Friday, February 27, 2009

How Safe Are Your Bank Accounts? REALLY? Read This!

This is a concurrent post from my political blog,


Today the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the government insurer of bank deposits, called on banks nationwide to pay an emergency premium. This would raise $27 Billion for the FDIC to offset more bad loans.Now let's think about what this means...

Less than a week ago President Obama told the nation that their bank deposits are safe, that they are insured. But here we find that the insurer is desperate for money to cover its obligations. I'm not faulting the president here, he is trying his best to reassure a frightened nation. But it is also misleading.

How many more 'emergency premiums' will the FDIC require to remain solvent?

President Boyd K. Packer, in an unofficial statement made on October 12, 2008, referred to our current situation as the 'collapse of the economy'.

Got your 'seatbelt' on tight? Here we go!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Cool Is This!

The fog and inversion layer that SLC has been experiencing may be a pain for many, but I guess that depends on your perspective! Photo taken from the observation deck of the Church Office Building.

Defending Our Religion Before a Godless World-Pt 3

Part 3
Arguments and Answers. Sorry this is so long, but it is interesting and powerful.

Argument: There is no proof that God exists.
Answer: First, let’s call it evidence, not proof. Unless you have personally seen God, you cannot have ‘proof’. However, there is plenty of evidence. You simply must be willing to look outside your own boundaries to see it. You do not get to choose what is or is not evidence. That evidence either does or does not exist, with or without your opinion.

The fact that ancient scripture even exists, especially in so many different languages, and in different forms (book, scroll, stone tablets, metal plates, papyrus, etc.) which provide first-hand accounts of people who witnessed miracles performed by Jesus Christ, is solid evidence. Many of these people were there and personally saw Him, and personally witnessed these miracles. Most of these writings have been authenticated by scholars even in our day. Their evidence of His existence, and the miraculous power he possessed, far outweigh the so-called evidence, or doubts, of our time that attempt to contradict these original testimonies. If you reject the testimonies of those who personally witnessed Christ and His miracles, you simply reject evidence, having presented nothing to ‘prove’ otherwise.

Further, the fact that our calendar year is based on the birth of Christ, approximately 2009 years ago at this writing, is evidence of the powerful influence He had in the world.

There is evidence of the flood in Noah’s day. Sedimentary rings exist on mountains high above sea level. Fossilized sea life has been found in some of these mountains. I refer to modern species, not fossils of prehistoric creatures.

The fact that our solar system is in perfect equilibrium, and that our planet is in the perfect position to support life is evidence to me that ‘something or someone’ created it just that way (see Alma 30:44). If our planet was even slightly closer to or further from the sun than it is, we would not be able to survive. The atmosphere has just the right combination of gases to breathe and survive. Plants and animals provide just the right nutrients for our health. The evidence that this was planned outweighs the notion that such a perfect, stable situation just happened by chance.

There is far more evidence to support the existence of God than there is to deny it. To deny it is to reject the evidence in favor of one’s personal agenda instead of what is most likely true.

Albert Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist of modern times, believed in the existence of God. If fact he stated that the more he learned about space, energy and nature, the more he believed that there was a God who created it all for our discovery. To reject Einstein’s conclusion about the existence of God would be to discredit much of his work.

Argument: Religious people believe that God created man out of dust, but there is proof that man evolved from primitive life forms.
Answer: There is no ‘proof’ that man evolved, only theory. Scientists have arrived at their conclusions by creating a timeline of skeletal remains based on carbon-dating, size, posture, and skeletal development. This is not ‘proof’. The theory of evolution cannot be proven, because none of us were in existence during the times when these primitive beings were said to exist. It may be convincing ‘evidence’ based on interpolation of fossilized remains, but that is all it is. Carbon dating is susceptible to environmental influences and is not perfectly accurate. The fact that scientists consider evolution ‘proof’ instead of theory is a contradiction of their own self-proclaimed scientific integrity.

We base the belief that God created man in his image, as stated in the bible. We do not believe there is a direct link between some of the primitive ‘caveman’ beings and humans. Science has not found such a link, but assumes it to be so and then calls it fact. This again is a corruption of their otherwise purely scientific approach. We cannot offer any more evidence of this version of creationism than what is available through the scriptures and through spiritual revelation, but that is one of the forms of evidence available to all – personal spiritual revelation. Without it, nothing in this entire debate will go beyond simple argument. The form of evidence called personal revelation will be discussed hereafter.

Regarding making man out of ‘dust’, we know from our own scientific studies that the human body is composed of existing elements, not some other mysterious substance. The term ‘dust’ simply refers to the natural elements. That is not inconsistent with evolution or common sense.

Argument: Religious people believe that God actually created the earth in six days. That is absurd.
Answer: Agreed, it does sound absurd. The answer to that concern is in what your perception of a ‘day’ is, and what God’s day is in this context. We must remember that God did not live on the earth at the time of its creation. The concept of a 24-hour day is unique to our planet. A day on another planet, or any other celestial body, depends on its own rotational characteristics. It is therefore erroneous to automatically assume that God meant a 24-hour day when referring to the creation. Further, the term ‘day’ has been used by many, even God himself, to mean an era or period of time, not just one complete revolution around a planetary axis. To limit your perception of a day being a 24-hour period is your own limitation, not ours, or God’s.

Argument: Religious people believe that God created the universe. Science shows that the universe began with the Big Bang.
Answer: Science shows that stars and galaxies appear to be traveling away from a singular area in space, with the rate of travel being greater for the objects that are farthest away from that point of singularity. Much like the concept of evolution, the big bang is a theory based on interpolated, incomplete scientific findings. The big bang theory has little more than Doppler imaging to support it.

For those of us who believe God to be more than just a mysterious, magical being, the big bang theory is a viable theory. It in no way refutes the belief in God’s existence. Latter-Day Saints in particular believe that God works within the bounds of natural law, and works with natural elements to create. Even God cannot violate natural laws. The definition of God or godhood does not necessarily mean that He created everything including the elements or the natural laws of physics, and that they operate or exist haphazardly at his will and pleasure. Rather, God has a perfect knowledge of these laws and elements, and using that perfect knowledge he works with and within them to create. It could be a viable theory to believe that God initiated the big bang to begin creation in this part of the universe. Such a theory does not discredit either the existence of God, creationism, or the big bang theory.

Argument: Religion is obsolete; people who believe in God are unenlightened.
Answer: Obsolescence by definition means outdated and incapable of providing continued service or value. Religion could only be obsolete if it did not offer value to people in our present day. This assumption is clearly false. Even for people of casual faith, who may attend church or pray only occasionally, their religious beliefs set a standard of conduct by which they govern their lives. Religious people do not tend to fall into the social traps of liberalism. They rely more on tradition, which is based on proven success in societies and families before ours. If such traditions were to prove unprofitable or unproductive in some meaningful way, than the claim of obsolescence would have some merit. However, history proves that such a claim has no merit at all. Just like in science, we can measure the causes and effects of religious belief compared to a lack thereof. Here are some characteristics of religious people compared to the non-religious:

1) Less likely to commit violent crime
2) Less likely to become addicted to harmful drugs
3) Less likely to acquire sexually transmitted diseases
4) Less prone to teenage pregnancy
5) More likely to maintain marital fidelity and stability
6) Less likely to promote pornography or other forms of immodesty
7) Less likely to divorce
8) Statistically live longer
9) Statistically healthier
10) Less likely to have body piercing and/or tattoos
11) More likely to obtain higher education
12) More likely to be a contributor to society rather than a burden

Based on these findings, it is clear that the assumption that religion is obsolete is absurd. Further, it is clear that the unenlightened portion of our population are those who reject religion.

Argument: Religious people are bigots and are hateful toward people who are not just like them.
Answer: There is some truth to this statement, but the cases where this does exist can largely be isolated demographically and by religious denomination. Beyond that, this is a misperception and often an attempt at reverse-hatred or discrimination. First, the true side of the argument. There indeed are those who assume the self-exalted position of claiming superiority through their religious beliefs. They believe that any who do not embrace their narrow perspective are inferior, or even condemned. Further, they cannot accept opposing opinions from these ‘different’ groups, and often ostracize or persecute them. If such a group claims to be ‘Christian’, I must question the quality of their ‘discipleship’ as it is laden with hypocrisy and is diametrically opposed to how Christ did or would treat such people with differing views.

Regarding the rest, there is typically a misperception of hatred by religious people. This occurs when religious people are required to defend their beliefs, principles, or standards of conduct when subject to public scrutiny or criticism. This defense often leads people to the false assumption of hatred. For example, when religions united in defense of the same-sex marriage propositions in several states, those in favor of gay marriage assumed, wrongfully, that those who voted against it were showing hatred toward gays. This is not only a wrong assumption, but a failure to honestly and openly communicate by the gay rights community. Religious people were simply trying to defend their existing rights to teach their children according to their own principles and not those imposed by state law. They were trying to protect their religious institutions from the inevitable invasion of privacy by gay rights activists who have already attempted to overthrow private religion-based institutions. Most religious people, myself included, have no interest in regulating the lives of other people, regardless of the issue. If gay rights activists were interested in the facts, they could get them, rather than make false assertions about the religions and their followers, and engaging in hate speech of their own.

In Matthew chapter 9 of the New Testament, Christ dines with publicans and sinners, and is criticized for it. He said that the ‘whole need no physician, but they that are sick’. In John chapter 8, he forgave the woman caught in adultery, then told her to ‘go and sin no more’. This clearly indicates that Christ loved the sinners but not their sins. For those who act as if they ‘hate the sinner’ rather than the sin, then yes, I agree that there is an attitude of bigotry or hate. But these cases are isolated to those who, in my opinion, are not true followers of Christ. These are people who profess to be Christians in word but are not in their actions.

Argument: God’s commandments are just a bunch of scare tactics designed to keep people ‘in line’.
Answer: Not true. That is the perception of people who do not understand God or His commandments. First, a person must be willing to accept a belief in God before His commandments will have any weight or meaning. The claim that God’s commandments are scare tactics typically come from those who have no desire to live by them in the first place. God’s commandments are natural laws, with unavoidable results. They are based on God’s perfect knowledge of human nature, psychological or spiritual cause and effect, and His eternal plan for us, His children, to live with him and become like him.
The limits of these laws cannot be violated, just like natural laws. For example, we cannot escape the influence of gravity. If a person jumps from a tall building, they will fall at the maximum sustainable velocity. Without external interference such as a parachute, this is a certainty. This law cannot be violated. Likewise, if one of God’s laws is tested (broken), a consequence is certain. It may be that the consequence is a loss of spiritual strength, loss of trust, or some other result that takes us further away from our ultimate goal of eternal salvation. Whatever the consequence may be, it is certain to occur. We may not see its effects immediately, but it will inevitably surface. To understand this further or to believe in the cause-and-effect of God’s commandments or laws requires a belief in God Himself. In summary, God’s laws, for those who correctly understand them, are not laws of restriction, but rather are guidelines which lead to self-esteem, liberty through mutual respect, social harmony, and peace and happiness.

Argument: There is no way to prove that God exists or that religion is correct.
Answer: There most definitely is a way to prove it. We can even take a scientific approach to this. The way is very much like a scientific laboratory experiment.

One thing to keep in mind about scientific experiments is that, in order to achieve the desired result, the laboratory setting must always be conducive to the desired result. A successful experiment is not conducted at the convenience of the scientist or the facility, but these must adapt to the environment or nature of the experiment itself. For example, if we want to conduct an experiment regarding ozone levels at high altitude, we must be at that altitude, such as with a hot air balloon, and not in a surface-level laboratory. If we want to conduct experiments involving deep ocean environments, we must go to the deep ocean. When scientists have conducted high-speed atom splitting experiments or time-warp experiments, they were required to build the large, multi-billion dollar circular underground centrifuges, that would use magnetic levitation to accelerate a single atom to near light speed. In order to achieve success in their experiment, they were required to create the right environment. So it is with our experiment of proving that God and His church exist (see Alma 32).

The correct laboratory environment requires a relatively clean human body. Not just any human body, but one that has a genuine desire to know – a willing mind. Christ taught in the bible that signs were not for unbelievers. An attitude of unbelief or lack of genuine desire will pollute the environment of our experiment so as to render it ineffective. In the same way that a scientist will be eager to conduct an experiment properly to obtain accurate results, we must likewise be eager to conduct this experiment properly to have a chance to obtain the desired accurate result.

If we have the right person (clean body and willing mind), we are ready to proceed. By clean body I mean one that is free from impairment or addiction that would prevent it from receiving the very sensitive spiritual messages of truth that come from God.

The next step is to begin studying the word of God, the scriptures. Attend church meetings to learn more about everyday life for those who follow God. Study other forms of information, such as videos, books, informational facilities such as visitor centers, etc. Any successful experiment requires some level of research. This is your research phase for this experiment.

Once you have done a substantial amount of research (substantial amount, not an inadequate sampling), you should feel a desire to know if the information you have collected is indeed true. With this desire, you are invited to pray to God and get His personal confirmation of its truthfulness. Pray many times over several days, continuing to study the material you have collected. He has promised all of us that we will receive this witness from him, as a feeling of calm assurance in our hearts, or a ‘burning in the bosom’ as it is often referred to. With this personal witness, you will know for yourself of the existence of God and the truth of His teachings to us.

Learning that God is real is just as empirical an approach as physical science, in that there is a cause and effect that is consistent. If you honestly desire to know the truth, it will be revealed to you. The failure of most people in believing this or trying it is that they reject the laboratory setting we have described.

If you do not believe this is to be true, it is not because God does not exist, or that it cannot be proven. Millions of people throughout time have successfully employed this experiment and have successfully received their answers. Your doubts cannot invalidate their findings. The problem is simply that you reject the laboratory environment required to achieve the desired result. It is similar to expecting to learn about deep sea creatures without being willing to get wet. You are wasting your time arguing with those who already know what you refuse to learn.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Energy Drinks & the Word of Wisdom - Collision Course

I don't know why, but I like addressing controversial topics. Maybe because I am not the least bit afraid to tackle them or defend my position.

We all probably have been guilty of 'skirting' the Word of Wisdom at some point. Whether it be finding justification in cola drinks, herb tea, or whatever. Some of these things are OK, I'm sure. The Word of Wisdom seems to be as much a personal commandment as it is a universal one. It means different things to many people. I actually have a letter in my possession from the First Presidency about 40 years ago, stating that decaffeinated coffee (which is about 97% caffeine free) is OK.

One thing we should all agree on is that if something is downright hazardous to our health, it is against the Word of Wisdom. Do we need to be 'commanded in all things', even the obvious things?

So it is with 'energy drinks'. Please read this article, 'The Energy Drink Epidemic' from the December 2008 Ensign Magazine:

What is one of the main reasons for the Word of Wisdom? To keep our bodies in a state of purity, free from impairment that would prevent us from feeling and understanding the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Without the companionship of the Holy Ghost it is impossible for us to be exalted.

After reading this article, do we really need to be told that energy drinks are against the Word of Wisdom? We should forbid our children to drink these. We should avoid them ourselves. We would be blessed for doing so. Thankfully I hate the way they taste. I have never had an energy drink, only a couple of small sips. But Red Bull, for example, tastes too much like Robitussin cough syrup. Gag!

Are we serious about our spiritual strength and that of our children? Then let's stop making lame excuses and let's quit buying this garbage!

Defending Our Religion Before a Godless World–Pt 2

Let’s review the first point from Part 1: personal conviction. We must realize that the so-called ‘godless’ society we are having to defend against is not actually godless; it’s just that they reject OUR god, and replace Him with gods of materialism, indulgence, self-gratification and self-importance. Because they are trying to replace our god with theirs, their motivation to undermine our religious freedom and foundation is an active agenda, not a passive one. My point here is that we must be more driven and diligent than to think the godless society can be treated lightly. I believe that the personal conviction required of us will at some point rival the convictions of those who founded our nation against the oppressive rule of Great Britain. We may be called upon to defend our right to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience in an equally passionate way.

This type of conviction requires a firm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This testimony will be ‘put on trial’, ridiculed and criticized by the Sherems and the Korihors of the world. Can you withstand lawyer-like cross-examination and impeachment of your faith? You must be able to.

The second point, being able to express our convictions effectively, may require practice. It requires the ability to stay on task, to withstand attempts to sidetrack and funnel the debate away from the fully comprehensive ‘playing field’ that includes both religion AND politics. In showing how to defend our religion against the godless, I will give several examples from my life of how I have successfully done this. I cannot begin to cover every possible argument, but my examples should provide the catalyst for personal thought, creativity and adaptation for particular situations.

I will begin the examples in Part 3.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

News Article: 'Degrading' Lyrics Linked to Teen Sex

This is another one for the 'DUH!' file. I find it amusing that even in the first line of this article, the author seems unwilling to concede that a connection exists.

Here is the article:

Isn't it great that we have prophets of God to tell us these things? Even though they should be obvious to all, they apparently are not obvious to the oblivious (how ironic: two words that look alike and have virtually opposite meanings). How blessed we are to not have to learn all of these lessons the hard way.

This is much like the article I posted on January 23, titled "Teen pregnancies tied to tastes for sexy TV shows". NO KIDDING!

That article has since been removed from Yahoo's site.

Defending Our Religion Before a Godless World-Pt 1

Many people have found it difficult, if not impossible, to defend their religious beliefs or the existence of God against the liberal world that tries to divorce us from our faith. One thing I have found to be true: If argued on a purely logical or rational level, liberalism almost always wins the argument, whether it be about the existence of God Himself or about the validity of His laws, commandments, and blessings. Why is that true? Is it because religion and God are unexplainable? Could it be that there is no proof of God's existence? I contend that it is explainable and there is proof to be found. I believe the answer comes down to two things: 1) personal conviction, and 2) the ability to articulate that conviction.

1. PERSONAL CONVICTION - Before you can begin to defend your belief in God and in His gospel, you first must embrace it and believe it. Further, you must know why you believe it. Doctrine & Covenants 11:21 says,

"Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

Here, we must have a testimony of what you believe, and know why we believe it, before we will have any chance of successfully expressing our convictions to others, particularly to those who are trying to invalidate our beliefs.

In much the same way that a missionary for the church should not go into the mission field without first gaining a testimony of what he will preach, we must gain a conviction of why we believe and live the way we do.

2. THE ABILITY TO ARTICULATE OUR CONVICTIONS - This takes practice, if not divine help. Again, referring to the scripture in the D&C, as well as many others, the Spirit will accompany us and tell us what to say when we need it.

I have a little bit of an advantage. My patriarchal blessing says I that my tongue will be loosed, and that I will never lack for words in defending the kingdom of God. Admittedly, when those who know me well hear that 'my tongue will be loosed, and will never lack for words...', they laugh because it is so true. I am much like old Foghorn Leghorn with a testimony (perhaps you remember Foghorn Leghorn, the big, boisterous chicken from the old Warner Brothers cartoons). I truly will never lack for words! So I try to use this gift (or curse, depending on whose ears are hearing me) to build the kingdom of God.

One key point about expressing our convictions is to not try to do this on a purely intellectual or logical/rational level. For those who are firm in their testimony of the gospel, we can stay on our own 'playing field' for this debate. The liberals will want you to argue and defend your belief in God, the afterlife, and so on, without referring to non-scientific evidence. Many people fall into this trap and lose the argument. This is the primary reason why people lose the argument, and where a lack of real personal conviction fails in the effort. What we must remember is that to us, there is no dividing line between religion and science. They are inseparable. This is why people who are religious but not of our faith cannot sustain this argument - because they lack the deep conviction, which truly is based on evidence. Their position is based purely on the reading of the Bible.

More to come in part 2.

It Really Works!

Following the counsel of our prophets will result in blessings. I know. I'm going through a tough time because of the economy. At this point I have been out of work for 3 months. I am 'concerned', but I am not worried. I get discouraged at times because it gets tiring, but I do not live in despair.

In the world's view, I am too old - at 48 - to still be going through this stuff: trying to 'repair' my career path, trying to save for a retirement, having a solid investment portfolio, etc.

I have had to use what investments I had to live on. That bites. My career has been 'derailed' for some time, and I didn't realize until just 3 years ago that it would take furthering my education to get past the crippling effects of a wrongful termination, employers who have gone out of business, leaving unethical situations, etc.

I look around me at people who apparently don't have many (or seemingly ANY) challenges in their lives. But I know that they do have them... it's about the appearance. Those outside of the gospel don't want to show their troubles because they don't want to look weak. Those inside the church (and I mean REALLY inside, as in converted and consecrated) don't show it because they carry a cheerful countenance - much like the Savior taught in the Sermon on the Mount about those who fast (Matthew 6). They don't 'disfigure their faces and appear unto men' to be having any challenges in their lives. They are great examples of gratitude.

Yet despite all of these worldly concerns that would make me feel like 'a lesser man', I have held onto my faith. I have tried to keep the commandments of the Lord and serve in His kingdom. And he has blessed me for it. I haven't been 'blessed' with the career opportunity that will save me from my situation, but I have been blessed to have what my family needs at this time, without having to resort to welfare, unemployment compensation or church assistance. I have learned over many years of experience that the Lord will bless and provide, often in ways I don't expect.

We have family prayer morning and night. We have family home evening every week. We read the scriptures 6 days a week in the morning (not Saturdays). Every year of my adult life I have been able to declare myself a full tithe payer, even in the roughest of times. I am trying to attend the temple as often as I can, almost weekly (instead of 'weakly', ha ha). Despite my rediculously busy schedule between work (trying to find it and doing side jobs, etc), school (25 hours per week) and family needs, I find time to serve in the church as Ward Mission Leader and Sunday School teacher. I am trying to do everything right that I can. And I am being blessed, I know I am.

When will job/career relief come? Who knows? Until then, I will keep trying, keep serving, and keep praying, knowing that my Savior wil provide as he sees fit. But He will provide, I have no doubt. This is my testimony based on many years of results. In Jacob chapter 7, Sherem desired to debate with Jacob about the doctrine of Christ (verse 5):

"And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken."

I have not seen the angels, yet, but I have heard the 'voice of the Lord' through the Holy Ghost, and have had so many blessings that followed the exercise of faith, that I likewise cannot be easily shaken.

I know I am not alone in my challenges. In the world's view I could be called a 'loser' because I don't have the material wealth that others have (and the debt that often accompanies it, thankfully). But in the eternal perspective I am not losing. I am winning in a big way. I know this to be true. I simply must endure to be able to realize the fruits of this victory. It's worth it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Survival" Mode

It is clear to me that we are in the 'last days', perhaps only a few short years before the Second Coming of the Savior. There is much discussion in the news, on blogs, and in social gatherings, about what we can do to 'fix' the predicament we are in.

Some offer up a 'stimulus plan', or a bailout of big players in the economy. How many of us honestly think that will work? In a sacrament meeting address the week after the October 2008 General Conference in Sandy, Utah, President Boyd K. Packer was quoted as referring to the situation we are in as the 'collapse of the economy'. Does that, coming from a prophet, seer and revelator, get your attention?

Some people offer up other investment advice, such as moving from paper securities (stocks, bonds, etc) to gold and land.

Still others want even more governmental control over the uncertainties we face. History is replete with examples of how more and more government control leads to inevitable collapse, but people apparently are insistent on repeating history for the sake of political expedience.

The one possible solution that none of the powers-that-be are considering is to turn to the Lord, to embrace the tried-and-proven path of a righteous, honest, freedom-loving society. No, our society is so busy trying to expel God from their world, through personal apostasy, through corruption of the First Amendment 'separation of church and state' doctrine, and trying to find legal and medical remedies to give them relief IN their sins rather than FROM their sins.

I refer you to the scriptures, particularly Mosiah 29:27, where King Mosiah persuades the people to give up having a king and move to a democratic form of government:

"And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land."

My friends, I am no longer concerned about saving the world. I don't waste a single breath in that context. I am not interested in 'making a difference' by running for political office. In my opinion, it is too late for that. There is no hope for the world, the people in general have become corrupted and are past-feeling. Saving the world from itself is impossible, especially since it seems to be accelerating toward its own demise.

Instead of trying to 'save the ship', which cannot be saved, I am 'looking for survivors'. I believe there are people all around us who want to 'survive', who are afraid of what they see happening, who need answers, who need relief in all ways - emotional, temporal, and spiritual.

The prophet Joseph Smith said in D&C 123:12-14 -

"For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

These should then be attended to with great earnestness."

So I invite all of us who are blessed to see and know the signs that are beginning to appear, to help pluck the survivors up. They need us now more than ever.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gun Ownership in the Last Days

I have been pondering this subject a lot lately. As Obama was elected president, and we have a liberal anti-gun majority taking over Congress as well, the gun shops around the country saw exponential increases in sales. People were not only buying guns but were buying huge stockpiles of ammunition. I found this to be true with some church members as well. I even stocked up on ammo. I basicaly have a lifetime supply.

But I have been thinking about some of the prophecies of the last days, and comparing them to my current attitudes. Who would I use all of that ammo against, burglars and gang members? Or do I think I will use it against the oppression of my government? Many people think the latter. Joseph Smith set an example by always submitting himself to the authorities, even on bogus charges. Of course this was done in the name of the Lord - "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matthew 5:11)

George Albert Smith has been quoted as prophesying that the guns of the people will be taken away in the US right before a great war begins. So if the government wants to confiscate our guns, should we give them up? Here is a question with a dilemma: The Second Amendment of the Constitution states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arm shall not be infringed". The twelfth Article of Faith, says "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law".

So what is the law? If Congress or the president decides to confiscate our guns, do we give them up? The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and no act of the legislative or executive branch, other than a legally adopted amendment or repeal of an amendment, can overrule the Constitution. So to obey the supreme law of the land would make it OK to disregard any order to disarm that is short of a constitutional amendment. Right?

They way I have been viewing it lately, I am beginning to believe that worrying about having guns and lots of ammo for the last days is like 'putting my trust in the arm of flesh', rather than trusting the Lord and accepting the last days as they are. Further, do I want to live with the thought that I might kill someone, even a gang punk trying to hurt my family? Am I not better off just trusting the Lord under the circumstances, continually praying with faith for His protection? Besides, if it comes down to defending my faith, the use of guns would not be appropriate. One friend brought up the fact that the Nephites were commanded to defend themselves. True, but they were commanded to defend themselves not because their weapons were being confiscated by the government, but because the Lamanites wanted to destroy them. It was also because the Lord wanted to preserve the Nephite people, and their records, for the fulfillment of his prophecies. Different situation and reasons.

It seems that the less we worry about what government does to take away our rights and usurp power over us, and the more we just turn to the Lord and trust Him, the sooner we will be ready to establish Zion. It may not make the Second Coming happen any faster, but we will not need to fear if we have truly put our strength and trust in the Lord.

I would welcome other comments and opinions on this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ah, The Wisdom of Parents!

I blocked on our home computer system, and my kids threw a fit.

"It's not bad!"
"I don't go to those areas!"
"I don't chat with people I don't know"

Read this article about how MySpace removed 90,000 registered sex offenders from their site over the past two years.

I showed this article to one of my sons and he couldn't believe.

I guess parents aren't so stuffy and dumb after all!