Last Thursday our Statesmanship Club went on a court tour in preparation for mock trial. We started by seeing some arraignments, then followed up with trials/hearings. I have to admit I was a little surprised at how quickly they went through cases. There were so many heard in the time we were there. It was very sobering to think of what a small sampling this was of the amount of cases that go through our judicial system every day here in this county. Let alone throughout the state, or even the country. I just kept looking at the people who were there as defendants and thinking of what choices brought them there. I looked at all of them and thought of how they are all children of God. I thought of the heartache and sorrow that surrounded them being there. Not only the victim’s and their families and friends, but the defendants and their family and friends. One man had his wife there during his hearing. She had tears in her eyes. I thought of how sad it was that he had caused not only pain to the victim (which he owned up to in the hearing) but also to those he loved. I saw these people who looked so normal other than their prison outfits, and the handcuffs and shackles. It isn’t that I thought they would have a neon sign over their head, or that they would look a specific way. I know it doesn’t work that way. It just stood out to me for some reason. My heart hurt for them that they were not realizing the power they had as children of God. They were selling their birthright for a bowl of pottage, so to speak. Now I know that they are innocent until proven guilty, and that I don’t know the details. I’m not trying to pass judgment on any of them personally. I just mean generally for all of those who have started down a road of so much sorrow. It also made me stop and count my blessings. Perhaps I should have started this post in the following manner:
I, Penny, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father and mother; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
You know the Lord has a way of humbling you and helping you find those things that you should be grateful for when you start to become too self involved. I have been a little overwhelmed lately with my life and I had started to turn more inward and to become more self-centered, which isn’t a good thing. This court tour helped open my eyes to blessings I take for granted a lot. I feel more gratitude to my Savior right now, and a renewed desire to fulfill my personal missions that He has given to me to do. To quote a wonderful primary song “My life is a gift, my life has a plan. My life has a purpose, in heaven it began. My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth and seek for God’s light to direct me from birth. I can follow God’s plan for me, holding fast to His word and His love. I will work and I will pray. I will always walk in His way. Then I will be happy on earth, and in my home above.”
Stand for Something.