Saturday, July 10, 2010

One Nation Under God

This past fourth of July, I truly didn't care about the food, the fireworks, or even the fun... Instead I really pondered the history of America, the destiny of America, where it was back on the historical day of July 4th 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was born. America was truly born. The sacrifices made to create equality and freedom, is still hard for me to fully comprehend no matter how much I study it.

Honestly, when I was a kid, I thought the patriotic songs were sometimes annoying and some of the words puzzled me. But as I matured and of course, realized the blessing of living in this nation, not just the songs have a whole new meaning to me, but simply being an American has a whole new meaning to me. And I'm so very grateful for my Great Great Grandmother not only for coming to America, but for converting to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For if it wasn't for her my mother and I may have not had the great privilege to be born in this country and most importantly to be born into the gospel as well. Here is the amazing story written by my mother:

Danish Great Grandma, Importance of Temples

It is the year 1880 in the town of Odense, Denmark. A young mother of four is grieving the sudden death of her husband. He had been a tailor and sewed beautiful suits for rich people, but now she had to continue the business without him. Johanna Rasmina Margretha Madsen, my great Grandmother, deeply missed her dear husband.

One night, after the children were in bed, Johanna was walking in the rock garden they had made together behind their home. She was distraught and could not be consoled. Suddenly she looked up and saw her husband in a vision. He was wearing a white robe and stood 2 feet off the ground. “Johanna, do not weep for me,” he said. “I am happy and you must be happy too. You must watch and wait, and someday you will learn of a way we can be together forever, but I warn you, do not let it pass you by.” She wiped her eyes and turned to see him once more but he was gone. This helped her so much and gave her the comfort she needed.

Years later, Johanna was riding a train returning from a neighboring city. She asked the passenger next to her where he was from, since she could tell he was a foreigner. He told her he was from America and was returning to Odense to look up his relatives. She said she had a brother in America and opened a locket from around her neck and showed him a picture of herself and her brother when they were children. He recognized himself as a boy! They cried and embraced as they realized they were brother and sister and others on the train were crying too, it was so sweet.

They returned to her home and he met her four children and then retired to bed. But her brother said a special prayer before he slept. He asked God to help him know what to say to his sister, for he was now a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and he knew it would be nearly impossible to get her to leave her Lutheran Church.

In the morning, when breakfast was done and things settled down, he began to talk to Johanna. He felt inspired to talk to her about temples and how you can be sealed together with your spouse and children and be sealed as a family forever.

Johanna immediately remembered the warning from her late husband all those years before. He had told her to watch and wait, and a way would come where they could be together forever. Johanna wanted to be baptized.

When her Mother and friends heard about this they all told her not to join that “new” religion! They threatened to disown her if she did. But Johanna was determined and did join the church. She was shunned for doing so. After enough money was saved, she and three others came to the United States on a boat in 1916. She moved to Mount Pleasant, Utah. This brave woman whose fondest desire was to be with her husband and family in the eternities, is why I (my mother) stand here today, the fifth generation belonging to this church.

In conclusion, I will continue to study the true American history and teach it to my children, and never take freedom for granted. Especially the freedom of religion. I am also grateful for the bravery of Glenn Beck. I think he is an amazing person and truly an American hero. He has contributed to a large awakening of our nation to not only reveal the facts and truths of our Founding Fathers and Country, but MOST importantly he has awakened people to remember this nation was created because of the reliance and belief in God. And as we read many stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon, we see that when the people forget their God, there is no peace and no prosperity. But when we do fear God and live for God we are blessed and will have prosperity. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, I love all of those who have sacrificed all for this sacred country. This was the first 4th of July my husband was home since we've been married and it was soo nice to be together with our daughter. I cherish every single thing in my life and living for God and my family is all that matters to me. Happy Birthday America! God bless our country and our troops!


Ange said...

That was beautiful. I've heard that story many times but I really enjoyed reading it. You said your mother wrote that? It was beautiful. So grateful for our heritage!

Sher said...

thanks! yes my mom wrote that, she's really good at writing family stories.

Dolly said...

I loved reading your amazing family history story-and believe every word. Thanks for writing this all down for the world to read!

Sher said...

thanks so much dolly!

Steve and Donna said...

You don't know me but what caught my attention was you saying I'm a strong LDS member and then read your Great's story- I'm also a convert so I appreciated her courage.

Sher said...

Thank you Donna! I would love to hear your conversion story! I love how you have that primary song on your blog. I looove primary songs they are so special to me.

Four Bresees said...

Keira is such a doll! She's getting so old now. Hope you guys are doing well :)