Valuing Freedom

Considering what has been done in the name of safety and of protecting life, because of COVID-19 since early 2020, there has been a departure from the value of freedom, in the United States. I don’t think that anyone of goodwill would question that protecting human life is crucial at any time. I also don’t think many would dispute that safety is very important. Do people also agree on the importance of preserving and protecting other rights that have long been declared by the United States’ Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights? The Declaration of Independence affirms the reality of “unalienable Rights” and that “…among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. If each of these rights truly are unalienable, why are the rights which secure individual liberty often treated today, by some, as having such little value that those rights are ignored and abandoned in favor of restrictions that promise safety in return? Can we really be safe without the protection of our rights? Why is freedom not more present in the minds, hearts, and words of the people of the U.S. during this time? I believe that we owe it to ourselves, our ancestors, and our posterity to consider the value of freedom in our lives.

A True Spirit of Freedom

I stand with the great Thomas Jefferson who said, “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind”. Yet there are a few documented moments in history where a common voice of reason, a voice of truth and soberness has awakened in the hearts of men and women the true causes for which any necessary, just war in heaven or in Earth should be fought. This voice with it’s common sound, though not commonly found in the world, is a voice that cuts through darkness and despair even amidst the most daunting opposition to shine a ray of hope. This voice of heavenly reason, with it’s call to duty and honor inspires the defense of families, homes, and nations. It inspires no wars of conquest or subjugation and has no tyrants as it’s bearer. It always leads to a greater and more lasting peace. This pure voice for true liberty has the same source, “the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in them” (Alma 61:15).

George Washington Persuades Colonists to Continue Fighting

During the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington seemed to draw upon the power of heaven and the depth of love that he possessed to persuade his worn out, tattered, yet much needed volunteer army of colonists to continue fighting during a turning point in the war for independence.

…While we were at Trenton, on the last of December, 1776, the time for which I and most of my regiment had enlisted expired. At this trying time General Washington, having now but a little handful of men and many of them new recruits in which he could place but little confidence, ordered our regiment to be paraded, and personally addressed us, urging that we should stay a month longer. He alluded to our recent victory at Trenton; told us that our services were greatly needed, and that we could now do more for our country than we ever could at any future period; and in the most affectionate manner entreated us to stay. The drums beat for volunteers, but not a man turned out. The soldiers, worn down with fatigue and privations, had their hearts fixed on home and the comforts of the domestic circle, and it was hard to forego the anticipated pleasures of the society of our dearest friends.

The General wheeled his horse about, rode in front of the regiment and addressing us again said, “My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances.”

A few stepped forth, and their example was immediately followed by nearly all who were fit for duty in the regiment…” (from General R )

Winston Churchill Rallies His Country During WWII

In 1940, when England was being “blitz’d” 9 times a day with bombings and Germany seemed to be close to consuming all of Europe with their military might and tyranny, then Prime Minister Winston Churchill rallied his nation. Who would doubt that it was the Spirit of freedom that was within him that inspired his words of firm resolve and determination in his speech to country entitled, “We shall Fight Them on the Beaches”:

Standing on the shoulders of these giants of men may we adopt as our own, the following words that Churchill left with his country– may we make the present day “our finest hour”, one of noble victory for the ages to remember, with all of our present battles, be they physical or spiritual; may we call upon and receive strength from heaven such as would enable us to arise with faith that has not been known among men and women for a long time, in overcoming evil and tyranny in all it’s forms.