Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Home of the Brave

As Independence Day nears and the recent story I heard on Sunday, I got to thinking about real freedom and bravery. We live in the land of the free and home of the brave, with so many examples of that exact phrase. 
The pilgrims originally came to the colonies for religious freedom. It was the first reason for the USA to be established. Let's talk about what real freedom and agency means. Its not the absence of rules but the freedom to be held accountable for your OWN actions, not having to live as some ruler dictates. Freedom is not free, however, and there has to be rules to KEEP freedom for all. Agency is the gift and privilege from God to choose for ourselves. We are free to choose liberty and eternal life. We, however, are not free to choose the consequences of our choices. We were put here to make the conscious decision to choose to follow the true path to freedom our Heavenly Father laid out for us, or we choose to bind ourselves and choose unhappiness.
Here is a quote from lds.org "We do not believe in a deterministic God—that is, one who determines in advance the eventual fate of His children. Rather, we believe in a God who has perfect foreknowledge of the choices His children will make. He may use this foreknowledge to guide us or even to warn us, but He does not use it to preempt our agency. He allows us to become what we truly desire to become."

Conditions Required for Agency

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that agency requires four conditions:
  1. 1. 
    Laws ordained by an omnipotent power must exist, laws we can either obey or disobey.
  2. 2. 
    There must be opposites—good and evil, right and wrong.
  3. 3. 
    We must have knowledge of good and evil; we must know the difference between the opposites.
  4. 4. 
    We must possess an unfettered power of choice. 2
Freedom is the ability to have self- reliance, and our choices will either make us free or bound. We should learn from our history. The only time we will have true peace and freedom is when we choose to follow the path laid out for us. 

Bravery: I heard the most amazing story from the people themselves on Sunday. A man overcame his sexual addiction by seeking help. He had been subjected to pornography at the young age of 9 and it developed since then. He married and thought it would stop after marriage, but it didn't. He had multiple affairs and hurt his family. He was excommunicated, but decided he needed to become who God wanted and he knew he needed to become. He went to someone in the church to help him (a specialist) and did what he needed to to get re-baptized. Although, the biggest example of bravery was his wife. She stuck by him and forgave him, even after ALL that!! Its such an amazing story of bravery of overcoming and the bravery of forgiveness. It got me thinking of what true bravery is.
-Giving up what you want right now for what matters most.
-Our soldiers and their families
-Standing up for what is morally right even when its not popular, or when people call you a "hater" for it. 
-Speaking the truth despite threats and hate
-Caring more about what God thinks than man
-Choosing the harder path based on faith instead of the easier path where the world calls you
-Believing in faith instead of so called "evidence"
-Facing death for your family and beliefs.
-Facing your weaknesses
-Facing illness with optimism and joy (like my wonderful Gammie did before she passed away)

It is time to be free and to stand for what is good and what is true. Have a wonderful Independence Day! I have lots of blogging to do about my travels and move and all these changes this year @_@ It has been a year of faith and changes. I hope that I continue to be brave and live by faith. 


  1. I have a question. In church we'd often be told that some things would be revealed at a latter time.

    Couldn't god then provide those answers through science? Right now? Just a thought.

    1. God isn't going to give us things we aren't ready for. There are things we won't know in this life. He does work through science. My brother works through science AND religion. God provides answers when we are humble and ask with a sincere heart. We also have to have the faith. Its not faith AFTER a miracle, but before. ^^ Its harder to believe first then see, but that is part of our test here on Earth. Good question.

    2. Oops, I commented on the journal in general instead of in response to you, which is what I meant to do! XD See below my thoughts!

    3. Totally never saw tbis and I'm not even sure what's possessing me to answer these thoughts now.

      What I had been referring to is the fact that many people cling to beliefs, despite scientific evidence. Why is that? People have worked long, hard hours, with multiple workthroughs to make sure their findings are valid and proveable.

      But if they counter a belief, some will dismiss all that work. It doesn't sit well with me that, supposedly we've been given intelligence and the ability to work out problems, only to be told to just trust god, or the prophet.

      But, since people like to assume what I mean, and give me long responses based on their assumptions rather than actually waiting for me to reply, I'm not sure why I typed this out.

      Maybe I feel foolish that I removed you both becauseI was angry and upset at some facebook post you posted Savannah, and I was worried what would happen if I deleted just you and not lauren.

      Cowardly, sure, I've never been good at confrontation and speaking my mind, and that's no excuse.

      I was grieving, I watched a three year ol horse suffer and die the day I deleted you both.

      But I felt like my opinions no longer mattered because I'm no longer a member.

      I really don't know why I'm here. I do have things to apologize for, but I was hurt too.

  2. I'm not sure I understand Leah's question? Like, what does it mean for God to provide answers through science right now? To me, science is the act of studying the physical things God's created, whether or not you believe in God - a passionate love for, analysis of and search for explanations about how everything works, physically speaking. Science is an intense, arduous process. You've gotta work and work and work and theorized and experiment and study and research and record your findings and experiment again.

    I always think of Louis Pasteur and how he had to work so hard to figure out the whole mystery of why, though their elemental composition was identical, synthetic tartaric acid crystals and genuine tartaric acid crystals rotated polarized light differently. It had been a long- standing scientific mystery, but Pasteur solved it. Yanush Korchak (who wrote a book about him) described Pasteur's process like this - "The scientist searches, he makes mistakes; begins and stops, leaves and comes back, makes mistakes again and corrects them." And that's the same as what people do when searching for spiritual answers.

    With spiritual stuff and scientific stuff both, you don't get answers until the right combination of knowledge, experimentation, circumstance, and inspiration happens. Though a religious/spiritual man, Pasteur didn't say after a certain point, "I've worked hard enough at finding answers, I deserve to know now, make it so, oh Lord." He had to meticulously separate the different crystals to examine and identify the differences. Having not only been willing to work toward the answer, but also having DONE work - not just any work, but the right work that was applicable and correct and led to new discoveries, which is what distinguishes him from other great scientists who worked on that mystery but never solved it - is what made him "ready."

  3. Something being revealed later as opposed to now isn't, like, some sort of question of fickleness, keeping people in the dark, or vague disinclination on God's part. In the Book of Mormon - which I know Leah doesn't believe in, but hopefully you'll understand it's a valid source because I'm just trying to represent my own beliefs - Er, what was I saying? Oh yeah, lol. In the BoM Jacob says how at some points people asked for knowledge they weren't ready for, and they DID get it - but they didn't understand it, weren't ready for it, and it just turned into stumbling blocks they all tripped over and forgot the plain things they used to understand, because they were "looking beyond the mark." And then they lost the foundation of stone they HAD been standing on. Whereas if they'd kept their stone foundation and worked and sought answers without demanding shortcuts, they wouldn't have fallen into bondage.

    Despite what a lot of people think, the LDS Church as a religion intrinsically encourages answer-seeking and study. It's only when people get complacent with the idea that they can "eyeball" the gospel rather than measuring precisely do they fall into the ignorant (and lazy) attitude that having faith means abandoning curiosity.

    So like, revealed later vs revealed now through science, I kind of don't get it? Aren't both sort of a question of how much people in general and/or individuals are willing to seek knowledge and inspiration in order to get answers?

    Science is funny. Everything we think we know is just a question of what hasn't been disproved yet. So many variables can occur in studies that anyone who already has an opinion one way or the other - as in the question of homosexuality, which I get the idea you're referring to, Leah? - will cite those variables in conjunction with preconceived notions as reasons why the opposing side's studies aren't valid. I personally think both sides get pretty dumb and derogatory that way, really snide, angry and dismissive, and that doesn't sit well with me in either direction.

    1. Thank you for explaining well, Lauren ^^ I'm never good at explaining, but my heart is still there, heh. Louis Pasteur has an awesome story. Was it Einstein that said science actually brought him closer to God? I forget which scientist, but I'll have to look it up ^^;

    2. Oops, that was also Louis Pasteur ^^ Not Einstien