Tuesday, July 2, 2013

There HAS to be an America / Judy

There is nothing special about this country
Apart from our willingness to stand alone for virtue

       "A real patriot is the fellow who gets a speeding ticket and rejoices that the system works."

        At the time of America's Bi-Centennial in 1976, we were living in Europe as part of the 8th Med Battalion, assigned to Mannheim, Germany. The Fourth of July that year was, appropriately, on a Sunday. Usually, the men wore civilian clothes at church, but that day there had been early-morning parades on post and they all came in their uniforms. The opening song was The Star Spangled Banner, and we stood to sing it in that congregation of servicemen and women. My heart swelled to be there and it was a defining moment of my life.

        Along with our personal love for her, we know America also has a great destiny. God has revealed and repeated over and over again: “For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God.” (Ether 2:10)

        To quote Marion G. Romney: "God gave us victory in the Revolutionary War. We are indebted to him for our nation’s independence. He has prospered us in every righteous endeavor. He established the Constitution of the United States 'by the hands of wise men whom [he] raised up unto this very purpose.' (D&C 101:80)

       "He himself with his Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith to open a new dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ here. He has established his Church here and has sent and is sending representatives thereof into every nook and corner of the land—and as far as possible to all the earth—to declare and teach the laws of Jesus Christ, the God of this land."

        So according to the Book of Mormon, we have both a promise and a curse—be righteous and remain free or become wicked and "be swept off." Knowing this, sometimes it's scary when we see things happening around us. But I have to say I still have faith in the United States of America and in the goodness of her people. And I'm not the only one. I once heard a new citizen from Asia say, "There has to be an America. What would the rest of the world do without her?"

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