Monday, October 26, 2009

Standing Up for Freedom

Most people desire to be free from fear or want, and they wish for freedom of speech and belief. To me freedom means a person has the ability to act according to his or her own will. It also suggests that I can stand up for liberty. The fight between good and evil on earth will never end, but here in the United States of America I have the right for freedom.

The war between good and evil started in our pre-existence, our life with God before we were born. The scriptures are full of events concerning noble, righteous deeds. There are also many examples of wicked, malicious men, as well as decent, respectable men. My hero is Moroni, a strong and mighty man in the Book of Mormon, who rallied his people to defend their religion. He sought after the glory of God, and the welfare of his country. Moroni stood up and fought for liberty and the freedom of his country.

In 1626, some of my courageous ancestors boarded the Mayflower and left the old world behind for a new land where they could worship God after the dictates of their own hearts. A hundred-fifty years later, their children fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War. What they did for us was not without cost. Thousands of people gave their lives for this country because they wanted the right to choose. It is my belief that you are only free if you have choices. Those people didn't want a king. Instead, they wanted new laws. Just like Moroni, they wanted liberty.

It makes me angry to see so many people sit back and take what they have for granted. It's almost as though they don't want independence. Maybe they are afraid of liberty, because having freedom means responsibility. Many people fail to vote, and they don't take an interest in their community or the things going on around them. They only live life for what it can do for them, giving little of themselves or their time. I believe that everyone owes it to those in upcoming generations to give back something so that freedom carries on to the next generation.

I'm grateful for the privilege of citizenship in this great country. Here I have the power to make decisions without constraint. Because of my ancestors and millions of other people, I can and do vote for those leaders that I feel will lead our country down the correct path so that everyone living in the United States has the right for freedom.

I Won

I'm still in shock, but really excited.

Valor Publishing Group wrote -- "The Winner of the "Cry for Freedom" Contest is Connie Hall, "Standing Up for Freedom". Connie has won dinner with Mark L. Shurtleff at the Market Street Grill and a free copy of "Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story".

To enter, Connie and many others submitted 600-word essays on the concept of Freedom. We were very pleased with the number of entries in addition to the many different viewpoints on what freedom meant to so many people. We thank each of you for entering the contest. The top three entries were only one point apart, so congratulations to all of you for a job well done.

Connie will be reading her winning essay aloud at Mark's Book Launch Party on November 3, 2009 at Barnes & Noble at The Gateway in Salt Lake City."

I, like so many other writers, didn't believe in myself. I didn't think my essay was good enough. I had a real battle with myself, and almost didn't submit it. The last thing I expected in my inbox last week was an announcement from anyone telling me I had won something. It was a pleasant surprise, and it taught me that I shouldn't underestimate myself.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I’m sorry that I’ve haven’t written anything for the past month because life has been crazy. There have been some good moments and some not so good times.

My mother passed away on the evening of September 22. During the month of May, I wrote several tributes to her. We had to wait for more than a week to hold her funeral services – I have a brother who is a long-haul truck driver and he was about as far away as he could have been.

We’ve had lots of company this past month. Some friends from Boise visited with us for a couple of days prior to their going to the MTC before leaving to go to Nauvoo on a mission. My son and his family (6 children) came to stay with us prior to my mom’s funeral for about 5 days. This past weekend a friend from high school who now lives in Oregon came to visit for 3 days. I can’t remember the last time I had so much company.

I’ve also been away for a couple of days. My youngest sister and I drove my brother to Nevada so he could pick up a truck and get back to work.

I promise to get back to writing on this blog right away.