During the Constitution Bicentennial in 1987, a little incident took place that has come back to my mind many times since. After a meeting with Dr. Skousen as the featured speaker, an attractive teenage girl came up to him and said, "I just won first place at a school contest on the Constitution."
Dr. Skousen replied with, "That’s wonderful! How is it that you happen to know so much about the Constitution?"
The young lady replied, "Oh, I belong to a constitutional family."
He then asked what it was like to have a constitutional family to which she replied that her parents have a shelf in their library called "I Love America". On that shelf is a long row of books about the United States and the Constitution. She said they have The Miracle of America, The Making of America, I Love America, and biographies of many of the Founding Fathers.
"We don’t just study the Constitution," she said, "but we know lots of stories about the Founders and the Revolutionary War." Then she gave a smile and said, "At our house, we love America!"
Teaching our families to be "Constitutional" is one of the most effective ways to combat the rising tide of problems in our land.
Religious Leaders Call For More Faith In America and Its Constitution
Insightful members of the clergy, who are concerned about the increased troubles America is now facing are pleading with us to not lose faith in America’s roots or in its destiny.
D. James Kennedy of the Presbyterian Church writes: "I pray God will use it [a study course on the Founders and the Constitution] to educate a new generation of informed, Christian Americans."
John Eidsmoe, religious lecturer and author and teacher at the Tulsa Seminary of Biblical Languages writes: "The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are the foundational documents of the United States. If citizens do not understand the principles of these fundamental documents the nation is vulnerable to the subversion of its republican principles…. Americans need to promote greater understanding of the Constitution and the principles behind it."
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the LDS Church, in this year’s commencement address at Weber State University had this counsel: "There is trouble in the land. There are problems we do not seem capable of handling. But I come here tonight with a plea that you do not lose faith in America….On one occasion a journalist asked me about my belief regarding the Constitution. I replied that I felt it was inspired, that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were brought forth under the inspiration of God to establish and maintain the freedom of people of this nation….there is a miracle in its establishment that cannot be explained in any other way….God bless this nation of which you and I are a part. Bless her leaders that they may rise above pettiness and live after the tradition of the Founding Fathers."
But Where Can We Turn to Learn of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution?
John Eidsmoe writes: "Unfortunately, Americans today lack the understanding about the nation’s legal and constitutional system. They also lack appreciation for the underlying principles of the Declaration and the Constitution. Few schools or colleges have curricula which explain the philosophies of Montesquieu, Blackstone, Locke, … in relation to these principles."
In the preface of one of Dr. Skousen’s recent books, he describes his motivation to study the Founders’ principles:
"In 1967 a great leader whom I admired and loved [David O. McKay] said that a crisis was coming to America and the legal minds of the nation were not getting ready to deal with it.
"He indicated that the Founding Fathers knew this would happen and they knew what to do about it. He suggested, as he had to many other lawyers of his acquaintance, that I take time to get acquainted with the things the Founders knew.
"This dear friend died in 1970 and by that time I had just begun to realize some profound and inspiring things about the Founders I had never known before. Much of it was in their letters and private communications with each other. I found they knew much more about the manifest destiny of America than any text I had ever read.
"So, for over a quarter of a century I have been struggling to put it all together."
The Grueling Process of Packaging the Founders’ Message
As a result of Dr. Skousen’s desire to fulfill the request of this great leader, he formed The National Center for Constitutional Studies in 1971. Most of the first ten years was spent in research and teaching so as to perfect the method and message and do it in such a way that it would be as understandable as possible to the thousands who would hear it. I personally will be forever indebted to Dr. Skousen and his staff who did the work of mining the precious nuggets of liberty from among the massive numbers of books which most Americans would never study. Having laid this foundation, the decade of the 1980s became the decade of "packaging" the message so that it could be duplicated in homes and schools all over this land.
One of the first and most lasting of all the packages was produced in 1981. By this time, Dr. Skousen and several on his staff were going different directions nearly every weekend teaching seminars on the Constitution. I personally remember when we invited him to Mesa, Arizona to a large gathering to hear the Founders’ story. He brought with him the first major piece of the "package" - the 13-hour audio tape album, complete with a workbook, called "The Miracle of America". Finally, the process was far enough along where he put the whole story on tape so families could have it in their homes and schools. As I recall, they were so popular, we completely sold out of them.
About that time video tape was becoming popular so the entire 13 hour course was also put on video. (See enclosed flyer)
The Miracle of America Will Help You Become a Constitutional Family
Dr. Skousen explains in the introduction what The Miracle of America tape set will do for you:
This study course was especially designed for those who realize there is something seriously wrong in America today, but feel they are too busy to find out what can be done about it.
If the Founding Fathers were here, they would undoubtedly assure us that we can do something about it. They would probably say it requires 3 things:
- A fairly comprehensive understanding of the Founders' original success formula based on a free-market economy and a Constitutional form of government. Also,
- A good understanding of what has been happening to the Founders' success formula since 1900. And finally,
- A sincere desire to restore the free-market economy and Constitutional government in the tradition of the Founding Fathers.
If you are this kind of person, we think you will enjoy this course because it was written especially for you.
What Will this Course Teach Me and My Family?
Lesson 1 - What Has Been Happening To America?
- How education in early America supported Constitutional government
- How education has changed to actually oppose constitutional government
Lesson 2 - The Founders’ Search for an Ideal Society
- What is the best system of law?
- Measuring government on a political spectrum
- Two ancient model civilizations
- The Founders make a major decision between a republic and a democracy
- Limiting and checking the powers of government
- Enemies of the Constitution
Lesson 3 - The Founding Fathers’ Basic Beliefs
- The books and the philosophers - from John Locke to Adam Smith
- The role of religion in the Constitutional formula
- The attack on the Founders ideas-the Tories, the Socialists, the Humanists
Lesson 4 - The Historical Roots of America
- Dispelling some historical myths
- Ruler’s law vs. People’s Law in America
- The Founders’ Sense of Divine Mission or Manifest Destiny
- The Split with England
Lesson 5 - The Birth of a Nation
- Who were America’s great freedom fighters?
- The Declaration of Independence embodies the "ancient principles"
- The first constitution almost leads to loss of Revolutionary War
- The perils of Freedom
Lesson 6 - The Miracle at Philadelphia
- The best assemblage of wise men in history
- From crises to consensus and compromise
- A miracle happens
Lesson 7 - The Baptism of Fire
- Ratification process and The Federalist Papers
- The Preamble - an amazing paragraph
Lesson 8 - The Twenty Powers of Congress
- Taxes, Debts, Commerce, etc.
Lesson 9 - The Twenty Powers of Congress (continued)
- Money, War, Federal lands, etc.
Lesson 10 - The Most Powerful Office in the World - The Executive
- The six area of presidential responsibility
- Identifying federal activities which the constitution does not authorize
Lesson 11 - The Supreme Court - Guardian of the Constitution
- Identifying the eleven kinds of cases assigned to the federal courts
- Common law juries and oath taking
- Article IV - Relations between states
- Article V - The amending process
- Article VI - What is the Supreme law of the land?
- Article VII - Ratification
Lesson 12 - America’s Famous Bill of Rights
- The real meaning of the First Amendment and separation of church and state
Lesson 13 - The Last Sixteen Amendments
- The real story of the income tax amendment
- Destroying the "chains" of the constitution
American’s Are Turning to the Constitution for Answers
As you read the contents of the Miracle of America study course, does it not create a burning desire to make sure your family and friends know these answers! As religious leaders have foretold, these concepts will one day restore America’s greatness. Shall we not do all we can to fulfill the dream of the Founders that America will yet accomplish her mission of being an example and a blessing to the entire human race?
We have made a special arrangement to get the video tape course of Miracle of America into your home so you can teach children and friends. Let us hear from you!
Earl Taylor, Jr.