I know the 4th of July was over a week ago, but I still want to post a "little" something about it, I've just been too busy to do it until now.
I have always appreciated our country and have been grateful to live here, but this is the first year that I feel like I really get it. I feel like I've almost been living off my parents "testimony" of America until this past year and now I have found out a lot of things for myself, done a lot of research, read a lot of books, and developed a new appreciation for this country, our Founding Father's and God.
I am so grateful for this country and for what we stand for (more so what we used to stand for). I know that our Founding Father's were inspired and that God played a role in the Constitution. If you haven't read "The 5,000 Year Leap" you need to read it. It's a great place to start.
I also want to say, without being pushy or sounding haughty in any way, that I really want to encourage you to be more involved politically. I'm not talking debates and all that, I'm merely talking about following what is going on, research, getting your facts straight, developing your own opinion and mainly learning about our Founding Father's and what they wanted for this us & this country. I've said this before but pick 1 thing that you have a passion for and follow it.
There is an amazing talk given by President Ezra Taft Benson. He served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for 8 years (and of course as the Latter-Day Saint prophet). His talk is entitled, "A Witness and a Warning". I have read this a number of times and have gained a lot from his perspective and inspiration. This talk was given back in 1979 and there are some pretty serious warnings in there. I can't help but wonder what he would think of our country now and what he would say.
One of my favorite parts of his talk was towards the end when he said, "We must study the inspired Constitution and become involved in the political process ourselves. I quote the First Presidency statement that was read in sacrament meetings on Sunday, 1 July 1979, 'We encourage all members, all citizens of the nation, to be actively involved in the political process, and to support those measures which will strengthen the community, state and nation- morally, economically, and culturally.'
"I fully believe that we can turn things around in America if we have the determination, the morality, the patriotism, and the spirituality to do so.
"My single-minded concern is for the freedom and welfare of my countrymen and my posterity, the freedom of all men."
I swear I hear the angels sing whenever I read that. It gets me all choked up because I feel so strongly that now is our time to do something and that America can't save herself so it's up to (every single one of) us. It reminds me of something that Elder D. Todd Christofferson said in his talk called, "Come to Zion" when he said, "We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen- Zion will come only as they happen." The same concept goes for America...we can't just sit around, waiting and hoping that things will get better, they will only get better as we do something about it!
Josh and I have been listening to Glenn Beck's radio talk-show for a little over a year now (Josh a little longer than that) and I know his name can be a bit controversial for some people, but I am asking everyone to listen. Listen for 3 weeks so you can get a feel for his type of sarcasm, how he works, the stories and facts that he is talking about before you make up your mind about him.
I have been praying for a long time for our country and recently I have been asking God more specifically about the things that I am hearing and the things that I am reading, and I have been begging for Him to help me know what is right. I have fasted and prayed asking for Him to tell me if I am wrong (and to make me see it because He and I both know I don't want to be wrong). I have had repeated experiences that tell me I am not wrong (I'm not saying that I am an expert or perfect with all my opinions, I am only referring to a few specific things I have focused on lately). And because of those experiences I really feel like this is our time, and we can't just sit back and not get involved because we don't know where to start or we feel overwhelmed, or whatever it is (trust me I still feel that way). So...read that article by President Benson, read "The 5,000 Year Leap", listen or watch Glenn Beck, do your homework, or do whatever it is that helps you get involved.