Is there any reason to study the U.S. Constitution any more? It has been negated and dismantled from the founders original intent in so many ways. And the powers that be will never let us go back to the way it originally was. So why bother? There is a conservative college up in Michigan offering free online courses on the U.S. Constitution, but I figure, what’s the point? It’s never going to go back to the pristine purity it originally had. It’s just depressing.
I am pleased to hear that at least some understand the importance of the Constitution. The college you refer to is a fine college that has a history of teaching traditional, original intent courses on the Constitution. I can think of no better source for you to start your formal studies on the Constitution.
What grieves me is that you are so disheartened by the current political climate that you’re prepared to abandon the hope which that sacred document promises. In this response, my primary goal is perhaps to give you some of that hope that I speak of.
So, first, let me assure you that the Constitution will always have a place on this earth — possibly into the Millennial era. In fact we need look no further than the Doctrine and Covenants for such assurance:
Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever. D&C 109:54
This prayer was given to Joseph through revelation to be prayed at the dedication of the Kirtland temple. The Lord wanted this request to be made in solemn prayer so that He could bless us to be able to keep it. Will we do so? Brigham Young thought so:
Will the Constitution be destroyed? No; it will be held inviolate by this people. -Brigham Young JD 7:15
He then quoted Joseph Smith saying:
The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.
Pres. Young then referred to the injustices that the federal government were executing upon the Saints of the day (1854) when he concluded:
With regard to the doings of our fathers and the Constitution of the United States, I have to say, they present to us a glorious prospect in the future, but one we cannot attain to until the present abuses in the Government are corrected.
While it may be true that we are seeing many violations of the Constitution perpetrated by the very elected officials we voted in to protect our Constitutional rights, it is up to us to correct that abuse. And how are we to correct it if we do not learn more about the document that we hope to adhere to?
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson testified of the role the Elders of Israel will play in the restoration of Constitutional principles:
If the Gentiles on this land reject the word of God and conspire to overthrow liberty and the Constitution, their doom is fixed, and they “shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant” (1 Ne 16:6; 3 Ne 21:11, 14, 21; D&C 84:114-115, 117 [Ether 2:8-10])…
For years we have heard of the role the elders could play in saving the Constitution from total destruction. But how can the elders be expected to save it if they have not studied it and are not sure if is being destroyed or what is destroying it?…
We know, as do no other people, that the Constitution of the United States is inspired — established by men whom the Lord raised up for that very purpose. We cannot — we must not — shirk our sacred responsibility to rise up in defense of our God-given freedom. -Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson 618-620.
If you were defending your family from criminals who want to invade your home and harm your family, but they severely outnumbered you in manpower and munitions, would you simply give up? Or would you do everything in your power to resist them at every turn unto your last breath? I hope your choice would be the latter. Winston Churchill’s famous quote appears to be appropriate:
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. -Winston Churchill, Harrow School Commencement Address 1941
Is it honorable or good sense to accept the path of tyranny and slavery over democracy and liberty? Of course not. And this is nothing new.
We were asked this same question in the War in Heaven. We experienced a crisis over it twelve score years ago during the conflict which established this nation. We experienced it in varying degrees throughout our country’s history. To let you know this violation of our liberties is not a new phenomenon, I’ll quote Pres. Benson again:
To all who have discerning eyes, it is apparent that the republican form of government established by our noble forefathers cannot long endure once fundamental principles are abandoned. Momentum is gathering for another conflict — a repetition of the crisis of two hundred years ago. This collision of ideas is world-wide. The issue is the same that precipitated the great premortal conflict — will men be free to determine their own course of action or must they be coerced? – Ibid 623-624
If President Benson saw these patterns in his day, just imagine how far such patterns have progressed since then. At some point there will come another crisis. And it doesn’t take a prophet to see such patterns.
But this is not cause to despair. On the contrary, we have cause to rejoice that we will be the people who can be depended upon to provide an earthly government and a society based on liberty, justice, and Constitutional principles.
Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction -Joseph Smith (Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, July 19, 1840).
Let me emphasize that the use of the word “elders” in the earlier quotes does not simply refer the the Church as an organization or the General Authorities. It refers to you. It refers to me. It refers to every freedom-loving Melchizedek Priesthood holder. If we as individuals do not know, love, and have a commitment to Constitutional principles, then all will truly be lost. It is not enough that the Church as an organization or by doctrine supports the Constitution as a divinely inspired document. We must befriend the Constitution (D&C 98:6). Or else how can we fulfill the prophecy described by Orson Pratt?:
Those nations…will eventually crumble to ruin, and those men of wealth will come here, not to be baptized, but many of them will come that have never heard the servants of God; but they will hear that peace and health dwell among us. Orson Pratt JD 3:16
and John Taylor:
When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men… as long as we do what is right and fear God, he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances. -John Taylor JD 21:8
While the world falls into chaos because they have abandoned both God and the principles of the Constitution which He has established, the faithful of the Church will always have a place of refuge. Even the Gentiles shall know of it and come to us for safety, for justice, and the freedom to worship as they please.
Stay close to the stakes of Zion in hope and faith. Remember, revere, espouse, and befriend Constitutional principles. Miracles will happen. And God will always provide hope and a place of refuge to all who desire truth, justice, and the principles of liberty enshrouded in the Constitution.