Lessons on Freedom and Patriotism
Lesson No. Thirteen
John and Abigail Adams - True Patriots
They were one - John's marriage to Abigail was the most important decision of his life. John never doubted that he was married to one of the most extraordinary women of his time. Abigail was his equal in every way. She was a moderating influence. Everything that matters was accomplished together. Whatever good said of John applies to Abigail. They were wonderful companions, friends, and partners. They completed each other. "Their hearts [were] knit together in unity and love one towards another" (Mosiah 18:21). Abigail wrote of her deep devotion to John: "When he is wounded, I bleed."
It is important to me to add that all I write about Abigail applies equally to my Susie.
John and Abigail loved their family - As parents their children brought them great happiness and some pain. Their son John Quincy Adams became our sixth President. Their son Charles' behavior was often irresponsible. In all cases they loved and cared for their children.
John revered his forefathers and composed an inscription to be carved on the tomb of Henry Adams, who in 1638 was the first Adams to arrive in Massachusetts. On the tomb he wrote of "the piety, humility, simplicity, prudence, frugality, industry and perseverance of his ancestors in hopes of recommending an affirmation of their virtues to their posterity."
John and Abigail trusted in the Lord and loved his work - This is evident in many of the thousands of letters they wrote to each other during John's long absences on government assignments. John wrote the creed for his life in one sentence: "He who loves the Workman and his work, and does what he can to preserve and improve it, shall be accepted of Him."
In a letter to Thomas Jefferson shortly after Abigail died John wrote of his belief that he and Abigail would be united in the next life. "I believe in God and in his wisdom and benevolence, and I cannot conceive that such a Being could make such a species as the human merely to live and die on this earth. If I did not believe in a future state, I should believe in no God." Because of the gospel and the blessings of the temple John and Abigail's marriage is now eternal.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 which was the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. I believe, as John Quincy Adams wrote, that it was a “visible and palpable manifestation of Divine Favor.”
John and Abigail loved freedom and served their country - John was a Founder and second President. Abigail's contribution was equally important because of the influence she had on him and her family. Her obituary said it well. “Possessing at every period of life, the unlimited confidence, as well as affection of her husband, she was admitted at all times to share largely of his thoughts….she was a friend whom it was his delight to consult in every perplexity of public affairs; and whose counsels never failed to partake of that happy harmony that prevailed in her character; in which intuitive judgment was blended with consummate prudence; the spirit of conciliation, with the spirit of her station, and the refinement of her sex. In the storm, as well as the smooth sea of life, her virtues were ever the object of his trust and veneration.”
Testimony – Moroni wrote on the title of liberty “In memory of our God, our religion and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” (Alma 46:12). John and Abigail’s lives remind us of these things and set an example of true patriotism. If we love the Lord and the freedom He has given us, then with strong marriages and families our lives can also reflect these values. This is true patriotism.