My dear Family and friends, Full disclosure: some of this is repeated from a blog given on 6-26-20023. I have changed the wording and added more youtube and comments.
This past week my thoughts have been on this wonderful country we live in. As I hear the rhetoric from both sides of the aisle in Congress and from the current administration even things with the Supreme Court. I am becoming increasingly concerned about where our country is heading. We know in reading the Book of Mormon, especially the last few chapters of Helaman and the first few chapters of Nephi. As Pres. Hinkley has stated something to the effect of “reading the Book of Mormon is as current as reading the daily newspaper.” (Paraphrased), So with these thoughts, I have felt the impression to focus a little on our country and our inspired Constitution.
I realize that at this time the "Wokeness" has almost taken over this great nation. History books rarely reflect accurately what our history is. Our youth are being taught that this nation is evil and has always been so. This is simply not true.
The United States and other countries eventually overcame and abolished slavery. it slowly was abolished throughout most of the rest of the world. Is this a black mark on our nation? Perhaps. But what is history has been and continues to be corrected. Do we keep making mistakes? Of course, we are human, the government is not perfect, and unless we elect honest and honorable constitution-knowing representatives in our government. We will continue to suffer through more and more unrest. Until if it is not already, "our Constitution will be hanging by a thread."
Perhaps a reminder of proper flag and National Anthem etiquite is good to become familiar with. I’m of the opinion that this is not taught very much. Many seem confused whether to stand, put their hand over their heart or what to do. Perhaps the following might help.
Customs and federal law
Plaque detailing how the custom of standing during the U.S. national anthem came about in Tacoma, Washington, on October 18, 1893, in the Bostwick building
When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing. On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the national anthem, but not if the flag was not present. On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised instructing men and women to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played. That revision also directed men and women to place their hands over their hearts only if the flag was displayed. Those in uniform were required to salute. On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. On August 12, 1998, the law was rewritten keeping the same instructions, but differentiating between "those in uniform" and "members of the Armed Forces and veterans" who were both instructed to salute during the playing whether or not the flag was displayed. Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention or with their hands folded in front of them during the playing of the Anthem, and when reciting the Pledge they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart. After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the national anthem became nearly universal.
Since 1998, federal law (viz., the United States Code 36 U.S.C. § 301) states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present including those in uniform should stand at attention; non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart; members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.
The text of 36 U.S.C. § 301 is suggestive and not regulatory in nature. Failure to follow the suggestions is not a violation of the law. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their conscience.
The Star Spangled Banner
This link is a retired marine who shares with us his thoughts about our children and then sings to us the 2nd verse of the Star Bangled Banner. https://www.youtube.com/embed/I0fQd858cRc?start=01&end=133.
Then we learn more about the history of that special beloved song. It is being so disrespected by so many today. I feel it is truly our Title of Liberty. Liberty is a God-given gift. Unlike freedom which is instituted by man.
The Pledge of Allegiance Red Skeleton
Next, we invite you to listen to a compilation of talks given by Elder Ezra Taft Benson. He along with David O McKay and J. Ruben Clark talked often and cautioned us so much about our God-given Liberties. All that they have prophesied so many years ago are happening right before our eyes.
Gods hand in America. Tadd A Callister
I witness to you that The United States of America is the place of the New Jerusalem. It is a special country founded by God through inspired men. It is the place where the Garden of Eden existed. It is the place where Noah boarded the ark to escape the destruction of mankind. It is the only place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored. It is the place where the Lord Jesus Christ will come to the valley of Adam Ondi-Ahman to receive back all the Keys that have been held from Adam to the least of the saints throughout time. This is the prophesied promised land of the Latter Day. The Lord asks for us to serve him. If we turn from him then the prophesied destructions and calamities, will surely come to pass. How are we doing? Abortion is out of control but we finally have a decision by the Supreme Court to put this question back to the individual states. Unfortunately, there will still be too many unjustified abortions, and the murdering of innocent babies happening.
Secret Combinations have infiltrated all of our governments from the local to the national. There is much fraud, murder, cheating, and immorality,. The list goes on and on. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, our Redeemer, and Savior. Even our elder brother. He lives, he worked through His atonement. He allowed himself to be taken up on the cross and through his working His atonement and subsequently allowing himself to be crucified. When at just the right moment he gave up his life. No one took it from Him. But He gave it up for each of us and so great and wonderful the gifts we have received because of His love for you and me.
The biggest question of all. As a nation do we look to Jesus Christ as our Savior? As a nation do we worship Him, or Sports, or money, or success in worldly things? Do we serve him as the God of this Land? I fear we are quickly losing sight of Him, and thus losing His protection in preparation for the Birthing Zion. As President Nelson has said, “take your vitamins”.
I humble witness to these things even in His Holy name Jesus Christ. Amen.
Steve & Debbie Larsen