Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rule of Law

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that the rule of law is necessary to preserve freedom, not the whims of men. When a law is established, it states the rights and duties of every person. It assures that each person knows what is expected and brings a sense of security to all. In comparison, when people are governed by the whims of men, the rights and responsibilities of the people depend upon whoever happens to be in power. Nothing is fixed, predictable, or secure.

Individual families as well as society as a whole need a set of fixed and enforceable laws in order to be civilized. John Lock wrote, "The end of the law is not to abolish or restrain but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be where there is no law." (Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, p 37, par. 57.)

Laws also need to be written in such a way that they are understandable and stable. Modern lawmakers could learn much from our Founding Fathers. The Declaration of Independence AND the United States Constitution are contained in less than fifty pages. The national health care bill took more than a thousand pages! The laws and regulations of our nation need to be less voluminous and less incoherent while also being more understandable and more supportable by the people.

Ideas and quotes for this post came from W. Cleon Skousen, The Five Thousand Year Leap, pp 173-176.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eleanor Armor Smith

Eleanor Armor Smith married James Smith, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1745 or 1746. She was "a young woman of many accomplishments and good family connection" when she married the young land surveyor and lawyer who had recently moved from Shippenburg. James was the first attorney to practice law in York and led the bar association until after the Revolution.

James was born in Ireland and came to America as a child with his father. He lived along the Susquehanna River, was educated in Philadelphia, and studied law with an older brother in Lancaster. He started practicing law in Shippenburg but moved to York several years later in order that his family might "have the advantages of a larger and more thickly settled community."

James and Eleanor were parents of five children, three sons and two daughters. Important dates in the lives of the family - their date of marriage and birthdays of family members - are all uncertain. James would never tell anyone his age. He had wit and humor and enjoyed telling stories and happy companionships.

Long before the beginning of the Revolutionary War, James had strong views about the "encroachment of the British ministry on the rights of the Colonies." He served on the Provincial Committee of Safety. He also served in the Continental Congress from 1775 until 1778.

Letters from Smith to Eleanor show that he had "confidence in her ability to take care of their home affairs and an air of affectionate comradeship."

James died in 1806, and his tombstone says that he was ninety-three years old. He and Eleanor are both buried in York.

Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 197-202.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stand with Israel

I attended a wedding reception last weekend for two of my former students. The bride teaches preschool at a Jewish school and invited all of her students and their parents to the reception. Her students were so excited about going to their teacher's reception that they insisted that their parents take them. The rabbi and his family were among those who attended the reception.

The mother of the bride welcomed everyone to the reception and especially the Jewish guests. Then she made some comments that were very interesting to me. She said something similar to the following: "We are all aware of events taking place in the world. We want all of our Jewish guests to know that these people [she gestured to all the rest of us] are good people who stand with Israel. You are not alone."

I knew that I personally stand with Israel, but I didn't consider the many people that I know who also understand the importance of standing with Israel. I took a quick glance around the room at all my friends and associates; then I realized that I too could say, "These people are good people who stand with Israel."

Why is it important for Americans as individuals and the United States of America as a nation to continue to stand with Israel in their battle to survive as a nation? Three good reasons to stand with Israel are: 1) Israel or the Jews are God's chosen people. 2) Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that is a true democratic state. 3) What happens to Israel will eventually happen to the United States of America. Now I will enlarge on my three reasons.

My first reason for standing with Israel is purely a religious one. The scriptures are full of references to the covenant that God made with Abraham and then renewed with his son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob (also known as Israel). The Lord spoke to Abram and said: "… Get thee out of thy country … unto a land that I will shew [show] thee:
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (See Genesis 12:1-3.)
Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and other people who joined them and went into the land of Caanan. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "Unto thy seed will I give this land …." (See Genesis 12:5, 7.)
When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him again and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
"And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly."
Abram "fell on his face," and God continued to talk: "As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
"Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
"And I will make thee exceeding fruitful….
"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant….
"And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God….
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah [meaning Princess] shall her name be.
"And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations….

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, and his wife Sarah was 90. Sarah died at age 127, and Abraham lived until age 175.

Abraham had children with three different women for a total of eight sons and great posterity. His first son, Ishmael, was born to Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian maid, who became his concubine. His second son, Isaac - the covenant son - was born to his wife Sarah. After Sarah's death, Abraham married Keturah, who bore him six sons. The house of Israel comes through Isaac, the son of Sarah. The Arab nations come through the lines of Ishmael, the six sons of Keturah, and Esau, one of the sons of Isaac.

The Abrahamic covenant continued through Isaac, Isaac's son Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel), and the twelve sons of Israel to the twelve tribes of Israel, otherwise known as the house of Israel. The Jews are descendants of Judah and are part of the house of Israel; therefore, they are part of the covenant people of God. Everyone who fights against the Jews is also fighting against God. Since God is more powerful than any number of humans, God's side will win! If Americans want to be on the winning side, we must stand with Israel!

My second reason for standing with Israel is the fact that it is the only nation in the Middle East that is a true democratic state. "According to the "Democracy Index" (published by the Economist, a British journal), the country in the Middle East with the highest Democracy Index score is Israel, with a score of 7.48, corresponding to the status of `flawed democracy", the only one in the region. The next highest scores of countries of the region are held by Lebanon (5.82) and Turkey (5.73), classified as `hybrid regimes.' Also in the `hybrid regimes' category are the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, and Iraq. The remaining countries of the Middle East are categorized as authoritarian regimes, with scores below 2 held by Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia." (See

Wikipedia states that there are many theories on this subject that include the following: 1) "… democracy is incompatible with Islamic culture and values." 2) "… the lack of a clear cut difference between religion and the state stifles democracy in the region." 3) The Ottoman Empire, Britain, France, and the United States are "blamed for preferring authoritarian regimes because this simplifies the business environment, while enriching the governing elite and the companies of the imperial countries." 4) There is a "resource curse" in the nations of the region. 5) "… a gradual political opening is more efficient to reach democracy."

Participants in the recent revolutions in the Middle East apparently thought that they were rioting for democracy, but they are not being given democracy. Therefore, Israel is the only true democratic state in the Middle East. Israel is therefore our only true friend in that region.

My third reason for standing with Israel is the unfortunate fact that whatever happens to Israel will eventually happen to the United States. Israel is like the canary in the mine. If there was enough oxygen for the canary to live and be happy, it was safe for the miners to work there. If the Islamists, with the help of Barack Obama and other such leaders, succeed in destroying the nation of Israel, they will continue their evil ways by working to destroy the United States. As long as Israel stands, the full frontal attack will not come to the USA.

I am grateful to know that most Americans still stand with Israel. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress recently, he receive a positive and supportive welcome from both sides of the aisle. This reception is consistent with the feelings of most Americans although other nations are becoming more and more anti-Semite. This worldview is shown by the nearly universal hatred, condemnation and discrimination against the state of Israel and its Jewish citizens.

Ron Lipsman [American Thinker, May 27, 20ll] wrote: "The people of America continue to recognize in Israel a kindred spirit - a nation devoted to freedom, justice, the rule of law, religious tolerance, equal opportunity, economic growth and the finer aspects of Western Civilization. … the American people [are] a truly exceptional nation - and our eagerness to stand with Israel is a testament to that fact."

There are probably other reasons why the United States should continue to stand with Israel, but I believe these are the most important reasons. I will continue to stand with Israel. I hope that you will join me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

James Smith

James Smith, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born somewhere around 1720 in Ireland and came to this country with his father. The date of his birth is not recorded, and James apparently never told anyone what it was. His father took his "numerous children" and settled upon the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania where he died in 1761.

James was the second son and had a "strong intellect." His father decided that James needed a "liberal education" and arranged for him to study with Reverend Doctor Allison, provost of the college of Philadelphia. James studied Latin, Greek, and practical surveying. He later studied law at Lancaster and was admitted to the bar. He moved west into a sparsely populated wilderness area where he practiced both law and surveying. The town of Shippensburg was built later in the area.

Smith lived in the wilderness for a short period of time before moving to York where he had little business competition in York for many years. James married Miss Eleanor Armor of Newcastle, Delaware, and they made their permanent residence in York. He led the bar association there until the beginning of the Revolution.

James was alert to the coming political storm and was among the first people in Pennsylvania to stand with the patriots of Massachusetts and Virginia. He was a York County delegate to the Pennsylvania convention, which had the responsibility to determine the sentiments of the people and prepare the information in the form of instructions to the representatives in the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. He was committed to the principle of positive resistance and was in favor of breaking with Britain as early as 1774.

The General Congress passed a resolution, recommending that the colonies "adopt such governments as in the opinion of the representatives of the people, might best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents." The Pennsylvania Assembly moved slowly upon the resolution and gave instructions to Pennsylvania's delegates to vote against independence. The Assembly continued in this way until the people of the state spoke their sentiments. Some of Pennsylvania's delegates "refused to vote for the Declaration of Independence, and withdrew from Congress…." Pennsylvania sent new delegates who were bold and supportive of independence: James Smith, George Clymer, and Benjamin Rush. These three men were not in attendance in Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, but they signed it on August 2, 1776.

James was a member of the Pennsylvania convention to form a state constitution. He was active in the convention until October 1776 when he became a delegate to the General Congress. In the General Congress he was appointed to a committee to make sure that General George Washington had proper supplies to "oppose the progress of General Howe's army." Other members of this committee were James Wilson, Samuel Chew, George Clymer, and Richard Stockton. This committee exercised "almost unlimited discretionary powers, and the scope of their operations included the whole business of advising and superintending the military movements."

Smith declined re-election in the spring of 1777 and resumed his business in York; however, the cause of liberty demanded his attention after the American defeats at Brandywine and Germantown as well as the British capture of Philadelphia. He answered the call to duty and met with the General Congress in Lancaster after the British captured Philadelphia and afterwards when it adjourned to York.

James retired from the General Congress once again after the American victory in the battle of Monmouth in 1778 because the Americans' hope for independence began to "beam brightly." He was elected to the Legislature of Pennsylvania and served one term there before retiring permanently from public service. He enjoyed "domestic happiness" until his death on July 11, 1806, when he was nearly ninety years old.

Smith was considered to be an "eccentric man" who "possessed a vein of humor, coupled with sharp wit." He was popular in his social circle. He was usually "lively in his conversation and manners" except when topics of a religious nature came up; then he became "very grave and never suffered any in his presence to sneer at or speak with levity of Christianity." He was not a professor of religion, but he possessed religious virtues and practiced religious precepts.

Facts and quotes are from Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, pp, 119-122.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Borrow Money

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.2: "Congress shall have Power to … borrow Money on the credit of the United States." This principle simply tells us that Congress has the power and authority to borrow money and create a debt against the credit of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson obviously did not like this clause in the Constitution because he stated, "I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing."

According to W. Cleon Skousen, Jefferson also believed the following about debt: 1) freedom from debt is a key to human happiness, 2) public debt should not be passed from one generation to another, 3) a government should cherish its credit, 4) to saddle posterity with our debts is immoral, 5) public debt is not a public blessing, 6) public debt is a danger, 7) discharge of public debt is vital to a government's survival, and 8) public debt results in oppressive taxation. (See The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, pp 392-395.)

I agree with Jefferson and Skousen: debt is not a blessing to us or our posterity and any debtor is in a dangerous position. It is good to be able to borrow money to handle an emergency; it is also good to keep the amount of debt at the lowest possible amount and to repay debt as quickly as possible. I believe that our nation is insane to borrow money from our enemies; I do not see any reason to give our enemies any power over us. Yet, our nation is deeply in debt to China. Why?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sabbath Day

The topic for this Sunday is the Sabbath Day. Moses wrote, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). This commandment was repeated in modern times (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:29). The root for the word Sabbath is a Hebrew word meaning rest. After God spent six days or periods creating the earth, He rested on the seventh. (See Genesis 2:2-3.) The Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between God and His people. Until the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath was observed on the seventh day of the week. Now the Sabbath is observed on Sunday in remembrance of His resurrection. It is a holy day ordained by God for the benefit of mankind.

Jesus Christ taught that the Sabbath day was given to man as a day to direct our thoughts and actions toward worshipping God and to rest from our daily labors. As we rest from our usual labors and activities, our minds are freed for worship and reverence. The Sabbath is a special day for us to renew our covenants with God and to nourish our souls with things of the Spirit.

What does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy? The first thing that we should do is to sanctify the Sabbath day by going to the house of prayer and offering up our sacraments, by resting from our labors, and by paying our devotions to the Most High. (See Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12.)

The second thing that God asks of us is that we rest from our daily work. God commanded the Israelites: "Thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle." This means that we should do nothing that would distract our attention from spiritual matters. Modern day prophets have told us that we should not shop, hunt, fish, attend sports events, or participate in similar activities on Sunday.

President Spencer W. Kimball warned that the Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts and not merely lounging about doing nothing. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 170.)

Children and teenagers often wonder what activity is proper for the Sabbath. The prophet Isaiah said that we should "call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable" (Isaiah 58:13) and suggested that we avoid doing our own pleasures. Some suggested ways of keeping the Sabbath day holy are: attending Church meetings; reading the scriptures and words of other prophets; visiting the sick, the elderly, and family members; listening to uplifting music or singing hymns; praying to Heavenly Father in thanksgiving and praise; performing Church service; writing personal histories; preparing family history records; sharing faith-promoting stories; bearing testimony to family; sharing spiritual experiences with loved ones; writing letters to missionaries and loved ones; fasting with a purpose; and spending time together with spouse, children, grandchildren, and others in the home.

When trying to determine if an activity is appropriate for the Sabbath, we should ask ourselves: Does this activity show respect for the Lord? Does it direct my thoughts to Him? Does it uplift and inspire me?

Working on the Sabbath day should be avoided if at all possible. If it is absolutely necessary to work on Sunday, we should do all that we can to maintain the spirit of Sabbath worship in our hearts.

I know by personal experience that proper observance of the Sabbath brings blessings into my life. When I keep the Sabbath day with thanksgiving and a cheerful heart, I feel true joy. I also feel rested and ready to face the next week.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good Discipline

Families grow stronger when parents use good discipline practices and refuse to use physical coercion or psychological control to influence their children. According to Craig H. Hart, professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, psychology, “such psychologically coercive parenting approaches can be as harmful to a child’s psyche as physical coercion.” Professor Hart is assisted in his research by associate professors David A. Nelson, Clyde C. Robinson, and Larry J. Nelson. Most parents want their children to grow up to be “emotionally and socially competent adults” and therefore must watch their parenting efforts for any use of physical or psychological coercion.

“In child development literature `psychological control’ refers to discipline or attempted influence of a child that takes advantage of the child’s wish for love and approval from his or her parents. These manipulations include guilting, shaming, withdrawing love, wounding with sarcasm or condescending remarks, teasing in a way that belittles, and discounting feelings or ideas.”

Short term obedience or compliance might take place because of psychological or physical control, but there may also be long-term consequences such as rebellion, delinquency, etc. In order for children to learn proper self-control, they must be taught in ways that will help them to internalize the desired values.

Delinquency and bullying of others may result from severe forms of psychological control such as yelling, screaming, and harsh criticism. Girls who have manipulative parents may develop “mean girl” syndrome and punish or bully other girls while following the example of parents.

The practice of over-protection can be another form of psychological control and can cause a child to withdraw or feel anxiety. Children need opportunities and time to learn to interact socially with other children and to develop good social skills. The best place to learn these behaviors is in the home with loving parents.

All of us should remember that there are no perfect mortal parents and that all mortals, even parents, error. Most parents understand that physical coercion is wrong, but some fail to understand the problems and impact caused by psychological coercion.

All adults should realize and remember that every child is born with the gift of agency or the ability to make choices. Parents must understand the need to help children to learn how to use their agency wisely.

“The researchers say the antidote to both physical and psychological control is to practice `authoritative,’ gospel-centered parenting, which is a loving and supportive approach toward children, balanced with reasonable limits and accountability. The ultimate goal is autonomy, and children need small, increasing amounts of it as they gradually develop the ability to make their own good choices….”

Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that teaching correct principles improves behavior faster [and better] than teaching behavior improves behavior. Children need to be taught proper principles. As they understand a principle and why it is important, they will internalize it.

The professors suggested several ways that parents can learn to give autonomy to their children. 1) Give children opportunities to make choices. Parents can allow even toddlers to decide which cracker, fruit, or vegetable they want to eat, which book to read, or which outfit to wear. As children grow, the types of choices become bigger also: which sport to learn, which musical instrument to play, which family activities to join, which classes to take, or which college to attend. 2) Watch your body language as well as your words. Make sure that both express love and acceptance. 3) Give yourself time outs as needed. I remember numerous times when I locked myself in the bathroom or went to my bedroom until I could parent in a more positive manner.

I would add the following ideas that are based on the fact that all of our children are on loan to us from our Heavenly Father. He sent them to us for at least two reasons: 1) Children need someone to love them, care for them, and teach them properly. 2) Adults need the experience of being parents to learn Godlike characteristics. We can learn skills and virtues through parenting that are difficult or impossible to learn in any other experience. Knowing that Heavenly Father is interested in both us and our children, I find it very reasonable to believe that He will help us in our parenting efforts if we take the time and make the effort to discuss the situation with Him.

The second idea I would add is that parents must remember that children eventually grow up to be adults. If we want to have good relationships with our adult children, we need to develop good relationships with them as children and teenagers.

As we practice good parenting and teach correct principles, we must continually remind ourselves that our children are agents unto themselves. They will accept and learn according to their own time table and may take years – or never – achieve the outcome we desire for them.
Parents can strengthen their family by using good discipline practices and guarding against physical or psychological coercion.

Ideas and quotes are from article by Sue Bergin in BYU Magazine, Spring 2011, pp. 26-27.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Local Governments

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that the foundation for protecting individual freedoms is strong local self-government. All individuals have a circle of influence, and the strongest influence is from the people we know best. Thus, we are apt to know better the people who live in our own towns, cities, and states than someone across the nation. We can keep our local governments strong by electing people whom we know to have strong moral values.

W. Cleon Skousen wrote, "Political power automatically gravitates toward the center, and the purpose of the Constitution is to prevent that from happening. The centralization of political power always destroys liberty by removing the decision-making function from the people on the local level and transferring it to the officers of the central government. This process gradually benumbs the spirit of `voluntarism' among the people, and they lose the will to solve their own problems. They also cease to be involved in community affairs. They seek the anonymity of oblivion in the seething crowds of the city and often degenerate into faceless automatons who have neither a voice nor a vote."

Self-government works because problems are best solved at the level where they originate. Problems in a family are best solved by members of a family working together. If a problem originates on a neighborhood level, neighbors working together can best solve the problem. If there are problems in education, the solution should come from a source close to the students. This principle also applies to states. The Constitution gave the federal government the responsibilities that the states could not handle as well - such as defense. It also kept for the states the responsibilities best done locally such as education and police departments.

The Founders understood the need to protect the freedom of the individuals as well as to encourage strong local self-government. Thomas Jefferson explained, "The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to [perform best]. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the state governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward [township] direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics, from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or the aristocrats of a Venetian senate." (Bergh, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 14:421.)

The Founders wanted the federal government to remain small in order that the power would remain with the people. Strong local self-government is the process through which freedom is preserved for individuals.

Ideas and quotes for this post are from The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, pp 169-172.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Elizabeth Meredith Clymer

Elizabeth Meredith married George Clymer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in March 1765. Her father was Reese Meredith who was a "prominent and wealthy merchant" in Philadelphia for more than fifty years prior to the Revolution. Meredith was a "handsome accomplished girl of most exemplary character." The marriage between George, age 27, and Elizabeth, a few years younger, was considered to be a "highly advantageous union on both sides."

George was left an orphan at age seven and was brought up in the home of his maternal uncle, William Coleman. Coleman saw that George received a good education, trained him in his own "accounting room," and left most of his fortune to George. He formed a partnership with Reese Meredith and his son. It was not long afterwards that George married Elizabeth Meredith.

George was very active in the cause of liberty and served in many public offices and committees. His devotion to the Republican cause was particularly obnoxious to the British. Following the defeat of the Continental Army at Brandywine, the British Army marched towards Philadelphia. Clymer took his family to their country home for safety, but Tories led the enemy to their retreat. The British soldiers sacked the house, destroyed the furniture, raided the wine cellars, and carried away everything that was portable. Elizabeth and the children found safety by moving quickly to another area.

Elizabeth and George enjoyed a "very harmonious and happy" married life except for the "enforced separations" and the "hardships caused by the Revolution." They were parents of eight children, three of whom died in childhood.

Facts and quotes from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 195-197.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The conflict between numerous Arab nations and the nation of Israel has been much in the news. I wanted to write an article about anti-semitism, but the more I studied the issue, the more I realized that I didn’t understand it. I found that I was having more questions than answers.

I wondered about the statement of Arabic nations that they wanted to drive all Jews into the Mediterranean Sea and wipe the nation of Israel off the map. This seems to me to be a very irrational statement! What happened to cause so much hate between two groups of Heavenly Father’s children? I believe that this hate is the largest obstacle to peace in the Middle East. I went searching for answers with a great desire for understanding.

According to Wikipedia, “Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is `hatred toward Jews – individually and as a group – that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.’ …
“Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from individual expressions of hatred and discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, or even state police, or military attacks on entire Jewish communities….
“While the term’s etymology might suggest that anti-Semitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (`Jew-hatred’), and that has been its normal use since then.”

Anti-semitism is not just a German problem or Middle Eastern problem or even a modern problem. Before Hitler and Nazi Germany attempted to destroy all Jews through the Holocaust, other extreme examples of anti-Semitism included the “First Crusade of 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497….”

Anti-semitism is increasing in the United States and across the world. Europe’s highest rates of anti-Semitic attacks since 2000 took place in Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, and Sweden. According to a survey taken by the Anti-Defamation League, “14 percent of U.S. residents hold anti-Semitic views.” The survey was taken in 2005 and found that “35 percent of foreign-born Hispanics” and “36 percent of African-Americans hold strong anti-Semitic beliefs, four times more than the 9 percent for whites.”

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced on April 3, 2006, that anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses in the United States had become a “serious problem.” The Boston Review published a 2009 study stating that Jews were blamed for the 2008-2009 financial crises by almost 25 percent of non-Jewish Americans. An interesting additional fact was that more Democrats than Republicans held this view.

Rabbi Kalman Packouz [] stated that “Jews have experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe” “between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE.” He claimed that historians have given six basic reasons for why people hate the Jews: 1) “Economic - `We hate Jews because they possess too much wealth and power.’” 2) “Chosen People - `We hate Jews because they arrogantly claim that they are the chosen people.’” 3) “Scapegoat - `Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles.’” 4) “Deicide - `We hate Jews because they killed Jesus.’” 5) “Outsiders - `We hate Jews because they are different than us.’ (The dislike of the unlike.)” 6) “Racial Theory - `We hate Jews because they are an inferior race.’”

Rabbi Packouz then proceeded to explain why none of these excuses are the real reason why people hate the Jews. 1) Even though “Jews of 17th-20th century Poland and Russia” were `dirt-poor’ and `had no influence,’ they were still hated. 2) The Jews of the late 19th century in Germany tried to deny that they were “chosen” and tried to assimilate, but the holocaust started in Germany. Christians and Moslems have also claimed to be “chosen,” but they have been tolerated until recently by people who hate the Jews for the same reason. 3) To be an “effective scapegoat,” the selected “group must already be hated.” 4) Even though Romans – with Jews as accomplices – killed Jesus, there have been no anti-Roman movements. Claims that Jesus was killed by Jews came “several hundred years” after the event. Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them,” and the Catholic Church “exonerated the Jews as the killers of Jesus” in 1963. Even so, none of these facts has lessened anti-Semitism. 5) When Jews try to assimilate as they did in Germany, they are hated for trying to “infect the Aryan race with your inferior genes.” 6) Jews are not a race. Members of “every race, creed, and color in the world” have become Jews “at one time or another.”

Rabbi Packouz stated, “Every other hated group is hated for a relatively defined reason. We Jews, however, are hated in paradoxes: Jews are hated for being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. We are hated for stubbornly maintaining our separateness – and, when we do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. We are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems that we just can’t win.”

The explanations given by Rabbi Packouz made sense to me. After reading his article I could plainly see that the basis for anti-Semitism is not economics, chosenness, scapegoat, Deicide, being different, or racial.

What causes anti-Semitism to be so unique among all the hatreds in the world? Jews have been hated for thousands of years and in almost every area of the world. Antisemitism is especially strong, and yet there is very little agreement about why Jews are so hated.

Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager killed by Nazi Germany, seemed to understand the real reason why Jews are so hated. She wrote in her diary on April 11, 1944: “Who knows – it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we now suffer….”

When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and to the Promised Land, he made an important stop at Mount Sinai. There Moses received the Ten Commandments and other instructions. The Jews learned at Sinai that there is one God and that this God demands morality from all humanity.

“A great many people simply can’t cope with the burden of being good. However, when they act in ways that are bad, they can’t cope with the resultant feelings of guilt. Try as they may, they can never cut themselves loose from the standards of absolute morality dictated by the Torah. Stuck in this `catch 22’ situation, people turn with their mounting frustrations against the Jews, whom they perceive as personifying humanity’s collective conscience.
“When the Jews entered the theological arena, they showed people all the mistakes they had been making: Pagan gods are nonsense – there is only one God for all of mankind, Who is invisible, infinite and perfect. Infanticide and human sacrifice are unacceptable. Every human being is born with specific rights. No one can live as he pleases, for everyone must surrender his will to a higher Authority” (Rabbi Packouz).

As I read these comments by Rabbi Packouz, I recognized the truth in them and then extended the understanding to Christians in general and Mormons in particular. Persecutions of Christians began while Christ was still living but increased after His death. Persecutions of those who believe in the Book of Mormon began before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was even organized and continues to this day. Many people do not consider members of the “Mormon” church to be Christians. It appears that knowing the truths of God is a reason for hate and persecution. It seems to me that people simply have a difficult time accepting that others believe differently. It makes sense to me that religion is the reason why so many people hate Jews.

My next question was, why do most Arabs have such an intense hatred for the Jews? I've come to understand that this hatred could have started in the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Bible tells us in Genesis that God made a covenant with Abraham to give certain blessings to Abraham and his righteous descendants. These blessings included the land of Canaan, great posterity, and the power to act in God’s name to bless all the inhabitants of the earth. We also learn from Genesis that this covenant was renewed with Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s son Jacob - whose name was changed to Israel. The covenant continued through the twelve sons of Israel and their descendants who are known as the twelve tribes of Israel or the house of Israel. One of those twelve “tribes” was Judah or the Jews; most of the other tribes are “lost.”

I understand that Islamists believe that Ishmael was the covenant son of Abraham; therefore, they believe that the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant belong to them. When the Jews were scattered during the Diaspora, many Arabs moved into the land of Canaan and claimed the land as their own even though many Jews still lived in the area. Modern-day Palestinians believe that "their" land was stolen from them when the Jews were given their ancient homeland. Palestinians want “their” land back, and other Arab nations support this desire.

I understand that ordinary Arabs and Palestinians who know Jews personally do not hate Israeli’s, but their religious and national leaders fan the flames of hatred for Jews and the nation of Israel. These leaders gain support from the young and the unknowing.

Since I personally believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, I believe that the descendants of Ishmael are usurpers of the Abrahamic covenant. I believe that the world will know of the true covenant people sometime in the near future.

I also believe that negative emotions such as dishonestly, envy, anger, and hate are tools used by Satan to inspire his followers to do his work of destruction. If the covenant people descended through Isaac and Jacob – and I believe that they did – it makes sense that Satan would inspire his followers to destroy God’s work by destroying His covenant people. I therefore believe that the root cause for this hatred of Jews is spiritual rather than physical and that antisemitism is being used by Satan in attempt to destroy the covenant people of God.

Monday, June 20, 2011

George Clymer

George Clymer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in 1739 to a father who came from Bristol, England. George became an orphan at age seven when his father died; his mother died previous to her husband.

George was taken into the home of William Coleman, his mother's brother and a "wealthy and highly-esteemed citizen of Philadelphia." William treated George as a son in his "education, and all other things." George completed a "thorough English education" and then went to work in the "counting room" for his uncle and to prepare for "commercial life."

George didn't care too much for the mercantile business because he "deemed it a pathway beset with many snares for the feet of pure morality." He felt this way because "sudden gains and losses were apt to affect the character of the most stable." George preferred literature and science, and he spent much time thinking about those subjects.

George married a Miss. Elizabeth Meredith when he was 27 years old. He started working with his father-in-law and his brother-in-law in business known as Meredith and Sons. About this same time, William Coleman died and left the "principle part" of his large estate to George. Clymer continued to work with his father-in-law until he passed away, and then he continued with his brother-in-law until 1782.

George was an early believer in republican principles, starting some time before his marriage. When the Stamp Act was passed, George "was among the most ardent defenders of the republican cause." He was an active participant in "all the public meetings in Philadelphia." In 1774 George "accepted the command of a volunteer corps" under the direction of General Cadwallader.

Following the problems involved in the circumstances surrounding the Boston Tea Party, George was named as the head of the Committee of Vigilance in Philadelphia as well as the first Council of Safety in Philadelphia. In early 1775 Congress appointed George to be "one of the Continental treasurers."

George, along with Dr. Benjamin Rush, was appointed to be a delegate to the General Congress to replace two of the delegates from Pennsylvania who resigned from their seats in Congress after declining to sign the Declaration of Independence. Both Dr. Rush and George "joyfully" signed the document.

Clymer was part of a committee that visited the northern army at Fort Ticonderoga. At a later date, he was appointed to be on the Committee of Vigilance with Robert Morris when the British Army approached Philadelphia and forced Congress to move to Baltimore. He was again elected to Congress in 1779 and was part of a delegation sent to the Valley Forge headquarters of General Washington to investigate "alleged abuses of the commissary department."

The British did not like Clymer because he had such "patriotic zeal and unwavering attachment to the Republican cause." After the American defeat at Brandywine, the British Army marched triumphantly toward Philadelphia. George moved his family into the country for safety, but their retreat was discovered by the enemy. "British soldiers sacked the house, destroyed the furniture, and wasted every sort of property" possible. The British also considered demolishing another house in Philadelphia but reconsidered when they discovered that it belonged to one of George's relatives with the same name.

In 1778 Congress sent George to Pittsburgh on a mission to "quiet the savages" who were "committing dreadful ravages on the frontier" under the British influence. He apparently solved the problem because Congress thanked him. George was elected to Congress for a third time in late 1780 and continued as a member of that group until 1782. He joined with Robert Morris and others to establish a bank in Philadelphia and became George became one of the directors of the bank.

Apparently the Southern States were not contributing their fair quota of funds to the national treasury because Congress sent Clymer and Edward Rutledge to the South in 1782 to solve the problem.

Clymer moved his family to Princeton in order that his children could be educated there; however, he was called back to Philadelphia to serve in the Legislature where he was instrumental in setting up the state's penitentiary system.

George was a delegate to the Convention where the United States Constitution was framed and was elected to the first Congress under the new Constitution. He declined being elected a second time and was appointed by President George Washington to be the "supervisor of the revenue" for Pennsylvania. Because of the "spirit of resistance to the collection of revenue" in the land, this office required a person who had "great firmness and decision of character." In fact, it was in Pennsylvania that the "Whiskey Insurrection" took place and "threatened serious consequences to the whole framework of our government." Clymer went about his business in spite of personal danger and resigned after the rebellion settled down.

In 1796, George was appointed, along with Colonels Hawkins and Pickens, to "negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee and Creek tribes of Indians, in Georgia." They apparently settled the problem to the satisfaction of all parties.

This mission was the last public service performed by George Clymer. He was the first President of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia and was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Agricultural Society. George died on January 24, 1813, at age 74 after a long, active, and useful life and without a "single moral stain marked its manifested purity."

Facts and quotes are from Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, pp. 114-118.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Uniformity of Taxes

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.1: "Congress shall have power … to collect taxes … but all [taxes] must be uniform throughout the United States."

This principle was put in place to make sure that there was no discrimination in the way taxes were collected. With uniform taxation throughout the nation, everyone would be treated equally.

W. Cleon Skousen wrote, "The Supreme Court interpreted this provision to mean `geographic uniformity' rather than uniformity of assessment. The tithe (a tenth of one's `increase' is an example of uniformity of assessment because it is the same for rich and poor. However, the rich pay more because 10 percent of their wealth is much greater than 10 percent of the income of the poor.
"On the other hand, a graduated income tax violates the principle of uniformity of assessment and violates the principle of equal protection of rights. A graduated income tax makes the income of the wealthy less sacred and less protected than that of the lower income levels." (See The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p 392.)

Skousen clearly stated that the practice of "taxing the rich" is unconstitutional. It seems to me that in order to get back to the Constitution on the collection of taxes, we must go to a flat tax - everyone pays a certain percentage of income to run the federal government. I am quite confident that there would be more people clamoring for a smaller government if everyone had to pay their fair share to run the government!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day is a special day set aside to honor our fathers and to express our gratitude and appreciation for our fathers and to them. It became an official national holiday in 1972 when President Richard M. Nixon signed Father's Day into law.

Credit for the adoption of a day for fathers in the United States is given to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. After listening to a sermon on Mother's Day in 1909, she got the idea for a day to honor her father, William Jackson Smart. Sonora's mother died in 1898, and her father raised the six children by himself. Through Sonora's efforts, Spokane celebrated the first Father's Day on June 19, 1910. Father's Day is now an official holiday celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

I am grateful for the fathers in my life: my own father, my father-in-law, my husband who is the father of our six children, and my sons and sons-in-law who are the fathers of my grandchildren. I especially love to watch my sons and sons-in-law being fathers to their children. It touches my heart in a way that nothing else does! To all of these special fathers, I say thank you and Happy Father's Day.

A father holds an important position in a family. He has the responsibility to 1) preside over his family in love and righteousness, 2) provide the necessities of life for his family, and 3) protect his family from all harmful influences.

Ephesians 6:4 reads, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Gordon B. Hinckley, a modern-day prophet, said, "The father is the provider, the defender, the counselor, the friend who will listen and give support when needed. Who better than an exemplary father to effectively teach children the value of education, the dead-end nature of street gangs, and the miracle of self-esteem that can change their lives for good?" (See Stand A Little Taller, p 169.)

Just as being a mother is more than simply giving birth, being a father is much more than simply fertilizing an egg. The most important thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother and to insist that the children show proper respect to his wife and their mother. A recent study of the effect of marriage on poverty (1929-2008) shows that children have a much lower chance of growing up in poverty if their parents are married. The break down of the family in recent years emphasizes the important role that father fills in a family. In 1963, 93 percent of American children were born to married parents. Today the number has dropped to 59 percent. Children are fortunate if they grow up in a home that functions properly with father as the head of the family and mother as the heart. Fathers and mothers working together for the good of families are very important in establishing and maintaining a strong society.

Married fathers in the home gives stability to the entire family. Broken societies come from broken homes. Fatherless homes also are a principle reason for poverty. Fatherhood has not only "social or cultural consequences; it is a menacing national security threat. The collective social pathology of the fatherless presents a great obstacle to Liberty and the survival of our republican form of government as outlined by our Constitution.
"Father's Day should thus be a call to action. Indeed, the majority of social entropy afflicting our nation today originates in homes without fathers, which definition includes those without functioning or effective fathers." (Mark Alexander, publisher of The Patriot Post) []
I want to wish a happy Father's Day to all fathers and especially to those fathers who recognize the value of father being in the home and taking an active part in the family.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Long Term Marriages

Families are strengthened when the importance of long-term marriages is recognized and valued. Children and grandchildren can learn the value of marriage vows and covenants as they watch parents and grandparents work together to solve differences rather than running away from them. All family members need to understand that success or failure in marriage affects many people and not just the two people involved in the marriage. We all need to recognize that good and happy marriages do not just happen; all marriages need work, but some seem to need less work than most other marriages.

My husband and I will celebrate our forty-fourth wedding anniversary next week. We have endured several serious problems in those years, but we continue to learn how to "live together in love and respect."

My older sister and her husband recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with their daughter, other family members, and many friends. Their celebration was much like their wedding reception many years ago and included a live band and dancing. There was a time not too many years ago when their marriage was in serious trouble and looked like it might end. They worked through their problems with counselors and Church leaders and eventually put their marriage back together. The fact that they made it together for fifty years is a real reason to celebrate!

I know many people who enjoy long-term marriages. My parents were planning their celebration of fifty years of marriage when my mother passed away five months before their golden anniversary. All twelve of their children have marriages lasting longer than thirty years with five of the older ones being married more than fifty years. Although some of my parents' grandchildren have divorced, most of the grandchildren have enduring marriages also. The example of our parents - plus the teachings about eternal marriage by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - is an important reason for these long marriages.

The recent royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William brought hope for a long-lasting marriage between them because they show obvious signs of great affection for each other. William is said to have waited long enough to make sure that Kate is the one for him. I am sure that the difficulties and divorce of his parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, as well as other royal marriage problems and divorces, helped to remind William that he needed to choose his wife with great care.

We often see headlines of the divorces of rich and famous people, but there are many well-known couples who have long-lasting marriages. Dolores Reade and Bob Hope were married almost sixty-nine years when he died in 2003. They married three months after "falling in love at first sight." Even though their marriage experienced rough times, it endured because they loved and respected each other as well as understood the importance of their marriage vows. There has never been even a hint of scandal about the Hope marriage.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward enjoyed another long-lasting marriage as they were together about forty-nine years at the time of his death. His marriage to Joanne was Paul's second marriage, but it obviously was satisfactory to both of them. Paul is reported to have said something like, "Why mess around with hamburger when steak is waiting at home?" Joanne is reported to have claimed that enjoying a daily laugh lasted long after looks faded and the need for sex decreased.

What is the importance of long-term marriages? The importance of having married parents in the home cannot be understated. One example is shown in the different income levels between homes with married parents and homes with single parents. According to Robert Rector at The Heritage Foundation, “Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware that its principle cause is the absence of married fathers in the home. Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result.”

Rector's article has charts showing the many differences made by marriage, and I highly recommend that you study the article. He wrote that America is “steadily separating into a two-caste society with marriage and education as the dividing line. In the high-income third of the population, children are raised by married parents with a college education; in the bottom-income third, children are raised by single parents with a high school degree or less.” []

There are many, many couples who are married for fifty, sixty, and even seventy years. These examples show us that marriage can be lasting if both members of the marriage will work at it. It is not easy for two people to become "as one," but it is possible. Long-term happy marriages strengthen families and show good examples to the rising generations.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Majority Rule

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that government is required to operate according to the will of the majority of the people while at the same time protecting the rights of the minority. We would live in a truly up-side-down world if the will of the minority determined what the entire group would do. This is basically what happened in the American Colonies under the Articles of Confederation, which required unanimous approval in all its decisions. Several problems became real hardships during the Revolutionary War because a single state voted against the solution. When the Constitution was written, the Founders decided to do away with the unanimous vote for ratification and determined that only nine of the thirteen colonies needed to ratify the new Constitution.

The need to protect the rights of minorities remains. W. Cleon Skousen wrote, "… It is important for us to remember that every ethnic group in the United States was once a minority. We are literally a nation of minorities. However, it is the newcomers who feel they are not yet first-class citizens.

"It is the responsibility of the minorities themselves to learn the language, seek needed education, become self-sustaining, and make themselves recognized as a genuine asset to the community. Meanwhile, those who are already well established can help. The United States has built a reputation of being more generous and helpful to newcomers than any other nation. It is a reputation worth persevering. Once upon a time, we were all minorities."

Did you notice that Skousen thought immigrants were responsible to learn the language and become self-reliant? I personally am tired of seeing instructions in government offices, etc. in languages other than English. We are an English-speaking nation and those who want to live in our nation need to learn English and then use it. I recognize that immigrants are important to our nation, but we must insist that those who are allowed to enter America are those who will help our nation to become even greater.

Ideas and quotes for this post came from The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, p 167.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sarah Franklin Bache

Sarah Franklin, daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read Franklin, was born in 1774, and she was "carefully educated by her father." She was apparently plain in looks but had a delightful sense of humor and wit; these qualities along with her "good nature and kindliness" made her one of the most popular women in Philadelphia.

There is little written about her childhood and youth. She was 20 years old when Benjamin was sent to England to represent the Province of Pennsylvania. Some people from Pennsylvania disagreed about Benjamin's appointment and apparently made some statements about him in Christ Church, which the Franklin family attended. Sarah "was indignant and made no attempt to hide here feelings at this `outrage against decency and the feelings of her family,' and threatened to leave the church and the congregation.

Her father was on his way to England and wrote to her from Reedy Island in November 1764: "Go constantly to the church, whoever preaches. The act of devotion in the common prayer book is your principal business there; and if properly attended to will do more toward amending the heart than sermons can do; for they were composed by men of much greater piety and wisdom than our common composers of sermons pretend to be; and therefore I prefer you would never miss the prayer days. Yet I do not mean that you should despise sermons, even of preachers you dislike, for the discourse is often much sweeter than the man, as sweet and clear waters come through very dirty earth. I am more particular on this head, as you seemed to express, a little before I left, some inclination to leave our church, which I would not have you do."

There was a "delightful yet respectful affection and intimacy" between Sarah Franklin and her father. She wrote many letters to him while he served his country in England and later in France.

Sarah - or Sally as she referred to herself - married Richard Bache, a merchant in Philadelphia, in October 1767. Bache moved from Yorkshire, England, to the Colony several years before the wedding. Sarah and Richard lived with her mother until Mrs. Franklin's death. Sarah and Richard were parents of eight children, one of which died in childhood.

When Benjamin Franklin was appointed as Minister to France in October 1775, he took his eldest grandson, Temple Bache, to France with him to begin his education. Sarah wrote to her father on February 23, 1777, "We have been impatiently waiting to hear of your arrival for some time. It was seventeen weeks yesterday since you left us - a day I shall never forget. How happy we shall all be to hear you are all safe arrived and well…."

Soon after Benjamin and Temple left Philadelphia, the Bache family had to leave town because the British army had marched through New Jersey and was approaching Philadelphia. The family were able to move back home a short time after she wrote to her father but had to leave town again later. She wrote to her father on July 14, 1778, "Once more I have the happiness of addressing you from this dearly loved city, after having been kept out of it more than nine months. … I found your house and furniture in much better order than I had reason to expect from such a rapacious crew…." Major Andre' was quartered in Franklin's home during the British occupation of the city and apparently took a number of items when he left.

Depreciation in Continental currency was prevalent. Sarah wrote to her father in a "spirit of amused levity" that "she has to send her servant to market `with two baskets, one to hold her purchases and the other to carry the money with which to pay for them.'"

Sarah belong to a "movement of the patriotic ladies of Philadelphia in 1780" who furnished "food and clothing for destitute soldiers." They would collect contributions and then distribute the funds. They considered the idea of giving each soldier "a hard dollar," but General George Washington suggested that the men needed clothing, particularly shirts, more than money. The women used the money to buy fabric from which they made 2200 shirts. The shirts were cut out at Sarah's home.

A M. de Marbois wrote to Dr. Franklin the next year to share his feelings about Sarah: "If there are in Europe any women who need a model of attachment to domestic duties and love for their country, Mrs. Bache may be pointed out to them as such. She passed a part of last year in exertions to rouse the zeal of the Pennsylvania ladies, and she made on the occasion such a happy use of the eloquence which, you know, she possesses, that a large part of the American army was provided with shirts bought with their money or made by their hands. In her application for this purpose, she showed the most indefatigable zeal, the most unwearied perseverance, and a courage in asking, which surpassed even the obstinate reluctance of the Quakers in refusing."

After an absence of seven years, Benjamin returned from the Court of France in September 1785. He spent his remaining years with Sarah and her family. Sarah and her husband traveled to England in 1792 for about a year. Two years later, Richard retired from his business and bought a farm located on the Delaware River about 16 miles from Philadelphia. They lived on their farm for about 13 years before moving back to Philadelphia to obtain better medical care for Sarah. She was diagnosed as having cancer, and she passed away in October 1808 at age 64.

Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp.179-192.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bilderberg Conference

Do you know what the Bilderberg Conference is? The name was familiar to me, but I couldn’t describe or explain it. When articles about this annual conference started to appear during the past week, I began to research it. I discovered that very people really know what it is and its purpose. The 2011 meeting took place over the past weekend of June 9-12 at the Suvretta House in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

According to, “The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg Conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 140 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military, and news media. The names of attendees are made available to the press, but the conferences are closed to the public and the media, and no press releases are issued.”

The name Bilderberg was used because the original meeting was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg, located near Arnhem in the Netherlands, on May 29-31, 1954. The first conference took place under the initiation of Polish politician Jozef Retinger and other people who were “concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe.” They wanted to hold an “international conference” where European leaders could meet leaders from the United States to promote “Atlanticism – better understanding between the cultures of the United States and Western Europe to foster cooperation on political, economic, and defense issues….”

The original plan was to invite two attendees from each nation, one to represent the liberal point of view and one to represent the conservative. There were fifty attendees at the first conference from eleven Western European countries and eleven Americans.

That meeting was so successful that plans were made to hold annual conferences. A permanent steering committee was established as well as a permanent secretary. The steering committee is made up of two representatives from about eighteen countries.

According to a press release in 2008 from the “American Friends of Bilderberg,” the only activity of Bilderberg is “its annual conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued.”

The meetings are considered to be “private” rather than “secret.” The hotels where the conferences are held are “inaccessible for any other guest for the full period of the conference” and are “hermetically sealed” and guarded by “private security staffs,” “local police,” and “secret services.” No journalists are allowed, and even government representatives are banished from the area if not invited. It appears that the area around the designated hotel becomes a “no-fly zone.”

According to, the attendees for the 2011 conference include representatives from Belgium (3), China (2), Denmark (3), Germany (5), Finland (4), France (6), Great Britain (9), Greece (4), Ireland (3), Italy (5), Canada (6), Netherlands (6), Norway (4), Austria (4), Portugal (3), Sweden (4), Switzerland (10), Spain (5), Turkey (4), USA (29), and international organizations (9).

Attendees at the conference included royalty, government officials, bank executives, professors, and corporate executives. Representatives from the USA include: Keith B. Alexander (Commander, USCYBERCOM; Director, National Security Agency), Roger C. Altman (Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.), Jeff Bezos (Founder and CEO,, Timothy C. Collins (CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC), Martin S. Feldstein (George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University), Reid Hoffman (Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn), Chris R. Hughes (Co-Founder, Facebook), Kenneth M. Jacobs (Chairman and CEO, Lazard), James A. Johnson (Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC), Vernon F. Jordan, Jr. (Senior Managing Director, Lazared Freres and Company, LLC), John M. Keane (Senior Partner, SCP Partners; General, U.S. Army, Retired), Henry A. Kissinger (Chairman, Kissinger Associated, Inc), Klaus Kleinfeld (Chairman and CEO, Alcoa), Henry R. Kravis, Roberts and Company), Marie Josee (Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc), Cheng Li (Senior Fellow and Director of Research, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution), Craig J. Mundle (Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation), Peter R. Orszag (Vice Chairman, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc), Richard N. Perle (Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research), David Rockefellere (Former Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank), Charlie Rose Executive Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose), Robert E. Rubin (Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury), Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google, Inc), James B. Steinberg (Deputy Secretary of State), Peter A. Thiel (Clarium Capital Management, LLC), Christine A. Varney (Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust), James W. Vaupel (Founding Director, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research), Kevin Warsh (Former Governor, Federal Reserve Board), and James D. Wolfensohn (Chairman, Wolfensohn and Company, LLC). Some attendees request their names to be left off the roster. Rumor has it that Bill Gates and Hilary Clinton were also in attendance.

Some people think the Bilderberg Club is an innocent brainstorming session while others consider the Bilderberg Group to be a secret society that rules the world. Still others consider the Club to be a Zionist movement while still others think it has a Nazi basis. Neither left-leaning people nor right-leaning people appear to understand it.

An investigative reporter named Daniel Estulin, a self-appointed Bilderberg expert, has written two best-selling books on the subject – The True Story of the Bilderberg Group and The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club. I have not read either book. According to, Estulin described the group as “a virtual spider web of interlocking financial, political, and industrial interests” with the goal of centralizing “global economic power to benefit corporations.”

The scriptures tell us that Satan inspires men to join together in groups to perform their works of darkness and has done so since the days of Cain. (See Moses 5:51.)

The prophet Helaman warned that secret bands worked to gain power, and they would use any means to achieve power and financial gain including robbery and murder. (See Helaman 2:8.) Throughout the entire Book of Mormon, there are warnings about secret combinations and examples of how such secret groups destroyed governments and entire nations.

The prophet Moroni taught that “the Lord worketh not in secret combinations” and that they are “among all people.” He also taught: “And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed….
“Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; …
“For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries….” (See Ether 8:19-25.)

I do not know if the Bilderberg Group is merely an “innocent brainstorming session” or if one world order is its purpose - which would put in under the category of “secret combination.” I do know that if it is evil, we must “root it out” of existence before it can destroy the world. This would be extremely difficult after more than fifty years. I also know that the conference has been well documented as being “secret” and well-guarded. I belief that it is important to our liberty that all patriots stay alert to this group and pray for the power of discernment to see it for whatever it is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flag Day

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Why do we pledge allegiance to a flag? Our flag is a piece of cloth that stands for America's values, her traditions, her history, her heritage, her majesty, her nobility, her compassion, and her humility. The flag of the United States of America is known by several names, among which are Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner and the Stars and Stripes. The Stars and Stripes is the most popular name for the red, white and blue flag.

The colors of our flag stand for our land, our people, our government and our ideals. The flag of our nation stirs patriots to joy, to courage, and to sacrifice. Our flag - as well as the flags of all nations - should be treated with respect at all times. People who burn flags in opposition show by their action that they are rude and without proper manners or knowledge. There are much better ways to show opposition than to burn a nation's flag.

In 1949 President Harry S. Truman officially recognized June 14 as Flag Day by signing the National Flag Day Bill. Flag Day is celebrated in memory of June 14, 1777, the day that the flag know as the Stars and Stripes was formally adopted by the Continental Congress as the official flag of the United States. Flag Day was first officially observed in 1877 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the selection of the flag. Flag Day is not a legal holiday except in Pennsylvania.

Flag Day is an important day in the United States, and the people of the nation display the flag on their homes, businesses, and public buildings. Flag Day is an excellent day to ask God's blessings upon our nation. The following prayers were offered by modern-day prophets.

"Joseph Smith wrote, "Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever" (Doctrine and Covenants 109:54).

Gordon B. Hinckley said, "May God bless this nation of which you and I are a part. Bless her leaders that they may rise above pettiness and live after the tradition of the Founding Fathers. Bless our industry that it may benefit all mankind. Bless our science that out of it may come health and happiness of the peoples of the earth. Bless the people of this nation, you, every one of you, and me, and all who walk beneath its glorious flag with gratitude and appreciation, with respect and reverence, as well as with love." (Stand A Little Taller, p 173.)

June 14 is Flag Day. Please fly your Stars and Stripes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taxes for General Welfare

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.1: "Congress shall have power … to pay … for the general welfare of the United States."

This principle bestowed on Congress the responsibility and the obligation to use tax revenues of the nation to fund all the purposes itemized in Article I, section 8 - with the understanding that the funds were to be used for the general welfare of the entire nation and not for individuals or preferred groups.

According to W. Cleon Skousen: "Thomas Jefferson explained that this clause was not a grant of power to `spend' for the general welfare of the people, but was intended to `limit the power of taxation' to matters which provided for the welfare of `the union' or the welfare of the whole nation. In other words, federal taxes could not be levied for states, counties, cities, or special interest groups." (See The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p 387.)

Oh, how far we have come from what the Founders originally intended. There is little wonder of how our leaders have placed our nation in financial peril. If only, they had read and followed the Constitution!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The Savior introduced the sacrament on His last evening as He gathered His Apostles around Him in an upstairs room. He knew that He would soon die and that this was the last time He would meet with the Apostles whom He dearly loved. He gave them the holy priesthood ordinance to help them remember His great atoning sacrifice and keep His commandments. After His Resurrection, Jesus Christ came to the people who lived on the American continent and taught them the same ordinance. When the Church of Jesus Christ was restored in the latter days, Christ once again commanded His people to partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Him.

Christ wants His people to meet together often to partake of the sacrament and renew sacred covenants. The broken bread and water represent His flesh and blood, which He sacrificed for the good of all mankind. The scriptures contain instructions for the administration of the sacrament. It is administered by those who hold the necessary priesthood authority. A priest or a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood breaks bread into pieces, kneels, and blesses it (see D0ctrine and Covenants 20:76). A deacon or other priesthood holder then passes the sacramental bread to the congregation. A priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder then blesses the water, which is also passed to the congregation. When Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament, He used bread and wine, but He said in latter-day revelation that it really doesn't matter what we eat and drink during the sacrament as long as we do it in remembrance of Him (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:2-3). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses water instead of wine - a practice for which I am very grateful when dealing with children.

Jesus Christ revealed the exact words for the prayers on the sacrament, both of which are very beautiful. We should listen carefully to them and strive to understand the promises we make as well as what is promised to us. The following prayer is offered on the bread: "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen" (Doctrine and Covenants 20:77).

The prayer on the water is as follows: "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine [water] to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen" (Doctrine and Covenants 20:79).

The sacrament ordinance is performed in a simple and reverent manner. Each time we participate in this ordinance, we renew covenants with God. These covenants are clearly stated in the prayers on the bread and water. Since a covenant is a sacred promise between God and His children, it is important for us to know what the covenants are as well as what they mean.
When we covenant to be willing to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, it shows that we are willing to be identified with Christ and His Church. We also make a commitment to serve Christ and our fellowman and to bring honor to His name. When we covenant to always remember Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves to make sure that all our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions will be influenced by Christ and His mission. When we promise to keep His commandments, we commit to keep all of them instead of choosing which ones we will obey.

We take these obligations upon ourselves when we are baptized (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:37; Mosiah 18:6-10), and we renew our baptismal covenants each time we partake of the sacrament. The pattern for partaking of the sacrament was given by Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 18:1-2). When we follow this pattern of repenting of our sins and believing in His name, we gain a remission of our sins (see Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 26:24).

God's part of the covenant promises that if we keep our covenants, we will have His Spirit with us always. The Spirit brings knowledge, faith, power, and righteousness enough to gain eternal life.

Because the sacrament is such a sacred ordinance, we should prepare ourselves spiritually prior to the experience. In fact, the Lord has commanded that no one should partake of the sacrament without being worthy of doing so. This means that we should repent of our sins before we take the sacrament. During the sacrament service, we should be prayerful and reverent, keeping our minds off worldly things. This is a good opportunity to examine our lives and look for ways to improve and to become more committed to keeping the commandments.

Perfection is not required in order to partake of the sacrament, but a spirit of repentance should be in our hearts. Partaking of the sacrament with a pure heart brings the promised blessings from God. Worthily partaking of the sacrament increases our spiritual strength because it helps us to grow closer to God. I am grateful for the opportunity to renew my covenants on a weekly basis. I like the idea of starting each week with a clean slate.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Families are strengthened when parents teach modesty to their sons and their daughters by word as well as by example. When parents teach and model modesty, children usually follow their example.

Modesty has been described as "an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior." In other words, a modest person does not "draw undue attention" to themselves. It has been my experience that how we dress affects how we act.

My daughter brought her family to visit a few weeks ago. While they were here, I polished my little five-year-old granddaughter's fingernails and toenails. Her parents entered the room while I was in the process and voiced some minor objections. I told them that I thought they were being silly about painted nails causing their little girl to become sleazy because I had painted nails as a child and I stayed modest. Even though I brushed off their worries, I have pondered often on the situation. My main concern was whether or not I undermined their authority, but a secondary concern was the same as their concern.

I believe that if parents teach and model modesty, their children will eventually do the same. I remember an experience that happened many years ago when my daughter was in high school. She left the house one afternoon to prepare for a dance at her friend's house. I discussed with her what she would wear to the dance, and she explained that she was borrowing a dress from her friend. I apparently didn't ask about the modesty of the dress, and she didn't volunteer any information. Upon her return from the dance, I asked about her experience. She laughed and replied that she had spent the evening doing the "prom pull." When I questioned what she meant, she explained that she spent the entire evening pulling up the strapless dress she borrowed. After her experience, she had no further desire to wear a strapless dress, and she dresses modestly to this day.

When parents do not know the importance of modesty or do not care about it, they tend to follow the examples they see on television or in the movies or yield to peer pressure - and allow or encourage their children to do the same. I have seen many examples of the following experience written about by LZ Granderson on "Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie `10' (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her `Xtina' phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.
"You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word `Juicy' was written on her backside.
"Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet."

Why was an 8-year-old girl allowed to wear a halter top and tight sweatpants - especially in a public place? Did the parents purchase the clothing or did they send their daughter to the mall by herself? What do those parents hope to accomplish by allowing their daughter to dress like a tramp?

Granderson asked, "What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? …
"And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we've all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.
"And then I realized as creepy as it is … the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn't think people would buy it. …
"It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are supposed to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit. …
"Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, `No, and that's the end of it.'"

I don't appreciate seeing adults wearing sexy clothes. I don't see any need for women to be flaunting their cleavage for everyone to see. I certainly don't think it is attractive to see butt cheeks hanging out from under too-skimpy shorts. And I don't like to see teenage boys' underwear showing at the top of their low-hanging jeans! I don't see any reason why children should be dressing like tramps and sluts! The way we dress tells others what we think about ourselves. If we have high self-esteem and know we have value, we will dress to show that we feel that way. Is the sleazy dress code among our children and teens affecting their school work? Is the "dress code" to blame for the poor education in our nation?

Athelia LeSueur and her friend Emily Bell MCormick could not find modest dresses - so they decided to design and market them. They launched an on-line boutique called Shabby Apple. LeSueur said, "Immodesty disempowers women.... When women dress respectfully, they are given respect. Dressing modestly communicates to others that one deserves to be treated as a person with a mind and a strong sense of self." (See BYU Magazine, Spring 2011, p 69.)

It is time for parents to act as parents and to teach their children by word and by example to dress modestly. Modest dress brings better behavior, and better behavior helps our children to be safer. This is why I state that families are strengthened when parents teach and model modesty.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

People Power

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that the people retain all powers not specifically defined and delegated to the government. The Founders of our unique and great nation feared that a federal government would grow so powerful that it would crowd out the rights that legally and morally belonged to the people and/or the states. They spent much time and effort to carefully define the powers delegated to the government. They wanted to limit the authority of the government by the use of legal chains written into the Constitution.

W. Cleon Skousen wrote, "It will be recalled that one of the reasons many of the states would not adopt the original draft of the Constitution was that they feared the encroachments of the federal government on the rights of the states and the people. The first ten amendments were therefore added to include the ancient, unalienable rights of Anglo-Saxon freemen so there could be no question as to the strictly limited authority the people were conferring on their central government."

After writing the first eight Amendments to the Constitution, the Founders added two more that specifically limited the power of the government. The Ninth Amendment reads, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The Tenth Amendment makes their meaning even clearer: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Our Founders were familiar with governments in the past that were corrupt and abusive. By limiting the power of the federal government and dividing the powers between the states and the central government, the Founders hoped to provide more security for the people.

Alexander Hamilton explained, "This balance between the national and state governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights, they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from over-passing their constitutional limits, by certain rivalship which will ever subsist between them."

As the Constitution was originally written, states could protect themselves from legislation taking their rights. The Founders wrote that the two Senators from each state were to be selected by the legislature of that particular state. Because the Senate could veto any legislation by the House of Representatives, the Senators were able to protect the rights of their states. When the Seventeenth Amendment in 1931 changed the election of Senators to a popular vote, the States lost their representatives and therefore some of their protection.

The illegal immigration problem in Arizona is just one example of how the federal government is trying to crush the state's right to protect its citizens. It may be time for the people of the United States to force a repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment. I believe that the rights of the states and thus the rights of the people would be better protected if Senators were chosen by the legislature of their particular state.

Ideas and quotes for this post came from The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, pp 161-164.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anne Justis Morton

Anne Justis married John Morton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1745 or 1746. John was already considered by members of the community to be "a young man with a promising future."

Anne and John had much in common. They both came from Swedish ancestors who were part of a "tide of immigration" about the beginning of the eighteenth century. They lived on neighboring farms in Chester (now Delaware) County, Pennsylvania.

There is not much more known about Anne. John farmed his own "patrimonial acres" as well as surveying new lands. John's stepfather, John Sketchley, taught him mathematics as well as other essential education. John became a wealthy farmer who was well respected by his neighbors, and his neighbors were instrumental in the many public offices to which he was appointed or elected: justice of the peace, Pennsylvania legislature (Speaker of the House), county sheriff, a judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and a delegate to the General Congress from 1774-1776. John cast the deciding vote for Pennsylvania that broke the tie for the Province and made the Colonies' vote for independence unanimous.

While John was working for the good of the public, Anne looked after their estate and took care of their eight children, three sons and five daughters.

John died in April 1777 at age 54 and left Anne a widow. When the British Army moved through the family's neighborhood, they "despoiled his widow and children of property to the value of over one thousand dollars." John and Anne were members of the St. James Church, and their bodies "are said to be interred in the old churchyard" in the town of Chester.

Facts and quotes are from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 192-195.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great Leaders

From time to time we have the opportunity to see great leaders. In recent weeks we have glimpsed two examples of great leadership. U.S. Representative Paul Ryan continues to stand tall in defending and explaining his budget plan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood tall when he addressed the United States Congress where he decreed where Israel will compromise and where his nation will not back down.

President Ronald Reagan was another great leader. He was the best United States President in my adult life because he stood tall in his leadership abilities, principles, love of country, and vision. The Foundry, published by The Heritage Foundation, considers Reagan to be “the greatest American president of the last 100 years.”

The Ronald Reagan Centennial Gala was held in Washington, D.C., on May 24, 2011. The Ronald Reagan Centennial Freedom Award was given to Lech Walesa, a leader who stood tall for Poland in her hour of need. Special keynote speakers were Robert M. Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Dr. Liam Fox, M.P., United Kingdom Secretary of Defence.

Nile Gardiner […] shared some of the “brilliant speech” given by Dr. Fox as he “paid tribute to the powerful partnership between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.” He called the relationship between the two leaders “an unbreakable alliance that defeated the Soviet Empire and won the Cold War.” He wrote that Dr. Fox has been a “true friend of the United States for decades” as well as a “star performer” in the cabinet of David Cameron.

Gardiner reported that Dr. Fox won great applause when he said, “It is impossible to assess the contribution of Ronald Reagan to the history of the 20th century without considering another political giant of the era – Margaret Thatcher – his friend, ally, and intellectual soul mate.

“… At a time when leadership was so needed they brought values, vision, and valor. The Cold War did not end. It was won. It was not an accident. It came about because the leadership of the free world was committed politically, militarily, and morally to the defeat of totalitarian ideology and the triumph of liberty and freedom.

“It was not an exercise in expediency but the application of conviction. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher understood that our strength lay in people not governments and that liberated from the dead hand of the state – of the self-perpetuating bureaucracy –the innovation and drive of free people would triumph. They believed that competition is to be welcomed not feared – that it is the means by which we judge our talents, one against the other, without recourse to conflict.

“They understood that there is a difference between tolerance and surrender and that the moral relativism that blurs the distinction between right and wrong needs to be confronted. They knew what they believed to be right and had the courage to say so – and they knew what they believed to be wrong and had the fortitude to confront it.

“They knew that in a free society the market works – that the combined wisdom of millions of individuals, acting in their own interests, is always likely to trump the wisdom of the self-selecting elites of government.

“They were giants of history when history needed giants. We may never see their likes again in our lifetime. But living and nurturing their legacy is the greatest honour that any of us can do for their dreams, their endeavors, and their hopes. Let us not let them down.”

I am grateful for the reminder that the free world was once led by two truly great leaders. We are now in a time of political upheavals, economic distress, and great natural disasters. We need someone like Reagan and Thatcher – someone with courage, leadership, fortitude, vision, and good principles – to step forward to lead the free world once again. We need someone who will support members of Congress like Paul Ryan who are bravely and unwaveringly battling to save our nation. We need a President who will dare to stand beside men like Mr. Netanyahu in defending the rights of Israel to exist as a nation.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews [], quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Paul Ryan, Benjamin Netanyahu, Lech Walesa, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan have all shown us where to compromise and where to stand firm. They all showed true leadership.

The world has tremendous need for another great leader. Who will lead the free world through these difficult times? Is Netanyahu of the nation of Israel the next great leader of the free world? Can we find such a leader in the United States of America in our day? Where is the next Margaret Thatcher? Where is the next Ronald Reagan? Whoever you are and wherever you are hiding, please stand up now!