Tad Callister shares an important message about the founding of America in honor of Constitution Month in the state of Utah. Together with the Why I Love America Organization, Tad Callister explains the importance of having a well-rounded perspective when approaching our nation’s history and values.
In our home, we have a replica of one of the most famous statues of all time, entitled wing victory. The original sits at the top of the main staircase in the Louver Museum in Paris, France. Although it is known as one of the world’s masterpieces, you will notice that its head and arms are missing. Some people might be tempted to focus on those defects, but in doing so, they would miss the masterpiece. This statue reminds me of the United States of America, its founding fathers and constitution. These two have their flaws, but to focus on their flaws rather than their compelling strengths would be to miss the divine masterpiece. A nation raised up by God and the inspired principles upon which it is founded. The savior gave the simple test for truth. By the fruits, you shall know them. In other words, if the fruit is good, then the tree must be good. If the fruits of liberty are good, such as freedom of speech and religion, then the tree from which they sprang, namely the founding fathers, must also be good. Why do so many people sacrifice so much, even put their lives at risk to come to America?
What draws them here? The answer is straightforward. God’s children want to be free. They long for liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of opportunity to progress. Thousands of years ago, the Lord declared this land to be a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage and from captivity, and from all other nations and their heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land who is Jesus Christ. This is truly a land of promise, but the promise comes with the condition, our willingness to serve Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul taught, Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Liberty or freedom comes from Jesus Christ. Consequently, our freedom increases as we worship Jesus Christ. Conversely, our freedom decreases as we remove him from our individual and national lives. This nation was not founded by chance or by the ingenuity of man alone. As the ancient prophet, Nephi, foresaw God’s hand has been in the origin and destiny of America from its outset. Nephi saw and vision that Columbus was moved upon by the Holy Ghost to discover the Americas. I looked to be held a man among the Gentiles, and I beheld the Spirit of God that it came down and 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. Christopher Columbus knew he was moved upon by God, for he wrote in his personal diary, With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. This was the fire that burned within me. Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit, urging me to press forward. As Nephi’s heavenly vision continued, he saw the Spirit of God that it wrought upon other Gentiles, and they went forth out of captivity upon the many waters to the land of promise. Who were these Gentiles that went forth out of religious captivity? The Pilgrims and early colonists. Alexis de Tocqueville, the great French political scientist, confirmed Nephi’s observation. He described the voyage of the Pilgrims and early colonists as the scattering of the seed of a great people, which God, with his own hands, is planting on a predestined shore. Nephi foresaw that God continued to support the American colonists in their efforts to establish a free country.
I beheld that their mother, Gentiles, were gathered together upon the waters and upon the land also to battle against them. And I beheld the power of God was with them, and they were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations. It was a modern day story of David versus Goliath. Only a divine miracle could win the day. George Washington knew of the miraculous events surrounding the Revolutionary War. He knew that the power of God was with them, exactly as Nephi prophesied. For Washington said, The man must be bad indeed, who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great author of the universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf. One’s independence had been won, God’s hand was again evident in safeguarding and preserving our freedoms. He declared, I established the constitution of this land by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose. The founding fathers did not rise up by chance, but were foreordained to their mission. President Wilford Woodruff taught, Those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the Earth.
They were inspired of the Lord. George Washington saw the unmistakable hand of God in the lives of the founding fathers. As they discussed, debated, and ultimately finalized our inspired constitution. He noted that the adoption of the constitution will demonstrate as visibly the finger of providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it. Today, the heaven inspired constitution has become a model followed by many freedom loving nations throughout the world. Again and again, prophets and key historical figures have testified of God’s hand in America’s origin and destiny. God inspired and guided the founding and progress of this nation. He established and preserved it as a beacon of freedom, a light on the hill for all to see. God’s fingerprints are everywhere to be found in the history of America. This is why our nation’s motto is, In God we trust. This is why we pledge allegiance to one nation under God. And this is why our national anthem boldly states, May the heaven-rescued land praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer, we must, when our cause is just, and this be our motto, and God is our trust.
God has repeatedly blessed our nation with his divine guidance and preserving power, and He will continue to do so if we honor and worship him. If we do so, we may then rightfully petition God to bless America. May we the people ever be grateful for God’s hand in America’s origin and our destiny. May we the people, never forget the divine masterpiece that it is. The founding fathers from God raised up and the inspired principles underlying our constitution. And may we the people shall always be a nation under God, not without God. Thus, meriting the promise of the scripture. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.