To Be Prepared for War

Peace through strength is an ancient concept. It was the Roman modus operandi as Rome expanded her influence across the known world. It was also the policy pursued by our very own George Washington. In our modern world of appeasement and surrender to the forces of tyranny, maintaining peace through strength has become a uniquely American custom. It is not only the national policy followed by great American presidents, but that which is followed by American gun owners every day. Peace through strength, then, is part of the true American heritage.

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In his first annual message to Congress, President George Washington stated: “To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” In the very next breath, he continued: “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined” (George Washington, First Annual Message to Congress, January 8, 1790). When you examine the annals of history, whether you look in ancient Israel, manly Sparta, gallant Rome, or in the American Republic, you find that free people have always been armed. Indeed, arms in the hands of freemen distinguishes them from serfs and slaves.

The philosophy “peace through strength” derives from common sense and practical experience. All human experience shows that unscrupulous men, criminals, and tyrants, prey upon the defenseless and weak. Evil people are frequently cowards and their victims are usually targets of opportunity. And no one is more defenseless and presents an easier target than the unarmed and weak. This is the reason why lunatics choose to shoot people in gun-free zones rather than in locations where free men and women are armed and able to defend themselves.

The same is true of nations. An Evil Empire like the Soviet Union preys upon weak nations. They backpedal and try to negotiate (though they only make deals when it benefits them) when a nation presents a strong and united front against them. Instead of launching a risky frontal assault, they resort to subversion, infiltration, psychological warfare, terrorism, and guerrilla tactics in order to demoralize, weaken, corrupt, confuse, and undermine an opponent before they ever attempt conquest by force.

Communist Russia and Red China will never attempt to take down the United States through force of arms unless we have been sufficiently degraded on the inside first. Unfortunately, that horrific day is swift approaching as cultural Marxism (i.e. feminism, LGBT, radical environmentalism, “civil rights” movements, political correctness, etc.) rips through our vital institutions. We are becoming a weak nation because we have been too politically correct to stand up to the Reds and to call a spade a spade. We are so afraid of offending someone, hurting their feelings, or causing a stir that we suffer abuses and reductions in our personal rights and national influence rather than boldly confront the enemy.

When necessary, a free society must use its arms and strength to defend itself. This should be a last resort to preserve peace, but it must be an option. A nation that is not prepared to defend itself presents a soft target to an aggressor. The Red Chinese commonly refer to the United States as a “paper tiger” that doesn’t have the stomach for a long struggle. They think we are weak and will eventually crumble because they have yet to see us stand up and confront them in a meaningful way. Islamic terrorists (which are primarily trained and funded by Soviet Russia) hold this same philosophy. America’s enemies cannot be appeased or bought off – appeasement only emboldens them.

We learned through our experiences with Barbary pirates at the beginning of our Republic that buying peace with tribute makes our enemies insatiable and actually increases the problem. Because of a lack of naval power at the time, President Washington was forced to pay the Islamic pirates who were raiding our ships rather than face them in battle. President John Adams did the same while creating a navy that could eventually contend with overseas opponents.

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President Thomas Jefferson was the first president to use our newly minted Navy and Marines to punish the pirates and defend America’s vital international trade. After the War of 1812, President Madison sent the U.S. Navy to the Mediterranean to finish what President Jefferson had started. Our Navy devastated the pirates, ensuring peace between the United States and the Barbary States for generations. We learned from this episode that peaceful relations can only be established with hostile states by standing up to them or crushing them with overwhelming strength. Evil people and regimes only bow to power.

Because of his experience as a colonel during the French-Indian War and as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution, President George Washington understood this principle perhaps better than anyone. It infuriated him that the United States did not have the means to deal with enemies who ruthlessly attacked peaceful trading vessels and harmed Americans and America’s interests. In a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, he raged:

“[H]ow is it possible the great maritime powers of Europe should submit to pay an annual tribute to the little piratical States of Barbary. Would to Heaven we had a navy able to reform those enimies to mankind, or crush them into nonexistence” (George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, August 15, 1786).

Washington understood that only an armed society – both on a personal and a national level – could retain their Freedom against the multitude of adversaries and tyrants that abound in the world. He knew that freemen could only remain so if they were strong and projected their strength. Part of this was to always be ready for war so that a potential aggressor would think twice before attacking – and so that he would severely regret it if he did.

At the beginning of our War for Independence, General Washington encouraged his troops to stand firm against British tyrants. He said:

“[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty—that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men . . . every one for himself resolving to conquer, or die, and trusting to the smiles of heaven upon so just a cause, will behave with Bravery and Resolution” (George Washington, General Orders, August 23, 1776).

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The “smiles of heaven” only rain down upon those who take the pains to defend themselves and increase their own human strength. Only the vigorous and valiant are worthy of divine intervention and blessings. Only by “fighting for the blessings of Liberty,” and remaining virtuous, can Americans remain freemen. And all real freemen are soldiers – warriors for justice, truth, and Liberty.

All true freemen are armed and prepared for battle at a moment’s notice – whether against a domestic enemy or against an invader. This is precisely why Samuel Adams envisioned America as a “Christian Sparta” (Samuel Adams to John Scollay, December 30, 1780). Like the Spartans, “molon labe,” or “come and take it,” would be our war cry. It was strict adherence to this principle of preparing for war and being ready to defend the peace, coupled with faithful obedience to God’s laws, that made America great. And the same course can make America great again.

Similar to Washington and Adams, Thomas Jefferson believed that strength was a means of preventing war. He wished every American freeman to be a soldier. He stated:

“[T]he Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. the Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression, as a standing army. their system was to make every man a soldier, & oblige him to repair to the standard of his country, whenever that was reared. this made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so” (Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, September 10, 1814).

This remedy – namely, to arm and discipline our citizens in the art of war – would make America “invincible” to foreign threats so long as we also remain virtuous. A free nation that expects to remain free must be prepared for war. We prepare for war but pray for peace. As Thomas Paine expressed it: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it” (Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 12, 1777).

The phrase “peace through strength,” in its modern context, was popularized by Ronald Reagan during his 1980 campaign against socialist appeaser Jimmy Carter. For eight years, President Reagan preached peace through strength and tried to get America back to her roots. While President Reagan was only marginally successful in his gigantic task, reminding ourselves of some of his inspiring thoughts seems appropriate.

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During one of the presidential debates with then President Jimmy Carter, candidate Reagan said:

“Now, I believe, also that this meeting, this mission, this responsibility for preserving the peace, which I believe is a responsibility peculiar to our country, that we cannot shirk our responsibility as the leader of the Free World, because we’re the only one that can do it. And therefore, the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us. And to maintain that peace requires strength. America has never gotten in a war because we were too strong” (Reagan/Carter presidential debate, October 28, 1980).

In a speech to the American People regarding national security, President Reagan explained the need for strength to combat the Red menace – the exact same menace we face today at home and abroad. He rightly observed:

“We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. . . .

“. . . American strength is . . . a sheltering arm for freedom in a dangerous world. Strength is the most persuasive argument we have to convince our adversaries to negotiate seriously and to cease bullying other nations.

“. . . American power is the indispensable element of a peaceful world. . . .

“But it is not just the immense Soviet arsenal that puts us on our guard. The record of Soviet behavior – the long history of Soviet brutality toward those who are weaker – reminds us that the only guarantee of peace and freedom is our military strength and our national will. The peoples of Afghanistan and Poland, of Czechoslavakia and Cuba, and so many other captive countries – they understand this.

“Some argue that our dialogue with the Soviets means we can treat defense more casually. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was our seriousness about defense that created the climate in which serious talks could finally begin. . . .

“Our job is to provide for our security by using the strengths of our free society” (Ronald Reagan, speech, February 26, 1986).

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Think about it, who is more likely to persuade a thug to put down his gun – an unarmed negotiator with no leverage or a seasoned police officer with a raised rifle? The answer is obvious. Though the Soviets have broken literally every treaty they ever signed with the United States, they were wary of President Reagan because they knew that he would not hesitate, if necessary, to launch nuclear missiles and a full-scale war against the communists in defense of America and the West.

One of my favorite Ronald Reagan moments demonstrates President Reagan’s willingness to stand up to the communist threat. It occurred on August 11, 1984, when President Reagan told a joke. Though clearly a joke, it contained a large kernel of truth. During a microphone sound check prior to his speech, President Reagan mused: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

I can’t listen to the audio recording of this classic moment without laughing. Yet, the Soviets weren’t laughing – and not because Russians don’t have much of a sense of humor. Rather, these communists – who consider themselves in a permanent state of war with the West – understood that in Ronald Reagan they had a man who would not cower in fear, kow-tow to Moscow, or back down to Soviet advances. Evil regimes like the Soviet Union only gain momentum unless forcibly stopped in their tracks and resisted manfully by one of equal or greater strength.

President Reagan’s views were inspired by his belief that God founded this country and that we are not only exceptional, but that we have a mission to lead the world by our shining example:

“I’ve always believed that this land was set aside in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the earth who had a special love of faith, freedom and peace. Let us reaffirm America’s destiny of goodness and goodwill” (Ronald Reagan, Thanksgiving message, 1982).

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Part of being the world leader is helping to preserve peace when it is within our sphere of influence and duty. President Reagan rightly affirmed:

“We’re not a warlike people. Quite the opposite. We always seek to live in peace. We resort to force infrequently and with great reluctance, and only after we’ve determined that it’s absolutely necessary. We are awed – and rightly so – by the forces of destruction at loose in the world in this nuclear era. But neither can we be naive or foolish. Four times in my lifetime America has gone to war, bleeding the lives of its young men into the sands of island beachheads, the fields of Europe, and the jungles and rice paddies of Asia. We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong; it is when they are weak that tyrants are tempted. . . .

“Of all the objectives we seek, first and foremost is the establishment of lasting world peace. We must always stand ready to negotiate in good faith, ready to pursue any reasonable avenue that holds forth the promise of lessening tensions and furthering the prospects of peace. But let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note: the United States has an obligation to its citizens and to the people of the world never to let those who would destroy freedom dictate the future course of life on this planet” (Ronald Reagan, Republican National Convention acceptance speech, July 17, 1980).

Is America today up to the task of being great and exceptional? Are we prepared to increase our unique national strength by fortifying our Faith, Families, and Freedom? And are we prepared to defend these fundamental institutions, and this Promised Land with her unsurpassed resources and beauty and potential, with the strength of arms and military might if necessary? Are we truly prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the blessings of Liberty we take for granted will extend to our posterity? If today we are not prepared for war to safeguard our peace, our rights, and our homes, we are not worthy of the title American.

General George Washington’s wise words of encouragement to his fighting men should pound once more in our ears. Two days before America formally declared Independence from British tyranny, General Washington wrote to his patriot soldiers to embolden them in their fight. He reminded them what was at stake – slavery or Freedom. He explained that all eyes were fixed on them and that they would decide whether tyranny or Freedom was to reign in America. And he explained the eternal truth that freemen motivated by the just cause of Liberty and aided by the God of Heaven are more fearsome than any conquering army ever can be. General Washington declared:

“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 they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably 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 no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for LIBERTY on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth” (George Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776).

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Today, the eyes of the weary world are upon America. For years we have let them down. Our example has been less than exceptional, not particularly notable, and, in recent times, not worthy of duplication. We have allowed the communist cancer to eat away at our vitals until now we stand on the brink of civil war, mobocracy, economic collapse, open persecution of Christians and constitutionalists, and full-scale societal breakdown.

Notwithstanding how far we’ve fallen through our own neglect and rejection of God’s eternal laws, we have it within our power to step forward, do our duty, and restore our Republic. There will be sacrifices to make – and some patriots will lose their lives because Freedom is never won except at the price of blood – but we must make them for our sake, the sake of our posterity, and the sake of a beleaguered world that desperately needs us to lead.

I close with the rousing words of Ronald Reagan. Each syllable is true. Every vowel applies to me and to you in our present situation. The burden for the future rests squarely on our shoulders. If we shirk our duty now when it matters most, history will hold us in contempt. Let us be real men and real Americans. Let us honor the American tradition of preserving peace through strength and in always being prepared for war in order to secure an honorable peace. Let us be freemen worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as General Washington and his patriot army. God bless us and God bless America!

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. . . .

“Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second — surrender.

“Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face — that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender . . . And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. . . .

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“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.” (Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing,” October 27, 1964).

Zack Strong,

August 28, 2019.

Indispensable Men: George Washington

“[A]n impartial World will say with you that he is the Greatest Man on Earth.” – William Hooper to Robert Morris, February 1, 1777.

Numerous patriots came together to bring about and accomplish America’s War for Independence, write her Constitution, and establish our cherished Republic. Among these patriots, several stalwart figures stand out as vital to the cause. These are the indispensable men America needed and without whom our bid for Independence would have failed. This “Indispensable Men” series pays tribute to these larger-than-life heroes and the role they played in giving Liberty a proper home.

Hundreds of books, biographies, and documentaries have been produced telling the technical details and stories of George Washington’s upbringing, career, family, and home life, and the interworkings of his presidential administration and command as general. I don’t feel the need to reproduce those facts here. I simply refer you to the best book I know of on Washington’s life and achievements; namely, The Real George Washington written by Jay A. Parry, Andrew M. Allison, and W. Cleon Skousen and published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies. My aim in this series is, rather, to highlight the key ideas, crucial character traits, and most notable public achievements of the “indispensable” figures in the story of American Freedom.

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No man more deserves the first spot on the “indispensable men” list than George Washington, the great general of the Revolution and the Father of our Country. The unchallenged historical consensus is that no man was more respected and admired in our founding era than George Washington. Washington’s impressive record demonstrates the great trust his countrymen had in him and speaks to the tremendous influence he had in his day.

A brief index of George Washington’s public achievements and prominent positions looks like this:

1) Washington began his public service as a soldier. During the French and Indian War, Washington gained valuable command experience and reputation and was promoted to the rank of colonel in the Virginia militia.

2) In 1774, he was elected as a Virginia delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses. During the Second Continental Congress, the Continental Army was created and George Washington was chosen as its commander-in-chief.

3) During the War for Independence, General Washington served as the supreme leader of the Continental Army, saved the Army from defeat numerous times through his skill and decisive will power, and brought the conflagration to a successful conclusion.

4) Four years after humbly resigning his charge as commander-in-chief and retiring to his plantation in 1783, Washington helped orchestrate the Constitutional Convention to save the faltering nation. Washington was unanimously elected as the president of the Convention.

5) In 1789, Washington became the first president of our Republic and to this day is the only man to ever be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He in fact accomplished this feat twice, speaking to the level of admiration and trust given to him by his contemporaries. The later federal capital district was also named in his honor.

Being a successful military general, a unanimously-elected head of state, the president of the Convention which produced the longest-standing national charter in history, and having a national capitol named in your honor, are things that not many other people can put on a resume. On paper, then, there is zero doubt that George Washington deserves a seat at the “indispensable men” table. But there was much more to his rave popularity than merely holding prominent positions during monumental events.

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Washington’s positions as general and president, as noteworthy as they are, did not make others respect him. Rather, Washington was appointed and elected to those positions because of the supreme respect and admiration others already had for him. And this admiration was engendered by his strong character and unique spirit. Historian Gordon Wood has written:

“Washington’s genius, Washington’s greatness, lay in his character. He was, as Chateaubriand said, a “hero of an unprecedented kind.” There had never been a great man quite like Washington . . . Washington became a great man and was acclaimed as a classical hero because of the way he conducted himself during times of temptation. It was his moral character that set him off from other men.

“Washington epitomized everything the revolutionary generation prized in its leaders. He had character and was truly a man of virtue. This virtue was not given to him by nature. He had to work for it, to cultivate it, and everyone sensed that. Washington was a self-made hero, and this impressed an eighteenth-century enlightened world that put great stock in men’s controlling both their passions and their destinies. Washington seemed to possess a self-cultivated nobility” (Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 34-35).

Yet, it is not what modern historians have said about Washington that is so remarkable. Rather, the fact that the American People and his contemporaries in governmental affairs, and even his enemies across the sea, lavished him with praise. We now rehearse some of the acclaim this man received by those who knew him and were in a position to judge the sincerity and depth of his character.

Thomas Jefferson was intimately acquainted with Washington both before he was appointed general and throughout his time in military and government service. Jefferson wrote to future president James Monroe of Washington’s mass appeal in these words:

“Congress have risen. You will have seen by their proceedings the truth of what I always observed to you, that one man outweighs them all in influence over the people who have supported his judgment against their own and that of their representatives. Republicanism must lie on it’s oars, resign the vessel to it’s pilot, and themselves to the course he thinks best for them” (Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 12, 1796).

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Another time, Jefferson gave an in-depth evaluation of Washington’s character and many of his traits, including his sense of justice, his reasoning abilities, and his will power. I do not quote everything Jefferson said, but enough to demonstrate why Washington was so revered by his associates:

“I think I knew General Washington intimately and thoroughly; and were I called on to delineate his character it should be in terms like these.

“His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, tho’ not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. it was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever was best. and certainly no General ever planned his battles more judiciously . . . he was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose whatever obstacles opposed. his integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. he was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, & a great man . . . his person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect, and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback . . . on the whole, his character was, in it’s mass perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance. for his was the singular destiny & merit of leading the armies of his country succesfully thro’ an arduous war for the establishment of it’s independance, of conducting it’s councils thro’ the birth of a government, new in it’s forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train, and of scrupulously obeying the laws, thro’ the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example . . . I am satisfied the great body of republicans thinks of him as I do . . . and I am convinced he is more deeply seated in the love and gratitude of the republicans, than in the Pharisaical homage of the Federal monarchists. for he was no monarchist from preference of his judgment. the soundness of that gave him correct views of the rights of man, and his severe justice devoted him to them. he has often declared to me that he considered our new constitution as an experiment on the practicability of republican government, and with what dose of liberty man could be trusted for his own good: that he was determined the experiment should have a fair trial, and would lose the last drop of his blood in support of it. . . .

“These are my opinions of General Washington, which I would vouch at the judgment seat of god, having been formed on an acquaintance of 30. years . . . I felt on his death, with my countrymen, that ‘verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel’” (Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, January 2, 1814).

High praise, indeed! And higher still coming from a man the caliber of Thomas Jefferson! As Jefferson noted, he was hardly the only person to share these elevated feelings. Most Americans at the time looked upon Washington as an exalted figure – a national savior of sorts.

Benjamin Franklin, a man whose own unique talents and achievements had few equals, had high esteem for Washington. When it came time to elect a new president under the Constitution, Franklin had only one man in mind: “General Washington is the man that all our eyes are fixed on for President, and what little influence I may have, is devoted to him” (Benjamin Franklin to M. Le Veillard, June 8, 1788).

John and Abigail Adams both had high praise for the man. John Adams noted: “He is brave, wise, generous and humane” (John Adams to William Tudor, June 20, 1775). And after meeting Washington in person, Abigail privately told John: “I was struck with General Washington, You had prepared me to entertain a favorable opinion of him, but I thought the one half was not told me. Dignity with ease, and complacency, the Gentleman and Soldier look agreeably blended in him. Modesty marks every line and feature of his face” (Abigail Adams to John Adams, July 16, 1775).

In his autobiography, John Adams likewise praised Washington as the principal man of the age. He wrote: “I thought him a perfectly honest Man, with an amiable and excellent heart, and the most important Character at that time among Us, for he was the center of our Union” (John Adams, Autobiography, 1777).

The Marquis de Lafayette, the famous Frenchman who assisted in our War for Independence, once observed:

“This great man has no enemies but those of his own country, and yet every noble and sensitive soul must love the excellent qualities of his heart . . . His honesty, his candor, his sensitivity, his virtue in the full sense of the word are above all praise” (Marquis de Lafayette to Baron von Steuben, March 12, 1778).

Another French observer wrote:

“General Washington conducts himself with his usual wisdom. It conciliates to him more and more the respect and affection of the people. After a war of eight years, during which he has scarcely ever left his army, and has never taken any repose, he has received the news of the peace with the greatest joy. It made him shed tears, and he said it was the happiest hour of his life . . . He will always be the first citizen of the United States . . . all the world is agreed touching his republican virtues, and agreed that there is no character more eminent among those who have taken part in this grand revolution” (Chevalier de La Luzerne to the Comte de Vergennes, March 29, 1783).

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Benjamin Rush, another prominent figure of the day, spoke extravagantly of Washington’s character: “His zeal, his disinterestedness, his activity, his politeness, and his manly behavior . . . have captivated the hearts of the public and his friends. He seems to be one of those illustrious heroes whom providence raises up once in three or four hundred years to save a nation from ruin . . . he has so much martial dignity in his deportment that you would distinguish him to be a general and a soldier from among ten thousand people. There is not a king in Europe that would not look like a valet de chamber by his side” (Benjamin Rush to Thomas Ruston, October 29, 1775).

At the height of the Revolution, Moses Hazen remarked to General Nathanael Greene that Washington “is the very Idol of His Country, and who I love, regard, and Esteem, as one of the best men since the Creation of Adam” (Moses Hazen to Nathanael Greene, July 24, 1780). General Greene had similar praise for his superior officer. Not long after Hazen made his statements, General Greene explained:

“It is my opinion that General Washington’s influence will do more than all the Assemblies upon the Continent. I always thought him exceeding popular, but in many places he is little less than adored; and universally admired. His influence in this Country might possibly effect something great” (Nathanael Greene, January 10, 1781).

In 1791, a newspaper, the Connecticut Courant, gushed with praise for the nation’s first chief executive:

“Many a private man might make a great President; but will there ever be a President who will make so great a man as WASHINGTON?” (Connecticut Courant, June 20, 1791, in John P. Kaminski, ed., The Founders on the Founders: Word Portraits from the American Revolutionary Era, 505).

Shortly after Washington’s death, Timothy Dwight made this observation:

“Wherever he appeared, an instinctive awe and veneration attended him on the part of all men. Every man, however great in his own opinion, or in reality, shrunk in his presence, and became conscious of an inferiority, which he never felt before. Whilst he encouraged every man, particularly every stranger, and peculiarly ever diffident man, and raised him to self possession, no sober person, however secure he might think himself of his esteem, ever presumed to draw too near him” (Timothy Dwight, “Discourse on the Character of Washington,” February 22, 1800).

John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, shared the sentiment so often expressed that Washington was the “greatest man in the world.” Days after General Washington’s resignation, Marshall stated:

“At length then the military career of the greatest Man on earth is closed. May happiness attend him wherever he goes. May he long enjoy those blessings he has secured to his Country. When I speak or think of that superior Man my full heart overflows with gratitude. Ma he ever experience from his Countrymen those attentions which such sentiments of themselves produce” (John Marshall to James Monroe, January 3, 1784).

These few lines from John Price demonstrate the awe people had for the General of their blessed Revolution: “Immortal Washington . . . has outshined and Eclipsed all Asiatic, African, and European Generals, and Commanders from the Creation of the World, to this Day” (John Price to John Jay, October 29, 1783).

Samuel Shaw, a distinguished military officer under Washington, expressed his keen feelings about his General in these words:

“Our army love our General very much, but yet they have one thing against him, which is the little care he takes of himself in action. His personal bravery, and the desire he has of animating his troops by example, make him fearless of any danger. This, while it makes him appear great, occasions us much uneasiness. But Heaven, who has hitherto been his shield, I hope will still continue to guard so valuable a life” (Samuel Shaw to Francis Show, January 7, 1777).

William Hooper once wrote of Washington’s invaluable role in maintaining and securing the Revolution:

“When it shall be consistent with policy to give the history of that man from his first introduction into our service, how often America has been rescued from ruin by the mere strength of his genius, conduct & courage encountering every obstacle that want of money, men, arms, Ammunition could throw in his way, an impartial World will say with you that he is the Greatest Man on Earth. Misfortunes are the Element in which he shines. They are the Groundwork on which his picture appears to the greatest advantage. He rises superior to them all, they serve as foils to his fortitude, and as stimulants to bring into view those great qualities which in the serenity of life his great modesty keeps concealed. I could fill the side in his praise, but anything I can say cannot equal his Merits” (William Hooper to Robert Morris, February 1, 1777).

Washington’s fame was celebrated throughout Europe as well as America – even in the midst of the War for Independence. While on assignment in France, Benjamin Franklin wrote to Washington: “I frequently hear the old Generals of this martial Country, (who study the Maps of America, and mark upon them all your Operations) speak with sincere Approbation & great Applause of your Conduct, and join in giving you the Character of one of the greatest Captains of the Age” (Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, March 5, 1780).

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King George III, the tyrant who abuses prompted the Americans into fighting for their Liberty and declaring Independence from Britain, developed an interesting opinion of Washington after the war. Rufus King recorded a conversation he had with Benjamin West who had spoken with King George III about affairs in America. King’s account reads:

“[I]n regard to General Washington, he [King George] told him [West] since his [Washington’s] resignation that in his opinion “that act closing and finishing what had gone before and viewed in connection with it, placed him in a light the most distinguished of any man living, and that he thought him the greatest character of the age”” (Rufus King, May 3, 1797, in King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, Vol. 3, 545).

It is likewise my estimation that George Washington was one of the “greatest Captains of the Age,” that he was an “illustrious hero” whom the God of Heaven raised up to save his country, and that he was the foremost of the indispensable men who established American Liberty. My own religious creed and the impressions of the Holy Spirit on my soul cause me to declare that George Washington was indeed raised up by the hand of the Lord to preside over the founding of this Republic. I am proud to live in a nation founded and shaped by George Washington.

George Washington’s guiding light, the thing that propelled him to the greatness ascribed to him by his peers, was his inner conviction about God. Though it is common today to call Washington and other Founding Fathers “Deists,” or, worse, “atheists,” the fact is that Washington was a deeply committed Christian. Washington issued the following General Orders  to his fighting men on May 2, 1788.

“The Commander in Chief directs that divine Service be performed every sunday at 11 oClock in those Brigades to which there are Chaplains—those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them—It is expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendence set an Example to their men.

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of Religion—To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian—The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude & Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.”

Washington not only commanded his soldiers to worship God, but he frequently mentioned his personal belief in God and encouraged his countrymen to be faithful and virtuous. Washington was particularly convinced that God had intervened on America’s behalf during the War for Independence, as were most Americans at the time. One time he affirmed:

“The man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf—And it is my earnest prayer that we may so conduct ourselves as to merit a continuance of those blessings with which we have hitherto been favoured” (George Washington to Samuel Langdon, September 28, 1789).

Another time, Washington observed:

“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).

In his First Inaugural Address as president, Washington was moved to comment that Americans were “bound to acknowledge” God’s hand in their Revolution:

“[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

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To Washington, God was the real Founder of America and of her inspired Constitution. During his immortal Farewell Address, President Washington made it clear that his convictions had not changed. He spoke a truth that is as applicable today as it was in 1796:

“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. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

“It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

In harmony with his public sentiments, President Washington wrote a letter to Protestant clergy wherein he asserted: “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” (George Washington to the Protestant Clergy of Philadelphia, March 3, 1797).

For his own part, Washington never failed to acknowledge the hand of the Lord. He noted:

“No Man has a more perfect Reliance on the all-wise, and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary” (George Washington to William Gordon, May 13, 1776).

By all accounts, General Washington was supernaturally protected in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Washington, and others, ascribed his protection to God. After a particularly harrowing battle during the French and Indian War, Washington observed:

“But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me” (George Washington to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755).

The Indians involved in the same battle noted that Washington seemed to be under the protection of God and could not be killed. One Indian chief recounted the following to General Washington:

“I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is of the red-coat tribe – he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do – himself alone exposed.

“Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss – ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier than we, shielded you.

“Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you . . . there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle” (Bob Gingrich, Founding Fathers vs. History Revisionists, 29-30).

Washington did not utter idle words. As the quotations thus far demonstrate conclusively, Washington was a man who said what he meant and did what he said he would do. He wasn’t afraid to put himself in harm’s way for his beliefs or risk his life for his country. Thus, when Washington said he believed in God, he meant it and did all he could to show his devotion.

As frequently as his demanding public service allowed, George Washington attended Christian worship services. In fact, Washington donated money for the construction of Christ Church near his home. He also attended Pohick Church in which, according to numerous sources, Washington served as a vestryman for some twenty years. Washington also kept a prayer journal and had a personal copy of the Bible which he routinely read and which was donated to Christ Church after his death. It is beyond dispute that George Washington was a Christian who actively practiced his faith.

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In addition to upholding Christian values, Washington lived by a strict personal code of conduct. He wrote up this code into 110 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” Numbers 108 and 110 are the most relevant and give us a peek into Washington’s outlook on life: “When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence.” And, finally: “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

From all credible accounts and eyewitness statements, we can conclude that Washington was a good, honest, upright man. He was a Christian with a high sense of honor and integrity. He was sometimes brutally honest. He was calculated and exercise wise judgement. He was a man of boldness and bravery. He was a supreme patriot who gave his life to the cause of Liberty.

One final aspect of Washington’s influence will be discussed. More than almost any other Founding Father, George Washington pushed for a new federal constitution to replace the failing Articles of Confederation. Viewing the proceedings of the nation he loved and had fought so mightily for from his retirement at Mount Vernon made Washington uncomfortable. He saw that the Union must collapse unless reformed.

A few quotes show Washington’s apprehensions:

“That it is necessary to revise, and amend the articles of Confederation, I entertain no doubt . . . Yet, something must be done, or the fabrick must fall. It certainly is tottering!” (George Washington to John Jay, May 18, 1786).

“No man in the United States is or can be more deeply impressed with the necessity of a reform in our present confederation than myself. No man, perhaps, has felt the bad effects of it more sensibly; for to the defects thereof, and want of powers in Congress, may justly be ascribed the prolongation of the war and consequently the expenses occasioned by it. More than half the perplexities I have experienced in the course of my command, and almost the whole of the difficulties and distress of the army, have their origin here” (George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, March 31, 1783).

“Let us look to our National character, and to things beyond the present period. No morn ever dawned more favourably than ours did; and no day was ever more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm. Virginia has now an opportunity to set the latter, and has enough of the former, I hope, to take the lead in promoting this great and arduous work. Without some alteration in our political creed, the superstructure we have been seven years raising at the expence of so much blood and treasure, must fall. We are fast verging to anarchy and confusion!” (George Washington to James Madison, November 5, 1786).

Suffice it to say that Washington foresaw the collapse of the fledgling American government unless the constitution was immediately overhauled. Washington urged and encouraged his fellow patriots to step forward and rescue the Republic. Eventually, a convention was called and Washington was adopted as its presiding head. After months of careful deliberation, the convention produced the U.S. Constitution, a document I consider to be literally inspired by Almighty God.

George Washington approved the document and, upon signing his name to it, remarked:

“Should the states reject this excellent constitution, the probability is that an opportunity will never again offer to cancel another in peace – the next will be drawn in blood” (Allison, Parry, Skousen, The Real George Washington, 490-491).

Shortly thereafter, during the constitutional ratification process, Washington remarked:

“No one can rejoice more than I do at every step taken by the People of this great Country to preserve the Union—establish good order & government—and to render the Nation happy at home & respected abroad. No Country upon Earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wonderously strange then, & much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means, and to stray from the road to which the finger of Providence has so manifestly pointed. I cannot believe it will ever come to pass! The great Author of all good has not conducted us so far on the Road to happiness and glory to withdraw from us, in the hour of need, his beneficent support” (George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, June 29, 1788).

When the Constitution was ratified, Washington became its greatest champion. Of this charter, he publicly declared: “[T]he Constitution is the guide which I never can abandon” (George Washington to Boston Selectmen, July 28, 1795). Another time he wrote: “The Constitution of the United States, and the laws made under it, must mark the line of my official conduct” (George Washington to Edmund Randolph, 1790).

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After a successful term in office, President Washington was overjoyed at the success America had seen directly because of the new Constitution. It was the American People’s mission, he believed, to show the world that constitutional republicanism is the soundest system of government ever devised:

“To complete the [A]merican character, it remains for the citizens of the United States, to shew to the world, that the reproach heretofore cast on Republican Governments for their want of stability, is without foundation, when that Government is the deliberate choice of an enlightened people: and I am fully persuaded, that every well-wisher to the happiness & prosperity of this Country, will evince by his conduct, that we live under a government of laws; and that while we preserve inviolate our national faith, we are desirous to live in amity with all mankind” (George Washington to the citizens of Alexandria, July 4, 1793).

The way in which America could show the world the wisdom of the Constitution was, simply enough, to follow it! Indeed, Washington strongly believed that all citizens owed strict obedience to the Constitution. He was most emphatic on this point. In his Farewell Address, which ought to be required reading for all Americans, he declared:

“This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

Much of our constitutional form of government, and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution itself, came about due to George Washington’s instrumentality. He used his influence to persuade his countrymen to draft a constitution which would enshrine the rule of law, protect natural rights, and limit government while empowering it to fully protect the citizens of the country. He also used his influence to urge adoption of the new Constitution. And, then, he worked hard for eight years as president to enforce and maintain that sacred document.

Yes, it was George Washington, the Father of our Country, who really popularized constitutional government in the United States. His indomitable influence and skillful leadership brought the government into being and carried it through its first eight years. He set in stone the practice of a president only serving two terms and then graciously retiring – a tradition faithfully followed until the Marxist demagogue FDR served four consecutive terms, prompting a formal change in the law. Washington was also responsible for adding the words “so help me God” to the end of his presidential oath. All eyes were on Washington in the nation’s critical moments and he guided her through the rocky waters by following the Constitution, applying his own native judgment, and following God’s laws in his personal conduct.

George Washington was, and remains, a true hero. Few heroes in fact have been as worthy of the appellation as Washington. It is, therefore, a true sign of cultural rot that many Americans are beginning to spurn and despise this incredible man. It is rare in history that a man accomplished so much good for his nation, yet, in time, became so hated. A recent and ongoing incident demonstrates this growing hostility.

In San Francisco – perhaps the epicenter of all that is wrong with America – a school recently wanted to destroy an old George Washington mural painted one of its walls. According to the school, the mural “traumatizes students” and “glorifies slavery” and “genocide.” To allegedly protect their students from the image of George Washington, the school decided to paint over the mural, but then decided to simply cover it. Heaven forbid we allow school students to learn about the Father of their Country, the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolution, and the first president of the United States!

Because of the communist cancer that has almost totally taken over public schooling, academia, Hollywood, the press, and government, our Founding Fathers are being vilified as violent “rebels,” self-serving aristocrats, bigots, racists, and religiously-motivated oppressors. Agencies within our government have even gone so far as to classify the Sons of Liberty and our Founding Fathers as “domestic terrorists,” implying that anyone who believes like they did are also “terrorists.” And now the FBI is calling “conspiracy theorists” an extremist threat.

Yes, fighting for Freedom and truth is extreme and revolutionary, especially when the government is antagonistic to Liberty. Historian Charles Beard is said to have observed: “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence” (Charles A. Beard, in M. Kenneth Creamer, The Reformation of Union State Sovereignty, 265).

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This sentiment is, unfortunately, accurate. And there was no more “dangerous citizen” in American history than George Washington. He was the “rebel” leader – the point of the patriotic spear. He was formidable to tyrants and traitors, but a true friend to Liberty. He was a patriot in every sense of the term. He was then as he ought to be now “first in the hearts of his countrymen” (Richard Henry Lee, Funeral Oration on the Death of George Washington, December 28, 1799).

Washington’s shining example will always inspire sincere American patriots. His words will always buoy his countrymen. His spirit will always ride alongside those wishing to rid their country of tyranny and to defend Freedom. God help us remember and emulate George Washington, the most indispensable of indispensable men!

Zack Strong,

August 21, 2019.

Vaccine Tyranny

“Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick, in Robert B. Fox, ed., Our Freedom – Our Liberty, 81.

Vaccination is one of the most contentious issues of our time. We could argue the efficacy – or demonstrable lack thereof – of vaccines all day long. However, that is not the key issue. In fact, it’s wholly irrelevant. The real issue is free will. Said differently, the question at hand is this: Does the government or the community have a right to force you to be vaccinated against your will? That is the paramount question our society must decide.

On the face of it, it seems obvious that no government or majority of citizens should ever be allowed to force you to let a needle pierce your skin and inject chemicals and viruses into your body. People don’t think about it in those terms, but that is the reality of what we’re discussing. We are talking about whether society has a right to force you to inject foreign substances into your body. It seems preposterous that any sane and just person would agree that the community has authority over your body to such a degree that they can force you, via the police power of the state, to inject yourself with viruses and chemicals. Yet that is precisely what the pro-vaccine lobby is proposing.

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You must ask yourself what you support more – individual free will or state coercion. If the state, or the majority of citizens represented by the state, has the authority and power to force you to inject yourself with risky substances – or any substances at all no matter their benefit or efficacy – what can’t they do? Remember, the cry for mandatory vaccination has behind it the rationale that it is “for the public good” and for the “safety of the community.” Using this same rationale, what else can you be forced to do if the state, or your neighbors, deem it in the community’s best interests?

If the state can force you to inject a needle into your body in the name of “health” and “public safety,” then can they also force you to eat foods deemed “healthy”? After all, obesity is a major problem and a healthy society is surely better than an out-of-shape one. If society can force you to introduce polio and small pox into your body for the sake of “health,” can they likewise force you to be microchipped for the easier detection of criminals and the “safety” of society? If they can tell you that you must inject a flu virus into yourself of your children or else be denied public services, employment, and the rights of citizens, can they also require you to submit your DNA to a national database? Honestly, what can’t they do if they can legitimately force you to inject live viruses and man-made chemicals into your body via injection?

If you have never pondered the totalitarian implications of this train of thought, it’s high time to begin. The issue is not health. It is not public safety. It is not the well-being of society. It is not the efficacy of vaccines. The issue is Freedom, free will, individual Liberty, separation of powers, and constitutional authority. We are talking about the difference between majoritarian democracy and constitutional republicanism with its rule of law.

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Arguments like “it’s for the public good” or “it’s for national security” don’t pass the scratch test for constitutionality and justice. For millennia, tyrants have used the cry “for the public good” to justify illegality, self-serving policies, war, oppression, persecution, and genocide. When people say that we must force people to be vaccinated against their will “for public safety,” it might be well to remember what Benjamin Franklin said. That wise Founding Father warned:

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Franklin, January, 1775).

Those who would force you and your family to be vaccinated are not your friends. They are enemies to the Republic! They are enemies to the Constitution. They are enemies to the Declaration of Independence. They are enemies to the high-minded principles of the American Revolution. They are enemies to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They are enemies to the basic concept of free will and personal Freedom.

America was founded on the Christian concept of individual free will and personal accountability. This noble thought was codified in our official documents and throughout our law code. The American People was made for Freedom. From our forefathers’ mouths gushed timeless declarations such as:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

We once understood that the People is the source of all political power and that the government is merely its agent to secure its God-given rights. Since government receives 100% of its power from individuals, and an individual cannot delegate power he does not inherently possess, the government, then, cannot assume such powers. When it does, it becomes tyrannical and has violated the very purpose of its creation.

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Let’s explore this principle further. If I, as an individual, do not have the right nor authority to go into your home and forcibly inject substances into your body, then I do not have the authority to empower government to do this on my behalf.

Do you understand this? This is the core concept of Americanism! If you do not understand and thoroughly believe this concept, I submit that you are not a true American and that you lack the spirit of our great People.

Again, I cannot give the government power I do not possess. This principle does not magically change if more people are involved. Extra rights and powers are not suddenly bestowed when a majority is involved. We are not a democracy. Our system is based on rule of law. The law protects the one just as it protects the majority. Neither a minority nor a majority – no matter how large and powerful – can justly strip a single soul of his rights.

If an individual does not have a right or power, the community does not either. And since I cannot justifiably force my neighbor to inject substances into his body against his will, then the neighborhood also does not have that right. Government gets all of its power from the People, and “the People” is nothing but an aggregate of individuals. Thus, government’s reach can only go so far as an individual’s. Thank Heaven that individuals, and therefore governments, do not have a right to reach into your life and force you to live as they see fit!

Taking a leaf from Hans Verlan Andersen, let’s discuss the nature of Freedom. Andersen explained that Freedom consists of the following elements: Life, Liberty, Property, and Knowledge. In order to properly enjoy Freedom, one must have power over his own life, including the power to make choices and stand accountable for them. He has a right to defend his body – that is, his life – against assault, injury, and destruction. Naturally, Liberty, or the “absence of coercion,” is indispensable. Furthermore, in order to be a truly free agent and a steward over his own life, he must have the right to control, possess, and manage private property. And, finally, having a knowledge of the law and one’s duties and rights is necessary to acting intelligently and independently (see Hans Verlan Andersen, Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen, chapter 2).

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In the case of compulsory vaccination, three of the elements of Freedom are violated by default. First, the control over one’s own life and body is violated when we are forced to inject needles into our skin. If “my body, my choice” is a valid argument, then it must be a valid argument in the case of vaccination. No one but you has a right to control your body. Next, mandatory vaccination obviously violates Liberty because it is a coercive measure that violates your free will and choice. Third, if your body can be considered your property, then forced vaccination violates your property.

I must take an aside and say that in certain situations I believe that what a person puts into his body can and should be regulated for the legitimate safety of others. To wit, drunk drivers kill tens of thousands of innocent and unsuspecting people every year. Thousands more are killed by drunk people or because of alcohol poisoning or related incidents. Some 88,000 people die annually because of alcohol. This is to say nothing of the unseen damage done to marriages and families and the cycles of criminality, depression, therapy, divorce, and abuse that are caused. The damage done to society by alcohol – as well as drugs, both illicit and prescription – is incalculable. Because of the damage begin inflicted upon it by the choices of others, I believe society has a right to defend itself by banning harmful substances.

Thomas Jefferson defined “rightful liberty” thus:

“[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).

One’s Liberty is only rightful and, thus, protected, when it does violated the equal rights of others. The case can easily be made that a person high on drugs or drunk from alcohol is a danger to the right of life of innocent bystanders. I absolutely support this line of reasoning when it is demonstrably proven that a substance or action violates others’ rights or does perceivable damage to the community.

That being said, this reasoning does not easily extend to vaccines. Some have made a similar argument that because unvaccinated people get sick more often (or so they claim), they pose a threat to the health and well-being of the community. Let’s examine whether this is really the case. First of all, it is a myth that unvaccinated people carry more disease. I won’t dive into here, but suffice it to say that nearly all credible studies have conclusively proven that vaccinated people are more likely to contract the diseases they have ostensibly been vaccinated against and that unvaccinated people are healthier. Consistently some 90% of whooping cough victims, for instance, had previously been vaccinated for whooping cough, thus exploding the idea that vaccines are safe and effective.

What’s more, vaccine proponents seem to want it both ways. On the one hand, they claim that vaccines are safe and effective. Yet, on the other hand they act like they are totally helpless in the face of a scary unvaccinated individual. If vaccines truly work, why are vaccinated people so scared? If vaccines are so magically wonderful, then why do school districts persecute parents who choose to exercise their right to not vaccinate their children?

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Much of this hysteria comes back to the ludicrous concept of herd immunity. The concept states that in order for vaccines to work, everyone must be vaccinated. Even one unvaccinated person, they claim, lowers the collective protection of vaccines. You don’t need a degree in medicine to realize how preposterous the logic of this thought is! The idea has been totally discredited, yet it lingers because of the mass brainwashing campaign carried out by the controlled media, Hollywood, and compromised medical establishment.

In addition, there is another concern – some of us do not like to play Russian roulette with our health. Health does not come in a needle. Health largely comes from diet and hygiene. Yet, the medical establishment wants us to believe needles, chemicals, and synthetic drugs give us health. They want us to believe that cocktails of live viruses, antibiotics, formaldehyde, aluminum, mercury, aborted fetal tissue, male foreskins, and other chemicals, is acceptable to inject into our bodies. If you are skeptical that the list of horrible things I just mentioned are found in vaccines, do yourself a favor and obliterate your ignorance by looking it up.

I tend to think “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a trustier philosophy than having doctors guess which strand of flu will be prevalent this year and inject that virus into me with their fingers crossed that its shady ingredients like thimerosal won’t give me a negative reaction. I tend to also agree with Thomas Jefferson who said: “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now” (Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787). But I guess I’m just old-fashioned!

In all seriousness, in a free society no one should have any objections to a person wanting to exercise his or her God-given right to care for their health in a manner pleasing to them. You might not like the Amish philosophy of living without modern technology, but you must allow them to live how they please. The same applies to every peaceable group or individual. No one should be forced to conform to the community’s health practices. That is tyranny in its vilest form.

We also need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that children belong to the community. They Do Not. Children belong exclusively to their parents. Parents, not the community or government or local school district, have the sole right to care for their children. If parents exercise their sacred parental rights to not vaccinate their children, for whatever reason they choose, who are we to deny them their rights? It is a symptom that we have been horribly indoctrinated when we believe that we, the collective community, have a right to dictate how parents raise their children. We do not have any such authority over our fellow citizens or their children.

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I will note one final objection. In America, we have something called religious Freedom. Religious Freedom has been called the “First Freedom.” It was the foundation of all our other Liberties. If a person believes their religion or life’s philosophy does not permit them to engage in modern medial practices, who are we to force them to do that which violates their conscience? Or if a religion boasts a superior plan of natural medicine and faith, who are we to extinguish their beliefs?

There are numerous reasons why a person might choose not to vaccinate. In the end, their reason doesn’t matter. What matters is that they have a right – a constitutionally-protected, constitutionally-guaranteed right – to object to vaccines. Yes, you have a sacred right to reject the tyrannical concept of forced, mandatory vaccination. No one – no community, no government, no majority – has the authority to force you to inject yourself with anything, let alone chemicals and live viruses. Please let this concept sink in. It is vital to our Freedom.

To reiterate what I have said multiple times thus far: Conscientious objection to mandatory vaccination does not depend upon whether vaccines are “safe and effective.” We could cite vaccine experts like Dr. Sheri Tenpenny, Dr. Suzanne Humphries, and Neil Z. Miller, and even appeal to the CDC’s own numbers and charts, to prove the appalling truth about vaccines. However, that is fairly irrelevant. The only issue that matters is your individual right to object.

Thank God that in America we have a Constitution which guarantees our right to direct our own lives as we see fit! Thank God for our Freedom! Thank the Lord for the knowledge that the opinions and wishes of the majority do not supersede and cancel out our individual Liberties! I vehemently oppose mandatory vaccination because the very concept insults my conscience. It is an affront to the classic American concepts of Freedom, justice, and individualism. It is nothing by Soviet-style tyranny.

Every true American, every lover of Liberty, every just soul, must oppose mandatory vaccination at all costs. If we allow government to force us to inject viruses and chemicals into our bodies (“my body, my choice” be damned), then we open the door to totalitarianism like we’ve never seen before. If the government or community can force you to vaccinate yourself or your children, then there is literally nothing they can’t force you to do.

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And if the tyrants in society can deny you public services for exercising your right not to vaccinate, then we are no better than Red China with their sinister “social credit” scheme. Think of the door we are kicking wide open when we demand, against all reason and justice, that people inject themselves with vaccines to make us feel “safe.” I close by repeating Benjamin Franklin’s warning. Ponder it and let it sink deep into your soul. And for the love of all that’s holy, oppose mandatory vaccination:

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Zack Strong,

August 9, 2019.

My Witness of Christ

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).

My faith in, and personal witness of, the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ is the central plank in my life’s creed. More than any other thing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has informed my principles, my politics, and the most decisive decisions of my life. I see and judge all things through the Gospel lens. It is no exaggeration to say that I am who I am primarily because of the pure and simple doctrines of the Son of God. I ask your indulgence as I share my personal feelings about my Savior and His Gospel and the profound influence they have been in my life.

At the outset, I want the reader to know that I do not bear testimony simply of things I have read in a book, that I heard a pastor preach, or that my parents taught me. My testimony does not come from intellectual reasoning alone. Rather, I can stand before the world and declare that my witness comes from the Holy Spirit. It is a personal and private witness that I have independent of every other person on earth. I gained this knowledge through the Spirit after sincere searching, study, fasting, and prayer.

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I have always believed in Jesus Christ from the time I was a child and heard my parents teach of Him. However, mere belief – as important as belief is – is not equal to knowledge. A person can read something in a book and believe it. He may hear a professor lecture on a topic and have faith that he has just heard the truth. However, only the knowledge imparted to one’s spirit by the Holy Ghost can rightly be called a witness or a testimony. Therefore, when I bear my testimony or witness of Jesus Christ and the points of His doctrine, please know that I am speaking not from my secular learning or out of mere hope, but from the spiritual confirmations that have been whispered to my soul on numerous occasions by the Holy Ghost.

Of the many things I can bear witness of, I first testify of the reality and existence of God the Father. He lives and governs in the Heavens. He is the literal Father of Jesus Christ. He is also the literal Father of our spirits. We are His literal sons and daughters. We lived with Him before it was our appointed time to come to earth to be tested for our faithfulness to His teachings.

In our glorious pre-earth home, we learned of our Father, walked with Him, talked with Him, felt of His love, experienced His embrace, and enjoyed His divine presence. There we learned of His Plan for our progression. Like any good father, our Eternal Father wants us to become like Him and to possess everything He possesses. The Apostle Paul affirmed this truth when he taught:

“The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).

If we follow the steps outlined in the Gospel of the Son of God, we can become the “heirs of God” and receive the fulness of His blessings and glory and exaltation alongside our Savior Jesus Christ.

In the pre-mortal state of existence, we were taught the particulars of our Father’s Plan, called alternatively the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness, including the need for a Savior to redeem us from our inevitable failures. The scriptures attest that we “shouted for joy” at the prospect of coming to earth to prove ourselves and, through our faithfulness, qualify to enjoy eternal life with our Father (Job 38:7). I testify and affirm that I know we lived before and that we will live still after the death of our mortal bodies. So emphatically do I know the reality of our pre-earth existence that I wrote an entire book – The Lineage of the Gods – to witness of it and to teach the plain truth.

Lucifer was also in the beginning. The Bible confirms that he was there when the Father presented His Plan to His children. Lucifer thought he knew better and proposed an amended version of the Plan – a version which denied our right of individual agency and accountability but which, he claimed, would lead to the salvation of every soul. Through his plan, Lucifer intended to became the Savior and turn everyone’s hearts toward him. He secretly wanted to “exalt [his] throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13) and claim the position of Deity.

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Angels do not have wings, but it is a good image of Lucifer’s defeat nonetheless

Naturally, Lucifer’s self-serving and Freedom-destroying plan was rejected by our Father. Upon being rejected, Lucifer rallied his supporters and rebelled against the Father. John stated that this caused “war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7). One-third of Heavenly Father’s children sided with Lucifer while two-thirds rejected the Adversary’s plan and sided with Jesus Christ and their Eternal Father (Revelation 12:4).

You and I were among the two-thirds who originally chose the Lord and rejected Satan. Now we are here on earth, with our memories of those earlier times deliberately veiled, to prove whether we will again choose the Father’s Plan for our eternal happiness. The great quest of life is to again learn about the Father’s Plan, as well as Lucifer’s plan which is embodied in communism, and to choose the correct path. This quest is difficult because Satan hates us and is waging relentless war against us (Revelation 12:17). However difficult to follow, the only correct path is that which leads back to the Father through our Mediator Jesus Christ.

I testify that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Anointed and Chosen One. Before His mortal birth, He was Jehovah of the Old Testament. When He was born of Mary, He became known as Jesus. He is the literal Son of God in both body and spirit. While fully human as to His flesh, He was also fully God. Because of this, He was and is the only One empowered to fulfill the Father’s Plan.

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The Lord fulfilled the Plan of Salvation by sacrificing Himself to appease the demands of eternal justice and broken laws. Because He was the only sinless One, He stood outside the grasp of justice and the curse of broken laws. The sacrifice of His guiltless blood appeased justice and gives the Lord the power to extend mercy and grace to those who believe in His name, repent of their sins, become baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and who follow His commandments with sincere heart to the end of their lives. The Savior’s sacrifice is called the Atonement which means that by His blood and mercy we are again made one with God.

Elder Richard G. Scott, a modern apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, eloquently explained the necessity of Jesus’ Atonement:

“Each of us makes mistakes in life. They result in broken eternal laws. Justice is that part of Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness that maintains order. It is like gravity to a rock climber, ever present. It is a friend if eternal laws are observed. It responds to your detriment if they are ignored. Justice guarantees that you will receive the blessings you earn for obeying the laws of God. Justice also requires that every broken law be satisfied. When you obey the laws of God, you are blessed, but there is no additional credit earned that can be saved to satisfy the laws that you break. If not resolved, broken laws can cause your life to be miserable and would keep you from returning to God. Only the life, teachings, and particularly the Atonement of Jesus Christ can release you from this otherwise impossible predicament.

“The demands of justice for broken law can be satisfied through mercy, earned by your continual repentance and obedience to the laws of God . . . The Redeemer can settle your individual account with justice and grant forgiveness through the merciful path of your repentance. Through the Atonement you can live in a world where justice assures that you will retain what you earn by obedience. Through His mercy you can resolve the consequences of broken laws” (Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” General Conference, October, 2006).

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The scriptures amply attest that Jesus Christ is the only One through whom we may receive forgiveness of sins and return back to our Father one day. The Atonement not only secures the salvation of those who repent and follow Christ, but it offers the Savior’s help, mercy, love, and blessing in times of need, distress, depression, sickness, and persecution. Paul gave one of my favorite statements when he insisted:

“For we have not an high priest [Jesus] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrew 4:15-16).

The ancient prophet Alma likewise testified of “the throne of grace.” Said he:

“[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 the 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).

While working out the Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior took upon Himself the terrible weight of guilt felt by those who sin. What’s more, He took upon Himself the physical and mental pains, anguish, and suffering we experience through sickness, abuse, accidents, etc. He felt our heartbreak, feelings of loss, depression, confusion, anger, and betrayal. He felt everything horrible you have ever experience or will ever experience. He not only felt and experienced that all that you have experienced, but all that everyone has experienced or caused others to suffer. There is nothing you have ever felt that He doesn’t fully understand from His own personal experience. The Spirit intellectually comprehends everything, but the Savior voluntarily took upon Him all our physical suffering so that He could actually comprehend it and therefore know how to alleviate our pain and mend our broken hearts, minds, and bodies. He truly is the Great Physician.

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It is this same Jesus who is the Lord of lords and King of kings. It is He whose name we must take upon ourselves. It is He in whose holy name we pray. It is He who calls us to Him and offers His mercy on terms of repentance and faithful obedience. It is Jesus Christ who will soon return to earth to cleanse the earth, heal the persecuted, and claim His right to rule. Though I do not and cannot comprehend the depths of suffering He endured in Gethsemane and on the cross in order to be able to offer me His forgiveness, mercy, and love, I thank Him for His gift! I know He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of Mankind, and the only One before Whom I will bow and worship.

I also testify of the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. Each member of the Godhead – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is a separate and individual Being. These three souls are united in their efforts, desires, and goals. Their great work is to help us return to Them and to become like Them. This would be impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Ghost who confirms truth to our minds and hearts. Without His confirming whisperings, we could know nothing of God or the Savior. All revelation comes through the workings of the Spirit. When a person testifies that they know Jesus is the Redeemer, they can only do so after having the Holy Ghost testify this same verity to them.

The priceless and incomparable blessing of the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost comes to us only after we have been baptized into the Lord’s Church and have had authorized Priesthood holders place their hands upon our head and direct us to receive the Holy Ghost. This gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the chief blessings in mortality. It is this member of the Godhead who teaches us of Christ, gives us a testimony, guides us through life’s dark times, sanctifies us from sin, and prepares us to return to our Father in Heaven. I testify that, though I have at times ignored His soft voice, the Holy Spirit is a reality – a real Being whose sole mission is to testify of the Father and Son and bring us to Them.

I further give my witness of the divine origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This organization is the Lord’s true Church established again in our present day. The Savior established His Church when He was upon the earth and directed Peter, James, John, and His apostles to spread it to the world. This they faithfully did. However, both the historical and scriptural records are painfully clear that the Lord’s Church, after just a couple generations, went astray and ceased to bear the divine stamp of approval.

The New Testament is full of warnings about impending apostasy. Paul warned that there would be a “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). Peter, the Lord’s chief apostle, testified that there would be “false teachers” in the Church which would preach “damnable heresies” and lead the Saints into error (2 Peter 2:1-3). Even in Old Testament times prophets foresaw the future and noted that there would a mass apostasy from the truth. Amos, for instance, prophesied:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

“And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).

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The martyrdom of Peter

The apostasy happened as predicted. The wayward Christians “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). The Lord’s apostles were tragically martyred, ending the chain of Priesthood authority needed to perform vital saving ordinances like baptism. The lack of authorized prophets ended the flow of formal revelation between the resurrected Redeemer and His Church.

As unbelief and false ideologies ensnared the Saints and the prophets were killed one-by-one, the Lord’s Church ceased to exist. Because there were no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord and expound correct doctrine, the Lord’s simple teachings became confused, perverted, and mixed with pagan traditions. All of these things made necessary a full restoration of the Priesthood, prophets, and the organization of the true Church.

From the beginning of man, whenever the Lord has had dealings with us, He has operated through prophets. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Lord called a man to be a prophet when He saw the time was right to restore His Church. The young man whom He called was named Joseph Smith. This humble Christian was searching for the true Church when he took the advice found in James 1:5 and prayed to know the answer to his problem.

The Father of us all responded to Joseph Smith in a powerful, unprecedented manner. The Father, accompanied by the Son of God and the palpable power of the Holy Ghost, appeared to the fourteen-year-old Joseph Smith as he knelt in humble prayer in a now sacred grove of trees in New York state. Joseph Smith asked the Heavenly Beings which church He should join. The Savior answered that Joseph should join none of them because they had all perverted His Gospel. Joseph was informed that he was to be the instrument in the Lord’s hands to restore His ancient Church, complete with its powers and Priesthoods and doctrines.

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Throughout the years, a large number of skeptics have mocked Joseph Smith for his account of this monumental vision. They have mocked him for claiming to be a prophet called of the Almighty to establish a Church and bring forth scripture and declare doctrine and prophesy with the authoritative words “thus saith the Lord. . .” Yet, notwithstanding the skeptics and all their spurious, hate-filled books and films and pamphlets attempting to demonstrate that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a liar, the Spirit confirms the truth to honest truth-seekers. And the truth is, as confirmed to my soul, that Brother Joseph was a good man, a man chosen of the Lord, a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ. I honor and revere his name and happily bear witness of his calling as prophet of God and restorer of Christ’s Church.

The Prophet Joseph Smith defended himself and his vision of God the Father and His Son in these words:

“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. . . .

“However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. 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 1:22, 24-25).

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Watch a film about Joseph Smith’s remarkable life and mission here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVw6PsSinI&t=2476s

What integrity and sincerity! I find in Joseph Smith a pure heart and noble motives. The Savior told us to judge a man by his fruit. If we apply this to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we must judge that he was a true Christian who did good, served his fellow man, promoted goodness and righteousness, condemned evil and spoke against corruption, and spent his short life bearing witness of truth.

Joseph’s sincerity is not to be doubted for, in the final equation, he refused to recant his testimony and was murdered alongside his brother for it. No man would suffer so much and give so much for a lie. There are much easier ways to become rich, famous, and powerful, if that was truly his intention. Yet, I declare my witness that Joseph Smith was a thoroughly good man who did more to uplift and elevate humanity than any man since Jesus Christ. Much of his work is embodied in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which, through God’s Priesthood authority bestowed upon his head by the hands of angels and resurrected beings, he restored to the world.

Apart from a life of Christian service and love, the Prophet Joseph Smith left us tangible proof of his divine call to be a prophet and restore the Savior’s Church. He left us The Book of Mormon. Most people who reject and condemn The Book of Mormon do so without ever having seriously examined the book and without having sincerely prayed about its authenticity. The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture similar to the Bible. It does not replace or do away with the Bible and it certainly doesn’t contradict the Bible when the Bible is properly interpreted and understood. Together with the Bible, The Book of Mormon bears witness of Jesus Christ and confirms His true doctrines. The two witnesses have become “one” in the Lord’s hand, as Ezekiel foresaw (Ezekiel 37:16-19).

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See Ezekiel 37:16-19

Whereas the Bible is a collection of writings and revelations from Hebrew prophets living in the Old World, The Book of Mormon is a compilation of writings made by ancient Israelite prophets living in America. They lived on this very land, a land which the Lord has declared to be a Promised Land “choice above all others” (Ether 2:10). It was America that was the location of the Garden of Eden and many other historical events. It is a chosen and special land that has been inhabited for millennia by peoples specifically brought here by the hand of God. These ancient peoples had prophets and were led by the voice of Jehovah Himself. The culminating event among one of these peoples – the Nephite people – was a visitation by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ after His Ascension in the Holy Land.

A 1960 publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says this of The Book of Mormon:

“The Book of Mormon tells the same truths about God and His work that are told in the Bible, though in many cases in a more simple and plain way. . . .

“Jesus is the central figure of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Everything was written to emphasize His mission as Redeemer and Savior of the world. While the Nephites were camped at the Red Sea, three days’ journey from Jerusalem, Nephi saw in vision many of the great events that would happen down to our own time. Most importantly, however, was his vision of Jesus. Nephi saw Him as a babe in Mary’s arms. He saw Him as a man baptized by John in the Jordan River. Nephi saw Jesus with the twelve apostles going among the people healing their sick and ministering comfort and consolation to all alike. Finally, Nephi saw Jesus crucified on the cross for the sins of all men. All this happened in Palestine just as Nephi saw it in vision six hundred years earlier.

“The Book of Mormon picks up the message and story of Jesus right where the Bible ends. It tells of His visits to America after his resurrection in Jerusalem. It tells how Jesus organized His Church among the Nephites with apostles at the head just as He had done in Palestine. To the Nephites He proclaimed the same principles of salvation, faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins as they are taught in the New Testament. He blessed little children and said they need no baptism because they are innocent and already free from sin. Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon foretells the coming of Christ in the last days to reign personally upon the earth.

“The great message of the Book of Mormon, then, is the same as that of the Bible; that Jesus lives and is the author of salvation to all who will believe and follow Him” (M. Lynn Bennion and J.A. Washburn, History of the Restored Church, 18-19).

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The Book of Mormon is, without any question, my favorite book. I have learned more from this one 500-page volume of scripture than all the other books I have ever read combined. There is a true power in The Book of Mormon. The Spirit resides in its sacred pages. It testifies of Christ at nearly every turn. It refers to the wondrous Atonement dozens of times and explains its doctrine in a pure and simple manner. It explains the nature of man’s Fall, the necessity of a Savior, the reality of the Savior Jesus Christ, the truthfulness of the Atonement, and testifies that salvation only comes through the Lamb of God.

A particularly powerful passage from The Book of Mormon expels any thought that the book is not a Christian book. The ancient prophet Nephi proclaimed:

“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.

“Wherefore, we speak concerning the law [of Moses] that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

“. . . 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 25:26-29).

Yes, Jesus is the Christ! The Book of Mormon brings people to Christ. It points its readers’ minds and hearts to the Redeemer. It encourages us to keep the commandments, to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, to meet together to worship the Lord, to love God and our fellow man, to sustain the Bible as God’s word, to sustain the prophets which the Lord sends among us, to gain a personal witness of truth for ourselves rather than relying upon the words of men, and a thousand other useful and correct things. I love The Book of Mormon!

If The Book of Mormon is not true, then everything I have testified of is a lie. But The Book of Mormon is true. I know this because the Spirit has confirmed it to my mind, heart, and spirit on numerous occasions. I can stand before the world and declare the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, the integrity of the Prophet Joseph Smith who translated it from an ancient record, and the importance of the book’s message.

One of the most important messages of The Book of Mormon is to warn us of Satanic threats to Freedom. My second book, Red Gadiantons, is partially devoted to explaining these prophetic warnings of secret conspiracies that anciently existed and which the past prophets saw would exist in our day and threaten the overthrow of the world. Elder Hans Verlan Andersen, a past General Authority of my Church, stated:

“It appears that one of the main purposes of the Lord in giving us the Book of Mormon was to warn us against destroying ourselves through the adoption of Satan’s form of government. Two mighty civilizations were destroyed on this land choice above all other lands and the cause of destruction was the same in each case – the corruption of the government by wickedness” (Hans Verlan Andersen, Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen, 64).

In modern times, prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have warned that the ancient record is true – a Satanic conspiracy bent on mankind’s destruction does exist. They have identified this Satanic conspiracy as communism. Much of my life’s work has been devoted to fighting communism for this very purpose. More to the point, when I was twelve years old I received a personal witness from the Holy Ghost that communism was not dead and the Soviet Union never collapsed, as the world assumed, and that communism remained the greatest threat to the world.

That knowledge fired my soul and I have worked endlessly to open people’s eyes to the truth I learned through the Spirit and have confirmed by thorough research and my experience living in Russia as a missionary. It is not merely a point of speculation, but a part of my actual knowledge that communism is the wickedest and most powerful enemy facing mankind and that it will consume us if we do not actively oppose it.

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Captain Moroni waving his Title of Liberty

The Book of Mormon not only discusses the workings and goals of Satan’s secret conspiracies, but provides a vibrant account of the antidote to its spiritual and political poison. My hero from The Book of Mormon is a great warrior called Captain Moroni. Moroni single-handedly saved his nation from defeat and subjugation in a series of bloody wars. It was this great man who rallied his people. He did so with a slogan he called the Title of Liberty. It read: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” (Alma 46:12).

This Title of Liberty was hoisted upon every tower and loudly proclaimed throughout the land. Captain Moroni and his army fought valiantly to secure the Freedom of their people. They fought to defend the free government God had given to them and the right of the people, under that government, to make their laws and select their own leaders. It is a free government supported and defended by a righteous, Christian populace that has the power to thwart the machinations of evil individuals like modern communists.

The account of Captain Moroni and his fellow Freedom Fighters is inspiring. I draw tremendous strength from it. One of Moroni’s most trusted generals was a man named Teancum. One day, I wish it will be said of me what it was said of him upon his gut-wrenching death: “[H]e had been a man who had fought valiantly for his country, yea, a true friend to liberty” (Alma 62:37). It has always been one of my highest aspirations to be like the Nephite Freedom Fighters Captain Moroni, Teancum, Lehi, and Lachoneus. I intend to do my utmost to see that the flame of Freedom is never extinguished and that my own countrymen look to God, their religion, their Freedom, their peace, their wives, and their children and do whatever it takes to preserve them.

I bear my witness of Freedom. It is an eternal principle. The Lord is more interested in extending the blessings of Freedom than any mortal who ever lived. His Atonement and sacrifice for us is the ultimate defense of Freedom. It represents Freedom from the grave, Freedom from sin when we repent, Freedom from despair as we turn our hearts, and so forth. As Paul told us, we have “been called unto liberty.” Because of this, we ought to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1, 13). Freedom – the most precious word in the English language!

To ensure Freedom in these last days of turmoil when Satan rages upon the earth making war against the Saints, the Lord inspired a group of men to establish a free country and Constitution. I bear my witness that the Founding Fathers of the United States were humble men of faith and goodness, that they were inspired by the Almighty to break away from tyrannical Britain and establish a free Republic, and that the Holy Spirit rested upon them and inspired them in crafting the Constitution. I revere the Constitution and consider it equally valid as any declaration of holy scripture. It is part of my religion. The principles of Liberty are part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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In modern revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared that He inspired the Constitution. He specifically commanded His followers to importune for a redress of their grievances through the appointed Constitutional method, or:

“According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

“That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

“Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

“And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80).

The Lord Himself established the Constitution. He did it to ensure the Freedom of “all flesh.” He wants us to be free and to be accountable for our own choices. The Constitution, when correctly administered and interpreted, provides exactly this. So correct and important are the provisions of the U.S. Constitution that the Lord also revealed that anything “more or less” than them “cometh of evil.” Specifically, He revealed:

“And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

“And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7).

If at times I seem fanatically devoted to the Constitution and the men who crafted it, it is because it is part of my religion. I can witness of the truthfulness of the Constitution’s principles and of the integrity of the Founding Fathers as strongly and confidently as I can witness that Jesus is the Christ. I will die before I recant that testimony. As I live, it is true. And I will spend my days promoting the principles of the Lord’s Constitution, come what may.

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President Russell M. Nelson

Though I brushed upon it earlier, I want to stress that I have an emphatic, burning testimony that there are literal, living prophets in our midst today – men like Moses, Abraham, Elijah, and Peter who receive revelation for mankind in the name of the Lord and who hold the same Priesthood authority to direct the affairs of the Savior’s Church in our day. The most powerful witness I have ever received from the Holy Spirit in fact is the witness that prophets again walk the earth. I witness and testify that this is true.

At the present time, the man called of Christ to be the earthly president of His Church, and the man who holds the office of prophet, seer, and revelator for the world, is Russell M. Nelson. The Spirit reconfirms the truth that we have a living prophet whenever I hear him speak. I am so incredibly grateful to know – and I again declare that I know it with all my soul – that there is a prophet on earth. He is a man I can look to for sure guidance, wisdom, and inspired counsel. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece on earth – our captain and president. The entire world would benefit immeasurably from knowing and heeding the words of the Lord’s modern prophets, including President Russell M. Nelson.

I close my witness by repeating my unshakeable testimony of Jesus Christ. In Him all my faith and hope center. He is the Son of God. He lives as a perfected, resurrected, exalted Being of flesh and bone. He offered His own blood for a sacrifice in order to appease justice and grant you and me a chance to repent. This Atonement is the greatest event ever to transpire on this or any other world created by the hand of our Master. Through repentance and obedience to the laws and ordinances of His Gospel, we can receive His mercy and forgiveness, our wounds can be healed, our hearts can be changed, our families can be strengthened, and our world can be transformed.

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By calling upon our Heavenly Father in Christ’s holy name, we can receive answers to our most pressing prayers and perplexing questions. Yes, we can even receive a firm personal witness through the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Messiah! With this witness etched in your soul, nothing can ever come between you and the Savior. I love Him and testify of Him and His present work to gather, save, and free mankind, in His sacred name. Amen.

Zack Strong,

August 4, 2019.

Click the following link to watch a well-made series about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bible-videos/videos?lang=eng

 

The Noble Free

The great patriotic hymn “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” contains these memorable lines:

“My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills. My heart with rapture thrills Like that above.”

America, a precious land dotted from one coast to the other with the beauties, blessings, and bounties of God’s superintending love, is the greatest land on earth! It is a special land of promise – a land of special covenants and promises. It is a land sanctified with the blood of patriots and martyrs. It is a land saved and set apart by the Almighty to be inhabited by a God-fearing, righteous, honorable, industrious, worthy people.

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The American People, in the early days, was a society of such spiritual stature that they won this land for their inheritance and were blessed with political, religious, social, economic, military, and technological advancement unrivaled by any other nation at any time in history. No honest and objective observer can deny that the America is the greatest nation to have ever existed when measured by nearly any metric.

The very perceptive scholar and statesman J. Reuben Clark, Jr. noted that:

“[U]nder our form of government the people of the United States have made a progress never before made by any other people in the world in an equal time during the whole period of recorded history.

“. . . standards of life and of living of the entire American people are far beyond those enjoyed by any other people in any other part of the world, either now or at any other time, which is a living testimony and evidence of the kindly beneficence of our free institution. . . .

“. . . I believe that the destiny of America is to be the abiding place of liberty and free institutions, and that its own practice and enjoyment of these blessings shall be to the world a beacon light which shall radiate its influence by peaceful means to the uttermost parts of the world, to the uplifting of all humanity” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., June 11, 1940, cited in Jerreld L. Newquist, ed., Prophets, Principles and National Survival, 129).

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America indeed has risen to greater heights than any other nation before her. Today, even in our degraded state brought on because of years of deliberate attack by our enemies, the United States is the most influential, powerful, prosperous, respected, and free nation in the world. Without one ounce of doubt, we possess the greatest potential of any people on the planet. The Lord has not only blessed this Promised Land with the riches of minerals and natural resources, but with the far richer blessing of an unequaled heritage of Freedom, rule of law, and Christian devotion.

Our ancestors were “the noble free.” They were true freemen. They were patriots. They were the Sons of Liberty and the daughters of the Revolution. Our forefathers were great. They were honorable. They were pious and faithful. They were fervent Christians and fierce patriots. They were not perfect, but they were sincere and grounded, honest and true.

Our forefathers forged a free, civilized, and prosperous nation out of a wild wilderness. They made the Gospel of Christ and the Ten Commandments the basis of our society. We were founded as a nation of laws, not a nation of tyrants. Rule of law prevailed – not the whim of the mindless majority. Of these early Americans, George Washington Adams recounted:

“Our forefathers were a patient and persevering people; their devotion was simple but earnest; their theories were circumscribed but conscientious; their morality was rigorous but practical. They were from necessity frugal; from their position circumspect; from their situation vigorous and hardy. Obliged alike to brave the savage and the European foe – acquainted equally with the implements of husbandry and with the weapons of war – they guarded the state till she had cleared the dangers of her infancy. Such was the early character of the people of New England. It shows a race of men fit to be free. History presents no parallel to such a people mid all her records . . . she shows no other state originating in devotion and in liberty of thought – no other nation whose foundation was the pure worship of the living God” (David Barton, ed., Celebrate Liberty: Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons, 47).

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As noted, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the rock foundation of this American nation. With the love of the Lord came a love of the Liberty He bestowed upon mankind. Defending the Liberty “wherewith Christ hath made [them] free” (Galatians 5:1) became paramount for the colonists. Therefore, when British persecution became severe enough, our patriot forefathers burst the political bands that tethered them to enslaved Europe and created the first free nation in modern times, opening a new epoch in mankind’s history.

Our Founding Fathers published the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming that this nation acknowledged God as their Sovereign, that their rights came from Him, and that they would rely upon Him for protection. The Lord heard our People’s cries for deliverance and divine intervention was forthcoming. In his First Inaugural Address, President George Washington affirmed God’s intervention in our nation’s behalf during the War for Independence. He stated:

“[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

It was widely believed by those of our founding generation that America had been set up and protected by the hand of God for a special reason; that reason being the preservation of Liberty for mankind. For instance, in an Independence Day oration in 1826, George Bancroft stated:

“The dearest interests of mankind were entrusted to our country. It was for her to show that the aspirations of former ages were not visionary – that freedom is something more than a name – that the patriots and the States that have been martyrs in its defense were struggling in a sacred cause and fell in the pursuit of a real good. The great spirits of former times looked down from their celestial abodes to cheer and encourage her in the hour of danger. The nations of the earth turned towards her as to their last hope. And the country has not deceived them” (David Barton, ed., Celebrate Liberty: Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons, 98).

The American freemen cherished the thought that Heaven had appointed them to be the guardians of Freedom on the earth – that America was a shining city on a hill beckoning to the oppressed of mankind. They knew, from the generous intervention of Almighty God in their favor, that America was not just another nation; she was special. I also know that America is a blessed land, a favored land, a choice land, a Promised Land. There is nowhere on earth more favored and watched over than America. And no people has received as many blessings as the American People.

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We owe a massive debt of gratitude to our Creator and God for the privilege and blessing of living in this the greatest nation on earth. At this time of the year when we turn our minds back to our patriot forefathers who won for us our sacred Freedom, we should humble ourselves and recommit our lives to the service of God. John Adams famously said that our system of government is only sustainable by a “moral and religious people.” He was right. Our forefathers knew it and I know it. Either we will turn back to the Lord and cut out the cultural cancer consuming us, or we will collapse as a nation.

Another great American, Ezra Taft Benson, issued a warning in 1979. It is even more applicable in 2019:

“Never before has the land of Zion appeared so vulnerable to so powerful an enemy as the Americas do at present. And our vulnerability is directly attributable to our loss of active faith in the God of this land, who has decreed that we must worship Him or be swept off. Too many Americans have lost sight of the truth that God is our source of freedom—the Lawgiver—and that personal righteousness is the most important essential to preserving our freedom. So, I say with all the energy of my soul that unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God.”

If we wish to be “the noble free” like our ancestors, we must cherish this land of Liberty enough to live as our forefathers lived and worship as they worshiped. Our devotion must be to law – rule of law and divine law. The Savior should be the center of our lives, the center of our families, the center of our communities, the center of our laws, and the reason we so fiercely contend for Liberty under our inspired Constitution. America, this citadel of Freedom we so love, is worth every effort to defend.

Truly, it is not enough to remember the sacrifices our forefathers made all those years ago. We must imitate them and step forward to defend our Republic in our own day. It is time to show whether you are a freeman or a slave, a patriot or a turncoat. Now is the time to honor your forefathers by making our America the bastion of Liberty – the shining city on a hill – they hoped to create. The power is in our hands. What will we do with it?

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Happy Independence Day. God bless you and yours. And God bless America.

Zack Strong,

July 1, 2019

Everyday Tyranny

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.” – Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing,” October 27, 1964

We think we are free. We think America is the “land of the free and home of the brave.” But how accurate is this boast in 2019? It is true that we enjoy a greater measure of Liberty and prosperity than any other nation, even in our degraded state. I love this Republic and acknowledge the tremendous blessing it is to live here. And it is precisely because of my intense love for America that I warn of the subversion of our Liberty that is taking place around us and that afflicts us, whether we realize it or not, on a daily basis.

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For many decades, die-hard enemies of our Republic, our Constitution, our Freedom, our heritage, and our greatness have worked to subvert our Liberty, impair our institutions, curtail our rights, weaken our economy, corrupt our culture, lessen our global influence for good, and drag us down as a People. This group of socialistic traitors has achieved astonishing success. We have stumbled because we been too apathetic, have grown ignorant, and have lost touch with the things that made us great; namely, our Faith, Families, and Freedom.

While we have been preoccupied with bread and circuses, our enemies have erected a framework of bristling tyranny around us. Literally every day we come into contact with this despotic system. We have been so indoctrinated through public schooling and media mind manipulation that we do not even realize we are being victimized. We have accepted our chains which grow heavier by the day.

James Wilson, one of the great legal minds among our Founding Fathers, said that “law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.” I believe this is true. How can we defend our rights, for example, if we do not know what they are and cannot articulate them? How can we judge whether a law is sound or unjust if we do not understand the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land? And how can we expect to defend our Liberty if we do not truly love and value it?

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Our godless, Marxist-dominated public schools have paved the way for our subjugation through their complacency in teaching the principles of Liberty. They have not taught the Constitution in a meaningful way. They rarely teach the value of civics and the responsibilities of citizenship. They teach Social Justice and collectivism rather than rule of law and characteristic American individualism. And they certainly do not give the moral instruction necessary for correct comprehension of our rights and responsibilities.

Most high schoolers today cannot articulate the Liberty philosophy espoused by their forefathers and codified in our great national documents. Yet, they most certainly can regurgitate the collectivist propaganda ingested during their years of compulsory public schooling. They do not know how to reason for themselves, but they can repeat Establishment talking points and Marxist mantras. They can’t tell you much about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but they know all about the communist agitators Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.

Our homes, the ultimate defenders of society, have done nothing to counteract the fraudulent teachings our children receive in public schools. Parents have failed in their duty to raise their children to be good, moral, patriotic citizens. They have surrendered their responsibility to teach their children and instead passively rely on public schools to do it for them. But instead of being taught and empowered with truth, our children have been anesthetized and made to feel comfortable in servitude.

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I repeat that our programming has been so thorough that we do not even realize that we are being tyrannized and abused on a daily basis. To give a glimpse of the despotism we encounter every single day, I share five examples that demonstrate how we are routinely tyrannized. If some of the things I cite appear normal or even beneficial to you, then know that you have been deceived and lied to by the criminal class of Marxist gangsters that rules over us.

Jaywalking: In all fifty states, it is against the law to jaywalk (it is even a federal offense in some locations). What is jaywalking? Jaywalking is nothing more nor less than crossing a street in a location other than the arbitrary section of spray-painted pavement provided by the government. Have you ever considered that the government literally claims the power – on pain of punishment – to tell you where you can and cannot walk?

I still remember when I first learned of the baffling concept of jaywalking in fourth grade. I was leaving school to walk home and needed to cross the street. Instead of crossing at the cross-walk jammed with kids, I decided to cross in a less crowded area a few yards down. Suddenly, a sixth-grade “crossing guard” with his fancy vest and little stop sign started yelling at me that I was “jaywalking.” I had never heard the term and I wasn’t going to let someone tell me where I could and could not walk. So I crossed the road anyway, causing the “crossing guard” to chase me. Fortunately, I was quick and he didn’t get close enough to identify me and “write me up,” as he threatened to do. That story demonstrates the slavish programming received in government-run public schools and in a society that complies with everything the government demands without protest.

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To me, as inconsequential as they may seem, jaywalking laws are the absolute epitome of tyranny. If any government can tell you where you can and cannot cross the street – that is, where you can and cannot walk – what Freedom do you really have?

Drivers Licenses: A license is needed when one does not have a right to do something. Do you have a right to travel? I submit that you do have a right to travel. And you have this right without government forcing you to take tests, jump through hoops, obey arbitrary traffic laws like speed limits, and pay a tax in order to enjoy it. What is the mandatory driver’s license fee if not a tax? And what are traffic tickets if not other taxes? Why should we have to take tests proving our competency before being allowed to travel? Traveling is not a privilege the government can grant and revoke at its pleasure.

Think of this in different terms. Did our forefathers have to prove they knew how to ride a horse, and then pay a fee to register their horse with the government, before they galloped out West? Did the Pioneers register and pay fees to the government for their covered wagons and oxen before crossing the plains? Did Thomas Jefferson have a license for those horses he loved to ride each day? Now that I think of it, Thomas Jefferson probably jaywalked, too, as he walked on foot to his swearing in as president. For shame! You’d think a man like Jefferson would know that he has to pay the government for the privilege of traveling in our “land of the free.”

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Hunting/Fishing Licenses: Forcing us to buy hunting licenses, fishing licenses, deer tags, and so forth, is another arbitrary government tax and is an attempt to restrict our right and ability to put food on the table for our families. It is also an underhanded way to deter and control gun owners and squash the self-sufficiency of our People. How does government – federal, state, local, it doesn’t matter – have a right to dictate what type of food you can hunt and when you can hunt it? Who gave government this power over your livelihood?

I don’t recall anywhere in the Constitution – the supreme law of the land – where it says that we have to pay government for the “privilege” of killing food to feed our families. I don’t recall anything in the Declaration of Independence stating that for only two weeks out of the year we have a “privilege,” which we must pay for in advance, of harvesting just one deer, and that we must keep our license and tags on us at all times or suffer the wrath of the hordes of Forest Rangers who stalk the woods.

Here is an incident that happened to a man I know. I won’t use any names or locations, but you ought to know the type of oppression hunters routinely face. This man was driving along a mountainous, rural road in the evening and spotted what he thought was a deer in the woods. He stopped his vehicle and pulled out his rifle to get a better look at the deer through his scope. As soon as he looked, he realized it was a fake deer. Deer don’t normally have red eyes. He put the rifle away, but it was too late. A gang of screaming Forest Rangers jumped out of the woods and surrounded him.

The story ended with this man being accosted, threatened, and eventually paying a fine. I ask, what legitimate crime did this man commit? Who did he harm? Whose rights or property did he violate? What did he do that was wrong or immoral? He committed no crime and did nothing wrong. Yet, a group of government workers were hiding in the woods with a fake deer waiting for some innocent person to come by so they could extort money from them. That is the real crime in this scenario. And an even greater crime is that government thinks it can dictate what and when we can hunt and the American People are too apathetic or ignorant to resist.

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Did our forefathers pay the government for the “privilege” of shooting deer, elk, bison, ducks, and pheasants to feed themselves? Did our Pilgrim forefathers have a permit to hunt that turkey they ate on that first Thanksgiving? Did the American Indians apply for permits to live off the land? Not hardly! And neither did our truly free ancestors because they knew their rights and understood that government does not have dictatorial power over your life.

Gun Restrictions: The 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that our God-given right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” Shall not is very strong language. As originally intended, shall not is a command – a direct order – to government to not interfere with the American People’s rights of self-defense. Each of us has an individual right to own and use weapons. Arms does not refer explicitly to guns, but to any weapon or device that may be used for self-defense. Indeed, at the time of our founding, arms often referred to military grade weaponry. All peaceable citizens had a right and a duty to maintain and bear arms in defense of their families, country, and Liberty.

Today, however, gun owners are demonized and persecuted. In order to purchase firearms in many states we must jump through numerous hoops, endure background checks and waiting periods, and comply with a host of laws. On both the federal and state levels many types of firearms and weapons have been outright banned, from semi-automatic rifles to sawed-off shotguns to military style weapons and accessories. California has even created a task force to confiscate firearms from people it deems clinically insane. It’s sure a good thing no one calls Christians, conspiracy researchers, and “right wingers” insane, right?!

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Even President Trump has usurped power and violated the Constitution by unilaterally deciding that the American People can no longer own bump stocks. Apparently the executive oath of office and the 2nd Amendment can be disregarded when there is a “crisis” like the Las Vegas shooting. Who needs a written Constitution when you can simply dictate through executive orders!

While there are victories here and there in the battle to preserve our right to defend ourselves against tyrants and criminals, and to otherwise enjoy firearms in any peaceable way we see fit, the powers-that-be are determined to disarm and subjugate us. The armed segment of American society is the only obstacle standing in the way of the Elites’ dream of a totalitarian world order. If we give up our right to defend ourselves, we give up everything. And if we continue to allow our rights to be buried under a heap of licenses, permits, fines, fees, and red tape, we will surely lose our Freedom.

Taxes: As a general rule, taxation is just another way to say “theft.” When you consider the agonizingly long list of taxes you pay each year, including dozens of hidden taxes like inflation that are not called taxes, you begin to realize how enslaved you’re becoming. The War for Independence was fought, among other reasons, based on the colonists’ legitimate grievance that they were being taxed without their consent. Today, however, we seem to enjoy paying through the nose to government at every turn. If we do not enjoy it, then why don’t we protest as our patriot forefathers did?

Apart from your annual graduated income tax payment, which is blatantly unconstitutional but accords perfectly with proposals in The Communist Manifesto, you pay dozens of other taxes. As noted, every time you pay for a driver’s license, pay to register your vehicle, pay the fine for a traffic violation, pay for a hunting or fishing license, or pay for the hunting tags you need on top of the license, you’re paying extra taxes. When you shop at the grocery store, you pay a hidden tax called inflation. Because of irresponsible spending and money-printing habits, our government has devalued our currency monstrously. Who pays the price when companies, to break even, hike product prices? You do. In every facet of life, you pay taxes to Government Almighty.

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Below is an extremely short list of taxes we pay to the Marxist Establishment lording over us:

Death tax

Estate tax

Inheritance tax

Federal income tax

Local income tax

Sales tax

City utility fees (garbage, water, sewage, etc.)

School taxes

Road and bridge tolls

Property taxes

Zoning taxes

IRS penalties

Air travel taxes

Cigarette tax

Alcohol tax

Hunting/fishing license fees

Marriage license fees

Visit the following two links for longer lists of the taxes we routinely pay to the insatiable state:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-25/list-97-taxes-americans-pay-every-year

https://www.balancedpolitics.org/editorials/100_taxes_you_pay.htm

I also recommend Aaron Russo’s film “America: From Freedom to Fascism” for a breakdown on the issue of taxation and on whether the law really requires you to pay taxes at all. It might open your eyes to just how plundered and abused we are on a daily basis by our hijacked government.

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After reviewing the five points noted, it should be apparent to a greater extent how tyrannized we’ve become. We are wrapped up in government red tape and hounded by law enforcement henchmen who claim they are “just following orders.” If you dissent, you are called a rebel, a lunatic, a racist, a bigot, a Nazi, or any number of other fallacious slurs. Our forefathers were once called rebels and extremists, too. Yet, because they had the courage to do what was right and not just what was “legal,” they won this country and secured the Freedom we take for granted. The time is now to stand for what is right regardless of whether government bureaucrats have given you permission to do so.

Zack Strong,

June 13, 2019

Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day. It is also, not coincidentally, the birthday of George Washington. From the glorious days of President Washington to the era of Donald Trump, the presidency has been occupied by a mixed bag of individuals. Some of been traitors and wolves in sheep’s clothing who sold out their nation and abused the U.S. Constitution and others have been honest, wise, good, faithful, and inspiring statesmen. This short article is written to commemorate and celebrate the memory of that small band of patriots who have occupied the Oval Office.

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On page 101 of the first volume of his phenomenal book series titled Leadership, Elder Sterling W. Sill wrote:

“This ability to fill ourselves and others with enthusiasm carries with it a great power of accomplishment. It is one of the most valuable abilities with which God has endowed us. But its value is still further increased because it is so rare. It is one of the potentialities which is often left undeveloped in men. there are many good men; there are many wise men; there are many industrious men. There are not many fire kindlers, not many fire carriers, not many who bring us sparks from the divine, even in a symbolic sense.”

Yes, there are many decent people, many who work hard, and many who have abundant stores of knowledge, but how few men are true leaders who possess the ability to inspire nations! How few are able to really inspire and stir our souls! How few can be called “fire carriers . . . who bring us sparks from the divine”!

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Without question, the most important position of public leadership in our Republic is the office of president. People look (far more than they should) to the president for guidance – and not merely in politics, but in social, cultural, and moral issues. The president bears a tremendous burden to lead by his stalwart example, inspire with the soundness of his ideas, and kindle the fire of patriotism, virtue, and civility in his People with the moral force of his own character.

That most presidents have not lived up to this high charge is lamentable. However, a few good men have lived up to their duty and have been true leaders who inspired the nation. It is on this small band of Sons of Liberty that we focus today.

This article is not a list of good and bad presidents. I previously wrote a piece on that subject which you can find here. Rather, we seek to draw inspiring quotations from some of the great men who have borne the title President of the United States.

My favorite president was the Sage of Monticello, the great Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson gave us some of the most inspiring words ever penned by an American. It was Jefferson who wrote:

“I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

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It was this same super-patriot, whose lifelong devotion to Liberty is archetypal, who declared in the original draft of The Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles & organising it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness.”

Surely few passages of text have ever inspired more people to noble sacrifice and heroic action than did The Declaration of Independence! The Declaration was the first bookend of the American story of Liberty. Yet, even before the Declaration was published to the world, Jefferson had made his views on Liberty and leadership public and plain. In “A Summary View of the Rights of British America,” Jefferson had written:

“The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counsellors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail . . . The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”

Thomas Jefferson always put his nation first above his own leisure and desires. I was willing to sacrifice anything to ensure American Freedom. In a letter to John B. Colvin, he voice sentiments which show his devotion to the Republic. Said he:

“The question you propose, whether circumstances do not sometimes occur, which make it a duty in officers of high trust, to assume authorities beyond the law, is easy of solution in principle, but sometimes embarrassing in practice. A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.”

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When we judge leaders, it is well to judge them, at least in part, according to whether they did all they could to ensure the security, sovereignty, Liberty, and happiness of America. I thank the Lord for men like Thomas Jefferson who, like the north star, still point out the course which our People may travel to arrive safely in the harbor of peace, Freedom, and happiness.

Another great man who occupied the White House was Andrew Jackson. Jackson was and still is hated by the Establishment because he took a stand against them and, at least in his day, thwarted their agenda to enslave this Republic. Jackson was rabidly pro-American. He was also the only president to eliminate the national debt and presided over a period of prosperity. And, notably, he spent much of his time trying to kill the insidious national bank and eliminate its poisonous effects on our nation.

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In his First Inaugural Address, President Jackson stated:

“As long as our Government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable aegis. Partial injuries and occasional mortifications we may be subjected to, but a million of armed freemen, possessed of the means of war, can never be conquered by a foreign foe. To any just system, therefore, calculated to strengthen this natural safeguard of the country I shall cheerfully lend all the aid in my power.”

In his Farewell Address, and in the context of denouncing the “moneyed interest” which sought to dominate and strangle the nation, President Jackson reminded the American People:

“[Y]ou must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.”

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President James Monroe was another good man whose political views have helped guide and steer our ship of state for generations. In his First Inaugural Address, Monroe spoke of the need for the United States to stand up and defend itself against the encroachments of foreign powers in our sphere of influence:

“Dangers from abroad are not less deserving of attention. Experiencing the fortune of other nations, the United States may be again involved in war, and it may in that event be the object of the adverse party to overset our Government, to break our Union, and demolish us as a nation. Our distance from Europe and the just, moderate, and pacific policy of our Government may form some security against these dangers, but they ought to be anticipated and guarded against . . . We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen is national strength. It ought therefore to be cherished.

“To secure us against these dangers our coast and inland frontiers should be fortified, our Army and Navy, regulated upon just principles as to the force of each, be kept in perfect order, and our militia be placed on the best practicable footing. . . .

“But it ought always to be held prominently in view that the safety of these States and of everything dear to a free people must depend in an eminent degree on the militia. Invasions may be made too formidable to be resisted by any land and naval force which it would comport either with the principles of our Government or the circumstances of the United States to maintain. In such cases recourse must be had to the great body of the people, and in a manner to produce the best effect. It is of the highest importance, therefore, that they be so organized and trained as to be prepared for any emergency. The arrangement should be such as to put at the command of the Government the ardent patriotism and youthful vigor of the country. If formed on equal and just principles, it can not be oppressive. It is the crisis which makes the pressure, and not the laws which provide a remedy for it. This arrangement should be formed, too, in time of peace, to be the better prepared for war. With such an organization of such a people the United States have nothing to dread from foreign invasion. At its approach an overwhelming force of gallant men might always be put in motion.”

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Pursuant to these very ideas of national honor and self-defense against foreign despotism, it was President Monroe who established, with the advice and aid of Thomas Jefferson, the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine was designed, as Jefferson penned in a letter to President Monroe, to ensure that America:

“should therefore have a system of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe. While the last is laboring to become the domicil of despotism, our endeavor should surely be to make our hemisphere that of freedom.”

Under the Monroe Doctrine, Latin America was preserved for a time as a land of Freedom. Today, however, we have largely abandoned our role of defenders of this “hemisphere of freedom” and Marxism has infiltrated and taken deep root. We need only look at the communist “paradises” of Cuba and Venezuela to know how precarious the situation has become. Yet, President James Monroe charted our national course in this regard and it is our duty to steer the American ship of state back into safe waters that this hemisphere might truly become a hemisphere of Freedom once more.

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We ought to cherish the memory of all the great men who have served as the first officer of our government – men like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson. We need to rekindle and fan the flame of patriotism, piety, and Liberty those noble statesmen lit and carried in their day.

We also ought to support the efforts, however feeble and at times misguided, of President Donald Trump to “make America great again” and fight against the increasing threat of socialism. President Trump did not collude with Russia or communists, as lying and ignorant ideologues claim. He is also not cut from the same cloth as men like Jefferson and Washington. However, he is the first president in my lifetime to make a dent in the Establishment’s control over our Republic. More importantly than anything he has personally done in office, President Trump has inspired people to stand up, speak out, and be counted in favor of Freedom and traditional Americanism.

I pray to our Father in Heaven that the cause of American Liberty will prosper, that the modern Sons of Liberty will never lose hope, and that leaders will step forward to kindle the flame of Freedom in more American hearts. When we each do our part, however small, we help to pave the way for a future return to our true American heritage. We can begin our journey back to our roots of greatness when we remember those stalwart men who have gone before us who carried the torch of Freedom, who inspired the hearts of their countrymen, and who put the Republic and its preservation in happiness, peace, and Liberty above all else. God preserve our Republic!

Zack Strong,

February 18, 2019.

Homage to the Constitution

The Constitution of the United States of America is the greatest political document ever written. It is not only my firm belief, but a codified tenet of my faith, that the U.S. Constitution was literally inspired by Almighty God and that the Founding Fathers were inspired, honest, wise, and honorable men raised up by the Lord for the purpose of establishing the first free nation in modern times. This short article is written in homage of that sacred document – that wise political charter which has guaranteed our God-given rights for 229 years.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention finished crafting the Constitution. As the convention separated, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government that esteemed body had given to the federated States then in existence. Famously, the old sage is said to have replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Under the Constitution, the States were unified under a common government – a limited government that protected individual rights and States’ rights. Or, as Article Four of the document says, the Constitution guaranteed “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”

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The British statesman William Gladstone famously remarked that the Constitution was “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” Truly, the U.S. Constitution is the greatest political document ever given to the world. The American Founding Fathers constituted the most incredible, eminent, and powerfully wise group of statesmen ever to exist together at one period in earth’s history.

Of Thomas Jefferson, my personal favorite Founding Father, President John F. Kennedy said the following, which demonstrates the wisdom of these men. At a 1962 dinner for Nobel Prize winners, President Kennedy mused:

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

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My heart feels full when I reflect on the wisdom and nobility, the virtue and majesty, the power and honor of the Founding Fathers. In my Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a passage of sacred revelation from our Lord and Master Jesus Christ informs us:

“Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

“And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:79-80).

It is my testimony that the Lord in fact did raise up the Founding Fathers, that they were in truth wise and honorable men, and that the work of their hands – the Constitution of the United States – is an inspired work. Furthermore, another modern revelation from the Lord declares:

“And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

“And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7).

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“One Nation Under God” by Jon McNaughton

Perhaps these verses help you understand how seriously regard the U.S. Constitution and the glorious principles it contains. To my mind, anything not in harmony with the Constitution’s principles is not only wrong or mistaken, but evil. I take very seriously the oath that our representatives in government swear. I believe they should be held accountable to the People for that oath. Severe punishment – not mere impeachment – is due for those who violate their oaths of office and trample the principles of our Heaven-inspired Constitution.

It is one thing, however, to love the Constitution; but how well do we know it? In an address titled “The Constitution – A Heavenly Banner,” President Ezra Taft Benson once asked an audience these pointed questions:

“It is now two hundred years since the Constitution was written. Have we been wise beneficiaries of the gift entrusted to us? Have we valued and protected the principles laid down by this great document? . . . .

“We must learn the principles of the Constitution and then abide by its precepts. Have we read the Constitution and pondered it? Are we aware of its principles? Could we defend it? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound?”

Have you read the Constitution lately? Do you understand its principles? Can you recognize when our presidents, representatives, judges, and others violate its principles? Are the candidates for political office in harmony with constitutional principles? If you do not know the Constitution, how can you claim to love and defend it? If you do not comprehend the purpose of the Constitution, the republican form of government it guarantees, and the God-given natural rights it protects, how can you claim to love our Republic and fight for our Freedom?

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James Wilson, one of the greatest legal minds amongst our Founding Fathers, made this true statement:

“Were I called upon for my reasons why I deem so highly of the American character, I would assign them in a very few words—That character has been eminently distinguished by the love of liberty, and the love of law. . . .

“But law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge. The same course of study, properly directed, will lead us to the knowledge of both. Indeed, neither of them can be known, because neither of them can exist, without the other. Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness. In denominating, therefore, that science, by which the knowledge of both is acquired, it is unnecessary to preserve, in terms, the distinction between them. That science may be named, as it has been named, the science of law.

“The science of law should, in some measure, and in some degree, be the study of every free citizen, and of every free man. Every free citizen and every free man has duties to perform and rights to claim. Unless, in some measure, and in some degree, he knows those duties and those rights, he can never act a just and an independent part.”

I defy any American to claim he is a true patriot and a true friend to Liberty if he does not understand the principles of the U.S. Constitution and defend them. You cannot love what you do not know or comprehend. You cannot protect that which is not planted firmly in your heart, soul, and mind.

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I urge you to read the Constitution – or reread it if you have not lately – and internalize its principles. Learn to love it. Gain a witness of its truth. Express gratitude to the Almighty for establishing the Constitution and to your forefathers who spilled their blood to give you the Liberty – severely curtailed today as it may be – that you enjoy on a daily basis.

That same James Wilson quoted earlier gave a speech in on October 6, 1787, when the question of the newly proposed Constitution was being debated. He made this statement:

“After all, my fellow-citizens, it is neither extraordinary or unexpected that the constitution offered to your consideration should meet with opposition. It is the nature of man to pursue his own interest in preference to the public good, and I do not mean to make any personal reflection when I add that it is the interest of a very numerous, powerful and respectable body to counteract and destroy the excellent work produced by the late convention. All the officers of government and all the appointments for the administration of justice and the collection of the public revenue which are transferred from the individual to the aggregate sovereignty of the States, will necessarily turn the stream of influence and emolument into a new channel. Every person, therefore, who enjoys or expects to enjoy a place of profit under the present establishment, will object to the proposed innovation; not, in truth, because it is injurious to the liberties of his country, but because it affects his schemes of wealth and consequence. I will confess, indeed, that I am not a blind admirer of this plan of government, and that there are some parts of it which, if my wish had prevailed, would certainly have been altered. But when I reflect how widely men differ in their opinions, and that every man (and the observation applies likewise to every State) has an equal pretension to assert his own, I am satisfied that anything nearer to perfection could not have been accomplished. If there are errors, it should be remembered that the seeds of reformation are sown in the work itself and the concurrence of two-thirds of the Congress may at any time introduce alterations and amendments. Regarding it, then, in every point of view, with a candid and disinterested mind, I am bold to assert that it is the best form of government which has ever been offered to the world.”

While a group of self-serving men opposed the Constitution, noble minds – Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Wilson, and others – understood that it was the best document that could be given to People of the United States. No other system has surpassed it in wisdom. No other governmental system has offered so many people so many opportunities nor protected so many rights and reserved so much power to the individual. Truly, only a body of men inspired by the Spirit of God and Light of Christ could have produced the U.S. Constitution.

With James Wilson, “I am bold to assert” that the Constitution “is the best form of government which has ever been offered to the world.” I urge you to learn about and to teach the precepts of the Constitution to your family. Only by a revival of true constitutionalism – not libertine-style libertarianism or socialism or any other system of thinking – can we restore our Republic and preserve our rights.

If you do not know where to turn to understand the Constitution, look no further. I will give not several sources that will give you everything you need to comprehend the majesty of the Constitution and the wisdom of the men who wrote it.

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I do not hesitate for an instant to say that the greatest book ever written on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution is The Making of America by the great W. Cleon Skousen. You can find this book, and supplementary material, at the National Center for Constitutional Studies website. You will find numerous materials published by the NCCS which will enlighten your mind, teach you the true character of some of the eminent Founding Fathers, and give you the tools to teach your family about constitutional government.

Furthermore, I recommend W. Cleon Skousen’s book The Majesty of God’s Law to discover the Biblical origins of the Constitution’s principles. William J. Federer and David Barton have also done tremendous work in showing, through primary sources, the religious foundation upon which the American political system was built. Such books include: The Ten Commandments and their Influence on American Law by Federer and Original Intent by Barton.

Whatever sources you choose to study, make sure they are rooted in the words and teachings of the Founding Fathers. It was they who, under the inspiration of God, crafted the Constitution and put its revolutionary principles into motion. It was they who earned Freedom for America and gave to world the most glorious example yet known of what a free nation looks like. I honor them and revere their name. I revere, cherish, and love the fruit of their hands; namely, The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Let us be true patriots and true constitutionalists. Let us follow in the mode of Jefferson, Wilson, Adams, Washington, Madison, and others as we labor to reestablish constitutional government here in the United States of America which, even with her serious flaws, is still unquestionably the greatest nation on earth. The American People have the greatest potential of any People. But we cannot do it alone – we must have God’s help. We must, like our forefathers, turn to Christ for help. If we do so, we will be forgiven as a People, our land will be healed, and our constitutional government fully restored (Isaiah 1:4-20; 2 Chronicles 7:14). If we do not turn back to the Lord and obey the laws of His Gospel, John Adams’ statement will continue to come to pass year after year. Said he:

“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).

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I pray that we will each turn our hearts to the Lord and the Constitution He inspired and caused to be established by the hands of truly good men, and to initiate a new American Revival in our own families so that, eventually, America might be restored. Always keep the Constitution and its sacred principles in mind. The Constitution with its rule of law, its guarantee of a republican form of government, its limited scope and powers, its preservation of the People’s power, and its emphasis on rights, is the key feature of what is sometimes referred to as the American Gospel of Liberty.

Let us be zealous disciples of the Gospel of Liberty now and forever. Let us remember the Constitution and defend it. Let us, like our forefathers, swear to never relinquish our rights, and to fight to regain those which have been lost through apathy and carelessness. As Patrick Henry trumpeted all those years ago:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”(Patrick Henry, speech, March 23, 1775).

Zack Strong,

September 17, 2018.

Festival of Freedom

“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” – Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 17, 1785.

The United States of America is the greatest nation on earth! With all of our numerous flaws and serious disruptions and contentions, this Republic is still, without question, the best nation in the world and the last hope for mankind. No other country has as much raw potential as the United States. And certainly no other nation has as glorious a heritage of Freedom, rule of law, and godly society as does America. We are a blessed land with a special mission to fulfill.

In order to fulfill our singular mission, however, we must recognize and be grateful for our unsurpassed blessings, embrace our unique American heritage, revive the principles and ideals enshrined in our founding documents, and press forward in faith. We must defend our faith, families, and Freedom against all attacks – both from within and from without. We must imbibe the same spirit our forefathers possessed that caused them to risk life and limb to forge a free nation. Independence Day is the perfect time to do just that.

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During an Independence Day oration in 1826, George Bancroft referred to this exceptional holiday and stated:

“The festival which we keep is the festival of freedom itself – it belongs not to us only but to man. All the nations of the earth have an interest in it, and humanity proclaims it sacred!”

Independence Day is not just another day. It is a special day; a sacred day. It was the opening of a new epoch. This holy day marks the founding of the first free nation in modern times – a nation which grew from its humble beginnings to become the greatest nation in recorded history. America is not just another nation, and her birthday is not just another day.

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In 1796, a full generation before Bancroft delivered his oration, John Lathrop gave an Independence Day address wherein he affirmed:

“Liberty descended from Heaven on the 4th of July, 1776. . . .

“The first promulgation of the Gospel of Liberty was the declaration of American independence . . . the Americans were elected by God to redeem from bondage the miserable victims of arbitrary power.”

America was the vessel which the Lord designed to carry Liberty to a safe harbor. When fifty-six men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and proclaimed their reliance upon “the protection of Divine Providence,” Freedom began to burst forth. America is the modern birthplace of Liberty and has remained its sole incubator for 242 years. Truly, Independence Day is no ordinary day.

John Quincy Adams, in an Independence Day speech delivered in 1837, rhetorically asked:

“Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day?”

He went on to provide the answer:

“Is it not that in the chain of events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? – that it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?”

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To our forefathers, the birth of America was not a raucous “rebellion,” but a sacrosanct religious event. It was an act of Providence. It was a fulfillment of ancient Biblical prophecy. So many profound miracles poured forth from Heaven that General George Washington, in the heat of the conflict with tyrannical Britain, wrote to a fellow general that:

“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).

Speaking in 1793, just a few years after Washington penned his letter, Elias Boudinot told an audience gathered for their Independence Day celebration the following:

“The late revolution . . . is big with events that are daily unfolding themselves and pressing in thick succession to the astonishment of a wondering world!

“It has been marked with the certain characteristic of a Divine overruling hand in that it was brought about and perfected against all human reasoning and apparently against all human hope – and that in the very moment of time when all Europe seemed ready to be plunged into commotion and distress.

“Divine Providence, throughout the government of this world, appears to have impressed many events with the undoubted evidence of His own almighty arm.”

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On April 30, 1789, newly elected President George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address. In it, he stated:

“[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Through the intervention of Almighty God, the American Republic came into being. Without His divine aid, our War for Independence would have floundered, our Founding Fathers would have been hanged as traitors, the U.S. Constitution would have never come into being, and America would have been once more subjected to European tyranny. Yet, God did intervene, America did win her bid for Independence, and the Founding Fathers went on to draft the U.S. Constitution under inspiration and set America on the path to unrivaled greatness.

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Today, how many of us stop to remember and express gratitude for the Lord’s hand in our nation’s birth and progress? How many of us truly comprehend how significant Independence Day was in the course of world history? How many of us understand the great mission America has been given – the mission of preaching the Gospel of Liberty to mankind? How few of us thank our God for His bountiful blessings upon this special land!

As Americans, we are unique. The eyes of the world are, and truly have been, upon us. No other People has a history and a heritage like we do. No other nation boasts such a large group of Founding Fathers so thoroughly brilliant, honorable, and wise. No other nation has founding documents as inspired as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. No other country anywhere witnessed such conspicuous intervention by Deity in its founding. The American Republic is not just another nation, and her birthday is not just another day.

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Be proud to be an American. Be proud of your unmatched heritage of Freedom. Feel honored you were born here in the cradle of Liberty and that you have the privilege of participating in this ongoing struggle. Defend your faith, family, and Freedom against all attacks. Cherish the history of the American founding and the memory of the men who sacrificed so much for this Republic. And never take for granted this special day, this Independence Day, this festival of Freedom. Long Live Liberty!

Zack Strong

July 1, 2018.