Tuesday, November 13, 2012


In honor of Veteran's Day, I'm posting an article that I wrote for the Desert Saints Magazine last year. I hope you enjoy it.

When we talk of freedom, the many wars we’ve suffered through in order to maintain our freedoms generally come to my mind. I ponder gratefully the many men and women who gave their lives so that we can better enjoy ours.

War isn’t new, however. We’ve been fighting for freedom since before the world began. What was the war in heaven all about if not our desire for freedom? We wanted bodies. We wanted to prove ourselves. We wanted the freedom to choose—and like the old adage, “freedom isn’t free,” neither are our choices. Just like in war, our freedom comes with a price.

With my freedom, I want to make choices that bring eternal happiness instead of just momentary pleasure, but sometimes it’s hard. The world today is a treacherous place to live—generally unrighteous—generally unhappy.

Being moral, and keeping the Ten Commandments is no longer considered by the world in general, to be a good thing. Honesty is not “in.” Chastity is old fashioned. Integrity is forgotten. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is almost unheard of by anyone outside of our faith. Using the Lord’s name in vain is common practice and widely accepted, and the mantra currently guiding the world seems to be, “it isn’t illegal if you don’t get caught.”

Satan is working overtime to destroy our freedoms. He never forgets that our unwise choices bind us to him a little at a time.

How then can we be righteous ourselves and raise a righteous generation to follow? How can we make a difference in the rising tide against us? The answer to these questions is almost as old as time itself. The Lord has not left us helpless, but has given us the roadmap to guide us safely home to Him. It’s interesting that this map, intended to keep us safe from the evils of the world, and to help us better enjoy our freedoms, is free, the only price being the surrendering of our “natural man.”

To keep our families and ourselves free from Satan’s influence, we must pray always. We must develop and continually increase our testimonies, we must read the Book of Mormon and our other scriptures, we must attend church regularly, and because we aren’t perfect, we must continually repent and strive to do better. The result of practicing these age-old principals is greater freedom and increased happiness.

We’ve worked hard since the war in heaven, striving to gain or maintain our freedom. Many have paid for this freedom with their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Since freedom isn’t free, and we pay for each choice we make—either by surrendering a part of our freedom and happiness, or by gaining further freedom and happiness—we must think more about those consequences.

Let’s make a difference in the world by making a difference in our families and in ourselves. Let us fight Satan’s war by acting righteously and unfurling the title of liberty in our hearts. We will strive continually to fight Satan’s influence, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.”

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