Sunday, July 3, 2011

Let Freedom Ring

Source:  Jocelyn Christensen
The Veteran's Association in the town in which we live puts together the most amazing 4th of July Parade and Celebration each year.  It is held the weekend before the 4th of July weekend.  I was completely blown away the first time that we went.  It lasted two hours!  

Source:  Lisa Tranquillo
 There are mummers, marching bands, horse-drawn carriages, steam engines, and period costumes.  I especially enjoy the procession of soldiers that normally begins the parade.  They have one person dressed as a soldier from each war fought by the US (beginning with a Native American on horseback).  The soldiers march single file down the center of the street. 

One of my favorite things about the parade are the WWII bomber fly-overs.  They are loud and they fly low to give the crowd a thrill.  I took the picture of the fly-over above at the parade last weekend.  I really like how it turned out.

This photo of my kids and our friend Lindsey watching the parade was in our local newspaper last week. I didn't know about it until today at church.  A 90+ year-old friend of ours had saved this for us.  What a sweet lady and good friend.  Always so considerate and thoughtful of others.

Here are a few other cute shots that I took.

Autumn spectating.

This kids anticipating candy.

And the candy scramble.

As you know, it's been a heck of a week around here.  I have dealt with personal losses, a flooded basement, a flat-tire, a car that wouldn't start, and emotions that wouldn't tame themselves.

As I have struggled with "The Nothing", I have thought a lot about what it means to be free and where real freedom originates.  

I am ever thankful to the people who have fought to win and preserve our freedoms here in mortality.  But I am reminded most poignantly this Fourth of July of The One who won my freedom in the Garden of Gethsemane so many years ago:  He won my freedom from sin, my freedom from darkness, my freedom from pain and mental anguish.

He has allowed me to experience just a touch of what that pain feels like this week.  He has allowed me to experience just a fraction of the pain which he normally spares me from feeling.

I tried to carry it on my own, but quickly learned that I cannot.  I require His help to survive.  I require his help to be free.  

Yesterday, as I fasted, I cried out to Him to take my sadness from me.  He lifted the burden each time. And that help was like the unlocking of my personal prison.  It was true freedom.

True freedom is available to each of us in and through our Savior Jesus Christ.  It is available to every person who has ever lived or who will ever live, in whatever country they may happen to live.  It is available to me. It is available to you.

Even now, I am in awe of why anyone would be willing to take that kind of pain upon themselves (times infinity!) but I know that he has.  That is some amazing kind of love.

I am thankful that I have been given this opportunity to understand the Atonement in a more personal way.  I am thankful for the refining process that the Lord is guiding me through.  I know that he knows and is doing what is best for me and what will help me to be happiest and the most free.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, everyone!  Be happy.  Be safe. And be free!  :)


  1. I wish parades were still like that out here. Maybe I need to move out east...Great pictures. But mostly, thank you for those beautiful words about the Savior:) I've been thinking a lot lately about Brother Johnson's talk from last GC that you mentioned here. It's really hard to go through trials, but the payoff is more than worth it. I hate the pain, but I love learning more and more about Jesus through them.

  2. Once again Jocelyn Thank you so much for touching my heart from the cute cute pictures of your sweet children and the parade, Which I didn't get to enjoy this year.To the wonderful words you wrote
    Your words sounded like mine and the many thoughts I have had lately regarding the savior. As I have gone through my own emotional, and Physical pains, I have thought about the savior suffering these same things But so much more and I can't even imagine How he could endure that. But I know that he did it for us and I am eternally grateful.
    Thanks so much for being in-tune with spirit to share so much with us in Blog land you are one special women

  3. I loved your testimony today and felt the Spirit again as you testified in your blog. I have never thought of freedom from this perspective and I'm truly enlightened. Thanks you

    MY favorite parts of the parade were the bomber...awesome....and the single file line of the soldiers from over the years. Great Job Lewisburg!

  4. we make our own personal prisons by listening and believing the negative voices inside that like to attack us. The spirit is quieter and peaceful when we can stop the others voices so we can hear it. I find writing helps me with this process...

  5. What a beautiful post, Jocelyn.

    I especially liked the last line, and I will!

    (Be free, I mean.) Mindfully.


  6. Love this today! Especially the words about the savior. It was so beautiful.

  7. Thanks for your testimony, Jocelyn! As always, just thanks!