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Sunday, December 30, 2012

133: THE CREATION, THE FALL, AND THE ATONEMENT

In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. 
And the gospel was the Word, and the Word was with the Son,
 and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God. 
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made which was made.
JST John 1:1-3

Below is a very short video that conveys the very essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To watch the video.. click here: LINK TO VIDEO to watch it in a larger format so you can read the text a little easier than this embedded video file on this blog: 


Monday, December 24, 2012

131: IN ME YOUR JOY IS FULL


JOY TO THE WORLD...THE LORD HAS COME.


"For in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.
Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body;
but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.
And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls,
and ye shall have eternal life."
Doctrine and Covenants 101: 36-38
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While family, friends, gifts, presents, and food can all bring us joy during this holiday season, only in and through our Savior Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate tomorrow can our joy be full....  May each of us feel of that exceedingly great joy and peace that only He can give.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

130: NATURE'S ROLE


Unfortunately many of us live apart from Nature. We tend to be more connected to 'virtual worlds' via technology.  Less people are experiencing Nature..let alone in a way that it was intended, a way to find serenity and peace, a way to connect back to God, a way to receive revelation. It usually requires you to be alone. Is it any wonder that Joseph Smith went into a grove, Enos went in the forest, Moses went up into the mountain, Christ in a garden.

I happened to open up a book the other day and turned to this page with the following quote. The book is called 'Light in the Wilderness'. I have not read this book yet besides reading this quote. I think the quote is powerful, I can testify it is true.

"Nature’s role is to arrest Man’s attention so he can hear that Voice from Heaven. And it has often worked as each of us has many times yielded to holy messages when absorbed by sounds or scenes in Nature. In those moments the rational processes pause, and a deeper consciousness awakens. In such moments one feels a transcendent sense of connectedness to divine origins. The sensation seems to have the power to transform every fear and every care. The mind becomes deep and still. Attention to Nature’s message then can open the Spiritual Mind, where not only the truth about Nature is revealed, but also our own true nature is stirred into wakening. We become conscious of spiritual realities that flow in and around us. To slow down and let Nature distill within us begins to open the unseen world where the secrets of happiness flourish, where abound “the mysteries and peacable things – that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal ( D&C 42:61)"1

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Sidenote:

 A friend of mine send me the below quote from the book, 'Proof of Heaven', written by Dr. Eben Alexander about his near death experience.

"The 'false' suspicion that we can somehow be separated from God is the root of every form of anxiety ... the knowledge that nothing can tear us from God ... remains the single most important thing I've ever learned". 2

"The physical side of the universe is as a speck of dust compared to the invisible and spiritual part." 3

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1 Light in the Wilderness by M Catherine Thomas
2 Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eden Alexander pg. 76 
3 Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eden Alexander  pg 82

Monday, December 17, 2012

129: KEEPING DARKNESS AT BAY

As a father of grade-school children, I have been saddened by the recent tragedy of the loss of innocent lives. The world in which we live is indeed a lone and dreary place. It has been said that this is the only world that was wicked enough to crucify their Savior. It is true that the Savior chose to work out his mortal sojourn on the most wicked of all worlds (See Moses 7:36).

At the funeral of two-year-old Marian Lyon, the Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst, which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it … grows more wicked and corrupt. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.  The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope."

History of the Church, 4:553–54; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Mar. 20, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff.

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While the darkness seems to be getting darker, I believe the light is getting stronger as well. I saw the movie 'The Hobbit' this weekend. I enjoyed it. It contains much symbolism. A small and insignifant farmer Bilbo Baggins leaves his comfortable home and sacrifices in defeating darkness.  Here was a profound statement from the movie:

"I've found it is the small things,
every act of normal folk that keeps the darkness at bay
...the simple acts of kindness and love."

Reminds me of  this scripture:

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me;
but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;
and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
Alma 37:6

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Sidenote: The following video and below quote by an unknown author were forwarded to me. I post them here for others to be inspired by them.

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“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tinted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am lifted up in prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed, will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table with the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored, up, and paid up for the case of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me and when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.”


...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

128: Symbolic Date: 12.12.12

"Without Purse or Scrip" painting by Liz Lemon Swindle

Today is December 12, 2012. or 12.12.12.
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The number twelve is an important number. It is considered a perfect number, and more specifically it is a number of perfection in governing. In scripture: We see the number twelve as the number used in governing bodies such as:
  • The Twelve Tribes
  • The Twelve Disciples
  • The Twelve Patriarchs (from Seth to Noah, and twelve from Shem to Jacob)
We see the number twelve in governing time as well. Twelve hours the sun "governs" or rules the day, Twelve hours the moon and star "governs" the night. Also, there are currently twelve governing signs of the Zodiac which completed forms the great circle of the heavens.
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Three is a Divine/Heavenly Number and Four is the Earthly number.. and 3x4 equals Twelve.
In Western numerology when you look at the number 12 .. you see the numbers 1 and 2, which together they form a balanced pair. The number One is Yang...  masculine and is self-sufficient. The number Two is feminine and represents union, symmetry and balance.. .. it is yin.
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It is also interesting to note that the number twelve can be divided into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and twelfths. It is the number for  measurements such as: 12 inches in a foot, 12 ounces in a troy pound (measures gold), 12 in a dozen, 12 hours on a clock. Also, twelve is considered the number of completeness and represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.
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In 10 more days it will be December 21, 2012 or 12.21.12. Another important date. The Mayan calendar supposedly ends. It is also the winter solstice. It is the shortest day of the year (meaning the day with the least amount of light.) That day marks the beginning of the return of the sun/son when sunlight increases each day until the Summer Solstice.
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 While many have many beliefs about December 21, that the world will "end"... it is not the end.. but instead a beginning. We enter into a new Age. It is the Age of the Aquarius. This Zodiac sign has been known as the "water bearer".. But it is not just the water bearer, but actually the sign of fire as well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

127: HEALTHY GRASS VS. CRABGRASS


I woke up this morning with a word on my mind. The word was crabgrass. Yes, an odd word since all of our grass is now covered with snow... but I think I was being taught something.  

Crabgrass is a great metaphor. Crabgrass is an obnoxious weed. It is hard to get rid of once it starts growing in your lawn. It spreads and grows quickly. Crabgrass loves thin turf. It grows well in lawns that are watered lightly, underfertilized, and/or poorly drained. It is very difficult for crabgrass to grown in healthy lawns. In order to get rid of crabgrass, you must kill it, and then replant new sod.

What most people do if they have crabgrass in their lawn, they usually ignore it. Instead of treating it, they just continue to mow it and keep the lawn short.  From a distance, the lawn looks healthy and green.  However, it is only when you get close enough, one can see it really isn't grass, but weeds.

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Sidenote:   I like this quote from an article I read this morning. I think it speaks to the metaphor of crabgrass growing all around us... especially in "thin spiritual turf".

"Religious organizations instinctively develop teachings, practices, and cultures that tend to keep its members at early stages of spiritual development dependent on the organization. These stages are characterized by obedience, conformity, loyalty, a narrow view of morality, and external religious conduct. Though helpful at first, a focus on these qualities can become limiting and restrictive once an individual’s full spiritual potential begins to unfold. In theory, the purpose of a church organization is to guide one into an actual knowledge of God, which leads to spiritual rebirth and entrance into the Kingdom; however, in practice, churches ultimately hinder this transformative awakening and knowledge so that the organization can maintain its primacy. The human consequence of this organizational tendency is boredom and frustration since children of God with infinite, divine potential—who are ready to mature into the wonderfully mysterious and exciting stages of divine relationship and knowledge—are continually retained at the first grade of gospel teaching, while their souls ache for graduate instruction in the mind and heart of Christ."
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from article "Hindering the Saints: Taking away the key of Knowledge" by Philip McLemore
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

126: QUIRK OF HUMAN NATURE

I like these two quotes:

"It is a quirk of human nature that most people don't want to learn anything new
and react negatively to anyone who challenges their deeply held views."
 (even when they're obviously false)." 
Porter Stansberry
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"It takes a concentrated desire to find the truth"
Harold Klemp
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Sidenote about comments on this blog:

I am happy to provide a place for people to share their views. When we are anonymous, we seem to be more bold with less inhibition. Some write what we normally would not say in person.

I don't always agree with some of the comments that are written... but I think we can all learn (and hopefully discern from them.)
Some advice I received awhile ago when I began to be awaken to my aweful situation was if you see or partake of the bitter, do not become bitter yourself. Bitterness creeps in without notice, and if I am not careful, it can destroy me.  

I have made changes to the comment section of the blog. If you care to read the comments, a popup window will come up. I felt this was necessary to keep the blog and the comments to be separate.

If you want to post a comment, use good judgement. Hopefully it will add and not distract from the post. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

125: FOR GREAT ARE THE WORDS

 “Behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things.
Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently;
for great are the words of Isaiah.
For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people
 which are of the house of Israel;
therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles.
And all things that he spake have been and shall be,
even according to the words which he spake”
(3 Nephi 23:1–3).

This is the Lord speaking. He is recommending a book for us to read. Anytime Oprah recommends a book, or Glenn Beck for that matter, the book becomes an instant NY Times Bestseller. Funny how when the Lord not only recommends, but gives us a commandment to search these words.. we still don't read it. I am not immune.. I need to be more diligent.

A friend of mine sent me a link today of an essay written by Hugh Nibley. Here are a few key paragraphs that I liked.

 "The book of Isaiah is a tract for our own times; our very aversion to it testifies to its relevance. It is necessary to remind us of its importance, however, because Isaiah’s message has not been popular, and he tells us why. The wicked do not like to be told about their faults. Every society, no matter how corrupt, has some good things about it—otherwise it would not survive from year to year. Isn’t it much pleasanter to talk about the good things than the bad things? The people of Zarahemla, said Samuel the Lamanite, wanted prophets that would tell them what was right with Zarahemla, not what was wrong. There is a great danger in that: the many things that are right with any society can hardly damage it, but one serious flaw can destroy it. One goes to the physician not to be told what parts are functioning well but what is making him ill or threatening him with the worst."

"For the rest of the time I want to talk about those human qualities Isaiah describes as pleasing to God and those qualities He despises. They both come as a surprise. As to the second, the traits and the behavior Isaiah denounces as the worst of vices are without exception those of successful people. The wickedness and folly of Israel do not consist of indolence, sloppy dressing, long hair, nonconformity (even the reading of books), radical and liberal unrealistic ideas and programs, irreverence toward custom and property, contempt for established idols, and so on. The wickedest people in the Book of Mormon are the Zoramites, a proud, independent, courageous, industrious, enterprising, patriotic, prosperous people who attended strictly to their weekly religious duties with the proper observance of dress standards. Thanking God for all He had given them, they bore testimony to His goodness. They were sustained in all their doings by a perfectly beautiful self-image. Well, what is wrong with any of that? There is just one thing that spoils it all, and that is the very thing that puts Israel in bad with the Lord, according to Isaiah. The Jews observed with strictest regularity all the rules that Moses gave them—”and yet . . . they cry unto thee” and yet they are really thinking of something else. “Behold, O my God, their costly apparel, . . . all their precious things . . . their hearts are set upon them, and yet they cry unto thee and say—We thank thee, O God, for we are a chosen people unto thee, while others shall perish” (Alma 31:27–28; emphasis added).

 “Great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1). We have been commanded to search them, study them, ponder them, take them to heart, and understand that the calamities and the blessings therein are meant for our own generation. May the words of this great prophet prepare us for these calamities and blessings is my prayer."

full text

Monday, December 3, 2012

124: UNDER CONDEMNATION


When a building is condemned, it is because the property fails to meet the established standards or criteria. Usually a warning notice is posted to warn the public that the building is considered unsafe to live in. Once a building is condemned, the owner must prove that problems have been fixed before anyone can live in or use the building.  To condemn means to judge or pronounce something to be unfit for use or service. It comes from the Latin word “condemnare” which means to sentence, or pronounce judgment upon.

Speaking to the early church, the Lord has declared in D&C 84, “because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation and this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.”

The Lord continues to warn, “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon.”

In his conference address, President Benson reminded us of our condemnation that the church is still under. He said, “Let us not remain under condemnation, with its scourge and judgment, by treating lightly this great and marvelous gift the Lord has given to us.”

A few years ago, Elder Dallin H Oaks gave a talk entitled, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” and repeated the Lord's statement that the Saints' conduct had "brought the whole church under condemnation."

In April 2009 conference, President Monson said “I am pleased to report that the Church is doing very well.”  So have we fixed the problem? Have we finally removed the condemnation that the church has been under for long? Is all well?  
Nephi prophesied that in the last days that we will be led into carnal security and say that All is well in Zion. But Nephi warned, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion and crieth all is well.


Addendum:

Just in case we haven’t lifted this condemnation individually, What are we to do? President Benson in his conference address, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel” declared how to lift the condemnation. “To do so,” he said, “we must first cleanse the inner vessel by awaking and arising, being morally clean, using the Book of Mormon in a manner so that God will lift the condemnation, and finally conquering pride by humbling ourselves.”

President Joseph F. Smith said " There are at least three dangers that threaten the Church within, and the authorities need to awaken to the fact that the people should be warned unceasingly against them. As I see these, they are flattery of prominent men in the world, false educational ideas, and sexual impurity." Joseph Fielding Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p.312-313

We should continue forward until the Lord pronounces us clean. The Book of Mormon contains the process we all need to go through. The Prophet Joseph Smith identified the process as well. Being Born Again, Having one’s Calling and Election made sure, Receiving the ministry of angels, and receiving the Second Comforter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

123: THE DAY COMETH WHEN YOU WILL STRAY


When you read the words.. ‘the day cometh’... it is referring to a future event that will soon occur. One of the most well known scriptures that contains these words is Malachi 4:1. It says, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”

Keep that in mind that the words, "the day cometh" is referring to a future event when you read the first Section of the Doctrine and Covenants 1: 14-16.

“…and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord… shall be cut off from among the people; For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.”

These are the Lord’s words speaking through His prophet, Joseph Smith. This is to happen AFTER the restoration of the Gospel. The Lord is speaking about a future event, that “a day cometh”, when those who will not hear the voice of the Lord and seek not the Lord to establish His righteousness, will build up an image that is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol.. and will stray from the ordinances and break the everlasting covenant.

How is this possible? Is this still a future event or has this happened, or happening?

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, a member of the Council of the 12 and Church Historian who later became the tenth President of the Church wrote a series of articles entitled “Governments and Laws in General: The Kingdom of God”. These articles were published in the Church News published in the Deseret News in 1936. The below quote appeared in the 20th series on pg 7 in the Deseret News on Saturday, October 17th, 1936.

“Are we not too much inclined to blame the generations that are past for the breaking of the new and everlasting covenant, and to think it is because of the great apostasy which followed the ministry of the Apostles in primitive times, that these troubles are coming upon the earth? Perhaps we should wake up to the realization that it is because of the breaking of covenants, especially the new and everlasting covenant, which is the fullness of the Gospel as it has been revealed, that the world is to be consumed by fire and few men left. Since this punishment is to come at the time of the cleansing of the earth when Christ comes again, should not Latter-day Saints take heed unto themselves? We have been given the new and everlasting covenant, and many among us have broken it, and many are now breaking it; therefore all who are guilty of this offense will aid in bringing to pass this destruction in which they will find themselves swept from the earth when the great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come.”

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Sidenote:

The second commandment is: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. What is a graven image?.. What constitutes whose substance is that of an idol? Can we still make statues as long as it isn’t a golden calf and not worship it?



The LDS Public Affairs has recently released the following 6 minute video of the construction of the new Rome, Italy Temple. The video describes the one very unique features that will be part of the Rome Temple Grounds, marble statues of Jesus Christ and all of the Twelve Apostles. These same exact statues are found in the Church of Our Lady, in Denmark. Probably the most famous and well known statues of the 12 apostles and Jesus Christ adorn the Vatican in Rome. I find it interesting that we also want to adorn the Rome Temple with similar marble statues as well. If you watch the video though, maybe we have found a loophole to the 2nd commandment, since it won’t be "us", but instead it will be computer technology that will be doing most of the “graving” of the statues from the images found in the National Church in Copenhagen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

122: AMONG THE GREATEST SINS


To deal carelessly with truth,
to deny it when once gained,
to defy the laws of truth which are the laws of God,
must be counted among the greatest sins.
Those who deal lightly with truth in their lives, though they may not become sons of perdition,
must expect a heavy punishment. “
(Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 213‑14; 1970 ed., Elder John A. Widtsoe)
 
People who think they are learning truth usually only want it one way. And the truth they want... needs to fit perfectly with their current paradigm and/or worldview.. The truth for them only has one hue. A good metaphor for this is that someone might hold tight to a baby rattle. They don’t know anything differently, nor maybe want or realize that there is anything greater. However… there is a series of progression. For example…from the baby rattle some naturally move on to a board game.. From a board game they move on to a digital computer games.. from the electronic game they move on to driving a sports car. We need to allow progression and yet still understand that we still are all Latter Day Saints.
 
How often are we afraid to think out of the box, to let our minds stretch into the dark abyss and stretch into heavenly abodes. Instead, we go to LDS.org or our bookshelf to pull out a quote from a GA and stop our searching there. Is that not indeed a road block we're setting up in our mind, hindering our personal revelation, our personal "Word of God"??
 
God cares more about us than we do of ourselves. God sees all as potential Gods.
God is noisy; He has a lot of things to say to us. He says a lot about a lot of thing.
If He is quiet in your life, repent.
  • Seek for more wisdom....the ability to discern between truth and error.
  • Desire to progress... increasing in truth and light.
  • Receive glory...the possession of light an truth which bestows power.
 
Sidenote:
The messenger of truth should NEVER and is NOT as important as the message. The messenger should never get in the way or take precedence over the message. We should look to the Source from where the message originates and not to the one delivering the message. Be careful to listen to any author or speaker who dominates or lifts himself up and writes and speaks about him or herself over the content of the message.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

121: TRADITIONS

photo of a large billboard in downtown Salt Lake located on the freeway entrance.  


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day of gratitude for our blessings.

(...it is also a day of overeating, and for some it is a tradition to watch football.) :)

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Usually the word 'tradition' in scripture, especially in the Book of Mormon, is not a good thing and is the reason why so many "good" people are led astray or stay in a state of ignorance. These traditions are called foolish, silly, incorrect, wicked, abominable, and base. 

We read that the people dwindled in unbelief because of the traditions of their fathers, and they are led astray. When you dwindle in unbelief, it is not that you don't believe or have lost faith, it means that little by little the belief becomes incorrect, false and foolish.

One of our biggest 'traditions' that we have inherited by our fathers is the need to win.  We strive for Success, Awards, Status, Popularity, Dominance, and Acceptance. We take great pride in winning. We want to defeat others. We have the mottos like Win at all costs, and only the weak lose. The above billboard for BYU football even brags about our LDS church school's tradition of winning for the past 40 years. (Even that is a false tradition/advertising since the records show that BYU has not always won for the past four decades) :)

We also take great pride that we as Mormons are on the final winning team.  We are taught that in the end, that we will "win". However, just being part of a religion doesn't mean you are on the winning team. It is being on the side of TRUTH that always wins in the end. Anything that is false, incorrect, or foolish will be exposed, and ultimately "lose".

Nephi begins the 28th chapter in 2 Nephi by saying that he knows what he writes will "surely come to pass". He is not making this stuff up.

We read in verse 14: "They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men."

Did you catch that?.. ALL have all gone astray, except for a few humble followers.. and even those FEW do err in many instances because they are taught by the precepts of men.. or "false traditions."  It sounds like we are all messed up to some degree or another.

Lately, more and more people are questioning the false traditions and stories that have been handed down to us for decades. It is mainly caused by discovering that church history is riddled with fiction and half-truths. There is a sense of betrayal at what they regard as "being lied to" about history and doctrine.

All things will be brought to light. In the end,TRUTH will win. It is important that you always are on the side of truth and not on the side of traditions of the fathers.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

120: YOU CAN BUY ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD FOR MONEY


A photo of the World Trade Center,  in downtown Salt Lake City
located southeast of Temple Square and directly across from Brigham Young's home.
One of the many buildings the Church owns and manages through Deseret Management Co. 
The photo is taken from the LDS Church Office Building.
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The  gold plaque with the name World Trade Center outside the building.
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The gold front door of the World Trade Center. This used to be the location for the Federal Reserve Bank. There is a plaque outside the building memorializing this building.
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After partaking of the fruit of the tree which God forbid, Adam and Eve were cast into the Telestial world. Now in their mortal and fallen state, they were approached by one who claimed to be the god of this world. He tempted them to sell their priceless possessions given to them by God. He told them that they could buy anything in this world for money. 

Money is not inherently evil, but potentially how  "money" is created and used could be considered corrupt.

If you didn't read the last lengthy blogpost, Ron Paul mentions one of the MANY problems facing our country. Probably one of the biggest problems is our monetary system and our financial crisis that we all face. Many are calling what lies before us as a "fiscal cliff".  It is the consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, and bailouts.

Most do not realize that our money is fiat money and the powers that be can create money out of thin air called fractional reserve banking.

This started in our country when the Federal Reserve was created on December 23, 1913 on Jekyll Island. A thick book documenting this was written by G Edgar Griffin, entitled "The Creature from Jekyll Island". You can watch a very long  documentary which goes into more detail. It is called the Money Masters. (If all of this is new to you, it might be good to learn more about this.)

The Federal Reserve  is one of the most blatant scams of all history. Not only is it not "Federal" but there are no "Reserves" either.  This central bank has been given power to print money out of thin air, finance both sides in wars, create boom-bust cycles, and control inflation and/or depressions.

Another name for this is called usury and those associated with this would be called money changers. We all know what Christ reacted with the moneychanger in and around the temple.

I bring this up because I found it interesting that this "fine building" called the World Trade Center was once the location for one of the Federal Reserve Banks.


Sidenote:

I have mentioned before about the Church's investiment of billions of dollars into the City Creek Center.  However, I just learned a little more information about the developer of the mall,  the billionaire Alfred Taubman. Yes, Taubman Company is the developer of some of the world's most successful luxury malls, but what I didn't know is that Alfred is also the chairman of Sotheby’s auction house.  A few years ago he was found guilty with his rivals at Christie’s to fix auction house commission rates to drive up profits.  Here is the link.  He was sentenced to one year in prison, but was released early for good behavior. For the life of me, I am not sure why anyone would want to partner with such a man.

Anyway, just in time for the holidays, below is one of the new billboard adverting our Church owned mall. The ads contain the same things that concerned me  when the mall first opened.... the ads now have new models and new faces in the ads, but the suggestiveness, the immodesty and the alcohol still persist.

Let's go shopping and spend our fiat money. All is well.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

119: FAREWELL ADDRESS



I know this is lengthy and many will not read it, but I wanted to post this on my blog. It is Congressman Ron Paul's farewell address delivered today on the House Floor on November 14, 2012. I have alot of respect for this man. In my opinion, he is a modern-day Founding Father. I listened to part of it live on C-SPAN thi s afternoon. I thought it was interesting that very few applauded after he finished his speech.. since very few of our elected officials agree with him. Sad. My family and friends, and ward members mourn that Mitt Romney did not win, I have been mourning for months that Ron Paul didn't win the Republican nomination. I mourn for our country. We are modern day Rome... and we all know what happened to that civilization.

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Farewell to Congress

This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.

To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.

How Much Did I Accomplish?

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

Authoritarianism vs. Liberty

If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

The Age of Redistribution

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

We Need an Intellectual Awakening

Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

No More ‘isms’

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

Dependency on Government Largesse

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:
  • Undeclared wars are commonplace.
  • Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
  • The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
  • Debt is growing exponentially.
  • The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
  • Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
  • The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
  • It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
  • Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
  • Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
  • Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
  • Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
  • Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.

Questions

Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:
  • Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
  • Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
  • Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
  • Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
  • Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
  • Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
  • Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
  • Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
  • Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?
  • Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
  • Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC?
  • Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
  • Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
  • Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
  • Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
  • Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
  • Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
  • Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
  • Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
  • Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
  • Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
  • Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
  • Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
  • Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
  • Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
  • Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
  • Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
  • Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
  • Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
  • Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
  • Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
  • Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Trust Yourself, Not the Government

Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

Economic Ignorance

Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.

This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Proliferation of Federal Crimes

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

Achieving Liberty

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

Two choices are available.

1. A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.

2. A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.

A Culture of Violence

American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

Conclusion

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.

Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.


What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, na├»ve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgemental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land

Monday, November 12, 2012

118: I KNEW THEIR HEARTS


The following account is not only a great parable, but a true story told by the author of the book, "I Knew Their Hearts". The book is about the life experiences of Jeff Olsen who had a NDE after a tragic car accident that took his wife and one year old son. This book was given to me by a friend who stayed with us for a week. I enjoyed the gift and finished reading it  this weekend. I thought others might enjoy this excerpt from the book which has much symbolism in it.


"Ben had shown up one day looking for work. He was a handsome but rugged man, soft-spoken , probably in his mid-thirties. He was a Native-American, but I don't remember him mentioning which tribe he belonged to. He told Dad he had no money and would work for food and a place to sleep.

My father had a kind heart and had nothing against hiring folks who deserved a break, Dad asked him what kind of work he did. He said he liked working with horses.

We happened to have three two-year old colts that needed breaking, so my dad told Ben he could start working with them. We didn't tell Ben how we broke horses or even how we expected him to do it. I suppose we were all interested in seeing how he might go about it.

Ben looked at the horses for a while and then climbed into the small corral where the colts were. The young horses moved over near the fence, putting as much distance as possible between themselves and Ben.

I watched Ben through the wood slats of the fence. He did nothing while the horses wandered around the perimeter of the corral, looking for a way out. Occasionally they'd look back at Ben. He stood there quietly. He moved to the middle of the corral and stretched out his arms like a big human scarecrow. He started to talk to the colts, quietly and calmly. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but he moved his arms in slow circular motions as he chanted and sang to the horses. Finally, one horse moved closer to him, perhaps losing its fear or becoming curious about what Ben was doing.

Ben continued to speak softly to the horse, not in English but in his native tongue. I didn't comprehend a word he said, but the tone of his voice was kind and soothing, like a song. I watched for what seemed like hours, amazed at what I was witnessing. This was not the way I had seen horses broken to ride before. Typically we tied them up and let them learn how to respect a rope and a halter. We taught them who was boss, so to speak. Ben's method was markedly different. Ben was actually speaking to them. Talking them into what he wanted. As I watched, I learned something: language was more than words and definitions.

After a while, Ben actually laid down on the ground, right on his back, looking up at the sky. He remained in that position a long time, his patience seemingly endless. Gradually the horses all moved closer, perhaps because he appeared less threatening stretched out on the ground like that.

Finally, the horses came close enough to sniff Ben's face and chest. Slowly, Ben raised his hand and stroked the sides of their faces, then their soft noses and other parts of their heads. it wasn't long until he was stroking their forelegs.

Slowly, Ben got to his feet. When the horses started to worry and move away, Ben would wait until they returned. After rubbing their necks and backs for a long time, he leaned against one of their shoulders and slowly pushed his chest and stomach onto the horse's back.

He was coaxing the horses to trust him. He was allowing them to take their time and become comfortable with him in a way that bonded them as partners, rather than as dominant owner and beast.

Ben worked with the horses into the night after I went in for the evening. In the morning, he was right back at it at first light, when we got up. For all I knew he'd slept in the corral with them. By the end of the third day, Ben was actually riding all three horses. He used a hackamore-style headstall that didn't cause any pain when he applied rein pressure to the horse's head. They ended up being some of the best horses we ever had."