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, April 30, 2023

How Can We Ensure that We Have Fair and Free Elections in the Future?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the confidence of Americans in the elections. Both Democrats and Republicans have complained about recent elections. Democrats did not like what happened in the 2016 presidential election and considered Donald Trump to be an illegitimate president. The majority of Republicans consider the 2020 presidential election to be rigged in some way.

According to Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal, eight Republican members of the House of Representatives recently introduced a bill that would “block the use of private money to operate elections and curb the controversial process called ballot harvesting.” 

If the Protect American Election Administration Act becomes a law, the sponsors claim that it would block a “private takeover of government election administration.”

The legislation, introduced Thursday, also would prevent private funding for ballot harvesting or ballot curing. (Ballot harvesting is when political operatives collect and gather large quantities of absentee ballots; ballot curing is the term used when election officials try to discern the intent of a voter’s defective ballot.)

And the bill would prevent use of local governments’ election infrastructure to conduct “ideologically motivated voter outreach campaigns.”

“Zuckerbucks” provided by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan had a big impact in Democrat counties of swing states. The couple spent “more than $400 million to provide grants for election administration in 2020, but they do not intend to provide “Zuckerbucks” again.

By banning private money for ballot harvesting or ballot curing as well as preventing local governments from using conducting one-sided outreach programs, the donors hope to “protect free and fair elections.”

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Who Is the Good Shepherd?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to John 7-10 and a lesson titled “I Am the Good Shepherd.” The lesson was preceded with this counsel: “As you read John 7-10, you may receive impressions from the Holy Ghost about the doctrinal principles in these chapters. Recording your impressions can help you make a plan to act on them.” The lesson was introduced with the following information.

Although Jesus Christ came to bring “peace [and] good will toward men” (Luke 2:14, there was “a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43). People who witnessed the same events came to very different conclusions about who Jesus was. Some concluded, “He is a good man,” while others said, “He deceiveth the people” (John 7:12). When He healed a blind man on the Sabbath, some insisted, “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day,” while others asked, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?” (John 9:16). Yet despite all the confusion, those who searched for truth recognized the power in His words, for “never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). When the Jews asked Jesus to “tell us plainly” whether he was the Christ, He revealed a principle that can help us distinguish truth from error: “My sheep hear my voice,” He said, “and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:24, 27). 

As with most scripture blocks, John 7-10 teaches numerous principles. However, I feel prompted to continue with the principle “Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd” found in John 10:1-30. I have experience with being a sheepherder – not a shepherd. My father owned about 200 sheep, and one of my tasks as a child and youth was to herd the cows and sheep in areas outside the fences of our farm and along the roads. I am very familiar with driving sheep ahead of me and urging the stragglers along, and I was impressed with the idea of a shepherd leading his sheep and the sheep following. Here are the applicable verses.

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep heard his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not voice of strangers.

6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10:1-18, 24-28; emphasis added).

In verse 2-4, Christ said that the shepherd entered in the door and called for his sheep by name. The sheep heard his voice, and he led them out of the sheepfold. Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He was sent by the Father to care for the sheep (us). Those of us who hear His voice and follow Him are led as we go about our daily lives.

In verse 7, Christ said that He is the door and explained that the people who came before Him were “thieves and robbers” (or without His authority). The sheep (the people) did not hear them. In verse 9, Christ again refers to Himself as the door. Christ is the way back to Heavenly Father and eternal life. He provides “pasture” and meets our temporal and eternal needs.

In verse 10-11, Christ explained that He came to give us abundant life, and that He would give His life for us. He repeats in verse 15 that He would give His life for us.

In verse 16, Christ talked about “other sheep” that were not in Jerusalem. To the Nephites in ancient America, Christ said that they were the “other sheep” that He mentioned to the Jews (Book of Mormon – Another Witness of Jesus Christ, 3 Nephi 15-21-24). He added that the “other tribes” were also His sheep. “… ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me” (verse 24).

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke in the April 2023 General Conference on the topic “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God. The following paragraphs are taken from his talk.

At this Easter season, we celebrate the Good Shepherd, who is also the Lamb of God. Of all His divine titles, no others are more tender or telling. We learn much from our Savior’s references to Himself as the Good Shepherd and from prophetic testimonies of Him as the Lamb of God. These roles and symbols are powerfully complementary – who better to succor each precious lamb than the Good Shepherd, and who better to be our Good Shepherd than the Lamb of God?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” and God’s Only Begotten Son laid down His life in willing obedience to His Father. Jesus testifies, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Jesus had power to lay down His life and power to take it up again. United with His Father, our Savior uniquely blesses us, both as our Good Shepherd and as the Lamb of God.

As our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ calls us in His voice and His name. He seeks and gathers us. He teaches us how to minister in love (emphasis added). 

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who knows each of us. He calls each of us and knows our names. Those who hear His voice will follow Him and keep His commandments.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Is It Possible to Restore Integrity to American Elections?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the importance of securing elections in the United States. Today the “House Administrative Committee held the first in a series of hearings leading up to reintroduction of the American Confidence in Elections Act,” also known as the ACE Act.

According to Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal, the bill was introduced in the Democrat-led House, and preparations are being made to reintroduce it to the current Republican-led House. Lucas wrote four takeaways from the hearing. 

1. ‘Most Insidious Election Interference in U.S. History’

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, who supervises elections in his state, called out the now infamous letter orchestrated by Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign – and in particular by then-campaign aide Antony Blinken, now U.S. secretary of state.

Blinken reportedly was instrumental in getting 51 former U.S. intelligence officials to sign a letter claiming that the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop had “all the classic earmarks” of Russian disinformation.

The letter from former intelligence officials was used as justification to suppress the Biden laptop story in social media and legacy media.

A Media Research Center poll shortly after the 2020 election found that 36% of self-described Biden voters said they were unaware of evidence that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son Hunter’s business deals with China, a claim bolstered by emails found on the laptop. Of those Biden voters, 13% -- or 4.6% of all Biden voters in the sample – said they would not have voted for him if they had known about the laptop contents. The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog, said the shift could have turned the election in Donald Trump’s favor….


2. Noncitizen Voting a ‘Recipe for Foreign Interference.’

House Republicans’ ACE Act would prohibit local jurisdictions from allowing noncitizen voting. Under the bill, Congress also would exercise its responsibility over the District of Columbia to require voter ID and annual maintenance of the city’s voter registration list, prohibit same-day registration, and prevent the process of ballot harvesting….


3. ‘Common Sense to Require an ID to Vote.’

During the hearing, [Hans] von Spakovsky pushed back on the myth that requiring voter ID suppresses voting. He noted a report two years ago by the National Bureau of Economic Research that found voter ID requirements had no negative impact on turnout based on 10 years of data comparing states with voter ID laws and states with no such laws.

“The conclusion was that voter ID has absolutely no effect on individuals; it doesn’t matter what race they are, it doesn’t matter what gender, it doesn’t matter what socio-economic group,” von Spakovsky said. “We know the public supports this. The polling is actually quite something. Americans disagree quite sharply on many issues. The one thing they agree on is that it’s common sense to require an ID to vote.”

Von Spakovsky went on to talk about Georgia, which was maligned by the Left for passing legislation in 2021 to extend existing voter ID requirements to mail-in voting. “Georgia had turnout six percentage points above the national turnout and it had better turnout than Delaware, the home state of the president, who harshly criticized the bill,” von Spakovsky told lawmakers….


4. ‘Muddy Voter Rolls That Can Be Exploited.’

In the state of Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, is fighting a lawsuit to keep the names of about 26,000 dead people on the voter rolls.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is suing Michigan to force removal of those names in compliance with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

“Some states are compliant with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act and conduct routine list maintenance. However, others refuse to do that,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said. “In your opinion, why would a state intentionally refuse to perform list maintenance?

Such intentions aren’t good, said Ken Cuccinelli, national chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security….

Thursday, April 27, 2023

What Is the Truth?

On Monday, Fox News cancelled Tucker Carlson’s show and locked his email account. However, the negotiations between Fox and Carlson have not taken place to determine how his contract will be paid. Wednesday evening at 8:05 EDT, Tucker posted a video on Twitter that received more than 20 million views. The Daily Signal published a “lightly edited transcript” of his remarks. You can watch the video and/or read the remarks at this site

From the familiar studio in his home, Carlson began his message in his usual way: “Good evening. It’s Tucker Carlson.” He opened his remarks by sharing his experience of stepping “outside the noise for a few days” and gaining knowledge about the “many genuinely nice people there are in this country.”

A second thing that he realized was the stupidity of “most of the debates you see on television” and recognize that “they’re completely irrelevant.” He then continued to explain that the debates are irrelevant because they are not about the important topics “that will define our future,” such as “war, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources.”

Tucker explained that such debates do not take place because they “are not permitted in American media. Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them, and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it.” He noted that “the United States looks very much like a one-party state.”

Then Tucker spoke about truth and possibly gave us a window into why Fox parted ways with him. Did Tucker want to say something that Fox would not permit, or did Fox want Tucker to say something that Tucker refused to say? Here is what Tucker said:

When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who’ve been trying to silence them, shrink, and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe. True things prevail.

Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some, and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.

One thing that I read into Tucker’s comments is that he refuses to lie or to be silenced without a fight. I wonder what “truth” it was that got Tucker into trouble. Was it the truth that was shown in the Capitol footage of the event on January 6? Was it the emphasis on Ray Epps being at the Capitol, urging people to go into the Capitol Building, and not being charged with any crime? Could it have been the truths that Tucker spoke about at fiftieth anniversary celebration for The Heritage Foundation when he spoke negatively about the trans movement?

We may never know the real cause for Fox parting ways with Tucker. However, he has shown that he will not be silenced. America will be better for hearing the truth. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

What Is the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023?

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to pass the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, which will raise America’s debt ceiling. The vote was 217-215 with four Republicans and all the Democrats voting against it. When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy introduced the legislation on April 19, he claimed that it would “limit federal spending, save taxpayer dollars,” and “grow the economy.” Time will tell if the bill fulfills its destiny. 

President Joe Biden threatened to veto the bill. However, the passage of the bill by the House puts the ball in the Senate’s court, and Chuck Schumer will be forced to do something about it.

The press release states: “House Republicans are committed to a sensible debt ceiling solution that will strengthen the American economy, protect American families, and save taxpayers over $4.5 trillion over the next 10 years.” The $4.5 trillion is only a drop in the bucket compared to the $31 trillion debt – more than the entire economy of the United States.

The debt is unsustainable, and the Republicans are trying to do something about it. All at the same time as making the U.S. “less dependent on Communist China,” curbing inflation, and “protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors.” Here is the plan

1) Limit Federal Spending:

·         End the Era of Reckless Washington Spending

Reckless Washington spending has caused record inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain shortages, and instability in the banking system. Our plan would establish spending levels for FY24 at FY22 levels – where the government was operating just 4 short months ago – and allow for 1% annual growth over the next 10 years.

·         SAVINGS: Approximately $3.6 trillion


2) Save Taxpayer Dollars:

·         Reclaim Unspent COVID Funds

§  Thanks to House Republicans, the pandemic is now officially over. If so-called “COVID” funding has sat dormant for over two years, clearly it no longer needs to be spent and should be rescinded without delay.

§  SAVINGS: Approximately $50-60 billion


·         Defund Biden’s IRS Army

§  As House Republicans did on Day 1 of our majority, we will fight for hard-working Americans by eliminating funding for the 87,000 new IRS agents charged with shaking down families and small businesses.

§  SAVINGS: Approximately $71 billion


·         Repeal “Green New Deal” Tax Credits

§  President Biden’s uncapped green energy tax credits and subsidies represent a massive corporate giveaway – including for wealthy Americans who can already afford expensive electric vehicles – that will distort the market and cause energy and utility prices to soar for everyday consumers.

§  SAVINGS: Approximately $271 billion - $1.2 trillion


·         Prohibit Biden’s Student Loan Giveaway to the Wealthy

§  President Biden’s egregious executive action would direct 70% of the benefit to those in the top half of the income spectrum – while forcing the 87% of adults without student loans to pay for the 13% who do.

§  SAVINGS: Approximately $465 billion


3) Grow the Economy

·         Strengthen the Workforce and Reduce Childhood Poverty

§  Right now, there are more job openings than people looking for work, in part because the Biden Administration has weakened some of the very work requirements that then-Senator Biden previously supported. By restoring these commonsense measures to assistance programs, we can help more Americans earn a paycheck, learn new skills, and reduce childhood poverty.

§  SAVINGS: Approximately $10-$120 billion


·         Prevent Executive Overreach and Restore Article I

§  The REINS Act would help Congress block efforts by Presidents of both parties to spend money outside of the normal process and impose massive new costs on the American people, which President Biden has abused to the tune of $1.5 trillion in unilateral executive actions.


·         Lower Energy Costs and Utilities

§  House Republicans’ H.R. 1 would unleash reliable, cleaner American-made energy, tap our abundant natural resources, cut red tape for project permitting, reduce our dependence on China and foreign adversaries, and lower the cost of gas and utilities.


4) A Responsible Debt Limit Increase

·         In exchange for these pro-growth and cost-saving policies, the debt limit would be responsibly lifted through March 31, 2024, or by $1.5 trillion – whichever occurs sooner – and be transmitted to the ever-so-robust legislative agenda of the United States Senate.


There is the Republican plan for beginning the process of bringing the spending of the federal government under control. It is a ten-year plan, so nothing will happen overnight. However, it would be nice to live in a nation that was not indebted to its enemies! The press release contained other facts and figures that may be of interest to you. They put the responsibility for the fiscal condition of our nation squarely on the shoulders of Biden and House Democrats. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

How Will the Parting of the Ways Between Fox and Carlson Affect America?

President Joe Biden officially announced his intention to run for President of the United States once again, but his news paled compared to the continuing saga about the firing of Tucker Carlson by Fox News. It seems that Carlson’s habit of telling the truth was too much for some people. Carlson became an enemy of the powerful establishment because he was willing to question the dominant narratives.

Carlson spoke at The Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary gala on Friday evening just outside Washington, D.C. Among other statements made by Carlson, Jarrett Stepman highlighted the following in his article published at The Daily Signal: “The truth is contagious…. The more you tell the truth, the stronger you become.” 

The Left is celebrating the fact that Fox and Carlson are parting ways. Several of them have been calling on Fox to censure or fire Carlson, so it looks like the Left won. However, they may be getting more than they asked for. By all counts, most people expect Carlson to find another platform on which to share his truths and to become richer for it. Stepman wrote the following.

My biggest takeaway from Carlson’s exit from Fox News is that it represents a final break between “mainstream” corporate news and dissenting voices – whether on the Right or Left. I’d argue that even if you don’t like Carlson’s views, this is a worrisome moment for the United States.

Carlson was unique in that he gave airtime to stories almost nobody else wanted to touch. He extensively covered the Twitter files – revealing the disturbing ties between and among Big Tech, Big Business, and Big Government. He analyzed footage from 

Jan. 6, 2021, showing that what actually took place that day wasn’t in line with the narrative promoted by most legacy media outlets. He questioned the official narrative about Watergate and the role of intelligence agencies in American history.

Carlson was one of the rare dissenting voices on the war in Ukraine. Whether you agree with him or not on what the wisest U.S. policy is regarding support for Ukraine, isn’t it important that we keep an open mind about how best to serve American interests? After all, America faces immense challenges of its own, internally and externally….

So, my sense is that Fox News will probably be fine, even if diminished. Carlson will be better than fine, with perhaps a bigger audience than ever. It’s the country that we should worry about.

Stepman’s article included more details about the various problems that Carlson emphasized. The bottom line is that Carlson will have greater opportunities, and Fox will survive in some form. However, the older people who still get their news through cable television will no longer have a source on television that they can trust to tell the truth.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Who Is Tucker Carlson?

My VIP for this week is Tucker Carlson, who was consistently the most popular personality on Fox. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” lead the ratings for the demographic of adults aged 25-54 and averaged 3.25 million total viewers in March. Today Fox announced that the network and Carlson had parted ways.

The announcement did not have any details for Fox and Carlson going their separate ways. Hence, there were many ideas being thrown around the network. One idea concerned Carlson’s comments over the weekend about transgender people. Another suggested that Fox wanted Carlson to say/do something that he would not do. The latest idea that I have seen is that Fox did not like the stance that Carlson took on the events of January 6th.

Whatever the reason, it seems that Fox is doing worse than Carlson. As soon as the announcement was made, Fox’s value took a nosedive in the markets. I think that the company lost a billion dollars in market cap in just a few hours. I have not seen anything over the last few hours, but it looked bad for a while.

I liked Tucker Carlson for several reasons. I think that I liked him best for his sense of humor and his laugh. I enjoyed watching his show for the information, but I enjoy most the way that he was able to laugh at our ridiculous world. I expect that a man like Carlson will pop up in another spot to entertain and inform us, but I wonder if Fox will ever regain their lead in the media market.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Should Joe Biden Be Fired?

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the duties and responsibilities of the President of the United States. As President, the POTUS is the CEO of the executive branch of the federal government. He has the ultimate authority and responsibility for every task assigned to the executive branch, but this does not mean that he has to do the work himself. He is the supervisor of all the departments or members of the Cabinet.

One of the President’s many responsibilities is spelled out in the “take care” clause. This clause is found in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution and says, “[H]e shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.” Findlaw stated, “The Constitution does not say that the President shall execute the laws, but that ‘he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’ i.e., by others.” 

The current POTUS is not fulfilling this duty, and he should be fired just as chief executives of corporations are fired when they fail to fulfill their responsibilities. To understand the terrible job that President Joe Biden is doing, we should compare his performance with that of his direct predecessor.

In his article published in The Daily Signal, Deroy Murdock wrote, “America is sinking among the waves of incompetence, impotence, and fiscal incontinence of democratic socialist President Joe Biden. It is jarring to recall how much brighter things looked just 27 months ago” before Biden began his destruction of America. Murdock posted a list of Donald Trump’s accomplishments from A to Z. Here are just a few of “things that Trump got right”: 

Abraham Accords: Trump brokered four peace agreements among Israel and other countries – Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan.

Border wall: Trump’s 458 miles of concrete and steel fortified the border and curbed illegal immigration before Biden obliterated America’s southern frontier.

Consular offices in Jerusalem were upgraded to a U.S. Embassy, thus enforcing the relevant statute that Presidents Bill Clinton through Barack Obama circumvented.

Deregulation: Trump promised to kill two old regulations for every new one imposed. American Action Forum counts 4.7 existing rules junked per new one implemented.

Energy independence: Trump achieved the impossible dream of U.S. self-reliance and then made America globally dominant as a net exporter of energy for the first time since 1952.

Freedom-of-speech protection, per Trump’s executive order, became a prerequisite for colleges to receive federal funds.

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, 223 other constitutionalists whom Trump nominated reached the federal bench.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities scored an advocacy office in the White House, a permanent stream of federal funds, and year-round Pell Grants, to aid their summer school students. HBCU presidents begged Obama in vain for these things. Trump invited them to the Oval Office in his fifth week in Washington, listened, and approved their request.

You can find I through Z at this link. By contrast, the weakness of Biden has caused our enemies to create another Axis of Evil (Russia, China, Iran) who are quickly undermining the Superpower status of the United States. He has led us into a proxy wall in Ukraine and brought America to the brink of World War III. He is steadily depleting America’s ability to defend herself and her people. He is responsible for the raging inflation that is decimating retirement accounts and causing American families to struggle in meeting their day-to-day financial needs. He has weaponized the Justice Department against his political enemies and made America no better than Third World countries. He has opened America’s borders to more than five million illegal immigrants and strained all the services that many Americans need. Trump's Triumphs, From A to Z (

In short, every “accomplishment” of Joe Biden has pushed America further down the slippery slope to destruction. He is not taking care to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and he should be fired as quickly as possible.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

How Can I obtain Eternal Life?

My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to Matthew 18 and Luke 10 in a lesson titled “What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?” This is the counsel given prior to the lesson: “As you prayerfully read and ponder Matthew 18 and Luke 10, pay attention to the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost. He will tell you how these teachings and stories apply to you. Record the impressions you receive.” I like this counsel because it tells me that there is a specific message for me. The lesson was introduced in the following paragraph. 

When you ask the Lord a question, you might receive an answer you did not expect. Who is my neighbor? Anyone who needs your help and love. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? A child. Is it enough to forgive an offender seven times? No, you should forgive seventy times seven. (See Luke 10:29-37; Matthew 18:4, 21-22.) Unexpected answers from the Lord can invite us to change the way we think, feel, and act. If you are seeking the Lord’s will because you really want to learn from Him, the Lord will teach you how to live in a way that leads to eternal life with Him.

The Parable

As with most scripture blocks, there were numerous principles discussed in this lesson. The principle that I feel prompted to discuss tonight is found in Luke 10:25-37: “To obtain eternal life, I must love God and love my neighbor as myself.” First, I will present the applicable verses.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Who Is My Neighbor? 

The lawyer must have been surprised by the Savior’s answer to his questions. His first question was “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? The Lord answered by reciting the two great commandments: Thou shalt love God, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. His second question was “who is my neighbour?” We should keep both questions in mind as we study the parable of the Good Samaritan.

It is interesting that the Lord chose to use a Samaritan as the hero in His story, the person who showed compassion and love for a neighbor. Animosity between the Jews and Samaritans began centuries prior to the time of Jesus. The Samaritans were descendants of Jews living in Samaria who had intermarried with Gentiles. The Jews felt that the Samaritans had become corrupted by their association with Gentiles and had apostatized. Jews would travel miles out of their way to avoid passing through Samaria. We are not told the race or ethnicity of the traveler.

The story of the Good Samaritan is a good story that even children can understand: Some bad men hurt a traveler and left him half dead. A priest and a Levite saw the traveler and passed on the other side to avoid touching him. A Samaritan came along and took care of the man.

What Is the Meaning of the Parable?

As I said, the Good Samaritan is a good story, which is known as a parable. Why did Jesus teach with parables? He explained to His disciples that He taught in parables so that people could understand it at any spiritual level that they may be. To a child, the parable is a good story. To a person who is more mature spiritually, the parable has a deeper meaning. I want to share some thoughts and questions that may help you to understand the parable at a deeper level.

First, a little geography. Jerusalem is at 2582 feet in altitude, and Jericho is 800 feet below sea level. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is about fifteen miles long as well as being a steep, winding descent of 3300 feet. The area is a wilderness that is dry and treeless. It is inhospitable and hot because the sun is relentless in its heat. The road to Jericho represents the descent of Adam and Eve and their posterity into the mortal world.

The traveler represents each of us. Sometimes, we are beaten, robbed, and left half dead by the people around us. We may be physically okay but suffering spiritually, emotionally, or mentally. Sometimes, we are like thieves – saying and doing things that hurt other people. Sometimes, we are like the donkey with heavy burdens placed on our back and an expectation that we will carry them. Sometimes, we are like the priest and the Levite – we see people who are hurting, but we do not stop to help. Sometimes, we are like the inn keeper and are asked to help someone who is hurting or needs help.

After telling the parable, Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” The lawyer answered, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Jesus then said, “Go, and do thou likewise.”

The parable and the counsel of the Savior have come down to our day to teach us about mercy. The Samaritan represented Jesus Christ, and His words “Go, and do thou likewise” tell us that He wants us to become like Him. He wants us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves – just as He does. By becoming like the Savior, we can inherit eternal life, the greatest gift of God.