First of all, to those of you who are deciding to start caring about politics, or acting on that interest, bravo! To those who are confident in your understanding of politics and would like to know my reading suggestions, this post is also for you! For some of you, this is a really big step and you might be pretty concerned about how overwhelming this "politics stuff" is, and you may feel like a child in your understanding of what’s going on. That’s ok, I often do too. However, I actually think politics becomes very simple and interesting when you study the principles. We soon discover why John Adams considered politics "the divine science" and "the science of social happiness" (John Adams, Apr. 1776 Papers 4:86-93, web link).
So many people have been asking me for information about politics and how to be more involved. There is so much to say, do, and read that I’ve decided to put some of the most important things into a post, and this is the result!
We obviously need to take action in some way, but there are already enough organizations, politicians and other groups/individuals who make a lot of noise without having a real, clear message. Everyone in the news and on tv (on either side of the political spectrum) seems to be against something or someone. One of my own Senators and a personal friend of mine has, unfortunately, often been a great example of opposing without promoting. We must not allow ourselves to be just another group of upset and emotionally charged individuals without a direction or a clear purpose.
So what should we do? The exact details may be different for each of us. Whatever we do, we obviously need God’s help if it is to be successful. President Ezra Taft Benson (also a former cabinet member, the Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight D. Eisenhower while he was currently ordained as an apostle of the LDS church) said that in order for us to justify heaven’s intervention on our behalf, we must be doing these 4 things (in this order):
- Teach others that freedom is a gift from God, not of government. (Our rights come from God and the government exists to protect those rights, which means we don’t have any rights that allow us to sin.)
- Make quality family life a high priority. (Prepare to raise a family in righteousness and with a quality education. Personally live worthily and righteously.)
- Study the Constitution from the viewpoint of the Founding Fathers. (I’ll add in "from the viewpoint of God’s prophets." God also said He raised up the founders for that very purpose and that they created a document so good that, at that time, anything that was more or less than this "cometh of evil".)
- Become active and influential in your communities and local politics. (Learn how city, county, and state governments work to figure out where you can make a difference. Also, learn about how to influence school boards. Be a good citizen!)
Each of you has different levels of interest and that’s totally ok. Some of you may just want to learn so that you can simply understand what’s going on and be able to have conversations about current events. On the other hand, some of you may be like me where the spirit has woken you up a bit and you feel a need to do more. There’s so much to know. It’s important that we become educated so that our future actions are effective, our intentions are clear, and our information is credible. Here are some of my recommended readings and resources you can use to become educated!
If you like to read, or are at least willing to read, here are some great books you need in your library:
- The 5,000 Year Leap – Outlines the 28 principles a government must be founded on to be successful.
- The Making of America – Written at the request to David O. McKay. This is a comprehensive overview of the entire Constitution (including the actual debates and stories of how each clause came to be). There’s a lot more I could say about it. … Feel free to ask!
- This Nation Shall Endure – Written by Ezra Taft Benson. AMAZING. America as a nation will not fall, but those who promote her destruction will.
- The Cleansing of America – This is a more comprehensive version of a book on last days prophecy that was written at the request of Ezra Taft Benson called Prophecy and Modern Times.
- A Catechism on the Constitution – Not sure what topics to study? This resource has 332 questions with basic answers that every citizen should know.
Want more? Let me know!
Here are some great resources that you can use to further your knowledge about the Constitution from the viewpoint of the Founding Fathers and the Lord and His servants:
- www.latterdayconservative.com – This is the best LDS conservative website out there! Every member of the church needs to read the talks and quotes on this site.
- Wallbuilders podcasts on either iTunes or www.wallbuilderslive.com – This is literally one of the best organizations to learn from about the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. Anything from David Barton is amazing! At about 26 minutes/day, these podcasts are a great option if you don’t have time to read. But you should still make time to read, really. This is also a great place to hear good news about what’s going on politically (especially their "Good News Friday" podcasts).
- A great option if you are short on time is YouTube! Dennis Prager’s videos at Pager University are very clear, concise, and relevant. Another great YouTube channel is ldsconservative. You can also find some good videos by davidkat99.
- I’m personally a conditional fan of Glenn Beck and his massive news company The Blaze. There’s a lot that can and has been said about him, but he generally understands the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. Even if his energetic, passionate style bothers you, there is still much you can learn from him about America’s history and our Founders.
- Anything by W. Cleon Skousen or his son-in-law Glenn J. Kimber is amazing!
- Shane Krauser is awesome too.
- As far as I’ve seen so far, Jeff Hymas also thoroughly understands original intent.
- The scriptures! This makes for a GREAT topic study.
Feel free to ask me for some groups to follow on Facebook or other news sources!
- We will get burned out and will fail if we try to solve each of America’s problems individually. We would waste our resources and stamina. Even if we are successful in one area, enemies of freedom will create five more problems to replace it. We must figure out what part of the Constitution was changed or ignored that allowed these types of problems to exist in the first place, and take the needed steps in restoring the Constitution.
- Get a personal copy of the Constitution and read it. Find a copy containing the preamble to the Bill of Rights! If you are on campus up at BYU-Idaho, there are many ways you can get a copy of your own (Personal disclaimer: I know most pocket constitutions don’t have this preamble which establishes the purpose of the Bill of Rights, but I haven’t personally reviewed some of the copies provided by the organizations listed below. Let me know what you find.):
- Try to find it at the BYU-I Bookstore! I think they were $3-5.00 last time I saw them there.
- Economics professor Brother Ron Nate (who is also a state legislator) has piles of them in his office in the Smith.
- Organizations like The National Center for Constitutional Studies, The Heritage Foundation and ConstitutionFacts.com have them.
- You can also find downloadable versions online! I just recommend that you have a copy you can highlight and write on, whether a pdf or physical copy.
- Talk about the things you learn with others! You will be amazed how many others want to be more educated and involved as well. God will bring others to you so that you can inspire them with the things you learn! Record in your journals or somewhere when you have conversations with people so that if you need to round up people really quickly for something important, you can remember who is interested!
- Let me know if you are interested in having me host or teach a seminar in your area! I can represent The Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Restoration in teaching the 4-part Healing of America Seminars that cover:
- God’s hand in the founding of America
- An overview of the substance and principles of the Constitution
- What has happened to the Constitution that allows the top 100 problems facing America today to exist
- How to restore the Constitution
- Get ready to be blown away and to have everything you thought you knew about our founding history completely reshaped! This will actually be a lot of fun if you become emotionally and intellectually invested.
- Have hope!!! We have God, history, and prophecy on our side. We who take a stand may be small in number, but so were the percentage of colonists who actually fought the British! The Constitution will be restored.
- There is obviously a lot to know, but there are so many people out there just like us who want to save America . We are not the minority. Our silent (vast) majority is afraid and waiting for people like us to stand up against this oppression and injustice. I promise you that anywhere you go you will find dozens of others who also love America and want to be involved if you will open your mouths and seek to make a difference. God will make up for where we fall short if enough of us are doing all we can.
We must each become independent in our studies. There’s simply so much to know; unfortunately, there’s no way I or anyone else can walk you through every detail. I have all kinds of resources and information I can I’ve you and would love to tell you everything I know! But you need to decide if you are serious about making a difference and not falling into the apathetic ignorance that is plaguing our nation. If you are serious about this, I can be somewhat of a coach to you as you start on the path. Eventually, we will all spread back out across the nation and world and God will expect us to inspire and lift and organize in our respective communities. Become strong right now so that you can be true citizens and righteous stewards wherever you go. Remember, freedom is a stewardship and we will be held accountable.
This has been an incredible spiritual experience for me over the last 4 1/2 years. My studies and newfound passion have changed my heart and my life. The day I had my perspective changed, I couldn’t hold still. I couldn’t go back to being apathetic. I felt a divine pull to learn and teach and do something to make a difference. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll never be the same again.
Consider the things you have felt and prayerfully determine what God expects of you. Reach back out to me when feel you know what His will is for you and let me know where you are at regarding your interest level. If you feel you already have a solid foundation in your knowledge of politics and the Constitution and you want to start making a difference, let me know!