September 12, 2011

A Renewed Zest for God and Country!

Yesterday was a hard day.  I have not been doing very well since I came down to this dose of anti-depressants.  But that is a topic for another day.

As Rob and I lay in bed yesterday morning we were discussing the meaning behind the day.  I told him that I didn't really feel like I had been personally affected (other than economically) by the events of 9/11. "I just feel so detached from it all,"  I said.

Yeah...that lasted a whole 20 minutes.

Shorty after I got out of bed, I found a brand new flag, on my dresser, that I had claimed at a "clean out granny's house (because she lives in a rest home and has WAY too much stuff she will never use again)" party, that I had yet to find storage for (these many months later).

I got a grand idea...

"We should hang this up today," I said to Rob.  "Okay," was his response.  And we set to it.
 (Apparently the union should be on the left side, as viewed from the was our first time, we will get it right next time.
Oh...and ignore the messy bookshelf.  I blame it on my children entirely.)

Little did I know that displaying the starts and stripes in my own home, amidst a frenzy of questions from my ever curious children, would invoke such patriotism, compassion and sorrow in my heart.

I bawled as I explained what happened on that horrific day 10 years ago, I bawled as my eldest and I talked of the heroic acts of the firefighters, police officers, civilians, and in the most detail, the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who died trying to save the lives of others.  I bawled as we drove to church and were assaulted by these two breathtaking sights.

  (our local fire department paying tribute)
(okay...ignore the bugs on my windshield and focus on the rows and rows of flags that represented each person who lost their life that fateful day)

And I bawled throughout the entire 2 hour area conference broadcast (Mormon lingo--no worries if you don't understand--liken it to a sermon that's broadcast over satellite for a large group of people (this one was for all WA and AK LDS church members)).
When my thought finally calmed, they settled where they always seem to settle....within myself...forever engaging, reflecting, and analyzing my inner most feelings in an attempt to change make them better.

Here are some of the thoughts I had swirling deep down.

It's so easy to blame al-Qaeda for our counties sorrow.  Osama Bin Laden and particularly those 19 members who participated in the hijackings.  It's so easy to hate judge rejoice in their self-inflicted demise.  (and I'm not saying they didn't deserve it....just hear me out).

And yet, as we focus on them...blame "it all" on them, we lose sight of what WE are doing to cause pain, sorrow, and destruction to this great county of ours and it's inhabitants.

Things like...


A general LACK of LOVE, COMPASSION and CARE for the WELL BEING of others.
We are all guilty of one or more of these things at one point in time, or perhaps at every point in time, and yet it's so much easier to place the blame of corruption elsewhere.

It's my belief that these UNGODLY and UNCHRIST-LIKE behaviors are at the ROOT of our nations demise.  We are slowly destroying ourselves from the inside out, not being destroyed from the outside in...which is a common misconception.

(if you haven't seen this...I highly recommend it)

As I continued to think about this today, I started searching for quotes...brilliant words from those who have come before me.  Through various sources, I came up with these.  (I added the underlinings)

"You have the highest of human trusts committed to your care. Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you, as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race. May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed, and enable you, with pure hearts, and pure hands, and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to your keeping."   --Andrew Jackson (former US president)
And a few words from the famous French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, from back in 1831:
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Jerreld L. Newquist, comp., Prophets, Principles and National Survival, Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1967, p. 60.)

And over 2,500 years ago, after seeing a vision of our beloved county, the prophet Lehi said:
"Wherefore, this land (America)  is consecrated unto him who He shall bring.  And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever...
...if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever."

And Lehi's warning...
"But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord...
...if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Isreal, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.  Yeah, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten. (2 Nephi 1:7,10-11)

For family night tonight, we talked to our boys about God and country and how the two are divinely tied.  We talked about how our country was founded on God and will only prosper as long as it continues to be so.

I read this to them (yep...another quote):

"This is the time for you to be bold enough to stand up for what you believe, to let the world know that God still blesses this great land of America—if we will live righteously, according to that which he has commanded." (found in this fantastic article God's Hand in the Founding of America--adapted from an address given by Elder L. Tom Perry in 1976)

After thinking about all of this for the last two days, I must say that my zest for My Country and My God has been reborn.  Patriotism at it's finest.

I want to live my life more worthily, to be more Christ-like and to strive to share that zest of righteousness with others.

I, for one, never want to see our county fall...and will do all that I can, in my power, to keep it from happening.  
GOD BLESS THE USA!  And he DOES!  He really DOES!

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Andrea said...

Very nicely said :)

Lisa Merkley said...

I'm so glad you took a picture of the fire trucks and their ladders extended. I bawled as we drove by, too and wished that I had my camera!

Celeste said...

Sometimes my patriotism is severely lacking. I loved this post! I loved the quotes and the videos! I forgot family home yesterday!!! I will do it late but I'm using your idea ;) Thank you for the inspiration!

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