President Ezra Taft Benson's great example of devotion to country and church is emphasized along with opportunities for your family to consider ways that they can serve their community. Your children's desire to show "Patriotism through Service" will be sparked while listening to how one family celebrated the "4th of July," learning a fun song about service and making patriotic headbands.
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/cm
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.
Watch chapter 17 from The Modern Prophets, Ezra Taft Benson DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
Patriotism should be sought for.
The Prophet Joseph Smith once said, “Patriotism should be sought for and will be found in right living.”
What is Patriotism? (Pride in or devotion to the country you live in or are a citizen of.)
“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, The Red Carpet [Bookcraft, 1962].
Why did President McKay feel that Elder Benson should serve as the Secretary of Agriculture? (Church leaders have always encouraged us to show our patriotism by being good citizens and by strengthening our communities and nations.)
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.)
Note: When considering community involvement remember that President Benson consistently encouraged Church members to become involved in community service, but he has also cautioned balance and fidelity to a clear set of priorities. “The home is the rock foundation, the cornerstone of civilizations. This nation and others will never rise above their homes. Fathers, you cannot delegate your duty as the head of the home. Mothers, train up your children in righteousness; do not attempt to save the world and let your own family fall apart.” Ezra Taft Benson, In Conference Report, Taiwan Area Conference, 1975.
Your family will salute this scrumptious patriotic twist on "French" toast.
“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!”
Melt chips and shortening in microwave on medium power,
stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and creamy
1 quart large, firm strawberries
1 (10 oz.) bag white chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening (not butter flavored)
Red, white, and blue sprinkles
Take turns dipping strawberries in white chocolate mixture. Then roll in candy sprinkles. Place on wax paper and place in refrigerator until white chocolate cools and hardens.
If desire place the strawberries in an airtight container that has been lined with wax paper. Then carefully place container into an ice filled cooler to take with you to the community service project your family has selected. Serve the cool and refreshing treat during a rest break or after you have completed your project.
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. To the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” teach your family the “Volunteer” song. Verse also found on the star of their headbands:
I’m a community volunteer,
In this country that I love.
A real live helper with my family,
We’re serving our Father above.
2. Ask: What does it mean to be a community volunteer? (Discuss ideas.)
3. Explain to your children that you are not only being patriotic when you serve in your community, but that you are also serving our Heavenly Father.
4. Read: “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever, and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.”
Ask: What does it mean to serve with charity? (Discuss ideas.)
5. Ask: What can we volunteer to do to serve our community? (Choose a community service project that your family can charitably volunteer to do.)
Ideas: Have a clean up day at the city park, plant flowers or weed the garden for an elderly neighbor, perform a patriotic musical program or skit for a nursing home, clean headstones at your local cemetery, collect food for the homeless, help serve at a homeless shelter, collect items for the church’s humanitarian aid (see items needed @ www.lds.org.), clean off bus or park benches, etc.
You can also check with your city for volunteer opportunities.
6. Have children wear their headbands and sing the “Volunteer” song, while they work on their community service project.
1. Watch chapter 17 from the Modern Prophets Ezra Taft Benson DVD. (Video clip is also provided for viewing online.)
2. Read Doctrine & Covenants 134:1
“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.”
3. What is Patriotism? (Pride in or devotion to the country you live in or are a citizen of.)
“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, The Red Carpet [Bookcraft, 1962]).
4. Why did President McKay feel that Elder Benson should serve as the Secretary of Agriculture? (Church
leaders have always encouraged us to show our patriotism by being good citizens and by strengthening our
communities and nations.)
5. How can living the gospel have an influence on our communities? (Discuss ideas.)
6. Are you being patriotic when you obey the laws of the land? (Yes.)