That title is shorthand to asking what the freedom is that we want. Freedom from something or freedom for something?
Often we think that it is ideal to be totally independent of other people. Is that really so?
I submit that there has never been and never will be a society where you can do whatever you please without paying attention to anyone else. Us humans are social by our deepest nature, and are dependent on other people.
Furthermore, the most important factor in success and good living is the ability to co-operate.
Co-operation means that we discuss ideas frankly and honestly, and then keep our promises.
Remember the covenants we make:
“…as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death…” (Mosiah 18:8-10). [emphasis added]
Are we bearing one another’s burdens? Yes, there are many examples of real willingness to do so, and to help others survive when their ability to support themselves is gone (for example). But there are also many, who are vocally advocating a kind of social “Darwinism” that says that if you’re poor, it’s your fault; if you’re rich that’s because of your hard work.
(What about the honest farmer, whose crop is destroyed by a drought or a flood? Or the thrifty middle class everyman, who has economized and saved a nest egg, only to see his stock fund (which he invested in after getting the best available advice from stock analysts) practically leave him shirtless? They deserved that, so they don’t deserve our help?)
Are we like Hindu fatalists who think that helping a poor person is going against the will of God? Everything that happens is the will of God anyway, so why bother anything. Just go with the flow!
But only dead fish float downstream — the live ones swim upstream. (It’s glorious to see the salmon come!)
Freedom means that you have a choice. So as long as nobody is knocking down your door at 3 AM you do have at least some freedom. Use it or lose it, but use it wisely.
Remember we have that freedom, because we chose it. And the Savior’s Atonement means that we actually can freely choose life or death. Which will it be? We will only be exalted together.
Have you considered why the Church added a fourth ‘purpose’ to its mission statement? It means that one of the missions of the LDS Church is to care for the poor — not just poor LDS people, but to ameliorate suffering anywhere as long as we have something to give. And so far, the Church has walked the walk as much as talked the talk. Perhaps some bigger organizations have done more? So be it; we are “pleased but not satisfied” with our work. We must work harder to be “saviors on Mount Zion” in the last days — saving people’s lives as well as souls.
We can only be saved as fast as we save others — there’s your freedom to choose either co-operation or selfishness.
I found it difficult to categorize this post. Perhaps I’m coming out as a ‘liberal” here? Well, if I am, I am it with all my soul; however, I do not wish to take a political stand.
I have two basic rules:
- [I] claim the right to worship the Almighty God according to the dictates of my conscience, and [I] allow all people the same right, what and however they may worship. If this sounds familiar, it should, if you’re LDS.
- I am liberal in what I allow for others, and conservative in what I allow for myself.