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.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

What Difference Will It Make Now?

             The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns free and fair elections where one living, legal, registered voter equals one legal vote. Approximately three months after the election, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to conduct a “full forensic audit” of the election equipment used in the largest county in Arizona. Even though President Donald Trump challenged the election results in November, the board waited to make their decision until after Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20, 2021. 

            Conservatives and other Americans who care about free and fair elections are grateful for the board’s decision. Arizona is just one of the key battleground states who held questioned elections. According to chairman Jack Sellers, the board made its decision to provide “additional assurance” of election integrity to voters in Maricopa County.

Maricopa County elections were administered with integrity throughout 2020. That’s a fact. Multiple audits to date have proved as much, and multiple court rulings have concurred.

It’s also true that a significant number of voters want the additional assurance that a full forensic audit of tabulation equipment might bring, especially given all the misinformation that spread following the November 3 election. This audit shows our commitment to providing that assurance.

            Sellers makes it sound as those the board made their decision to audit the machines out of the goodness of their hearts. The Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate wants to conduct its own election audit and had to go to court to do it. The Associated Press reported that the Senate “issued subpoenas to the county in mid-December seeking access to copies of ballots, software used in vote tabulation machines and the machines themselves, among other items.”

            The board members fought the subpoenas in court, but they started to cooperate with Senate attorneys after a judge ruled against them. If prior audits showed no problems and everything was fair and honest, why did the board fight the subpoenas? Any honest person would not withhold opportunities to audit election results because doing so makes them look suspicious. At any rate, what can auditors hope to find when dishonest people have had more than three months to scrub the machines and clean up the evidence?

Saturday, January 30, 2021

How Can I Hear the Voice of the Lord?

            For my Come, Follow Me studies this week, I had the opportunity to review the principle of personal revelation and to deepen my determination to qualify to receive more.

            The lesson material explained that in the fall of 1828, Oliver Cowdery was a young schoolteacher, who took a job teaching school in Manchester, New York. He found lodging with Lucy and Joseph Smith Sr. Oliver began asking them questions about their son Joseph, who had married and was living in Harmony, Pennsylvania.

The Smiths were hesitant at first to say much to Oliver, but they later realized that he was seeking truth. The Smiths described visits from angels, an ancient record, and a translation by the power of God. Oliver was fascinated and wondered if it was true. The Smiths gave him this counsel: ask God if it is true. Oliver followed the counsel and prayed to know for himself. The Spirit spoke peace and reassurance to his mind.

At the end of his teaching assignment, Oliver went to Harmony to seek the Prophet. After visiting with Joseph, Oliver offered his services as a scribe. As they worked together, they had questions and inquired of the Lord for answers. One of the first revelations that came to Oliver through the Prophet is now contained in Doctrine and Covenants 6.

14 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast receive instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

15 Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth (Doctrine and Covenants 6:14-15).

            Later, Oliver desired the gift of translation, so Joseph inquired of the Lord. Oliver was told many things, including how to receive revelation. In fact, the Lord told Oliver that he had a gift to receive revelation.

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation… (Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3).

Oliver tried his hand at translating but failed. The Lord told him that he had done nothing to prepare himself to receive the revelation. Besides, He did not need Oliver to translate at that time, but Joseph needed him to act as scribe. Oliver’s experience tells us that the Lord does not reveal His mind and will simply because we ask a question. We must prepare our hearts and mind to receive messages from God. We are blessed with a Prophet on earth today who teaches us how to receive revelation.

President Russell M. Nelson has been encouraging and even urging us to increase our ability to receive personal revelation. President Nelson is the Lord’s mouthpiece on earth in our day, and the Lord will reveal His will for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and/or the world to him. However, he continues to urge us to develop our ability to receive inspiration and revelation from God for our individual lives. In the January 2021 issue of the Liahona, President Nelson reiterated his invitation. He warns us that we are living in the last days, and we need divine help to make it through these troublesome times.

Physical and spiritual tempests are a part of life on the earth, as the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us. Of the time prior to His Second Coming, the Savior predicted days of great tribulation…Compounding such tribulation is the increasing darkness and deception that surround us. As Jesus told His disciples, “Iniquity shall abound” before His return (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:30)…

Satan has marshaled his forces and is raging against the work of the Lord and those of us engaged in it. Because of the increasing dangers we face, our need for divine guidance has never been greater, and our efforts to hear the voice of Jesus Christ—our Mediator, Savior, and Redeemer—have never been more urgent.

            President Nelson continued his article by explaining what we should do to hear the divine voice of the Lord. He said that it is “essential” for us to know how the Spirit speaks to us as individuals, and he encouraged us to follow a pattern used by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

First, we immerse ourselves in the scriptures [to open] our minds and hearts to the Savior’s teachings and truths…

Next, we pray. Prayer requires initiative, so we humble ourselves before God, find a quiet place where we can regularly go, and pour out our hearts to Him…

Then we listen. If we will stay on our knees for a while after we finish our prayer, thoughts, feelings, and direction will come into our mind.

[Next, record.] Recording those impressions will help us remember what actions the Lord would have us take.

[Last, repeat.] As we repeat this process, we will, in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “grow into the principle of revelation.”

            The steps outlined by President Nelson are simple but practical. He knows how to receive revelation from God because he has had personal experience doing it. I encourage all of us to listen to the Prophet’s counsel and prepare ourselves to be taught by the Lord.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Why Does Marriage Matter?

             Marriage strengthens families, communities, and nations, and social scientists can tell us why marriage matters. FamilyScholars.Org put together a fact sheet of thirty conclusions made by social scientists and named it “Why Marriage Matters.” The thirty conclusions can be found here, but bookstores carry the approximately fifty-page book with more explanations for the thirty conclusions. 

            The thirty conclusions are divided into five general areas: (1) Family, (2) Economy, (3) Physical Health and Longevity, (4) Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being, and (5) Crime and Domestic Violence. All thirty conclusions are interesting, but some are more surprising than others. Here are a few conclusions from the five general areas.


#2 Children are most likely to enjoy family stability when they are born into a married family.

#5 Growing up outside an intact marriage increases the likelihood that children will themselves divorce or become unwed parents.


#9 Divorce and unmarried childbearing increases poverty for both children and mothers, and cohabitation is less likely to alleviate poverty than is marriage.

#15 Parental divorce reduces the likelihood that children will graduate from college and achieve high-status jobs.

Physical Health and Longevity:

#16 Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than do children in other family forms.

#17 Parental marriage is associated with a sharply lower risk of infant mortality.

Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being

#22 Children whose parents divorce have higher rates of psychological distress and mental illness.

#23 Cohabitation is associated with higher levels of psychological problems among children.

Crime and Domestic Violence

#26 Boys raised in non-intact families are more likely to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior.

#27 Marriage appears to reduce the risk that adults will be either perpetrators or victims of crime.

I discovered conclusion #30 “There is a growing marriage gap between college-educated Americans and less educated Americans” in other research material. There is a term used by social scientists to connect the dots between time of marriage and time of the birth of the first child. This term is the “Great Crossover.” It defines the time period when more women are bearing their first child before getting married rather than after marrying. The cross-over point appears to be connected to social class and education.

Normally, a couple gets married and then starts a family. However, men and women of all social classes are delaying marriage until later years – with average ages being 27 for women and 29 for men. The problem is that women are not delaying childbirth until after marriage. Women having babies without being married is no longer uncommon or met with disapproval. In fact, 48 percent of all babies are born to unwed mothers. The thirty conclusions show that this situation can bring future problems.

The cross-over point was reached among lower class and less educated women long ago. It was reached by Middle American women – women who have graduated from high school and who have some college – about the year 2000. College-educated women, like their counterparts, are waiting until later to marry, but they are also waiting to bear their first child until about two years after marrying.

            Age at time of marriage is important because older brides and grooms bring more stability to marriage. The divorce rate is decreasing because couples are getting married at older ages. However, the marriage rate is also decreasing because increasing numbers of couples choose cohabitation over marriage. The thirty solutions show that marriage makes life better in most areas, but it is especially critical for children who deserve a stable environment to grow and develop. Marriage matters because it strengthens families, communities, and nations.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

What Happens When One Loses Big Supporters?

             It has not been too long since President Joe Biden said that only tyrants rule by executive orders. He surely forgot that he made that statement because he signed 37 executive actions, including 24 executive orders in his first week as president. It seems that he is willing to sign anything that his Leftists assistants put in front of him. Whoever is his puppet master and is pulling his strings should hear what is being said outside the White House.

            Even though the New York Times supports the left-wing progressive agenda, it is now begging Biden to “ease up” on the executive orders. There was praise for the new President in an editorial titled “Ease Up on the Executive Actions, Joe.” However, there was also urging for the president to use the proper channels for making changes – legislation by Congress. The editorial noted that Biden’s executive actions had dismantled much of the work accomplished by former President Donald Trump, and then said, “But this is no way to make law.” 

A polarized, narrowly divided Congress may offer Mr. Biden little choice but to employ executive actions or see his entire agenda held hostage. These directives, however, are a flawed substitute for legislation. They are intended to provide guidance to the government and need to work within the discretion granted the executive by existing law or the Constitution. They do not create new law – though executive orders carry the force of law – and they are not meant to serve as an end run around the will of Congress. By design, such actions are more limited in what they can achieve than legislation, and presidents who overreach invite intervention by the courts.

Executive actions are far more ephemeral and easily discarded than legislation, which can set up a whipsaw effect, as each president scrambles to undo the work of his predecessor. Just as Mr. Trump set about reversing as many of President Barack Obama’s directives as possible, Mr. Biden is now working to reverse many of Mr. Trump’s reversals. With executive orders, there is always another presidential election just a few years off, threatening to upend everything.

This creates instability and uncertainty that can carry significant economic as well as human costs.

            It appears that the editorial board at the New York Times knows more about how the United States government works than the new resident in the White House or his assistants. But wait, it could get worse! Four Representatives (D-Texas) wrote to the President yesterday to ask him to rescind Executive Order 3395, which he signed on Day #2. It pauses new leases for drilling for oil and gas on federal lands. The letter also asked Biden to drop his plans to ban new leases for a year in his attempt to stop the use of fossil fuels.

            Apparently, Representatives Henry Cuellar, Lizzie Fletcher, Vicente Gonzalez, and Marc Veasey failed to connect the dots between Biden’s war on fossil fuels and the fact that oil and gas are a huge part of the Texas economy. 

Media reports indicate that the administration plans to announce a new proposal to ban responsible energy leasing, including oil and gas leasing, from our federal waters and lands indefinitely… A federal ban for any period of time will certainly imperil hundreds of thousands of jobs, entire communities, and billions of dollars in royalty revenues to the Federal Treasury and eliminate funding for important conservation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

            It will not do Democrat members of Congress any good either when their 2022 opponents remind voters that the Democrat Party was responsible for shutting down the powerful industry. The targets are already on the backs of these representatives, and they know it. Thus, their plea to Biden for help – for the benefit of the nation.

As the United States works to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 Americans and destroyed the livelihoods of many more, now is not the time to jeopardize American jobs, or the critical tax and royalty revenues that federal leases generate for local, state, and federal government that need funds now. Instead, we should invest in our nation’s infrastructure and create the jobs that will help our nation emerge stronger after this pandemic.

            The Representatives can either see the writing on the wall, or they are extra good at lying, or there is a big hole forming in the middle of the Democrat Party. We do not yet know what is happening, but I am sure that the conservative half of the nation would be grateful to have the Executive Order rescinded.

            It looks like the assistants putting the Executive Orders in front of Biden should think a bit more about what they are doing. If they continue the big push to destroy the economy and make the nation miserable, they might push too far and go over the edge.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Did you Know that January 27th Is an Important Day?

             Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is the day when the world remembers that 6 million people were killed in the holocaust. This day was chosen by the United Nations in 2005 for this remembrance.

            Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945 – 76 years ago. Nazi forces killed more than 1.1 million people – mostly Jews. The Soviet soldiers were met by starving prisoners, terrible conditions, and more than a million corpses. They were horrified, just as most humans would be.

            There is little doubt that the Nazi hatred for Jews caused the Holocaust. People worldwide cried, “Never Again.” Yet, hatred for Jews is growing around the world. Nations surrounding Israel were focused on driving the Jews into the sea. Anti-Zionism is growing with members of the U.S. Congress leading the charge. Chris Gacek and Arielle Del Turco shared some of their thoughts on this topic in an article published at The Daily Signal

Anti-Zionism is particularly active on American university campuses, where the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions [BDS] movement singles out Israel for economic punishment.

According to U.N. Watch, Israel has received 112 condemnatory resolutions from the U.N. General Assembly since 2015, many times more that of notorious human rights abusers like North Korea, Myanmar, and Syria over that span of time. This wisely disproportionate targeting of the Jewish state indicates a prevalent anti-Jewish sentiment among world leaders.

In its annual report in 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom expressed serious concern over the rise of anti-Semitism in the world, especially in Europe. It cited the examples of a 27% increase in anti-Semitic acts in France in 2019, a 7% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom in 2019, and a pattern of anti-Semitic bullying in Sweden.

As the situation has grown more perilous for Jews in Europe, a 2019 survey found that 41% of young Jewish Europeans have considered emigrating from their native lands out of concern for their safety.

Many Jews are now making plans to leave for Israel as many European governments have lost control of the situation, with anti-Semitism becoming more widespread and violent. This reality would have been unimaginable 20 years ago.

            Iran remains the country with the greatest hatred for Israel and is “the only government in the world that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy.” With support from former President Donald Trump and his administration, Israel made peace deals with four Middle East nations during 2020. 

The historic Abraham Accord has just been signed between the United States, Israel, Bahrain and the United Aram Emirates [UAE], essentially bringing peace between Arab nations in the Middle East and Israel…

Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already been working hard on normalizing relations lately, including a recent agreement to allow Israel and the UAE to fly commercial flights through Saudi airspace. Now, with this recent agreement including the country of Bahrain, things are moving rapidly towards stability in the region.

            Later, Sudan’s new, transitional government, agreed to recognize Israel. Still later, Morocco re-established formal relations with Israel. The four countries moving towards peace with Israel are Bahrain, United Arm Emirates (UAE), Sudan, and Morocco. There was peace in the Middle East until President Trump left office. The day after his inauguration, President Joe Biden sent troops into Syria, so it looks like peace was short lived for now. 

            Anti-Semitism is growing in the United States, and its growth “has its roots in the political fringe-right” according to Gacek and Del Turco. They use the recent attacks at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, as evidence of the hatred of Jews in America. They also emphasized that the attacks made it plain to other Americans that Jewish synagogues were not safe in America. Gacek and Del Turco indicated that younger Americans are not being taught about the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, studies show declining knowledge about the Holocaust among younger Americans. One survey found that 63% of American millennials and Generation Z did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million.

Another article tells us that two-thirds of millennials do not know what Auschwitz stands for and what took place there. Many cannot place the Holocaust within the framework of World War II. This is a disastrous place for our nation to be.

            The rising generation has not been taught correctly about the Holocaust. Many of them have not heard the commitment “Never Again,” so how can they honor it? Parents and public education systems let down the rising generation when they did not teach correct history. How can we ever hope to have peace in the world when the truth is withheld and lies are allowed to spread and hatred to fester?

It is right that there is a day set apart to remember the Holocaust and “to recommit ourselves to protect the Jewish people” from persecution and death. They are persecuted and killed because they have “a set of unique religious and cultural beliefs that make them distinct.” They will not yield their allegiance to a “higher authority.” As Christians and Americans, we should stand with the Jews every day of every year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Will the Senate Vote to Convict Trump?

             Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her minions in the House of Representatives voted January 13, 2021, to impeach President Donald Trump. The vote to impeach took place without any investigation or opportunity for Trump to defend himself.

House managers delivered the one article of impeachment – incitement of insurrection – to the U.S. Senate on Monday, January 25, 2021. Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside at the trial because Trump is no longer the President. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) will preside. Senators were sworn in as jurors on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. 

The Senate proceeding became more exciting soon after the swearing in procedure. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) with support from other members of the GOP sought to block the Senate trial with a claim that the trial would be unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office. The claim was put to a vote, and the Senate voted 55-45 to table the motion

            Five Republican Senators voted with the Democrats against the motion. They are Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Romney and Murkowski are no surprises because they are known to hate Trump, and Collins is from a liberal state.

            The fact that only five Republicans voted with the Democrats does not bode well for the people who want Trump convicted. Seventeen Republicans must vote with the Democrats to make the two-thirds of Senators required by the Constitution to remove a President from office. Paul later noted on Twitter that this vote could be a predictor as to how a Senate trial would conclude. “The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order. 45 Senators agreed that this sham of a ‘trial’ is unconstitutional. That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process. This ‘trial’ is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

            The whole purpose for the impeachment and unconstitutional trial is an attempt on the part of the Democrats to keep Trump from running for office again. They have seen what he can do, and they are scared of him. They know that he is willing to stand up to them and to fight for the American people. The American people – at least half of us – appreciate the fact that he is willing to fight for them instead of fold like so many Republicans do.

            If nothing else happens and the Republicans hold together, it looks like Trump will be acquitted of inciting an insurrection. He is guilty of demanding integrity in the election process of asking his supporters who were in Washington, D.C., to “march peacefully and patriotically” to the Capitol to make their voices heard.

            I think that it is ironic that Murkowski is upset with Paul for forcing a vote for holding a trial. She said that the vote forced by Paul’s motion was “premature and unnecessary.” She excused her vote as one to give the Senate time to “thoughtfully consider this weighty institutional issue.” That is an interesting comment because she is already on record as calling for Trump to resign from office.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Why Are Democrats Anxious to Stop the Questions?

             My VIP for this week is Rand Paul who is a Republican and an outspoken Senator from Kentucky. ABC host George Stephanopoulos, who is an undisguised attack dog for the Democrats, tried to bully Paul into “admitting” that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. He opened the discussion with this question: “This election was not stolen; do you accept that fact?” 

Paul had plenty of questions for the host but began with a firm statement. “I won’t be cowed by liberals in the media who say, ‘There’s no evidence here, and you’re a liar if you talk about election fraud’ No. Let’s have an open debate. It’s a free country.” Paul continued:

What I would say is, the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur. We never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence. Most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing, which is a procedural way of not actually hearing the question.

There were several states in which the law was changed by the secretary of state and not the state legislature. To me, those are clearly unconstitutional…

But, yes, were there people who voted twice? Were there dead people who voted? [Were] there illegal aliens who voted? Yes, and we should get to the bottom of it.

What I would suggest, is that if we want greater confidence in our elections, and 75 percent of Republicans agree with me, is that we do need to look at election integrity and we do need to see if we can restore confidence in the elections.

            The 2020 presidential election is over because Congress certified the electoral votes on January 6, and Biden was inaugurated as the President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Nothing short of impeaching Biden will change those facts, and impeachment is unlikely with a Democrat-controlled Congress. However, the same facts do not end the questions about the election process. This means that the tensions over the 2020 election will continue, and tempers may still explode.

            There are too many questions about the elections remaining as well as too many reports of election fraud by people who were willing to sign affidavits. These two facts, combined with judges who refused to hear complaints, make it nearly impossible for conservative voters to put the election behind them. Senator Paul recognized these difficulties during the interview.

There were lots of problems, and there were secretaries of state who illegally changed the law, and that needs to be fixed and I’m going to work hard to fix it.

And I won’t be cowed by people saying, “you’re a liar.” That’s the problem with the media today. They say all Republicans are liars and everything we say is a lie. There are two sides to every story.

            Stephanopoulos continued his bullying techniques, insisting that the election “was not stolen.” He asked the question again, and Paul replied: “I think there was a great deal of evidence of fraud and changing of the election laws illegally, and I think a thorough investigation is warranted.”

            I hope that the investigation includes the questions that Paul asked about people voting twice, dead people voting, and illegal aliens voting. I also believe that questions should be asked about the voting machines. Were they connected to each other and/or to the internet? Could they be hacked? Could a rogue operator manipulate the ballots? Why was the percentage of discarded ballots so much smaller in the 2020 election than previous elections? Why are Democrats so anxious to hear people like Paul say that the election was not stolen? Why are Democrats and their supporters so afraid to have the election results audited? Why do Democrats think the above questions are not worth asking?


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Can the Senate Constitutionally Punish Trump?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the constitutionally of the U.S. Senate holding a trial to convict Donald Trump of insurrection and remove him from office when he is already out of office. There are constitutional “experts” on both sides of the issue.

Some of the better known and well recognized experts say that the Senate cannot constitutionally try a private citizen – which Trump is now that he is out of office. Democrats and their minions are intent on punishing Trump, but they are more determined to keep him from running for President at a later date.

In an interview on “The Nation Speaks,” Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz noted that Trump did not incite a riot because he asked for “peaceful and patriotic demonstrations.” He added that there is a custom in America to go after the “actor” or the “people who commit crimes” and not the “speaker.” 

Pelosi acted as soon as the attack on the Capitol was over because she wanted to strike while emotions ran hot. Once a transcript of Trump’s speech was available, anyone could see that he did nothing to incite a riot but instead invited his supporters to act peacefully and patriotically. Pelosi cannot walk back the impeachment without looking stupid, so she will advance it to the Senate tomorrow.

Dershowitz explained some options that the Senate could take. He said that the Senators could vote against taking the case, but he does expect them to do so because only a simple majority is necessary to try the case. A conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority, which is always more difficult to obtain. He said that if the Senators vote to hold a trial, the trial will be unconstitutional.

My own view, and it’s not a view shared by other liberal academics, is that a Senate conviction would be null and void and Mr. Trump, citizen Trump could simply ignore the consequences. And if he decides to run for president in 2024, he should be free to do it. And the courts will have to decide whether the Sente had any authority to determine who the presidential candidates in 2024 are.

            Dershowitz suggested that a trial in the Senate would take a long time and would not be beneficial for Democrats. He said that Trump could file a lawsuit in the federal district court with a claim that he was the subject of an unconstitutional bill of attainder. He also indicated his belief that the censorship movement is more dangerous to the country than McCarthyism because it has more public support.

There are several problems with the Democrat plan. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rushed impeachment through the House without any investigation. A week after the attack, CNN published an article quoting a federal law enforcement official stating that the federal investigation uncovered evidence that included “weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video [which] suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack on the US Capitol was not just a protest that spiraled out of control.”

The FBI found evidence suggesting that some people at the Trump rally at the Ellipse (by the White House) left the event before it was over – possibly to obtain items used to attack the Capitol. Investigators are also looking at travel and communications records to see if there is evidence for a counterterrorism investigation.

There is also the problem of insufficient numbers of police at the Capitol before the attack occurred. US News reported that the Pentagon asked the Capitol Police if it needed support from the National Guard. It also said that the Justice Department offered FBI agents as the attack was taking place. The police turned down the offers for help. 

Last, there is the claim of Steven Sund, the U.S. Capitol Police Chief, who was in charge at the time of the attack. He “reportedly asked his supervisors ahead of time for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be on standby if the situation spiraled out of control – but was denied.” Sund resigned soon after the attack, but he said the following in an interview with The Washington Post: “If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive.” 

In addition, there are reports that the FBI knew that attacks were being planned several days before the attack. According to the Washington Post, the FBI warned the Capitol Police that extremists were threatening to attack Congress. The report was supposedly issued internally the day prior to the attack.

So, the FBI had intelligence saying that extremists were threatening to attack the Capitol, and they notified the Capitol Police. The Capitol Police Chief went to his superiors asking for backup and was turned down. This begs the question: Who are the “superiors” who turned down the help? Was Pelosi one of them? If so, she may have used impeachment of Trump to cover her own neglect.

The bottom line is that the Democrats and the minions in the Deep State, Big Tech, Big Media, Big Business, etc. are afraid of Donald Trump. They are fearful that he will come back into power and continue to expose their corruption. This is the reason why they are all arrayed in an effort to crush Trump. Their hatred and vindictiveness indicate that Trump was right all the time. They are swamp creatures!



Saturday, January 23, 2021

How Can I Qualify to Serve God?

            For my Come, Follow Me lesson this week, I studied Doctrine and Covenants 4, a revelation from the Lord, through Joseph Smith the Prophet to his father Joseph Smith Sr. Joseph the Prophet and his wife Emma were living in Harmony, Pennsylvania, when Joseph Smith Sr. came to visit them. While he was there, he acknowledged that he desired to know what he could do to assist in the work of the Lord. Joseph, the Prophet, inquired of the Lord, and he received what is now known as Doctrine and Covenants 4.

There are only seven verses, but they pack a wealth of knowledge in them. The first verse reads as follows: “Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.” It is interesting that the Lord used the words “marvelous work” to describe what was going to happen. The Lord used the same words when he prophesied anciently to the prophet Isaiah. He told Isaiah that there would be a great apostasy in the last days, but He would “proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14). The wording in this verse – “is about to come forth” – shows that Isaiah’s prophecy had not yet been fulfilled. President David O. McKay (1873-1970) said the following about this verse.

When this revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph, he was only 23 years of age. The Book of Mormon was not yet published; no man had been ordained to the priesthood. The Church was not organized; yet the statement was made and written without qualification that “a marvelous work [was] about to come forth among the children of men (in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 86; as quoted in the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual – Religion 324-325 [2017]).

            Other revelations containing similar language were received before the Church was organized. Verse 2 is often applied to missionaries serving full time in the mission field. However, we know that it applies to non-missionaries because Joseph Smith Sr. was not a missionary when the revelation was received. “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.” Then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks said the following about this verse.

We learn from this command [in D&C 4:2] that it is not enough to serve God with all of our might and strength. He who looks into our hearts and knows our minds demands more than this. In order to stand blameless before God at the last day, we must also serve him with all our heart and mind.

Service with all of our heart and mind is a high challenge for all of us. Such service must be free of selfish ambition. It must be motivated only by the pure love of Christ (“Why Do We Serve?” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 15).

All those who desire to serve God are required to give great personal effort, but their desire calls them to the work. Verse 4 tells us that there is much work to be done: “For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul.” Jesus Christ used the description “white already to harvest” (John 4:35) during his mortal ministry.

The Doctrine and Covenant Student Manual explained, “Grains such as wheat or barley change color as they grow. When the grain is young it is green, but as it matures it grows pale. When the grain is ready for harvesting, it can be described as ‘white.’”

A second topic in verse 4 is that the worker for Christ “bringeth salvation to his soul.” The Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual explained: “A sickle is a large curved knife used to harvest grain. A reaper uses a sickle by either drawing it toward him or her to catch and cut the crop or by swinging it against the base of the crop. Using this tool to harvest grain is a very labor intensive and slow process. This metaphor describes the diligent work required to bring people to Jesus Christ.” Elder Keven R. Duncan of the Quorum of the Seventy had personal experience in using a sickle as a boy on his father’s farm. He said that the sickle had to be kept sharp to work as well as possible and with the smallest amount of effort.

Verses 5 and 6 tell us that the Lord does not require us to be gifted physically or intellectually to help with His work. He does, however, request that we develop the Christlike attributes listed in these verses.

5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

            Then-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency explained what happens to any person who develops these Christlike qualities: “If it is your great desire to cultivate Christlike attributes of ‘faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and service]’ [D&C 4:6], Heavenly Father will make you an instrument in His hands unto the salvation of many souls” (“Lord, Is It I?” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 58; as quoted in the D&C Student Manual).

            The last verse in the section tells us that the Lord stands ready to provide spiritual guidance and other help to those who work for Him: “Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.” President Russell M. Nelson of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the importance of gaining Christlike characteristics to obtaining answers to our prayers.

For each of you to receive revelation unique to your own needs and responsibilities, certain guidelines prevail. The Lord asks you to develop “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.” Then with your firm “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence,” you may ask, and you will receive; you may knock, and it will be opened unto you. [D&C 4:5-6; emphasis added; see also verse 7.] …

Every Latter-day Saint may merit personal revelation” (“Ask, Seek, Knock,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 83-84; as quoted in the D&C Student Manual.

As you can see, there are numerous gospel topics contained in the seven verses of Doctrine and Covenants 4. These verses contained excellent counsel for full-time missionaries as well as for anyone who desires to serve the Lord. I know that as we “thrust” in our “sickles” and serve God with all our heart, mind, mind, and strength, we can bless ourselves as well as others.

Friday, January 22, 2021

What Are Marriage Myths?

             Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when marriage myths are exposed. I am taking a marriage class this semester and have been studying marriage myths. I discovered that there are numerous myths about marriage. I also learned that myths could cause problems in marriages if they are believed.

            Myths may come from your culture or from watching the people around you. You may see happily married couples and believe that marriage should be easy with your spouse knowing exactly how to make you happy. You may believe the myth that happily married couples do not have any conflicts.

            You can Google “marriage myths” and learn about many of the myths. An article at this site was about seven of the most persistent myths. 

1. Myth: Your true love will automatically know what to say and do to make your happy.

Fact: … Since our partners can’t read our minds, it’s important for each of us to communicate our needs in a marriage….

2. Myth: There’s a universal path in marriage, such as having kids.

Fact: … When couples are trying to make big lifestyle decisions, such as whether to have kids, going along with the common or traditional path – without considering their needs and beliefs – only leads to problems.

3. Myth: Having kids brings couples closer.

Fact: Having kids can deepen partners’ understanding of each other and their intimacy [but children can also bring stress to the relationship.] ….

4. Myth: Differences will ruin your marriage.

Fact: It isn’t the differences in a marriage that potentially destroy it … [but] the way we respond to those differences that’s the key….

5. Myth: Happy couples don’t argue.

Fact: … Healthy couples do argue. But they don’t “explode, hit below the belt, or use arguing as a tool to gain power in the relationship.” …. “The healthiest couples also seek to resolve arguments, are able to adjust to the resolutions, and then can forgive and move on.”

6. Myth: Happy couples have to do everything together.

Fact: Spending time together and sharing common interests is great, but focusing on your own interests also is healthy….

7. Myth: Monogamy means dissipating passion or boring sex.

Fact: … “The sexual excitement in a long-term relationship is not the same intense lust that takes over when you first meet someone, but it’s a deeper exhilaration that develops from knowing someone intimately and profoundly.”

Were you surprised with any of the myths? Well, now you know some facts. I suggest that you learn about other myths in order to make your marriage the best it can be. By learning about marriage myths and dismission them from your marriage, you can strengthen your marriage as well as your community and nation.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Why Did Biden Disband Trump’s Advisory 1776 Commission?

             The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that rising generations must be taught the history of their nation to know their true identity. By studying history, they can learn the good and bad about their nation, learn from the mistakes of previous generations, improve their decision-making skills and judgment, and teach how to be responsible citizens.

            In September 2020, President Donald Trump formed a commission to promote “patriotic education” to counter the false history curriculum being taught to children and youth.  The 1776 Commission released its report on Monday, January 18, 2020. In the 45-page report, the Commission offered “a definitive chronicle of the American founding” according to sources at the White House. The report also criticized what students in America are being taught about the formation of the United States, the history of slavery, and racial discrimination.

            According to the New York Post, the report said that “States and school districts should reject any curriculum that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our principles.” According to the New York Post, the document continued:

Deliberately destructive scholarship shatters the civic bonds that unite all Americans. It silences the discourse essential to a free society by breeding division, distrust, and hatred among citizens. And it is the intellectual force behind so much of the violence in our cities, suppression of free speech in our universities, and defamation of our treasured national statues and symbols.

            The Biden administration did not appreciate the report. He ordered the report to be taken down and disbanded the commission. The new President’s actions will not stop the commission from acting. According to Mike Gonzalez, a member of the commission, the “commissioners intend to continue meeting and fulfilling the charges of our two-year remit. The Heritage Foundation will also continue to host the report, which you can henceforth find here.” Here are a few paragraphs from the Introduction of the report.

In the course of human events there have always been those who deny or reject human freedom, but Americans will never falter in defending the fundamental truths of human liberty proclaimed on July 4, 1776. We will—we must—always hold these truths.

The declared purpose of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission is to “enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.” This requires a restoration of American education, which can only be grounded on a history of those principles that is “accurate, honest, unifying, inspiring, and ennobling.” And a rediscovery of our shared identity rooted in our founding principles is the path to a renewed American unity and a confident American future.

The Commission’s first responsibility is to produce a report summarizing the principles of the American founding and how those principles have shaped our country. That can only be done by truthfully recounting the aspirations and actions of the men and women who sought to build America as a shining “city on a hill”—an exemplary nation, one that protects the safety and promotes the happiness of its people, as an example to be admired and emulated by nations of the world that wish to steer their government toward greater liberty and justice. The record of our founders’ striving and the nation they built is our shared inheritance and remains a beacon, as Abraham Lincoln said, “not for one people or one time, but for all people for all time.”

Today, however, Americans are deeply divided about the meaning of their country, its history, and how it should be governed. This division is severe enough to call to mind the disagreements between the colonists and King George, and those between the Confederate and Union forces in the Civil War. They amount to a dispute over not only the history of our country but also its present purpose and future direction.

The facts of our founding are not partisan. They are a matter of history. Controversies about the meaning of the founding can begin to be resolved by looking at the facts of our nation’s founding. Properly understood, these facts address the concerns and aspirations of Americans of all social classes, income levels, races and religions, regions and walks of life. As well, these facts provide necessary—and wise—cautions against unrealistic hopes and checks against pressing partisan claims or utopian agendas too hard or too far.

            One can only wonder why the new President would object to the commission and its work. It appears that he is adamant to erase “everything Trump” from the nation – even those things that are good and good for the nation. President Trump formed the Advisory 1776 Commission with the declared purpose to “enable the rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.”

            Victor David Hansen, another member of the commission, wrote an article titled “It’s Fake News That the 1776 Commission Report Whitewashes America’s Past.” The following paragraphs are from his report. 

The commission reminded us that the Founders were equally worried about autocracy and chaos. So they drafted checks and balances to protect citizens from both authoritarianism, known so well from the British Crown, and the frenzy of sometimes wild public excess.

The report repeatedly focuses on both the ideals of the American founding and the centuries-long quest to live up to them. It notes the fragility of such a novel experiment in constitutional republicanism, democratic elections, and self-government—especially during late 18th-century era of war and factionalism.

The report does not whitewash the continuance of many injustices after 1776 and 1787—in particular chattel slavery concentrated in the South, and voting reserved only for free males.

            It seems strange that there are people in America who do not want the rising generation to be taught correct history. Yet, many Democrats and other progressives are unwilling to have this commission continue their efforts to make correct history available to be taught. Their unwillingness begs the question, “Why?”

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Part 2 Did You Think to Thank Trump?

             President Trump left the White House today, and Joe Biden was inaugurated as the new President of the United States. I do not hold high expectations for a Biden administration. I expect that his administration will be much like that of Barack Obama – a disaster for America much like every Democrat before him. However, I expect it to be much shorter because Biden is not strong in body or mind.

            One of the things that makes me the angriest about the 2020 presidential election results is the fact that Democrats usually make a mess of America, and Republicans have to clean up after them. It happened with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, and it will most likely happen after the Biden/Harris administrations. Our nation can never move forward because we are always cleaning up messes made by the liberal wing of our nation.

            Jimmy Carter was and is a good man, but he was a terrible President. He was probably a good Sunday School teacher, and he became wealthy as a peanut farmer. He was also a Democrat with a lot of liberal ideas about showing kindness to enemies and expecting them to reciprocate. The economy tanked because of Carter’s policies. People were walking away from their homes and leaving the keys on the kitchen counter. When Americans complained about not having enough oil to heat homes, he told them to put on sweater. However, he had a compassionate heart for the enemies of our nation, and they took advantage of him.

An excellent example of his weakness is the Iran Hostage Crisis. Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy on November 4, 1979, and Iran detained more than 50 Americans. The American diplomats and their staffs were held as captives in Teheran for 444 days. For those who struggle with math, Americans were held captive in Iran for more than fourteen months, and Carter did not have the power to get them released. However, the hostages were released minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated – before he even finished speaking -- as the 40th President of the United States on January 20, 1981. The leaders in Iran knew that Reagan would go after the hostages, and Iranians would be the losers!

            Bill Clinton was a fairly good President, but he allowed his personal weaknesses to cloud his judgment. He was impeached for lying to Congress about having an affair with an intern in the Oval Office. If he had been paying attention to his responsibilities, 9/11 may not have happened. George W. Bush was inaugurated on January 20, 2001, and the worst terrorist attack on American soil happened less than nine months later on September 11, 2001. Bush spent his eight years in office trying to rebuild the nation and chasing terrorists.

            Barack Obama should never have been elected. He had no leadership experience that would qualify him to lead the United States, and he hated America and its Constitution. His policies, words, and actions – as well as his facial expressions – showed hatred for all things American. He might have been elected on the color of his skin because white Americans hoped that racial issues could be put behind them. It is true that he inherited a recession from Bush, but his policies of higher taxes and more regulations made it much worse than it had to be. He insisted that the companies leaving America would never be back, and that Americans should get used to the “new normal.”

            Donald Trump has been called a terrible man, but he was the best President in my adult life. He was divorced twice and reportedly had numerous affairs. His earlier life was allegedly wild, and many Americans could not forgive his many weaknesses and sins. They did not like his personality and thought that he was a bully. I did not vote for him to be my spiritual leader or even a great example to my grandchildren. I certainly did not vote for him for his personality or the color of his hair. I voted for him because he promised to make America great again, and I considered him to be a much better alternative than his opponent.

Out of all the politicians in my lifetime, Trump is the only one that kept his campaign promises. He nominated, and the Senate confirmed nearly 300 conservative judges, including three Supreme Court Justices. Under his direction, the nation built nearly 500 miles of border wall/fence and stopped the hordes of illegal aliens – excuse me! – undocumented immigrants from streaming across the border – all without any support from the Democrats. He kept our military out of war and began bringing them home. He brought home the companies that left America to escape the high Obama taxes. He cut regulations and taxes, which sent the economy soaring higher than ever in the history of the nation. Then, he rebuilt the economy a second time after the COVID-19 pandemic was set loose on the world by China.

Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem – something that Clinton, Bush, Obama, and numerous other Presidents promised to do but never did. Trump did not waste time in dealing with ISIS – the terrorists burning up the Middle East after Obama incited them. He unleashed the military on ISIS, and peace came to the Middle East. With the help of his administration – and mainly his son-in-law Jared Kushner – Trump was instrumental in bringing about peace deals between four different Middle East nations and Israel. These are the first peace deals in more than 25 years, and Trump helped with four of them!

Trump and his administration accomplished many other great and “impossible” tasks. I believe that he lost the election because Americans were not aware of his great achievements. The media was dishonest – withholding important information from Americans and slanting or twisting news to always make Trump look bad. Ninety percent of the news about Trump was negative! In addition, the media outright lied to the American people on numerous occasions. The reporters harassed Trump over every little thing, but they asked Biden questions, such as “what flavor is your ice cream?” The country would have been better off if they had asked questions about Hunter Biden’s laptop, his corruption in Ukraine, and the Biden family business dealings with China!

            Americans should be well-informed about the candidates, but lack of knowledge is no excuse for ungratefulness. Half the nation was so ungrateful for all that Trump did for Americans that they elected Joe Biden – a doddering old man who is going senile – as President. He was just inaugurated today, but he is already in trouble. I saw my first news article about Biden’s staff being concerned about his memory and mental faculties, and it was from a left-leaning source.

I do not in any way compare Trump to Jesus Christ, and I want to make it clear that I am not saying that Trump acted Christlike. However, I could not help but think of Christ when I watched Trump continue to work hard for ungrateful Americans who did nothing but hate him and call him names. The hatred really showed as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rushed a second impeachment through the House without any investigation. I thought of Christ and the hatred from the Jewish leaders. It was the leaders – the Pharisees and Sadducees -- who incited the crowd against Christ. The crowd became so angry that they preferred the release of a murderer over the release of Christ. Anger is a terrible thing, and wicked leaders like to use it. Unlike Christ, Trump escaped with his life – a fact for which I am grateful!