Freedom has always been principle of God and a necessity in order for God's children to grow and experience in a way that will allow them to be able to be tested and become what Christ would have them become. ( 2 Nephi 2:25 ) Because freedom is so vital to God's plan we can see throughout history examples of God providing his servants with deep belief in freedom, thus becoming instruments in His hands to protect it. Those whom understand God's plan understand how vital freedom is in God's plan, thus they are willing to lose their lives to sustain the furthering of His work and coming forth of His Kingdom.
We see this spiritual gift in Captain Moroni as we read in Alma 46. As we see Moroni rip his coat and create the Title of Liberty, we see the true principle shine forth in followers of Christ. It is not coincidence that Christopher Columbus was directed to find the " New World" and it was not coincidence that most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were firm believers of Christ. Below are some examples:
Columbus held firm a strong conviction that he was led by God. “I could sense his hand upon me,” wrote Columbus, “so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies, and he gave me the will to do it.”
Raccolta pt.1, vol , ii , p.79
In a letter to the monarchs he wrote: “The eternal God our Lord gives to all those who walk in his path victory over things that seem impossible. And this is notably one; for, although men have talked or written of these lands, all has been conjecture. … All Christendom ought to feel delight and make great feasts and give solemn thanks to the Holy Trinity with many solemn prayers for the great exaltation they shall have in the turning of so many people to our holy faith.”
( Cristobal Colon, Textos y documentos completos : Relacionesde Viajes, cartas y memoriales, ed. consuelo varela ( Madrid : Alianza Editorial, 19889 pp.263-64)
During his fourth voyage, Columbus received another divine assurance during an extremely perilous moment when he was about to abandon all hope. “Exhausted, I fell asleep, groaning,” he reported to the sovereigns. “I heard a very compassionate voice, saying: ‘O fool and slow to believe and to serve thy God, the God of all! … Thou criest for help, doubting. Answer, who has afflicted thee so greatly and so often, God or the world? … Not one jot of His word fails; all that He promises, He performs with interest; is this the manner of men? I have said that which thy Creator has done for thee and does for all men. Now in part He shows thee the reward for the anguish and danger which thou hast endured in the service of others.’ I heard all of this as if I were in a trance, but I had no answer to give to words so true, but could only weep for my errors. He, whoever he was, who spoke to me, ended saying: ‘Fear not; have trust; all these tribulations are written upon marble and are not without cause.’” ( “Letter of Columbus on the Fourth Voyage,” in tr. Cecil Jane, 2:90–92.)
( Columbus and the Hand of God - De Lamar Jensen , Ensign Oct.1992 )
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1
Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.
The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.3
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!
I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.
( John Adams, Works, Vol. X, p. 85, to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813)
I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.
The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.
I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.
He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .
- the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.
- we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.
- with true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior.
( From the Last Will & Testament of Samuel Adams, attested December 29, 1790; see also Samuel Adams, Life & Public Services of Samuel Adams, William V. Wells, editor (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1865), Vol. III, p. 379, Last Will and Testament of Samuel Adams.
Letters of Delegates to Congress: August 16, 1776-December 31, 1776, Paul H. Smith, editor (Washington DC: Library of Congress, 1979), Vol. 5, pp. 669-670, Samuel Adams to Elizabeth Adams on December 26, 1776.
From a Fast Day Proclamation issued by Governor Samuel Adams, Massachusetts, March 20, 1797, in our possession; see also Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908), Vol. IV, p. 407, from his proclamation of March 20, 1797.
Samuel Adams, A Proclamation For a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, given as the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from an original broadside in our possession; see also, Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908), Vol. IV, p. 385, October 14, 1795.
Samuel Adams, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 10, 1793.
Samuel Adams, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 15, 1796. )
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.
The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author. (FRANKLIN’S EULOGY THAT HE WROTE FOR HIMSELF)
(Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790.)
These are but few of the witnesses that freedom has been and can be protected and achieved when individuals have faith in Christ and follow His wills. The Book of Mormon affirms that Christopher Columbus was led by God; In vision as, Nephi “looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it … wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” (1 Ne. 13:12.)
Prophets have declared that this land for His people to be free in if we keep the commandments:
It is also my conviction that His protective hand is still over the United States of America. I know, too, that if we will keep the commandments of God – live as He directed and does now direct, through His prophets – we will continue to have His protecting hand over us. But we must be true to the eternal verities, the great Christian virtues that God has revealed. Then, and only then, will we be safe as a nation and as individuals.”
- Ezra Taft Benson
(This Nation Shall Endure, p.145)
I am incredibly thankful for men like Captain Moroni, and those who believed so deeply in freedom of religion, so strongly that they were willing to die for it. I wanted to write and keep all of these things in my journal so that I will not forget their sacrifices and so that my children can remember the connection between the faith that founded this country; and after what works will keep a land and a people safe.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. amen.
"Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their home, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create, is still intact."