It being summertime, schools are getting out; people are graduating high school and college, soon will be July and Independence Day. We are also, thankfully, deep into the U.S. Presidential election at this time.
There have been various incidents in the news lately about Patriotism, and our Constitutional rights, and how they are to be upheld, and who has the right to what. There are those in the State of Utah, some who possess high and or important positions, like Sheriffs, State Legislative members, members of Congress, who feel that it is not the Federal Government’s role or position to be able to tell them how to do things, or how they can control Federal lands. This is in direct contradiction of the Lord’s words to us in these days.
D&C Section 98 says “Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks”. The Lord starts this section off with a reminder to be thankful and rejoice, a good reminder now a days. Then the Lord puts it bluntly saying 98:4-5 “And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them. 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.”
98:6 “Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land.” We have been commanded to befriend the law, which is the constitutional law of the land. That means, the Antiquities Act, and the Bear’s Ears proposal; is constitutional. Federal land is run and maintained by the Federal Government. The Executive branch of the Federal government is to uphold the laws, including law enforcement, land regulation and use, what can and cannot be done on those lands. That is the President’s job!
98:16 “Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children.” 98:33-38 “ And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them. And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue; And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord; Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people. And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation. Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.”
This clearly states the Lord’s position on war how to avoid war, and when it is needed to go to war. There are those who are complaining that the military does too much, and there are those who say the military does too little. We know that there shall be wars and rumors of wars in these days. We know that there will be horrible sufferings, and disasters around the world. But we also know that if we are diligent and faithful to the Lord and his commandments we will be blessed in the end.
There are refugees fleeing war-torn areas of the world, the church has asked members to open their hearts and hands to these people. There is flooding in Texas, Paris, various Pacific islands. People are working with each other to do what is right, and to better the situations that they are under. Let us give thanks daily to the Lord for the blessings with have, and the rights we enjoy. Many of which are not had in much of the world. Let us remember that the Lord has stated that the Constitution is to be upheld, and we are to support it. This means that you do NOT trespass or take over Federal offices, arrest federal employees doing their jobs, or bring case after case after case saying that the State should be given the right to lands that were never the state’s property in the first place.
Let us befriend the laws of the land we all live in. Let us look towards a day where freedom will truly be available to all. Here in the United States, let us look for those who will be honest, truthful, and uphold the laws to be our Representatives, leaders, and enforcers. As Latter-Day Saints we should all be living by the greatest two commandments the Lord Himself stated: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. Matt: 22-37-39
Let us show love and compassion to others. Let us remember that we are all children of God, and we are all brothers and sisters. Let us remember the hardships and trials suffered by those in ancient days, the early pioneers, and those of today, all of whom are looking for the freedoms most of us take for granted. Let us remember to be selfless and caring. Charity never fails. Violence at political rallies is not the answer. Threats towards others and saying that you’ll refuse to do anything of your candidate does not win a nomination is not the answer. Belittling another’s point of view is not the answer.
Participating in the system in which you live, looking for the best candidate, not the party candidate, working, volunteering, educating yourself and others; these are the things that we need to do. Let us care for and share what we have with all.