Our Sacred Honor…

By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal

Declaration of Independence being signed

The words we speak are important, what we hold sacred and what we will defend, even until death if required.  If we raise our arm to the square we are taking a solemn oath, considerably more than just lip service (someone please pass this information along to our elected and appointed representatives).  Our sacred honor is at stake as we declare our words are true, not only to our fellow citizens; but with God.  There is never a time when Pledges, Oaths and Testimonies are to be treated lightly.

Some years back a document was signed wherein grievances against the King of England were listed along with a formal Declaration of Independence.  As with most important documents, those who signed it were testifying of its truthfulness, no different than if they’d been standing in a court of law bearing witness to those present; except in this case these men were bearing witness to the entire world.

Perhaps that’s why they finished with these words, words that mean much as you consider, …each man signed with full knowledge, … the serious nature of such a  declaration…

“…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

I mention testimonies and sacred honor as they play a significant role for those beginning a course of study this year, the Book of Mormon.  In Sunday School we prepared by reading from the Introduction where two documents worth mentioning are kept for good reason; the Testimony of Eight Witnesses and the Testimony of Three Witnesses.

Testimony of Eight Witnesses

“Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.”

Eight Witnesses BOMWhile reading the account given by the eight witnesses I was immediately reminded of those who’d pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor before the world to declare our independence.

These were bold statements which could not be taken lightly.  Having held the metal plates containing an ancient language that Joseph Smith was to translate and which would go out into the world, a world filled with skeptics; they didn’t claim to understand what had been written on those gold plates, only that plates from which the Book of Mormon sprang physically existed.  These witnesses knew many would be reluctant to accept additional scripture, even more would reject the Book of Mormon completely; that said they willingly signed their names.

An ancient prophet recorded the Lord’s foreknowledge of skeptics in our dayregarding the Book of Mormon…

“And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.”

As you continue to read the rest of that chapter; the presumption being you will continue reading, it becomes clear the Lord has shared and will continue to share his words with other children who have been scattered while He blesses the seed of Abraham as promised.

The second document, the Testimony of Three Witnesses is both a physical and a spiritual affidavit of importance for all God’s children.  These individuals were witnessing the restoration of the gospel for this, the Final Dispensation.

They had seen an angel of the Lord present before them the Book of Mormon plates, explain, at least in part, the information provided on those plates and; perhaps more importantly, they were commanded by God to act as witnesses to what they had been privileged to observe regardless of what consequences the world would see fit to impose.

When you think about raising your arm to the square and testifying, the full impact of your testimony comes into play.  Not only are you swearing before your equals, your fellow men; but you are standing at the feet of God who knows the truth of all things.  What’s at stake?  Only your sacred honor; Heaven help those who bear false witness.

A friend of mine, Russ Parker, temporarily lost his wallet the other day.  Other than being concerned for the possibility of having to replace his drivers license and credit cards he’d also lost several items of personal value contained therein; treasures of wisdom if you will, that he reads on a daily basis to motivate and support him.

He showed the wallet which he’d later found along with a scrap of paper with one of the treasures of wisdom which I’ll share.  It’s a short quote from Ezra Taft Benson’s General Conference talk given October, 1986.

Book of Mormon Power Outlet image“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”

With that I challenge you to obtain the truths contained within the Book of Mormon, that you might hunger and thirst after those words and find life in greater and greater abundance.   I add my testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith is/was the Prophet of God chosen to bring forth the restoration of the gospel in our day.  On my sacred honor, and in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

T.F. SternThe Moral Lib­eral’s Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern,is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.


An open letter to the Bundy family

By: Renee Nal
New Zeal

Bundy Ranch Patriots via irasciblemusings.com

Bundy Ranch Patriots via irasciblemusings.com

Dear Bundy Family and fellow patriots,

Like so many events that have taken place in the past decades culminating in the Obama administration and bulldozing over us at a breakneck pace in the past several years; the path to tyranny is more and more clearly laid out in front of us.

After I read the article posted at the New York Times today, I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.

This is nothing less than horrifying:

The ranchers, Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they had lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and to protect their property from wildfires.

The two were convicted of arson three years ago and served time — the father three months, the son one year. But a judge ruled that their terms had been too short under federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each.

The injustice is palpable.

With every executive order, with every declaration that police are racist, with every politician blaming “the wealthy” for their own failed programs, with every news article portraying Christians and patriots and veterans as terrorists, with rampant illegal immigration and inexplicable support to welcome unvetted young men from war zones, with the ongoing injustice to people like you – ranchers in the west – Americans are being poked.

With every fresh offense, the poke gets stronger and an unimaginable voice gets louder… Is this where we need to fight? Is there another way or is it too late? Is this what Thomas Jefferson meant when he referred to the “natural manure?”

Please Bundy family and friends, the ongoing sickening injustices are not going unnoticed by so many Americans all over the country. You may not see this because you have been fighting this lonely battle for such a long time (and I KNOW you have [after much research]; what has happened to your family and other ranchers is nothing short of vile) that you may look at things with an urgency which is not there yet.

Let me repeat. We are close to helping you and the Hammonds’ and the other families. Justice WILL be restored. We WILL get our country back and it is not yet time. I implore you to hold on just a bit longer. I beg you to stand down for just a while longer. We are closer to true freedom than we have ever been.

But that freedom, as it always is, is fragile and tenuous. Well-intentioned patriots firing just one shot could discourage and even reverse the new-found passion so many Americans have for the Constitution.

Consider, friends, there has not been a time in recent decades when Americans have had a clearer picture of their rights and their history, thanks in part to the radical left overplaying their hand. They have unwittingly done us a favor.

Americans are blessed at this delicate time in history to enjoy presidential candidates who discuss the Constitution in debates and in speeches around the country. If we band together and elect a president who dedicates himself to aggressively dismantling this behemoth government, we can and will make miracles happen. We WILL undo this damage. We will fight loudly for the West, in particular, to have their land restored to them so that they can mine and farm and graze their way back to prosperity. America is so close to being that shining city on a hill again.

This is why I beg you, friends, stand down for now.