News Release

Happy Canada Day!

On July 1, 1867, the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada confederated to become the Dominion of Canada. The inhabitants of the newly formed confederation were grateful for the freedoms they enjoyed. Today, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada love and appreciate their home as anyother Canadian does.

Emily Lim, a Church member and high school art and history teacher in Toronto, explains the importance of teaching children about Canada’s history: “Canada has a unique history of co-operation between ethnic groups. In school, students learn about Indigenous groups. They learn about the compromises between the French and English settlers. High school Canadian history and geography teaches about the economic and social contributions that immigration and diversity has brought to Canada. Canadian history is a fairly gentle history of diverse people working together.”

Whether long-established citizens or newly arrived immigrants, Canadians understand their country to be a place of freedom and opportunity. A group of young children from the Black Creek Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were asked, “Why is Canada a great country?” Without any prompting they answered in unison, “Because it is a free country!” This response indicates that these children understand what they are learning about their country—the value of free movement, opportunity, employment, religious freedom and many other important qualities that make living in Canada desirable. Teaching children about the positive aspects of the land in which they live fosters national well-being and helps develop a desire to contribute to the country they call home.

The twelfth article of faith says, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12). This belief helps members of the Church guide their lives in their own communities, take responsibility to help their neighbours and live peacefully while respecting the diversity that Canada offers.

On Canada Day, national pride takes on an expanded feeling and is celebrated wholeheartedly. Celebrations vary according to family and tradition. Helen Harrison of Etobicoke, Ontario, looks forward to viewing the fireworks in Centennial Park with her husband, Bob. Originally from Jamaica, Harrison says she is grateful “to be surrounded by the beauty and freedom of this country,” to live near her family and to be able to walk freely wherever she likes. Harrison’s patriotism is strong as she looks forward to celebrating Canada’s 152nd birthday.

Across the country, many activities are planned for Canada Day, including multiple displays of fireworks in Toronto; a large rib fest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke, Ontario; a pancake breakfast in Langley, British Columbia; free entrance to the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta; and the Run Regina Canada Day Fun Run/Walk in Wascana Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Elder James E. Evanson, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contributes, “The Evanson family arrived in Taber, Alberta, then simply known as CP Rail Tank 77, in the early 1900s. Since then, we have always called Canada our home. We are a patriotic people who love this nation. Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972), a past president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once said that religious faith aids us in being loyal citizens and “enables a [person] to entertain patriotic allegiance to [their] nation and country (as quoted by John H. Vandenberg, BYU Speeches, March 4, 1973). I believe this to be true. Our faith in God develops a love of our fellow Canadians. So, as with each Canada Day, our family will join together to enjoy the outdoors, have a BBQ or roast hot dogs, enjoy the community festivities and stay up late to take in the fireworks. We will celebrate the freedom we have in this great country and rejoice in our ‘home and native land.ʼ”

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