Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thoughts from Philadelphia

Normally on a Sabbath morning, I would be hunting down lost pairs of shoes and missing ties for my many little ones in preparation for attending church meetings. This Sunday finds me two time zones away from my kids with my thoughts on Beth, who is somewhat relieved from the necessity of dressing all my little ones since most of them are sick today. I was horrified at the thought of leaving my sick ones behind, but the tickets were non-refundable and non-transferrable, so I left my little ones behind and continued my planned trip to Philadelphia.

In the past couple of days where I’ve checked in with Beth, I’ve decided having them sick was probably a blessing in disguise. My normally very active twins have been sleeping most of the time. That certainly makes them easier to watch.

I never thought I’d be able to visit the place where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed. What a thrilling couple of days it’s been. When I entered Independence Hall, I could feel the power in the place. Truly, the guiding hand of a loving God helped guide the creation of our great land. I know God helped create this land of freedom. I pray we don’t destroy what He so carefully created for us.

I also shed some tears at the Constitution Center.

After the presentation in the main hall, I had the opportunity to roam through the displays and came across one that caught my attention. There were several columns of law books stacked to the ceiling to demonstrate how many law books there are to define the laws of the land. It seems silly when the Constitution itself isn’t a very lengthy document.

In a waist –high display around the many law books was a hand-written note from an inmate in Florida. He wasn’t a wealthy man and had been denied a court-appointed attorney. He’d had to represent himself and lost the trial. He was sentenced to several years in jail. Rather than accept his fate, he sat down and wrote a letter to the Florida Supreme Court, which went on to the Supreme Court of the land. This simple letter from one ordinary citizen changed the whole way the United States handles court-appointed attorneys. Before this case was decided, it was up to each state to decide how they would handle attorneys. I didn’t realize until I read the display that a simple right guaranteed by the Constitution wasn’t being treated equally throughout the United States.

 The law books aren’t there to re-write the Constitution. They are there because of how we have defined the Constitution. Words mean many things to many people, and how we interpret them in a court of law varies widely. So sad that a document which should be so clear is muddied by so many different interpretations.

The scriptures, too, have been muddied by very many interpretations. It is so wonderful to know that we have a living prophet on the earth today who can clarify those interpretations and tell us what the meanings are in light of today’s information. Knowing that God is still very much involved with his earthly children brings peace in a world full of confusion.

As you know, my husband travels a lot. He’s been gone for several weeks. It was nice to be able to fly out on points so I could spend some time with him. We had enough points to fly out two of the older kids as well. Katrina is 15 and Aaron is 13. We thought they’d enjoy the historical significance of the tours.

My kids are very much accustomed to a Mom who can do it all. I often do. I take care of all the family while Craig is out of state making money to support us. I do this without complaining and very grateful that he has a good job. I know he’s thinking of us while he’s working and traveling.

During this short time we’ve had together, I’ve stopped in front of doors so Craig can open them for me. Yes, it would be easier to just step ahead and open the doors myself. In the same way that it’s easier to grab the cash and buy my own birthday and Christmas gifts. I could get them myself, but then I’d be denying him the pleasure of doing something for me. When I take that moment to stop and let him open the door for me, I’m letting him take a moment to show me his love for me. I know he shows me his love every day he’s away, but when he’s right there with me, by stopping at a door that would admittedly be easier for me to just open myself, I’m making a statement that I value his care.

To my astonishment, my 15 year old daughter would often barge right up and open the door instead of waiting for her dad to do it. I realized my daughter hasn’t been raised in a world where any thought at all is given to the “protective male” role. She plays soccer in the Tooele League with the guys and gets mowed down in the process. The guys don’t care if she’s a girl or not. She’s an obstacle to be ran through if she’s in the way.

When I was little and I played “cops and robbers” with my cousins or the boys in the neighborhood, I was the beautiful girl who was kidnapped and the boys were fighting over me. I wasn’t in there fighting with the boys. Now when my girls play, they’re one of the cops or the robbers and no one is trying to protect them. We can thank the move to Equal Rights for that fundamental change in play. Our kids have it drilled into them from practically the moment they can talk that girls are equal to boys in all ways. Sounds great. Only there really are fundamental differences between girls and boys and men and women. Science is slowly catching up with something God has known forever. Our brains are wired different. Our bodies run differently. Women don’t have the upper body strength men do. Just recently, I applauded Rick Santorum on his stance in women in the military. They don’t belong on the front lines. We are blind and stupid if we think they do.

The same God who inspired our wonderful Constitution also inspired the document THE PROCLAMATION ON THE FAMILY. The protective male is a divine mandate. “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” In a time when the world sees things through unclear lenses, the Lord has seen fit to give us a clearer vision. It behooves us as mothers , sisters, and daughters, to allow the men in our lives to serve us. So take that moment to step back and let them open the door.

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