America's Real Story
Hopefully, all of us have heroes. A hero is a person we look to for insight, example and courage. Heroes can be ancient or modern. Its always nice when our heroes are alive in our day. They seem to help us more directly with modern challenges in day-to-day living.
I have been thinking recently of a modern-day hero of mine. I remember his counsel when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. He was a man of extraordinary vision and wisdom. I did not appreciate it near as much then as I do now as I go back and reread his counsel and advice, but as I see the events of the nation and world unfold, my understanding of what he was trying to get us to know and do has become much more clear to me. His name was David O. McKay.
A Modern-Day Hero Who Wished All Citizens Knew America's Real Story
Among other things, I remember David O. McKay being very concerned about the direction America was headed. He seemed to know that powerful forces even at that time were beginning to take control of the country and lead us down a path with the eventual goal of destroying America's tremendously successful freedom formula and ending in slavery and tyranny. He spent much of his time encouraging citizens to understand what was really going on.
David O. McKay was a schoolteacher by profession. As such he was well acquainted with the growing problems in public education and the fact that the real story of America's Founding Fathers and the subsequent attempts to destroy the Founders' formula were not being taught or hardly talked about anymore in the public schools. As a result, he encouraged people to learn it on their own. For example, in April, 1966 he said, "We wish all of our citizens throughout the land were participating in some type of organized self-education in order that they could better appreciate what is happening and know what they can do about it."
Special Children In Our Homes For a Special Reason
David O. McKay felt strongly that anti-freedom forces were so powerful even in his day that the only way Americans could recover was with God's help. He felt God was preparing some more valiant heroes and placing them in families where they would grow up in righteousness and be ready just in time to help save America. This is the way he said it: "God is now pouring out into the families of those that he has treasured up from the beginning, the youth that can take it in the days that lie ahead. You're getting some of the choicest spirits out of heaven." He said that about 1950.
Truly Wise Men and Women Know the Founders Had Answers
As he was approaching the end of his life, David O. McKay was anxious to have something in place that would be a vehicle whereby all Americans, no matter what their political or religious persuasion, could learn about the powerful message of the Founding Fathers. He oft times repeated the theme that the Founders were the ones that had the answers to every problem America was facing. He said we need to rely on the Founders to solve our problems.
W. Cleon Skousen Accepts the Challenge
One of the people to pick up on his request to teach Americans the Founders' formula was W. Cleon Skousen. Many of us have heard Dr. Skousen tell how helpless he felt in the beginning when he contemplated starting an organization which had no ties or backing from any other political or religious organization. But he was trying to do what David O. McKay and others had asked him to do. It would take a lot of work and study, but hopefully the Founders' message could be kept alive, eventually to blossom again in the hearts of many Americans.
This is the mission of The National Center for Constitutional Studies. We attempt to do exactly what Jefferson and others said we must do:
- "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
Later on, he added:
- "No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.... Preach a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people."
Teaching Will Stop If We Do Not Have the Message "Packaged"
After teaching many people himself for several years, some of us remember him saying:
"Then we run into a stone wall. What will we use for textbooks? At the [NCCS], we have laid down the basics for study guides, but the textbooks have not yet been written.
"They have to be written.
"The whole American story has to be told all over again. It has to be excitingly written with comprehensive documentation that everyone can trust.
"The final step is having it published with pictures, maps, and illustrations that help make the story come alive."
I personally remember Dr. Skousen's great yearning that he could not rest until the Founders' message has been properly packaged in books so that anyone could pick it up and teach it or study it and the inspired message of the Founders would speak to their hearts as if it were voices from the dust.
As a result of Dr. Skousen and a few others putting in long hours to write the books, we can now enjoy the Founders' message in its strength and power. These are the most important resources NNCS. All else we do is for the promulgation of the message contained in these choice books. Let me remind you briefly what we have.
I Love America , Volumes 1 and 2
These books are intended to serve as a supplement to any primary curriculum in any school. Its purpose is to help children in the 4 to 7 age group learn about selected events and personalities in America's history, and to develop an appreciation for our American heritage.
During the school year, each child should be able to express a basic understanding of the following: The Flag, Columbus, The Pilgrims, George Washington, The Preamble to the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Pocahontas. Most of the presentations are designed to take less than 20 minutes of class time on a given day. The material is build around the yearly holidays and seasons, with emphasis on patriotic and/or historical themes. Each month features a song, poem, cut-outs, a game, a story, or an activity to enhance the lesson theme.
For High School and College students and adults:
The Five Thousand Year Leap (338 pages)
Here is, for the first time, a very readable outline of the twenty-eight ideas that launched America's incredible success in modern times. It is a first primer on government. In its forward, Dr. Skousen writes:
"The most impressive element in this outstanding omnibus of political thought is the fact that these precepts are precisely what America needs today. It is alarming to think of the billions of dollars which we are expending each year trying to solve problems by methods which the Founders knew were fallacious. They attempted to warn us, to share their wisdom with us. Too often their counsel has been ignored. Now we must return to them.
"This volume is concise and carefully researched. It is the kind of stimulating book I should like to see being studied in all of our high schools and universities. It would be equally profitable reading for members of Congress and Justices of the Supreme Court. I would recommend it to the White House staff and the officers of executive agencies who are seeking guidance in solving the complex problems which face America today. I believe that any solution which does violence to the fundamental thinking of the Founders will fail. America needs a stronger track record of success in many areas. We will do better if we go back and study the Founders again."
The Making of America (888 pages)
Published just in time for the Bicentennial of the Constitution in 1987, this book leaves no doubt as to the origin of the underlying principles or the meaning of every provision put into the Constitution by the Founders. It is considered the "granddaddy" of all constitutional textbooks. You will become acquainted with the Founders, relive the discovery of ancient principles, and understand how they carefully wove these precious ideas into the fabric of the Constitution. A study of these pages will leave no doubt as to what the Founders meant when they gave us this original document. The application of these principles in out day will solve nearly every problem we have in America.
The Miracle of America (audio or video)
This 13 hour long course hits the highlights of the development and meaning of the Constitution. A fill-in-the-blank 135-page study guide is included. This course is meant for those youth and adults who feel they do not have the time to study the Constitution in detail at the moment. Our live day-long seminars are patterned after this course and provide a first glimpse at the majesty of the Constitution of the United States.
An exciting full credit, year-long or blocked semester course using The Five Thousand Year Leap and The Making of America as textbooks. Any teacher who desires a ready made curriculum will love this package. All the procedures, assignments, quizzes, tests, and even student notes are included. If you have read our textbooks and have wanted even a greater understanding, this course is for you. May be used in all schools - home, private, or public.
As teachers search for more "meat and substance" in a class on the Constitution, they turn to NCCS packaged course. Listen to what Howard Blitz from Yuma, Arizona says about using it on the college level:
- "I teach two sections of "American Politics" at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona. The students all love it because the text is easy to follow and breaks down the United States Constitution into small understandable parts. I love it because it is easy to teach from, plus your curriculum lays out the whole semester in an extremely orderly fashion. The book and curriculum are designed perfectly for the age of my students ranging from 18 to 35. One of my students said she was going to keep the book because it is such a great reference source -- another reason why the text and the curriculum is so highly valued. Both the text and curriculum were written for all generations."
Earl Taylor, Jr.