Doctrine & Covenants 134:1
1. We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
Prophets and apostles show us ways we can serve others. President Monson was a great example of giving service to others. He encouraged all church members to love and serve each other. President Nelson teaches us that we should minister and serve each other. We can watch for ways people need help, and reach out to meet their needs.
President Ezra Taft Benson taught us how to show patriotism through service. While he was an apostle, he served as the Secretary of Agriculture for the United States.
When we serve in our communities, towns, cities and countries, we are showing our patriotism for our country and our love for our fellow men.
“Patriotism is more than flag-waving and fireworks. It is how we respond to public issues. If we ask only, ‘What’s in this proposal for me?—What do I get out of it?’—we are not patriotic and we are not good citizens. But if we ask, ‘Is this right?—is it good for the … people?—would it preserve and strengthen our freedom?’—then we deserve to stand in the company of [great patriots]. Patriotism is trying always to give more to the Nation than we receive. It is selfless service”
~ Ezra Taft Benson
What is Patriotism? (Pride in or devotion to the country you live in or are a citizen of.)
Are you being patriotic when you obey the laws of the land? (Yes.)
Does being involved in your community show patriotism? (Yes.)
What can we do as a family to show our patriotism and become involved in our community? (Discuss ideas and plan a community service project to do. See Activity for ideas.)
“Josh, Sarah, Daniel,” Mother called. “Breakfast is ready!”
The three children raced into the kitchen. “Where’s Daddy?” Daniel asked.
“He’s outside putting up the flag,” Mother answered. “Do you want to go and tell him breakfast is ready?”
When Daniel opened the door he gazed at the flag-lined street. Running to where Father stood unrolling the red, white and blue flag, Daniel asked, “How come all the houses have flags on them?”
“It’s the 4th of July and everyone is trying to show their patriotism! Do you want to help me show our patriotism?” Father said as he lifted Josh high into the air. Josh placed the end of the flag pole in the shiny silver bracket.
Father placed Josh on his shoulders and started walking toward the house. “Patriotism is showing pride and devotion to your country!”
“How come we don’t show patri-patri?”
“Patriotism,” Father prompted.
“Ya! How come we don’t show it everyday?”
“We should, but you can show patriotism in many different ways! One way is to display the flag. Another is to obey the laws of the land and when you’re old enough to vote for good people. The list goes on and on!”
“Duck!” Father said before entering the door of the house.
“Great! Your here,” Mother said. “Let’s eat before everything gets cold.”
After Father said the blessing, Mother passed around the plate of French toast. “We’re having American toast for breakfast in honor of the 4th of July,” Mother announced.
“Silly, Mommy, this is French Toast!” Sarah exclaimed
“Oh, no, Sarah. You are mistaken! French toast is very yummy, but this is definitely American toast!” Mother stated. “See!” Mother then took the can of whipped cream and made two long stripes and two shorter stripes across her slice of toast. Then with a spoonful of blueberry pie filling, she made a blue square next to the short stripes. She then filled in red stripes with spoonfuls of cherry pie filling.
“Who knows what I need to finish making my American toast?”
“I know, I know!” Daniel shouted with glee. “You need stars!”
“That’s right!” Mother said as she made white stars with whipped cream on top of the blueberries.
“Mommy, You’re showing your p-a-t-r-i-o-t-i-s-m!” Josh proudly announced.
The family giggled and chatted as they passed around the whipped cream, blueberries, and cherries and each for each of them to make their own American Toast.”
“Mmmm, I like being pa-t-r-i-o-tic!” Josh said as he licked a dab of whipped cream from his finger.
“I’m glad, Josh! Because Dad and I have planned another way for our family to show their patriotism.” Mother went on to explain the community service project that the family would be doing that day with their ward.
When they arrived at the cemetery, Father explained about the people who had served this country in the armed services to protect our country’s freedoms, along with many pioneers, who had crossed the plains in search of religious freedom and how it was a privilege for them to honor these people by caring for their graves.American
Each family in the ward worked on a section of the cemetery. They washed the dirt and leaves off of the headstones, placed red, white, and blue flowers on all of the graves, and then placed little American flags on all the graves of the veterans.
“Wow!” Josh exclaimed with pride. “Now even the cemetery is showing it’s pa-tri-o-tism!”
by Margie Nauta Lee
What community service can your family volunteer to do?Your children’s patriotism will be sparked while learning a fun patriotic song and making fun patriotic headbands to wear while volunteering service for your community and for Heavenly Father.