there’ll be lots of talk of freedom this weekend, lots of pomp and circumstance about our country and fireworks to commemorate the sacrifice and brilliance of the founding fathers who decided that freedom meant being able to govern themselves and make their own decisions.

i wonder how often we recognize that that–the agency that we all have to make our choices–is the greatest gift that we have ever been given. because of it, we are free.

i am grateful for my freedom.

i can vote for whomever i wish and no one has to know about it but me.

i can educate myself, exercise my reason, and develop my character.

i can pursue my dreams, however misguided or impossible they may seem to others.

i can earn a living, however meager it may be right now, through my own effort rather than being dependent on someone else.

but most importantly, and the greatest gift i have in my life, i can choose to obey. this may strike you as strange. it may even offend a few of you. but i truly believe that the gift that i have to know the plan of happiness and to follow it joyfully–even when it may seem from the outside to be restricting me–frees me.

2 Ne 2:26-27: And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
i know it’s true. and i am grateful for it.
i am grateful for all of my freedoms. it’s a time to think about them, i believe. i didn’t want to let this time pass by without paying homage to the greatest gifts in my life, that allow me to be all of who i am and to do what i do.
i wouldn’t be me without them.

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