America the Great

It has been my privilege to teach American Foundations 101 this semester. To some I may be considered an expert in American Government since I majored in Political Science, have several family members that have been involved in politics on a community and state basis, and I have worked as an appointed official in City Government for several years—but thanks to this class I am still learning.

In light of President’s Day, I thought I’d share a few thoughts with the rest of you.

This is a quote from Elder Oaks taken from our class material (“The Divinely Inspired Constitution”, February 1992)


“I have always felt that the United States Constitution’s closest approach to scriptural stature is in the phrasing of our Bill of Rights...I also see scriptural stature in the concept and wording of the freedoms of speech and press, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, the requirements that there must be probable cause for an arrest and that accused persons must have a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, and the guarantee that a person will not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

And a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville who was an French philosopher who tried to get a better understanding of what made America tick and made the following observation:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Quoted by Ezra Taft Benson in God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, p. 360).

May we ever be grateful for the Bill of Rights, the inspired men who established our constitution, and for all the good and virtuous men and women who help America be great!  We can’t stand by and do nothing.  As Elder Russell M. Nelson said in his address “Liberty, License, and Law” (July 1, 1990):

“Indeed, the root of freedom is responsibility. The stem of freedom is discipline.  The flower of freedom is vigilance.”

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  • Thanks Harley.  I you said we have our problems, but it could be a lot worse. I was just talking to a co-worker about his experiences out of the U.S. where bribery is rampant.   I've not experienced those things yet, and I hope not to.

  • I love these quotes, Jordan. Thank you.

    I had a grateful-to-be-an-American experience while I was watching this 60minutes episode with my wife this weekend.

    I thought, "We have our share of problems, but there's no other place I'd rather be."

    God bless America.

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