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Founders and Prophets Book

BNI0052

People often say to me, “I hate politics!” To them I say, “I do too!” This book is not political and it does not support either traditional party. But, it does support the principles of freedom and it does support the family–the most effective organization for teaching and preserving those principles. After four years of traveling thousands of miles teaching hundreds of presentations on the Constitution, I am convinced that the most important group that needs to hear the message of freedom is the youth and that the most effective way to get it into their hearts and minds is through their families. But I’m also convinced that too often parents don’t feel like they have the tools they need to teach freedom in a way that makes it relevant and appealing in their children’s lives (or, in their own lives for that matter). I’ve written this book to give Latter-day Saint parents the tools they need to first understand freedom themselves and then to be able to teach it to their children. We need to bridge the gap between what we feel about freedom and what we know about it because we can’t truly love what we don’t understand. I believe that the best way to gain an understanding of freedom and its importance in our lives is to define and explore principles–the simple, fundamental declarations of truth that serve as the foundation for our belief systems. Principles don’t change with public opinion polls nor do they become irrelevant over time. Principles are timeless. And, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to view our world—especially our political world—is through the lens of those principles, no matter how tempting it is to see current events and modern-day issues as special circumstances that require exceptions to the rule. The twelve principles of freedom I chose as the structure for this book represent the most basic of truths upon which our system of government was organized. Exploring their definition through the words of founders and prophets and seeing the interconnectivity and consistency between their thoughts and ideas is to see God manifesting His truths liberally to all who will ask of Him. My original intent with this book was to make it as thorough and comprehensive as possible, so I gathered every quote and reference I could get my hands on. However, my wise wife convinced me that its power would be in its simplicity. With that end in mind, I chose just one scriptural reference, one constitutional reference, one prophetic quote and one founding father quote along with a short story to support each principle and bring it to life. Then I added a section to help adapt the principle to families. I placed all the other quotes and references in an appendix, organized by principle, for easy access for additional study and insight. I am happy with the resulting format of the book and have heard from many others that this is what they find most helpful about the book. My hope is that Latter-day Saint families will spend time together taking a fresh look at freedom and that they will gain a stronger and more personal testimony of the principles that provided for the founding of our nation and for the restoration of the gospel. I hope that you will be inspired, as I have been, at the complementary and cohesive witnesses amongst founders and prophets which stand as unwavering pillars in the politically turbulent world we live in. The overarching purpose of this book is to instill in each reader a love and a respect for our prophets and for our founding fathers and their respective works in scripture and in our founding documents; a greater reverence and appreciation for the principles of freedom; and a deeper sense of worship for and gratitude towards the authors of all freedom – our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. If this book accomplishes such an end it will have fulfilled its purpose.


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