Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spiritual & Temporal Freedoms

In church today the opening hymn was The Star Spangled Banner and the closing hymn was America the Beautiful. Between speakers, midway through the meeting, the choir sang Praise to the Man, a song unique to the LDS church as it is in honor of the prophet Joseph Smith, who restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. June 27 is the anniversary of his martyrdom. July 4, as everyone knows, is the anniversary of the birth of this great nation, the United States of America. As our thoughts have turned today to reflecting on what both dates mean to us, we rejoice in the freedom and truth that are now ours because great men and women have been willing to fight and die that we might live in freedom and light.

The following words from America the Beautiful remind us that simple men and women who believed they had the God-given right to worship as they pleased and not be subject to tyranny, loved this country, or at least what they knew this country could be, more than they loved themselves:

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Many people persecuted Joseph Smith while he was alive, and many still persecute him now though he’s dead. But many people all over the world feel blessed today because of his sacrifices. As stated in Praise to the Man, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.”

So today we are grateful for those who sacrificed that we might live in this great nation; and we’re grateful for those who sacrificed that we might know the truths of God. According to John 8:32, truth is also freedom. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Look forward to reading it everyday.