The battle for liberty and freedom is a constant struggle against the forces of tyranny and coercion. The Grand Yin/Yang of the universe. It permeates everything in our lives. We push forward towards understanding and promoting liberty, and tyranny pushes back. All we can do in our limited lifetime is seek to understand the truth of all things, take a stand, be immovable, and face the consequences of our actions, good or bad. The cumulative actions of all of us, acting individually, swings the pendulum towards one pole or another at any given time in history. What direction are you pushing?
Do What is Right, Let the Consequence Follow
It has become my custom to sing a hymn each morning to start my day. Not only to I get to learn the music but I also get to learn the lyrics, and ponder them. Last week it was an old hymn called, “Do What is Right”.
One morning the thought occurred to me that the song seemed to be talking about slavery and I wondered if it had been written during the time of the American Civil War. Looking at the bottom of the music, I noticed that it had been included in a collection of hymns called The Psalms of Life, published in Boston in 1857. This sparked an interest and the hunt was on.
I found a really great blogsite called Latter-Day Saint Hymnology. The author presents a wonderful history of the hymn. He says, “Recent scholarship, however, indicates the text was first published on October 17, 1850, in The National Era, an abolitionist newspaper published at Washington, D.C.” A review of the footnotes shows that The National Era is “the newspaper in which Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin debuted in serial form in 1851, before it was published as a book.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of my favorite books.
As I pondered the lyrics in a new light, it seemed to me that they apply to us today as well as to a specific time in American history. They apply to our spiritual struggle for an inner liberty, as well as our political struggles in society at large.
Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,
Hailing a future of freedom and light.
Angels above us are silent notes taking
Of ev’ry action; then do what is right.
[Don’t we often feel we are on the cusp of something but can’t quite reach it? On as side note, as a child the concept of angels keeping track of my actions was both frightening and unrealistic. However, with today’s surveillance state, the reality of imperfect humans keeping track of my every action is far scarier.]
Do what is right; the shackles are falling.
Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling. Truth goeth onward; then do what is right.
[There are many types of shackles – physical chains, addictions, debt, some of the philosophies of Mankind, etc. As we seek Truth and put that truth into action in our lives, we experience more and more freedom, which blesses not only ourselves but others, as we become free to give to those in need, helping them move to remove their shackles.]
Do what is right, be faithful and fearless.
Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right.
[During the seven years I served as National Communications Director for the Constitution Party, I would often get emails or phone calls from people thanking us for taking a constitutional stance on this issue, or that issue, and not backing down. They felt that there is light at the end of the dark political tunnel. It made them feel that there is hope for America’s future.]
Do what is right, let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right.
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1995-2008), wrote a book entitled, “Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes” In it he said, “It is not enough just to be good. We must be good for something. We must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for our presence. And the good that is in us must be spread to others. This is the measure of our civility.”
My challenge to you is to find your truth, stand for it, and let the consequences follow, whatever they may be.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Alfred Lord Tennyson.