Article of Faith 12

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

It’s hard to believe that I’m at the tail end of memorizing the Articles of Faith. Of course, I have one enormous hurdle left (infamous number 13). It’s been a pleasurable trip full of insights and hidden gems. I’m repeatedly surprised that what comes to mind when I write these posts very rarely, at least on the surface, has much to do with the Article of Faith itself. I suppose that’s the nature of the spirit though; you place yourself in positions and places where the spirit can speak, and then you get the information and thoughts that you need for that moment.

I’ve been thinking lately what my next set of scriptures should be, and I’m thinking that I want to memorize The Family: A Proclamation to the World. In some ways, I think that may be the most important document the world has seen in the last 15 years. Even if it is not recognized as such now, it will be. I’m also eager to memorize The Living Christ, another most important document.

But back to the Article of Faith….

Blogging buddy MarlaJayne posted a blog recently about the Statue of Liberty, and I commented there that I have a deep love for the Statue both for its physical beauty, but mostly for the principles she represents. I’ve often wondered how difficult it must have been for Joseph Smith to write this Article of Faith in light of the series of abuses he and other members of the Church had faced in Kirtland, Missouri, Nauvoo, and, after his death, beyond. It’s certainly heroic that he had a passion for this nation when this nation had none for him.

I was blessed to have a father serve in the military. I’m proud to be married to an ex-military woman as well. And there are many others whom I associate with who bring out the richness of my love for this country. But the person and experience that most singularly defines when I started to feel a true passion for this country was seeing my mother walk the length of the Vietnam War Memorial.

I remember how bright and warm it was that August day. Like most kids, I ran and played in front of the Wall and across the Mall in general as we took in the memorials of our nations capital. But I remember looking back at one point, and seeing my mother weeping as she walked the expansive granite face. Thousands of names, and I felt like she knew each one deeply. Personally.

And I wanted to know what she knew.

That was almost 20 years ago now. A lifetime. In some ways, I think I know what she knew then, but my Wall is different from hers. While I will always respect and admire the sacrifices made by those men and women through out history, my Wall is in New York. My Wall is in Iraq and Germany. And Brazil.

My Wall is a hope for a good today and a better tomorrow. A joyful and happy place where I don’t fear for my children. My Wall.

Deeply. Personally.

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