From: Jan Griffith
As celebrations across the land are being cancelled, and our landmarks continue to fall, I pray the readers of this e-mail will bear with me as I try to express what is on my heart this morning.
I was born and raised in a place called Independence Missouri, and into a church family that taught me to love God, my country, and even my hometown which was the bedrock of our religion. Years later I would question that religion, and put it on trial, thereafter to conclude that while the branches of its tree were all corrupt, its roots were still alive. According to my religion, this land we call The United States of America is the Lord’s chosen land; consecrated for a righteous people and no other. Before our forefathers established these United States, other righteous founders before them were brought to this land, and possessed it for their inheritance. Here they would be blessed as long as they served the God of their fathers, whose name is Jesus Christ. But over time and many generations, when their progeny would become fully ripe in corruption and unbelief, God would sweep them off this land; and another people would inherit it. All those civilizations that were swept off had no excuse because in their possession were the words of God which taught them how they could remain a free and virtuous people.
My religion teaches that this land is the fulfillment of Joseph’s land, and explains the blessing Joseph was given by his father, Jacob (Genesis 49). Joseph’s seed was destined to grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth, and their blessings would be above the blessings of their fathers. Joseph’s bough would run over the wall, unable to be contained within the confines of the garden. My religion believes in a book that helps us understand Joseph’s blessing; a book whose reputation was immediately destroyed because of the confusions and contentions among its advocates. In that book is the explanation of America’s history, not only of prior civilizations but our own as well; where we came from, why we are here, and what will happen if we fail to serve the God of this land. This book came forth almost 200 years ago and warns with perfect accuracy what is unfolding today before our eyes. I keep asking myself, where are its spokesmen who say they believe it, whose national platforms provide opportunity to educate the inhabitants of this land? Why are they cowering in the shadows? What are they waiting for?
I am a little fish in a very small pond, but I am sending this message because I am tired of waiting. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I can no longer keep silent. We, the American people, are living in the land of Joseph; a nation blessed with a coat of many colors. Sadly, the book that explains our heritage, and what we are about to go through (called the Book of Mormon) has been utterly misrepresented. It is not the book people think it is. It is not a book that teaches polygamy or baptism for the dead. It is not a book which alters the Godhead or promotes a works-based salvation. Its content is not guilty of the things for which it has been accused. Rather, it fully agrees with the Bible that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Lord Jesus Christ—whose name is above all names, and the only name by which salvation can come. It is a second witness that God, Creator and Redeemer of heaven and earth, condescended and took upon himself flesh. It is a book that explains why America was chosen as the type for the heavenly New Jerusalem.
Can anyone with even a fraction of insight deny that America has been blessed above all other nations? And what true Christian historian doesn’t know that the Lord God removes his blessings from generations that fall into unbelief? Over the last century or so, a good many delusions have swept over this land; one being something Arthur Oakman once observed—the delusion that man’s nature is inherently good, and that sin is ignorance, and that science can offset that ignorance by giving us knowledge. This is not true, of course. The nature of man is not inherently good; and sin is not ignorance, it is lawlessness. Ignorance becomes sin as we willfully neglect to know Jesus. My intention isn’t to offend by sharing these things but there is a fire in my bones that will not be quenched until the message has been sent. Never has there been such a time of so much knowledge, yet so much spiritual ignorance. An old testament prophet once wrote that an abundance of knowledge would come to a latter day generation (Daniel 12:4) Meanwhile, a new testament prophet wrote of the same generation, describing them as a people “ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3). We have been blessed on this land because it was founded and consecrated by a Christian people who were brought here for the purpose of publishing the greatest Constitution ever to be established. A theonomous culture was our inheritance based upon the laws of God. But like other civilizations before us, we have become an autonomous culture where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, operating by the dictates of their own moral prerogatives (Proverb 12:15). Now we are finding ourselves on the precipice of a heteronomous culture where a handful at the top control the masses at the bottom.
We are running out of time to know Jesus.
This land we call America was redeemed with bloodshed, and with yet more blood when established as a more perfect union. According to my religion, we live on a land consecrated by God to be free, but to remain free this people must serve the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ, or else be swept off. According to the book, when the time comes the wicked cast out the righteous, then the people of this chosen land will be ripe for destruction. It’s time to quit playing church, and to seek God’s words with all our hearts. Again I ask, when will the voices more powerful than mine come forth to expound these things, and to tell the American people what the Book of Mormon really says, and why judgment is waiting at the door? Is there anyone our there, professing to believe in this book, that understands what is says? Do they understand the delusion at our doorstep or are they part of it?
“And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations…and that they did prosper in the land…and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them." (1 Nephi 3:155-157)
America has prospered because America was founded by those who carried forth among them, a book. That book was called The Holy Bible. I’ll end this message there, and also with a few personal memories. One is a song recently sent by my mentor of over 25 years ago. He said it reminded him of the 4th of July celebrations at Kelley Barracks in Mohringen just outside Stuttgart Germany; a song that brought down the house each time it was played throughout the day.
Hear it here:
Before Stuttgart Germany, I also remember a patriotic show called Spirit of America that played yearly in Washington D.C. Friends and family often came to visit during those times, so as not to miss one of those incredible shows. I always thought their first performances were their best (those I saw in the late 80s, early 90s), but all were truly spectacular and inspiring. Amazingly, I just found one that can still be watched on the internet, from the year 2011.
Spirit of America. Watch it here:
I also remember many days watching the parades and pageants of the Old Guard, often that started at Ft. Myer, home of Arlington Cemetery. And many an evening I would spend inside our Nation’s Capital, watching the military twilight tattoos.
Old Guard at Henderson Hall
Military band in 2009, near the Capital.
Being a military wife for so many years, I guess it’s no wonder I have come to appreciate my religious heritage. God knows how thankful I am to have lived in the United States of America, while she was still land of the free, and the home of the brave.
Happy Independence Day, from a girl who was born in Independence.
July 2, 2020
— Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)
In the summer of 1776, revolution was in the air. Congress was meeting in Philadelphia, and it was impatient. Bloody skirmishes between colonial militias and British troops were upsetting the countryside. More British troops were on their way. Congress sensed it needed to do something. It wanted to vote for secession from Great Britain, and it needed a compelling document setting forth the reasons for doing so.
Historians have estimated from reading letters, pamphlets, sermons, essays, newspaper editorials and speeches from that era that only about one-third of the colonists favored using force to secede. But that one-third whipped the winds of change.
At hand was the decision to revolt and to make an understandable argument in its support. Congress represented the radicals who wanted the British government gone. Neither the one-third of the public that wanted it to stay nor the one-third that didn’t care had a voice in Philadelphia.
In the late spring of the year of revolution, Congress appointed a committee of five to compose a document stating the reasons for leaving the mother country. One was Thomas Jefferson, and he was assigned the task by the other four of drafting the document. He wrote four drafts, the final of which the committee presented to Congress.
Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776. It was dated July 4th and not fully signed until later that summer. The vote was unanimous. The word went forth to the 13 colonies that they were now free and independent.
The word also went forth to the king — whom the British people believed was divinely chosen to rule over them — who interpreted the Declaration as an act of treason and an invitation to war.
The Declaration’s essence is that all persons have equal natural rights that no government can take away by legislation or command. Those rights can be used freely to pursue and defend life, liberty and happiness. Those rights can also be used to consent or not to consent to a government. And the only legitimate role of government is to protect the rights of those who consented.
This theory, which Jefferson crafted, was the most radical theory of government at the time. No king, no ruler, no edicts crushing personal freedom — just a popular government born in the consent of the governed and limited to protecting their rights.
The government would not come about, of course, until the bloody war was completed. In reality, the real revolution was completed by July 4, 1776 because it was a revolution of minds more than of government. The colonists were not trying to kill the king — as the French would soon do — they just wanted him gone.
Ah, but the revolution of men’s minds — the idea that the government was not legitimate unless consented to and limited, that individual personal freedom, not government power, is the default position; all of this was stirred up by the radicals, articulated by Jefferson, embraced by Congress, achieved by blood and acquiesced by the king — was as much a change for our forbearers as was the violence against the British.
They were free. The revolutionary spirit of maximum individual liberty and minimum government embraced and personified America in July 1776.
Where did it go?
Today, we have government — at the local, state and federal levels — that claims authority to right any wrong, regulate any behavior, tax any event and transfer any wealth so long as it can find public support.
What once was a government that needed the consent of the governed not only to exist but also to do anything is now one that requires of us its permission to do nearly everything. What once were liberties guaranteed are now liberties mocked.
How is it that men and women take oaths to uphold the liberties that the founders risked all to achieve and then enter office and ignore them? If I can legally refuse health care, why can’t I legally take the chance of exercising my rights to travel and assemble whether that exposes me to contagion or not? Is not among the freedoms Jefferson wrote about the freedom to take chances?
Are laws written to preserve liberty or to enforce order? Is the concept of the consent of the governed real or is it make-believe? Does liberty expand in each generation or does it shrink?
Does the government really believe that our liberties are natural and it lacks legitimacy without our individual consent? Has any living person actually consented to the government we now have or is the belief that we have consented to the government merely a myth?
When Jefferson and his buddies revolted from the king, they, too, engaged in a little myth. They coined a popular phrase that they didn’t really mean but caught fire with the colonists: “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
They didn’t mean it, because they didn’t really want to send representatives to Parliament. They wanted their own small government, and they wanted it here. But the colonists were sick of taxes imposed by London aristocrats.
Are all men created equal or are they not? Does the government have our consent or does it not? Are our liberties natural to our existence or are they not?