Monday, July 13, 2015

Family Security: Why I Carry

I’ve been asked by numerous people, both LDS members and not, why I, a believing Christian, a priesthood holder and follower of Christ would have a need for, and use, an instrument of destruction made solely to kill. The dreaded gun. It seems inconsistent with Christian values to rely on a gun for safety and security. I do try and live my life by the Spirit. I rely on God, after all I can do. Some have said that the police or military is there to protect us. I’ve heard that even the new members of the restored church did not take up arms against their oppressors. The following is my explanation and feeling on these questions.
This country was founded on certain rights. The 2nd Amendment being one of the original Bill of Rights. The preamble to the Constitution refers to the “blessings of liberty.” To me this refers to God. Where do we receive blessings? Blessings don’t just appear, they are granted. So the liberty that we enjoy in this country, or this life, is a blessing of God. The right to bear arms is a blessing of liberty given us from our Father in Heaven. Now why would a God of peace give us a right to have and bear arms clearly meant for killing? I think that our Father in Heaven wants us to continue on this earth. He wants us to learn and grow and toil under the veil of liberty. Indeed, the war in heaven referred to in the New Testament was all about freedom. To keep us safe from evil men, our Heavenly Father wants us to defend ourselves. I find it hard believe otherwise when we read in the Bible and the Book of Mormon of God supporting the righteous in defending freedom. Righteous men and prophets defended themselves with whatever weapons they had at the time. There is no question in my mind about this. Now you must be righteous for God to be with you as you defend yourself. So take heed to yourself.
The people of the United States look at their freedom different from the rest of the world. During the revolution it was guns that made the difference. Without those guns the United States would not be. We would be part of the crown still. The only way to win our liberty was to have a means to defend yourself. This was true during the World War II. Had Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Norway been able to defend themselves could Nazi Germany have occupied those countries? It’s been said that Admiral Yamamoto of the Japanese Navy said: “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
Whether or not Yamamoto ever actually said those words is really not the point. It was true of the time. The U.S. was just moving from an agrarian society to an industrial nation. Every farmer had a gun.
Another reason Americans won’t part with their guns is that to overthrow a tyrant you must be armed. That’s how most of those countries fell to Germany in WWII because they were either disarmed or already unarmed. Americans don’t want to be subjects again.
So why not just ban assault weapons? The answer lies in LDS scripture.
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” D&C 121:39
So banning guns will probably lead to more bans until all guns will be taken. I don’t think anyone can say that it won’t happen here because there is inspired scripture that says different.
Some may say that the state militia is the National Guard. Even if that were true, and I don’t believe it is (“National” guard? Hello…), the National Guard is not controlled by the people but the government. The people need a means to defend their freedom from those wielding “unrighteous dominion”.
There are those that believe that if we have no guns that crime would be diminished. There is really no foundation for this belief. As you look at other countries you can see that crime is just as bad without the populace being armed. Even mass murder is not really changed with gun control. Regardless of what politicians say, mass killings do happen in countries that have gun control laws.
Freedom comes with a cost. Benjamin Franklin said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I would say that an amendment that is part of the Bill of Rights is and “essential liberty”.
I believe this country was founded by the hand of God. I believe He wanted us to remain free and righteous. To remain so means that the people control the government not the other way around. I believe that I have the legal right and the moral right to protect myself and my family with a gun. In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” we read: “…fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” I call this the three P’s, preside, provide, and protect. I am learning to preside the best way I can. I am providing for my family. How do I protect my family? Alarm system? 911 on speed dial? I believe I protect my family by carrying a gun, taking the responsibility of learning to use it correctly, and incurring the cost that accompanies that responsibility. I do so legally, although I have not always carried a weapon legally. I also have taught my wife and children how to safely and accurately use a weapon. That is how I protect. This is why I, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, justify a gun in defense.
In Joseph Smith's letter to Emma Smith, his wife, dated June 27, 1844, the day of his death, he wrote, “There is one principle which is eternal; it is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of the household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has a right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety”. Joseph Smith Jr.
I’m sorry if you don’t agree with me. Some members do not subscribe to this philosophy. In the words of President Benson speaking about being prepared and those thinking it will not be needed, I believe "they may rue the day they ever harbored such a delusion." But I believe this to be true. Do I want to draw or use my weapon? Are you crazy? Of course not! But I want the option.
Taking our security into our own hands is a God given right that we should exercise.
Semper Paratus
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