Monday, July 05, 2010
What freedom means to me...
F..............family. I am thankful to live in a country where I can have as many children as I want and a place where it is just as exciting and wonderful to have a girl as it is to have a boy (whew...it's a good thing).
R.............religion. The whole reason why our country was founded....religious freedom. My dad just sent me an experience he had just recently with a man from the Middle East who had recently been converted from Muslim to Christian (it is an incredible story) and then after a dream, he came to the U.S. where he was told that there was even more. Miraculously, he came here and was taught the gospel and baptized within a 2 week period. He has now left America and is back home where he could be killed for not only being a Mormon but for just being a Christian. After hearing of this story, I was very humbled by how much I take for granted. How very grateful I am to worship how, where, or what I may.
E..............expression. Although I am absolutely disgusted by the horrible slander that goes on all around us by and about politicians, I am grateful for the freedom we have to hold our own political views and to be able to express them aloud. I believe that with this freedom there is also a great responsibility that each of us have to not abuse such a right.
E..............education. When I was a tutor at BYU-Idaho, I tutored a boy who was from Albania. He was just completely blown away by the fact that we could choose whatever classes we wanted to and that our government didn't tell us what our major would be. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have such a freedom taken away. One of my favorite books these days is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. It is about a man who goes over to Pakistan and builds girls schools. By doing so, he is fighting terrorism one school at a time. (It is an INCREDIBLE story and an amazing thing that he is doing...you'll have to read the book). I believe that education truly is one of the greatest keys to freedom.
D..............democracy. I believe that our country was founded by men who not only were good, God-fearing men, but who also were divinely appointed to fulfill such noble tasks. I believe that they were led by that same God who led the children of Israel out of Egypt and Lehi and his family across the sea to the promised land. The democracy that they built up and organized was one founded upon truth and revelation. How blessed we are to be able to defend and uphold such inspired documents as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Although some may have forgotten, there are still many who stand by the motto that our democracy was built upon..."in God we trust"
O.............optimism. Two of my favorite books are The Hiding Place ( I just reread it last week and fell in love with it all over again) and Man's Search for Meaning. In both books, I have learned that although you may be in the worst of circumstances and live in a day where corruption and evil are abounding, one can still find freedom within as they look optimistically to the future. Although we may live in a free country, there are plenty of people who are confined and imprisoned within their own cells of addiction, fear, hatred, and pride. It is in optimism, hope, love, and faith that we can find freedom in whatever circumstance we are in.
M............mankind. Okay, this may be a touchy subject...sorry. It is not that I don't think that there should not be any rules or regulations in regard to immigration, but....I do feel like there is a lot of hostility and injustice towards other religions and ethnicities based upon the acts of a minority, and sometimes a majority, of those groups. Yesterday I read the most awesome quote by President Howard W. Hunter. He said, "All men are invited to come unto Christ and all are alike unto him. Race makes no difference; color makes no difference; nationality makes no difference...No nation or people or individual could expect to be favored above another...We need to discover the supreme truth that indeed our Father is no respector of persons. Sometimes we unduly offend brothers and sisters of other nations by assigning exlusiveness to one nationality of people over another....words from the lips of the Master know no national boundaries; they are not limited to any race or culture." If He knows no national boundaries then why should we be so stingy with the freedoms that we enjoy? Okay, I said it. Please don't write hateful comments to me. :)
From every mountain side.....let FREEDOM ring!!!!
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