism as we so frequently hear? Sadly, the answer is no, they’re not particularly feminine and they don’t reject feminism. I’m convinced that most people believe Russian women are feminine because a good many Russian women are exceptionally attractive and, outwardly, dress in skirts and heels and always do up their face and hair. But is this what real femininity is?

Wikipedia defines femininity as “a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls.” According to this definition, you might be able to get away with calling women “feminine” if you really stretch it. But when we couch this in terms of traditionalism, the attempt falls flat. Remember, part of being traditional is being modest and moral. Russian women are not modest. Trust me on this one. Russian women are in the habit of wearing very short skirts, revealing attire, and overdoing it on makeup and accessories. They spend an exorbitant amount of their money on cosmetics, furs, and fancy clothes and shoes.

And what about behavior? Part of being feminine is to act ladylike and fulfill womanly duties like motherhood. 65% of Russian women work – a substantially higher percentage than in the United States. That’s not terribly feminine. Why aren’t these “feminine” women at home with their children? Perhaps one reason they’re in the workplace instead of in the home is that they don’t have a family. Remember, 60% of Russian marriages end in divorce. Also, the birthrate in Russia is pitifully low and even lower than the U.S. birthrate at 1.75 children per family. Again, this behavior is not very feminine.

Furthermore, Russian women are bossy – like Western feminists. They’re often shrill – again, just like Western feminists. Frankly, they push the men around and I’ve seen them be both physically and verbally abusive. They also drink, do drugs, and sleep around at a higher rate than Western women (though, fortunately, alcohol consumption is decreasing). Russia has one of the most rapidly rising AIDS/HIV epidemics in the world due in large part to the rampant sexual immorality. Can women who break the Lord’s law of chastity honestly be considered feminine?

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Russians in general engage in many behaviors that are repugnant to most Americans, such as public urination and defecation (though San Francisco, Commiefornia apparently sees nothing wrong with this). It’s a real problem. I watched mothers teaching their young boys to pee on the road and in the streets – not in emergency situations, but as a matter of course. I’ve even seen grown women squatting on the side of the road doing their business as people walked by. Fortunately, American women haven’t yet followed that trend.

Prostitution and public indecency are also massive problems in Russia. I’ve never seen so many prostitutes in one place in my life as I did in Russia. You’d see them selling their bodies on the side of the road as their handlers waited in a dirty van behind them. Then, down the road, their mafia oversees sat in cars monitoring police radios so they could warn their girls to run if the cops were on their way. I witnessed this phenomenon on more than one occasion. It’s remarkable how fast some women can run in high heels. I guess, as Vladimir Putin said, Russia has the best hookers.

As for pornography, the “new drug” that is scourging the world, I saw men and women both looking at pornographic magazines and videos while riding on trains or public transport. Billboards could also be a tad too salacious at times and you’d see far too much skin whenever you saw people sunbathing or swimming. If you visited the markets (the same ones where ripped-off American products or cheap knockoffs of everything imaginable proliferated), you had to be careful where you looked.

It’s sad that the sex-industrial complex is so well-established that we have detailed analytics on porn usage by country, region, state, gender, device type, day of the week, search category, and so forth, but we do. According to the data, Russia ranks 12th in global traffic to the world’s largest online porn site and their top search category is “Russian.” And there are a lot of Russian porn stars to search considering that Russia ranks #2 in the world (behind, tragically, our own country) in contributing female “actresses” to pornographic films (five of the top ten porn-star-contributing nations are Russia and four of its “former” Soviet satellites).

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In short, Russian women are gripped by feminism without even realizing it. No, they don’t consider themselves feminist – but neither do American women if statistics are to be believed. Yet, the feminist culture dominates. It is exhibited in habits and thought patterns. Russian women, like women in the West at the present time, are conditioned to believe that they are “liberated” by being single and sexually debauched, “free” when they murder their offspring, and “fulfilled” when they work. They are not submissive ladies and are in fact more willing to walk all over you, hit you, curse you out, cheat on you, or divorce you than American women are. Simply, don’t buy the hype about the “feminine” Russian woman.

The third and final point on our list I will cover only briefly. There is a myth circulating on the internet, perpetuated largely by Marxist-controlled Hollywood, that Russian men are masculine and strong. Sorry to burst the bubble, but this is laughably untrue. The Hollywood image of a tall, broad, muscular man with a great big beard is the polar opposite of reality in today’s Russia. Most Russian men are short, scrawny, and look as if they’ve been on a concentration camp diet. On a daily basis, I’d shake hands with people I met with on the streets. And on a daily basis Russian men audibly gasped and winced when I shook their hands. For the most part, they had a limp-wristed grip. A handshake really does tell you a lot about a person.

In 2007, I participated in a three-on-three basketball tournament in the small city of Ramenskoye to the south of Moscow. One of the opposing teams had a player from the Russian national basketball team on it. When we played them, I guarded the professional player. I held him scoreless and usually out-rebounded him even though he was one of the few Russians I ever met who was taller than me (I’m almost 6’1” and at the time I had lost thirty pounds and weighed only 160 lbs.). He was frustrated and thought I played too rough. I played against Russians in basketball, soccer, tackle football, and gatorball and in each case Russian men and boys wined about how physical Americans played (I’ve read that pro players from other countries almost universally observe the same thing when they come to America to play). In truth, they were simply unfit wimps. Physically, the average Russian man is a pitiful specimen.

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Hollywood is not reality

Naturally, there’s more to masculinity and character than physicality. A real man should be chivalrous, gentlemanly, courteous, polite, hard-working, a protector of women, have an upright character, be totally loyal to his wife and marriage covenants, and so forth. When this is applied to Russian men, however, they fail again. Russian men are, as a whole, drunkards. They also use a large amount of drugs.

In the city of Mytishchi where I lived for a time, you’d see drug needles littering the streets and our church building happened to be located in what people called “the drug area” (which was also home to numerous prostitutes and mafia groups). Russian SWAT routinely raided our neighbor’s property looking for drugs. In some cities, it was common to see Russians walking down the road with alcohol in one hand and a cigarette in the other. More times than I can count I’ve seen Russian men passed out in the street, peeing on themselves in public, convulsing from drugs in a corner alley, or dancing lewdly and making fools of themselves in front of everyone. The constant smell of cigarette smoke hanging in the air really completed the atmosphere.

Additionally, Russian men brawl and fight, curse and quarrel. It was routine to see men walking or staggering down the street covered in blood from either fighting or falling down drunk and bashing their face. The number of Russian men with missing or broken teeth was also astonishing – again, largely from brawling or drunkenness. And the number of Russian men who had been to prison – as evidenced by their tattoos – was also staggering.

As noted, Russian men get pushed around by their women (that is, when they’re not committing rape and murder at high rates). And why wouldn’t they? Russia is a feminist country – the first feminist country. It is a bastion of feminism and yet they don’t even realize it. Russian men (and, sadly, many Western men) see their raucous and dangerous behavior as some sort of masculinity. But it’s not real masculinity; it’s juvenile and crass. Drunkenness, fighting, prolific swearing (when I learned the various forms of the f-word in Russian, I was shocked at how commonplace their usage was), sexual unchastity, violent criminality, and physical unfitness do not a masculine nation make.

When you really look at the whole picture, Russia is not the “bastion of traditionalism” that propagandists and those who have been taken in by propaganda claim. I wish Russia was a bastion of Faith, Families, and Freedom. This is my wish for my own country and for every nation on earth. I yearn for the day when evil will be swept away, when the communist cancer will be eradicated, when feminism will die its natural death, when corruption and war are terminated, when sanity will prevail once more, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ sinks deep into every heart, and when Freedom will prevail.

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Sadly, we are not there yet and won’t be until the Lord returns in His glory. Until then, Russia stands as an enemy to the human race. The notion that “communism is dead” and “the USSR collapsed” is one of the most devastatingly effective ruses ever pulled on the world. The reality is that the Soviets faked their demise and communism never died. Indeed, the communist conspiracy is more powerful and prevalent than ever before. Russia, China, and their allies are in a strategically advantageous position over the West and the final clash draws closer despite Washington’s boast of strength and stability. You will live to see Russia and China strike the United States and initiate world war. Mark my words.

One final word is in order. You have doubtless noted the contempt in my tone. Let me make it clear that my contempt is for the Russian government and for the communist regime that so thoroughly demoralized and beat down the Russian people. I don’t hate the Russian people – I pity them. They are a product of communism – victims of the most wicked conspiracy ever created. I pity them and pray for them.

Here is the reality: Russia today is the America of tomorrow unless we root out the communist cancer among us. Russia is not following the West, as I so often hear, but we are following them – and to our detriment. From no-fault-divorce to civil marriages to abortion-on-demand to massive drunkenness to feminist women and emasculated men, Russia set the example and blazed the trail. And yet, still, there remain some fantastic individuals, including the most humble man I’ve ever met in my life – a spiritual giant from Ukraine who settled in Moscow who call Russia home.

I mentioned that I lived in Russia for two years. I was there as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – one of the few foreign proselytizing churches that hasn’t been banned and kicked out by Putin’s regime (though Putin recently signed laws that severely restrict our ability to do the Lord’s work). I walked the streets speaking with Russians about their core beliefs, about their aspirations, and about their families. I met with them in their homes and churches. I visited the cities and villages. These people told me their life stories. They shared their beliefs about God. And some of them became lasting friends. I was even, for a short while after I returned home, engaged to a Russian gal.

My point is that I don’t hate the Russians. I love them and spent many nights on my knees praying for them. I do, however, hate communism. I hate the Russian regime that rules in Moscow and despise the KGB conspirator named Vladimir Putin who rules in the Kremlin and pretends he’s a Christian and traditionalist, despite his well-publicized affairs and broken marriage, so that the gullible will sympathize with and support Russia as some sort of world “savior.” Don’t fall for it.

One day, I firmly believe, though it will probably come only after a day of fire and cataclysm, Russia will throw off her shackles and become the Christian nation too many people wrongly believe she is now. The blood of Israel runs in their veins, as it does in the veins of most Caucasian peoples, and they have a glorious future. They will be gathered in by the Lord, but the time is not yet. At present, a communist pseudo-tsar rules in Moscow. Russia’s unparalleled stockpile of nuclear and biological weapons stands ready to be used to bring about the one-world order and one-world religion dreamed of by the global Elite. If we continue to allow the cultural Marxism imported into our nation by the Bolsheviks to infect us, we will be weak enough for the Elite to carry out their pre-planned strike.

It was this article’s purpose to wave the smelling salts under your nose to awaken you from the mental fantasy that Russia is a “bastion of traditionalism” and the hope of the world. Russia is, in truth, the home of feminism and the world leader in cultural degradation. The West is the way it is because we have followed Russia’s example. If we seek to reverse the trends, we need to stop listening to Russian propaganda and those who buy into it and instead cling to the traditions, values, and institutions that made Western Christian civilization great.

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As Americans, we must rush forward to defend our Faith, Families, and Freedom against Marxist machinations whether promoted by Washington, Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, or Beijing. Our only hope is in turning to the Lord Jesus Christ and in rejecting all anti-Christ philosophies. If we seek traditionalism, we must look for it here at home – not on the Red steppes of Russia.

Zack Strong,

January 16, 2020

The Book of Mormon Speaks of Christ

Many people have heard of The Book of Mormon, but most do not know what it is or what it says. At best, most folks have heard negative rumors about it from their pastor, the internet, or popular culture. Yet, they have never taken the time to study its words and learn for themselves what it says. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I maintain that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is an inspired book of scripture to be read alongside the Bible. It is a holy book that speaks of Jesus Christ and encourages us to look to Him alone for salvation. I devote this article to bearing my personal testimony of The Book of Mormon’s witness of Jesus Christ.

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Before discussing The Book of Mormon, let’s talk about the Bible. What is the Bible? The name “Bible” comes from the Latin word biblia, and its Greek counterpart, meaning “the books.” It is a collection of writings by inspired prophets and apostles throughout the ages of time. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called “Mormons,” believe that the Bible is God’s word and that it testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In 2007, President M. Russell Ballard, one of the ranking leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a talk titled “The Miracle of the Holy Bible.” He cleared up some of the misconceptions about our beliefs when he explained:

It is a miracle that we have the Bible’s powerful doctrine, principles, poetry, and stories. But most of all, it is a wonderful miracle that we have the account of the life, ministry, and words of Jesus, which was protected through the Dark Ages and through the conflicts of countless generations so that we may have it today.

It is a miracle that the Bible literally contains within its pages the converting, healing Spirit of Christ, which has turned men’s hearts for centuries, leading them to pray, to choose right paths, and to search to find their Savior.

The Holy Bible is well named. It is holy because it teaches truth, holy because it warms us with its spirit, holy because it teaches us to know God and understand His dealings with men, and holy because it testifies throughout its pages of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

How grateful we should be for the Holy Bible. In it we learn not only of the life and teachings and doctrines of Christ, we learn of His Church and of His priesthood and of the organization which He established and named the Church of Jesus Christ in those former days. We believe in that Church, and we believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that same Church, restored to earth, complete, with the same organization and the same priesthood.

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Without the Bible, we would not know of His Church then, nor would we have the fulness of His gospel now.

I love the Bible, its teachings, its lessons, and its spirit. I love the Old Testament’s compelling, profound stories and its great prophets testifying of the coming of Christ. I love the New Testament’s apostolic travels and miracles and the letters of Paul. Most of all, I love its eyewitness accounts of the words and the example and the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love the perspective and peace that come from reading the Bible.

Brothers and sisters, I am sure many of you have had the experience of hearing people say that “Mormons are not Christians because they have their own Bible, the Book of Mormon.” To anyone harboring this misconception, we say that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and the author of our salvation and that we believe, revere, and love the Holy Bible. We do have additional sacred scripture, including the Book of Mormon, but it supports the Bible, never substituting for it. . . .

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16). We love the Bible and other scriptures. That may be surprising to some who may not be aware of our belief in the Bible as the revealed word of God. It is one of the pillars of our faith, a powerful witness of the Savior and of Christ’s ongoing influence in the lives of those who worship and follow Him.” (President M. Russell Ballard, “The Miracle of the Holy Bible,” General Conference, April, 2007).

The Bible is, above all else, an inspired witness of the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in and witness of Jesus Christ and, therefore, also believe in, read, and testify of the Bible. No one should ever hold the misconception that we are not Christians or that we don’t cherish the Bible. The very name of our Church proclaims to the world that we believe in Jesus Christ!

Latter-day Saints earnestly believe in the Bible’s prophecies. For instance, we take it seriously when Amos declared: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). This clearly shows the need for prophets and continuing revelation. This is further bolstered by other Biblical passages that we hold dear; namely, Paul’s statements that “God hath set . . . in the church” both “apostles” and “prophets” (1 Corinthians 12:28) and that the Lord’s Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20).

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Where are the Christian denominations today claiming prophets and apostles as both the Old and New Testaments obviously require? If you believe the Bible is the word of God, you must also believe that the Lord calls men as prophets and apostles, organizes them according to a very specific format and structure (Ephesians 4:11-16; Matthew 16:18-19; Luke 6:13; Luke 10:1; Acts 1:24-25), and that He leads them through revelation suited to their situation.

We testify that the Lord has given mankind prophets once again in our day, beginning in 1820 with Joseph Smith whom I testify was a true prophet in the mode of Moses, Elijah, Peter, Abraham, and the others. If it is true that “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) as the Apostle Paul taught, then we should look for Him to direct his Church today through prophets as He did anciently. For Bible-believing Christians, there’s simply no dismissing the well-established principle of the Lord’s people receiving revelation through prophets called by Him.

We proclaim to the world that the Lord is good, that He loves all people everywhere, and that He graciously reveals His word to people throughout the earth whenever they are receptive enough to receive it. Whereas the Bible is a record of God’s dealings with the House of Israel in the Old World, The Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with two peoples, including Israelites, who inhabited the ancient American continent.

These two civilizations were blessed with prophets who taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first group, the Jaredites, left the Old World at the time the Lord confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel. They were led by prophets to the American continent where they established an ancient Christian society. Over time, they devolved into wickedness, murdered the prophets, and harbored Satanic secret societies which led the people into a civil war that ended in their total annihilation. Around the time of their tragic fall, the Lord brought another people into this land – the Nephites.

The majority of The Book of Mormon concerns the Nephites and their usually hostile brothers, the Lamanites. The Nephites were Israelites of the tribe of Manasseh. They were named after Nephi, the son of a Hebrew prophet named Lehi. Lehi, a lineal descendant of Joseph of Egypt, preached in Jerusalem at the same time the great prophet Jeremiah was preaching – that is, around 600 B.C. The Israelites at Jerusalem rejected Jeremiah’s words and threw him into prison. Jeremiah received a revelation in which the Lord attested to the fact that He had sent many prophets to Israel:

Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers” (Jeremiah 7:25).

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The Hebrews not only rejected Jeremiah, they also rejected Lehi’s warnings and sought to kill him. The Lord warned Lehi to flee out of the land and subsequently led his family into the Americas through Nephi’s instrumentality.

Nephi was a humble man who became a great prophet of the Lord. He spent his life teaching his people about Jesus Christ and prophesying that He would come to redeem all who would believe on His name. Nephi wrote: “[M]y soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ” (2 Nephi 11:4). Nephi particularly loved citing the words of Isaiah which also foretold of the coming Messiah and many of his writings were explanations of Isaiah’s earlier prophecies.

Nephi bore frequent and powerful testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. He once stated:

I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved. . . .

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. . . .

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. . . .

. . . the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.

And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out” (2 Nephi 25:20, 23, 25, 28-29).

Nephi was emphatic – we are saved by Christ! His is the only name through which salvation comes. It is His grace that rescues us from sin. We are to talk, preach, and prophesy of Him and teach our children to look to Him. Nephi believed in the Son of God and He wanted us to also “bow down before him” in humble discipleship.

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Another time, Nephi taught:

And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith” (2 Nephi 26:12-13).

In what is perhaps my favorite declaration from The Book of Mormon, Nephi issued this challenge to all who would read his words:

And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal. . . .

. . . be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.

And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jews, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye – for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things” (2 Nephi 31:4, 9-11).

Nephi was not the only ancient American seer to speak of Christ. All the prophets recorded in The Book of Mormon record taught of Jesus and encouraged all to have faith in Him. Jacob, Nephi’s younger brother, gave us these words:

And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.

Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest. . . .

Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ” (Jacob 1:7-8).

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Jacob loved to teach about the most important moment to ever play out on earth – the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ includes not only His suffering for our sins in Gethsemane and His crucifixion on the cross, but His resurrection and conquest of death and hell. Because of the Lord’s resurrection and Atonement, we, too, will rise from the grave and receive resurrected and immortal bodies before the Judgment Day. In a rousing sermon, Jacob taught of these great truths and the central role the Savior’s Atonement plays:

Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he [Jesus] shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came . . . for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement. . . .

O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. . . .

O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell. . . .

And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave. . . .

And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment. . . .

. . . behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. . . .

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 h im 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” (2 Nephi 9:5-8, 10-11, 15, 18, 21-23, 41-42).

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The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central feature of His Gospel. Everything else is a mere appendage to that glorious event. All men, no matter how wicked or flawed, will be resurrected because of the Lord’s mercy. Those who receive greater reward, however, will be those who, having the opportunity, embraced the doctrines of the Lord, believed on the name of Jesus Christ, entered into His covenants via the straight and narrow path, and endured to the end of their mortal lives in faithfulness.

These truths are taught many times and in many ways throughout the entirety of The Book of Mormon. Lehi, Nephi’s and Jacob’s father, gave this witness of the Redeemer:

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. . . .

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon. . . .

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh . . . And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:6-7, 25-27).

Hundreds of years after Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob, a king named Benjamin delivered a sermon which shows how thoroughly and inexorably Christian The Book of Mormon is. After having been instructed by an angel, he taught his people these glorious truths about the Messiah’s life and ministry:

[The Lord] 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. . . .

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” (Mosiah 3:5-12).

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What a marvelous testimony of Christ! King Benjamin was emphatic – salvation is only in Christ. Only by faith on His name, repentance, and obedience to His commands can we be saved. Saving those who trust in His name is the Lord’s eternal purpose. It is the reason He suffered so much agony. He loved us and therefore He laid down His life for us that we, through “faith on the Lord Jesus Christ,” can be saved.

Later still in the book’s timeline, a missionary named Amulek could be found teaching the same doctrine of Christ. In one instance, he explained the Savior’s impending Atonement and mankind’s future Resurrection:

And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else. . . .

The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit” (Alma 11:40, 43-44).

Another time, Amulek shared this sweet testimony:

Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and . . . he shall atone for the sins of the world. . . .

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. . . .

. . . 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” (Alma 34:8, 14-16, 31).

All who believe in Jesus Christ can call unto Him and immediately begin their path to Him and Heavenly Father. His mercy can cover our sins, rescue us from the grasp of hell, and fully redeem us. We simply have to have faith in the Savior and bring our lives into harmony with His Gospel.

Perhaps even more powerfully than Amulek, Alma, the Nephite prophet in Amulek’s day, conveyed the magnitude and scope of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He taught that the Savior not only died for our sins, but that He felt our sickness and pain, heartache and sorrow, regret and bitterness. Through His mercy, we can be healed, uplifted, comforted in our depression and grief, and saved from every dark and evil thought and feeling and physical ailment. Alma proclaimed:

[B]ehold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all – for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. . . .

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that he word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me” (Alma 7:7, 11-13).

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Jesus the Christ not only died a cruel death on the cross, but He bled at every pore because the agony and weight of our collective sins, pains, brokenheartedness, disappointment, bitterness, and sicknesses (Luke 22:44). The Jews in Jerusalem did not sufficiently appreciate or comprehend the act being performed in the Garden of Gethsemane by their Lord and Redeemer. Yet, across an ocean in ancient America the Nephites had been taught plainly of the Savior’s Atonement.

About six years prior to the Lord’s birth in the Holy Land, a Lamanite prophet named Samuel prophesied of many events connected with the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. At the time, the Nephites were falling into unrighteousness. Samuel warned the people and focused his teachings on Christ:

[N]othing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world, and shall suffer many things and shall be slain for his people. . . .

And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life. . . .

And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits. . . .

For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord” (Helaman 13:6; 14:8, 13, 15-17).

From Samuel’s day until the death and resurrection of Christ in Palestine, the prophets continued to preach of the imminent Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many unique signs were given to the people of the Americas, including major geological upheaval and the destruction of many wicked cities at the time of the Lord’s death on the cross. According to Samuel, these signs were given “to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men – And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved” (Helaman 14:28-29).

These events bring us up to the crowning moment in The Book of Mormon. After the resurrected Lord’s Ascension in Israel, He appeared to other peoples throughout the world. If you search, you can find fascinating secular records of His appearances in many lands. The Book of Mormon record, however, is the clearest of them all and is of divine origin.

Six-hundred years previous to this event, Nephi foretold of the Lord’s appearance. He wrote that “after Christ shall have arisen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; and the words which he shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do” (2 Nephi 26:1). Other prophets had periodically repeated this promise. Shortly after the Ascension, the prophecy was fulfilled in dramatic, miraculous fashion.

We read of the moment of the Lord’s appearance to the Nephites in this passage:

And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven. . . .

And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name – hear ye him.

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And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension in to heaven.

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:

Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him” (3 Nephi 11:3, 6-17).

What a remarkable event! This group of some 2,500 Nephites had the privilege of seeing the Lord, hearing His voice, and handling His perfected, glorified, resurrected body of flesh and bone just as the apostles had done in the Holy Land (Luke 24:36-43). They knew for themselves, as we must come to know for ourselves, that He was indeed the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind!

Jesus taught the Nephites many things during His visit, including the Sermon on the Mount with a few clarifications. He told the people: “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21). He chose twelve apostles, organized them, and gave them Priesthood authority to administer sacraments and ordinances just as He had done during His mortal ministry. He commanded everyone to “diligently” study Isaiah’s prophecies, “for great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1). He healed the sick, blind, and maim as He had done in Palestine. He blessed the little children and angels came down out of Heaven and ministered to them. And He even touched upon events that would happen during our time – the time preceding His Second Coming. Truly, the appearance of the Son of God was the crowning event recorded in The Book of Mormon and stands as additional proof that this book bears witness of Him and Him alone.

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After the Savior’s visit to the Nephites here in America, the people established a Zion-like society. For a little shy of two-hundred years, the people lived in harmony and peace. We read:

[T]here were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. . . .

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God” (4 Nephi 1:2-3, 15-17).

Sadly, the people of the land enjoyed peace, prosperity, and ease for so long that they became prideful, began to wear “costly apparel, and all manner of pearls, and of the fine things of the world,” “began to be divided into classes,” “began to build up churches unto themselves,” and “began to deny the true church of Christ” (4 Nephi 1:24-26). Like our own day, there were “many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel” (4 Nephi 1:27).

Eventually, a secret society was formed by those who opposed the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ. The people’s general wickedness and the ruthlessness of this secret cabal led the people into a frenzied war of rampant destruction. Women and children were sacrificed to pagan gods. Cities were burned with fire. Women were ravaged and mutilated. By 400 A.D., the followers of Christ and anyone who claimed the name “Nephitehad been exterminated throughout ancient America and the only inhabitants left were those who disbelieved in the former Nephite traditions. These unbelieving peoples eventually split into warring factions and, lacking the light of Christ, devolved into nomadic, warlike, and hostile tribes. It would be another 1200 years before Christians began to inhabit America once more.

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In every event and story of The Book of Mormon, whether tragic or uplifting, the inspired writings are focused on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord of lords, the true Messiah. In total, there are almost 4,000 references to Jesus Christ in The Book of Mormon! This dwarfs even the New Testament’s multitudinous references to the Savior. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is the most Christ-centered book in existence. One cannot read in its pages without encountering fervent testimonies of the Lord, stories of extreme faith in the Redeemer, and sermons on Christian doctrine. The stories of deep-felt conversion, missionary adventures, and wars won through faith in Christ are, simply, thrilling!

I repeat: Nothing is more well-established than that The Book of Mormon speaks of Christ. Because of this fact, when we read the book with a sincere heart, it touches and moves us. The current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, whom I testify really is a prophet of Almighty God, recently gave a sermon on The Book of Mormon. He witnessed:

Something powerful happens when a child of God seeks to know more about Him and His Beloved Son. Nowhere are those truths taught more clearly and powerfully than in the Book of Mormon. . . .

The Book of Mormon provides the fullest and most authoritative understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be found anywhere. It teaches what it really means to be born again. From the Book of Mormon we learn about the gathering of scattered Israel. We know why we are here on earth. These and other truths are more powerfully and persuasively taught in the Book of Mormon than in any other book. The full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is contained in the Book of Mormon. Period. . . .

When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls. . . .

I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal and living Son of our living God. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our great Exemplar, and our Advocate with the Father. He was the promised Messiah, the mortal Messiah, and will be the millennial Messiah. I testify with my whole soul that in a most miraculous and singular way, the Book of Mormon teaches us of Jesus Christ and His gospel” (President Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon – What Would Your Life Be Like Without It?” General Conference, October, 2017).

The Book of Mormon, in companionship with the Holy Bible, a witness of our living Lord! These two books of scripture dash to pieces false doctrine, rebut anti-Christian philosophies, and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The Book of Mormon writers possessed a version of Old Testament prophecies. They knew that one day these words would go to all mankind. The prophet Mormon, the chief compiler and namesake of The Book of Mormon record, wrote that the intent of the book is to confirm the Bible’s witness of Jesus! In fact, his witness of the Bible’s authenticity was part of his final testimony. The last words Mormon wrote were these:

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Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up. . . .

And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world. . . .

Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews. . . .

For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also. . . .

. . . and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen” (Mormon 7:5, 7-10).

Mormon knew that The Book of Mormon was written “for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible].” And if you believe the Bible’s witness of Christ, it is only logical “that ye will believe [The Book of Mormon] also” because both books bear solemn witness of the Savior, preach the same doctrine, and declare the same essential truths.

President Russell M. Nelson explained how these two great books of scripture compliment one another and work together. He said:

The Bible and the Book of Mormon are both witnesses of Jesus Christ. They teach that He is the Son of God, that He lived an exemplary life, that He atoned for all mankind, that He died upon the cross and rose again as the resurrected Lord. They teach that He is the Savior of the world.

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Scriptural witnesses authenticate each other. This concept was explained long ago when a prophet wrote that the Book of Mormon was “written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon] also.” Each book refers to the other. Each book stands as evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His prophets.

Love for the Book of Mormon expands one’s love for the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with the Bible; they complement the Bible. We are indebted to martyrs who gave their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness. The Book of Mormon restores and underscores biblical doctrines such as tithing, the temple, the Sabbath day, and the priesthood” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Scriptural Witnesses,” General Conference, October, 2007).

The Book of Mormon does not replace, but bolsters the Bible! In our day of so much criticism and skepticism, it is refreshing to know that the Lord has given us a second major witness that the Bible’s declarations about Him and His work are indeed true and relevant! Even Nephi, all those ages ago, knew that modern man would have both Bible and The Book of Mormon. He recorded the words of the Lord directed to those who scoff at The Book of Mormon and rejected it because they already have a Bible and erroneously believe there can be no more revelation:

And because my words shall hiss forth – many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. . . .

Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. . . .

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. . . .

For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. . . .

. . . and my word also shall be fathered in one” (2 Nephi 29:3, 6, 7-10, 12, 14).

It has always puzzled me why Christians try to limit the Lord and tell Him, in essence, that He can’t say more than He already has. Not only is this a feeble attempt to limit the Lord’s power, but it also makes the Bible’s declarations about the need for prophets and continuing revelation null and void. Furthermore, I’ve always wondered why my fellow Christians are not excited for more revelation from Heaven. Why wouldn’t you want to hear more instruction from the Master? Why wouldn’t you want additional light and knowledge to support and clarify what the Bible teaches? Why wouldn’t you want an extra witness to support and verify what the Old and New Testament seers said? Why don’t you want more of the words of Jesus?

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President Gordon B. Hinckley, a former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once spoke to those not of our faith:

[W]e say in a spirit of love, bring with you all that you have of good and truth which you have received from whatever source, and come and let us see if we may add to it. This invitation I extend to men and women everywhere with my solemn testimony that this work is true, for I know the truth of it by the power of the Holy Ghost” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith,” General Conference, October, 2002).

To those who may be skeptical, set aside your skepticism for a moment and do what the Lord anciently instructed: “Come and see” (John 1:39). Come and see what the Lord has revealed in our day. Come and see what rich treasures of knowledge The Book of Mormon has to offer. Come and see what modern prophets are saying today. Ignore the lies and distortions that dissenters on the internet say about our Church and come and see for yourself.

I guarantee when you humbly search in The Book of Mormon and pray to God for wisdom as the Apostle James taught (James 1:5-6), that new light will shine into your life. Your understanding of the Bible will grow Your soul will be refreshed. Your testimony of the Savior will deepen and strengthen. Your knowledge of your relationship with your Eternal Father will expand. And your happiness will increase.

If my guarantee is not enough, then hear the words of the final prophet to write in The Book of Mormon. He was a man named Moroni. He issued this divine promise:

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:3-5).

This promise works. I have tried it. It works! If you ask Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, and you are truly sincere and prepared to follow whatever answer you receive from the Holy Spirit, then you will receive a confirmation in your soul that The Book of Mormon is a true book.

I have received this witness. I know it is true. I know it through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know it was translated, not written, by Joseph Smith. I know that it speaks of a real people whom the resurrected Lord truly visited. I know it was compiled by prophets of Jesus Christ who spoke the truth. And I know and testify that this sacred book has shaped, directed, and improved my life in innumerable ways.

The Book of Mormon is such a powerful book for two primary reasons: 1) Because it speak of Jesus Christ; and 2) because it is true. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a true witness of the Savior. It confirms the Bible’s witness of the divinity of Jesus. It confirms the Abrahamic covenants made with the House of Israel. It confirms that we will all be resurrected and stand before God at the Judgment Day. It confirms that Jesus worked out the Atonement and died for our sins and that we must look to Him only for salvation. Yes, The Book of Mormon speaks of Christ!

It is only fitting that we end with a declaration made in The Book of Mormon by a holy prophet. They are words to live by. They rivet our focus on the Savior and encourage us to look to Him. We must all eventually come to know and accept that: “[T]here is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness” (Alma 38:9).

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I share this testimony with you – that Jesus Christ lives and that The Book of Mormon is a true witness to His divinity – in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Zack Strong,

January 13, 2020

Private Property Essential to Liberty

There can be no Liberty without the right to own and manage private property. Private property is essential to Liberty. It is indispensable to individuality and fundamental to life itself. Where there is no right to private property, there is no Freedom and self-will. In order to maintain our American Republic in Liberty, we must reclaim and secure our cardinal right to own and oversee our own private property.

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The great political scientist Frederic Bastiat, in his classic book The Law, defined property this way. Note how it encompasses much more than mere objects and tangible possessions, but is wrapped up in the very concept of Liberty:

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

These words are found at the very beginning of Bastiat’s The Law. They are at the beginning because Bastiat understood that there can be no comprehension of Liberty without a correct understanding, first, of the importance of private property and individual stewardship.

Property is the root of Liberty. It is the foundation of free will. It is the essence of personhood. In a very real sense, there is no life – at least, no life that satisfies and uplifts – without property. What is our life without our God-given right to own and manage private property?

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Our Eternal Father created us, His children, and sent us to earth to progress and grow. But how can we accomplish this mission of growth and progression unless we have a personal stewardship to manage, direct, and be personally accountable for? How can we have a stewardship without private property to superintend? And how can we claim we have Freedom if we do not enjoy property and, thereby the chance to use our faculties in administering a stewardship of our own?

Protecting property – that is, life and and the essence of Liberty – is the reason governments exist. The Declaration of Independence states that “to secure [our] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The three rights specifically mentioned, though of course there are many more, are the rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson adapted his phraseology from the common political thought of the time regarding the three cardinal rights of man – life, Liberty, and property. Some have erroneously charged Jefferson with plagiarism, but the fact is that the notion of “life, Liberty, and property” was widespread. For instance, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, ratified on June 12, 1776, contained this paragraph:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

Perhaps more famously, the British philosopher John Locke, whom Jefferson highly regarded, had written in his Second Treatise on Government that man has a right “to preserve his property, that is, his life, liberty and estate.” Locke elaborated on the idea of property in these terms:

[E]very man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others. . . .

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. . . God, when he gave the world in common to all mankind, commanded man also to labour, and the penury of his condition required it of him. God and his reason commanded him to subdue the earth, i.e. improve it for the benefit of life, and therein lay out something upon it that was his own, his labour. He that in obedience to this command of God, subdued, tilled and sowed any part of it, thereby annexed to it something that was his property, which another had no title to, nor could without injury take from him. . . .

Thus labour, in the beginning, gave a right of property, wherever any one was pleased to employ it upon what was common. . . .

The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society.”

Other thinkers besides Locke, including the most prominent American Founding Fathers, expressed similar ideas and knew the value of private property rights. They understood that every individual “has a property in his own person” – that is, his life – and that by the labor of his hands he acquires and exercises a stewardship over other property, for which he is accountable. This individual stewardship and accountability over property and life is the fundamental essence of what we call Liberty.

When seen in the light of Bastiat’s explanation of property, we better understand Jefferson’s phrase “pursuit of Happiness.” It is impossible for man to be happy without property. Or, in other words, it is impossible for man pursue a course that leads to happiness without a stewardship, the control of which is authentic life and true Liberty.

We turn again to Frederic Bastiat. He contemplated the purpose of law, government, and society. As before, please note how property correlates to Liberty:

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”

The fundamental basis of civil society is property! Civilization exists to protect individual rights – the most fundamental being life and the stewardship over property that gives that life meaning.

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The Founding Fathers knew how important property was. The Bill of Rights was written to protect, among other things, property. The Fifth Amendment, for instance, declared that no citizen shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” These lines in truth encompass the whole of the Constitution and all of our rights. For example, gun confiscation not only violates the Second Amendment, it violates the Fifth by depriving an individual, without due process in a court of law, of his property (i.e. his weapon), his Liberty (i.e. his right to defend himself), and sets him up to be deprived of his life.

The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, concurred with Bastiat and Locke. He gave an eloquent description of property and the purpose of government. Madison stated:

This term [i.e. property] in its particular application means “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage.

In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandize, or money is called his property.

In the latter sense, a man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.

He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them.

He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.

He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them.

In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. . . .

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own. . . .

. . . Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right. . . .

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. . . .

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property strictly so called. . . .

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A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor. . . .

If there be a government then which prides itself in maintaining the inviolability of property; which provides that none shall be taken directly even for public use without indemnification to the owner, and yet directly violates the property which individuals have in their opinions, their religion, their persons, and their faculties; nay more, which indirectly violates their property, in their actual possessions, in the labor that acquires their daily subsistence, and in the hallowed remnant of time which ought to relieve their fatigues and soothe their cares, the influence will have been anticipated, that such a government is not a pattern for the United States.

If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights” (James Madison, March 29, 1792).

There is much to digest and learn from this description, but the takeaways are these: 1) That man has an inherent right to property, which includes not only his tangible goods like his house and land, but his opinions, conscience, and life; and 2) that government exists to preserve property and can only be considered “wise and just” when it secures this right to each individual.

Like his fellow Founders, John Adams was fierce on the point of private property. He said property is sacred and must be protected as equally as the laws of God Almighty. He wrote:

Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty . . . The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free. (John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America,” 1787).

Another time, John Adams simply stated: “Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist” (John Adams, “Discourses on Davila,” Chapter XIII).

Samuel Adams was every bit as forceful. To him, forfeiting one’s right of private property is to make oneself a slave. He affirmed:

In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave” (Samuel Adams, “The Rights of the Colonists,” November 20, 1772).

We could continue citing quotes from wise men on the necessity of property and the correlation between property and Liberty, but the point has already been made. Let’s now discuss the opponents of Liberty. The greatest enemies of Freedom are those which seek to abolish private property and, with it, the meaning of life and the essence of Liberty. I speak of the communists specifically and of collectivists in general.

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The Communist Manifesto declares that “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” Taking what we know about the relationship of Liberty and property, we can rewrite the communist goal in these words: Abolition of individual Liberty.

The communist desire to abolish Freedom is openly admitted in the Manifesto. Marx noted that capitalists complained that the communists’ planned destruction of capital, that is, wealth, industry, and property, would mean the destruction of Liberty as well. In response, the Manifesto, nonchalantly states: “And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.”

You better believe that today’s conspirators – the Satanic communists who lord over us – still desire to destroy Freedom by abolishing private property. They have successfully succeeded in curtailing property rights throughout most of the world, including nearly everywhere in socialist Europe. They are well on their way to undermining our property rights here in the United States, too.

There are many tactics which the enemy uses to subvert our property rights. James Madison mentioned several. I name only three. First, the big-government oligarchs spend so much money and rack up so much debt that an increase in taxes is necessary to pay for it. This unnecessary and exorbitant taxation is nothing but theft of our personal property – property that belongs rightfully to us and which is earned through our own hard labor. And disproportionate and unequal taxation – which people who advocate higher taxes on the rich are really calling for – is more egregious still, constituting little more than classic wealth redistribution. Inflation, which we fork out money to cover at the grocery store and elsewhere very day, is another hidden tax that also robs us of the fruit of our labor. Minimum wage laws also destroy Liberty and property by stripping from employers the right to decide how to dispense their own property and how to run their own businesses. Socialized medicine – welfare statism – is yet another way government expands, centralizes power, and destroys our wealth (i.e. property) taxation.

Second, our property rights are increasingly curtailed by bureaucratic regulations. Government regulations now number in the hundreds of thousands. These arbitrary and unconstitutional regulations dictate how we can and cannot use our land, how we can and cannot use technology, how we can and cannot run our businesses, who we can and cannot hire, and so forth. Regulations restrict our Freedom to use our property according to the dictates of our conscience and in the pursuit of our personal happiness. It therefore inhibits our full exercise of stewardship – and without stewardship and accountability over property there is no Liberty.

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Third, the outright theft of property under spurious justifications increasing at an alarming rate. Americans now lose more property every year to police than to robbers. Under tyrannical asset forfeiture laws, police rob Americans of their property and livelihoods. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is another arm of government that has been busy stealing private land coast to coast. Indeed, government agencies of all types have been confiscating hundreds of thousands of acres of land, in Bolshevik fashion, from innocent Americans – and they’ve been caught on tape bragging and laughing about it! Karl Marx would be proud of what the U.S. government has been turned into by Marxist moles.

No matter how the communists and their abettors do it, the destruction or theft of private property is nothing more nor less than the destruction and theft of Freedom. Remember, even Marx himself acknowledged that the goal is “the abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom.” Please understand that the enemy doesn’t need to arrest you and put you in a cage to take your Freedom. They can do it just as easily by confiscating your property through taxers or by restricting your ability to control your property via bureaucratic regulations.

There can be no real Liberty without private property. There can be little value in life devoid of individual stewardship – and stewardship is embodied in one’s control of private property. In order to be free agents and fully accountable for our individual actions, we must have the right to acquire and control private property. Without this right, no other right really matters. Without private property, there is no Liberty. Without private property, individuality is a hollow talking point. Without private property, we are a collective mass of equally miserable beings. And without the right of private property, there is no Liberty.

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I urge you to rise in opposition to the enemies of private property – the communists and big-government collectivists. I encourage you to never relinquish your private property willing, for in so doing you become a slave. And I implore you to always remember that property and Liberty are inseparably linked and that the latter cannot exist without the former. Keep ever in mind the truth that our rightful stewardship over private property is the essence of our Liberty and the essence of our success as Americans. God help America reclaim her sacred rights and her precious Freedom!

Zack Strong,

January 10, 2020

Letters of Marque and Reprisal

What if I told you that the U.S. Constitution offers a way for America to eliminate her enemies – terrorists, pirates, hostile groups, drug cartels, and so forth – without engaging in disastrous, lengthy, and costly wars? The device I refer to is Congress’s authority to issue letters of marque and reprisal. A letter of marque and reprisal is essentially a declaration of war on an individual or group rather than on a nation. It is a contract issued by the U.S. government to allow private individuals or organizations to hunt down our nations enemies and/or seize their assets. It operates like a government-issued warrant against private, non-state enemies – a warrant that does not need to be executed by the U.S. military but which is fulfilled by private American citizens and groups.

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To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water” is one of the few powers delegated to Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The very fact that this authority was included in the Constitution when the Founders were so careful about limiting Congress’s power is evidence enough of its importance. Our nation also has a long history of using letters of marque and reprisal. They were issued by Congress during the War for Independence, during our struggles with the Barbary Pirates, and all the way up through the Second World War. There is simply no reason why we should not be using them today to make America safe while keeping our nation out of disastrous, illegal wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On December 12, 1812, President James Madison signed a congressional letter of marque. It read:

BE IT KNOWN, That in pursuance of an act of congress, passed on the 26th day of June one thousand eight hundred and twelve, I have Commissioned, and by these presents do commission, the private armed Brig called the Prince Neufchatel of the burden of three hundred & Nineteen tons, or thereabouts, owned by John Ordronaux & Peter E. Trevall of the City & State of New York and Joseph Beylle of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania Mounting eighteen carriage guns, and navigated by one hundred & twenty nine men, hereby authorizing Nicholas Millin captain, and William Stetson lieutenant of the said Brig and the other officers and crew thereof, to subdue, seize, and take any armed or unarmed British vessel, public or private, which shall be found within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or elsewhere on the high seas, or within the waters of the British dominions, and such captured vessel, with her apparel, guns, and appertenances, and the goods or effects which shall be found on board the same, together with all the british persons and others who shall be found acting on board, to bring within some port of the United States; and also to retake any vessel, goods, and effects of the people of the United States, which may have been captured by any British armed vessel, in order that proceedings may be had concerning such capture or recapture in due form of law, and as to right and justice shall appertain. The said Nicholas Millin is further authorized to detain, seize, and take all vessels and effects, to whomsoever belonging, which shall be liabel thereto according to the law of nations and the rights of the United States as a power at war, and to bring the same within some port of the United States, in order that due proceedings may be had thereon. This commission to continue in force during the pleasure of the president of the United States for the time being.”

Notice what letters of marque and reprisal can do. They can authorize individuals – in this case, a private ship crew – to act with the full authority of the U.S. government in destroying our enemies. Captain Millin and his crew were authorized under this grant of power to “subdue, seize, and take” any British ship and their assets. In this case, the letter was issued during wartime. But it equally applies to peacetime – or whenever our sworn enemies threaten us.

To really comprehend what letters of marque and reprisals are all about, I quote from several excellent sources.

In an essay titled “Resurrecting Letters of Marque and Reprisal to Address Modern Threats,” Navy Commander Jonathan L. Still wrote:

[T]he origin of the “letter of marque and reprisal” stems from its use in time of peace. Although often synonymous with privateering because they were typically issued to privateers, the concept of such letters is historically distinct from privateering. The traditional law of marque allowed a private citizen to cross borders, while reprisal referred to the act of seeking restitution for a perceived slight. Thus letters of marque and reprisal licensed private citizens of one state to take recompense from the citizens of another for a legally recognized grievance. . . .

Evidence of the Framers’ intent to create a strong national government can be seen in the Constitution’s provisions, as well as its preamble, which states that it was established to “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” The fact that the Congress’ power to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal has never been revoked, despite international treaties against privateering, should be considered indicative of the nation’s collective desire to ensure that the United States remains adaptive to developments in the global environment and the ever-changing international relations framework. The Framers understood that the U.S. must always have a means to protect itself against foreign threats and ensure economic vitality if it is to remain the guarantor of American freedom and prosperity.

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As the U.S. and the international community contemplate a host of difficult security concerns modern extraterritorial threats such as piracy, terrorism, and cyber exploitation, U.S. policymakers and legal scholars should contemplate the conceptual merit of letters of marque and reprisal as a means of combating these threats short of “war.””

In a 2013 article, Joe Wolverton, II provided insight into the present topic. He spoke of our illegitimate War on Terror and the constitutional issues of invading nations without a declaration of war to supposedly fight terrorists. He wrote:

First, violating the Constitution is never an answer; neither is carrying out acts of war against non-belligerent nations who are — whether willingly or not — harboring those public enemies. . . .

Fortunately, there is a means of exposing suspected terrorists to justice, even when they are hiding out in nations that refuse to extradite them to the United States for that purpose.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to “grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal.”

This is a power that is rarely discussed and almost never exercised. . . .

Consecutive presidents have explained that since 9/11 we face a “new kind of enemy.” Isn’t this type of supranational foe exactly the kind that could be best fought using the immense and elastic power of issuing letters of marque and reprisal? . . . .

The irrefutable fact remains, however, that the issuing of letters of marque and reprisal is an effective and available constitutional alternative to the launching of missiles from drones or “boots on the ground” inside the borders of foreign countries with whom we are not at war.”

Wolverton also cited the text of letters of marque and reprisal granted by Congress in 1781. It reads:

You may by force of arms attack, subdue, and seize all ships, vessels and goods, belonging to the King or Crown of Great Britain, or to his subjects, or others inhabiting within any of the territories or possessions of the aforesaid King of Great Britain, on the high seas, or between high-water and low-water marks. And you may also annoy the enemy by all means in your power, by land as well as by water, taking care not to infringe or violate the laws of nations, or laws of neutrality.”

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Writing for The Federalist, Georgi Boorman similarly explained:

The U.S. military wears a heavy boot, but at the moment it does nothing more than cast a shadow over the growing terrorist threat. However, the U.S. Constitution allows another way for citizens to combat threats to life or property: a letter of marque.

Letters of marque are expressly granted in the Constitution . . . Letters of marque are essentially permits for private individuals to use force against enemies of the state on its behalf. In the early eighteenth century, these letters began to function as a way to supplement national navies. “Privateers” were given letters of marque permitting them to capture and plunder enemy ships; an admiralty court adjudicated on the legality of the capture. . . .

Pulled out from under a dozen other tactics and strategies, dusted off, and cast onto the table where “war” and “diplomacy” are the only options on display, letters of marque could be the centuries-old concept that aids a modern armed-forces effort. . . .

One can think of letters of marque as an old solution fashioned anew to meet the unique challenges of an ideologically motivated organization bent on destroying the West and any regions touched by its influence.”

Finally, in an article about the rising threat of piracy, Bob Confer wrote:

It’s a little-known fact that the Constitution allows Congress to essentially deputize private individuals to protect American interests on international waters . . . It is those letters [of marque and reprisal], contracts of sort, which would authorize a seafarer to take the law into his own hands and engage the pirates in gun play when threatened and take those pirates into custody, a citizen’s arrest as it were. Without such legal authorization, the mariner — who was only trying to protect the safety of crew and cargo — could theoretically be looked at as a pirate under international law. . . .

One congressman, who is one of the very few who truly comprehends and respects the wonders of the Constitution, sees merit behind dusting off this piece of America’s foundation. Dr. Ron Paul has been a consistent proponent of the letters, demanding their reintroduction through the years. He famously called for them in 2002 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks (which would have tempered some of the unconstitutional trappings of the USA PATRIOT Act) and again following this past spring’s Somali standoff.

It’s a little disconcerting that Congressman Paul’s commonsense — and legal — ideas have fallen on deaf ears and that shippers haven’t been granted their privilege of protection. Despite the logic behind such a faith in force — and the natural right to self-defense that far outweighs the legal privilege — the more “politically correct” officials of the day have opted to ignore letters of marque and reprisal and rely instead on our naval forces.”

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It was Congressman Ron Paul whom I first heard talk about letters of marque and reprisal in terms of combating terrorists. In October 2001, Congressman Paul authored a bill “to commission, under officially issued letters of marque and reprisal, so many of privately armed and equipped persons and entities as, in his judgment, the service may require . . . to employ all means reasonably necessary to seize outside the geographic boundaries of the United States and its territories” Osama bin Laden and his co-conspirators. This method would have been vastly preferable to sending thousands of troops to Afghanistan, bombing innocent villages, occupying a sovereign nation, making ourselves a world pariah, and wasting trillions of dollars. Also, as a point of historical fact, the Taliban offered to hunt down Osama bin Laden if the U.S. government could provide evidence that he was behind the 9/11 attacks. Of course, no such evidence exists and the Taliban’s offer was ignored in favor of launching the pre-planned “War on Terror.”

In today’s chaotic world with terrorists, pirates, and international enemies under every stone, would it not be wiser and more efficient to again issue letters of marque and reprisal to combat them? Instead of fighting against nations, we would fight against hostile individuals and organizations wherever they’re found. Instead of mobilizing our military and wasting trillions of dollars and spilling our blood all over the world, private citizens or private security forces would act on our behalf. Instead of senselessly invading a nation like Iraq, we could make targeted attacks on individuals like the terrorist Qasem Soleimani who was thankfully taken out earlier this week.

America has thousands of veterans – many of whom are unemployed and in need of work – who no doubt would sign up as privateers to hunt down our country’s enemies (indeed, there are already thousands of hired guns fighting for us in the Middle East). Their skill and expertise could be easily channeled into legitimate endeavors against our enemies rather than wasted in years-long occupations of sovereign nations following undeclared and costly wars. There would be many other patriotic Americans and organizations who would doubtless sign up for such missions. And would not these commissioned, targeted strikes by passionate patriots be preferable to large-scale wars that drag on for years and divide our Republic?

In my own personal conception, letters of marque and reprisal could be issued against wicked enemies of the United States like George Soros and the Rothschild clan. These are sworn enemies of America who use their billions to bring us to our knees and who are in the process of transforming us into a communistic banana republic. Just because they don’t wield weapons, but instead use the very real weapons of finance, credit, media propaganda, and so forth, does not diminish their danger to our People. Granting commissions to willing and able Americans to hunt down and either eliminate or capture these miscreants could be nothing but a good thing for our country.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution is an inspired document. It was given to our nation by God Almighty. It was crafted under His inspiration by good, honorable, and wise men. Congress’s power to grant letters of marque and reprisal to safeguard our nation while avoiding the unnecessary dangers of full-scale war is a godsend. It is a device that we must start using again. If we truly love America, we should use the Constitution’s natural methods to defend and protect her. Issuing letters of marque and reprisal is one tried-and-tested way of deterring America’s enemies, saving American lives, and protecting the Republic.

Zack Strong,

January 4, 2019

Please consider reading and signing my petition to Congress on letters of marque and reprisal:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/resurrect-letters-marque-and-reprisal-combat-americas-enemies

Abortionism – Cult of Death

What is “abortionism”? When you search the word “abortionism” on Google, you get a paltry 7,010 results and not a whole lot of substance. Even as I type the term into my word processor, a squiggly red “error” line appears underneath it telling me it’s not a word. Yet, abortionism is very real. It is my purpose today to introduce you to abortionism and raise my warning voice against this evil.

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In a brilliant 2014 article for LifeSiteNews, one of the premier sources for pro-life news, Jonathon Van Maren gave us this description of abortionism:

““Abortionism” is essentially a philosophy that raises abortion to a sacred status, above all other democratic principles.

. . . Abortion’s now-sacred status is symptomatic of something far more sinister: the sweeping success of the Sexual Revolution. So-called “sexual rights” are now considered to be the most important “rights” our society has, and take precedence over all other rights, regardless of how fundamental they are.”

Abortionism is part and parcel of a creed that places sex on an altar. For adherents, sex and self-gratification is a religion. Anything connected with sex, such as “sexual rights” – of which abortion ranks first – is considered sacrosanct. “My body, my choice” has become their mantra. And abortion is their highest sacrament. The deluded parishioners of this death cult view any opposition to abortion-on-demand and the hedonistic culture that necessitates it as an attack on their core beliefs.

This sycophantic assembly of abortion-lovers is oblivious to the fact that they are imitating the cultures of the past which sacrificed precious babies to pagan gods. In my article “Moloch’s Modern Children,” I wrote:

Abortion is nothing if not child sacrifice. It is perhaps more systematized and sanitized by impersonal medical jargon than its ancient counterpart, but the result is the same – the mass slaughter of infants. Whereas the heathen peoples of the past sacrificed their children to false gods and idols for religious purposes, we sacrifice our children on the altar of political ideology. . . .

Truly, abortion is modern human sacrifice disguised in medical terminology and deceptively euphemistic language. It is just as grotesque and cruel today as when the heathens did it anciently. . . .

Abortion is infanticide, plain and simple. It is our modern-day version of public ritual sacrifice. We don’t sacrifice our children to Moloch by making them “pass through the fire” (2 Kings 23:10), but we do sacrifice them in murder facilities known as abortion clinics. We don’t burn them to death, but we do rip their little skulls apart and suck out their brains, inject them with fatal chemicals, snip their spinal cord, leave them in freezers to die, or cut them apart while still alive in order to harvest their organs. How are we any different than the pagan peoples of the past? If anything, we are worse because we deny that our actions are wrong and turn a blind eye to the gruesome ways in which our children are butchered.”

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Like the Hebrews of the past in their times of wickedness, modern peoples sacrifice their children to false gods – whether those gods be ideologies, political parties, or religious beliefs. Though we don’t usually burn our children to death before a chanting crowd, we nevertheless butcher them – and then feminists and LGBT maniacs clamor for this “right” in mass protests. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Al Lemmo, a self-declared “pro-life activist” and current Republican congressional candidate running against the radical socialist feminist Muslim Rashida Tlaib, has written some of the most scathing rebukes of abortionism you can find on the net. Lemmo defined abortionism as an “idolatrous cult . . . based in a philosophy of human self-worship.” He further observed:

Its standard practices are three “abortions”:

1) The Theological Abortion of the authority of God to grant us our human rights . . . This act of idolatry is at the heart of all sin. It can also be described as idolatrous worship of the human intellect as competent to choose criteria for who deserves the recognition and protection of the human community as persons under the law. This enables the second abortion, which is…

2) The Mental Abortion, by which the target population, however defined, is mentally relegated to some subhuman category such that anything can be done to it. This step is essential to overcoming the moral obstacles to committing the most egregious violations of other human beings that all human societies prohibit. Conscience is effectively removed from the picture by this process such that the third and final abortion can be done. This is…

3) The Physical Abortion of lives or liberties by some form of murder, enslavement, plunder or bodily violation. In the case of prenatal child-slaying it is literally [a] living human sacrifice (abortion rites) to the idols this nation has come to worship (money, power, reputation, convenience, unrestricted sexual expression, etc.).”

The self-worship premise of abortionism brings to mind a statement from the ex-communist Whittaker Chambers. In his exposé Witness, Chambers observed:

Communism is what happens when, in the name of Mind, men free themselves from God” (Whittaker Chambers, Witness, xxxvii).

As will be discussed later, the plague of abortion – modern human sacrifice – has been promoted most fervently by the Marxists. But in a broader sense, abortionism, hedonism, feminism, and all other selfish, me-centered ideologies, are a result of man’s rejection of God. This amalgam of Devilish philosophies is a complete repudiation of reality and nature. It is a rebellion against the very notion of eternal law and order!

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Abortionism is a rejection of God and, with Him, a rejection of moral laws. The creed deifies man – though not unborn humans, apparently. It negates all just laws and the decrees of the Constitution. It abolishes the notion promulgated in the Declaration of Independence that we have certain natural rights from our Creator, such as the right to life. It completely dismisses the basis of Western civilization as incorrect and instead embraces the might-makes-right barbarism of the past.

I cannot emphasize this too strongly. And so at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me restate these points. As Americans, it is particularly crucial that we understand that abortionism strikes at the heart of everything that made our Republic great and that those who promote it are inherently anti-American. Abortionism is not merely another lifestyle – it is alien and hostile to Americanism. It is incompatible with our traditional culture and societal system. The United States was founded on the idea of eternal law. Our nation’s first law, first creed, and first public declaration proclaims that we are all “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is to “secure these rights, [that] Governments are instituted among Men.” The U.S. government was brought into being to protect life and all that a free existence entails!

Americanism, at its core, is based on the concept that there is a God, that the universe is governed by immutable laws, that human beings are bound by those laws, and that the primary purpose of individuals forming civil societies and erecting governments is to better secure those rights and defend against those who would destroy them. Abortionists, by default, are at open war with the first of all rights, the right of life, and with our Constitution which guarantees this right. The malicious destruction of innocent human life, therefore, is an attack upon God’s laws, Christian culture, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Americanist philosophy.

In another editorial, Al Lemmo wrote the following about this vile death cult and further explained why it is incompatible with the American Freedom philosophy, rule of law, and Christian civilization:

Abortionism is the world’s oldest and most destructive cult. Its central dogma, unchanged through millennia, has held that the fundamental and inalienable rights to life, liberty and property are not rights at all but conditional grants that may be terminated or aborted at any time on the basis of whatever criteria those who have the power to do the aborting choose to recognize. Any portion of the human community may be summarily excluded from recognition and even destroyed based on these criteria. The criteria may include race, color, creed, national origin, class, sex, abilities and birth.

The Abortionite dogma is totally opposed to that of the originally established “religion” of America which was an inclusive philosophy of unconditional and intrinsic human rights. The only criterion for inclusion was to be a living member of the human species, born or unborn. I choose to call this philosophy “Intrinsicism”. The Abortionite dogma is then an extreme subset of a philosophy that can be called “Extrinsicism”, or the belief that fundamental human rights derive from extrinsic human sources rather than being inherent with each individual.

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The extremism of the Abortionite lies in his willingness to destroy (or abort) the fundamental human rights of those he has refused to grant recognition or personhood. . . .

Regardless of exclusionary criterion, the central dogma and guiding philosophy of Abortionism – that rights are granted to powerless people by powerful people rather than intrinsic with every individual – remains intact from one sect to the next. The reverence for power, especially the power to decide whose lives and liberties may be destroyed, has always been the common thread among all Abortionites. . . .

The first objective of any Abortionite campaign has been to breach the wall of separation between freedom and oppression (or civilization and barbarianism) which is the philosophical foundation of a free or civilized society. This wall is the philosophy of Intrinsicism. Once the wall is breached by compromising the integrity of the philosophy that protects life and liberty, all the criteria of the various Abortionite sects then compete on an equal basis because they are justified in principle.

Abortionism is humanity’s original false religion . . . Eternal vigilance is the price of keeping Abortionism in check, yet it has such an amazing capacity to evade detection, mutate and adapt itself to any culture, that it has continued to plague humanity, even infecting a society as dedicated to human rights as our own in epidemic proportions.”

We can debate some of Lemmo’s definitions perhaps, but there is no debating the fact that the death cult of abortionism is hostile to everything America has traditionally stood for – Faith, Families, and Freedom. It is inimical to the rights declared in our founding documents. It is antithetical to the Christian norms that have undergirded our society for centuries. It is an offensive, perverse, murderous ideology born in and suckled on blood. The voices of millions of infants cry out to the God who gave them life against this ritualized slaughter.

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The Lord anciently said “all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36). It is an eternally true proverb. Those in rebellion against the Lord’s laws in our day are part of a massive death cult. Communism is the ultimate murder cult and all those who support and tolerate the socialist/communist ideology – which advocates abortion as a “human right” – hate the Lord and love death.

In 1971, the great religious leader Spencer W. Kimball took to the pulpit to admonish society for adopting hedonistic practices. He spoke of the lax sexual norms that lead to ideologies like abortionism and how these trends destroy families and will eventually upend our entire society. He stated:

Men and women are “lovers of their own selves.” They boast in their accomplishment. They curse. They blaspheme. Another sin is disobedience of children to parents and parents’ disobedience to law. Many are without the natural affection, which seems to be eroding family life as they seek to satisfy their own selfish wants.

There are said to be millions of perverts who have relinquished their natural affection and bypassed courtship and normal marriage relationships. This practice is spreading like a prairie fire and changing our world. They are without “natural affection” for God, for spouses, and even for children.

Paul speaks of continencea word almost forgotten by our world. Still in the dictionary, it means self-restraint, in sexual activities especially. Many good people, being influenced by the bold spirit of the times, are now seeking surgery for the wife or the husband so they may avoid pregnancies and comply with the strident voice demanding a reduction of children. It was never easy to bear and rear children, but easy things do not make for growth and development. But loud, blatant voices today shout “fewer children” and offer the Pill, drugs, surgery, and even ugly abortion to accomplish that. Strange, the proponents of depopulating the world seem never to have thought of continence!

Libraries are loaded with books with shocking pictures, showing people how to totally satisfy their animal natures, but few books are found on the self-control of continence. With a theory that “life is for sex,” every imagination of the minds of men devises ways to more completely get what they call “sexual fulfillment,” which they demand at the expense of all elsefamily, home, eternal life. There should be from press and lecture platform and pulpit deep and resounding voices urging man to rise above the carnal and rest his mind on things clean and sacred” (President Spencer W. Kimball, “Voices of the Past, of the Present, of the Future,” General Conference, April, 1971).

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Yes, society is wrapped up in self-love to the detriment of everything holy and good. People want the benefits of sex without marriage, of intimacy without responsibility, and of pleasure without “burdens” like children. They use devices, pills, and procedures to ensure that they won’t fulfill the highest purpose of sexual intimacy – having children. But of course they’ll happily receive the sexual benefits formerly reserved for marriage! They are so self-absorbed and care only about themselves and their own convenience and pleasure to such an extreme degree that they’re willing to murder their offspring.

Let’s make no bones about it. Abortion is infanticide! It is de facto murder. It is the premeditated destruction of another human being – a little child with fingers, eyes, and a heartbeat. Mortal life begins at conception. In spite of all the propaganda to the contrary, science has conclusively proven this to be the case. With this in mind, we can positively state that elective abortion – which accounts for 99% of all abortions whereas exceptions for rape victims account for less than one percent of procedures – is the willing, deliberate, and unnecessary taking of life and has no place in a free and ordered society.

Feminists and their ilk say “my body, my choice.” But this is not true. It is such an intellectually flimsy argument that every honest person can see through it. In a 2008 sermon, the world-renowned heart surgeon and current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, spoke of abortion and the “my body, my choice” myth. He said:

This war called abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice. . . .

. . . Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.

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Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences. . . .

Yes, a woman is free to choose what she will do with her body. Whether her choice leads to an astronaut’s mission or to a baby, her choice to begin the journey binds her to the consequences of that choice. She cannot “unchoose.”

When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of lifeand a lifetime of choices that her child would make. . . .

Life is precious! No one can cuddle an innocent infant, look into those beautiful eyes, feel the little fingers, and kiss that baby’s cheek without a deepening reverence for life and for our Creator. Life comes from life. It is no accident. It is a gift from God. Innocent life is not sent by Him to be destroyed. It is given by Him and is naturally to be taken by Him alone” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless,” General Conference, October, 2008).

Life is precious, indeed! Babies are cherished gems trusted into our care. A baby is a “reward” from our Father in Heaven (Psalm 127:3-5). No one has a right to snuff out an innocent life – and especially not for mere convenience sake. No one has a right to destroy another body while erroneously claiming it is their own body. No one has a right to deny nature or escape the consequences of their choices – including the beautiful gift that is a human child. And no unrepentant soul will escape the harsh judgment reserved for those who destroy innocent children.

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Yet, despite these seminal truths, the selfish mindset of abortionism is spreading. It is so bad that some spiritually sick women are now getting pregnant just so they can abort their babies in what is nothing more than ritual murder! Despite recent pro-life legal victories, our culture is becoming continuously saturated with the death cult mentality. Life is little valued. The weakest among us are scarcely protected. And far too many otherwise good people are silent, thus becoming complicit in the criminality.

No civilized society, no society that is just, no society that values the rule of law, can allow abortion. It is a plague like slavery. As slavery did, it is tearing our society apart. And what Thomas Jefferson said of slavery applies to abortion:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever” (Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII).

I tremble for America when I think that since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision – an affront to the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of the right of life – over 70 million innocent, defenseless infants have been slaughtered. For context, this is a higher death toll than that accrued at the hands of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union! It is many times more than all the deaths of American service men in all of our nation’s wars combined! How truly sad it is that more Americans have been killed by their own mothers than at the hands of all our enemies!

One final point should be discussed. Perhaps my readers tire of me mentioning the communists, but out of fidelity to truth, I must do so. In modern times, abortion has been popularized and normalized by the Marxists. Yes, the feminists have been at the forefront of promoting this infanticide as a woman’s “right,” but feminism itself is only part of cultural Marxism and the leading feminists were usually card-carrying members of the Communist Party (and, frequently, anti-Christian Jews). The LGBT movement which also promotes hedonism and abortion was started by a homosexual man named Harry Hay who was, you guessed it, also a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA (he originally married a fellow communist Jewess before divorcing her to pursue his homosexual fantasies). And the Soviet Union was the first nation to legalize abortion-on-demand (as well as no-fault divorce). All of this was introduced to fulfill The Communist Manifesto’s dream of “abolishing the family” and subverting Christian society to make way for global domination by the Marxist state.

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It should be startling to Americans do know that we are following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union and adopting the avowed principles of Marxism – the world’s most murderous ideology. Not only did communism slaughter between 100-150 million people in Russia and China alone, but it has the blood of dozens of millions more on its hands through the wars its has started and the practice of abortion is popularized. I sincerely believe we will never win our fight against abortionism as an emerging religion if we do not identify it as a branch of the communism conspiracy. And we will never win that fight unless we acknowledge that communism is Satanism and that Satan is a real being who leads the forces of darkness in the fight against the Son of God. If we are to throw off the shroud of darkness that hangs over us, we must do so with the light of Christ – for only light expels darkness.

We battle, as Paul said, “against powers, against the rulers darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). What wickedness could be greater than the deliberate mass slaughter of infants? What can be called “darkness” if not the genocide of unborn children being perpetrated in abortion clinics worldwide? What, if not abortionism’s assault on life, can possibly rouse us to stand up in defense of our God-given rights?

We have an option as a society. We can stand up and say, “No more” to those who advocate killing the next generation of Americans or we can continue to allow the slaughter of our infants until the act of killing for convenience so saturates our culture that we begin killing the elderly, the diseased, and others we think encumber our lives. Don’t fool yourself – history cries out that this is exactly where this genocidal road leads.

And so, what will you do? Will you sit silently, making yourself an accessory to this great crime of infant slaughter? Or will you exercise all your avenues for speaking out, swaying minds, and warning your neighbor? And what of President Trump? What is he doing? Does he not understand that when he swore his oath to uphold the Constitution that he also swore to protect our rights, including our right to life, regardless of what a rogue Supreme Court said nearly fifty years ago? Do we, as a People, not understand that Roe v. Wade was an unconstitutional, and, thus, void, opinion by an activist court that abused its authority? Do we, the American People, not understand that no ruling, no law, no decree from any leader is valid and enforceable unless it conforms to the Constitution – a document which defends life? Or do we simply not have the courage to hold our elected representatives accountable for fulfilling their oaths?

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I make a plea for everyone to reject the scourge of abortion, to combat the cultish dogma of abortionism, and to only support men for office who will take their oaths to the Constitution seriously and defend our God-given rights. Stand firm against the onslaught of popular opinion – for we are on the Lord’s errand in defending His precious sons and daughters. He gives life not to be destroyed, but to be cherished and protected. As Americans, do your duty and rise in defense of those ideals which made ours the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Defend our Faith, Families, and Freedom against the demonic assault of the Marxist abortionists!

Zack Strong,

December 31, 2019

Joseph Smith – Praise to the Man

One of the most influential figures in world history began his early life as an unassuming, unlearned farm boy from upper state New York. Born on December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr. was the fourth of eleven children born to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. America at the time was abuzz with religious revival. The Smith family was a mixture of Methodists and Presbyterians. They attended revival meetings and church services when they could, but their primary devotions were in their home as a family. This blend of influences filled the young Joseph with a desire to find the Lord’s one true Church – a quest that would lead him to transform the world.

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As a fourteen year old boy, Joseph Smith found himself seeking advice from pastors, pondering the Gospel, and reading from the Holy Bible. He was particularly confused at the stark differences in doctrine held by all the various sects claiming to be Christian. He recalled the scenes of confusion which resulted from these irreconcilable differences:

[A]scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions” (Joseph Smith History 1:6).

Joseph wondered how he could ever learn the truth by consulting the Bible since every religious group had a different interpretation of that holy book. He observed 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” (Joseph Smith History 1:12).

It was during this time of confusion in 1820 that Joseph Smith came across a passage of scripture that left a profound impression on his mind and led him on a course that not only changed his life, but which continues to shape our world today. Joseph Smith was reading in the book of James when this passage lept off the page:

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).

The young Joseph recounted how deeply this inspired counsel affected him:

Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know. . . .

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” (Joseph Smith History 1:12-14).

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Can you see the simple faith of a humble boy reflected in these words? Joseph was a sincere person. He merely wanted to know what God wished him to do. It was his faith that if he obeyed the words of scripture and prayed in sincerity of soul, God would lead him as the Apostle James had testified He would. Joseph was therefore determined to pray and then follow any answer received because he knew that God would not lie.

Perhaps the most extraordinary event of Joseph Smith’s life occurred when he “retired to the woods” to pray to his Maker. Joseph recounted his sacred experience thus:

It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for midst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

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!” (Joseph Smith History 1:14-17)

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What the young Joseph Smith experienced that spring day in a grove of trees is referred to as a theophany, or an appearance of God to man. The Bible records numerous theophanies, from Moses’ experiences seeing and speaking with Jehovah (Exodus 3:4-6; Exodus 19:19-20) to Abraham’s first vision of God (Genesis 18:1-3) to Jacob’s famous wrestle (Genesis 32:27-30) to Isaiah’s vision of the Lord on His throne (Isaiah 6:1) and so forth. At times, these sacred experiences were given to older men and at times they were granted to humble youths like Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4, 10, 21). The Lord even appeared to the wicked Saul who, because of this divine experience, converted to the truth and became one of the greatest Christian missionaries in history (Acts 9:3-7). Throughout time, theophanies routinely preceded and heralded the opening of a new prophetic era and the calling of an individual as a holy prophet of the Lord. And so it was in 1820 with the young Joseph Smith.

After God the Father addressed Joseph and announced His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Joseph asked the question that had burdened his soul. He wrote:

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 1:18-20).

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On another occasion, Joseph Smith recorded the instructions he had been given by the Lord in this way:

I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day. They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as His Church and kingdom: and was expressly commanded “to go not after them,” at the same time receiving a promise that the fullness of the Gospel should at some future time be made known unto me” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, 536, March 1, 1842).

After the glorious appearance of the Father and the Son, Joseph waited eagerly for the further light and knowledge he had been promised. He waited for three years. While engaged in prayer one night in 1823, he was finally granted additional light. Joseph wrote of this experience and of others that followed:

On the evening on the 21st of September, A.D. 1823, while I was praying unto God, and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of Scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room, indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire; the appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the Gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.

I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me; I was also told where were deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient Prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things. After having received many visits from the angels of God unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the 22nd of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into my hands. . . .

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In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This book also tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, &c, and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, 536-537, March 1, 1842).

The angel that appeared in 1823 was named Moroni and was the last prophet of the Nephites, the ancient American inhabitants described above. In approximately 420 A.D., Moroni buried a sacred record of God’s dealings with the Nephites and other ancient American peoples in a small hill in present day New York. Joseph Smith was entrusted with this record for the purpose of translating it into English so that its doctrines could be “united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.” The translated record came to be known as The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, named after the Nephite warrior-prophet Mormon who served as the chief compiler and editor of the ancient record.

The Book of Mormon is an authentic book of holy Christian scripture similar to the Bible. It is a second witness to the world that the Bible’s testimony of the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ is accurate and truthful. The Book of Mormon is the “stick of Joseph” that Ezekiel foresaw would be joined with the “stick of Judah” to form “one stick” in the hand of God (Ezekiel 37:15-19). It is the “book” seen by Isaiah that the learned cannot read, but which one “that is not learned” should read and cause to spring forth “a marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:10-14). This divine record supports, and at times clarifies, Biblical doctrines regarding the House of Israel, the covenants of God, the ordinances of baptism and of receiving the Holy Spirit, prayer, and, of course, the all-important Atonement of the Savior. The Book of Mormon is, at its core, a beautiful and uncompromising witness of Jesus Christ.

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In one place, the prophet Nephi bore fervent witness, almost six hundred years before His birth, of Jesus Christ. He witnessed:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. . . .

And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out” (2 Nephi 25:26, 29).

Jacob, Nephi’s brother and fellow servant of God, also witnessed of the Messiah and His Gospel:

[B]ehold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God. . . .

O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell. . . .

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” (2 Nephi 9:18-19, 21-23).

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Another prophet named Alma also testified of the Son of God’s then forthcoming Atonement and the marvelous blessing it would be for mankind:

[B]ehold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all – for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. . . .

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me” (Alma 7:7, 11-13).

The inspired Amaleki gave us these encouraging words:

I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved” (Omni 1:26).

Finally, in the closing pages of the record, the prophet Moroni, the same who appeared to Joseph Smith, issued a challenge and a promise to anyone who would read the record:

I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye should ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:3-5).

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“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

These are the sort of passionate testimonies, doctrines, and promises that fill The Book of Mormon record. On nearly ever page of this sacred text there are references to Jesus Christ. The ancient Nephite prophets pleaded with their people, and with those of us they knew would one day read their record, to have faith on the name of Jesus, rely on His redeeming power, and join themselves to His Church. We could know with certainty the identity of that Church if we would simply pray, as James also instructed, and as the young Joseph Smith did in 1820.

Dear reader, please understand that Joseph Smith did not invent or write this volume of scripture; he translated The Book of Mormon through the power of God for the sole purpose of building up the Lord’s Church in the last days and bringing people to Jesus Christ. Please also know that I have a burning testimony of the truthfulness of that holy book. It leads me to believe in Christ, to follow Him, and to do good. It gives me knowledge that is sweet to my soul and which enlightens my understanding of life. And, most importantly, I have tested Moroni’s challenge by reading, pondering, and sincerely praying about The Book of Mormon. In response to my prayers, the Holy Spirit has touched my heart and affirmed in an unmistakable manner the divinity of that book. I love The Book of Mormon!

I also love the man who was the instrument in the Lord’s hands in bringing The Book of Mormon to light, Joseph Smith. His story no doubt sounds extraordinary – perhaps unbelievable – to someone hearing it for the first time. Joseph Smith acknowledged this when he said:

I don’t blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 6, 317, April 7, 1844).

Even though it is sounds unbelievable, it is true! And Joseph Smith suffered a life of defamation, brutalization, and persecution culminating in the murder of himself and his brother Hyrum because he stood firm in his testimony of what he had experienced and of what God had revealed to him. I have often pondered the mobbing and persecutions he and his family went through and have asked myself this question: “Would a man really suffer all of this for a lie?” The answer is a resounding “No!”Such a legacy of staunch belief in the face of bitter persecution is surely striking to even the most hardened skeptic.

One particular moment that touches my heart and demonstrates the greatness of Joseph Smith occurred when Joseph Smith and several of his fellow Latter-day Saints were betrayed by one of their own and illegally arrested by a militia and thrown into the ironically named Liberty Jail. For six months, they endured hunger and exposure and were subjected to ridicule while being denied due process under the law. Parley P. Pratt, one of those unjustly imprisoned alongside Joseph Smith, recorded that “in one of those tedious nights” in the jail, “we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our guards . . . as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the “Mormons” while at Far West and vicinity. They even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters and virgins, and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children.” Pratt then described what happened next:

I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!

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He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.

I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the Courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri.”

What a powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith! And lest skeptics think this is an isolated incident, it wasn’t. Frequently, assassins who came with the Devilish intent of murdering the Prophet were so captivated and swayed by his “unruffled” presence in the face of danger – his profound “dignity and majesty” – that they ended up having dinner with him instead. The descriptions of those who met with Joseph Smith, friend and foe alike, are quite remarkable and I recommend the reader search them out in books such as They Knew the Prophet: Personal Accounts From Over 100 People Who Knew Joseph Smith by Hyrum Andrus.

Joseph Smith’s character was such that he could not be swayed from his beliefs by unjust imprisonment, mobbing, or the assassin’s gun. He made this remark about those who persecuted him and tried to coerce him to deny what he had really seen, heard, and experienced:

It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy? . . . .

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Joseph Smith being tarred and feathered March 24, 1832

I soon found . . . that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me. . . .

I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.

So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation” (Joseph Smith History 1:20, 22, 24-25).

Again I ask: What would a man suffer for a lie? If Joseph Smith was lying about his experiences, as detractors then and now claim, would he have maintained his lie in the face of mobbing, being tarred and feathered, being beaten, being poisoned, being arrested and tried forty-eight times (and acquitted all forty-eight), being threatened with death, being kidnapped and unjustly imprisoned for six months in the ironically named Liberty Jail, being betrayed and hunted by former friends, watching his followers murdered and driven from state to state, and, finally, in the face of certain slaughter by a vicious mob alongside his beloved brother Hyrum? I submit that a liar, a self-aggrandizer, a fraud, a charlatan, and a false prophet would not suffer so excruciatingly for a lie. Rather, logic dictates that, as a minimum, Joseph Smith truly believed what he said; namely, that God had appeared to him and called him as a prophet to restore the Lord’s Church.

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Millions of people from all across the globe have stepped forward to testify that they know, through the power of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was no liar. From Fiji to Brazil to Russia to Japan, millions have witnessed that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of Almighty God, that he in fact saw God and His Son, that They commanded him to restore the Savior’s Church in its fullness, that he was empowered to translate a sacred record of a Christian people living in ancient America, that the Lord’s Priesthood authority was given anew to him through heavenly messengers, and that from his day to the present there has been an unbroken line of prophets and apostles testifying to the world of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I include myself among those who so testify of Joseph Smith and the Savior Jesus Christ whom he loved, served, and gave his life for.

Because of Joseph Smith’s testimony, thousands of people left their homes and homelands, forsook their belongings, and faced persecution to gather with the Saints of God. They contributed their meager earthly means to help build up The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Joseph was murdered, his influence continued to rally the Saints who proceeded to march across the plains to an uninhabited land and build up a Christian society.

Joseph Smith’s life and prophetic witness have changed and directed my own life to an enormous degree. Without exaggeration, I am who I am because of Jesus and Joseph. Because Brother Joseph restored Christ’s Church, and because the Holy Spirit has confirmed to my soul the divinity of that Church, I went to Russia for two years, struggling to learn the language and enduring arrest by the FSB and hatred by the people, to preach “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Because Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon, and because I have zealously studied that book and taken its warnings to heart, I have chosen my career field and daily raise my voice against the forces of evil and conspiracy facing us. Because Joseph Smith received revelations relative to politics and government, I revere the U.S. Constitution as inspired and ran for Congress in 2014.

The revelations and teachings delivered by and through Joseph Smith have informed my principles in everything from voting and politics to health habits to my views on marriage and family to my entertainment habits and beyond. It is impossible for me to worship Jesus Christ without acknowledging Joseph Smith as His Prophet in these final days before His return in glory. My sentiments echo those of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle of the Savior, who explained:

We bear testimony of Christ, and we do it with all the fervor and conviction and power of our whole soul, striving and laboring to do it by the power of the Holy Ghost; and as our voices echo and reecho the eternal verity that Christ is the Lord, we say also that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, a legal administrator who had power from God—keys and authority—so that he could bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens. Here, we say, is Joseph Smith, a revealer of the knowledge of Christ and of salvation for our day. We link the words together in one great testimony of eternal truth; and the reason we have power to bear witness of Christ, through whom salvation comes, is that Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer of the Lord for our day and in our day, has received eternal truth, has borne witness, has given revelation, has laid the foundation.

Brigham Young once said, “I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 458); and that is as it ought to be, because salvation is in Christ and salvation is available because Joseph Smith revealed Christ to the world. The world either accepts that witness and believes in the Lord’s prophets or goes its way and at its peril loses the hope of eternal salvation. One must believe in Adam and Christ, if living in that day; or in Abraham and Christ, if living in that day; or in Moses and Christ if living then; or, in our day, in Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, crying “Hosanna” and “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord” whenever their names are mentioned by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Joseph Smith: A Revealer of Christ,” BYU Devotional, September 3, 1978).

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Another time, Elder McConkie gave additional reasons why Latter-day Saints feel to cry hallelujah every time we think of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In his powerful sermon “Joseph Smith – The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,” Elder McConkie stated:

His numerous revelations, given in the name of the Lord, set forth the wonders of eternity and the glories of the gospel as plainly and persuasively as do those of the apostles and prophets of old.

Here is a man who has given to our present world more holy scripture than any single prophet who ever lived; indeed, he has preserved for us more of the mind and will and voice of the Lord than the total of the dozen most prolific prophetic penmen of the past. . . .

Here is a man who, like the Master, whose servant he was, cast out devils and healed the sick. . . .

Here is a man whose greatness lies in the fact that he was a witness of that same Lord for whom his fellow prophets in days long past had laid down their lives. . . .

Here is a man who was a prophet in the full and complete and literal sense of the word, as all who hearken to the voice of the Spirit shall know. . . .

Here are the words of Deity, spoken to Joseph Smith, by which all men can judge the state of their own spiritual development:

““The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;

““While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.” (D&C 122:1–2.)

All men may well ask themselves where they stand with reference to Joseph Smith and his divine mission. Do they inquire after his name and seek that salvation found only in the gospel of Christ as revealed to his latter-day prophet, or do they deride and despise the Lord’s living oracles and say that God no longer speaks to men in the way he did anciently? The great question which all men in our day must answerand that at the peril of their own salvationis: Was Joseph Smith called of God? . . . .

We link the names of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith in our testimonies. And we now testify, as God is our witness, that Joseph Smith is his prophet, and we do it in the blessed name of Him who is Lord of all and of whom we and all the prophets testify, who is Jesus Christ” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Joseph Smith – The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,” General Conference, April, 1976).

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Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s martyrdom at Carthage Jail

Surely Joseph Smith was no common man and no common prophet. He was one of the greatest men to ever live and one the greatest prophets to ever wear the inspired mantle of “prophet, seer, and revelator.” His testimony, works, and life are of such magnitude and stature that they cannot be ignored or trivialized, but must be reckoned with and accounted for by all intelligent people. Ultimately, there are only two alternatives – either Satan inspired Joseph Smith or God called and empowered him. There is no middle ground. And I testify that our Lord and Savior chose Joseph Smith to push forward His eternal work in these last days and that it was Satan who inspired a fiendish mob to murder the Prophet in cold blood just as he inspired the mobs of the past to do to ancient prophets of Christ.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred moments after his brother Hyrum was gunned down in front of him, John Taylor, who was with Joseph at the time and was himself severely injured in the hail of bullets, wrote this stirring commemoration:

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the fit and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and a name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).

It is no small thing to claim a man stands next to the Savior only in greatness, yet John Taylor, a spiritual giant in his own right who was to later become the third prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, did just that. He bore his witness. And I confirm his witness with my own. Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, is the restorer of the Savior’s Church, Priesthood, and laws – a Church, Priesthood, and laws that had been corrupted or lost in the Great Apostasy, or, rather, in the “falling away” prophesied by New Testament apostles and Old Testament prophets alike (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Galatians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 2 Peter 2:1; Isaiah 29:10, 13; Isaiah 60:2; Amos 8:11-12). Through repenting and entering into the ordinances officiated by the Priesthood, and living with faith in the Redeemer, we access the Atonement of Jesus Christ and are saved. The modern world, though most don’t realize it, owes much to Joseph Smith and his faithfulness in the face of adversity.

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Joseph Smith’s death mask

In 1883, the distinguished statesman Josiah Quincy, who met the Prophet Joseph Smith forty-three days before his martyrdom, gave an intriguing memorial to this great man. He was not a follower of the Prophet and had nothing to gain from making this statement, yet he wrote:

It is by no means improbable that some future text-book, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a questions something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. And the reply, absurd as it doubtless seems to most men now living, may be an obvious commonplace to their descendants. History deals in surprises and paradoxes quite as startling as this. The man who established a religion in this age of free debate, who was and is today accepted by hundreds of thousands as a direct emissary from the Most High,—such a rare human being is not to be disposed of by pelting his memory with unsavory epithets . . . Fanatics and impostors are living and dying every day, and their memory is buried with them; but the wonderful influence which this founder of a religion exerted and still exerts throws him into relief before us, not as a rogue to be criminated, but as a phenomenon to be explained. The most vital questions Americans are asking each other to-day have to do with this man and what he has left us(Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past, 376-377).

In partial fulfillment of Mr. Quincy’s prediction, in 2015 the Smithsonian Magazine ranked Joseph Smith the #1 most influential American in itsReligious Figures” category and Brigham Young, Brother Smith’s immediate successor, was ranked #3. In addition, The Book of Mormon, perhaps the crowning work put forward by Joseph Smith who translated it with God’s power, was recently ranked through a Library of Congress poll as the fourth most influential piece of American literature. Whether people like it or not, Joseph Smith is one of the most influential figures in recent world history and is widely regarding as a pivotal figure. Indeed, few people in any age of history have accomplished what he did during his short thirty-eight years of life, nor have they exerted such a powerful influence over millions across the world nearly two centuries after their death as Joseph Smith does at present.

Though it is inexplicable to some, I can explain the “phenomenon” of Joseph Smith and the millions who follow him quite easily. Simply, his testimony is true! He was and is a real prophet of God. He really did see with his own eyes the Father and the Savior. They did in reality command him to restore the Lord’s Church with its Priesthood and saving ordinances. He really did translate an ancient record, delivered to him by an angel, that bears witness of Jesus Christ’s dealings with the inhabitants of ancient America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in actuality the Kingdom of God on the earth. And the Holy Spirit, the Testator of all truth, has borne witness to millions that these things are true. I know this is true and I would give my life before recanting.

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Dear reader, after the story of the humble Man from Nazareth who walked on water, raised the dead, suffered and died for the sins of the world, and rose from the grave thus abolishing death and conquering the Devil, the story of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Lord’s Church is the greatest story in the world. And it is so very great because it is so very true!

Joseph’s story is the ultimate confirmation of Jesus’ story. Joseph is His prophet. Joseph’s testimony is the supreme reaffirmation of the ancient apostles’ testimonies of their Lord and should be welcomed and received by all who willingly take upon them the name of Christ. Jesus taught that to know God and His Son is eternal life (John 17:3), and Joseph taught the world the true nature of the Godhead and helped us truly know who They are and what They stand for. Joseph clarified the true points of the Redeemer’s doctrine, thus settling centuries of schismatic Bible-bashing with “thus saith the Lord” revelations that are sweet to the soul and enlightening to the mind.

I thank my Eternal Father for sending Joseph to testify of Jesus. I thank the Lord for not forsaking this generation, but for calling a prophet in our day to bear witness of His holy name. My soul is filled with gratitude to know that I live in a day when literal prophets walk the earth and in an age that has the witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love to hear and sing the words of a powerful hymn extolling his name:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!

Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.

Blessed to open the last dispensation,

Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr;

Honored and blest be his ever great name!

Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,

Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!

Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.

Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;

Death cannot conquer the hero again” (“Praise to the Man,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hymn No. 27).

It is fitting that we end with a few words from the Prophet’s own mouth about our Savior, for he lived to bring people to Christ. I extract the quotes from the third chapter of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith. The Prophet testified:

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

I believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that He died for the sins of all men, who in Adam had fallen.”

Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.”

God . . . prepared a sacrifice in the gift of His own Son, who should be sent in due time to prepare a way, or open a door through which man might enter into the Lord’s presence, whence he had been cast out for disobedience. From time to time these glad tidings were sounded in the ears of men in different ages of the world down to the time of Messiah’s coming.”

Who, among all the Saints in these last days, can consider himself as good as our Lord? Who is as perfect? Who is as pure? Who is as holy as He was? Are they to be found? He never transgressed or broke a commandment or law of heaven—no deceit was in His mouth, neither was guile found in His heart. . . . Where is one like Christ? He cannot be found on earth.”

[T]hose who keep the sayings of Jesus and obey His teachings have not only a promise of a resurrection from the dead, but an assurance of being admitted into His glorious kingdom; for, He Himself says, ‘Where I am there also shall my servant be’ [John 12:26].”

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

It fills me with a uniquely peculiar sense of euphoria to read, speak, and think about the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Spirit testifies to me of his prophetic call as a servant of the Lord. I know he was a good man because his fruit is sweet to my soul and his teachings illuminate my mind. I know he stands as the preeminent prophet of our time because the Holy Ghost has so whispered to me. I know that when the Lord returns surrounded by His Saints, Joseph Smith, the American Prophet, the Prophet of the Restoration, will be on His right hand.

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In sincerity I say that I can approach the “throne of grace” more boldly because I know the name Joseph Smith (Hebrews 4:15-16). I am a better man for having learned of the Prophet and his humble life and immense sacrifices. I wish all could likewise know the name Joseph Smith, read his story, imbibe his testimony, and join in the same great cause of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I testify of these things and invite all to “come and see” and learn the truth for themselves (John 1:39).

When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then” (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, April 7, 1844).

Zack Strong,

December 23, 2019

I invite you to also watch the film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVw6PsSinI&t=2453s