Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Times of War and Blood Redemption

Those who would throw away our freedoms, do not understand freedom and the price that's been paid. Loss of freedom is not easy to regain; and redemption often requires the shedding of much blood.

Our Founding Fathers were willing to help this Country gain her Independence. Being united was essential to their success. Like Benjamin Franklin said, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." And with trust in Israel’s God and with trust in the rightness of their cause, they brought about our freedom. But, there had to be bloodshed.

Then, in the Civil War, brother fought against brother. We couldn’t allow the Southern States to remain separate, or our country would not survive. As time went on, Abraham Lincoln knew that it was most certainly time for slavery to be completely abolished. For this country to survive, we all must be brothers and sisters, not slaves and slave owners; not industrialists and farmers, not workers and non-workers. The cost in blood was great; but the country was again redeemed.

Then the World Wars came. And we continued to see that freedom for all versus power of the few is really an issue of good versus evil. The Great War, or the War to End All Wars, failed. There was so much hate still alive, so much greed, and so much desire to prove superiority, that the Second World War was even bigger. The cost in human suffering and bloodshed was enormous. But our own Country was strengthened as we banded together to preserve our freedom and protect the freedom of others.

Then the Cold War ran hot. And with the ever present threat of devastation, we witnessed another kind of warfare, intellect posed against intellect in a race to see who was bigger and badder.

And all the other wars. Petroleum. Greed. Real Estate. Greed. Political machines. Greed. Power. Dishonesty. And those who are willing to fight and die for freedom are called blood-thirsty. Why? They are the ones that love their brothers and sisters the world around. They are the ones who understand our Country’s history and her divine destiny and love it. The blood-thirsty ones are the ones who are seeking to make the Country weak by enslaving us economically and morally. Lovers of freedom love the truth; while lovers of power love the lies that weaken the masses and feed their greed.

Where is the strength that we need? It can only be found in turning to our Country’s God, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we follow Him, He will lead us! He will lead us through every crises and every battle. He will sustain us in our weaknesses, and He will make us become strong in Him. But then must be a return to morality and honesty. When we are whoring in our personal lives, we are warring against Him and against each other in our public lives and in our Country. And we must be united in righteousness and in following the commandments. We will never be able to see eye-to-eye without every person being committed to personal integrity. And that wholeness can only be found in Christ.

Blood redemption. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and He has paid the price for redemption for every human soul: those who have passed on, those who live now, and those yet to be born. Yes, His sacrifice was in response to a war, the war waged in heaven. Lucifer was fighting for our souls then; and he continues to fight for our souls now. But Jesus has won the victory through His atoning sacrifice for us. We all have the gift of redemption if we so desire it. Through repentance, we can rely on His sacrifice instead of paying the debt ourselves. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:13-14). So to win this war, Jesus laid down His life, hoping that some of us would choose to be His friends. He also commissioned “That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

So in these winding up scenes, let us make certain that we are doing what we can to bring about the Lord’s purposes. The battle really is to those who are swift to be righteous. We can help to build up Zion, and we can work to tear down evil and hate through a righteous outpouring of love. “Brethren [and sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren [and sisters]; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:22). Winning the battle ultimately depends upon us being washed clean through Jesus Christ, whose blood was spilt for all humanity. Winning the battle depends upon us living the gospel and keeping our covenants, and hastening the work by spreading the gospel among the living and the dead. We are in the winding up scenes. Let’s be on the Lord’s side. His blood is sufficient for our salvation individually, and His help is needed for the salvation of this Country.

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