D. Carly Dinnie from Connecticut, U.S.
In American history, there are a group of people who conducted the “Underground Railroad,” who are now viewed as heroes. The reason is that they risked their lives in order to free slaves with a pure and loving motive, without receiving anything in return.
From the 1600s until 1865, the slavery of African Americans was legal in the United States. There came a point in the 1800s when slavery was outlawed in the northern states of America but still legal in the southern states. During this period, many slaves tried to escape to the north so that they could live freely, though it was extremely difficult to do so. In order to assist in leading these slaves to freedom, many free individuals, both black and white, worked together to form what is known as the Underground Railroad—a secretive effort to safely and effectively lead slaves to freedom in the north through various “trails” (safe routes), “stations” (safe houses for slaves to stay at on their journey), and “conductors” (leaders who led groups of slaves safely to the north).
This operation was extremely dangerous, and the conductors of the railroad risked their lives time and time again in order to lead slaves to freedom. Former slaves, who had escaped to the north, risked being enslaved again or even got killed by venturing back into the south in order to free other slaves.
One well-known, highly respected conductor was Harriet Tubman. As a former slave who had escaped to the north, she could’ve enjoyed the rest of her life easily without a hassle there. However, she voluntarily returned to the south dozens of times in order to lead people to freedom. Harriet risked her life over and over again and was even hunted by whites in the south, being offered a reward of $40,000 for her capture and death. Such threats did not slow her down, but made her work more diligently and faithfully to carry out her mission to lead people to freedom.
It seems that Tubman cared even more for the life and freedom of the slaves than they themselves did. While Harriet was leading them to the north, when many became scared and wanted to return to their masters and their life of slavery, she would rebuke them or force them to continue on and finally let them enjoy freedom. She even gave out all her earnings for their freedom though the slaves had nothing to give her in return but a word “thank you.” Thanks to her sacrifice, over 300 slaves obtain freedom.
Not only Harriet Tubman, but many people also dedicated their lives, risking their own safety, to leading enslaved people to freedom. They are now regarded as heroes by all people.
When learning about this history, I cannot help but think of Heavenly Parents, who willingly came to this earth where the spiritual slaves are gathered. Risking His own safety, Father came even twice in order to free the slaves from sin and death, though He Himself is free and under no any obligation. He did not need to come to the earth but could’ve stayed in heaven and live comfortably, without having to endure any pain, difficulty, or hardship. But Father paid off our ransom with His life so that we may be freed from death.
As the Bible says, “He did not redeem us with perishable things, such as silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect,” Father did not pay money in order to redeem us. Rather, He bought us with His own blood—by His own life—in order to free us from death. What kind of a free man would willingly give his life in order to free a slave?
Today in America, the conductors of the Underground Railroad are regarded as heroes and are given honor and cheers. However, when Heavenly Father came to the earth in order to save us, who was waiting to greet our Hero with thanks, giving Him cheers of admiration? Even to this day, do not evildoers slander Father and blame Him as if He did something wrong, though He came in order to free the sinners who were destined to die? Despite such a treatment, Father never complained, but patiently and earnestly sought to free the slaves.
Heavenly Mother who is a free woman, too, is now bearing all hardships and suffering, putting on the clothes of sinners only for the freedom of Her children who became slaves to sins, though She has no obligation. Thanks to such sacrifice of Father and Mother, many souls who were running toward death came to gain freedom.
To God who freed us, we have nothing to give but can only say, “Thank You.” Though God freed us from our sins, we continue to look back to the world; shamefully, at times we desire to return to our life of slavery. However, Father urges us with His words of encouragement and precious words of eternal life left in His Truth Books, caring more about our freedom than we care about ourselves. Mother, too, is giving us courage and encouragement with Her words of life.
Through His boundless sacrifice, God freed numerous souls destined to die. Now I want to make up for the lack of thanks we, sinners, failed to give God for coming to the earth to save us. We will no longer turn back to the world, but press on toward the heavenly kingdom. We will follow Heavenly Mother according to Father’s will and diligently preach the gospel with joy and thanks until the day we return to the world of freedom, our heavenly home!
Heavenly Father and Mother! You are truly our Heroes. Please receive our eternal thanks and praise!