Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Patriot's Dream 4/4/2010

A Patriot's Dream 4/4/2010
Weather--Overcast, still cold, warming
Temp-- plus 36 F Wind--calm

Yesterday while looking for something to watch while I did my morning exercise (that is what's so hard about exercise, it is mind-numbingly boring) I came across the archive copy of the 2008 Utah Freedom Festival on BYU TV featuring Glenn Beck as the main speaker. I WAS BLOWN AWAY.

Not so much by the program, although that was terrific and I follow Glenn Beck (although I think the few times I have listened to his radio show on the internet it was too silly for me), I did not realize how I would be effected by the flag . . . and the music . . . and the whole idea of people getting together to celebrate their freedom . . . . and the whole idea of home. I stood there for several minutes, tears running down my face and just felt . . . just felt home . . . just longed for home.

I will apologize to my Russian friends right now for what I am about to say and hope they will forgive me for my open love for my home. Please forgive me. I love you. I love you collectively. I love you individually as we have become acquainted and with some have become close. I love you. I have loved being here with you.  I have loved my experiences here and will treasure the memories of my time here with you and my privilege to serve here, but this is not home.

I don't know if you have ever lived elsewhere and longed to be back in Russia, I don't know if you have ever felt a longing for home no matter where home is, but I have and I do, and that 20 minutes or so of looking at home stirred in me feelings that I have put away somewhere for the last 22 months. I cannot afford to dwell on them and will put them back away for another 4 weeks, but for those few minutes they were all-consuming.

I long to be where I have choices, almost unlimited choices. I long to be where birth is less of an issue than talent. Where who I know is less important than what I know. I long to be where freedom to choose is still the prime directive and where I can be, do, go, get, give, run, stand, lay, look, picture, serve, laugh, cry, love, be loved, and just be, without fear.

Some will say that America is not what it used to be or that it never was what it was purported to be or that it is all an illusion. Well, some of that may have a kernel of truth, and for some it may not have been true at all. But for me is was and still is. My ancestors read the signs that "Irish need not apply". My ancestors were driven from Kirtland, Nauvoo, Independence, Spring Hill, Haun's Mill, Far West, but over time truth, honesty, law, and justice have caught up with all of us and the wrongs get righted and the wounded get healed, and the evil punish themselves.

America is not perfect. America is not Zion (yet). America has lost something precious over the last two years, but with whatever faults exists, America is not only my home, it is the greatest, most generous, most free place I know of. People are still coming over, under, and around our borders to get into America for a very good reason. America is not perfect, but it is way above whatever is in second place.

One of the greatest things about America is the right to make changes in it. I strongly object to some of the changes that have been made recently and I glory in the opportunity to change it back. Some of those who voted for those changes have had second thoughts; and even repented. That is what America is for me . . . an opportunity to make it better. Heavenly Father protected it while it was growing and as long as the majority of us honored Him He blessed it. I am afraid He has withdrawn somewhat from it and I for one am going to try to help my fellow Americans show Him that most of us still honor Him.

I love the people I've met in Russia and I will always love them. They are my friends and my brothers and sisters. We are more alike than we are different and that gives me hope for the future. Bloom where you are planted. God bless you my friends.  God WILL bless you my friends as you love and serve Him. Love one another and keep the faith. Hold one another up until the Savior comes. I love you . . . I'm just ready to go home.

What a country.

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