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.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

What Does It Mean to Know God?

          I have been exploring the First and Second General Epistles of Peter for my “Come, Follow Me” studies this week. Peter wrote his epistles to the members of the Church in general at a time when there was great persecution and apostasy. In his first epistle Peter wrote about Jesus Christ’s visit to the spirit world during the time that His body lay in the tomb (see 1 Peter 3:18-20; 4-6). There He organized the righteous spirits to do missionary work among the spirits of the wicked, so that they could have an opportunity to hear His gospel.

            By the time that Peter wrote his second epistle, he understood that his death was drawing near. He encouraged the Saints to develop Christlike characteristics and become more like the Savior. He told the Saints that as their spiritual abilities grew, their knowledge of God would also grow and bring them closer to having their calling and election made sure (see 2 Peter 1:2-10).

            Just as the Apostle Peter emphasized the importance of gaining knowledge of God (see

2 Peter 1:2-3, 5, 8; 2:20; 3:18), Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a modern-day apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught the importance of coming to know God: 

It is one thing to know about God and another to know him. We know about him when we learn that he is a personal being in whose image man is created; when we learn that the Son is in the express image of his Father’s person; when we learn that both the Father and the Son possess certain specified attributes and powers. But we know them, in the sense of gaining eternal life, when we enjoy and experience the same things they do. To know God is to think what he thinks, to feel what he feels, to have the power he possesses, to comprehend the truths he understands, and to do what he does. Those who know God become like him, and have his kind of life, which is eternal life (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965-73], 1:762).

           The Prophet Joseph Smith knew God better than most people who ever lived on earth. He explained the importance of gaining knowledge of Him. 

           The principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation. This principle can be comprehended              by the faithful and diligent; and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be                    saved will be condemned. The principle of salvation is given us through the knowledge of                   Jesus Christ (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 212).

            According to the Apostle Peter, Elder McConkie, and the Prophet Joseph Smith – three witnesses – we need to gain knowledge about Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We must do more than just know about them. We need to know them and become like them if we are to gain exaltation and live with them for eternity. This is the most critical knowledge that we can gain in this life. The more knowledge we gain of God, the greater will be our blessings.

Friday, November 29, 2019

What Do You Know about Your Traditions?

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents teach the purposes behind the traditions. Some traditions are followed knowingly, and other traditions are blindly followed. Christmas hymns and carols are some of the traditions that may be followed blindly. 

            I have sung the Christmas carol titled “Partridge in a Pear Tree” many times, and sometimes I have wondered about the wording of the song. I recently came across an explanation that makes the song more meaningful for me. I do not know the author or if it is true, but I find it fascinating. It could well be the original meaning of the song.

Did you know this? The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stand for faith, hope, and love.

Four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

Six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

Eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

Ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

Twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

So, there is your history for today. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Yes, I said MERRY CHRISTmas because Christmas is not without CHRIST!

            As you repeat your family traditions and sing your favorite Christmas carols and hymns this year, I suggest that you look for the meaning behind each of them. Once we know the meaning, we can then determine if they bring strength or not. I know that we can strengthen our families, communities, and nation by following righteous and wholesome traditions.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Why Go to the Trouble?

            It is late on Thanksgiving night. The food that took hours and hours to prepare was eaten within half an hour. It took longer for us to put away the leftover food, clear the table, and do the dishes than it took to eat the food. Why do millions of Americans go to such trouble for such a short period of time? The answer to this question can be answered by the comments of several former Presidents of the United States as reported by the editorial board at The Deseret News

            President Abraham Lincoln was “in the middle of the slaughter and tragedy of a grueling Civil War” when he paused and observed that the year 1864 “has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”  He noted that the population of the nation had been increasing even though there were many dying in the war.

            Not long after Washington was attacked and the White House burned, President James Madison “declared a day of thanksgiving. He showed no bitterness when he offered thanks for “all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”

            President Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that American soldiers were dying in the war and Americans at home were suffering while supporting the soldiers. Yet he suggested in 1944 “a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas.” He continued by encouraging “every man of every creed go to his own version of the scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.”

            General George Washington prayed when his soldiers were suffering at Valley Forge, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower prayed for his soldiers as they prepared to invade Europe on D-Day. Both generals knew that God could help their missions to be successful.

            These great men understood that humility, gratefulness, and reliance on God brings power. Americans are at their best when they are humble and grateful. We need only to look back on September 12, 2001, the day after terrorists hijacked four airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the ground in Pennsylvania.

            This is the reason why Americans go to great effort, time, and money to gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day even though the actual meal may be short in duration. The very act of observation of a day of Thanksgiving brings blessings from heaven We humbly acknowledge our weaknesses before Heavenly Father and plead for His continued blessing upon our nation.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why Is Gratitude an Important Attribute to Develop?

            Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is a day when all Americans should count their blessings and give thanks. Many Americans join with others for a special holiday of family, friends, food, and fun. Numerous Americans travel at great expense of time and money to be at their family gatherings. My children are scattered, but two of them will come to spend the day with me. We will have a joyful time that will be diminished only by the fact that there are many family members missing.

Yet, there are some Americans who do not celebrate Thanksgiving because they consider the celebration to be “controversial” with a “contentious history.” They believe that Thanksgiving is “a holiday steeped with cultural appropriation” that does not tell the true history of early America. Some of these people say that the day should be considered as a “national day of mourning” or “atonement” rather than a day for giving thanks. I am saddened that such people cannot see the benefit of showing gratitude and expressing thanks for their many blessings.

There is nothing wrong with criticizing history and the historians that wrote it. The records are always kept by those who won the conflicts, and historians seldom write history from the viewpoint of those who lost. No historian is completely without bias – not even those who look on the dark side. However, a good historian strives to see as much as possible of both sides of the story. I personally would like to hear the true history of the United States – history as it really happened and not history colored by culture, politics, or selfishness. However, I believe that all Americans should take a day to count their blessings and express gratitude for them.

The act of acknowledging our blessings and expressing gratitude is critical in overcoming problems and becoming better individuals, families, groups, or nations. Then-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with his wife Harriet, were attending a temple devotional in St. George, Utah. In fact, they were the invited speakers at the event.

            President Uchtdorf spoke about gratitude and took questions when he finished speaking. One woman asked an discerning question: “What is it that we need to have in order to grow, to become, to be able to handle the burdens, problems, and trials we have in this life?” He answered with one word, “Gratitude.” He then elaborated on the subject by sharing four personal insights.

1. Gratitude expressed can overcome desires to consume and possess.

Sometimes people feel that having things is equal to being someone. But gratitude for the simple things of life soothes the mind from the obsession of possessions, fills the heart with joy, and infuses the mind with well-being. Gratitude destroys materialism.

2. Gratitude has the capacity to release us from greed and envy.

Gratitude keeps our heart soft and broken and our spirit contrite. Gratitude helps us receive love and give love; it brings thanksgiving for all things and makes what matters most the most important, for gratitude understands.

3. Gratitude is an emotion.

Emotions are often mercurial in one’s life. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that makes rational decisions regardless of our emotions. We often need cortical override – logic over emotion – to behave in a moral and civil manner. We must be careful not to be subject to our negative emotional feelings during those times when we don’t care about life. To make gratitude a power, we must make it part of our character.

4. Gratitude can become a constant source of strength to others and ourselves.

Gratitude has no place for a self-defeating attitude. Gratitude has no place for being a pessimist about our life’s lack of perfection. Gratitude helps us not only endure unbearable situations but also gain appreciation from the experience. We can uplift and nourish others. 

            Many families have a Thanksgiving tradition of giving each member of the group an opportunity to express gratitude for their blessings. This is a good tradition to have on our national day of expressing gratitude. However, I hope that Thanksgiving Day is not the only day when we express our gratitude. Being grateful for what we have is a good habit to develop because it helps us to be more positive about life in general. It brings more satisfaction, hope, and joy to our lives. I hope that you will take time to express gratitude for your blessings even if you do not believe in celebrating the national day of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What Is Happening to Native American Women and Children?

            President Donald Trump is actively helping people who have been overlooked in the past. He pardoned military personnel who were imprisoned due to outlandish rules of conflict put forth by the Obama administration. He signed a law to give convicted felons an opportunity to change their lives. He recently signed an executive order that established the Operation Lady Justice Task Force to learn why there are so many missing and murdered Native American and Alaska Native women and children. Trump said the following at the signing ceremony in his office

With Operation Lady Justice, we will bring new hope to Native American communities across the nation…. We will deliver justice for the victims, closure for the families, and safety to those in harm’s way. And on behalf of every missing and murdered Native American woman or child, I am going to sign this order and it will be a great honor.

            I did not know that “More than 5,000 Native American women and children are reported missing each year” or that “Native American women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the average American is.” This problem has been going on for years, possibly decades, but action should have been taken years ago. The Trump administration is acting now. 

            I am not connected with the Native American community, and I have not previously seen anything about this huge problem. If 500,000 women and children of any other color were missing in any single year, it would be all over the news! Earlier this year, Trump announced that May 5 will be known as “Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day.” I would have remembered such a thing because May 5 is the day that my mother passed away. I honor her each year, but I know that she would not mind sharing her memories with Native American women. She had many friends among the Native Americans.

            The new task force will be led by both the Justice and Interior Departments. The Justice Department will not only “issue grants to tribes for safety improvements,” but it will work tribal communities “to review cold cases and unsolved cases.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

Who Is Elise Stefanik?

            My VIP for this week is Elise Stefanik, a relatively unknown congresswoman until two weeks ago. Now she is heroine for the supporters of Donald Trump. She is a Republican, and she has represented New York’s 21st congressional district since 2015. She was just 30 years old when she won her first election to the U.S. House of Representatives and was the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress at the time. She is still the youngest Republican woman to ever be elected to Congress. If she is an example of the type of young women going into politics, our country is in good hands.

            I am sure that I heard about Stefanik when she was elected as the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress, but I have not heard much about her until recently. She was obviously doing her job rather than grandstanding like so many of them! After her 15 minutes of fame at the time of her first election, I heard little about her until the Democrat “impeachment inquiry” circus over the past two weeks. She is the lone Republican female on the committee and is not afraid to take the fight to Democrats. 

Stefanik does not always support Trump, but she showed that she is a mighty defender of the President during the impeachment battle. I did not watch much of the proceedings of the circus, but I liked what I saw with her. Trump calls her “a GOP rising star,” and Sean Hannity calls her “a new star.” Hannity had her on his show, and she announced the next morning that she had raised $500,000 in campaign donations within two hours of the show. I can certainly see why.

Fox News interviewed Stefnik, and that interview can be seen here. It is obvious that she knows what she is talking about, and she clearly and politely makes her statements and asks her questions. Those people who support Trump like her, and those who oppose him do not like her.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Why Should We Have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.” This guaranteed freedom is always under attack from liberals, but sometimes the assaults are more forceful than others. Mass shootings tend to bring louder cries that guns need to be controlled.

As in most things, liberals do not care to know the facts regarding to guns. They cannot seem to understand that taking arms away from responsible gun owners will do nothing to control the guns used to commit crimes. It is even more difficult for them to understand that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens can be beneficial to society.

Amy Swearer and Cooper Conway published an article about guns at The Daily Signal. The article referenced a 2013 report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report noted that “almost all major studies on defensive gun uses have concluded that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times every year.” The article then noted numerous instances where law-abiding citizens used guns for self-defense in October 2019. Here are just the first three on their list.

·         Oct. 2 in Conroe, Texas: A business owner who had previously been victimized by burglars was inside his store around 2 a.m. when he heard the sound of breaking glass and went to investigate. A man armed with a crowbar confronted the store owner, who defended himself by firing several rounds at the would-be burglar, striking him at least twice. The would-be burglar tried to run away, but ultimately succumbed to his wounds.  

·         Oct. 6 in Pulaski County, Missouri: An armed citizen came to the aid of a sheriff’s deputy as the deputy struggled with a knife-wielding attacker. The deputy was investigating a disabled vehicle when one of the vehicle’s occupants attacked the deputy with a knife, wrestled him to the ground, and attempted to unholster the deputy’s sidearm. The deputy suffered several cuts and bruises, but the situation was contained when the armed citizen and other vehicle occupants intervened, allowing the deputy to handcuff his attacker. The sheriff’s department praised the actions of the citizens, saying it was “overwhelmed with gratitude” for their willingness to help ensure the deputy’s safety. 

·         Oct. 9 in Fort Worth, Texas: A homeowner caught a man breaking into his truck in the early hours of the morning and held the would-be burglar at gunpoint until police arrived. 

There are numerous other instances on the list. I noticed in all three instances that each private citizen used their gun for self-protection, protection for someone else, or for property protection. All three instances could have resulted in injury or death for the citizen, but the offenders were brought to justice. It goes without saying that millions of law-abiding citizens use their privately-owned guns to do good things, and they should be allowed to continue to do so.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Is It Possible to Ask God a Question and Receive an Answer?

            I read and pondered the Epistle of James for my “Come, Follow Me” studies this week and found numerous principles and doctrines. A principle that is near and dear to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is found in James 1:5-6: 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

            These verses were instrumental in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. I do not know why Joseph Smith turned to James for his scripture study. Maybe he heard a sermon on prayer and heard the reference. Maybe he happened upon these verses in his regular scripture study. It really does not matter why Joseph read James 1:5-6. The only thing that matters is that he acted upon the knowledge that he gained. He learned that the heavens are not sealed and that God reveals answers to anyone who sincerely seeks. Joseph was surprised to learn that he, a 14-year-old farm boy, could approach God and receive an answer. This fact is as important to us today as it was for Joseph.

            I do not know how long Joseph pondered these verses. I only know that he went to a grove of trees to a place previously determined and knelt in prayer. He wanted to know which of all the churches he should join and was expecting a simple answer to his question. He was as surprised as you or I would be when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Heavenly Father introduced His Son Jesus Christ and commanded Joseph, “Hear ye Him.” 

Once Joseph had recovered from his shock, he asked his question about which church to join. He was told to join none of them because they were all wrong. He was also told that he would become an instrument in God’s hands in restoring His true church to earth. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained why James 2:5-6 has unique significance to Latter-day Saints.

This single verse of scripture has had a greater impact and a more far reaching effect upon mankind than any other single sentence ever recorded by any prophet in any age. It might well be said that the crowning act of the ministry of James was not his martyrdom for the testimony of Jesus, but his recitation, as guided by the Holy Ghost, of those simple words which led to the opening of the heavens in modern times.

And it might well be added that every investigator of revealed truth stands, at some time in the course of his search, in the place where Joseph Smith stood. He must turn to the Almighty and gain wisdom from God by revelation if he is to gain a place on that strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:246-47).

            It is not enough to simply ask God for an answer. James emphasizes that we must “ask in faith” (James 1:6) without wavering. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained what it means to ask in faith.

Notice the requirement to ask in faith, which I understand to mean the necessity to not only express but to do, the dual obligation to both plead and to perform, the requirement to communicate and to act.

… Note the questions that guided Joseph’s thinking and supplicating….

“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join” (Joseph Smith-History 1:10, 18).

Joseph’s questions focused not just on what he needed to know but also on what was to be done! His prayer was not simply, “Which church is right?” His question was, “Which church should I join?” Joseph went to the grove to ask in faith, and he was determined to act.

True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to righteous action….

… We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say “amen,” by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father.

Asking in faith requires honesty, effort, commitment, and persistence” (“Ask in Faith,” Ensign, May 2008, 94-95).

            Testimonies of James and Joseph Smith run together. Both testify that God will answer prayers if we sincerely seek an answer and are willing to follow His directions. I add my witness to that of James, Joseph, and millions of other people. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us. He is a loving parent who desires to help His children just we desire to help our children. I know that He answers prayers because He has answered many prayers for me. I know that He desires to help and bless us and that He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to make it possible for us to return to His presence. I know that He will not force something upon us but will freely give when we ask. What are you waiting for? Your Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you!

Friday, November 22, 2019

How Can We Help the Children?

            Children, communities, and nations suffer when parents are not parenting. It is no secret that children often suffer because of adult choices and behavior, but it is even worse when the delinquent adult is the parent of the child or children. When government gets involved, it often becomes worse. Case in point is the number of children now entering the foster care system because of parental drug use. Jackson Elliott writes about this problem affecting children.

America’s children in need of adoption now suffer because of their parents’ opioid addictions….

[The nation’s adoption and foster care system] faces many challenges…. One factor is that the number of children entering foster care because of parental drug use has doubled since the year 2000….

Today, over 100,000 children currently eligible for adoption wait in America’s foster care system….

            Behind much of the problem with the adoption and foster care agency are policies and rules made by the Obama administration. Specifically, some children are waiting to be adopted because faith-based adoption agencies were cut out of the equation. It is fair to say that these decisions hurt “tens of thousands of children.” When faith-based adoption agencies would not violate their religious views, such placing children with same-sex couples, the government withheld grant money.

            More than 20,000 youth “age out of the foster system without ever being adopted.” When they aren’t adopted, their future is bleak. “About 20% become homeless at age 18 after leaving the system, and 97% never go to college” according to one source. However, there are changes being made that will help the children.

On Nov 1, the Trump administration announced it would rescind the Obama-era rules. The Department of Health and Human Services said the federal government no longer would withhold federal grant money from faith-based adoption providers based on their traditional religious beliefs.

            Elliott’s article includes other problems affecting children, but they all boil down to the fact that parents are not parenting their child or children. When adults are not willing to accept the responsibilities of parenting, the children and youth suffer. We need parents to care for their children in order to have strong families, communities, and nations.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Do You Understand How Bad Socialized Medicine Is?

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that socialized medicine does not work. Democrats and the Left are trying to move the United States into socialized medicine. They claim that government-controlled medicine would be better for Americans. There are people who have experienced socialized medicine who can tell us different.

            James Schmitz is one such person with a unique story. Rather summarizing his story, I will just link to it. That way you can feel the full effect of his words. Socialized medicine is not good for anyone. It is particularly bad for those who have chronic or urgent medical problems.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Did Chick-fil-A Cave to the Left?

            Chick-fil-A stood firm in its defense of biblical marriage, and the public supported them. Their business grew and expanded into new markets. However, some of those markets were unfriendly to Chick-fil-A. The company was at the forefront of the culture war.

Chick-fil-A recently made a business decision that may cause it to lose customers. Those who flocked to support the company in its biblical marriage stand may be wavering in their backing. It seems that Chick-fil-A was making donations to the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, two organizations that share the same biblical beliefs about marriage and sexuality. In a quest to leave the cultural war behind them, the company made a big decision.

            Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A decided to stop donating to Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and focus its charitable giving on education, hunger, and homelessness. The three causes are important to all people, but they lack one thing – evidence of Christ.

            Christians are to stand as witnesses of Christ wherever they may be and no matter the time or reason. Chick-fil-A stopped standing for Christ when they decided to do whatever was necessary to expand into new markets. The company has faced much opposition recently in that they were denied franchise deals in San Antonio (Texas), Buffalo (New York), and England. The losses came because the company is known for being a conservative Christian company. Now they are known as a business who may not be willing to stand firm for their beliefs.

            Chick-fil-A could have stood firm on Christian grounds and expanded their business in friendly territory. Because they seem to have caved, they may not have enough business to expand in any direction.           

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Do Leftists Hate America?

            There is no question or debate about the huge divide in the United States between conservatives and liberals. Both sides apparently believe that the other will destroy the United States. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims that Donald Trump must be impeached and removed from office because he is an imposter in the office of President, and he is destroying the Constitution. It does not matter to her that more than 60 million Americans voted for Trump, and most of us still support him.

            I do not know or see all that is going on in this vast country, and I do not even pretend to understand what I do know and see. However, any President, who decreases the number of Americans on unemployment or food stamps and cuts enough regulations to allow the stock market to soar, cannot be trying to destroy the country. He is doing exactly what he promised to do before he was elected: Make America Great Again. The more people have employment and become self-reliant, the stronger the nation is. Despite all the good things that the Trump administration is doing, Democrats cannot seem to support any of them. 

Yet, there is no need to say that Democrats do not love America. I know numerous Democrats who are good people and who are doing good things in our nation. The American Eagle needs both its right wing and its left wing to fly straight and strong. However, being Democrat or even liberal is not the same as being part of the Left.

I believe that it is safe to say that the Left, or the people on the far left of the political spectrum, do not love America. These are the people who want to “fundamentally transform” America. If they love America, they love her as she is – with all her faults and weaknesses – because they know that she is special. There are ways to improve America without fundamentally transforming it. 

Picture if you will a beautiful home that is maintained with periodic upgrades and painting. It is basically the same house, but it is being maintained and upgraded to be the best that it is. Now picture a home that is undergoing a major remodel where walls are torn out, a new level or wing is added, and the look of the house is drastically changed. The major remodel is a fundamental transformation, while the house that is being properly maintained and/or upgraded is basically the same. We can look at America in the same way. It is our home. We want it to be the best that it can be, but we like our home the way that it is. We do not desire any big changes in it. 

The Left wants to transform America. Leftists do not like the free market system known as capitalism despite it being the power behind our soaring economy. They do not like our democratic republic because they do not want the responsibility of taking care of themselves. Even though there is lots of proof that socialism and communism are terrible systems, many of Americans want us to go down the socialism path. They do not love America because they want to transform her.

Dennis Prager, founder of PragerU, gives several reasons for why we know that Leftists do not love America. He says, “Love of America is one of the many dividing lines between liberalism and leftism.” Here are his six reasons to believe that the left hates America.

1. No one denies that the international left – the left in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere – hates America. Therefore, in order to argue that American leftists do not hate America [would be to say that American leftists differ from leftists around the world.] All the world’s left hates the U.S., but the American left loves it….

2. Leftists want to “fundamentally transform” the United States. We first heard the phrase “fundamentally transform” from Barack Obama five days before he was elected President of the United States.] … More recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that she plans to “fundamentally transform our government.” … [Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is another candidate that wants to fundamentally transform America.]

3. Leftists have contempt for the American flag….

4. Leftists routinely describe America as racist, sexist, xenophobic, imperialist, genocidal, homophobic, obsessed with money, and morally inferior to most Western European countries….

5. America is the most successful country in world history – while being the most committed to capitalism and remaining the most religious of all the industrialized democracies. [Leftists hate both capitalism and Christianity.]

6. Love is, among other things, an emotion. So, here is a question about leftists’ emotions: Do any leftists get the chills when the national anthem is played or when they see the American flag waving as the anthem is play? Given their rhetoric, it is most unlikely. Yet, every person I know who loves America does get a chill at such moments. Do leftists, as opposed to some liberals and conservatives, display the flag on any national holiday? How many leftists even own a flag?

            Prager asks an important question, “If leftists do not love America, what do they love?” They claim to love Mother Earth, animals, power, material equality, and themselves. “They do not love Western culture…. 

Interestingly, while they often claim to love humanity, many don’t seem to love people. They give less charity and volunteer less time to the downtrodden than conservatives, for example. They have much less interest in having children and making families. They are far more likely than conservatives to cut off relations with friends or relatives with whom they differ politically. And if they really loved people, they would love capitalism because only capitalism has lifted billions of people from poverty.

            We can tell the true leftists when we see them. They are the ones trampling on the flag or burning it. They are the ones who want to rewrite the Constitution. They are the ones who cannot admit that the United States was founded on Christian principles. They are the ones who want to fundamentally transform America.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Who Is Jim Jordan?

            One of the heroes in Congress is Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). One week ago, he was the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. As such, he was present when depositions for possible impeachment witnesses were taken in the basement of the Capitol building. However, he was reassigned temporarily to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Many Americans were relieved to see this reassignment because is a loyal conservative that is not afraid to confront the Democrats in their attempt to remove President Donald Trump from office.

            Jordan immediately showed his worth on the new committee when he sharply questioned witnesses and voiced the frustration felt by Republicans for the partisan process. He has a sharp intellect and great communication skills and quickly cuts through the foolishness put up by the Democrats.

            In an article posted at The Daily Signal, Aaron Credeur shares seven things that he thinks we should know about Jordan as he leads the Republicans in defense of Trump.

1. He was founding chairman of the House Freedom Caucus [in 2015] [and is] “a staunch conservative…. The Freedom Caucus was instrumental in Boehner’s resignation as House speaker…. Jordan served as the first chairman of the caucus from 2015 to 2017, and the group now has more than 30 members, all Republicans, in the House.

2. Boehner called him a “legislative terrorist” [because] Jordan isn’t shy about undermining Republican leadership.

3. He was a collegiate championship wrestler… while attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison, winning two NCAA Division I championships in 1985 and 1986…. Jordan [is still] a fierce combatant….

4. He faced criticism surround his time as a wrestling coach. Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1987 to 1995 [and Democrats are still accusing him of wrongdoing].

5. He argued for opening a special counsel probe … on then-Attorney General Eric Holder [about IRS targeting the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofits].

6. He ran for House speaker after Paul Ryan’s resignation and is [one of the president’s closest allies].

7. He has a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union … one of only three current lawmakers with a perfect lifetime score from … [the] organization that ranks members of Congress based on their voting records on conservative issues.

            Jordan is now “front and center” in the impeachment hearings and is Adam Schiff’s worst nightmare. Jordan is not reticent to call out Schiff on his shifty ways. He is certainly making it clear that there is a tried and true conservative on the committee who is willing to stand toe-to-toe with any Democrat.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

How Is Impeachment Supposed to Work?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the process of impeachment. Impeachment is supposed to be rare. It is so rare that impeachment has been considered for only four Presidents of the United States in more than 230 years. Two of the four – Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson – were impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, one – Richard Nixon – resigned from the office of President before he could be impeached, and the fourth – Donald Trump – is enduring the Democrat impeachment circus at the present time. 

I read somewhere that Democrats have tried to impeach every Republican president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. I do not know if that statement is true or not, but we all know that the Democrats began their attempt to impeach Trump just a few minutes after he was inaugurated. It was ridiculous, but there were Democrats who were yelling for impeachment before Trump had taken any action as President. How could he have performed any impeachable offense within twenty minutes of inauguration?

It is obvious to anyone who is not blind that Democrats have been looking for something to impeach Trump on since the beginning of his term of office. The first attempt was Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel spent two years and $30 million investigating Trump and did not find anything. As soon as the Mueller report dropped without any impeachable offense, the Democrats were searching for something else.

They latched onto a telephone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine and built a case for impeachment. Trump spoiled their plan when he released the transcript of the call that showed there was nothing wrong with the call. However, the Democrats had jumped on the impeachment train and could not get off. The longer they ride this train, the more foolish they look, but they do not seem to care. 

Democrats do not seem to care who they destroy – even their own political success – in their attempt to destroy Trump and all his supporters. The strange thing is that they appear to be blind to the fact that support for Trump is growing while more people are questioning the sanity of the Democrat Party. So, let’s discuss how impeachment is supposed to work.

The United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4 states: “The President, Vice President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

This section gives the reasons why any of the named officers can be impeached: treason, bribery, high crimes, or misdemeanors. Trump has done none of the four offenses, but Democrats do not let facts affect get in the way. Even though the facts are not in their favor, they continue their efforts to destroy Trump.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The House of Representatives … shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Other than the reasons for which an officer can be impeached, the Constitution gives no other rules. The Speaker of the House, apparently, can run an impeachment any way they choose. There have been precedents that other impeachments have followed, but no cut-and-dried rules.

Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution gives a bit more information to the Senate about its responsibility in the case of impeachment.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. 

            This statement says that the Senate has the power to remove a President or other officer from office, but that is the extent of its power. Any legal indictment, trial, judgment, and penalty must come from the law enforcement arm of the government.

            The Democrats surely know that two-thirds of the Senators will not vote to remove a popular President from office. Therefore, they must have another reason for continuing the sham impeachment inquiry. The only possible answer is that they are trying to damage Trump politically. They know that they have no chance of winning an election against Trump, so they are attempting to take him out of office by destroying him, his family, and his supporters.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

What Is Faith?

            I studied a lot about faith during the past week and thought that I would share a little of what I learned with my readers. I think that it is important for all of us to understand what faith is. I believe that the appropriate place to learn about faith is from prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul said that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of thing not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

An ancient American prophet named Alma said that “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). 

Another ancient American prophet named Moroni wrote about another man who had much faith. The man’s name is not written in the scriptures, and he is known only as the brother of Jared. This man had carried sixteen small stones that were white and clear as transparent glass to the top of mountain. There he asked the Lord to touch the stones with His finger and cause them to show forth light. He saw the finger of the Lord as each stone was touched. After some discussion with the Lord, the brother of Jared saw the spirit body of Jesus Christ. The Lord also showed him “all the inhabitants of the earth” (Ether 3:25).

Moroni wrote about the brother of Jared, “And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept form beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus …; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil…” (Ether 3:19-20).

To summarize, I want to use the words of Sister Anne C. Pinger, then a member of the Relief Society General Presidency. “Faith, the spiritual ability to be persuaded of promises that are seen ‘afar off’ but that may not be attained in this life, is a sure measure of those who truly believe” (“Seeing the Promises Afar Off,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 14).

A modern-day Apostle, even Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used the teachings of Paul, Alma, and others to explain that faith helps us to remember past assurances, face the future, and take action in the present.

The Apostle Paul defined faith as “the substance of things hoped for, [and] the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Alma declared that faith is not a perfect knowledge; rather, if we have faith, we “hope for things which are not seen, [but] are true” (Alma 32:21). Additionally, we learn in the Lectures on Faith that faith is “the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness” and that it is also “the principle of action in all intelligent beings” [Lectures on Faith, (1985), 1].

These teachings of Paul and of Alma and from the Lectures on Faith highlight three basic elements of faith: (1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for which are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings. I describe these three components of faith in the Savior as simultaneously facing the future, looking to the past, and initiating action in the present.

Faith as the assurance of things hoped for looks to the future….

Faith in Christ is inextricably tied to and results in hope in Christ for our redemption and exaltation. And assurance and hope make it possible for us to walk to the edge of the light and take a few steps into the darkness – expecting and trusting the light to move and illuminate the way (see Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 54). The combination of assurance and hope initiates action in the present.

Faith as the evidence of things not seen looks to the past and confirms our trust in God and our confidence in the truthfulness of things not seen. We stepped into the darkness with assurance and hope, and we received evidence and confirmation as the light in fact moved and provided the illumination we needed. The witness we obtained after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6) is evidence that enlarges and strengthens our assurance.

Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process” (“Seek Learning by Faith” [evening with Elder David A. Bednar, Feb. 3, 2006], 1-2;

            We must have faith in Jesus Christ before we can have hope in His promises. It is because of faith and hope that we take any action. Faith and hope are the reason why we get out of bed on a snowy Sunday morning to attend sacrament meeting. Faith and hope are the reason we gather our uncooperative children together for family prayer, family scripture study, and family gospel study. Faith and hope are the reason we live the law of tithing, the law of chastity, the law of tithing, and all the other laws put forth by Jesus Christ.

            We can develop faith as well as hope and keep them growing by doing the same things that faith and hope inspire us to do: pray, study the scriptures, spend time with our families, attend Sunday meetings and temple sessions, and generally live good lives. Faith in Jesus Christ is the power by which the worlds are created. Faith in Jesus Christ moves mountains, rivers, and people. Faith in Jesus Christ will help us to prepare for the His Second Coming.