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.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Who Is Kristi Noem?

            My VIP for this week is Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota. Noem has numerous accomplishments that would qualify her to be a VIP. However, I chose to recognize her for her common sense and willingness to speak out when she sees something wrong. 

            Noem heard President Joe Biden promise that he would nominate the “first black woman” to the Supreme Court. She was blunt in her judgment of his decision to use race and gender to pick the next justice for the Supreme Court.

I think that’s very unfortunate that he chose that approach…. It almost divides people based on what they look like and their background, rather than just who’s the best person for the job.

            Expressing appreciation for where she was reared, Noem said that “it didn’t matter what color my skin was, what sex I was, it didn’t matter.” She said that what “mattered was working hard and doing the best job I possibly could do.” She believes that Biden would choose the next justice as the person with the best qualifications. Those qualifications would include someone who would “uphold the Constitution … love America … recognize that their position in the high court is not to make laws, it is strictly to enforce the integrity of this country.”

            Like many people, Noem “thinks it is wonderful for women to have plentiful opportunities to succeed and to have a level playing field.” However, she never asked for “special treatment.” She continued, “I think that one of the great equalizers in this country is opportunity, and it should be open to everybody.” 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Do You Believe that Biden Should Consider All Possible Nominees?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a black woman to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. During the presidential campaign, Biden promised to nominate only a black woman to the Supreme Court and to choose a woman as his nominee for vice president. He is determined to keep both promises, even though his female vice president is an absolute disaster. 

The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court…. It’s long overdue in my view. I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.

The main qualifications for choosing the next Justice will be race and sex – two categories that various court cases have declared cannot be used to determine ability. In addition, such a decision is inherently unfair. It is unfair to the nominee, and it is unfair to every other potential nominee. It basically says, “No men need apply. No white women, Asian women, or Native American women need apply.”

 Distinguished attorney Jonathan Turley wrote that Biden’s decision to “impose a racial and gender exclusionary rule will now unnecessarily add a controversy to his nomination.” The sad thing about Biden’s promise is that his eventual choice – even though professionally qualified – will be saddled “with an asterisk nomination that is unfair to both the nominee and the Court.” According to Turley, Biden should have expressed his desire to put a black woman on the court, while adding that he would seek the best qualified individual. 

            Most Americans do not object to having a black woman on the Supreme Court. Black women deserve the honor as much as white women do – or Native American women or Asian American women or men of all races. Americans deserve to have the best qualified individual sitting on the highest court of the land.

            Polls show that most Americans disapprove of Biden’s criteria for nominating the next Supreme Court Justice. This ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that “Americans overwhelmingly believe Joe Biden should ‘consider all possible nominees’ (76%) rather than ‘consider only nominees who are Black women, as he has pledged to do’ (23%).” There are “major differences in attitudes” about this topic with “virtually all Republicans saying, ‘consider all’ (95%) compared to only half of Democrats (54%). 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

How Do We Create Zion?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Moses 7 where I learned more about the story of Enoch. This chapter tells how Enoch and his people achieved something that no other group of individuals has been able to do. They built a society where there was no poverty and no violence – the ideal society.

A term that is often used to define such effort is “building Zion.” Building Zion includes caring for the poor, promoting peace, making covenants, living together in righteousness, and becoming one in heart and mind with Jesus Christ (Moses 7:53). Enoch’s Zion existed on earth for 365 years before it was taken into heaven. We learn the following about Enoch’s city of Zion from the book of Moses 7:18-19, 68-69:

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion….

And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.

And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED. [Emphasis added.]

            The scriptures teach of two other groups of people who created Zion-like societies for shorter periods of time before becoming unrighteous. The first such society existed in New Testament times and is discussed in Acts 4:31-32.

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. [Emphasis added.]

            The New Testament saints were “all filled with the Holy Ghost,” were of “one heart and of one soul,” and “had all things common.” This means that everyone shared in whatever the society owned. We do not know how long this society existed.

The second group lived in Book of Mormon times. We read in Fourth Nephi 1 that the “people were all converted unto the Lord,” there were “no contentions and disputations among them,” and “they had all things common among them.” In fact, “there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift” (4 Nephi 1:2-3). [Emphasis added.]

We read further in Fourth Nephi 1 that thirty-seven years passed, and “there still continued to be peace in the land” (4 Nephi 1:4). A few verses later, we read that fifty-nine years passed, and “there was no contention among all the people” (4 Nephi 1:13). The next verse tells us that one hundred years passed (4 Nephi 1:14). Then we learned why there was no contention.

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, or murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God (4 Nephi 1:15-17).

            This Zion-like society was created because the people loved God. They maintained peace in the land for eighty-four years before wickedness began to divide and separate them. By the end of four hundred years, they were had totally destroyed themselves.

Nearly 250 years have passed since the Declaration of Independence was signed and Americans fought for a new government. Nearly two hundred years have passed since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established. Neither Americans nor the members of the Church of Jesus Christ have established Zion.

            So, how did Enoch and his people build Zion and keep it righteous when they were surrounded by wickedness? We need to learn their secret because the work of establishing Zion continues in our day even as wickedness increases in the world around us. One lesson that Enoch taught is that Zion is more than a city – it is a condition of the heart and spirit. The Lord taught the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that “Zion [is] the pure in heart” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:21).

            The simple truth of the matter is that we can develop a Zion-like society one person, one family, one community at a time. Zion is built on principles, such as love, service, work, self-reliance, consecration, and stewardship. (See R. Quinn Gardner, “Becoming a Zion Society,” Ensign, February 1979.) 

            Creating a Zion society is not an easy thing to do. In every dispensation from the time of Adam to the current one, prophets have called people to have faith in Jesus Christ and to repent of their sins. The fact that there has been only one true Zion in more than six thousand years attests to the difficulty for people becoming of one heart and one mind. However, we are not excused because the task is difficult.

            We are tasked with the responsibility to prepare society to be ready to welcome Jesus Christ when He returns to earth. Such a society must be pure in heart. A society is composed of many individuals and families, and it is within those individuals and families that Zion must first be created. When individuals and families are pure in heart, they will have a powerful effect on society as a whole. Enoch showed us that people can live righteous lives even while surrounded by wickedness, and we have his example to help us create Zion in our own day. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

What Can You Do to Help Your Teenager?

             Families, communities, and nations are stronger when the rising generations receives the help that it needs. Being a teenager is not easy with the fluctuating hormones, growth spurts, becoming a new person, and hundreds of decisions. Among other needs, teenagers seek understanding from adults.

            In an article titled “7 Things Teenagers Desperately Need Adults to Understand” published at this site, the authors share numerous thoughts that a teenager might have, such as the following. 

I’m going to tell you something now that’s hard to say. Please listen, because I really mean it: Don’t give up on me. Don’t hate me back. I need you to be stronger than me. I need you to be my parent, even though I say I don’t want one. I need you to be more patient than I can be, more understanding, more accepting. Even when I am yelling at you, even when I tell you that I hate you, I still need you to love me.

If I could tell you how to help me, this is what I would say:

1. Give me space.

Don’t come into my room, corner me, or make demands. I don’t have any answers…. I need space.

2. Don’t yell at me.

The noise in my head is so loud sometimes that I can barely hear my own thoughts. I can’t stand it. When you yell, I feel worse about myself. I feel unloved. I feel like I am your biggest disappointment.

3. Take my electronics away.

I can’t put my phone down; I try, but I just can’t. I know it’s devouring all my time, but I can’t help myself; I can’t stop checking it. I need your help. I need you to set limits on technology….

4. Bring me someplace quiet.

I say I don’t want anything to do with you. But if you could bring me somewhere quiet, somewhere we could walk together and not argue, somewhere I can feel the sun and listen to the wind in the trees, somewhere I can breathe and forget about everything that’s bothering me, I think I would like that. Even if we don’t speak, I will feel comforted.

5. Stop spoiling me.

Stop giving me everything I want. The more you give me, the more I resent you. I want to earn things. It helps me feel grown-up. I want to learn how to save money, spend money, share money.

6. Find me, someone, to talk to.

I need someone to look up to who isn’t you. I need an adult to admire, someone I want to be like, a person, who believes in me, who pushes me, and who understands me. A mentor, a counselor, a therapist … anyone who can give me hope when I have too little for myself.

7. Tell me that you love me.

I pretend not to care. But I really need to her you say the words, “I love you.” Because right now, I don’t love me. Even though I’m making your life hell, I still need to feel loved. Especially by you.

            The teenage years are difficult, and teenagers need support from their parents. Parents should learn to speak so teenagers will listen and listen to help teenagers talk. Parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation by meeting the unspoken needs of their teenager.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

What Do You Think about Biological Men Competing Against Women?

            Another defender for women and girls has stepped to the forefront. Seth Huston, swim coach at Rice University, put himself in the spotlight in an interview with Swim Swam when he challenged the transgender athlete policies of the NCAA.

            As reported by Laurel Duggan, Huston defended Lia Thomas’s right to compete in collegiate sports, but he does not believe that she, as a biological male, has the right to compete with women in college swimming. 

But I think, black and white right now, you compete as what you were biologically born until we get to a point where we’ve expanded opportunities… I think there’s going to be a lot of frustrated competitors, and families and fans in the sport in the end if we continue down this short-term road right now.

            Lia Thomas, then known as Will Thomas, competed for three years in men’s college swimming. Will began to identify as a transgender woman and changed his name to Lia. Now she swims for the women’s team at University of Pennsylvania. She has dominated the sport and shattered records set by biological women, setting new records that women can never break.

            Huston is the first active Division I coach to address the transgender athlete debate. “I just feel like we’re bowing to, in this particular instance, to one person…. And really to the detriment of thousands of other athletes potentially. And I don’t think that’s right.” In 2021, Huston was named as one of the top one hundred greatest coaches by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America.

            Expressing support for Thomas’ decision to transition and to compete in collegiate swimming, Huston said that Thomas should not be allowed to compete in the women’s category. He suggested the idea of creating a third category for athletes – one for transgender athletes.

            Huston indicated that he thinks the NCAA governing board “has become a bystander” who waits “for other organizations to make tough decisions.” His assessment could be spot on.

            According to Duggan, “NCAA updated its trans athlete policy on Jan. 19 to allow each sport to determine its own guidelines on allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports.” She continued, “These guidelines allow sports’ governing bodies to require trans athletes to demonstrate testosterone levels below a certain threshold, but they do not bar males form competing in women’s sports.”

            Huston did not say that Thomas should not compete. However, he did say that it is “patently unfair to all the other competitors” for Thomas to compete against biological women. This seems like it should be obvious to anyone with eyes to see and a brain that thinks. Sports for women are separate than sports for men because women deserve a level playing field.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Who Will Biden Nominate?

            Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced today that he plans to retire from the bench after the court recesses after the end of June. He is the oldest justice on the highest court in the land. He is also liberal. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg did not retire during the Obama administration and died after Donald Trump became President, allowing him to appoint a conservative justice to replace her.

Democrats do not want to take the chance that the same thing will happen again. Thus, Breyer has announced his retirement to allow Biden to nominate a replacement before Republicans take over the Senate after the 2022 mid-term election.

Biden has repeatedly said that he would nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. Breyer’s announcement ramped up the talk that Biden will nominate Kamala Harris to replace him. This would put a liberate black woman on the bench. It would also solve the Democrat problem of what to do with Harris.

Whoever Biden nominates for Breyer’s replacement can be approved by a majority of votes in the Senate. It is possible for the nominee to be approved without a single Republican voting for them. Such a vote does not need sixty votes, just a majority. If Kamala Harris becomes the next Supreme Court justice, Americans will suffer for many years to come for the decision to elect Biden as President of the United States.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Who Will Defend Female Athletes?

            Biological males who identify as females are joining women’s athletic teams and winning championships. An example is Lia Thomas, who completed as Will Thomas on University of Pennsylvania collegiate team for three years. However, Will Thomas became “Lia” Thomas this year and has been breaking women’s swim records on the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania.

            There is at least one biological male who identifies as a transgender person who opposes biological males playing on women’s teams. Corinna Cohn, 46 years old, testified to Indiana state lawmakers on Monday that “it is unfair to expect girls to cede their hard-won rights.” So, we must ask why Cohn is defending female athletes against a transgender woman stealing their championships. Here is her reasoning. 

I am privileged to be able to live my life peacefully and enjoy a wide range of civil rights as a trans person … trans people enjoy privileges to live as we do, but if we continue to cannibalize women’s rights, the backlash will be severe.

I wish that we could all break out of the tribal mentality…. I feel distressed that organizations like Planned Parenthood have sold out women.

The trans rights movement has captured organizations which had traditionally supported women’s rights… These groups are now effectively men’s rights organizations.

I am an independent and have voted for principled members of each party. I’m here to speak in support of HB 1041, which aims to strengthen the rights for girls and young women competing in sport.

My testimony today is based on my personal opinion as a transsexual. That is, a person who was born male and used pharmaceutical hormones and plastic surgery to feminize my body so that I appear to be a woman. Despite having these procedures, my sex is male and neither science nor medicine can change that.

            Even though Cohn began her transition as a teenager and her “testosterone levels have been in the female range for nearly 30 years,” she underwent male puberty. During male puberty, she gained “physical advantages such as height, bone structure, and increased lung capacity.” At 5’10”, she is in the “99th percentile for women’s height.” She stated that banning “males from participating in women’s and girls’ sport would be justified on this basis alone.”

            Cohn used biologically male transgender swimmer Lia Thomas as an example of “how these advantages play out in the real world.” She stated that Thomas’ new records are “records women will be unlikely to ever match. If more males like Lia are permitted to compete against women, it will become common to see women marginalized in their own sport category.”

            Recognizing the problems of youth who suffer from gender dysphoria, Cohn encouraged everyone to “have sympathy” for such youth and help them to obtain “appropriate treatment.” However, “it is unfair to expect girls to cede their hard-won rights to make room for male students suffering from gender identity issues.”

            Few people are defending the rights of women and girls to play sports on an even playing field. Cohn is one of the few people who can see the problem from both sides and recognizes that women and girls are being treated unfairly when biological males are allowed to compete in their athletic events.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Will the Real Joe Biden Stand Up?

            My VIP for this week is Joe Biden. He is a VIP because he is President of the United States. However, he is fast proving that he is the worst President in recent history. He long ago passed Barack Obama – who passed Jimmy Carter. I did not think that it would be possible for a President to be worse than Carter, but I have been proven wrong twice.

            Biden campaigned on the idea that he was a “moderate elder statesman” who would unite Americans after the terrible Trump administration. Instead, he has divided the nation even further. His lack of capabilities as a leader has been exposed for everyone to see. According to Neil Patel, co-founder of The Daily Signal, “the Biden administration is a rudderless, leaderless, overly ideological mess.” His press conference last week did not help his image. 

            Biden does not recognize reality when it hits him in the face. He does not understand why Americans lost faith in him due to the terrible Afghanistan withdrawal that he claimed that we could do “responsibly, deliberately, and safely.” How about those thirteen new gold star families?

            Biden claimed that Donald Trump was unfit to be the President because he was responsible for the deaths of 220,000 Americans from COVID-19. If this statement was true for Trump, it is even more true for Biden because 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 during his presidency. Biden did admit that there have been delays in getting testing kits out to the public, but he did not mention that the delays were self-inflicted by his own staff.

            Probably the worst thing that Biden has done is to equate those “opposing his voting bills with [Democrat] racists from the past.” Patel explained Biden’s poor judgment.

Worst of all, when challenged on his recent remarks equating those who oppose his voting bills with racists from the past, Biden denied the charge even as he continued to press it forward. Then he actually called into question the legitimacy of the coming midterm elections if his attempts to federalize election rules do not succeed.

This again is a story that is not complicated. Many states drastically liberalized voting rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. They increased early voting, expanded mail-in voting, implemented drive-thru voting, counted late votes, and even allowed ballot harvesting. Some states are now pulling back from some of these COVID-19 expansions.

We need rules for voting. Democrats believe looser rules help them. Republicans believe tighter rules help them. The lines must be drawn somewhere, and it’s legitimate to debate them. However, it’s flat-out wrong for the president of the United States to pretend that racism is at the root of state resistance to wide-open federally imposed voting mechanisms.

The president’s race-card play is not only below the dignity of his office, but it’s another example of the amateur nature of his administration’s tactics. He needs the support of Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to pass his bills. Who decided calling them racists was a good strategy?

            Biden does not seem to even understand that his so-called popularity numbers– getting the most votes of any President in history – are falling to the lowest levels in his presidency. Politico published the following numbers: no energy (58%), not a strong leader (57%), not mentally fit for office (49%), and the nation is on the wrong track (two-thirds of Americans).

            The Democrat Party is not doing any better than Biden with more Americans supporting “the Republican Party over the Democrat Party than at any point since 1995.” One year ago, 49% of people considered themselves to be Democrats and 40% as Republicans. Now it is Republicans 47% and Democrats 42%. “This is the largest Republican lead since 1991.” If support dropped so far in one year, what will it be like by 2024? Biden and the Democrat Party are a total disaster for themselves and for America.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

What Is the Goal of the Pro-Life Movement?

             The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns life, particularly the lives of unborn babies. This weekend was the 49th annual March for Life. Nearly 50 years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The March for Life symbolizes the quest of the pro-life movement to undo Roe v. Wade.

            In an article written by Dr. Ben Carson, Marjorie Dannelfelser, Jim DeMint, Tony Perkins, and Kevin Roberts, the authors sought to explain the importance of decisions made by the Supreme Court in 2021. This summer, we will learn the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. According to the author’s, this case examines “the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that protects unborn children after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.” 

            The outcome of the Dobbs case can have huge consequences because it “potentially could overturn Roe v. Wade.” The authors explained as follows.

If Roe is overturned, abortion wouldn’t be automatically outlawed. Rather, states would have an opportunity to further protect life, and we would see a national debate in the halls of Congress.

If and when that happens, Americans who believe in the sanctity of human life must do everything in our power to ensure that we protect innocent life, especially the unborn.

Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a critical victory, and one that would result from decades of hard work from the conservative legal and pro-life movements.

Although overturning Roe has certainly been one of the pro-life movement’s foremost goals, it doesn’t end there. Beyond protecting the fundamental right to life in law, the pro-life movement is striving for the day that abortion is unthinkable and every person is welcomed in life.

So when Roe goes, the pro-life movement will enter a new phase of mobilization and pro-life policymaking – not just in legislatures, but in civil society more broadly….

But it is possible that the court might not overturn Roe v. Wade.

If the court leaves Roe in place while allowing the Mississippi law to stand, the contours of the new abortion regime in which Roe is undermined would provide new avenue to pursue life-affirming policies. It would still leave an unworkable framework in place, requiring continued efforts to fully correct a grave constitutional error.

If the court relies on Roe to strike down the Mississippi law, it would be an unmitigated failure by a majority-conservative bench to faithfully interpret the Constitution. Indeed, anything less than overturning Roe is a failure at some level.

            The fight for the right to life is a real war between good and evil. Every life is precious, from the moment of conception until the last breath before death. Taking innocent lives is evil, and evil must be fought against on every level. Will YOU join the pro-life movement to rid America of abortion on demand?

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Why Is the Doctrine of Christ Central to God’s Plan of Salvation?

            My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me deep into the book of Moses. This week’s studies covered Genesis 5 and Moses 6. In Genesis 5, Moses wrote all the generations between Adam and Eve and Noah. There are a lot of names but not much information on the individuals. Enoch came six generations from Adam, and he was described as follows: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

This sounds like an interesting story, but Moses continued the list of generations without any further explanation. We are blessed because the Lord revealed details of Enoch’s story in Moses 6. The following information is from Come, Follow Me – For Individuals and Families.

Thankfully, Moses 6 reveals the details of Enoch’s story – and it’s quite a story. We learn of Enoch’s humility, his insecurities, the potential God saw in him, and the great work he performed as God’s prophet. We also get a clearer picture of the family of Adam and Eve as it progressed through the generations. We read of Satan’s “great dominion” but also of parents who taught children “the ways of God” and of “preachers of righteousness” who “spake and prophesied” (Moses 6:15, 21, 23). Especially precious is what we learn about the doctrine these parents and preachers taught: faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost (see Moses 6:50-52). That doctrine, like the priesthood that accompanies it, “was in the beginning [and] shall be in the end of the world also” (Moses 6:7).

            Like most chapters in the scriptures, Moses 6 contains numerous principles. The principle that I have chosen to discuss tonight is “The doctrine of Christ is central to God’s plan of salvation.” Through the book of Moses, “we know that God has been teaching His children how to find forgiveness and redemption ever since the beginning.” In 2 Nephi 31:13-21, these teachings are called the “doctrine of Christ.” What are the specifics of the doctrine of Christ?

            The first doctrine that we must understand is that the Fall of Adam and Eve was part of Heavenly Father’s plan from the beginning. Because of the Fall, all mankind will suffer two kinds of death. Physical death is the separation of the immortal spirit from the mortal body. Spiritual death is the separation from the presence of God.

In addition, Lucifer (Satan) was cast down to earth without a body. Because of his rebellion against God, he will never receive a physical body. Therefore, he tempts mortals in an attempt to take over their bodies. Because we are mere mortals, we yield to the temptations of Satan and become “carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God” until we repent (Moses 6:49).

The second doctrine that we must understand is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was part of Heavenly Father’s plan from the beginning also. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind will overcome physical death and can overcome spiritual death (see Romans 3:23; Mosiah 16:3-4; Alma 11:42-43; Helaman 14:14-18; Moses 6:52).

A third doctrine that we must understand is the great gift of agency given to each of us in our pre-mortal life (see Moses 7:32). Moral agency allows us to choose between good and evil and to experience the consequences of our choices (see 2 Nephi 2:14-16, 25-29; Doctrine and Covenants 101:78). God will do all that He can do to help us qualify to return to His presence, but He will never force anyone. He honors our agency and allows us to choose where we want to spend eternity.

This doctrine includes the principles of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by emersion for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Moses 6:57-68 tells us that Enoch saw that Adam and Eve were baptized. We know that they had faith in Jesus Christ because they knew Him from the Garden of Eden. We know that they repented of their sins, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained how birth and baptism are similar and essential.

Two births are essential to salvation. Man cannot be saved without birth into mortality, nor can he return to his heavenly home without a birth into the realm of the Spirit…. The elements present in a mortal birth and in a spiritual birth are the same. They are water, blood, and spirit. Thus every mortal birth is a heaven-given reminder to prepare for the second birth….

In every mortal birth the child is immersed in water in the mother’s womb. At the appointed time the spirit enters the body, and blood always flows in the veins of the new person. Otherwise, without each of these, there is no life, no birth, no mortality.

In every birth into the kingdom of heaven, the newborn babe in Christ is immersed in water, he receives the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and the blood of Christ cleanses him from all sin. Otherwise, without each of these, there is no Spirit-birth, no newness of life, no hope of eternal life….

… These elements were again present in [Christ’s] death. He sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane as he took upon himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance. This same agony and suffering recurred on the cross. It was then that he permitted his spirit to leave his body, and it was then that blood and water gushed from his riven side (A New Witness, 288-89).

            There are numerous names for the plan of salvation. Sometimes it is called the plan of happiness or the plan of redemption. Other times it is called the plan of restoration, the plan of mercy, the plan of deliverance, or the everlasting gospel. According to President Russell M. Nelson, the designation is not as important as the fact that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the “enabling essence of the plan” (“Constancy and Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 33).

            The Creation of the earth, the Fall of Adam and Eve, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ (including His death and resurrection) are the three pillars of eternity upon which rests Heavenly Father’s plan for the eternal happiness of His children. We are blessed that Heavenly Father saw fit to reveal the book of Moses to Joseph Smith in these latter days. This book contains many doctrines and principles necessary for us to know and live to prepare us to return to the presence of God.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Why Should Parents Be Engaged in the Education of their Children?

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents participate in the education process for their children. Glenn Youngkin, the incoming Governor of Virginia, won the election because he championed parental involvement. The new governor was sworn into office last Saturday.

Brad Wilcox is the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies. He led a discussion on “Family Matters” about Youngkin’s “come-from-behind victory” and the role played by “empowered parents” in his victory. He was joined in the discussion by Ian Rowe (cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies), Max Eden (research fellow at AEI), and Kim Richey (Distinguished Education Fellow at Parents Defending Education). You can hear the discussion at this site. In an article introducing the discussion, Wilcox wrote the following: 

Concerns about lockdowns, the intersectional turn in Virginia’s schools, the status of gifted and talented programs, and school safety were all key elements in being able to wrest the executive mansion from the incumbent party.

The nation saw this play out in the center of Virginia, as parents in one local school were bewildered and disturbed by a new curriculum that encouraged their children to view themselves through the prisms of race, gender, sexuality and class, as well as injected phrases like “white privilege” and “non-Christian folx” into the classroom.

Parents were additionally turbocharged with Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Youngkin’s popularity surged among voters who said education was their biggest issue. The rest is history.

            The question that Wilcox wants to answer through the discussion is “what should Gov. Youngkin and Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears do to make good on their mandate from parents?” The discussion is interesting and discusses what is best for children and teens. Governor Youngkin restored the voice of parents in the schools of Virginia. By involving parents in the education of their children, government can strengthen families, communities, and nations.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Are Congressional Democrats Stupid or Liars?

            President Joe Biden commemorated his first year in office by giving a two-hour press conference. I did not watch the presser due to the fact that watching Biden speak is painful. The Democrat Party committed elder abuse by running him for president, and Democrats continue to abuse this elderly, senile man.

            In addition to the old, senile man acting as President, Democrats in Congress continue to damage America. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was determined to force a vote on nationalizing election laws, but the Senators voted 52-48 against it – thanks to the two Democrat Senators who have not drunk the punch of socialism.

The same two Democrat Senators stopped the Democrats from tossing the filibuster rule in the Senate, meaning that sixty votes are required from the one hundred Senators to end debate and proceed to a vote on legislation. Democrats in the Senate tried to force Democrat rule on Americans but failed.

Now Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are claiming that Republicans are suppressing voters. Fred Lucas explained what is happening. 

Democrats sought to change the Senate rules to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, a scaled-down version of a bill known as HR 1. The legislation would create national laws for automatic voter registration, universal mail-in voting, new redistricting laws, and campaign finance laws.

A companion bill in the Senate, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would increase the federal government’s veto power over many changes to state election laws. Here’s a look at three claims made during the hearing held by the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties.

1. Conflating Two Laws

At several points, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., seemed to try to conflate an existing law, in place since 1965, with a legislative proposal that never has passed the Senate.

“It’s impossible to think of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 without thinking of our colleague John Lewis,” Cohen said of the famed civil rights leader-turned-congressman from Georgia, who died in 2020.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act prevents states from discriminating in elections on the basis of race….

Cohen later noted that Dirksen “and all of the Republicans did then, when it was still the party of Lincoln.”

The Tennessee Democrat’s implication was that Republicans have reversed their stance on the Voting Rights Act.

However, in 2006, the law was renewed with unanimous support in the Republican-controlled Senate and near unanimous support in the Republican-controlled House. No lawmaker has proposed repealing the 1965 law.

2. Georgia’s ID Requirements

Testifying at the hearing, Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, cast Georgia’s new election law in an ominous light.

“They are making it more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote by mail. They are requiring photo ID be submitted with [voters’] absentee ballot application,” Butler told the House panel….

The Georgia law actually allows a voter to provide a driver’s license number or the last four digits of his Social Security number as a stand-in for photo identification.

Specifically, the law says:

If the elector does not have a Georgia driver’s license or state identification card issued pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 40, the elector shall so affirm in the space provided on the outer oath envelope and print the last four digits of his or her Social Security number in the space provided on the outer oath envelope.

3. Texas Continues to ‘Silence’ Minority Voters

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, ripped into her own state at the hearing. The Texas Legislature last year passed an election reform bill that Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed into law.

“States like my home state of Texas are imposing laws that are already limiting that sacred right” to vote, Garcia told the House subcommittee. “Texas and many other states continue to pass laws to suppress, silence, and dilute minority voters, especially Latinos. We cannot let this stand. We must take action.”

The Georgia Democrat went on to say: “Suppression is alive and well in Texas, whether or not you want to admit it.”

In fact, the new Texas election law extended voter ID requirements to absentee ballots. It provides that the Texas secretary of state’s office will use Texas Department of Motor Vehicles records and jury selection information to verify a registered voter’s citizenship, whether he is still alive, or if he has moved out of the jurisdiction.

The Texas law also says that election observers “may not be denied free movement where election activity is occurring,” but that observers may be ejected if they “commit a breach of the peace or a violation of law.”

Rep. Steve Cohen, Helen Butler, or Rep. Sylvia Garcia either lack enough intelligence to know what the laws actually say, or they are lying. In either case, the Democrat Party would be acting in its own interest to replace them. Liars can be cured by being forced to accept the consequences of their lying. There is no fix for stupidity.


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Has Biden Kept Any Campaign Promises?

            Joseph Biden has been President of the United States for one year – much longer than I expected him to last. Biden promised many things, but he is now known in some circles as “America’s promise breaker in chief.”

            In his inaugural address, Biden promised to unify Americans. “With unity we can do important things.” His words brought hope until his actions became apparent. Biden has done more to divide Americans than to unite them. Deroy Murdock reminded us of Biden’s actions.

Biden has split blacks and whites by embracing critical race theory. He has cleaved “domestic terrorist” parents and local school boards that they have challenged. Biden has pitted the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.

And last week, he equated roughly half of all Americans with Confederate President Jefferson Davis because they favor election integrity and oppose his calls for junking the Senate filibuster and for nationalizing state and local voting systems.

            Biden made other promises that he has failed to fulfill. He promised to return American to “normal” after the Trump years. Murdock asked what many Americans are asking, “what’s so normal about 7% inflation, soaring energy prices, broken supply chains, scores of cargo ships marooned off the coast of Southern California’s ports, and ‘Wild West”-style freight train robberies in Los Angeles?” What is so normal about empty shelves in grocery stores? What is normal about a wide-open southern border and 1.776 illegal aliens crossing it? What is normal about the record number of homicides in Democrat-run cities?

            Biden claimed that he would “shut down the virus” if he were elected President. “Judging by the stunning 1,483,656 new COVID-19 cases that emerged on Janu. 10 alone, Biden clearly blew it.” Murdock showed mercy to Biden for the exploding numbers because “Viruses do not obey executive orders…. COVID-19 is a tiny, invisible monster that does whatever it wants.”

Murdock did not show mercy to Biden “for the shortages in COVID-19 testing kits and infrastructure…. [particularly because] Biden foolishly rejected offers last fall to increase test supplies.” Murdock also noted that Biden “has been so obsessed with vaccine mandates, mask orders, and related heavy-handedness that he is presiding over a shortage of lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapies.”

In addition, Biden messed up with Afghanistan. He promised in his inaugural speech, “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” However, he surrendered “U.S. citizens, green card holders, and loyal Afghans to the bloodthirsty Taliban.” This was “bad enough,” but he failed to “coordinate with British commanders in Kabul and his days-long refusal to answer Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s urgent phone calls trashed America’s ‘special relationship’ with London.”

Biden also messed up America’s relationship with France when he failed “to inform France about a subsequent U.S.-U.K.-Australia pact, which cost Paris a submarine contract. [This] led the Quai d’Orsay to recall its ambassador to Washington for the first time since 1776.”

Murdock concluded that Biden has kept only one promise: he is not Donald Trump. However, Trump is known by both his friends and foes as fulfilling many campaign promises.

During [Trump’s] first year in office, he signed a $1.5 trillion tax rate cut, killed some 1,500 meddlesome regulations, greenlighted the Keystone XL pipeline, scrapped Obamacare’s individual mandate (but not the entire program), curbed southern border crossings, erased the ISIS caliphate, and much more.

            Biden is a failed President who has not accomplished anything good for America. However, his policies have heavily damaged the United States. His foreign policies have divided us from our allies and caused our enemies to laugh at us. His domestic policies have brough nearly two million illegal aliens into our nation. His economic policies have left us with empty shelves in our grocery stores and supply lines stopped. The worst action of all is that he has further divided our nation. He is the worst President in my lifetime and maybe the worst in the history of our nation.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Say about Critical Race Theory?

            Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that he shared with America on August 28, 1963, nearly sixty years ago. Some of the most quoted lines of his speech are, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” 

            Those words still sound across the nation even though 54 years have passed since the death of King. We know how he felt then about judging each other by color. The question is, what would he say about the racial tensions in America today? Would he support critical race theory, or would he condemn it?

            Alveda King, one of MLK’s nieces, believes that he would oppose critical race theory because it “was socially engineered by Marxists and socialists, by people who don’t believe in God.” She said that King’s message to America center on the gospel of Jesus Christ because he wanted Americans to “serve God [and] serve others.” In a podcast with Virginia Allen, Alveda King made the following statement

I believe that if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were here right now, he would encourage us to continue to learn to live together as brothers – and I’ll add in sisters – or perish together as fools….

Now, what many people do not understand is that, first, Martin Luther King Jr. loved God. He wasn’t perfect, and no human beings are. He loved God.

So I believe if he were here today, he would say to us, in the face of everything that we are encountering – whether it be COVID, or race wars, or horrible things happening to the weather, calamities, and disaster – I believe he would ask us to look forward in this new year with faith, with hope, with love….

I believe I don’t even have to speculate on what Martin Luther King Jr. would say, because he said it during his lifetime. He wrote it, he said it, he spoke it. And he talked about a day when there would be no white power, no black power, only God power working in human power.

            According to Alveda King, MLK would be against abortion as well as critical race theory. Those people who profess to follow MLK in their demands of America do not know what he taught. King wanted all people to live together as brothers and sisters – no matter their race or religion – and to protect the unborn and vulnerable. King had a good dream, one that all Americans should adopt. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Who Is Charles McGee?

            My VIP for this week is Charles McGee, a veteran pilot who was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. He later flew missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars. In his thirty-year military career, he flew 409 fighter combat missions.  He passed away Sunday at the age of 102 years. 

According to [Tuskegee Airmen Inc,], McGee had said that the Tuskegee Airmen “proved wrong those that believed Blacks were not able to master sophisticated equipment, that Blacks lacked courage, or that Blacks did not have the wherewithal to fight a determined enemy. It was the Tuskegee Airmen that ended up with a stellar WWII aviation war record and thereby edged the military toward integration and America away from segregation.”

            The Associated Press reported that McGee retired as an Air Force colonel in 1973, but he received an “honorary commission” four decades later that promoted him “to the one-star rank of brigadier general.”

            In addition, then-President Donald Trump recognized McGee during his 2020 State of the Union address. McGee was also called “an American hero” by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

How Do You Remember MLK on Civil Rights Day?

            Tomorrow is Constitution Day, and it is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Therefore, this post will be a commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is described as being “remarkable, conscience-searing and life-transforming” but contained “much suffering, sacrifice and surrendering.” This speech is often quoted, but few people understand the sacrifices King made for the civil rights movement. These are the words of The Reverend Theresa A. Dear, a national board member of the NAACP. 

For years, Dr. King traveled the world delivering messages of non-violence, protesting against injustice and advocating for civil rights laws. In so doing, he was often away from his wife, Coretta, and their four children. Dr. King and the King family made significant, countless and untold sacrifices for generations unborn.

It was primarily because of Dr. King’s selfless and courageous leadership that the civil rights movement was imagined, advanced and sustained. He was n original influencer who, without social media or the internet, was able to motivate and mobilize hundreds of thousands of Black and white people to attend the March on Washington in August 1963.

He was an original influencer who, without social media or the internet, was able to motivate and mobilize hundreds of thousands of Black and white people to attend the March on Washington in August 1963.

The March on Washington and Dr. King’s incessant drumbeat of justice and desegregation influenced the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Dr. King referred to this law as nothing less than a “second emancipation.” From this law, many rights and protections were extended to various groups in America, including women, veterans, the disabled and LGBTQ.

            Dear wrote that it was King’s “intellectual capacity, effectual tenacity and spiritual audacity that intrigued and inspired the masses.” However, King also experienced “death threats, ominous calls to his homes at all hours of the night, being abandoned by some fellow clergy members while incarcerated in Birmingham, police profiling, the bombing of his home, being stabbed by a mentally ill Black woman and living under a cloud of crippling and constant fear.”

            According to Dear, King and his family “endured a life of danger without laws or law enforcement to protect them.” Dear claims that we are indebted to King because he forfeited safety “for the greater good of the country.” We commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. because he was willing to make sacrifices for the rest of us.

            Dear compared the words and actions of revisionist leaders to those of King. They “whitewash Black history, academic institutions deny tenure to professors who write about slavery and critical race theory is used as a political lightning rode.” However, the actions of revisionist leaders “are antithetical to Dr. King’s dream.”

Dear wrote, “The denial or attempted erasure of Black history cannot extract, extricate or expunge the indelible sacrifices, contributions and legislation made by Black people. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to be guardians of our history.”

When protests erode into the destruction of property, violence against humanity becomes random and crime within Black communities surges, this is contrary to the principles for which Dr. King advocated. The increased violence within the Black community dishonors the legacy of Dr. King, who went to jail more than 20 times for our freedom, rights and protection. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to be gatekeepers of our communities and adopt non-violent practices to resolve conflict and hold one another accountable.

When politicians go shamelessly rogue to suppress the right to vote, gentrify communities and promote false propaganda, this defies the tenets of Dr. King’s relentless endeavors of equality and access. Thus, we are indebted to Dr. King to resist, rally and work to repeal agendas that are not fair for all.

Dr. King was a minister, scholar, moral philosopher, follower of Mahatma Gandhi, civil rights leader, legislative advocate, hypnotic orator and brilliant thought leader, strategist and visionary. With his many accomplishments, his masterstroke may have been combining his vulnerability, humanity and faith to effectively serve mankind. For these offerings and many more, his unfinished work is now ours. Continuing his redemptive work is how we pay our debt to the Dreamer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

            Dear decries the actions of some Black people and some politicians who seem to forget King’s desire for peaceful protests. I wonder what she would say about the plans of President Joe Biden to use the advent of Black History Month to issue executive orders that would include parts of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Such orders would work against law enforcement and increase chaos, crime, and danger in communities.