Naturally, since this blog is focused on how our religion and our country's liberty are related, I'll be writing about what I thought was related to our efforts to preserve our liberty...
President Uchtdorf's talk in the Priesthood session jumped out at me the most. He told about an airline flight that was headed for Florida. As the pilots prepared for their final approach to their destination airport, they noticed the light that should indicate the nose landing gear was down was not on. They started circling their plane over the Everglades while they tried to figure out what was wrong with the nose gear. While their attention was focused on that problem, the plane was gradually losing altitude. It eventually crashed, and all on board were killed. The investigation into the crash later found that absolutely nothing was wrong with the landing gear, but the indicator light in the cockpit was burned out. President Uchtdorf then spoke on focusing on what was most important (like an airplane's altitude, if you're a pilot), versus what is less important (like a burned-out light bulb).
I think we can easily lose track of what's most important in our fight to preserve our liberty as well. We often focus on winning an election, or passing some legislation. Some of these things end up feeling like playing a game of whack-a-mole (we knock down homosexual "marriage" in California, so it pops right back up in Iowa...) Those efforts are certainly important. But, the Lord's promises about this nation's liberty are clear:
"And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever." 1 Ne 2:7
In the fight for liberty, righteousness is what is most important. Even if we win every battle we fight on elections and policies, without preserving the righteousness of the people the war for liberty will be lost. This puts the responsibility squarely on myself: My first priority must be to set my own spiritual house in order. Without that, my other efforts will be of little consequence. My second priority should be to teach and encourage my friends and neighbors to make righteous choices. Of course, that will include encouraging them to make liberty-supporting (and therefore righteous) political decisions, but it also needs to include trying to lead them to make righteous decisions in other areas. If we don't stop the constant decline in individual morality in this country, our fight for freedom will be a losing battle.