The entire month of July is a wonderful time to reflect upon the liberties we all enjoy.
It is also good to pay tribute to those who diligently served in the armed forces defending those freedoms and protecting those who are not in a position to do so for themselves.
Few realize the personal risks our Founding Fathers took when they signed the Declaration of Independence. By penning their names on that parchment, they committed an act of treason under British law, a crime punishable by death.
Many — but not all — of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were people of deep religious convictions who based their convictions on faith in Jesus Christ and the Bible.
Here are a handful of quotes of how some of the Founding Fathers and early leaders of the United States felt about religion.
“I believe that God having elected some of mankind to eternal life, did send his own Son to become man, die in the room and stead of sinners and thus to lay a foundation for the offer of pardon and salvation to all mankind, so as all may be saved who are willing to accept the gospel offer …” — Roger Sherman
“The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!” — Benjamin Rush
“In forming and settling my belief relative to the doctrines of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds but such only as, on careful examination, I found to be confirmed by the Bible.” — John Jay
“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor.” — Alexander Hamilton
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” — Patrick Henry
“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.” — John Quincy Adams
“I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” — John Hancock
“It (signing of the Declaration of Independence) ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.” – Thomas Jefferson
I hope our patriotic thoughts extend upward far beyond the parades, fireworks, and rodeos of July.
Charlie Roberts is a former LDS bishop of the Tooele 6th Ward.