In earlier posts, I've written about my Mormon ancestry. Early Latter-day Saints were driven from their homes by mobs, watched their temple destroyed and their prophet martyred, and traveled across an inhospitable land to settle. In the Salt Lake Valley, they were finally able to practice their faith.
Mormons were not the only religious group to suffer persecution. The Amish and other sects also faced ill treatment. The tenet of religious freedom, one of the basic principles upon which America was founded, was denied to many in past centuries.
Today, Sunday, I can go to church without fear. I can proclaim my faith in public forums such as this. I can practice my religion as I see fit.
What a blessing this is, one, which, I'm ashamed to admit, that I do not always appreciate. Could I have held to my faith while I watched my husband being tarred and feathered? Could I have stood by my beliefs while being threatened by mobs? Could I have sacrificed everything to move to a barren desert?
I don't know.
So, for today, I am grateful for religious freedom.