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About Freedom, by Vaughn J. Featherstone

Otto Seyforth, who was President of the Chamber of Commerce  shortly after World War II and during the Korean War, said:

"If we knew we were faced with the choice between freedom and slavery, we would all choose wisely—if we knew.  But we often do not know.  Day by day we make decisions which vitally affect our freedom—without knowing or understanding that it is freedom truly that is at stake.

"Some say you can't eat freedom.  By the same token you also can't eat faith and honor and decency—you can't eat the consolations of religion—you can't eat beautiful music—you can't eat the glory of a sunset or faith in the goodness of God.  You can't eat most of the deep promptings of the spirit which are the real main springs of human endeavor and progress."

Tom Anderson, a prominent Tennesseean, told a story about a band of wild hogs that lived along a river in a secluded area of Georgia:

These hogs were a stubborn, ornery, and independent bunch. They had survived floods, fire, freezes, droughts, hunters, dogs, and everything else. No one thought they could every be captured.

One day a stranger came into town not far from where the hogs lived and went into the general store.  He asked the storekeeper, "Where can I find the hogs?  I want to capture them."  The storekeeper laughed at such a claim but pointed in the general direction.  The stranger left with his one-horse wagon, an axe, and a few sacks of corn.

Two months later he returned, went back to the store and asked for help to bring the hogs out.  He said he had them all penned up in the woods.  People were amazed and came from miles around to hear him tell the story of how he did it.

"The first thing I did," the stranger said, "was to clear a small area of the woods with my axe.  Then I put some corn in the center of the clearing.  At first, none of the hogs would take the corn.  Then after a few days, some of the young ones would come out, snatch some corn, and then scamper back into the underbrush.  Then the older ones began taking the corn, probably figuring that if they didn't eat it, some of the other ones would. Soon they were all eating the corn. They stopped grubbing for acorns, and roots on their own. About that time, I started building a fence around the clearing, a little higher each day. At the right moment, I built a trap door and sprung it. Naturally, they squealed and hollered when they knew I had them, but I can pen any animal on the face of the earth if I can first get him to depend on me for a free handout!"

As so many have said for so long, John Gardner being preeminent, we must earn anew our freedoms, our ethics, our principles, and our values.  Each generation must carry these forth and earn them for themselves.  The free enterprise system, moral agency, and freedom as a nation and an individual are all part of the fabric of this United States. 

W. Somerset Maugham wrote:

"If any nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too."

Harvey Jacobs, in a talk called "Freedom Is a Terrible Risk," declared:

In a Japanese novel of several years ago, the main character, wandering in a strange village, becomes trapped in the bottom of a sand pit.  Food and water are lowered to him, but no ladder.  He wants out desperately.  He begs his captors to let him go.  He tries to bargain with them, but nothing works.  Months pass.  The begging, the scheming becomes a way of life.  After a long time, he is granted what he wants, what he has been striving for with all his will, day and night, the freedom to come out of his pit and go on his way in complete freedom.

Suddenly, he is afraid; he is alarmed by the prospect of facing the world without protection.  He could get lost, he thinks. In his little pit he was at least sheltered from unknown harm.  Now he understands that freedom is not a reward but a terrible risk. 

There is a terrible risk in freedom and family and religion and all that is worthy and good.  All things of value must be passed on to the coming generation.

President Benson has declared that the glorious colors of the Stars and Stripes will still be flying over the United States of America when the Savior returns.

President Harold B. Lee said:

"Men may fail in this country.  Earthquakes may come, seas may heave themselves beyond their bounds; there may be great drought and disaster and hardship, but this nation, founded as it is on a foundation of principle laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail."

Excerpts from Vaughn J. Featherstone's book,  More Purity Give Me, 1991, p. 70-73, 76.