I am currently taking an Institute class called Church History: Part I. It is AMAZING. Seriously. I love it so much. In honor of Constitution Day (today), I'd like to quote a few lines from the student manual, Church History in the Fulness of Times.
"the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God."
"under the Constitution the Lord could restore the gospel and reestablish his church..."
"The discovery [of America] was one of the most important factors in bringing to pass the purpose of the Almighty in the restoration of his Gospel in its fulness for the salvation of men in the latter days."
"The restoration of the gospel and of the Lord's true Church could not have taken place amidst the religious intolerance in Europe and early America. It was only possible in the setting of religious liberty, reevalutaion of Christian thinking, and spiritual awakening that had developed in early nineteenth-century America. The Lord's hand was evident in directing that the Restoration take place exactly when it did."
As I've been studying, I have been in awe at how remarkable the coming forth of the gospel actually has been. The Lord's hand is in literally everything as He works to bring forth the blessings of the gospel to his children and to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. We studied the Apostasy and the dark ages, the formation of America and the New England heritage Joseph Smith Jr. was raised in, and my mind is exposed more and more to the miraculous chain of events that lead to the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It truly is remarkable. I have a testimony of the miracles of the restoration and I know that God's hand is in my life just as much as it was in the restoration. I love the United States of America, and although there are certainly some scary things going on, I know that America needed to exist so that the gospel could come forth. Ether 2: 12 says "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written." I am grateful for this beautiful country and feel so blessed to have been born here. I am grateful for the gospel as well and that it was able to come forth in this nation.
Happy Constitution Day everyone, and may we all try our best to be our best and remember to not take living in this country and having so many rights for granted. God bless America.