Saturday, December 22, 2012

Have You Been Validated?

My Uncle Bruce was a famed psychologist. He often spoke about the need for children to "have their ticket punched" by their parents. By that expression, he meant parents held in their hands the indispensable key to their children's existence. If parents believe their children have value and they are able to transmit that belief to them, children can go on to becoming worthwhile and productive adults. Withholding that validation sometimes proves ruinous to the development of children.

Like the train conductor in the Polar Express, "punching someone's ticket" by recognizing their innate worth as a marvelous human being, though flawed, is liberating. Let's be honest, we're all flawed beyond hope, we're all sinners, except as we are redeemed in the perfection of Christ through our sincere repentance and reliance upon Him.

The stories are legion of parents who neglect their children. Sometimes that neglect is overt and openly hostile. We've been watching a lot of Christmas movies this month where the theme has been the destructive separation that occurs in families when parents and children become estranged. We've witnessed so many contrived and seemingly petty plot lines this month. Of course, in all Christmas movies there must be conflict, resolution and happy endings. But sometimes in life it is not always so simple. Everyone in real life will tell you "it's complicated." The dynamics of human relations are always complicated, and by design we get ample experimental lab material to work on - that material comes to us in the form of parents, children, siblings and in-laws. Each of us has what sometimes seems like an inexhaustible supply, and we would wish for less if we could escape having to deal with "Uncle Harry" in our life. However, we are expected to experiment on each other until we, not they sometimes, get it right. It's Heavenly Father's plan for us.

And life is fleeting. We have all learned in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that even the most innocent children can be snatched away in death in an instant. There are no guarantees when we live in a world where evil is ever-present before us.

Spouses are separated, become indifferent to each other and become strangers, even enemies of each other in some cases, when love at the altar was first sealed in their marriage vows. Husbands who were once loving and treated their wives well become angry and bitter. They are repeatedly warned by Church leaders that they will be held accountable for every tear their wife sheds that can be traced to him as the cause. Protecting and cherishing that most important of all human relationships with our spouses is paramount.

Parents often reject their offspring for a host of reasons. Once filled with hope and a positive outlook for their children, parents become disillusioned over the lack of "acceptable performance" in their children. And that is a highly subjective standard. It is hard sometimes for parents to communicate adequately what those standards look like, and confusion and resentment result. Instead of helping their children's development, they will often look outside their family circle for examples of other people's children who are excelling and achieving. To the detriment of their own children, parents will cite others as the shining example and sometimes without even knowing what they are doing destroy the self worth of their own children.

Children often look at their parents and see all the warts, the hypocrisy and the double standards their parents deploy to impress others at the expense of their integrity. Honesty, which earnest parents once sought to instill in their offspring, is sacrificed for one worthy contingency after another. Children lose confidence in parents, when all that was necessary was a proper teaching about the gospel of self-awareness and repentance. Admitting one's own flaws and demonstrating a desire to do better through deeds, not mere words, does much to bolster confidence of children in their parents.

Once again, that is a highly subjective standard. Most parents will fail in those judgments their children make about them. Children can judge harshly and unfairly, often failing to recognize pure motives where there was no intentional desire by the parents to harm them. What so often happens is that parents and children become estranged because of distance in miles from each other. It becomes easier and easier to stay away, to distance themselves from each other in ways that go beyond the miles of separation. Emotional support for one another erodes until there is no relationship left.

There are such simple acts of kindness we are willing to bestow upon total strangers, but withhold from our "less worthy" family members. For years, expressions of love and validation are sparingly dispensed if at all. Time stretches into years. You've all seen the movie plots. So many of them are based upon true stories.

In those true stories sometimes there is never a reconciliation at Christmas time or any other time. We mortals are prone to hold grudges, pass judgments, and write people off without so much as a preliminary hearing from them. We are more confident in our own judgments and decrees against those in our families than we ever are when we hear similar stories about total strangers. Why is that?

I can't help wondering if it is because Satan has as his stated purpose the work of destroying families in every way imaginable. The legalization of gay marriage is guaranteed to produce no offspring. From the moment Adam and Eve set foot in the garden of Eden, he has always known if he could separate the man from the woman he could thwart the plan of salvation, which is dependent upon "the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39 and Moses 4). In order to bring about immortality and eternal life, there must first be mortal life, created in partnership with God by a man and a woman united in the holy bonds of the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

So in this effusive spirit of Christmas goodness and perfection, try validating those closest to you. Instead of making them pass some sort of litmus test of your own devising, try suspending judgment. Try forgiveness. Try saying the words, "Will you forgive me?" Or better, "I forgive you." Or if they've never heard you say it before, "I'm sorry." My mother used to refer to those as "magic words."

They are magic because they have healing power. They validate. They punch someone's ticket.

And when you say them, make sure there's a smile on your face.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's December - "Are You Ready for Christmas?"

"Are you ready for Christmas?" The question reverberates around the globe every year at this time. "Ready for Christmas?" It seems the pressure mounts to reach for the perfect tree, the perfect decorations, the perfect present, the perfect recipe, the perfect Christmas dinner. In short, it's a time of magical fantasy dreams and wishes.

December at its end always looks different than at the beginning, doesn't it? We love Christmas at our house. Patsy has over a hundred nativity scenes, and she loves to put them all out all over the house. The preparations, the decorations, the lights, the tree, the advent candles, all of it represents an attempt to recapture the innocence of a perfect time in our childhood. It fills us with anticipation that at the darkest time of the year, the end of December, we may seek and find the Light of the world if we focus on Him. The aftermath of Christmas morning rarely lives up to its fullest potential on December 1st, it seems. But we try year after year to recapture the magical moments of youth. A simpler time, a simpler set of expectations, a simpler life.

As we grow older, Patsy and I have evolved into something from "Back to the Future." Alone, just the two of us in our large family home once filled with children, their friends, and non-stop parties, we have now defaulted to the Hallmark Channel for its barrage of cheesy Christmas perfection. I tease her that every Christmas movie plot involves a winning and predictable formula - two star-crossed lovers, conflict of some kind, resolution, kissing and always a scene at the end with snow gently falling all around. The funniest thing about the snow scene is that it happens even in Arizona and California. Perfect.

The embodiment of the Christmas ideal is the perfection we find in Jesus Christ. He is the only human being (half human, half God), who came to Earth and never succumbed to the wiles of Satan. Good and evil were with us from the beginning, when Satan rebelled against the Father's plan of happiness for His children and took "a third part" of Heavenly Father's spirit children down with him. Forever denied access to a physical body, the essential element of the plan, they continue to afflict and torment man. But in Christ we have the perfect Prototype of salvation.

Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith posed the question in the Lectures on Faith: "We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude, as to the answer of this question, there will be no dispute among those who believe the Bible, that it is Christ; all will agree in this, that He is the prototype or standard of salvation." (Lecture 7).

In Christ we have the perfect example of how to live. We reach for it, we aspire unto it, yet as Paul reminds us, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).

I believe it is in the reaching, the stretching, the yearning for perfection that we are sanctified and purified. Rather than become discouraged, disheartened or disappointed in our lack of achievement against the standard of perfection, we must embrace our fallen natures, acknowledge our weakness and our need for Christ. We must confess our stupidity on so many levels, rather than break ourselves against the wall of the law. So many within my sphere of influence have given up, left the Church, walked away from the attempt, claiming it's just futile, inconceivable and elusive beyond man's ability to comprehend. To which I respond, "That's exactly what we are supposed to see and understand about ourselves."

No great business enterprise prospered and succeeded without a vision of the impossible. Once the vision is set before us, the solutions begin to present themselves as we attempt to climb higher to our goals. Without the struggle, without the courage to try, without dependency upon a higher power than our own, nothing can be accomplished that is worthwhile. Growth comes in the stretching beyond our native abilities. New ideas present themselves we never would have contemplated but for the reaching higher toward the impossible vision we set for ourselves. Become a god someday myself? Impossible. But it's possible to believe it's possible.

Two of the titles we give to Jesus Christ are Savior and Redeemer. In December, as in no other month, we are reminded of these two titles. "Saved from what?" we might ask. Redeemed from what?

President Harold B. Lee
President Harold B. Lee's favorite chapter of scripture was 2 Nephi 9. In it, he said, was found a more comprehensive treatment of the plan of salvation than anywhere else in scripture. He quoted from it often during his lifetime. Let me give you a sample:

"O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment [see D&C 19:10]. O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it." (2 Nephi 9:19-20). "For the atonement satisfieth the demand of his justice upon all those who have not the law given unto them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel." (2 Nephi 9:26).

In those three verses we learn God is merciful to us because He knows us, really KNOWS us down to the cellular level. He delivers us in His mercy from the devil, death and hell. But we must call upon Him for deliverance, and reject the arm of flesh which has nothing to offer us eternally. He saves us and redeems us from those effects of the mortal chaos swirling around us that threatens to destroy us when we come unto Him, repent of our sins and embrace HIS perfection. Trusting in His unseen deliverance is much more difficult than reaching for more dollars in our bank account, but it is the requirement for salvation and redemption. It is reaching for perfection in Him.

We learn even those who inherit the telestial kingdom, a kingdom of glory, are "heirs of salvation" at their level. (D&C 76:88). We are instructed in that day, "These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits on the throne forever and ever." (D&C 76:110).

President Joseph F. Smith
President Joseph F. Smith gives us just a glimpse of how comprehensive this work of saving and redeeming the souls of men really is:

"I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead. The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God. And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation." (D&C 138:57-59).

It is clear from the scriptures what is involved in becoming an "heir of salvation." This is as clear as words can possibly be: "And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul. And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it." (D&C88:16-18).

To be redeemed, anything and everything is possible, even for people who have lost their way. One day, if they repent, they too will be redeemed and saved in the highest degrees of glory:

"And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowerth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption." (Alma 34:16).

Even in the spirit world beyond this life, the work of redemption moves ahead. Spirits of the dead who have departed this life continue to have their moral agency, they may embrace the gospel in its fulness, exercise faith unto repentance, accept the ordinances of the Lord's house including proxy baptism by immersion for the remission of their sins, the laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the endowment and sealing ordinances that bind their families to them forever. Performed under the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, these saving ordinances assure men and women a place together as husband and wife in the Patriarchal Order of the priesthood if they are willing to be saved and redeemed under the merciful provisions offered to them by a loving Savior and Redeemer.

Helaman reminds us: "O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto the people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world." (Helaman 5:9).

And what did King Benjamin teach? That we must embrace our fallen natures and turn to Christ:

For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state -
I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments,, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body -
I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, whichever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you. (Mosiah 4:5-8).

I have written extensively in the past about the word "salvation" being the scriptural equivalent of "eternal life." Even as debilitating as it may seem to some during their mortal probation, the scriptures that speak of salvation and eternal life are extensive and comprehensive. We know very little about the terrestrial and the telestial kingdoms. I wonder if that isn't because our Savior and Redeemer is pointing us higher than we think we can climb. When we come unto Him and partake of His righteousness, we are "ready for Christmas" not just in December but every other day of the year too. (See Moroni 10:32-33).

So, the next time someone asks you, "Are you ready for Christmas?" how will you answer? I hope you'll always say, "Yes, now and forever!" And be sure to say, "Merry Christmas."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Staples Announces Adoption of Packsize Technology

In a long-awaited announcement today, Staples, the number two online retailer in America, has implemented On Demand Packaging. They will call their internal system "Smart-size packaging."

The press release, issued this morning, states in part: "Staples has implemented Smart-size packaging in several facilities in its nationwide network of delivery fulfillment centers, and will continue the roll-out through 2013."

Packsize is helping Staples reduce air pillows by 60%.

Packsize is helping Staples reduce its corrugated needs by 20%.

To date, Packsize technology is deployed in 12 Staples facilities with an entire network rollout scheduled for completion next year.

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Packsize International LLC is the world’s leading provider of lean packaging systems for businesses with complex corrugated packaging needs. Recognized by Inc. 5000 and listed by Forbes as one of America’s Most Promising Companies, Packsize delivers an alternative to the existing corrugated supply chain with On Demand Packaging®. For more information, visit

To learn more about how Packsize can help your organization realize the same efficiencies Staples is reporting, please contact David Goates, at (801) 944-4814, ext. 142, or

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NJ Flood Damage, Inflation, National Debt and Politicians

From this morning's edition of American Thinker:

Hurricane damages and the national debt

Lee DeCovnick
The headline from boldly proclaimed, "Christie pegs New Jersey's Sandy damage at $29.4 billion."  The article went on to explain: 

"Gov. Christie estimates that Sandy cost New Jersey $29.4 billion in damage and economic losses, from washed-out roadways and waterlogged homes to manning storm shelters.
"This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations, and geographical mapping," Christie said in a statement released Friday evening. "I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure, and the lives of our citizens for the long term."
$29.4 billion is a supertanker load of money, especially when we consider the amount of damage Sandy caused in the space of just a couple of days. But fear not, Governor, that much money is just a drop in a fifty-five gallon drum when it comes to Federal spending.
Let's look at the rampaging increases in our national debt since the election, according to the US Treasury. On November 14th, 2012 our national debt was $16.244 trillion. Twenty-four hours later the national debt stood at $16.278 trillion.  This increase of over $34 billion dollars in a single day could easily pay for the rebuilding of thousands of houses, plus billions more for transportation, electrical and water infrastructure mitigation for the entire state of New Jersey.
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland are hungrily anticipating having all their "Sandy costs" reimbursed for less than weeks' worth of Federal borrowing.  No doubt these state's congressional delegations are itching to get paws on all this "free" money. After all the current Administration's unspoken policy assumes our children and grandchildren will inherit this mountain range of debt.  Why else would the US Treasury borrow $34 billion dollars a in a single day unless they never actually planned to pay it back?
* * *

The article caught my attention because it helps to put into perspective what we are up against as a nation. It would be naive to assert we got here solely because of Barack Obama. The reason there was such a steady drumbeat about the fact that it was all GWB's fault is because that line tested so well among focus groups. Americans in the majority actually believe the financial condition of this nation is the fault of the previous administration. Even that is simplistic.

We got here over the course of almost a century of slowly boiling in our own juices. As the water temperature has slowly climbed we are now at the point of peril - socialism has fouled the pistons of the engine of free enterprise, and all that remains is determining whether or not we can clear the mechanisms to once again be profitable.

Economists are still divided. "The dark science" of economics instructs some practitioners that the traditional Keynesian response - borrow to create stimulus - is still working and must be employed again and again until the economy jump starts. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar the federal government is spending. Does that sound like a taxation problem or a spending problem to you? Others worry that the growth potential of the GDP may never again rise above 1.5 percent annually, where historically it has averaged 4 percent growth per year. All our problems go away if the growth engine gets revved up again and we grow our way out of debt. Every year that goes by now sees just the opposite result. Instead of a proven winner at the throttles, Mitt Romney, we settled for a rank amateur with absolutely no economic track record except his last four years. God help us all with that choice, because we will need all the help we can get.

The idea that politicians may actually be thinking to themselves that there will never be a day of reckoning on the national debt, that we will never have to pay back the national debt now held by our own Treasury, is the only logical conclusion one can draw from their dithering and lack of willingness to address the obvious issues before us as a nation. Instead of curbing spending they are poised once again to do what Congress always does best when they get in a bind - increase taxes, and not just by closing loopholes for deductions. Now they are discussing increasing tax rates on the wealthy, defined as those making more than $250,000 per year.

I have had discussions with those who supported Barack Obama. Stupidly, they will tell me, "A tax increase on the wealthy doesn't really affect me, so what's the big deal?" What they are not being told is a whopping tax increase is coming their way too. The truth is THAT tax increase has already arrived - I call it the "economy tax" in the form of inflation. It's the cruelest tax of all, but it is felt most acutely by those who are struggling the most in this economy. A liberal friend of mine tried to convince me there was no inflation except on things like gasoline and food, where he had noticed an increase in prices but asserted, "Other than those two areas there doesn't seem to be any inflation." Ask yourselves, are there any two areas that affect the average American citizen more than food and gasoline? My biggest concern for folks who talk this way is they don't even recognize the water temperature in the pot has reached boiling. There is no sense of urgency and a willingness to sustain the status quo. I would maintain the status quo is unsustainable.

There are many who argue every day in cyberspace that we have already gone over the fiscal cliff and there is no way back from that reality. Perhaps they are right. Unless another midnight madness deal of some kind is hammered out in Washington to avert it, taxes will increase dramatically across the board on January 1, 2013. Payroll tax withholdings will return to their normal level, meaning an increase in each paycheck of 2 percent, reducing take home pay for all wage earners. The dreaded AMT will be re-introduced to lower-level taxpayers. Tax credits for students will be eliminated. Taxes on Obamacare will begin to take effect on employers who fail to provide health insurance for their employees. Income tax rates on the small business owners whose incomes exceed $250,000 (families) and $200,000 (individuals) will increase. And let's not forget the estate tax, or "death tax," will automatically reset in 2013. Estates valued at $5 million or more which are now taxed at 35 percent, will be taxed beginning at $1 million in value at a rate of 55 percent.

This is just a partial list of horribles that awaits us if Congress fails to act. The last time around in its infinite brilliance, Congress agree on something no one had ever heard of before - "sequestration." The idea was they would put a bicameral super committee from both houses together in a room to work out the details of who, what and how everything in America would be taxed to avoid default on the national debt. Failing to come up with a solution would mean automatic drastic cuts in military spending and other programs would begin to take effect. In it all there has never been one serious proposal, except those put forward by Congressman Paul Ryan, to reduce spending in the automatic payments generated by Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and now Obamacare. THAT's where all the big spending is happening, but absolutely no serious proposals to adjust them have been advanced, except by one man - Paul Ryan.

The political wisdom has always been to leave the social spending programs alone. Americans love their entitlements. It would be political suicide to begin even tinkering around the edges, much less threatening to begin gutting them. Spending on entitlements, it is argued by their proponents, has a stimulative effect and they are providing for the social welfare of our citizens. So goes the line of reasoning that put Barack Obama back in the White House for another four years. Unless this administration can somehow "see the light" and begin working to constructively address these critical needs with Congress, we will continue to see our credit worthiness as a nation deteriorate.

Addressing these pressing fiscal issues, of course, presumes that Congress and the White House are in agreement that the national debt needs addressing and that we are running out of time. If they are thinking, as the author cited above, Lee DeCovnick, suspects, we may have entered the twilight zone where no one in Washington actually believes they must be making plans to pay it all back.

The fact that our borrowing rates as a nation are so low and interest on the national debt is so "cheap" (ONLY $34 Billion per day), what we may see in upcoming weeks from the lame duck session of the 112th Congress is nothing more than another joint press conference announcing yet another historic bipartisan agreement for continuation of the status quo.

And that would be yet another signal there are no adults working on the problems we face.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Heart Filled with Thanksgiving

This year, as we approach another national day of Thanksgiving in America, we have two LDS missionaries from our family who are currently serving. Our eldest grandson, Izach, is serving in the Iowa Des Moines Mission, and our youngest daughter, Merilee, is serving in the Washington D.C. South Mission. Their service, like that of all their counterparts around the world, represents a free gift of love as they share the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As their families who remain behind at home, we feel the blessings as they give of themselves.

I share my latest thoughts with both of them here:

Dear Elder Izach:
Dear Sister Merilee:

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday, I think, since Christmas now more than ever is overrunning any and all considerations in the USA. I couldn’t believe the Christmas decorations and displays in all the retail outlets that began appearing this year earlier than ever – before Halloween!

We sometimes forget to remember to be grateful. Now more than ever I recognize how blessed I am, and how thankful I am for all I have. Chief among those blessings are our children, their spouses and grandchildren. There is no greater gift from God than a righteous posterity in whom we have received so much joy.

The knowledge of the gospel and what it is and how we implement it into our lives individually each day through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ unto repentance, making it possible to lay aside our sins and walk in a newness of life in the Spirit day by day is the very essence of our existence. Imagine life without that precious knowledge!

Faith, giving rise to hope of eternal life, producing the pure love of Christ in our lives is powerful doctrine. I have truly become a simpleton as I grow older – I am constrained to acknowledge that when we distill life into its purest essence it is not difficult or complicated or complex at all – it is simple!

We are all God’s spirit children having a brief mortal probation clothed in bodies of flesh and blood, He loves us, we must learn to love each other, then we return to live in the Spirit eternally. If we qualify through our faithfulness we live Eternal’s life, since Eternal is one of the names we apply to our Father in Heaven.

I know when we were all together in the spirit world before we came to live here, we enthusiastically supported the proposed plan of salvation – there was no wavering on our parts, because we wanted mortality. I know we all shouted for joy at the prospects of coming here, that we embraced our Elder Brother as the Firstborn Son, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, when we raised our arms to the square and sustained Him in the role of Redeemer, Savior and Messiah.

We knew the Gods personally – God the Creator, God the Redeemer, and God the Testator – even the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. We walked with them, we were taught all that we needed to know, then we came to earth. We began life just as little Emma did (she was with us overnight this weekend, along with Andrew and Jessica) did not long ago. As infants pure and innocent, sent straight to earth from the Father of us all to inhabit a mortal body of flesh and bone and blood, they come trailing clouds of glory.

In our mortal bodies are sown the seeds of corruption from the beginning of our existence. Entropy (the tendency of all things to decay and die) took root in us as it does in everything the temporal eye can see.

Satan sought us out from the very moment of our births. We became subject to his temptations, his wiles, his lies, and his deceptions. He sought to destroy our innocence. He succeeded. Until we were eight these things mattered little to us, since we were not accountable before God for our wrong choices, but then we turned eight.

We were baptized, and we took upon ourselves the sacred covenants of baptism and membership in the kingdom of God here upon the earth. The promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost was held out to us, indeed we were commanded to “receive the Holy Ghost.” Only our willingness to submit our lives as true disciples enabled us to fulfill the commandment.

Only when we truly come unto Christ through our faith on Him can we truly be saved and sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost and His sanctifying power to purify our hearts. In and of ourselves we have no power. We do not set a goal to be good, then strive for its accomplishment on our own. There is nothing about us in our fallen condition that is good, virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy or righteous. On our own we are a miserable wreck of carnality and depravity. Without the grace and mercy and love of a God incarnate in the form of Christ, we would be lost forever in our sins.

If there is anything good in us, it is only because of the Spirit of the Holy Ghost that has come to dwell in us. We are only pure vessels as a worthy habitation for His presence when we have repented, truly repented, of our sins.

Knowing of our tendency toward entropy and backsliding, the saving ordinance of the sacrament was introduced by a loving Savior the night before His agonizing crucifixion outside the city walls of Jerusalem on Golgotha’s hill.

Each week in sacrament meeting we are put in remembrance of His body which was slain and His precious blood which was spilt for each of us. In His agonizing death and burial, then subsequent glorious resurrection on the first Sabbath morning of the third day, we find hope for ourselves to be elevated from our fallen mortal condition to a resurrection of glory comparable to Eternal’s resurrection.

We aspire as saints and disciples of Christ living in the last days to become as Eternal is in His realm – to become joint-heirs with our Elder Brother, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – possessing (no longer merely hoping) to have all that the Father hath. We aspire to be Eternal Parents, to live in the Eternal’s family forever, to be one with Him, with Christ, and with all our progenitors who so qualified for Eternal’s life.

All of it is possible only because of Jesus Christ, the only true Prototype of Eternal’s life. It is only through and in Christ that the plan of Eternal’s salvation is possible.

Now how do we come to know such a plan? All of it was lost in dark ages of sin and depravity for centuries. Down the corridors of time humanity trudged alone and without hope until the dawning of a new day in the last days.

A boy, only fourteen years old, went into a grove of trees in upstate New York to pray. He was confused by the cacophony of voices everywhere he turned. He sought truth. He determined no one knew what he longed to know. He asked God the Father in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost to reveal the truth about the various religious sects of his day. He was answered. Alone in the grove, a glorious pillar of light descended upon him until he was enveloped (even transfigured) in the light. Without that transforming, transfiguring power transferred to him by the very glorifying presence of the Father and Son, Joseph would have been literally consumed and annihilated as a mere mortal man.

But he survived the light, and from that day forward remained a pure and enlightened vessel, though he continued to struggle in the flesh. He beheld and spoke directly to the Father and the Son that brilliant spring day in 1820. The heavens were opened anew. The Restoration began. Of that fact I am a witness.

After that initial encounter with Deity, there came a stream of visitors from the other side of the veil to instruct and teach. Hundreds of ancient prophets appeared and taught the boy prophet. Finally, in 1827, on the morning of September 22, he was ready. He was led to the plates compiled by the ancient worthies Mormon and Moroni.

How convenient that he was living only a short distance from the hill where the sacred record had lain buried for centuries.

How convenient that the veil of darkness was burst by the very Moroni who had hid them up as his last act in mortality.

How convenient that this mere boy without any formal education was thought to be so clever as to have concocted such a tall tale.

How convenient that when it was brought forth out of the ground that the voice from the dust has withstood all the tests of authenticity without fail all these many years since.

How convenient that we have the record at our fingertips and can examine its contents for ourselves, and not have to rely upon first the words of three witnesses, then later eleven, who saw and handled those plates of such rare quality and saw and heard the angelic ministrant, Moroni, bear record of their truths.

How convenient, yes, but more than convenient – the word is more accurately “how true.”

Imagine the sacrifice, the blood, the sweat and the tears, the human extremity necessary to have produced those plates we now have! Imagine the faith, the painstaking faith, required to have preserved and left for a latter-day boy prophet the task to bring the record forth from the ground to publish it to the world as the saving document, the tangible evidence of the mercy and love of the Father and the Son for all the spirit children of Eternal’s family unit.

Then think about all the billions of Eternal’s children who never had the blessing of learning the truths of the fullness of the gospel while they lived in mortality! Think of the mercy, the justice, to make available to all of them without exception the ordinances of Eternal’s life – to have the same opportunity as those who had actually lived and received the glorious truths of the gospel while they lived in the flesh.

What provision, what foresight, what fairness, what love! I truly can scarcely take it all in.

Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor both testified that there would few IF ANY who, when presented with the gospel message in the spirit world, would reject it. They will be judged the same as us – they will qualify for Eternal’s life too.

For us it remains to improve upon the days of our probation by learning two invaluable lessons – to repent and to forgive – and by so doing put into implementation in our lives the saving power of the gospel so it can truly save us.

When we first embrace the gospel we go through a gate. That gate is baptism. Baptism leads to a path. That path is the strait and narrow path. “Strait” literally means narrow though it sometimes winds hither and thither during our mortal journey. That path leads upward, through mists of darkness, through temptations of all kinds imaginable. We are buffeted, mocked by others, tested and tried in all things.

Along side that path is an iron rod. The imagery is of something tangible, solid, easily within reach, yet it symbolizes something totally spiritual, elusive and often difficult to discern. The word of God is Spirit essence at its best, only to be understood by those who seek it with all their hearts, minds, strength and souls. The promise is that we will have a companion on that journey up the strait and narrow path.

As we cling to the word of God, as we implement its entreaties in our daily living, as we seek to purify our lives week by week at the sacrament table, making spiritual realities grow out of our physical acts of partaking of the bread and water – then and only then do we receive token down payments along our way of what our state and station in Eternal’s realms of glory. These are the glorious principles of truth we teach.

I have summarized here the essence of what I have said in many, many Sunday lessons, sermons and writings over the years. Missionaries like you often attended those meetings with their investigators. I think of you with your investigators each time I attend Sunday meetings and the temple, as we did last Thursday night with our stake. I always wonder what goes through the hearts of the missionaries and the investigators as they sit in those meetings. When I teach, I am only interested in answering the prayers of those missionaries that the speaker won’t blow it for their investigators. I have always tried to deliver the message the Spirit gives me. I always bear pure testimony. I keep it simple. No matter what the topic of the meeting where we are asked to speak, I try to lay out for investigators my witness of the precious truths they are studying with the missionaries.

For all these things and more I am eternally grateful to my Eternal Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. Imagine life without what we know! Can you even imagine it? It’s no wonder these truths, once embraced, truly change lives with transforming power and cleansing sanctifying effect. That you are engaged in the very essence of bringing these truths to the human family where you labor fills me with gratitude and thanksgiving unlike anything I’ve ever experienced to this point in my life.




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Were You Thinking? You Elected Obama!

Let me say it one more time. My basic inclination is to maintain a positive outlook on life. I resist any and all attempts by others to paint me into the corner of "victimhood." However, after the results of this last presidential election I feel like I was violated. I've never been mugged on Mean Street, USA, but this came awfully close when I imagine what it might feel like.

I feel like my generation owes an apology to my children and grandchildren and generations of my progeny not yet born. Even though it will do little to change the outcome, I offer my apology for what it's worth. I didn't donate much money to anyone in this election cycle, but my preferences are well-known on these pages and easily discerned. My preferred candidate, Mitt Romney, lost, but America lost more. We will never know what might have been by walking past Romney, perhaps the best qualified candidate for president we will ever see in America.

President Barack Obama
The electorate, however, has spoken. I know the majority picked Barack Hussein Obama. I also realize I no longer can be considered part of the majority. I didn't get what I wanted in this election (that happens routinely now). But to you who voted for Obama, I wonder if you only got what you THOUGHT you wanted.

By voting for Obama there is an increasing chance you have helped to destroy this nation. Layoffs are mounting in just the last week. The cruel realities of the excessive taxation associated with Obamacare have now begun to take their toll. Just today we learned three Hostess plants that make Twinkies were forced to close. The unions, warned of what would happen, went out on strike. Over 600 jobs were lost. The list of closures will continue. We've also heard from Papa John's and others, and there will be more. They will cut back on the hours worked by their remaining employees in order to avoid having to insure them under Obamacare. Elections DO have consequences.

Let me explain further about what happened during Obama's first four years to help you understand what you've done by re-electing him. During his first four years, Obama effectively nationalized the housing industry and slowed recovery by intervening. Then he gobbled up the automobile industry and crowned the unions while eliminating secured creditors. Next was the medical industry, almost 20 percent of our economy, by enacting Obamacare. You can label all this any way you choose, but the most accurate label I can put on it is socialism. If his first term is the preamble, his second term will accelerate the nationalism of the airlines, oil and gas and power. Already, we have seen the impact of Obama's policies on the coal industry. By taxing the end users to generate electricity, he's killed their markets and coal miners are losing their jobs. It would be safe to assume we will see more borrowed and tax money "invested" by our government into untested and unproven “green” industries.

The exit polling reveals that single women voted overwhelmingly for Obama. I confess I was baffled by the birth control question that arose during the primary debates. I couldn't imagine where that came from. In the general election we learned the strategy. Obama targeted women to garner votes solely based upon free government access to reproductive decisions by mandating that health care providers (then later the insurance companies) give out free birth control pills and provide abortions no matter where women and their infants were in their gestation development. It was all couched in "freedom of choice" language, or a woman's "right to choose."

That's such a compelling benefit - birth control on the front end (have sex indiscriminately) and abortion on demand (kill that growing fetus if you choose not to give birth). It's a failsafe world for women now - freedom to avoid pregnancy and freedom to terminate it when they ignore the first choice. Note the abuse of the words "free" and "freedom." Do you know, or have you ever spoken to someone who had an abortion, regardless of the cause of the pregnancy? Lost in all the discussion about "choice" and "freedom" is this: abortion is "akin" if not "equated" to murder.

Let's talk about immigration next. You may not know it, but by voting for Obama, you have virtually assured an ever-expanding definition of amnesty. Why? To further strengthen the voter base among Hispanics. Along with it will come legitimacy to those who entered America illegally.

Here's the rest of the story on what your federal government will be doing. It will assure huge payments for housing, subsistence, medical care, and free secondary education at the public expense. The reasoning is flawed, but it's simple - by handing out all those government sponsored goodies illegals will be embraced and will vote for the socialist regime that dispenses them.

What about drug laws? One would expect another four-year Obama term to further relax enforcement on drug laws with lighter penalties, while increasing regulations on legitimate businesses. Sixty new regulations have been put into place in the last thirty days. Expect significantly more relaxed drug laws and far less severe punishments for drug use. In the aftermath, watch for a huge expenditure on government drug treatment centers and increasing costs to feed and house the rapidly growing numbers of non-productive citizens.

Is that really what YOU voted for? My guess is you didn't really care much because if you don't pay taxes why would you be worried about how taxes are spent?

Don't be too surprised if God continues to disappear from our public expression and our devalued currency and coin. If you don't care about or believe in God, you won't be too concerned. The concept of separation of church and state (NOT Constitutional) will be cemented into our national fabric if it isn't already. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion by the state, not the free and open dialogue and expression of religion in the public square. We've seen the secularists raising objections to our use of the name Jesus Christ associated with Christmas. What will another four or eight or twelve years bring in the way of "progress" on this front?

How about foreign policy? There's already a creeping suspicion about Obama's ethnic origins and hence his loyalties. He's bowed before the Saudi princes, the Japanese hierarchy and others in the Muslim world. His tendency is to ignore the global reality of radical Islamic terrorists. He would like us to believe that silliness all ended with the assassination of Osama bin Laden. One could easily envision increasing accommodation of radical Islam with ongoing disregard for Christianity. Did anyone sense how evident that was during the last four years? What will another four produce? Is that what you wanted by voting for Obama?

Here's what your vote for Obama really means, and the one most troubling to me. My guess is that at least two, perhaps three, Supreme Court Justices will retire during the next four years. If you wanted a more "progressive" interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, then your vote for Obama all but assures it. Many lower court judges will also be replaced with more and more liberal progressive confirmations than ever before. My suspicion is that that morality will no longer be the ideal, rather the baseline will be the socialist ideals.

I read only this morning that forty states, powered by Tea Party activists, are mounting petition drives to secede from the Union.

Here's what your vote also signals - a severe dilution through taxation of the Second Amendment. Since you probably don't know what it is, it covers the right to bear arms. All that is required is taxation on ammunition to kill the marketplace. In the last week, it's the fear of that reality prompting a surge among our fellow citizens to buy up guns and ammunition while they still can at a reasonable price.

Do you believe Obama's tendency to either ignore or bypass the Constitution will be accelerated in his second term? Bet on it. His use of executive orders to enforce his policies rather than taking them to Congress to enact legislation will increase because he has a divided Congress.

There are also troubling signs the U.N. will exert more control over our sovereign rights as Americans. There may be arms reduction treaties and Internet taxes designed to be enforced by the U.N. The discussions are already underway. Does it concern you that Obama picked up endorsements for his second term from Putin, Castro, Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? What does that mean to you if you voted for Obama? Is that really the America you envisioned with your vote?

I wonder if we are not now fully enslaved by socialism. Have we reached the tipping point? Can we never again muster enough votes to turn back the surging tide? Since we are now north of $16 Trillion in debt as a nation, rather than firing up the cylinders of the American economic engine, we have fouled the pistons perhaps beyond repair. I would have favored a "mechanic" like Mitt Romney to look under the hood, rather than a guy who confessed he never got past seventh-grade math. He said on Letterman, "I don't really keep track of what the national debt is." This from the one president in our history who added more debt in four years than all the presidents in our history for a similar period.  Ignorance is no excuse, Mr. President.

I've said it before, but if you CONFISCATED all the total private wealth in America it would not begin to reduce the national debt. I nursed the notion throughout this election cycle that with Romney and Ryan on the job we could extend the time before our financial collapse as a nation.

Now all bets are off. Is that too pessimistic? I'm sorry about that too.

My hope now resides in unforeseen EVENTS I cannot predict. Historically, presidential second terms have been unsuccessful, typically because the truth about what has been concealed in the first term has a tendency to rise and administrations become embroiled in them to a point they are not sustainable. Beware of the Benghazi debacle - the worst of it is yet to come. The resignation of David Petraeus as CIA Chief is only the tip of that iceberg.

This will go down as the most expensive presidential campaign in history. What was accomplished by the combined expenditure of over $6 Billion? We bought ourselves the status quo - gridlock in Washington.

We've been here before, and we'll likely be here again. Wait for the pendulum to swing back again. It will.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Obama Won! Pass the Ice Cream

When I was a boy growing up on the newly paved streets of Rose Park, a post-World War II neighborhood in suburban Salt Lake City, the ice cream truck made its daily appearance. Like the Pied Piper, its tinny calliope music wafted through the backyards, and whatever we were doing at the moment came to a screeching halt as the Pavlovian response kicked in and we raced to the edge of the curb for whatever delights were being offered. Back in the day it wasn't very expensive to buy ice cream - they practically gave it away. I witnessed many a young child kicking and screaming for his mother to give him or her a nickel to buy ice cream.

The dissection of the 2012 presidential race has begun in earnest. Everyone you read this week is a lot smarter than they were last week.

To the victor the spoils - President Obama and VP Biden
I followed the prodigious conventional wisdom of Karl Rove, Scott Rasmussen, Michael Barone, Pat Caddell, and Dick Morris, even George Will, all of whom predicted a landslide for Mitt Romney. They reasoned the turnout of voters for Barack Obama would be weakened from what it was in 2008, based upon Obama’s poor performance by almost every measurement available. It was a failed presidency, they asserted, and they were right about that. They opined people would certainly relate to their pain at the pump, their declining wages, the Benghazi debacle and the unemployment rates. They (and I) were following the signs of all the earmarks associated with the 1980 election, where Ronald Reagan overtook the incumbent POTUS, Jimmy Carter, at the finish line and thoroughly thrashed him. Back then there was also massive unemployment, gas lines, an Iran hostage crisis, and on and on. Someone even devised a "misery index" and Obama had managed to outpace Carter on that index. Slam dunk election for Romney, one would think. Malaise was the word of the day in 1980. Carter, like Obama, warned it was the new normal. The political climate in 2012, it seemed to me, was ripe for a repeat of history.

However, it was not to be. This is not 1980, and it turns out Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter.

If anything, his demographic constituencies not only held up from 2008, they replicated and reaffirmed their choice in 2012. Blacks, Latinos, single women and people who were indifferent to religion (the youth voters) all fell in line and turned out in a massive wave of support for Obama. That said, he still collected 9 million fewer voters than he did in 2008, it’s just that Romney attracted 2 million fewer voters than McCain. Worse, those who identified themselves as Mormons in the exit polling sampling were fewer in numbers this year than in 2004. That means fewer Mormons voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 than voted for George W. Bush in 2004. So much for the argument that the Mormon voting bloc was a force to be reckoned with. All the other religious groups, however, voiced stronger support for Romney this year than before.

The result was a narrow victory for Barack Obama in the popular vote, but a convincing vote total in the electoral college.

None of the Republican pollsters saw that coming. They were all basing their models on the 2010 mid-term results that showed a depressed electorate for Obama and a reliable resurgence for conservatism. I was certain the electorate was reflecting and embracing my values. That’s called “projection” in psychological terms, never a good idea when making political calculations. Turns out everyone in America really doesn’t think the way I do. Shocker!

However, the exit polling revealed something I did predict and something I didn’t. The pollsters asked voters which of four characteristics they most wanted to see in their president. Mitt Romney won among voters who chose three of those characteristics: shares my values, is a strong leader and has a vision for the future. What’s more, he carried them heavily, by between nine and 23 points. In all, 79 percent of voters selected one of these characteristics. That’s the part I accurately predicted. They were thinking exactly like me.

Romney lost because he lost among those who chose the remaining characteristic — by 63 points, 81-18. That characteristic? Cares about people like me. Wow, didn’t see that one coming at all. All the negativity hurled at Mitt Romney all summer long in the key battleground states actually paid off for Obama, it seems. Romney was a rich white guy with no compassion for others. The record says just the opposite, but Romney never had a chance against the negative barrage.

I guess I’m just old-fashioned. I don’t really care if a politician cares about people like me. I’ve done just fine all my life without having to rely upon politicians who supposedly are loving and caring. Truth is I’ve lived long enough to realize there isn’t a politician alive who cares about me, nor do I expect him/her to care about me.

In most cases my expectations are very low when it comes to the political class. I’d be grateful if they’d just pass a balanced budget, provide for the national defense, print the currency, and run a good post office. If recent results are any indication, they can’t even seem to get those simple tasks right.

But this election has taught me something. Republicans at the very time when the nation’s financial future is hanging in the balance decided to sit this election out. Based on reports I’ve read, only 33% of registered Republicans nationwide showed up to vote. That’s deplorable. The only bright spot was a net pick-up of seats in the House of Representatives. Apart from that we voted (after $6 Billion from both sides) for more status quo and more contention. Hardly a satisfactory outcome.

After Chief Justice John Roberts ruled on Obamacare, it was clear to me he would not make the SCOTUS responsible for our bad political choices. He said as much in his majority ruling upholding the law as a tax. Implicit in his message was the Congress has unlimited taxing authority. If you don’t like higher taxes, he said, then vote for people to represent you who will oppose higher taxes. He left the decision in the hands of voters in this election.

The majority have now spoken. They said they wanted Obamacare with all its attendant problems. Just since Tuesday we have seen businesses large and small announce cutbacks in their work forces. Why? The number one reason cited is they cannot afford the higher taxes associated with paying for Obamacare.

This stunning disconnect is self-evident. Voters simply cannot make the connection that a government powerful enough to promise you free healthcare is also powerful enough to confiscate enough in taxes to pay for it. The IRS is our new taskmaster, if they never were before. Remember, the government does not operate on revenue derived from any other source than taxpayers. Said another way, the government has no money beyond what it takes from your pocket or borrows from others. The government always runs on other people’s money. That’s why we have reached a point where our credit worthiness as a nation has been downgraded and will continue to slide.

Others will protest, thinking that a government can and should take care of the poor among us, those who can’t afford to pay their own way. It’s such a noble premise, but it is in the end nothing but an empty gesture. Firing up the printing presses and issuing government bonds, borrowing from foreign governments, buying our own securities and filling up our Treasury with worthless paper debt is NOT a sustainable fiscal path.

This could all go away in time if there were enough economic growth to warrant all the borrowing. However, we haven’t seen the economic growth policies that must include reduced government spending, an atmosphere free from the overhang of regulation that stifles innovation and risk taking, and enough certainty that government will not intrude when private capital is invested.

This administration has never understood those basic economic principles. Or, maybe they DID understand and are intentionally doing all they can to undermine our system. Whether it has been intentional or was done in ignorance, the results of our anemic economic recovery have been dismal. On the Letterman show recently, President Obama half jokingly stated he wasn’t very good at math. He said anything beyond seventh-grade math was a mystery to him. That might be the most truthful statement to ever escape his lips given the record of the last four years. Fears of a new intensified recession (since we can't say the Great Recession has really ended, can we?) are now beginning to surface as news of layoffs continues to spread.

We are in deep, deep trouble as a nation, and most of our wounds are self-inflicted. The Canadian Free Press blazed its front page with a distressing headline on Wednesday morning: “America Committed Suicide.” In the days ahead don’t be surprised to see the sentiment repeated.

In Mitt Romney we had an unusually gifted and talented successful businessman put forward his candidacy as the antidote for the ailments of America. He wasn’t looking for a job, only offering his skills to help address the issues head on. He might have been the best-qualified presidential candidate we will ever see. As his running mate he picked the only man in America currently serving in the Congress as the House Budget Chairman who had put forward a plan to begin sanely addressing our fiscal crisis. What we learned in the aftermath of the election is apparently fitness for office and qualifications don’t matter as much anymore. To hear the voters tell it they were more interested in politicians who were more patrician based on some undefined criteria - “caring about people like me.”

That squishy feel good caring feeling they seem to get from our current POTUS is deeply troubling to me. Whatever happened to self-reliance and hard work to carve out your own “feel goods?” It smacks of a society that has been convinced by conniving politicians that the government has an answer for everything, and that is NOT the America we cherished growing up. Mitt Romney wisely observed it was “trickle-down government.”

A wise and caring parent with a child who is diseased and malnourished might suggest medicine and vegetables instead of ice cream, like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did in this election cycle. Fearing austerity, the children of the electorate opted instead for sweet treats instead. It seems they want to sustain the unsustainable for as long as possible.

But we may have reached a tipping point in America where the sickly inexperienced child may have become so dependent it only knows to kick and scream for more ice cream.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mitt Romney's Closing Argument

This might be Mitt's best speech yet. . .

If there's any chance you're still undecided, first, what's wrong with your thought process? This is the future leader of the America we once knew and loved, not the pretender who sought to fundamentally transform America the way he has the last four years.

Mitt Romney is the best hope America has to fix the soaring debt and deficits, rehabilitate the underlying accuarial assumptions in Medicare and Social Security, and introduce the fundamentals back into addressing our budget and fiscal decision making.

There is no chance that four years of the same thing we've seen from the current administration is going to improve America. Four more years of THAT will sink America.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vote Conservative This Time Around

There are several reasons NOT to vote for Barack Obama, here are a few reasons to vote for conservative candidates:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's OK to Vote for a Mormon POTUS

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), I am free to vote my conscience. The Church goes to extreme lengths not to dictate to its members what their political choices should be. It might stem back to our early days as settlers in the slave state of Missouri.

Governor Lilburn W. Boggs
As abolitionists, the Mormons voting in a bloc represented a threat to the political status quo and our ancestors were driven from that state under an extermination signed by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, essentially giving his citizens the green light to shoot Mormons on sight. Mormons have a special kinship with minority populations wherever we find them, which might help explain our affinity for the Jews and their plight in modern Israel today. The Jewish people will not find a more committed and devoted friend than President Mitt Romney.

In more practical modern terms, I suppose the reason the Church doesn't tell its members how to vote is that it just doesn't want to put their tax-exempt status in jeopardy.

I overheard a conversation yesterday that continues to gnaw away at me this morning, hence this post.

The two were discussing whether or not they would even vote in this election, because in their minds the choice between "the Muslim" and "the Mormon" was not one they even cared to make. There were a few comments about "the lesser of two evils." Each had discussed it with their respective pastors and each seemed to still be conflicted.

So in the spirit of trying to help my two Christian friends who don't know me from a jar of Vicks, I offer the following insights.

It is my considered judgment that America needs a Mormon president now more than ever before. I have debunked the White Horse Prophecy before on these pages. I have no illusions about a Mormon elder riding into the fray on his White Horse to rescue the U.S. Constitution. The very thought is repugnant to me, as if somehow the Mormons would even want to assert such a claim. The leadership of the Church constantly renounces those who promote the idea. And by the way, the quote often attributed to Joseph Smith that "the Constitution would someday hang by a thread" and need rescuing by a Mormon POTUS, is nothing more than a faith promoting rumor and simply isn't true.

Mitt Romney
So why would Americans act now and why would a majority of Americans now be poised to vote for a Mormon POTUS for the very first time in American history?

This may seem at first combative and somewhat repulsive, but I'll offer it anyway. In recent years, America has been failed by its population of Christians, whether they be Catholic, Protestant, evangelical or otherwise. Failed? How? As an "American Christian Church" - the national body of believers - our society has failed to do what the Mormon Church has succeeded in doing - standing up for marriage between a man and woman, encouraging their members to solidify their families through selfless service to others, requiring a commitment to support and sustain one another, especially for those less fortunate regardless of their circumstances whether here in America or abroad. Mormons oppose abortion. Mormon philanthropic outreach activity is second to none. There is a deep-seeded demonstration of commitment among Mormons to values and practices that might even be called old-fashioned or out-of-date. Sexual purity, abstinence from alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco and illegal drugs, a reach higher for that which is "lovely, praiseworthy and of good report" are other indicators. For the most part Mormons are decent, law-abiding, Constitution-loving people. The Mormons routinely excommunicate members who do not contribute to the society of believers. We hold people accountable.

Think how few churches, by contrast, require accountability from their members. Nominal membership is acceptable. Studying and applying the scriptural truths Christ taught are sometimes viewed as arcane and passe efforts, but among Mormons gospel scholarship and subsequent action taking are prized qualities. We're a church of good works, not just lip-confessing Christians. Occasional attendance on holidays is about all that is required by most churches, in contrast. Mormons of all ages routinely leave home at their own expense for extended periods to give service and spread the gospel throughout the world. That's commitment.

America is about to step over the thresh hold into a new era of re-awakening, revival or restoration - call it what you will, it's coming in about a week. We have flirted with the embodiment of progressive socialism, and we have witnessed its devastating effects on our national psyche. We have been laden with debt and very little to show for it, except perhaps the most expensive entitlement program, Obamacare, in the history of our Republic. Our national economic engine has all but been on life support for four years because of the damaging policies of this administration.

Let me pose this question to you: If you knew nothing about churches, religious practice or anything akin to it - if Muslims or Mormons or Catholics or Protestants meant absolutely nothing to you and there were no distinctions in your mind, what could you observe in the fruits - just the fruits - of those you knew nothing about? What would you look for to give you evidence of the sincerity of their beliefs? What would it be? What fruits would you look for professionally, politically and civilly? What have you observed globally in the Mormon community? Anything leap out at you worthy of emulation?

I submit to you that deeply stamped into the DNA of Mitt Romney is the decency and caring his Mormon roots would suggest he possesses. He is a trustworthy vessel who can lead America through this new awakening that is about to spread from sea to shining sea on election night.

This year, as perhaps never before in our history, it's okay to vote for a Mormon POTUS! And for reasons totally unrelated to religion, Ann Coulter agrees.

She concludes, in part:

Romney is the Red Adair of his profession. He's like a doctor who specializes in multiple gunshot wounds or an oncologist who takes only Stage 4 cancer patients. Yes, there were layoffs, but also lots and lots of jobs, profit, success, efficiency, saved businesses and saved lives.
Romney will be the most accomplished incoming president since Dwight Eisenhower.
Not only has Romney promised to issue a 50-state waiver from Obamacare on his first day in office and then seek a formal repeal and replacement, but he'll know how to do it. The savior of dying companies will fix health care in this country so that no Democrat will be able to wreck it again.
The only way to rid ourselves of this national poison pill, set to destroy both health care and the nation at large, is to elect Mitt Romney our next president.

America Awakens - A Week Left Before the Regime Dies

I love the Constitution. I awoke with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for it this morning. Imagine the foresight of our forefathers who made provision in our founding document for self-correcting our mistakes when we failed to elect the right leaders. The provision for self-improvement as a nation is something we prize - ELECTIONS!

Now with just over a week to go until our next national election, the outcome seems all but certain. The key to winning national elections in recent years has been winning in the key swing states, and this morning Obama is in deep trouble.

It now appears Obama's campaign is abandoning significant ad buys in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina, all but conceding those states to Romney. Remember when his supporters were telling us those states were solid blue on his side of the slate?

Romney vs. Obama, First Debate, October 3, 2012, Denver, CO
Now, they've decided to move their diminishing "small ball" message to a handful of swing states, the states where Romney is showing strong momentum toward what I believe will be a decisive win. I've been  predicting a Romney landslide for weeks now. After that first debate where voters were finally able to make a judgment call comparing and contrasting the two side-by-side, the election was all but over.

Obama is poised to lose nearly every key swing state, and he's on the run. Even among women, a key metric the pundits keep pointing to as evidence of Obama's strengths, the latest polls indicate the "gender gap" has closed and Romney now leads among women voters. Obama can't win re-election without holding a majority of women! He is in deep trouble and everyone now knows it.

Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Second Debate
Here's what Mitt Romney said in the second debate about Obama's last four years:

"I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you’re going to get. You’re going to get a repeat of the last four years. . .
"He said that by now we’d have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work.
"I wasn’t the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president’s plan — didn’t get there.
"He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He’d get that done.
"He hasn’t even made a proposal on either one.
"He said in his first year he’d put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges — didn’t even file it.
"This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do. He said that he’d cut in half the deficit. He hasn’t done that either. In fact, he doubled it.
"He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year. And if 'Obamacare' is passed — or implemented, it’s already been passed — if it’s implemented fully, it’ll be another $2,500 on top.
"The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.
"That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country.
"The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.
"There are more people in poverty — one out of six people in poverty.
"How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps; today 47 million people are on food stamps.
"How about the growth of the economy? It’s growing more slowly this year than last year and more slowly last year than the year before.
"The president wants to do well; I understand. But the policies he’s put in place, from 'Obamacare' to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies — these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have."

That's a devastating indictment of what we have witnessed under Obama's lack of leadership, and it doesn't include what he's doing to cover up the debacle in Benghazi. Under any other administration in American history if one of our foreign ambassadors were gunned down mercilessly by our enemies abroad, would we expect the kind of neglect and diffidence we've seen since 9/11/2012? The motivations are not yet clear, but Glenn Beck is accusing this POTUS of running guns from Libya through Turkey to the Syrian branch of al Qaeda. That's a serious charge tantamount to treason if it proves to be true. He asserts Obama stood aside and let Americans die to cover up the botched operation.

I just watched All the President's Men last night on TCM. America survived what could only be described as a Constitutional crisis in the early seventies, ending in Richard Nixon's unprecedented resignation as POTUS. If we have failed to learn anything from our past scandals as a nation, this latest Benghazi example could yet prove to be devastating to our current Commander-in-Chief. When Obama called up the SEALS to take out Osama bin Laden, they did. When the SEALS called upon Obama for help that night in Benghazi, he didn't.

I have every expectation he will be deposed at the ballot box, along with all his minions in high positions of authority. America will clean out the viper's nest. That kind of treachery and dereliction to duty will not and cannot stand in America. As we learned so convincingly with Watergate and its aftermath, the truth ALWAYS rises.

In America we self-correct whenever necessary, and it keeps the Republic strong and independent. Keep faith with America's founding principles. Do your part on November 6th (or earlier if you can).


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Inevitability of Romney's Election

This is the video from a recent campaign night for Mitt Romney in Red Rocks, Colorado. The inevitability of his election as our next President is growing from state to state. It's palpable here, and gives one the sense that his forthcoming election will finally give America the relief it sought with Obama's misguided hope and change four years ago.

Here's the rest of the story, and here's the link to what follows:

Got this feedback earlier today and thought you’d like to hear it.  You know, I’ve gone from just trying to defeat Obama to really trying to help Governor Romney be this country’s next president.  I’m really starting to believe there might be something very special about this man.  This took place out in Colorado.  Just a couple days ago.  Probably my favorite campaign trail story that’s come back my way so far this election.  Wish I had been there.  I’m going to try and get a little poetic on you here.  Hope I pull it off OK and do this story justice.  Feel free to help me out a bit in the telling.  I would be embarrassed for people to know just how bad my spelling really is.  And sadly, that’s not a joke.  -INSIDER

As the governor was en route to the amphitheatre they were told the crowd was showing “strong numbers”.  What greeted him was a lot more than just “strong numbers” though.  It was a massive wave of thousands and thousands of supporters.  Before going on the governor apparently peeked out a few times and was shaking his head in disbelief at just how many people were there to see him.  He was told by organizers up to a thousand more were turned away because there simply wasn’t any room left.  People said you could feel the size of the crowd under your feet backstage.  Somebody had passed out a ton of “thundersticks” and the people were banging them together and making this amazing rumbling noise.  There were some real veteran campaigners backstage and I’m told they were all blown away by this crowd in Colorado.  It really was like some big time rock show.  Just a huge response for the governor.

So Governor Romney goes onstage and gives his speech.  The crowd just totally embraces him.  From beginning to end.  Every word.  They are fired up. Loud.  Positive.  Cheering.  Just an amazing moment for the campaign.  Everybody backstage were all smiles and peeking out at all those people and shaking their heads.  This is the kind of moment in a campaign you never forget.  Ever.   Nobody who hasn’t experienced it can really understand this feeling.  You’re looking at a candidate being transformed right in front of your eyes into the next Leader of the Free World.  They go from being human into something just a bit more. It’s all those people.  That energy.  It kind of fills the candidate up and makes them bigger than life.  And you are watching it happen in real time.  Right then.

The governor returns backstage and he is smiling and shaking hands, taking congratulations from everybody around him.  He’s saying how great it was.  Somebody yells out he’s going to win Colorado and the governor laughs and says he thinks so too.  And then something very interesting happens.  He moves away from the group of people just a bit.  Maybe ten or fifteen feet or so.  Just enough to have a little space to himself.  And enough people notice that the area gets a lot more quiet, and they are trying to watch the governor without looking like they are watching the governor.  They can all kind of tell something is happening right then.  It was described as something very peaceful and powerful that came over that backstage area for a moment.  And the governor, he lowers his head and his eyes shut tight and you could see him take a slow deep breath and then he lets it out and says quietly, but just loud enough for some to hear, “Lord, if this is your will, please help to make me worthy.  Please give me the strength Lord.”  And then his eyes open up, and he’s back to smiling and laughing and shaking hands and being the candidate once again.

I’m 100% convinced Mitt Romney was shaken to his soul right then and there.  I think at that moment it was sinking in he might really be the next American president, and it humbled him right to his core, in every nerve of his body.  And as he was saying that little prayer, you could hear the sound of thunder from all those thundersticks outside. Like this huge low rumble that just surrounded all of them at once.  A quiet little prayer, and the sound of thunder.

The sound of God.