Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thoughts on Freedom

In honor of Independence Day, here are some inspiring quotes from Vaughn J. Featherstone's 1975 talk, "But Watchman, What of the Night?"

I think it is time we should all awaken. Our concern isn’t about the flames of freedom which burn so brightly in our generation; the concern is that in the upcoming generation the fire has never been kindled. Our youth have never known anything but criticism of the United States of America. We need some faithful, free-loving patriots who will issue forth a clear, loud trumpet call. Remember Paul’s counsel: “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare … to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8.) Freedom ought to ring in the heart of every Latter-day Saint regardless of his country.

What a wonderful heritage we could leave to our youth if we could just kindle in them the fires of freedom that our fathers kindled in us. I love this great land; I honor the great founding fathers; I’m proud to be an American. I cannot sing “America” without tears coming to my eyes and without chills running up and down my back. When I stand with my hand over my heart and sing our national anthem, I’m so proud I can hardly stand it. When I think of all the noble men who gave their lives for this land, then I feel a sacred resolve well up within me and I know that we must stand fast.

We are the nation’s watchmen—no other people collectively love the Constitution and honor it and hold it as a divinely inspired document as do the Latter-day Saints. The duty of the watchman is to watch over and safeguard his people. And remember the thought-provoking question by President Harold B. Lee, “But watchman, what of the night?” As a generation of those who love this glorious country, we must ask ourselves, “But watchman, what of the night?” Have our youth enough of the fires of freedom kindled in them to withstand the darkness? We must teach them in our homes, churches, and schools. The sound must go across this land from one end to the other.

Guest Blogger Devon Linn

Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/Alan Crosthwaite

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