Patriotism

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July 2, 2009
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flagsAs individuals, we are citizens of our own respective country, wherever in the world that may be.  A summary of our beliefs toward nation can be stated, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (12th Article of Faith).  While living in our own country and dealing with others as well, we ought to act in accordance with the laws that exist.  A governing power, when applied righteously, is crucial to provide the protection, support, and social stability that are absent in an anarchist state.  For this, “we believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man” (D&C 134:1).

This can be a sensitive issue and there have been those that break laws in the name of religion or those that are oppressed under unjust laws.  To the first, the Lord says, “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land” (D&C 58:21); and to the latter, we are encouraged/commanded to take part in the governing process where we can.  In church, I have been reminded to take part in the national election as a citizen, not as a member of my church.  Taking part in national and local elections means more than merely voting, it means studying the issues, discussing them and making a decision based on my conscience and what I believe will yield the best possible outcome for the community and society.  It is the responsibility of the people to see that they are represented in government.  If they are not, then proper and righteous means must be used to remedy the situation.

I love the country where I live.  I respect the freedom that it ensures to me and others.  I lived in Brazil for two years and I found that the people there also loved their country in a similar way, and I respect that.  Each person should be thankful for their blessings and love their homeland.  We are aware that no government is perfect and that political squabbles can often be a grim shadow over our expectations, but our love translates into a desire to improve our nation, so that our children and grandchildren can experience that same love for their country.

See also: Our Divine Constitution by Ezra Taft Benson; D&C 134

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