Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Show Support For Religious Liberty

What do you do when your religious beliefs conflict with what your government demands of you? Most of us living in the United States have never had to worry about that. Unfortunately, some have...and it's going to get worse. Two examples:

California has a law requiring any employer who offers a prescription drug coverage to include coverage of prescription contraceptives in that coverage. Catholic Charities of Sacramento challenged the law on the grounds that their religious beliefs prohibited them from supporting contraceptives. They lost.

Two fertility doctors in California, Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton, both refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman due to religious objections. They did refer the woman to another doctor who performed the procedure for her. She sued them anyway, and the doctors lost.

Most of us do not provide insurance coverage or fertility treatments, so some might be inclined to think these events don't affect us. If you do think that, you are wrong. Why? The once-ironclad guarantee we had that the government could not "prohibit the free exercise" of religion is no more. In other words, one person's "right" to not be offended is now considered a higher legal priority than another person's desire to refrain from practices that are against his religious beliefs. Our ability to live our religion legally has become subject to world's popular judgment of whether those religious beliefs are acceptable or not. Considering that most of the "popular" opinion out there is that the LDS Church is a cult, I'm not optimistic about how many of my beliefs will meet the world's standards.

There is hope, and there is specific action that can and should be taken today. A new law went into effect in January intended to protect health care workers who act on their conscience. Unfortunately, there is already an effort to overturn this law. The Department of Health and Human Services is taking public comments on the issue through April 9th. Comments in support of the law can be submitted at http://www.adoctorsright.com.


"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition." - Barack Obama, June 28, 2006

Friday, March 27, 2009

Liberty vs. Debt

How often have we heard the General Authorities (especially President Hinckley) warn us that indebtedness is another form of slavery? They understand a simple truth: if we don't have economic liberty, then we don't have any real liberty. Hopefully you and your families have heeded their warnings and have gotten your own financial house in order as best you can. If you have, you certainly understand just how liberating it is.

Now, I must ask - is it enough for us to stop with our own families? I've done my best to stay debt-free, but am I really? I found this chart today, put together by the Heritage Foundation, that shows what will happen if our government's current budget plans are followed (tax increases and all):

So, in spite of my best efforts, am I really free? That debt in 2019 is equivalent to over $40,000 for every single man, woman, and child in America, including me. There will be absolutely nothing I can do to escape it. Have a family of five? Your share will be like having a full mortgage to pay without having a house to show for it.

I cannot expect to remain free if I don't live within my means. Can we expect our nation to remain free if it won't live within its means? There is precious little time to put a stop to this. We must demand responsibility from our representatives, no matter what party we or they belong to. We must DEMAND that our nation remain free, and that includes economically!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Better Option

It has been my observation that any time any problem gains the attention of the people of this country, the first and only reaction is: "What is the government going to do to fix this?" If our problems will ever be solved, we must start looking to a different source.

"Believe it or not, at one time the very notion of government had less to do with politics than with virtue. According to James Madison, often referred to as the father of the Constitution: 'We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of the government—far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.' ”

Where do we stand now? We stand at a point in time where the Ten Commandments of God are banned from the halls of our governments. We may firmly believe in our religion and in our rights to exercise our religion, but too many people, including too many LDS people, share the belief that religion has no place in government. The Constitutional text that was written to protect religion from government has been twisted to protect government from religion.

"In fact, the framers of the Constitution probably assumed that religious freedom would establish religion as a watchdog over government, and believed that free churches would inevitably stand and speak against immoral and corrupt legislation. All churches not only have the right to speak out on public moral issues, but they have the solemn obligation to do so. Religion represents society’s conscience, and churches must speak out when government chooses a course that is contrary to the laws of God."

If there is any hope for the future of America, it must be based on the morality of her people.

"If we would maintain the independence and freedom the Founding Fathers intended, we must work to preserve and protect the moral foundation upon which they built the U. S. government. We must stand boldly for righteousness and truth, and must defend the cause of honor, decency, and personal freedom espoused by Washington, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, and other leaders who acknowledged and loved God. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in the same predicament President Lincoln observed in 1863."

"Said Lincoln: 'We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of their own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!'"

"Let us resolve to make our own families truly free by teaching them that God holds us all accountable. His laws are absolutes; breaking them brings misery and unhappiness; keeping them brings joy, happiness, and the blessings of heaven. Let us teach our families and others the importance of moral responsibility based on the laws of God."

[Note: All paragraphs in this post that are in quotations are quoting M. Russell Ballard's talk, Religion in a Free Society, from the October 1992 Ensign. Like everything else I quote, I recommend you read it in its entirety.]

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just how important is the Constitution?

"Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States." - David O. McKay, October 1939 General Conference

Sunday, March 15, 2009


2 Nephi 10:23

Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves - to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

God's plan is freedom and liberty. We must be free to choose and act for ourselves!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Being Prepared

As members of the church we are advised to be prepared for hard times. As we try to do our best in obtaining food storage, let us not forget other things that may be necessary in trying times. I would hope that everyone would have the means of defending his family, and the food storage that may be vital to the family's survival. Our Founding Fathers had the means to defend themselves and their families; certainly the Lord expects no less of us. The time may come when the physical safety of our families will depend on us alone.

Alma 43:47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

Alma 59:13 And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.

Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of self-defense. That is why they included the second amendment in the Bill of Rights. In more modern times, President Benson stated in "God, Family, and Country" that he would do everything in his power to uphold the bill of rights, particularly the 1st & 2nd amendments.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Second Dose of Optimism

Let us not forget in these trying times, as we watch the left shred the Constitution, the prophecy of Joseph Smith. “The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A dose of optimism

For those of you who, like me, have been a little pessimistic about our nation's current course. This is also from God, Family, Country:

"Time is on the side of truth, and truth is eternal. Those who are fighting against freedom and other eternal principles of right may feel confident now, but they are shortsighted.

"This is still God's world...In due time, when each of us has had a chance to prove himself--including whether or not we are going to stand up for freedom--God will interject himself, and the final and eternal victory shall be for free agency. An then shall those weak-willed souls on the sidelines and those who took the wrong but temporarily popular course lament their decisions.

"Seldom has so much responsibility hung on so few, so heavily; but our numbers are increasing, and we who have been warned have a responsibility to warn our neighbor...Time is on the side of truth, and the wave of the future is freedom. There is no question of the eventual, final, and lasting triumph of righteousness. The major question for each of us is what part will we play in helping to bring it to pass.

"This is a glorious hour in which to live. Generations past and future will mark well our response to our awesome duty. There is a reason why we have been born in this day. Ours is the task to try to live and perpetuate the principles of Christ and the Constitution in the face of tremendous odds. May we, with God's help, have strength for the battle and fill our mission in honor for God, family, and country."

Saving the Constitution and Ourselves

The Book of Mormon and our nation's founders were in complete agreement about what it would take for our nation to remain free:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. " - John Adams

"Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written." - Ether 2:12

In God, Family, Country, President Benson asked, "What, then, in this time and season may best equip us to save our Christian constitutional legacy, while at the same time rescuing our own souls?" Not surprisingly, his answer did not focus on elections or political agendas. He gave six suggestions (I've paraphrased his descriptions of his suggestions, but, as always, I highly recommend reading this on your own):
  • Spirituality. Spirituality is the foundation upon which any battle against tyranny must be waged. This is basically the struggle of the forces of Christ versus the antichrist, so it is imperative that our people be in tune with the supreme leader of freedom, the Lord.
  • Balance. A man has duties to his church, his home, his country, and his profession.
  • Courageous Action. Today you cannot effectively fight for freedom and not be attacked. While we don't need to go out of our path of duty to find a cross to pick up, a man is a coward who refuses to pick up a cross that clearly lies within his path. A man must not only stand for right principles, he must also fight for them. Those who do can be proud of the friends they've gained and the enemies they've earned.
  • Education. We are going against the greatest, most insidious propaganda campaign of all time. We cannot believe all we read. We must sift. We must learn by study and prayer. Study the scriptures, and study the mortals who have been most consistently accurate about the most important things.
  • Health. To meet and beat the enemy will require clear heads and strong bodies. Let us take into our bodies and souls only those things that will make us more effective instruments.
  • Be Prepared. We have a duty to survive, not only spiritually but also physically. Not survival at the cost of principles, for that is the surest way to defeat, but survival that comes from intelligent preparation.
Finally, President Benson wrote: "Those who hesitate to get into this fight because it is controversial fail to realize that life's decisions should be based on principles, not public opinion polls. There were men at Valley Forge who weren't sure how the revolution would end, but they were in a much better position to save their own souls and their country than those timid men whose major concern was deciding which side was going to win, or how to avoid controversy."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Strengthening Families

In these times of uncertainty and turmoil, we can find peace in our families. Never before has the home been such a place shelter from the outside forces. Within the confines of our home we have the ability to happy regardless of outside circumstances.

Five "little" things that can fortify and strengthen marriages and families were listed by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve during his CES fireside address Sunday, March 1.

1. Couples who build strong marriages and families know who they are. They know that they are a son or daughter of God and they set eternal goals to once again live with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They strive to leave the ways of the natural man behind.

2. They know the doctrines of the gospel and the importance of temple ordinances and covenants. They know that keeping their covenants is necessary to achieve eternal goals.

3. They choose to obtain the eternal blessings of the kingdom of God rather that the temporal or temporary possessions of the world. They seek high ground and stay there.

4. Such couples realize that when they are sealed for time and all eternity, they have chosen an eternal companion. There is no need to look any further. Their courting days are over.

5. These couples think of one another before self. They grow together, and not apart, as they serve one another . . . and communicate with the Lord in prayer. They converse often with one another, thereby never letting little things become big things. . . . These couples seek one another's good and avoid selfishness, which suffocates spiritual sensitivity. . . . They work now to improve their relationship, knowing that they are not suddenly going to become nicer when they die. They cultivate a thoughtful, considerate spirit and love one another always.

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home." ---David O. McKay

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Elder Maxwell on the Constitution

The United States Constitution remains "a most remarkable document" that was shaped by God's hand. "If pondered--both as to its substance and the miraculous process of its coming forth--the Constitution is deserving of our prolonged, spiritual applause." Elder Maxwell said that while he could not speak to the assembly from shared professional experience, he could speak from a shared theology. "The scriptures contain so many jewels, brothers and sisters, over which we pass too lightly, especially what I call some stunning 'one liners.'" One such cluster has to do with the unique founding of the American nation. "The Lord revealed that He established our Constitution 'by the hands of wise men whom (He) raised up unto this very purpose', quoting Doctrine and Covenants 101:80. I know of no parallel declaration with regard to the Constitution of any other nation, ours being the first written constitution." The revealed words, given in 1833 in Ohio, clearly remind Church members "that God's hand is in the details of such things -- sometimes obviously, sometimes subtly." "Think of all the Lord had to oversee, including all the shaping events which occurred long before the Constitution was written, ratified and implemented. First, it was necessary for God to cause a handful of highly talented and wise individuals to be 'raised up.' Second, they needed to live in one geographic area on this planet. Third, these events had to occur in a short time frame. Fourth, a citizenry had to be prepared who wanted and would then implement and sustain self-governance." "This latter incubation was as important as the later ratification. Thus the words, 'raised up,' involve multiple and concurrent conditions. Without similar incubation, no wonder we find in human history that establishing modern republics and democracies is not easy. Founders require foundational building blocks." The Constitution, of course, not only needed to be written, but also ratified--gaining approval after dramatic moments and by narrow margins. "The process was no picnic. Thus not only was a special parchment produced, but so were a sufficient number of approving and sustaining people." Human history makes "abundantly and sadly clear" that not all mortals use power wisely. "Unsurprisingly, therefore, certain of the constitutions' central features---such as the vital separation of powers and the precious First Amendment, as conceived and intended--were needed to foster moral agency." "This later condition is so central to God's plan of salvation for all mortals. Back in the founding days, however, these and other key concepts needed cleats which would take hold early in the history of the American nation. Otherwise, things could have come apart soon after the birth of a nation." The bestowal of such divine attention on a few mere colonies located on one planet is especially reassuring , said Elder Maxwell, "given God's governance among 'worlds without number'. ( Moses 1:33, 35)." Elder Maxwell then spoke to the law school graduates about the law. "As alumni, what you are is more important that what you know about the law." "The influence of your character, long term, is more significant than legal expertise, though how commendable when both are combined." Therefore, he told the graduates, as they manage conflict, to practice advocacy without acrimony and without animosity. "Be eloquent, not only before the bench, but also eloquent in your life's example. And you need your own checks and balances, including at times the constraining influence of the Spirit. Slack citizenry and cunning devices can over time corrupt even a constitutional system." Lawyers can first shape and then exploit the voice of the people, which, if done amiss, can bring the judgments of God. "The Constitution, he said, "remains a most remarkable document. Nevertheless, the various interpretations of the Constitution are more reflective of the moral status of America's citizenry, its lawyers, and its judges than we may care to acknowledge." Quoting Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Maxwell said the citizens who founded this nation understood the relationship between self-government and citizen responsibilities. "Therefore, while we cannot fully fathom all that was done in order to raise up wise individuals, I nevertheless praise God for the miracle which came forth."

(Church News, Sept. 13, 2003)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Educational Self-Reliance

D&C 93:53 - "And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should...obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of the laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion."

If we fail to obtain knowledge in these areas, we are in trouble spiritually, because we aren't obeying a commandment of God, and temporally, because the decisions we make in ignorance (what policies to support, who to vote for, etc...) will almost never be the correct decisions.

Many of us may assume that we got everything we need from the history and civics classes we had in high school or college. If you fall into that category, consider this: if we relied solely on that same education, we would think that we descended from apes, and that sexual promiscuity is normal and healthy. Not everything that comes out of public education is correct, and we should have no reason to assume that the civics education we received was entirely correct. According to Ether 8:25, the evil one "seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands". One easy way for him to do that is to have people who are ignorant of history and laws.

I'm not saying the civics education we got in high school or college came from Satan. I am saying that we have the responsibility to make our own effort to ensure that it was both correct and complete, and to make up the difference if it wasn't. If you aren't sure, any of the books listed at the bottom of this page would be a great place to start looking.

God and America

The current trend among America's liberal elite is to entirely remove God from among both the government and the public square. America's founders did not intend for there to be a separation of God and state, as shown by the fact that all 50 states acknowledge God in their state constitutions. Can there be any doubt about God's hand in the establishment this nation?

Alabama 1901, Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution ..

Alaska 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land ..

Arizona 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...

Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...

California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom .

Colorado 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe .

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy ...

Delaware 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences .

Florida 1845, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty ... establish this Constitution...

Georgia 1777, Preamble. We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...

Hawaii 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance . establish this Constitution

Idaho 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings ..

Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose our form of government..

Iowa 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings ... establish this Constitution

Kansas 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges . establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth of grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...

Louisiana 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy ..

Maine 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine .. acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity ... and imploring His aid and direction

Maryland 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God or our civil and religious liberty...

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. We...the people of Massachusetts,acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe...in the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction ...

Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom ... establish this Constitution

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota,grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings

Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness ..establish this Constitution ..

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..

Nebraska 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom .. establish this Constitution

Nevada 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . establish this Constitution ..

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience .

New Jersey 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey,grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

New Mexico 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty ..

New York 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings .

North Carolina 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North Carolina,grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil,political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those

North Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...

Ohio 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common..Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty ... establish this

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences .

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble. We, the people of the State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution

South Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties . establish this

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...

Texas 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging,with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God

Utah 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution .

Vermont 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to ... enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man ...

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI ... Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator . can be directed only by Reason ... and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other...

Washington 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington,grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution .

West Virginia 1872, Preamble. Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia .. reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God .

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility

Wyoming 1890, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties ... establish this Constitution .

"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."William Penn

The Book of Mormon was written for our time. The prophets continually prophesied that if this chosen country would not keep his commandments, then the people would be destroyed.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Food Storage

With the economic downturn and the instability in the world, now more than ever it would be wise to follow the prophets' counsel and build our food storage. Whether it will be needed for a major famine, or used do to loss of employment, it will never-the-less be a blessing. While it is possible that we won't need it in our lifetime, we will be blessed for following the prophets' counsel. "If ye are prepared, you shall not fear."

For further help and guidelines regarding food storage, please click HERE