Independence Day Reflections

As July Fourth fades into July fifth, and the rockets’ red glare ceases to illuminate the night sky, I sit on my bed pondering about this great land of America and the challenges we face. My heart is somber. I feel like I want a cosmic megaphone so I can shout to the whole world and warn them of the fate they are rushing towards – to alert them to the trap that has been laid for them by humanity’s enemies. As we wave our flags, sing patriotic songs, and boast of our Freedom, I fear that we lose sight of the seriousness of our present situation.

America61

It appears that we are fulfilling in every particular the old scriptural warnings against complacency, naïveté, and ignorance. In one place we are told: “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1). And in another ancient holy book, we are similarly warned:

“And others will [Satan] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance” (2 Nephi 28:21).

I see so many conservatives applauding what they think are improving conditions under President Trump. The economy appears to be a booming. Unemployment numbers seem to be dropping. Some taxes have been cut. President Trump has slashed some of the myriad of bureaucratic regulations that entangle us. We are pumping and exporting more oil than ever before. We are extending the hand of diplomacy and friendship to belligerent nations like North Korea. We are making “deals” with everyone. And so forth. In all these things, conservatives believe they see the winds of change – a revolution in favor of sound government, national stability, and personal Freedom.

Yet, I must question whether any of these are indicators of true change and betterment. We have been so indoctrinated with Marxism that we see everything in terms of economics and materialism. If the economy appears stable, we think things are peachy. If unemployment drops, we think the government is doing wonderful. If a small tax cut puts a few extra dollars in our bank accounts, we assume everything is on track.

America60

But what of our spiritual health and cultural well-being? Is church attendance on the rise? Is faith in Jesus Christ increasing? Are we following the Ten Commandments as a People? Are our families stronger? Are more marriages weathering the storms of life and resisting the Siren song of easy and “no-fault” divorce? Have we done away with the barbaric practice of slaughtering our newborns? Are we having large families again like our forefathers? Are we less sex-obsessed than before? Are people obeying the Lord’s law of chastity and abstaining from sex before marriage and remaining faithful in marriage? Is entertainment abandoning the trend of throwing profanity and lewdness into everything?

And how are our social relations? Are we less divided than before? Do we agree and unite on more issues than before? Do we ignore superficial issues like race and gender, or are we obsessed with them? Do we heed the ludicrous demands of political correctness or ignore them? Do we go along with Marxist hate speech legislation or cherish free speech and expression? Are our public demonstrations peaceful or more violent and heated? Are mobs and mob mentality increasing or decreasing? Is our social media interaction friendlier than it was in the past or worse?

And legally speaking, are things on the upswing? Is the Constitution followed more often now or less? Is the First Amendment under attack or defended? Is the Second Amendment under assault or held inviolate? How are privacy rights doing – or is there such thing as privacy these days? Do we have more or fewer police swarming our streets? Are we emptying or filling our prisons?

communism221

Folks, I could keep asking leading questions all day, but let me get to my point. Although the economy, on the surface, appears to be in a moment of upsurge (our $22 Trillion in debt, the existence of the parasitical Federal Reserve, and numerous other factors belie the claim of a booming economy), other indicators are blaring a “RED ALERT!” warning signal. The three great standards and institutions of any nation – Faith, Families, and Freedom – are all suffering massively. In fact, each is imploding before our eyes.

What good is a so-called “booming” economy when our Faith in the Savior gives way to pagan beliefs and reprobate behavior? How does a small tax cut assist us when our Families are decreasing in size, decreasing in effectiveness, and disintegrating altogether? What good is it to be a net exporter of oil when our Freedom is consumed by collectivist attitudes, Marxist-style Social Justice laws, and open calls for socialism by presidential candidates and the crowds who back them?

America is more divided than ever before. And the segment of the population who wants to drive the wedge even further and break us apart as a nation is succeeding largely because those of us who truly care and who ought to know better are ignoring the real problems. The honorable Ezra Taft Benson warned:

“If American freedom is lost, if America is destroyed, if our blood-bought freedom is surrendered, it will be because of Americans. What’s more, it will probably not be only the work of subversive and criminal Americans. The Benedict Arnolds will not be the only ones to forfeit our freedom. . . .

“If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers—normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free—Americans who have been lulled away into a false security” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Americans Are Destroying America,” Conference Report, April, 1968).

Is this what is happening? Are good, seemingly patriotic Americans responsible for the cultural destruction we see around us because they have been apathetic, naïve, and ignorant? I submit that this is precisely the case. There will always be subversives who want to overthrow the established government and set up a self-serving system with themselves in charge. However, this criminal element can only succeed when the population as a whole turns a blind eye and allows them to. We have for generations been so obsessed with bread and circuses that we allowed the communist cancer to spread to every community in the Union. We’ve slept while Rome burned. We’ve sold our Liberty for a mess of pottage!

jmObamaWithViolin 001

Ezra Taft Benson delivered another powerful warning that should’ve been heeded decades ago:

“For a quarter of a century I have seen, at close range, the insidious forward march of creeping socialism and its ruthless companion godless communism. It is a shocking record of bluff, bluster, deception, intrigue, bondage, and mass murder. Never in recorded history has any movement spread itself so far and so fast as has socialistic-communism in the past few years. The facts are not pleasant to review. Communist leaders are jubilant with their success. They are driving freedom back on almost every front. . . .

“I say to you with all the fervor of my soul: We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction in America and much of the free world today. It is my sober warning to you today that if the trends of the past thirty years – and especially the past three years – continue, we will lose that which is as priceless as life itself – our freedom – our liberty – our right to act as free men. It can happen here. It is happening here.

“Our greatest need in America today is to be alerted and informed” (Ezra Taft Benson, “We Must Become Alerted and Informed,” speech, December 13, 1963).

The seeds of destruction that were sewn decades ago are being harvested now before our eyes. Our enemies are “jubilant with their success.” Our level of healthy religion and morality – the pillars of free society – is declining. Our families are falling apart. Freedom is being pushed back “on almost every front.” And what do we do in the face of this awful situation? We cheer and celebrate, wave our flags and shoot off our fireworks, and believe that President Trump will save us!

media11

Instead, we need to become “alerted and informed.” We need to comprehend that there exists an international Satanic cabal which seek to obliterate our Liberty and consolidate the United States into a Marxist world order. We need to understand that communism never died, the USSR faked its “collapse,” and the West lost the Cold War. We need to admit that we have not done enough for to save our Republic – that it is our fault for allowing this clique of gangsters to abuse us for all these many years. We need to wake up and heed the warnings of men who have been awake all this time and who have screamed themselves hoarse trying to alert and save their country.

After this Independence Day, will anything change? Are our hearts stirring with emotion for our lost Liberty? Are we pricked with the terrible realization that all is not well in Zion? Will we push forward with more vigor for the restoration of our land to its godly roots? Will we work harder to preserve and replenish our Faith, Families, and Freedom? Will anything change at all? Or is July Fourth it just another day? Was it just another holiday – an excuse to BBQ, take the day off, and blow off some fireworks? Only you can decide what this day meant for you and what you will do from here on out.

From where I sit, it is not “morning in America.” But there should be mourning in America. The blast of the fireworks last night should have reverberated in our souls. We should feel the urgency which our situation presents. We should feel stirred to action in defense of our smoldering homeland. We should feel a greater determination to push back the communists who have gained so much ground that they are openly parading with hammer and sickle flags, burning Old Glory in D.C., beating people to within an inch of their lives in violent public demonstration while the police do nothing, and relishing the notion that one of their chosen candidates will likely be the Democratic Party nominee for president in 2020.

communism228

My fellow Americans, we are losing this war. We are losing. Donald Trump is president, yet we are losing. So-called conservatives have a majority on the Supreme Court, yet we are losing. Republicans control the Senate, yet we are losing. Our culture is sinking under the weight of hedonism and selfishness. Public schools are little more than communist indoctrination centers. Even public libraries, those places that gave me so many hours of joy as a child, are scenes of debauchery and indoctrination. Yes, Christian constitutionalists are being pushed back on almost every front.

If I sound overly pessimistic, it is because I am. We are losing the war and the casualties are mounting. I know we will win the war in the end, but at what cost? How much will we lose along the way? How many of our friends and family members will fall in this struggle? How many more good people will have their lives, careers, and reputations destroyed because of the cowardice of their neighbors to defend their rights against oppression? How many more children will be stolen from good homes because of the political or religious views of their parents? How much more lewdness and depravity must we be forced to witness? How much more suffering must we endure before we wake up and thrash the enemy who feeds off of our pain like the American Indian god Okee?

As wonderful and fun as it is to watch fireworks, have BBQs, wear patriotic apparel, and read The Declaration of Independence with my family, I can’t help but mourn for my country. America is on fire. And if my home is burning, will I remain silent? If my family is in danger, will I remain inactive? If I’m on the verge of losing everything I love, will I shout, “USA! USA! USA!” or say “All is well”? No! And if you are a patriot, you must not fall into this fatal trap of complacency and inattention!

Now is the time to wake up. Now is the time to become informed. Now is the time to study the Constitution as well as the tactics of the communist enemy. Now is the time to educate your family and neighbors. Now is the time to act in behalf of your country. Now is the time!

America39

I love America! America is the greatest nation on earth! We are the most blessed People in history. This is a special land – a Promised Land. It is a land reserved by God for humble, righteous People. It is the Lord’s base of operations in these last days. America must be defended!

I pledge my life to the restoration of the Republic, the defense of our God-inspired Constitution, and to the maintenance of the principles of Liberty and rule of law. I pledge myself to the defense of Faith, Family, and Freedom. Whatever little I have to offer, I offer to my nation, to my People, and to my God. God help America!

Zack Strong,

July 5, 2019

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.

America21

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).

America31

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).

America39

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.

America14

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?

America12

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

Zack Strong,

July 1, 2019

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.

patriots3

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.

BFdesign

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?”

GeorgeWashington32

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.”

America15

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.

american-revolutionary-war-soldiers-randy-steele

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.

America12

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.