Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!
July 4, 2014
By Cesar Carreon
The French Revolution ideal and the current motto in different countries around the world are these three simple words: liberty, equality and fraternity. The three of them are woven into the Christian ideal of a society that is governed by the golden rule and that lives according to the great commandment. Freedom to make choices, equal opportunities and the pure love of Christ, fraternity.
History sometimes shows us a battle between the foot of the oppressor and the rights of the oppressed, where it is difficult to know who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys.” This battle may seem long and endless; and indeed life can become, too, one eternal round of despair, loneliness, darkness and anguish, where no one seems to hear the voice of the suffering and the few who listen can not do anything about it.
But in this battle that is life -and humanity- there is yet hope: hope for a better world, where there is no hatred or prejudice, where everyone enjoys the same rights and where the human race can finally live in brotherhood, fulfilling the measure of its creation. But it is an ideal that can only be achieved when a society embraces these principles of liberty, equality and love.
When we speak of freedom we might think of big wars for the independence of a country or to overthrow an authoritarian government, and often we will be right to remember these things. These wars were also fought for freedom. But there is another kind of freedom, one that is very personal and more valuable than many other things: the free will or freedom of choice. Nothing is more valuable to the integrity of a person than his own freedom. Freedom to be as one wishes to be, to think, to act, to love, to feel, to live.
I have never had a greater sense of freedom than when I dream I’m flying. But frankly, I think that through our fellowship with God I can feel this way more comprehensively. I’ve experienced it before, when the gospel and its ordinances freed me from a life of doubt and spiritual death. And I feel it every time I go to my Heavenly Parents in prayer. Also every time I think, or when I express an idea, when I live according to that idea and I know my life isn’t hurting others, I live with the freedom that has been given to me through the Atonement of Christ.
And there is no greater freedom than that, the knowledge that your life is affirmed by a loving God, who is conscious of your decisions and still enables you to follow your own path. Sometimes we may feel that our voice, our way of thinking or our worldview has no accepted place in our family, our community, our religion… But we must look forward with faith to the only approval that will really bring us happiness: God’s approval.
Jesus said “the truth will set you free.” Oh, how joyful I am to know that I have a Savior! A true and faithful friend who really understands each and every one of my thoughts, who tells me the truth about my life, a little here and a little there. But it is this knowledge of the truth that slowly can open the curtains to a wonderful show and as each of us seeks our truth inside, the stage will be completed.
We have a whole life ahead, countless options and possibilities. We can’t choose the consequences of course, but we sure can make the decisions. The gift of agency is one of the most cherished our Parents have placed upon us, because it symbolizes the great love they have for their children and the confidence that we will make the right decisions.
Being free to be ourselves, to think, to feel, to live, is a testimony that we are children of Eternal Parents who love us and who are aware of our circumstances. We must not allow external voices to turn off this small flame of freedom within our hearts because in the end, this is what keeps the fire of our divinity and potencial alive.