Sunday, March 6, 2011

One of Many True Heroes

Did you know these paintings were done by the same artist? Arnold Friberg! He did all the famous Book of Mormon paintings. Their on display downtown Salt Lake right now, at the Conference Center I believe, because he passed away last year. Kinda cool though ;) George Washington and Captain Moroni!

One word: College application essays. Ack! Ok, 3 words I guess. But wow.. their kind of a pain. But very worth it, so I won't complain. Anyways, this is one I wrote about George Washington. I'm putting it up so my parents can read it.. and I'm kind of proud of it, so whoever out there who wants to read it can as well (: Sorry if it's kind of boring. I know it's nerdy. But you know, I love nerdy stuff. I really do. And quite honestly, it really isn't that nerdy... I think there's a difference between the Star Wars computer geeky stuff (sorry Dad ;) ) and loving history.

I would also like to say that George Washington is one of my greatest heroes. But he is one of many. To be honest, if it had been more.. appropriate? More relate-able to the college? I would have written about Moroni or Nephi. The Book of Mormon is the place to find heroes. I love reading it because of the amazing people it tells about... their stories, their lives, how they conquered the trials and problems they faced. It's such a strength to me. When I read, I can just imagine them sitting there next to me giving me advice. That's what it feels like. There is no better feeling in the world then knowing that there is someone out there who wants you to succeed, who wants you to be the best you can be. And I know that it's probably a bit egoistical to think that Moroni is there sitting next to me while I read The Book of Mormon. I'm sure he's off doing much more important things. But I know that Christ and my Heavenly Father care about me. I know that they care that I read my scriptures, because when I read, I grow closer to them. And I know that when I read The Book of Mormon, I feel the spirit. And that's the thing that gives me the most strength.
So there is a call out for my other heroes. I didn't write much about them, but I felt like before I share my glowing report of Washington, I had to tell that too. Because, when it comes down to it, one of the things I admire most about him is his faith.

I want to marry somebody like him someday. Someone like Moroni, or Nephi, or one of the stripling warriors. The most important qualities anybody can have, as a friend, as a spouse, as a son or daughter, as a parent, honestly in any role anyone can have, is honesty and courage.. faith, having strength to do what's right even when it's hard. Having the humility and courage to fess up when you make a mistake, and have the courage to go on and try to make it better, to be better. To know that you are more then the mistakes that you've made.. that it's never too late to try again and be better. To try and overcome your weaknesses.. to have faith to do what's right or what your asked to do even if you have no idea how it's going to end out, even if you don't know quite why you've been asked to. To have strength and faith to go and do the things the Lord has commanded, and have faith and hope that things will turn out okay in the end. To have faith that maybe what God has planned for you is better then what you have now, or what you have planned for yourself, if you just follow Him. I know to marry someone like that, I have to be like that though. That's the hard part, isn't it? But I will do my best. It will be worth it.

Anyways, wow, random tangent.
Here's my essay. Enjoy (:

A True Hero

As a young woman growing in a rapidly changing world, sometimes it’s difficult to establish who you want to be, and what you want to do with your life. There are countless sources of inspiration in this world one can draw from to build character and a foundation for goals. Aside from family and friends, there are a few people that have made a big impact on my life and who I want to become. One of the most prominent of these is George Washington.

Near the end of terms, I began the final report for my US Honors History class. We had the opportunity to write about whatever we wanted, and I wasn’t sure which topic to choose. After lightly considering a couple different subjects, I finally decided on George Washington, and how his faith influenced his life. As I did research and learned about this man, I developed more and more respect for him.

George Washington was an incredible man. Even in his youth, he surrounded himself with things that formed good, honorable character. As a school exercise during his early education, he copied “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation”. As he grew and saw more of the world, the principles he had written so long ago stayed with him. His respect for others and his unwavering integrity made him a natural born leader. There are countless accounts of his kind acts toward his soldiers and those around him. His humility and integrity led him to always fulfill his duty to the best of his ability.

When his name was proposed for the Commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, he accepted – not for glory, as he considered himself not equal to the task and refused payment beyond what was needed, but for the duty of his country and fellow men. His leadership during the war led the untrained, ragged troops to victory. People were so impressed with his results that at the end of the war, when the new nation was born, many people wanted him to become king. History proves that many war leaders in that position of power naturally assume that position. Washington, however, refused, instead working with others to develop the inspired Constitution. He ended up being the first man to sign it.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest of consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every send of the word, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally irritable and high-toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendancy over it…On the whole, his character was, in mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance.”

Learning about this man has made such a positive impact on my life. Growing up in today’s world, it can be difficult to build up courage to have integrity. So many role models in today’s world take so lightly the importance of being honest, and of being kind and respectful to others. The world seems to emphasize to get all you can, as fast as you can, and that nobody really matters except you. As a young woman in a high school environment, I think this can be especially difficult. It can be easy to let go of your identity and compromise what is honorable in order to get attention or be popular with your peers. Washington’s example has really strengthened me. Instead of constantly keeping up appearances to be the coolest, prettiest, or most popular, I’ve learned to have confidence in myself and value honesty and moral principles. When I think of what I have learned, it reminds me that the true measure of character is not in how many awards we receive or what status we reach, but in the choices we make and how we treat other people. I feel it is my responsibility to develop my character, to treat others with respect and kindness, and to fulfill all my duties to the best of my ability. This is the way to determine my self-worth, and this is the way that I will find the most meaningful accomplishments in my life. I believe there is no greater way than accomplishing these goals that can bring the most satisfaction and fulfillment in my life. George Washington has been, and always will be, a great source of inspiration for me. That is why he has been such a powerful influence in my life.

Lillback, Peter A., and Jerry Newcombe. "The Christian Education of George Washington." George Washington's Sacred Fire. Bryn Mawr: Providence Forum Press, 2006. 112. Print.

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