Conviction, Courage, Commitment
Posted on: September 15, 2015
By Julianne Young
A talk delivered by FFS Chapter Leader Mrs. Julianne Young at the FFS Freedom Rally in Shelley, Idaho on Saturday, September 12, 2015
I would like to invite you to imagine with me for a moment a scene from a movie. This movie follows a common plot. An evil villain seeks to rule the world. Most people don’t realize what’s going on and are naively falling for the trap laid by this dark would-be ruler. One ordinary fellow providentially becomes aware of the grave danger posed by the villain and his secret plots and the future of the world now rests in his hands. He sits alone, distraught, with his head in his hands agonizing over what he will do.
Consider with me the likely outcome of each of the options he is agonizing over. He can minimize the risk in his own mind and ignore what he has learned, hoping it will go away. He’s really a ‘nobody’ anyway and has plenty of activities and responsibilities to fill his life and cauterize his conscience. On the other hand, he can acknowledge the danger and sit fretfully by, angry that someone else is not doing something about it. He might safeguard his own immediate comfort, living up the time he has left and perhaps, build a bunker or two. A third option might be to jockey for a favored position in the new kingdom, accepting it as inevitable. But ANY movie that ended in ANY of these ways would be disappointment and a tragedy. In order for our movie to have a happy ending our could-be-hero needs the conviction, courage, and commitment to acknowledge the danger and wisely and courageously confront it. Friends, sometimes it is easier to see the truth about our choices when the dilemma we are dealing with is not quite so real to us.
The message of the Freedom First Society is that we are each living this story. It is real. There are real men and women, today, who seek to use their wealth and influence to consolidate control over the nations of the world. They are deliberately and successfully working in an organized way to un-define family, undermine morality, weaken our national economy, and erase national borders. Using a bought and paid for main-stream media they seek to replace sovereignty with dependency, education with political indoctrination, and free exercise of speech with deceptive propaganda that monopolizes our attention with inconsequential gibberish and mocks anyone who dares disagree about anything significant.
If you are here today you have been given the opportunity to understand who these people are, how they are operating, and what can be done effectively to oppose them. You have been given the opportunity to pick up and read Don Fotheringham’s book The President Makers, Vance Smith and Tom Gow’s book Masters of Deception, and Freedom First Society’s new release Media-Controlled Delusion. Unlike many others who are naively falling into the trap which is being laid for us, you have providentially been given the opportunity to know and understand the grave danger we are in.
And so here we each sit, holding the future in our hands, choosing now what we will do. If we are to win the battle raging around us, we must first win the battle within us. We are each sorely in need of the conviction, the courage, and the commitment that are required if we are to acknowledge the danger we are in and courageously confront it.
First, we each need conviction. Conviction is a spiritual and emotional power that comes from understanding and wholeheartedly believing truth. Conviction is contagious. Our Blackfoot Chapter experienced a significant increase in our conviction this past year. We decided to read Don Fotheringham’s book, The President Makers and discuss it together a few chapters at a time. As we discussed this well-written, well-documented book we shared feelings of outrage and sorrow with each other over the loss of lives, liberty, and property that have been destroyed at the hands of conspiring power mongers. We drew hope from the way this understanding changed us, leading us to desire with our whole hearts to reject these men and the tools they’ve used deceptively to manipulate themselves into power. If this knowledge changed us, it could change others. We drew hope from understanding that the success of their schemes depends on our willingness to compromise the standard of government laid out in the United States Constitution. We HAVE the antidote. It IS the Law of the land.
Later, we took the advice given by Don in The President Makers and also read and discussed the book Classified Woman together. This book stands as another witness of the truth of the things Don wrote and strengthened our understanding that those in positions of power are guilty of numerous crimes; crimes against the Constitution and against mankind. We do not have to face them on equal ground as long as we stand on the moral high ground of truth. Their own treachery is a deep pit beneath their feet. All that is left for us to do is to pull the gauzy web of deception out from under them and they will fall into their own pit.
As our conviction grew, we grew determined to do something more about it. We took Don’s advice again and decided to distribute 500 copies of his book to our families, friends, and neighbors. But this was not easy to do. Many of our friends and neighbors prefer NOT to know the things we were learning. It can be easy for those who do not yet share our conviction to think that if they just ignore these concerns and fill their lives with other things they will not have to deal with it. We needed courage.
Courage is the result of taking the long view in a situation. It leads us to act in accordance with truth even when the immediate outcomes are uncertain or even unpleasant. I learned that it is not my place to decide who might read or listen and who won’t. It is my job to open my mouth and offer as many people as I can the chance to understand, and then to graciously accept their decision, always leaving the door open for another day. I cannot control their response, but I can courageously invite them with a smile again and again. I can find different ways to reach them, knowing from my own experience that I received many invitations and learned a little at a time over several years before I was ready to publicly commit to a role in the freedom fight. Our Chapter’s courage grows as we see the positive fruits of our efforts, but I don’t want to give the impression that our meetings are getting flash-mobbed. The results we are seeing have come gradually and quietly. I often remind myself that trashy trees grow quickly. We are interested in growing a strong and steady mighty oak of a Chapter, and that will take time and commitment.
Commitment is consistent, undeterred action over time. If conviction and courage move us to act, commitment sees us through. Commitment leads us to make the defense of freedom a primary priority; more important than social gatherings, ball games, and personal pursuits. It understands that faith, family, and freedom are each important legs on a three-legged stool. We cannot afford to become so exclusively busy with faith and family obligations that we fail to defend our freedom — for if we lose our freedom, our ability to care for our families and follow our faith will vanish with it. Those committed to the freedom fight do not come only to activities that interest or entertain them. They show up in spite of poor health, busy lives, and long days, and they bring others with them time after time.
I am so blessed to be surrounded by inspiring examples of conviction, courage, and commitment. I would like to close by telling you about three of them.
One is a young man I really hardly know: Ben Marsden. I met him a number of years ago while he was still in high school and I was impressed by the great love he had for principles of freedom and his desire to defend them. He left home to serve a mission for his church and attend school and I lost track of him, but just this last week I got a phone call from him. He has now completed his mission and his college degree and heard about our Freedom Rally this weekend. He called to offer to do an “introduction” of sorts. He wanted to talk about people like Martin Luther whose conviction, courage, and commitment led them to act. Many of these people died having never seen the fruits that came from their sacrifices, and yet their efforts changed the world forever. He wanted to express his conviction that one ordinary person, courageously acting in defense of truth can, indeed, make all the difference. Ben, I thank you for the conviction you carry in your courageous lion-heart and hope that we will see much more of you in the years to come. We have work to do together.
Another inspiring example is a middle-aged realtor: Gary Gifford. Many of you met Gary today when you attended the mini-class he taught, “Organize for Victory.” When our Chapter finished reading The President Makers, Gary said, “Now what? What are we going to DO about this?”, and he then took the lead in creating a specific action plan for our Chapter to consistently work toward the 1,000 educated, organized people we need in our congressional district if we are to turn the tide in the freedom fight.
I hope Gary will forgive me for embarrassing him a little, but his good wife has some serious health struggles. Consequently, he carries the burden of caring for her as well as many of the household responsibilities. Yet, he consistently attends meetings, brings guests, and even finds time to serve as our Chapter recruitment chairman. He is always asking us, “Why are you here? Why is this worth your time?” He tells us that if we can clearly articulate why we are involved we will be prepared to convince others to join us. He has created a spreadsheet to help Chapter members keep track of our contacts and is now working with a committee to outline and organize regular personal visits to prospective members, new members, and existing members who are not regularly attending. Gary, thank you for your unflinching courage to “DO something about it,” to act, and for the courage you inspire in us.
Last of all, I would like to tell you about a sweet Grandma: Beverly Rocks (and you will see that her name is very fitting: Beverly does “rock”!) She is more active, tough, and determined than most people half her age. She lives alone far out on the Pingree Prairie. When I was a girl growing up in the metropolis of Moreland, Idaho, we used to jokingly refer to Pingree as “Outer Darkness” because we thought it was so remote. If Beverly wanted an excuse to not be involved she could easily tell herself that she is too unimportant to make a difference, but that is not what Beverly is about.
I first met Beverly several years ago when we felt a need to canvas our entire county with some voter information. Beverly knocked our socks off knocking doors. She canvassed several precincts — by herself. When the Freedom First Society was organized in our area, Beverly was one of our first members. Beverly is committed. She heads up our telephone tree making phone calls to remind Chapter members of every upcoming activity. She is on the ball. I never have to call and remind her. She is better than the post office — through rain, sleet, hail, snow, blizzard, or drought she is there. And she invites others. She knows “who thinks what” from all of her canvassing and never misses an opportunity to extend an invitation. This summer, she found two new prospective members — at a yard sale. She got their contact information and then referred them to the Chapter leader in their area.
Most recently, Beverly gave me cause for reflection — when she brought me a table. The table is here today in a place of honor, not because it is amazing on its own, but because of what it represents to me. As we began preparing for this rally I put out the word that we needed picnic tables. A couple of days later I heard a rattling sound coming down my bumpy lane and looked out to see Beverly’s little red car pulling a large trailer loaded with a grey, weathered table and four benches. Beverly informed me that she had brought it for the rally, that she knew it wasn’t fancy, but that she thought we could tighten it up with a few screws and it might be useful. After we were done with it, she wanted it donated to the Chapter.
If there was a need and Beverly had anything at all that could fill it, she was there, willing to offer all that she had. It didn’t matter to her that it wasn’t fancy or new. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have a nice pick-up truck to load it into or young strong muscles to load it up. It was enough for her to offer her best and trust that someone else would do the rest. Beverly, thank you for your example of selfless, unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom.
We live in perilous times. I am a witness that there are conspiring, organized forces deliberately working to undermine freedom. I have witnessed, first-hand, the way that local government and school policies are being manipulated and controlled by organizations exterior to the electorate in ways that conflict with and even undermine local values and local control. I set out to understand how these organizations became so influential and, through my own, current, bottom-up research discovered the same story told by Don, Vance, and Tom in their books. This is not just a story about the past. It is the real story behind every current issue of concern today. The new Freedom First Society publication Media-Controlled Delusion does an excellent job of illustrating this by taking current issues, from socialized medicine and police “brutality” to immigration reform and the national debt, and tying each issue back to its organized roots. It’s concise and well-documented and available at our book table for just a few dollars. Every person here needs to take a copy home.
Best of all, this booklet ends with a chapter reminding us that there is a sound, reasonable, effective counterstrategy available to Americans — it is for us to also organize. We don’t have to have super powers to defeat the real villains of today. We just need the conviction, courage, and commitment to build a strong, resilient community of organized, informed Americans. I am so thankful for my association with the Freedom First Society, for the leadership it offers, and for the opportunity it has given me to stand shoulder to shoulder with other Americans who are also determined to do just this. That we may have the conviction, courage, and commitment to do so is my prayer. Thank you.
The story of Beverly’s table is not over. I called Robert Welker, a steadfast member in Shelley. This is one of the benefits of being organized; being able to work together and share our different talents. Mr. Welker was to this table what Gepetto was to Pinocchio. He has given it new life, tightened up joints, added some supports, sanded it smooth and given it a coat of primer. It’s a really cute little table. It’s been of good service to us at this event, and it is now waiting for a new owner to claim it, take it home, and paint it with a final coat of their own choosing at the conclusion of a silent auction which will open after the closing prayer and close when the last chairs are put away and the last banners are taken down tonight. The proceeds from Beverly’s table will be used to start a Rally fund for next year so that we can hopefully be a year ahead on our Rally budget. So after the prayer feel free to mosey up here and write your name, your bid, and your contact information on one of these silent auction slips and drop it in the jar on the table. Thanks.