Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Raise the Standard

Alma 62:1 - Helaman 1:20

Spring sun sparkles across the parking lot, warming asphalt, glinting off windshields, brightening the smiles of young students running to the school.   I watch them come laden with lunch and backpacks heavy, leaving safety of car for safety of school.

I stand on white stark lines striped on black pavement, red stop sign in hand.

My job ensures safety. On these mornings, mine are the eyes of a hawk.  Watching cars, watching sidewalks, watching children come.

The school lies quiet, waiting. The parking lot is chaos organized.  Moving tires, running feet, coming and going, without end.

In the midst I see the science teacher walking.

Then I see him stop. He stands between parked cars, and students running, and traffic flowing.

Still.

What is he doing?  I wonder.  He must have forgotten something in his car.  Still, he stands.  Waiting.

He must be trying to decided if he should go back to his car, I think to myself.

The parking lot revolves around him.  Still.  He waits.

I look more closely now. He’s fixed on something.  Focused.  Waiting. I draw my eyes away from traffic streaming, students walking, to see.

There, behind me, star spangled red and white striped canvas, carefully unfolded and rope strung, rises up the mast.

I look back at the science teacher.  Yes.  He is watching.  Standing tall.  Now I see hand over heart.

Silent. Still. Sacred.

Until the Flag is fully raised.

The students run, the traffic flows, and finally the science teacher walks into the school. I say nothing.  But I have learned.

Some have greater respect.  Some live to a higher standard.  When something is most sacred some honor it at all costs.

Like a man who spoke of liberty. Who raised a standard in memory of God, religion, freedom, peace and family.

Wearing his breastplate, and his shield, with armor girded about his loins.  “And he did raise the standard in whatsoever place he did enter.”  (Alma 62:4)

He did raise the standard…in whatsoever place he did enter.

I wonder, could the same be said of me?

Some have a greater respect. Some live to a higher standard. When something is most sacred, some honor it at all costs.

Today I celebrate the memory of a captain of great courage.  Certain.  Always. Moroni.

I want to stand with him.

Emily Freeman