Faith, Family, and Freedom of Religion

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently spoke to a multifaith gathering at Chapman University.

His 40 minute address covers faith, family, and freedom of religion. “These issues deserve our interfaith attention and our interfaith protection, because there is always strength in numbers” he pleaded.

The atheist and secularist ignore creation and seek to drive faith oriented individuals from the public square. Forty one percent of all parents who use God’s gift of creation ignore commitment and responsibility.

Religious people voluntarily respect law. Strong families usually sustain responsible government. But more and more people are brushing these two vital societal issues aside. Such a growing number of people fret over what is free rather than what is protecting their divine freedom. They fret over being consumers rather than giving an honest effort to be producers. They fret over fulfilling the lust of the flesh rather than developing self-control. They fret over their pretended image on social media rather than governing their lives according to principles that lead to real self-worth.

The disturbing decline in institutional religion and strong family units ought to make us worry. Ignoring and redefining eternal truths established in the dawn of creation will accelerate lawlessness. Evidence is piling up that our ignorance, foolishness, and vanity is accelerating our contentions and ill-will among more and more people.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports” George Washington wrote in his farewell address. “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness…. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion” he emphasized. John Adams felt the same way. Our first two presidents warned us what would threaten our prosperity.

Are their words not a stinging rebuke to current trends? Are Americans even familiar with these words of warning? Do we even care?

If tens of millions (the majority) who really do care for faith, family, and religious freedom stay dormant, the threat and the consequences will only get worse.

I agree with Elder Holland, there are strength in numbers. When I, with tens of millions of people are awakened the threat and the dire consequences can be reversed.

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7 thoughts on “Faith, Family, and Freedom of Religion

    1. MormonForever

      downtowndave I am not sure what your comment has to do with the above article.

      Ryan great article. Yes people of faith need to unite in this cause.

    2. Jerry Staker

      Mr. David Tiffany! My friend from the downtown ministries. I thought I would find you here! How are you?

      I was wondering if you have posts on other articles besides the The Church of Jesus Christ of a Latter-Day saints. If so, could you please show me just a single one? I am doing my best to learn about you, my friend. Thanks. Jerry Staker

  1. trytoseeitmyway

    Thanks for these excellent comments, which join in those expressed by Elder Holland. Our culture is reinforcing the worst, rather than the best, instincts and predispositions in us, leading too many to choose self-centered pursuits and values over other-centered pursuits and values such as children, family, and community. Understanding the arcs of human history including those recorded in the scriptures, it is difficult to see how these trends will be reversed within Western culture any time soon, or at all without a return to faith and accountability.

  2. terry garahan

    Mr. Jenkins is wrong! Evidence shows that the crime rate is the lowest in 40 years. Teen birth rate has declined for 20 years. Religion may or may not have anything to do with it, but the sky is not falling and facts are facts.

    1. Ryan C. Jenkins Post author

      Prisons are full (and been added onto and new ones built in the last 40 years) and 100 billion dollars more will be spent for policing this year. How is a declining teen birth rate an argument that the family is in tact, faith is growing, and religious freedom is being sustained. I find it troubling to watch time and time again 50-100 youth and young adults overpower convenience stores, large chain stores and movie theaters to pillage and destroy. I find it troubling that in some schools the students disrespect can’t even been challenged because of lack of support and security.There are so many other examples of lawlessness, dishonesty, and disrespect. I didn’t insinuate the sky was falling, but the hearts and minds of people are failing. People are rejecting family and the faith of their fathers. There are not shortage of accounts of oppression, abuse, addictions, dishonesty, adulteries, plundering, contention, and attacks on religion. The sky hasn’t fallen, but a think fog seems to be setting in–and fog is no more than low clouds.

      A low teen birth rate doesn’t mean a nation is morally strong. We are soaking in sexual perversion and promiscuity and it is crippling individuals and families (again no shortage of accounts). The denial of God and his laws accelerates moral relativism and secular humanism, which both creeds may be be summed up: “every man for himself.” Which will threaten any people trying to live in a society that seeks to protect life, liberty and property. As you surely know, I believe the scriptures to be the word of God, and they confirm in several accounts that when Heavenly Father and the Saviors divine moral laws are brushed aside chaos, misery, disunion follow. If not so, where are the bright lights of Babylon, and the towering high rises of Sodom and Gomorrah? Why the ruins of Rome? Where are the people in central America who left architectural wonders? Where have the empires in Indian and Asia gone. They were only conquered and/or dissolved because of corruption within.


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