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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Culture of Life

                The March for Life was held last week on January 27, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence was the main speaker.  He is the highest ranking official to ever attend the event that has been held annually since 1974 said that he was “deeply humbled to be the first vice president of the United States to ever have the privilege to attend this historic event.” Here are some statements from his ten-minute speech.

                Pence’s main message was, “Life is winning again in America.”

                “Along with you, we will not grow weary, we will not rest until we restore a culture of life in America for ourselves and our posterity.”

                “On Monday, President [Donald] Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy to prevent foreign aid from funding organizations that provide or promote abortions worldwide.” He added that “this administration will work with the Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers.” He also pledged that Trump’s Supreme Court pick would “uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution in the tradition of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia.”            

                Pence cited the Founding Fathers when he said, “More than 24 years ago, our Founders wrote words that have echoed through the ages. They declared these truths to be self-evident: that we are, all of us, endowed by our creator, with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

                Kellyanne Conway, a presidential counselor, also spoke at the March for Life. She said, “Steps away from here, in the White House, a president and a vice president sit at their desks and make decisions for a nation. As they sit there, they stand here with you.” She added, “This is a new day, a new dawn for life. She closed her talk with these words, “We hear you, [we] see you, we respect you, and we look forward to working with you.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cabinet Picks

                For this VIP Tuesday I decided to highlight the fact that liberals in the U.S. Senate are blocking the approval of nominees for President Donald Trump’s cabinet. The Senate usually works quickly to approve cabinet members. Rob Bluey of The Daily Signal reports that this Senate seems to be stonewalling the President.

Trump’s Democrat predecessor had 11 of his 15 Cabinet secretaries in place after his first week… Five of the past six presidents – Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama – had nearly their entire Cabinet installed by their second week in the White House. President George H. W. Bush faced delays, but had had the advantage of retaining three of Reagan’s Cabinet secretaries.

                Even though President Trump has been moving quickly to keep his campaign promises, the Senate is holding up confirmation of his Cabinet nominees. The President enters his second week with only two of his nominees approved, but Bluey is confident that the Senate will approve Rex Tillerson for secretary of state and Elaine Chao for secretary of transportation soon.

                Bluey’s article titled “13 of Trump’s Cabinet Nominees Await Senate Approval, Leaving Agencies Without a Leader” explains how the Senate’s slow pace hinders the President’s ability to implement his agenda and to do his job.   It appears that liberals are doing all that they can to hinder a conservative agenda.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Can Trump Ban Muslims?

                The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the power of the President of the United States to restrict immigration from majority Muslim countries. President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on Friday, January 27, 2017, titled “Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It indefinitely suspends admissions for Syrian refugees, limits the flow of refugees from other nations into the United States, and institutes “extreme vetting” (Trump’s term) of immigrants.

                All persons from terror-prone countries – meaning Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia – are banned from entering the United States for 90 days. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program was suspended. Only those people who can be properly vetted will be admitted when the program is reinstated. The order caps at 50,000 the total number of refugees to be admitted into the U.S. during 2017. It also cancels the Visa Interview Waiver Program that benefitted repeat travelers to the U.S. who will now have to have in-person interviews. The order also prioritizes the claims of refugees who are persecuted for their religion if their religion is a minority in their country. This would mean that Christians from a Muslim country would have an easier time entering the U.S. than Muslims in general would have.

                There are already threats of lawsuits being filed on the grounds that the order is unconstitutional on the grounds of religious freedom. The so-called experts are divided on the question. Only time will tell if the order stands or is declared unconstitutional.

                The web site of the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School states the following about the situation. Any alien is inadmissible to the United States if a “consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe” that the alien will “violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage,” “violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,” “any other unlawful activity,” or “any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means.”
                In addition to the above, “any alien who has engaged in a terrorist activity,” who “a consular officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity,” who “has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity,” who “is a representative of a terrorist organization, a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity, is a member of a terrorist organization, has received military-type training from any terrorist organization, or is the spouse or child of an alien who is inadmissible if the offense occurred within the past five years.” Example: “An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in a terrorist activity.”[Emphasis added.]

                This sounds to me to be based on individuals rather than nations. However, I found these Presidential Proclamations made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Proclamation #2525 applied to the Japanese, #2526 to the Germans, and 2527 to the Italians, but they were basically the same. 

WHEREAS it is provided by Section 21 of Title 50 of the United States Code [11F. C. A., tit. 50, & sect: 21] as follows: “Whenever there is a declared war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being of the age of fourteen years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies…”

                In 1980 when Islamists took over Iran during the Islamic Revolution and held Americans hostage, President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from entering the United States. The only exceptions were for medical emergencies or opposition to the Shiite Islamist regime. Here is his Executive Order. 

Fourth, the Secretary of Treasury [State] and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.     
                President Trump has declared on radical Islamist terrorists, and he did name the nations of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. I suppose that his Executive Order to ban radical Islamist terrorists from the named nations could be considered constitution. Vetting would be required to determine would be terrorists.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Line upon Line"

                Today I want to discuss a principle that I found in my assigned New Testament reading for this week. The scripture says, “And he said unto them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:24-25).

                The principle that I took from that scripture is, “I must be obedient to the gospel knowledge I have received in order to be prepared to receive more.” This means that when I gain some little nugget of knowledge, I must activate it in my life if I desire to learn more. An example could be prayer. When I learn that Heavenly Father wants us to communicate with Him often – several times each day, I must visit with Him through prayer. As I am obedient to the commandment to “pray always” (2 Nephi 32:8-9), I will receive more knowledge. The new knowledge may be a stronger testimony of the power of prayer in my life or something else about prayer, or it could be a completely new subject.

                This principle is stated in a different and clearer way in the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In 2 Nephi 28:30 it says, “For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”

                In an address titled “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept” given at a devotional at Brigham Young University – Idaho on September 11, 2001, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles quotes
2 Nephi  28:30 and then explains what it means.

      The theme for my message is contained in the phrase “line upon line, precept upon precept.” If you and I would learn to discern the difference between our own emotions and the promptings of the Holy Ghost, then we must come to recognize the Lord’s pattern and process for giving us spiritual knowledge.
And the phrase “line upon line, precept upon precept” describes a central feature of the Lord’s pattern.

      I believe many of us unknowingly accept a faulty assumption about the Lord’s pattern. And this faulty assumption then produces erroneous expectations about how we receive spiritual knowledge. And that faulty assumption and our misinformed expectations ultimately hinder our ability to recognize and respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Let me suggest that many of us typically assume we will receive an answer or a prompting to our earnest prayers and pleadings. And we also frequently expect that such an answer or a prompting will come immediately and all at once. Thus, we tend to believe the Lord will give us A BIG ANSWER QUICKLY AND ALL AT ONE TIME. However, the pattern repeatedly described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept upon precept,” or in other words, many small answers over a period of time. Recognizing and understanding this pattern is an important key to obtaining inspiration and help from the Holy Ghost.

      Now, we all acknowledge that receiving a big answer quickly and all at once is possible and, in fact, does occur in some exceptional circumstances. Perhaps we give overmuch emphasis to the miraculous experiences of Joseph in the Sacred Grove, of Paul on the road to Damascus, and of Alma the Younger. If our personal experiences fall short of these well-known and spiritually dramatic examples, then perhaps we believe something is wrong with or lacking in us. I am suggesting that the particular spiritual process evidenced in these three examples with Joseph, Paul, and Alma is more rare than it is routine, more the exception than the rule.

                In the above quote Elder Bednar explains that even Apostles and Prophets receive knowledge in small doses or “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost, give us the information that we are prepared to receive and as we are ready.

                Elder Richard G. Scott, another Apostle, gives counsel on “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge” in his General Conference address in October 1993. 

As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle. I have tried to do that with gaining spiritual knowledge. The result is now shared in hope that it will be a beginning place for our study. That statement of principle is: To acquire spiritual knowledge and to obey it with wisdom, one must: In humility, seek divine light; exercise faith in Jesus Christ; hearken to His counsel, [and] keep His commandments.
      As spiritual knowledge unfolds, it must be understood, valued, obeyed, remembered, and expanded.

                Both Elder Bednar and Elder Scott liken receiving spiritual knowledge to light. Elder Bednar explains that inspiration may come a little at a time, much like the rising of the sun, or it may come suddenly, much like the turning on a light in a dark room. Elder Scott says that light overpowers darkness unless the darkness is too intense. He gives the example of “a bulb plunged into a bucket of black ink.” He then explains that “Spiritual light overcomes the darkness of ignorance and disbelief. When transgression severely clouds a life, the focused spiritual truths of repentance cut the blackness as a laser penetrates the darkest ink.”

                These two Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ explain clearly how my discovered principle works. I take hold of a little bit of knowledge, just as I notice the sun rising. As I hold tight to what I have already learned, more inspiration will come to bring greater light to my spiritual world, just as the rising sun brings light to our physical world. We are also counseled to write down the principles that we learn in order that we do not forget them. I write principles in my scriptures, but others put them in a study journal or write them electronically. We just need to keep a record of what we are learning. We to remember the knowledge we receive and put it into practice in our lives in order to receive more knowledge.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Fulfill Family Responsibilities

                We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by studying the document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the Worldand by following its precepts. One way to study the proclamation is one paragraph at a time. This is the eleventh article in this series.

                Paragraph eight of the proclamation on the family states: “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

                This paragraph clearly tells the importance of protecting families and individual members of families. God expects us to treat each other as He would treat us. If we do not, we will suffer the consequences.

                Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke in October 2003 on this topic in a talk titled “Let Our Voices Be Heard.” He says, “The family is at the heart of Heavenly Father’s plan because we are all part of His family and because mortality is our opportunity to form our own families and to assume the role of parents. It is within our families that we learn unconditional love, which can come to us and draw us very close to God’s love. It is within families that values are taught and character is built. Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families.”

                Heavenly Father sent us to earth to live in families. There He expects us to learn His ways and to follow in the footsteps of His Son, even Jesus Christ. The family is the basic unit of society here on earth and in the kingdom of heaven.

                Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy also spoke of the importance of families. In his talk titled “Defending the Family in a Troubled World,” Elder Porter says, “In families more than anywhere else children learn the values, practical life skills, manners, and fundamental truths that enable them to rise up and be successful in the world. They learn the all-important attributes of love, unselfishness, sharing, giving, and hard work that someday will be essential for them to form families of their own and to rear up a new generation in order that the great wheel of life may roll onward. So vital is the family to the cycle of human life and the renewal of each generation that it is fair to say that if the family breaks down, everything breaks down. If families do not fulfill their divinely appointed purpose of carrying on the light of truth and the torch of civilization to the next generation, then we can throw any amount of money or ideas or programs at our world’s problems, and we will assuredly fail.”

                As we can see from these two quotes from an Apostle and a Seventy, the family is critical to our success as society. We must protect the family!

                As you study the eighth paragraph of the proclamation, you may want to share what you learn in a family home evening. This site has a wonderful family home evening program all outlined with lesson, music, activity, and refreshments. I hope that you will strengthen your family, community, and nation by fulfilling your family responsibilities. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Freedom from Obamacare

                The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday concerns Obamacare and why Americans must be freed from the grasps of Obamacare. Alyene Senger posted an article titled “8 Reasons Why Obamacare Should Be Repealed” at The Daily Signal explaining why freedom is needed. Here are her eight reasons for repealing Obamacare. 
1. “Obamacare has delivered major increases” in costs of almost 32 percent.
2. “Choice and competition” continue to decline.
3. “Exchange enrollment” was lower than expected due to taxpayers opting to pay the penalty rather than sign up.
4. “Exchange websites” are not sufficient.
5. “If you like your plan, but the Government doesn’t, you can’t keep it.”
6. “Collapsed co-op program.”
7. “Dumping millions [of people] into Medicaid” rather than reforming the Medicaid program.
8. “Restricted access to providers”

                Senger says that there are “many more” reasons why “Congress should repeal Obamacare as soon as possible to clear the way for health care reform that actually works for Americans.”

                President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Inauguration Day to “ease the burden of Obamacare. A few days later Edmund F. Haislmaier, an expert in health care policy and markets at The Heritage Foundation, explains that the executive order is “particularly welcome news for those who faced loss of their coverage and doctors and escalating premiums and deductibles, but received no offsetting Obamacare subsidies.” 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What Now?

                There is a new President in the White House making good on his campaign promises as fast as he can. Yet, the lame stream media cannot find anything good to publish about him. They started on the day of his inauguration and most likely will continue until his last day in office. They, along with many other liberal progressives, do not want Donald Trump to succeed.

                The first example is the publishing of a picture of the crowd attending the inauguration of Barack Obama compared to a picture of the crowd attending the inauguration of Donald Trump. The first pictures showed a huge difference in the numbers attending the different inaugurations. Some photographs discovered later seem to show approximately the same numbers.

                My question is what does it matter? Who cares how many people went to Washington, D.C., to see a President inaugurated. I personally did not even consider buying an airline ticket and investing a week of my time to fly to the nation’s capital city. In fact, I did not wake up early enough to watch the inauguration on television. It simply did not matter that much to me personally.

                What does matter to me is the fact that the power and authority of the President of the United States moved peacefully from President Obama to President Trump. There were no tanks rumbling in the streets. There were no soldiers firing shots. It was a peaceful change from one administration to another.

                Another thing that matters to me is how this President fulfills his oath of office. Will he honor the position of President of the United States, or will he go around apologizing for our nation? Will he preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States, or will he constantly complain about how the Constitution keeps him from accomplishing what he wants to do to our country? Will he do what is best for Americans, or will he constantly press his own agenda?

                I will not judge President Trump on the size of his inauguration crowd. In fact, I will reserve my judgment for now and wait to see what he actually does in office. If he keeps his promises and makes America great again, I will celebrate with him. If he does not, I will think deeply about whether or not I want to support him again.

                I will say that I did watch parts of the inauguration later in the day and heard President Trump’s inauguration speech. I thought it was very patriotic and what Americans have been waiting to hear for too many years. Finally, we have President who loves America! Finally, we have a President who can say “radical Islamist terrorists!”

                Glenn Beck has some interesting thoughts on this topic at this site

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The President We Deserve

                I have been pondering a quote that was in my post for Sunday. The post is titled “President Trump and President Washington. Jeffery R. Holland, then President of Brigham Young University, shared a quote from political pundit and journalist Garry Willis.

                Willis says, “[In an election year] we get the presidents we deserve. A great people is what you need for a great president. Washington was the greatest president, because the people were at their most enlightened and alert. [America] right now is escapist. It wants to be soothed, and told it doesn’t have to pay or sacrifice or learn.” [“Things That Matter,” Vis a Vis, July 1988, p. 70; emphasis added by President Holland.]

                I personally believe this to be a true statement. We believe that we get what we deserve in Presidents. Why do we deserve Donald Trump as our President at this time? I believe it is because the majority of Americans elected Barack Obama as President – not just once but twice. We elected a man with very little leadership experience and made him the leader of the free world. He should never have been elected as the President of the United States, and he became the worst President in my point of view. We put him in office because he had black skin, not because of his executive abilities. People of color voted for him because they thought he would understand their needs better. Whites voted for him because they did not want to appear prejudice. Then there are those who wanted to be part of history!

                The Preamble of the Constitutionof the United State states, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

                President Abraham Lincoln begins his Gettysburg Address with these words: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal….” He ends his remarks thusly: “… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

                In this democratic republic of America the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. This means that the people are in charge of the government. We the people of the United States are responsible to elect good leaders. We have the responsibility to be the type of people who choose good leaders.

                What kind of people elected Barack Obama? For the most part they were people who wanted more from their government. They wanted entitlements of one kind or another, or they wanted to change our democratic republic into a socialist republic. What kind of people elected Donald Trump? For the most part they are people who want the government to do its job and then get out of their lives.

                I did not especially want Donald Trump to become President. My first choice was Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and my second choice was Governor Rick Perry of Texas. I had two reasons for preferring a governor. The first reason was their executive experience, and the second was that I wanted the conservative senators to stay in the Senate. My third choice was Senator Ted Cruz. I voted for Donald Trump because I did not want Hillary Clinton to become the United States President. I believe she would have taken America further down the road to socialism, and I do not want to live in a socialist society.

                As I thought about why we got Donald Trump, I came to this conclusion: Donald Trump is the only one of all the Republican candidates who is brash enough to knock the lame stream media and the liberal progressives off their high horses and bring them down to reality. We may not like what he says or how he does things, but we can hope that he is truly standing up for us.

                Evangelist Franklin Graham says, “Since the election, there’s been a lot of discussion as to how Donald Trump won the election… I believe it was God… God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land that have been praying for our country.” 

                I too believe that God is watching over this nation and that He hears and answers our prayers. I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who were praying for a Trump win, and I am grateful that He answered mine.

                Columnist and entertainer Lloyd Marcus also believes that God was behind the Trump win. He explains why he thinks Donald Trump is the President that our nation needs. He writes, “Frustrated with Obama declaring America no longer a Christian nation while cramming the left’s anti-God and anti-America agenda down our throats, millions have been intensely praying for our country… 
                “Trump is exactly what America needs at this point in time. No traditional politician could get away with confronting anti-American leftist operatives in the media, calling out Washington establishment corruption, and boldly vowing to put America first. Few Republicans would have the cojones to even try.
                “As usual, despicable leftist media distorted Trump’s awesome inaugural address, saying Trump’s speech was reminiscent of Hitler.
                “Meanwhile, Americans were crying tears of joy. They have not heard such commonsense patriotism in a very, very long time. Leftist still do not understand whom they are dealing with in Trump and why We the People chose him over Hillary. Standard leftist tactics for silencing, destroying, intimidating, and blocking Republicans (calling them racist, sexist, and homophobic) have failed miserably on Trump.
                “Unlike most pro politicians, Trump has not been neutered in the politically correct school of politicking. Our 45th president is simply a patriotic, brilliant businessman following his instincts to make America great again.

                I like what I am hearing from Donald Trump. I particularly like the way he treats our military and veterans. I like the way he teared up while Lee Greenwood sang, “I’m Proud to be an American,” one of my favorite songs. I shed tears every time I hear it, and I was pleased to see Donald Trump with tears in his eyes. I rejoice that we have a President, a Vice President, a First Lady, and their families who are patriotic and show their love for America. My constant prayer is that God will bless Donald Trump and bless the United States of America. Please join with me in praying for our new President that God will help him to be successful in making America great once again.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Melania Trump

                Melania Trump is the new First Lady of the United States. She was born on April 26, 1970, in Slovenia to Victor Knavs and Amalija Knavs. She received a degree in design and architecture from the University of Ljubljana, and she is former model. She helps to design her own clothing and jewelry. She married Donald Trump in 2005 and became a citizen of the United States in 2006. She is the mother of one child, ten-year-old Barron.

                Mrs. Trump is a beautiful First Lady who will bring class to the position of First Lady and the White House and says, “I am deeply honored to serve this wonderful country as First Lady.” I say that our nation is blessed to have such a beautiful and gracious First Lady.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Death of the President Elect

                The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the question of who becomes President if the president-elect dies or becomes incapacitated between the counting of electoral votes and the inauguration. The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United seems plenty plain to me, but there are apparently people in our nation who cannot understand it.

                I could not find anything from CNN about it, but numerous news organizations are claiming that CNN aired an erroneous report. Paul Joseph Watson writes that the report entitled Disaster Could Put Obama Cabinet Member in Oval Office, supposedly said that an Obama appointee would become President of the United States if Donald Trump were killed before the inauguration. According to Watson, some specified individual – an Obama appointee known as the “designated presidential successor” will be secured someplace during the inauguration just in case an attack takes place “as the transfer of power is underway.”

                Section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment, however, states: “If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President.” This would also be the case for whatever caused a President-elect to not be able to fulfill the duties of the office.

              It sounds to me like CNN and all those people and organizations publishing this fake news are suggesting that someone kill Donald Trump during his inauguration. To me they are sending out a low-tone threat to Mr. Trump. I am more than grateful that the inauguration of President Trump and Vice President Pence was as peaceful as it was in spite of the liberal protesters destroying property, even torching a limo.

                There is a procedure in place for the President-elect to select someone to act as “designated survivor.” The role of designated survivor was born during “the Cold War under the specter of nuclear war, has been provided with presidential-level security and transportation.

                Donald Trump selected Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as his designated survivor and given the responsibility to make sure the government continues in case of attack at the inauguration site. Senator Hatch is the president pro tem of the Senate and, as such, is third in line for the presidency. He is the highest-ranking person to act in this position. The Senator went to an undisclosed location that was not only secure but was some distance away. Even though he had planned to attend the inauguration, he was “honored to perform this important constitutional duty, which ensures the continuity of government.” (Ted Walch)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

President Trump and President Washington

                The inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States (POTUS) was held on Friday,
20 January 2017. President Trump is the 45th POTUS, and the transition in power was peaceful. As in all the other transitions of power in the United States, there were no tanks running in the streets or bullets fired. The new President took the oath of office, and the previous President got in Marine I and left Washington, D.C.

                Article II, Section I of the Constitution stipulates the oath of office for the President of the United States to be sworn during the inauguration. 
                Before he enters on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: --               
                “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United
                States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
                United States.”

                The job of POTUS is not an easy job. The difficulty of the job is shown is the way Presidents age during their usual eight years in office. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all aged greatly during their time in office. The office of President and each person that becomes President should be treated with respect whether or not people agree with the President’s policies.

                In September 1988 Jeffery R.Holland was President at Brigham Young University (BYU) and spoke at a devotional welcoming the students back to school. He joked about the presidential campaign of that year and then
changed to an important matter. 

                BYU was in their final salute to the bicentennial anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. President Holland spoke of a special film was that would premiere on 30 April 1989, the bicentennial anniversary of George Washington’s first inauguration. He obviously had great respect for President Washington.
                “Surely when the Lord speaks in section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants of raising up `wise men’ for the founding of this nation and the establishment of constitutional government, he must have been speaking first and foremost of George Washington. As unassuming as he was, Washington’s impact on the new republic and on the framing of its government was greater than that of any other living man. His prestige as the victorious colonial general was immense, and his character, his very presence, inspired confidence.
                “Note this language used by a journalist of the day to describe Washington’s arrival for that first inauguration. It is unclear whether the writer is describing royalty or deity. `It is impossible to do justice … to … the scene exhibited on his Excellency’s approach to the city. Innumerable multitudes thronged the shores, the wharves, and the shipping --- waiting with … anticipation his arrival…
                “`This great occasion arrested the publick attention beyond all powers of description…. All ranks and professions expressed thief feelings, in loud acclamations, and with rapture hailed the arrival of the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY…
                “`The scene … was … beyond any descriptive powers of the pen to do justice to – How universal … the sentiments of respect and veneration!—All ranks [exclaimed,] “WELL, HE DESERVES IT ALL!”
                “`The spontaneous [expressions] of gratitude … are the highest reward that virtue enjoys, …
                “`Many persons … were heard to say, that they should now die contented – nothing being wanted to complete their happiness … but the sight of the Saviour of [their new nation]. [From the Connecticut Courant of 4 May 1789, in Everett Carll Ladd, The American Polity (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1987), pp. 72-73]
                President Holland explained that the above information was written two hundred years previously, and the “adulation is still nearly the same in both tone and content. Listen to this from a resolution passed by Congress and read by the President of the United States on the two-hundredth anniversary of Washington’s birth:
                “Washington has come to personify the American Republic. He presided over the convention that framed our Constitution. The weight of his great name was the deciding factor in securing its adoption by the States. These results of could never have been secured had it not been recognized that he would be the first President. When we realize what it meant to take 13 distracted colonies, impoverished, envious, and hostile, and weld them into an orderly federation under the authority of a central government, we can form some estimate of the influence of this great man….
                “We have seen many soldiers who have left behind them little but the memory of their conflicts; but … the power to establish among a great people a form of self-government which the test of experience has shown will endure was bestowed upon Washington, and Washington alone…. His was the directing spirit without which there would have been no independence, no Union, no Constitution, and no Republic. His ways were the ways of truth. He built for eternity. His influence grows. His stature increases with the increasing years. In wisdom of action, in purity of character, he stands alone. We cannot yet estimate him. We can only indicate our reverence for him and thank the Divine Providence which sent him to serve and inspire his fellow men. [Handbook of the George Washington Appreciation Course for Teachers and Students (Washington, D.C.: U.S. George Washington Bicentennial Commission, 1932), pp. vii-viii]
                President Holland then explained that he had at least two reasons for his long tribute to Washington. “The first is because he is a genuine hero, and I have always wanted to make some public expression about the truly remarkable man I believe he was. I think we may never fully appreciate the magnitude of his impact upon those neonatal days of this nation when it could have so easily died aborning.
                “The second reason is to draw all of this closer to home, to see what lessons Washington and his age have for us here at the start of another school year at BYU. To make that transition I quote a recent BYU visitor, political pundit and journalistic gadfly Garry Willis. Said he:
                “`[In an election year] we get the presidents we deserve. A great people is what you need for a great president. Washington was the greatest president, because the people were at their most enlightened and alert. [America] right now is escapist. It wants to be soothed, and told it doesn’t have to pay or sacrifice or learn.’ [“Things That Matter,” Vis a Vis, July 1988, p. 70; emphasis added]
                President Holland then asked an important question: “Can that possibly be true, that the people made Washington great? That they, as well as he, were `at their most enlightened and alert’?” He then asked the college students what that meant to them.
                I ask now, “What does this mean for us?” We had two people as the candidates for President of the United States that no one liked. Republicans and others consider Hillary Clinton as a criminal and should be in prison. Liberals and others consider Donald Trump to be even worse. I saw man on one of the main streets of Anchorage – in 8 degree weather – waving a sign that said, “Impeach Trump.” President Trump had been in office maybe six hours. How could he have done anything that was impeachable in that short time and with everything else he was doing today?

                What kind of a President do we want? We must determine this for ourselves and then become that kind of person. If enough of us become the kind of people that the founding generation was, then we might – just might – elect a President like George Washington. Maybe We The People can make Donald Trump a good President!

Friday, January 20, 2017

By Divine Design

                We can strengthen our families, communities, and nations by studying the document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the Worldand by following its precepts. One way to study the proclamation is one paragraph at a time. This is the tenth article in this series.

                The post two weeks ago on strengthening families discussed the first part of the seventh paragraph. I chose to do this long paragraph in different posts because there were too many important topics to be covered in one post. As my regular readers will remember the first part of this paragraph says, “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity….”

                Last week’s post on strengthening families will cover the middle section of the paragraph as follows, “… Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities….”

                This week’s post on strengthening families will cover the last section of the paragraph as follows, “…
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

                Mosiah, a righteous prophet/king in ancient America taught the following to his people: “And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
                “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Mosiah 4:14-15). 

                In October 1987 President Ezra Taft Benson gave some specific counsel to the fathers in a General Conference address titled “To the Fathers in Israel.” 
                “What, then, is a father’s specific responsibility within the sacred walls of his home? May I suggest two basic responsibilities of every father in Israel.
                “First, you have a sacred responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family…

                “Early in the history of the restored Church, the Lord specifically charged men with the obligation to provide for their wives and family. In January of 1832 He said, `Verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide and he shall in no wise lose his crown’ (Doctrine and Covenants 75:28). Three months later the Lord said again, `Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken’ (Doctrine and Covenants 83:2). This is the divine right of a wife and mother. While she cares for and nourishes her children at home, her husband earns the living for the family, which makes this nourishing possible…

                “Brethren of the priesthood, I continue to emphasize the importance of mothers staying home to nurture, care for, and train their children in the principles of righteousness…
                “Fathers, another vital aspect of providing for the material needs of your family is the provision you should be making for your family in case of an emergency. Family preparedness has been a long-established welfare principle. It is even more urgent today…

                “Second, you have a sacred responsibility to provide spiritual leadership in your family.
                “In a pamphlet published some years ago by the Council of the Twelve, we said the following: `Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it always will be so. Father, with the assistance and counsel and encouragement of your eternal companion, you preside in the home’ (Father, Consider Your Ways,pamphlet, 1973, pp. 4-5)… 

                “Mothers play an important role as the heart of the home, but this in no way lessens the equally important role fathers should play, as head of the home, in nurturing, training, and loving their children.

                “As the patriarch in your home, you have a serious responsibility to assume leadership in working with your children. You must help create a home where the Spirit of the Lord can abide. Your place is to give direction to all family life. You should take an active part in establishing family rules and discipline.

                “Your homes should be havens of peace and joy for your family. Surely no child should fear his own father – especially a priesthood father. A father’s duty is to make his home a place of happiness and joy. He cannot do this when there is bickering, quarreling, contention, or unrighteous behavior. The powerful effect of righteous fathers in setting an example, disciplining and training, nurturing and loving is vital to the spiritual welfare of his children.”

                I will be eternally grateful for my husband in that he provided well for our family and allowed me to be at home during the critical years of childhood and adolescence. I feel that my presence at home gave my children a sense of security that they would have missed otherwise. I am also grateful that my sons by birth and marriage are providing for their families and allowing their wives to be stay-at-home mothers. I am also grateful that my grandchildren are being reared in homes where their fathers are the presiding authorities and blessing their children through their priesthood leadership.

                As you study the last section of the seventh paragraph of the proclamation, you may want to share what you learn in a family home evening. This site has a wonderful family home evening program all outlined with lesson, music, activity, and refreshments. You may want to cover the entire paragraph in one evening, or you may want to split the paragraph as I am doing. I hope you will strengthen your family, community, and nation by teaching that there is a divine design for families and putting this plan into action in your family.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Freedom from Obama

                The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that we will soon be free of Barack Obama and his liberal policies. We will have a new President of the United States at 12:00 noon on 20 January 2017! Yeah! America survived eight years of the Obama administration. I am sure that America will survive a Trump administration.

                As this “peaceful transition” takes place tomorrow, I believe Americans need to know the counsel given by two Apostles to the young adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

                 Elder Dallin H. Oaks urges them to live their lives with the knowledge that election results are a consequence of living in a democracy.
                “I’m not making an argument for the outcome of the election, but I make an argument for the democracy on which our freedoms depend, and we cannot have democracy if we cannot accept outcomes with which we disagree as well as outcomes with which we agree.”

                Elder Oaks quotes many of the remarks that he presented in a devotional at Brigham Young University in September 2016. “Although the election is over, the conditions that made a painful month in September persist in January, even in the week that the new president will be inaugurated….”

                Continuing his remarks, Elder Oaks says, “The few months preceding an election have always been times of serious political divisions, but the divisions and meanness we are experiencing in this election, especially at the presidential level, seem to be unusually wide and ugly.”

                Elder Oaks adds, “We should also remember not to be part of the current meanness. We should communicate about our differences with a minimum of offense.” If only Elder Oaks could speak to all Americans!

                Elder Jeffery R. Holland shares the challenges of several different people and the agonies through which they lived. “It is not coincidental that the word that’s used for Christ’s experience [in] Gethsemane is that he was in `an agony.’ If we say we’re disciples of Christ… we will on occasion be in agony. And I bless you that when those moments come, contemporary issues, historical complexities, personal problems at home, challenges in a mission or a marriage, wherever it is, I pray and ask and bless you to the end that you will be strong.”

                I do not know whether Elder Holland was speaking of the “agony” of one’s candidate losing an election, but I certainly appreciate his reminder of what we need to do as disciples of Jesus Christ.