This was my senior year at Duck, since I have made the trek every year since 2010. As usual, I enjoyed the friendship, the socializing, the beach volleyball, the ocean, the beautiful surroundings, and most everything about the experience. This year, I particularly enjoyed the Sunday worship services at the Kitty Hawk Junior High School. In commemoration of those who have so valiantly fought to preserve our liberties, we sang America the Beautiful as a closing hymn. Having temporarily left the majestic purple mountains of the West to appreciate the spacious skies of the East it occurred to me that it remains our duty to "crown" the good of America with brotherhood. This verse from the hymn brought to mind a principle taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith:
"'Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of 'Mormonism'; [it is designed] to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316).
Certainly there are still flaws to be mended, and gold to be refined in America in order for all success to be nobleness and every gain divine. But as we sang this closing hymn I felt that God has indeed shed his grace on this nation. I also got to wear shorts to church which definitely augmented the sense of joy that I felt.
All in all, Duck Beach 2013 was a success. Those who have participated can attest that it is not just a Mormon version of Jersey Shore (as one documentary appears to have depicted it). I met many lively and interesting people, and there was much that is virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy to appreciate and record.