Tomorrow is the 4th of July. I am so grateful for this wonderful country that we live in and the freedoms that we still have. Over the years I have studied much about the founding of America, about the wars that we have had over the years with other countries as well as within our own country, and about some of the individual people and their reasons for coming and settling this country. I have also studied the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, all of which I believe are inspired documents.

Freedom is an interesting thing. Before the creation of America, there were countries that granted their people some freedoms, but restricted others. America was the first country in which most of the people were free, and in which freedom was actually granted to all people through the constitution, however, some of those freedoms had to be reexamined and fought for again internally so that all could actually be free. I feel that the documents were more perfect (although not completely perfect) than the people, as is still the case today. I also find it interesting how the original writers were wise enough to understand that they were not perfect and that times change. That there needed to be the ability to add to or amend the constitution as time went on. The Bill of Rights however being unchanged, granting certain inalienable rights to all of us as citizens.

As I ponder on Freedom, my mind also ponders on Agency. The ability that God has given us to choose for ourselves how we will live our lives. Along with agency comes accountability. God originally gave us commandments and instructions on how to best live our lives, how to find true happiness and joy in life, and how to return to Him. But He doesn’t and never will force us to do any of those things. We can choose whatever path we want to follow. But we have to be accountable for our actions. Every action has a consequence, good or bad, that’s how life is set up. I am grateful God created cause and effect in nature so that we could better understand cause and effect with our choices. Gravity is a law that cannot simply be ignored or done away with because we don’t want to agree with it or deal with it today. Hot is a part of nature that cannot be ignored. You cannot touch a hot stove and decide you’d rather it not burn you. There are all sorts of nature consequences that cannot be avoided simply because we don’t want to deal with them. Likewise, there is a good way to live our lives, with good consequences, and a not-so-great way to live our lives, with consequences that we may not really want to deal with but will always come eventually.

Although our Founding Fathers were not perfect, as none of us are, they created inspired documents that when lived by, creates the best possible outcome for happiness and success for individuals, as well as for the country as a whole. I am grateful for those in our checks and balances system of government who have read these documents, who understand them, who value freedom, and who aren’t afraid to uphold and amend as needed to maintain freedom. I am also grateful for the men and women who have offered their lives in the defense of our freedoms near and far. Freedom is a fragile thing that needs to be attended to regularly and protected, not only by those in political office, or fighting on the front lines, but by everyday people in our homes, our communities, our social media platforms, everywhere. We need to stand up and be a force for good. I love The United States of America, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to live here. I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

Freedom I love this flag. Click to see the video. Thank you Spencer Murray for this awesome video!

I wasn’t sure what to write about today, but being Independence Day, I decided on Freedom. During Church today we had some great testimonies about freedom, but they were expressed from service men. People who had served our country, one in particular who has been deployed several times, and seen the horrific nature of war, and helped those injured in our military, who fought for me, who fought for you, who fought for freedom. Freedom takes on a whole new meaning when we understand the cost, on a personal level and how fragile it is.

I have been reading the constitution of the United States recently, and I am in awe at how well thought out this document is. The writers of the Constitution knew they were not perfect, knew they could never think of every contingency, so they allowed for updates and changes to be made. But the basic Constitution and Bill of Rights, I believe, is one of the most perfect documents that has ever been written by man. I believe they were inspired by God. There is a lot of misinformation going on in the media right now. I believe the people feeding our nation this misinformation may have read it enough to twist it, but the people receiving the misinformation and spreading it can not have ever studied it, otherwise they would be able to see through the lies, and therein lies the reason why our freedom is so fragile and is under attack today.

So, what are my thoughts on my country, on my freedoms? I believe America is the greatest nation on earth. I don’t believe our people are better than any other people on earth, but I believe that the United States is the only country on earth that has (or has had) true freedom. I agree with those who say that if America falls, there will be nowhere left on earth to flee for safety from tyranny. I believe in the Constitution, and that if followed, it allows all people, regardless of race, color or creed, the basics of human rights and dignity, and the freedom beyond that to either make something of their life or not. It places on the people the consequences of their own actions rather than imposing consequences from bad government decisions, or radical leaders who are only invested in their own personal interests. I believe it is up to each generation to uphold and sustain those freedoms by vote, and the right to peaceful protest, when necessary. But I do not believe that lawless riots, harming people or their businesses, or hate and censorship is the way to change laws or influence government leaders. I also believe that the first and second amendments should never be infringed upon, in any way, and that these are rights basic to a government for the people and by the people. I love my country, I love my freedoms. I will stand and defend them. Will you?