Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Matthew Cowley, A nation cannot live on bread alone

Matthew Cowley, General Conference 1951
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If the individual cannot live by bread alone, neither can the nation. This great country owes its birth and preservation to men who were guided by spiritual values. The Pilgrim fathers who first set foot upon the rugged shores of New England and the great pioneers who conquered the mountains and deserts from the Atlantic to the Pacific were men of God. They survived the hunger and hardships incident to colonizing and pioneering because they were motivated by a quest for God rather than by a lust for gold.
They penetrated the forests and pushed on to forbidding waste lands with confidence that with the help of God they would live, and that without His help they would perish. They broke the scorched earth, turned the virgin soil, planted their crops and then called upon God to bring forth the harvest. They lived by His words and He provided them with sustenance.
History records the decline and fall of great nations and empires, both ancient and modern, which have rejected God and denied man the right to live in accordance with His divine will.
The institutions of our own nation, which were founded by men who invoked divine aid, may be lost to future generations if the lessons of history are ignored. If God loses control in the affairs of this great nation, the decline and decay of its structure of freedom and liberty will surely follow. The loss of its soul will be inevitable because ours is a nation which cannot survive on material values alone.
To say that "it can't happen here" is to disregard the destructive forces of evil that are abroad in the land.
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At another time in the Nation's history when men were trying to live by bread alone and were forgetting God, Abraham Lincoln issued a timely proclamation which reads as follows:
"And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the holy scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
"And, insomuch as we know that by His divine law nations like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation of a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."

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