Friday, June 14, 2013
Buck McEwan, our congressman, sent this out today. I liked it. On this Flag Day, let us take a moment to reflect on what Old Glory really means. Just think about all the places the stars and stripes have flown since the first flag was made on this day back in 1777. Our flag flew proudly over a newly free nation and again over a newly united nation. It has been planted on the moon. Our flag has been hoisted on the hallowed grounds of Iwo Jima and draped on the caskets of all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Our flag flies daily over the White House, our Capitol, and at schools, churches and offices across the country. From coast to coast American families fly their flags proudly from their front porches. In our darkest times, after the deadliest of storms, before we begin to sort through the rubble- we raise Old Glory as the ultimate sign of our strength, resolve and determination, because our flag represents everything we are: the land of the free and the home of the brave. On this Flag Day we have a lot to celebrate and a lot to be proud of. Sure we have tremendous challenges facing our nation, both here at home and abroad, but one thing remains certain- the United States is up to the task. Happy Flag Day America! And I came across this that had to do with patriotism and had to share what Russ Cutler posted: I submit to anyone who thinks our Founding Fathers were "Bad" men, that they have been indoctrinated by revisionist history... - Russ George Washington declared, “The hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” Washington openly acknowledged that the hand of God had often protected him. He also recorded numerous spiritual experiences. One of these occurred while in his most desperate moment at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777. While George Washington was quartering his troops, the situation was desperate and food was scarce. There was great agitation among the colonists against the continued, seemingly futile effort to secure freedom from England. The Continental Congress did not send adequate supplies. Many of the troops did not even have shoes to wear in the deep snow. At least 2500 men died of disease at Valley Forge, more than Washington lost to enemy action during the entire Pennsylvania campaign. Morale at Valley Forge was at an all-time low. George Washington was in a desperate situation but he was determined to see the struggle through. It was at this moment that he chose to be alone in prayer. An angel appeared to him and a vision was opened up to him. This vision gave him the conviction that the Revolutionary War would end much in the favor of the united colonies. The experience charged Washington's morale and gave him the confidence and resolve to continue fighting-in spite of the desperate circumstances. On July 4, 1854, Apostle Orson Hyde addressed those in attendance in the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City, Utah. He offered some interesting insight into the vision that George Washington had received at Valley Forge: “It was . . . that same angel [Moroni] of God that appeared unto Joseph Smith, and revealed to him the history of the early inhabitants of this country, whose mounds, bones, and remains of towns, cities, and fortifications speak from the dust in the ears of the living with the voice of undeniable truth. This same angel presides over the destinies of America, and feels a lively interest in all our doings. He was in the camp of Washington; and by an invisible hand, led our fathers to conquest and victory; and all this to open and prepare the way for the Church and kingdom of God to be established on the western hemisphere, for the redemption of Israel and the salvation of the world.” George Washington lived for 22 years after receiving his vision at Valley Forge. During that time, he told of this experience many times to many people. While Washington was yet alive, an account of his vision was printed numerous times in books, in magazines, and in pamphlet form. It was originally published by Wesley Bradshaw. Although there are minor variations in the circumstances, the various accounts of this prophecy all agree in content. The following account is taken from a reprint published in the National Tribune, Volume 4, No. 12, December, 1880. (The National Tribune is now The Stars and Stripes. The Stars reprinted the vision, December 21, 1950.) George Washington's Remarkable Vision: Anthony Sherman was an officer who served under General Washington at Valley Forge. On July 4, 1859, he was 99 years old, and becoming very feeble. He recalled the description as best he could after the many intervening years. “Let us go into the hall," he said. "I want to tell you an incident of Washington's life---one which no one alive knows of except myself; and, if you live, you will before long, see it verified. From the opening of the Revolution we experienced all phases of fortune, now good and now ill; one time victorious and another conquered. The darkest period we had, I think, was when Washington, after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to spend the winter of 1777. Ah! I have seen the tears coursing down our dear commander's care-worn cheeks, as he would be conversing with a confidential officer about the condition of his poor soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington's going to the thicket to pray. Well, it was not only true, but he used often to pray in secret for aid and comfort from God, the interposition of whose Divine Providence brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation. “One day, I remember well, the chilly winds whistled through the leafless trees, though the sky was cloudless and the sun shone brightly, he remained in his quarters nearly all the afternoon alone. When he came out, I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of the officer I mention who was presently in attendance. After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity which he alone could command said to the latter: ‘I do not know whether it is owing to anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful being. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of the visit. A second, a third, and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of the eyes. By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen, but the rivet gaze of that being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to speak, but my tongue had become useless as if paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitor. Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed to fill with sensations and grew luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarefy, the mysterious visitor also becoming more airy and, yea, more distinct to my sight than before. I began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensation which I had sometimes imagined accompanying death. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move. All were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion. 'Presently I heard a voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn,” while at the same time my visitor extended an arm eastward. I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a strange scene. Laying before me spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world-Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. I saw rolling and tossing, between Europe and America, the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific. “Son of the Republic,” said the same mysterious voice as before, “look and learn.” At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating, in mid-air, between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, he sprinkled some upon America with his right hand while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people. ‘A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean, and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean, in whose heaving billows it sank from view. A third time I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities springing up one after another until the whole land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was dotted with them. Again I heard the mysterious voice say, “Son of the Republic, the end of the century cometh, look and learn.” 'At this time the dark shadowy angel turned his face southward, and from Africa I saw an ill-omened specter approaching our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued looking, I saw a bright angel, on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word “Union.” He was bearing the American flag which he placed between the divided nation, and said, “Remember ye are brethren.” Instantly, the inhabitants casting down their weapons became friends once more, and united around the National Standard. ‘And again I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” At this, the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia, and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene. From each of these continents arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. And through this mass, there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America, which country was enveloped in the volume of cloud. I dimly saw these vast armies devastate the whole country, and burn the villages, towns and cities which I had seen springing up. 'As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat, I again heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” When the voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his trumpet once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast. ‘Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word “Union,” and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, and I perceived were well-nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle. Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” ‘As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious. ‘Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities, springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, plating the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: “While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.” And taking from his brow the crown on which was blazoned the word “Union,” he placed it upon the Standard, while the people, kneeling down, said “Amen.” ‘The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I had first beheld. This also disappearing, I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who in the same voice I had heard before, said, “Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted. Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful for her is the third, but the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and Union.” ‘With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.’ “Such, my friends,” concluded the venerable narrator, “were the words I heard from Washington's own lips, and America will do well to profit by them.” Washington, of course, went on to lead his armies to final victory. He later presided over the Constitutional Convention. When the new Constitution was ratified, he became the first President of the United States of America on April 6, 1789. President Ezra Taft Benson declared: Following the drafting, the Constitution awaited ratification by the states. In 1787 three states ratified it. In the next year, eight more followed; and on April 6, 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into operation as the basic law of the United States when the electoral college unanimously elected George Washington as the first president of the nation. This date, I believe, was not accidental.” In 1877, while Wilford Woodruff was serving as an Apostle, he was called to preside over the temple at St. George, Utah. While serving there, Wilford Woodruff experienced a glorious vision. He was visited by the Founding Fathers, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and several other faithful men and women who had already passed away. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were among those Founding Fathers who appeared and requested that temple ordinances be performed in their behalf. President Woodruff records: The spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them . . . . I straightway went into the baptismal font [in the temple] and called upon Brother McAllister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others. President Woodruff continues: I am going to bear my testimony ... that those men who laid the foundation of this American government ... were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord . . . . Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them . . . . Brother McAllister baptized me for all those men, and then I told those brethren that it was their duty to go into the Temple and labor until they had got endowments for all of them. They did it. Would those spirits have called upon me, as an Elder in Israel, to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God? They would not.” On that same day, “Sister Lucy Bigelow Young went forth into the font and was Baptized for Martha Washington and her family and seventy (70) of the Eminent women of the world.” The appearance of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence surely included John Hancock. After all, his was the largest signature on that inspired document! However, his temple work had already been done by his family members. Records show that his ordinances were performed by relatives at the St. George Temple on May 30, 1877, a few months before Wilford Woodruff's vision. Apparently, Patrick Henry was not in attendance at this appearance to President Woodruff. His temple work had already been done at least five months before Wilford Woodruff's vision. Thomas Jefferson paid a tremendous compliment to the faithful patriot Patrick Henry when he said, “After all, it must be allowed that he was our leader in the measures of the Revolution in Virginia, and in that respect more is due to him than to any other person . . . . He left all of us far behind.” It appears he also left them all behind in obtaining the blessing of the temple ordinances. President Ezra Taft Benson adds a few thoughts to President Woodruff's wondrous vision: The temple work for the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence and other Founding Fathers has been done. All these appeared to Wilford Woodruff when he was President of the St. George Temple. President George Washington was ordained a high priest at that time. Also, according to Wilford Woodruff's journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were ordained high priests at that time. Benson continues: “When one casts doubt about the character of these noble sons of God, I believe he or she will have to answer to the God of heaven for it. Yes, with Lincoln I say: To add brightness to the sun or glory to the name of Washington is impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name and in its naked deathless splendor, leave it shining on.” Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all incredible men. Their God-given talents and abilities were amazing. They were the right people, in the right place, at the right time. And they were “honest and wise men,” raised up for the very purpose of bringing about this land of liberty. Their mission was to form this country into a new nation, governed by a new constitution, which would provide the needed environment for the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. And this, in turn, would prepare the world for the return of the Savior. It was a heroic undertaking. It was accomplished by heroes . . . uncommon heroes. (From the book - Founding Fathers – Uncommon Heroes – Epilogue - Steven W. Allen) Sorry if it was way too long, but it was an important post, I thought.