Saturday, January 10, 2009

American history discussed and taught by Latvians

In Sunday School last week, in preparation for our year's study of the Doctrine & Covenants, the teacher talked about the events leading up to the founding of America and those who sought religious freedom there which, we know, was necessary for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be restored to the earth.

As I sat in the class, it suddenly occurred to me that these people have not been taught about American history and, most being relatively new members of the Church, may not have even understood some of the background about the Church being restored. It gave me a new perspective.

The teacher and her family traveled to America a year or so ago, and visited the historic sites in Philadelphia and other places and she was quite well-informed. It was interesting for those of us Americans there to search our memories for historical facts.

Having never been outside of the United States before, I am having many such moments of awareness.

One thing I am seeing is the lack of entrepeneurship here. There is a high rate of unemployment and, like people from other countries who became free after years of oppression, they don't seem to know how to be "free." So many have turned to alcohol. The young people are education-minded and are going to "college" but their education often is not valued and does not translate into higher paying jobs. As a result, many young people leave Latvia and go to Ireland, England and Sweden. Ireland seems to be a big draw, but I don't know what kinds of jobs they get when they go there.

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