Earlier today, I tweeted:
We cannot maintain our liberty if we do not maintain our integrity.
— natehowe (@natehowe) July 4, 2013
A few people asked me where I got the quote. I am unaware of anybody else who has said it in those exact words, although the idea is very old. The freedom of our nation and the morality of our choices are bound together.
For me, this sentiment is a matter of faith as well. An ancient prophet was told by the Lord:
Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
The Book of Mormon is filled with stories about groups of people who either lived with integrity and enjoyed freedom and prosperity, or else they turned away from their promises to God and suffered in bondage. It’s one of the main themes of the book.
For me, those stories are even more poignant because they took place in North and South America. This is a promised land, a place that has been blessed by the hand of God.
Many of us in America like to argue about the best ways to fix our nation. We like to blame current and former political leaders, corporations, media executives, and others. We spend so much time arguing that we don’t accomplish much. Perhaps we should go back to the basics, beginning with this promise about our land:
And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them.
I’m not a doomsday type of guy, and I don’t think the United States will be destroyed next week. After all, the Bible tells that God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of only ten righteous souls. (Genesis 18:32) The backbone of America is a core group of good people who follow their convictions and live according to the light they have. But if we’re wondering how to really fix the country, this is still the fundamental answer: we have to serve God.
So on this Independence Day, I hope we can all do a little more in this one nation under God to live up to our motto – In God We Trust. Most often, we can serve him best by serving His children. He has entrusted to us a land that is choice above all others. We can entrust our future to Him.
May we maintain our liberty by maintaining our integrity, and may we save our nation with the goodness of our lives.