Thursday, October 22, 2009

Acknowledge God and Pray for His Blessing

“It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions, in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action.

“And whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before him and to pray for his mercy…that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reestablishment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide extent of our country; that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence.”

--Abraham Lincoln

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Today, we remember those that willingly laid down their lives for their friends, their nation, and freedom.  Because of their selflessness and love of America, these individuals gave their all for the benefit of those they knew, but also those they never knew.  

Dallin H. Oaks recently said, “We live in a time when sacrifice is definitely out of fashion, when the outside forces that taught our ancestors the need for unselfish cooperative service have diminished.  Someone has called this the “me” generation—a selfish time when everyone seems to be asking, what’s in it for me?” 

Today we celebrate those that didn’t believe that sacrifice was out of fashion.  We celebrate and remember those that freely served not only our nation, but the nations of the world.  They fought and died in order that all could enjoy the divinely given truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 They refused to be labeled one of the “me” generation, because they believed in the importance of pursuing the greater good, the good of all mankind.

 They have set an example for us to follow.

 Memorial Day must be more than the day that friends and family get together for a barbeque.  It must be more than the day the community pool opens or the day when summer break begins.

 Memorial Day must be a day when we remember those that freely gave their lives for this great nation.  It must be a day that inspires us to follow their example in sacrificing ourselves to ensure our freedom and freedom for all.

 Ezra Taft Benson declared, “I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is from bombs or guided missiles.  I do not think our civilization will die that way.  I think it will die when we no longer care—when the spiritual forces that make us wish to be right and noble die in the hearts of men…If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the National Anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers—normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free.

 “Our complacency as a nation is shocking—yes, almost unbelievable...We live in the soft present and feel the future is secure…We are blind to the hard fact that nations usually sow the seeds of their own destruction while enjoying unprecedented prosperity…Today as never before, America has need for men and women who possess the moral strength and courage of our forefathers—modern-day patriots, with pride in our country and faith in freedom.”

 In memory of those that have given their lives for America, we need to and can do more than we are doing.

 We need to study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and boldly defend its principles. 

We need to be actively involved in our communities and exercise our right to vote by electing men and women into office that uphold the ideals of freedom for all people.

 But perhaps most important is we need to turn our heads to heaven and remember Him who gave us all that we have.  As we remember God in words and actions, He will remember and prosper America.

 I love our country and pray God will continue to bless America as we follow the example of America’s patriots.