Women loyal to two countries, gospel share unit



    Sisters Elaine L. Jack, Ardeth G. Kapp and Maureen U. Beecher spoke about life as Canadian Mormon women on Thursday at the annual Palmer lecture series. With ancestors from Utah and being U.S. citizens today, these sisters share a common bond of loyalty for two countries.

    Sister Beecher received her bachelor’s degree from BYU and later earned her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in comparative literature. She spoke about life as a Canadian and Mormon in Utah.

    “I have spent as much of my life in the United States as I did in Canada,” she said. “It was Canada, however, that nurtured me, taught me, endured my adolescence.”

    Because Sister Beecher lived in different areas of Canada and the United States, she feels like she is part of both.

    “One can harbor more than one intranational or international loyalty in the same breath, usually without any conflict,” she said. “Knowing that I feel connectedness on both sides of one border makes all borders meaningless.”

    Sister Kapp, a former counselor in the Young Women’s General Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also spoke about being loyal to two countries.

    “Where does one affix one’s loyalty and how does one resolve one’s allegiance to two countries?” she asked.

    Sister Kapp found an example in her grandmother who remained loyal to England after she moved to Utah as an early saint. “One does not lose a sense of loyalty and love for one’s roots,” she said.

    The United States fought for its freedom, while Canada remained loyal to the Crown for freedom, she said.

    “It is my observation and belief that the sword of pursuit and the shield of peace make good neighbors,” she said.

    “Just as I am grateful for my heritage, I am grateful for my Canadian and United States allegiance and hope that I am found to be loyal to the principles represented in each,” Sister Kapp said.

    Sister Jack, general president of the Relief Society, spoke about her loyalty for Canada and the United States.

    “I became an American citizen two years after my marriage,” she said.

    To enjoy the benefits of a country, one should accept the responsibility that comes with citizenship. “It was not a rejection of Canada,” she said.

    “I still feel a surge of loyalty when I see the Canadian flag, my American family all know ‘I Love You Canada’ and my doorbell even plays ‘Oh Canada!’

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