Principle 28 The United States has a Manifest Destiny

The United States Has a Manifest Destiny to be an Example and a Blessing to the Entire Human race.

54 Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the anations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the bConstitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.

One of the most important characteristics of the first American settlers was their strong sense of mission.  They had a conviction that they were taking part in the unfolding of a manifest destiny of divine design, which would shower blessings on all of mankind.  Historian John Fiske writes,

"They believed they were doing a wonderful thing.  They felt themselves to be instruments in accomplishing a kind of 'manifest destiny.'  Their exodus [from Europe] was that of a chosen people who were at length to lay the everlasting foundations of God's kingdom upon earth....This steadfast faith in an unseen ruler and guide was to them a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.  It was of great moral value.  It gave them clearness of purpose and concentration of strength, and contributed towards making them, like the children of Israel, a people of indestructible vitality and aggressive energy."
 It has continued to be a theme, that can be found in many inaugural addresses given by the presidents of the United States.  Just to clarify, this is a mission of a nation, and not about any kind of superiority.

John Adams wrote,

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth." 

And Alexander Hamilton wrote,

"It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."  

He also went on to say that if the people of the United States failed in this mission, that is would bring about the "the general misfortune of mankind."

John Adams later said that if the people abandon the freedom that they have gained by the adoption of the Constitution, it would be "treason against the hopes of the world."

The Founders knew that they were taking part in something new, something different from anything else on the face of the earth.  They pursued the more noble course.  Shall we too go forth in such a noble cause? 

D&C 58:27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward.
There is no greater cause than the liberty of mankind.  It was in the war in heaven that this mission began, and it is here that it continues.  This nation has and will yet face tough and trying times, but it has a mission to fulfill, and the Lord has decreed that it will be fulfilled.  It is up to us, if we will accept the call to come to our nation’s aid, or if we will deny our responsibility and be cut off.
3 Nephi 21:11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause ahim to bring forth unto the bGentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be ccut off from among my people who are of the covenant.
12 And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a alion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
13 Their hand shall be lifted up upon their aadversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.
14 Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they arepent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy bchariots;
15 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy astrongholds;
16 And I will cut off awitchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers;
17 Thy agraven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands;
18 And I will pluck up thy agroves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.
19 And it shall come to pass that all alyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.
20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that aday whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I bcut off from among my people, O house of Israel;
21 And I will execute avengeance and bfury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and aharden not their hearts, I will bestablish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be cnumbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their dinheritance;
23 And they shall assist my apeople, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the bNew Jerusalem.
24 And then shall athey assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
25 And then shall the apower of heaven come down among them; and bI also will be in the midst.
26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even awhen this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of bthis people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been clost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
In verse 20, we see the key, we must repent and come unto Christ in order to avoid being cut off as prophesied.  In order for the United States to fulfill her mission, we must each personally fulfill ours, to become sanctified, purified, and having cleansed our inner vessels, so that we may then be filled with the power of God, and be instruments in His hands.  There is no other way.

Principle 27 Debt is Destructive

The Burden of Debt is as destructive to Freedom as Subjugation by Conquest

"We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. . . . If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances, Feb. 2007, 1 

President N. Eldon Tanner taught: "Those who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus, control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage” ("Constancy Amid Change," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 81).  

Slavery is the result of either Subjugation by conquest or succumbing to the bondage of debt.   Debt is when you borrow against the future.  You get a present advantage for a future obligation.  Not only do you have to pay your debt back that you borrowed, but interest on top of that as well.

The Founders knew that borrowing can be an honorable procedure in a time of crisis, but they still deplored it just the same.  They looked at it as a temporary handicap that should be alleviated as soon as possible.  They had enough experiences with debt to now the effects that it can have; leading to the corruption of both individuals and nations.

With the individual excessive debt limits the liberty and freedom of the debtor.  It can be depressing.  They can be afraid to change their profession, pass up financial opportunities, which a free man might risk.  Heavy debt taints an individual's happiness.  They carry a perpetual burden every waking hour.  They seem to feel a sense of also being perpetually threatened as they 'ride the razor's edge of potential disaster'.  There is also the looming feeling of waste, like a man that is making payments on a dead horse.  This results from spending money on wants or even needs that have long since past.  It means sleepless nights, a burden of grinding weight on your shoulders that increases with every tick of the clock, and often at usurious rates.

The age of the Founders was a time when debt was recognized for what it really is.  They considered frugality a virtue, and even when an emergency came up and they needed to borrow, they believed in borrowing frugally and paying it back promptly.  

Thomas Jefferson said, "The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pockets to pay for it would make our country one of the happiest on earth.  Experience during the war proved this, and I think every man will remember that, under all the privations it obliged him to submit to during that period, he slept sounder and awoke happier than he can do now."

The Founder felt that the worst kind of debt is that which results from splurge borrowing, going into debt to enjoy temporary luxury of extravagantly living "beyond ones means."  They also knew how this behavior could be a snare to those that are watching others do this.  However, all the illusions of debt-financed prosperity disappear rapidly when it comes time to really pay for them.  The results are often bankruptcy, abject poverty, and even gnawing hunger from the lack of the most basic necessities of life.  Just like the Prodigal son that would have filled his belly with the husks that the pigs ate. (Luke 15:16)

The Founders believed that debt should be abhorred like the plague.  They saw excessive indebtedness as a form of a cultural disease.  Benjamin Franklin said, "Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another the power over your liberty."

The Founders believed that the debts of a nation are no different than the debts of an individual.  The fact that this debt is shared by the whole of the people does not make it less of a burden.  While they knew that in a case like war, the nation may need to borrow, they still believed that the nation should get out of debt as quickly as possible in order to enjoy complete solvency and prosper.  Thomas Jefferson said, "I, however, place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."

When it comes to passing on the debts of one generation to the next, the Founders had a very clear viewpoint.  The generation that created the debt should pay for it so that the next generation would be truly free politically and economically.  It was their belief that passing their debts onto their children would mean that they were born into bondage or involuntary servitude, that they did not vote for nor subscribe to.  They stated that it would be in the very literal sense taxation without representation and a blatant violation of a fundamental republican principle.  Jefferson considered inherited debt to be immoral.

It is very clear with the nation that we live in today, that we are sending the next generations inheritance, if not two generations or more!  There is no way that the amount of debt that we have can be liquidated.  In addition to this fact, we are also committed to pay for additional future liabilities!  

Can we return to the Founders Formula?  Only if the people awaken to the situation and they determine to go through fiscal withdrawal and kick the habit of splurge spending.  The author, W. Cleon Skousen, of The 5000 Year Leap states that he has a proposal that is in the book entitled "The Healing of the Nation."  While there was the possibility at the time that the author wrote this book, I do have to wonder myself if it is still possible in this day.  His plan avoided a very deep depression, which I think that we are going to head into one no matter what now.  There seems to be no repentance option left, except for the painful one.  We have been told in the scriptures, that if we will not humble ourselves, we will be compelled to be humble, perhaps, that is what it will take for our nation to repent of the excessive debt that we all now find ourselves in.

Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul: A Comparison

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 26

Principle 26

The Core Unit Which Determines the Strength of Any Society is the Family; Therefore, the Government Should Foster and Protect Its Integrity.

"There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.  In Europe almost all of the disturbances of society arise from the irregularities of domestic life.  To despise the natural bonds and legitimate pleasure of home is to contract a taste for excesses, a restlessness of heart, and fluctuating desires.  Agitated by the tumultuous passions that frequently disturb his dwelling, the European is galled by the obedience which the legislative powers of the state exact.  But when the American retires from the turmoil of public life to the bosom of his family, he finds it the image of order and peace.  There his pleasures are simple and natural, his joys are innocent and calm; and as he finds that an orderly life is the surest path to happiness, he accustoms himself to easily moderate his opinions as well as his tastes.  While the European endeavors to forget his domestic troubles be agitating society, the American derives from his own home that love of order which he afterwards carries with him into public affairs." De Tocqueville

The American Founders felt that the legal, moral and social relationships between husband and wife were clearly established by Bible law under what has been described as "differential" equality.  That they each have their specific rights appropriate to their role in life and otherwise share all rights in common.  The role of the man is to 'Protect and Provide" while the woman's is to strengthen the family solidarity in the home and provide a wholesome environment for her husband and children.  In theory, God's law made man first in governing his family, but as between himself and his wife he was merely first among equals.  The Apostle Paul pointed this out in 1 Cor 11:11.

John Locke also pointed out that the mother and father have equal responsibility in rearing the children, he referred to this as 'paternal authority'.  And he gives several Biblical references to this truth; Exodus 20:12, Lev 20:9, Lev. 19:3, Eph 6:1 and stated that this equality was the style of the Old Testament.  The early New England families contributed to the success of our nation.  There are records of men giving women part of the household to manage and that these husbands and wife shared the mutual bond of bringing about the Kingdom of God on Earth. 

Benjamin Franklin emphasized the interdependence of a man and a woman for their mutual happiness.  He states: " Marriage is the proper remedy.  it is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness." he goes on to say, "It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being.  Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her softness, sensibility. and acute discernment. Together, they are more likely to succeed in the world.  A single man has not nearly the value he would have in that state of union.  He is an incomplete animal.  He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.  If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be fortune sufficient." 

The next logical question is where do children and parents fit into this equation?  Locke stated that the authority of the parents over children is based on natural law:  "arises from that duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their offspring during the imperfect state of childhood.  To inform the mind, and to govern the actions of their yet ignorant nonage, till reason shall take its place and ease them of that trouble, is what the children want, and the parents are bound to provide."  Locke also goes on to say that once someone has reached mature adulthood, that they should be able to apply the revealed laws of God to their daily life.  He also goes on to affirm that the State must not interfere with legitimate family relations.  And that any action taken by government to debilitate or dislocate the normal trilateral structure of the family is not only a threat to the family involved, but is a menace to the very foundations of society itself.

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 25

Principle 25

"Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship with All Nations-Entangling Alliances with None."
11 And Moroni was a astrong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect bunderstanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;

The scriptures tell us that if all men were like Moroni, that the very gates of hell would tremble and that the devil could not prevail.  These characteristics of Moroni are the very characteristics that can be found in the founding of the United States.  In her philosophy and purpose.  We too can be like Moroni, by gaining a perfect understanding of God's laws and what he would have us do. When it comes to truly loving our neighbors, we should not delight in the shedding of their blood, we should find joy in the liberty and freedom of our country, and we should keep our brethren and sisters from slavery.  There are two main forms of slavery, that can be brought about in a couple different ways.  In this article, I am going to point out the slavery that results from entangling alliances.

In 1939 J. Reuben Clark gave the following speech, "America, multi-raced and multi-nationed, is by tradition, by geography, by citizenry, by natural sympathy, and by material interest, the great neutral nation of the earth.  God so designed it.  Drawn from all races, creeds, and nations, our sympathies run to every oppressed people.  Our feelings engaged on opposite sides of great differences, will in their natural course, if held due and proper restraint, neutralize the one with the other.  Directed in right channels, this great body of feeling for the one side or the other will ripen into sympathy and love for all misguided and misled fellowmen who suffer in any cause, and this sympathy and love will run out to all humanity in its woe.

One of the greatest tragedies of the war (World War II) now starting is that every people now engaged in it have been led into it without their fully knowing just where they are bound.  The people themselves are largely innocent of this slaughter....As the great neutral of the earth, America may play a far greater part in this war...It is our solemn duty to play a better part than we can do by participating in the butchery....

....having in mind our position as the great world neutral, and remembering that the people of these warring nations have been led to this conflict largely unwittingly, and therefore largely blameless, we should announce our unalterable opposition to any plan to starve these innocent peoples involved in this conflict-the women, the children, the sick, the aged and the infirm-and declare that when actual and bonafide mass starvation shall come to any of them, no matter who they are, we shall do all that we properly may do to see that they are furnished with food....

If we shall rebuild our lost moral power and influence by measures such as these which will demonstrate our love for humanity, our justice, our fairmindedness...we shall then be where...we can offer mediation between the two belligerents.

America, the great neutral, will thus become the Peacemaker of the world, which is her manifest destiny if she lives the law of peace."

As the United States emerged onto the world scene, this is the united and fixed position that they took on any alliances with foreign powers.  The only exception was temporary ones if the United States was to come under attack.  This position is known as 'separatism' rather then 'isolationism' that is used to describe this idea in the media today.  The original policies of the United States stand as a testimony that isolation was never the desired approach to international relationships.  They wanted to create good and wholesome relationships with all nations.  They did not want to have any alliances that would make them enemies with another nation in a time of crisis.  This kept the United States market open to all nations, unless those nations became hostile to the U.S.

What the Founders desired was very similar to today's Switzerland.  They are still considered to be successfully neutral from entangling alliances.  They were able to do so throughout two world wars and various European quarrels.  In fact, any nation was welcome to buy, sell, borrow or bank unless they took a hostile position against Switzerland. 

George Washington made a point in mentioning this in his Farewell Address: "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations.  Cultivate peace and harmony with all.  Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?  It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

Having the experiences that Washington had with Great Britain and other nations, it is easy to see why he would know the best way to approach foreign relations would be free of entangling alliances.  I believe he said it best when he said "The nation which indulges toward another habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.  It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

Washington also warned that passionate attachments to some nation because people felt a special kinship or affection toward them produces a variety of evils.  He said that it creates the illusion of a common interest when there is no real common interest that exists.  Also, he goes on to state that it can pull the affectionate nation into wars and quarrels on behalf of the other nation without adequate inducement or justification.  A nation may also fall to the temptation of favoritism, granting to the other nation concessions not granted to other nations, creating jealously, ill will, which can create an atmosphere that the jealous nations feel compelled to retaliate against the nation that is getting special treatment.  This actually can threaten a nation's security, and their best interests.  Washington stated that as a 'free people' we ought to be 'constantly awake' since history proves that foreign influence is one of those 'baneful foes of republican government.'

"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."  Stated Washington.  He also used Europe as an example of what not to become, that it would be unwise to do so.  I believe that these same policies would apply to the entire world if Washington were alive today. 

American separatism did have one aspect that was very distinct from Switzerland, and that is that they accepted the doctrine of "Manifest Destiny".  This placed upon us, the American People, the responsibility of serving as the vanguard nation for the moral and political emancipation of all mankind.  Freedom, education and progress for everyone was a common thought of early American leaders.  The Monroe Doctrine was specifically designed to protect the western hemisphere from the contamination of European Monarchs.  The Founders hoped that eventually Mexico and each of the Latin American countries would eventually follow the United States in becoming free, self-governing people.  Once it has spread through North, Central and South America they hoped it would do just as James Madison said "spread abroad until it had become the heritage of the whole human race."  This policy lasted for the first 125 years of U.S. History.  It was through the financial circles that the United States was pulled into the thick of things world wide.  When World War I erupted, they got their chance.  While we avoided the League of Nations, it set up the foundation to accelerate the involvement of the U.S. in economical and political quarrels.  During World War II the hope among many Americans was that the United States would resist the temptation to get involved.  There were many that spoke out about internationalism including J. Reuben Clark, a former Under-Secretary.  As we look back to the past, it does make me wonder, "How much more prosperous and peaceful of a nation would we have been had we listen to the Founders?"  Can you imagine a nation of Peacemakers rather than the world's great policeman?