Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Re-post of For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer


Really.  That is how I feel as I read this book, For You They Signed: The Spiritual Heritage of Those Who Shaped Our Nation by Marilyn Boyer.

To begin, it is beautiful and has a certain presence about it.  So much so, that my husband saw it on our coffee table and said, "Where did you get that book?  It looks nice there."  Not to mention he is completely intrigued by it and ready to read it after me.

Here's how it looked that day: 

Now, here is how it looked soon after, once reality set in:

And I wouldn't change it for the world!

You see, I kind of like the irony of the fact that our freedom to live and worship and play as we do here in our homeland of America is all symbolically resting on top of our foundation as a nation, the Declaration of Independence...and even moreso is resting on what that declaration was founded on---the Word of God.

Hence, my love for what Marilyn Boyer has done with this book.

In For You They Signed, Boyer creatively weaves a clear picture for us of what was done on our behalf so long ago and why.

As she points out in the introduction, her inspiration and challenge for formulating this book was one question posed to her by fellow American and founder of, David Barton.

Can you name more than three signers of the Declaration of Independence?
Can you?

I couldn't before reading this book.  Now, however, I am so entranced by the sacrificial bravery and soundness-of-mind of these men.  And grateful...yes, I am oh so grateful...more than I ever was before I realized how much was unashamedly and regretlessly put on the line by others on behalf of me and my family and friends in this country today.

Kind of seems like a much smaller scale of what my Savior did for me long before these men ever signed this document.

As Boyer quotes John Quincy Adams, "You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it."

As far as the components of this book, again, wow!  Boyer has put together a resource that can either be read as I did, straight through---or, it can be used in a variety of other ways, such as her five suggestions to use it as:
  1. A year's worth of family devotional character studies
    • A Family Activity Guide is available online as a companion to the book.
  2. A complete resource for a single mom
  3. A practical, life-changing self-study (and this I have found to be so true!)
  4. A group study designed to make a difference
  5. Inspirational general reading
She elaborates more on each one of these uses as she is introducing the reader to the book.

More additional priceless features include:
  • A full-page (letter-sized, 8 1/2 x 11 inch) picture of the real Declaration of Independence
  • A close-up picture of the real signature section itself
  • A full-page typed copy of the document (easier to read)
  • Typed signatures (They signed in sections by the state they represented.)
The book as a whole is comprised of a character study on each of the fifty-six signers divided into sections by the state they represented.  Each character study is about three to five pages in length with the following components:
  • An artist's sketched portrait of the signer with an image of his signature below it
  • A special nickname and/or patriotic characterization of the signer
  • A scripture reference relating to the signer
  • A short quote about the signer
  • Demographics such as birth date, birth place, education, occupation, marriage date(s), spouse's name(s), number of children, signer's age at time of signing, date of death and age at that time
  • A more detailed highlight about the signer
  • The three to five page biography/character study of the signer including important quotes by or about him as well as artists' sketches of many of the signers' residences
  • Questions for discussion (as well as thought/reflection) which often highlight character qualities
Some things I learned of interest (really too many to name here, but I will recount a few):
  • Many were schooled at home either by parents (often fathers), family, or even themselves.
  • They often entered college as young as thirteen to fifteen years old (Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc)
  • Most were born and raised in America, not Europe
  • Many had as many as ten or more children
  • Many were involved in religious studies and were even preachers
  • When/if the father died while the signer was a young teen, it was usually the young teenage son who became responsible for the provision of the family, not left all on the mother's shoulders as it often is now.
  • Whether poor or rich, they all knew the magnitude of consequences they and their families faced, but still signed wholeheartedly, without regret from themselves or from their family.  (By signing, they were considered traitors by the King of England and faced hanging or beheading.)
As you can tell, I love this book and could go on and on about it.  BUT...I won't.  I will leave you with your appetite whetted for more.

Every American home needs to have this book in their collection.  Even my friends from other nations would greatly benefit by reading about these amazing men and the convictions which directed their thoughts and actions.

So, go to Master Books' website to find out more about this book or even go to or any other site where you purchase books.

Now, I leave you with this word from the Lord through Paul in 1 Timothy 6:12:

"Fight the good fight of the faith."
And like our revolutionary predecessors discovered, the word "fight" in the original Greek language is "agonizomai" which implies our English word "agonize."  These signers truly agonized and fought for the future of this nation we now take for granted.

Even more than that, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ fought and agonized for us so that by faith in Him we would not have to endure the agony which comes with living the eternal consequences of our sin and rejection of Him.

He fought the good fight for us.  

Have faith in Him and fight the good fight for all who you may impact with your life.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.


angela said...

Another good one! You've really found your niche!
Makes me wanna go read it!

misterp said...

God never ceases to amazes me when moments like these come into my life. And I think God puts these moments in our lives to help us remember that we cannot and will not make it through this life on our own. So in all actuality we need to be like bugs and turtles with our feet in the air kicking so that we are reminded of our total dependency on God our Father. misterp

Afirmbeliever said...

You mentioned there was a Family activity guide for this online. I was wondering where you found this and if you had actually used it.

Haelie said...

Angela - thanks so much! :o) Trust me, you really do want to read this one! :o)

MisterP - as always, thanks so much for stopping by faithfully and reading and sharing your thoughts here. So glad to call you friend.

Kelly (Afirmbeliever) - great question! Yes, there is a guide online which is mentioned in the introduction of the book. No, I have not yet had the chance to use it, so I cannot give you feedback. I would have to say it is probably as great as the book is, though. By the way, the author's website for the online companion guide is .

As far as the guide, I just downloaded it and can tell you that it has Coloring Pages (one for each signer), Character Quality/Scripture Memory Cards, Family Fun Quizzes, and an anser key for the quizzes. The guide is in the form of an ebook and is 180 pages. It is regularly $9.95 but is free with the code from the inside of the book. :o)

Hope that helps a bit with your question about the guide.