We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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There are nearly seven million Mormons in America . This is the number the Mormons themselves use. It’s not huge. Seven million is barely 2 percent of the country’s population. It is the number of people who subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. London boasts seven million people. So does San Francisco . It’s a million more people than live in the state of Washington ; a million less than in the state of Virginia . It’s so few, it’s the same number as were watching the January 24, 2012, Republican debate.
In fact, worldwide, there are only about fourteen million Mormons. That’s fourteen million among a global population just reaching seven billion. Fourteen million is the population of Cairo or Mali or Guatemala . It’s approximately the number of people who tune in for the latest hit show on network television every week. Fourteen million Americans ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant in 2011. That’s how few fourteen million is.
Yet in the first decade or so of the new millennium, some members of the American media discovered the Mormons and began covering them as though the Latter-day Saints had just landed from Mars. It was as though Utah was about to invade the rest of the country. It was all because of politics and pop culture, of course. Mitt Romney and John Huntsman were in pursuit of the White House. Glenn Beck was among the nation’s most controversial news commentators. Stephenie Meyer had written the astonishingly popular Twilight series about vampires. Matt Stone and Trey Parker had created the edgy South Park cartoon series–which included a much- discussed episode about Mormons–and then went on to create the blatantly blasphemous and Saint-bashing Broadway play The Book of Mormon. It has become one of the most successful productions in American theater history.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Mormons sat in the US Congress, among them Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. Mormons led JetBlue, American Express, Marriott, Novell, Deloitte and Touche, Diebold, and Eastman Kodak. Management guru Stephen Covey made millions telling them how to lead even better. There were Mormons commanding battalions of US troops and Mormons running major US universities. There were so many famous Mormons, in fact, that huge websites were launched just to keep up with it all. Notables ranged from movie stars like Katherine Heigl to professional athletes to country music stars like Gary Allan to reality television contestants and even to serial killers like Glenn Helzer, whose attorney argued that the Saints made him the monster he was. The media graciously reminded the public that Mormon criminals were nothing new, though: Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame was also a Mormon, they reported.
Most media coverage treated this “Mormon Moment” as though it was just that: the surprising and unrelated appearance of dozens of Mormons on the national stage–for a moment. More than a few commentators predicted it would all pass quickly.
What most commentators did not understand was that their “Mormon Moment” was more than a moment, more than an accident, and more than a matter of pop culture and fame alone. The reality was–and is–that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintshas reached critical mass. It is not simply that a startling number of Mormons have found their way onto America’s flat-screen TVs and so brought visibility to their religion. It is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints has reached sufficient numbers–and has so permeated every level of American society on the strength of its religious value–that prominent politicians, authors, athletes, actors, newscasters, and even murderers are the natural result, in some cases even the intended result. Visible, influential Mormons aren’t outliers or exceptions. They are fruit of the organic growth of their religion.
In 1950, there were just over a million Mormons in the world. Most of these were located in the Intermountain West of the United States, a region of almost lunar landscape between the Rocky Mountains to the East and the Cascades and Sierra Nevada Mountains to the West. The religion was still thought of as odd by most Americans. There had been famous Mormons like the occasional US Senator or war hero, but these were few and far between. There had even been a 1940 Hollywood movie entitled Brigham Young that told the story of the Saints’ mid-1800s trek from Illinois to the region of the Great Salt Lake. Its producers worked hard to strain out nearly every possible religious theme, a nod to the increasingly secular American public. Though it starred heavyweights like Vincent Price and Tyrone Power, the movie failed miserably, even in Utah. Especially in Utah.
Then, in 1951, a man named David O. McKay became the “First President” of the Latter-day Saints and inaugurated a new era. He was the Colonel Harlan Sanders of Mormonism. He often wore white suits, had an infectious laugh, and under- stood the need to appeal to the world outside the Church. It was refreshing. Most LDS presidents had either been polygamist oddballs or stodgy old men in the eyes of the American public. McKay was more savvy, more media aware. He became so popular that film legend Cecil B. DeMille asked him to consult on the now classic movie The Ten Commandments.
Empowered by his personal popularity and by his sense that an opportune moment had come, McKay began refashioning the Church’s image. He also began sharpening its focus. His famous challenge to his followers was, “Every Member a Missionary!” And the faithful got busy. It only helped that Ezra Taft Benson, a future Church president, was serving as the nation’s secretary of agriculture under President Eisehower. This brought respectability. It also helped that George Romney was the revered CEO of American Motors Corporation and that he would go on to be the governor of Michigan, a candidate for president of the United States, and finally a member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet. This hinted at increasing power. The 1950s were good for Mormons.
Then came the 1960s. Like most religions, the LDS took a beating from the counterculture movement, but by the 1970s they were again on the rise. There was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a symbol of Americana when Americana was under siege. There was Mormon Donny Osmond’s smile and Mormon Marie Osmond’s everything and the three-year run of network television’s Donny and Marie in the late 1970s that made words like family, clean, talented, patriotic, and even cute outshine some of the less-endearing labels laid upon the Saints through the years. New labels joined new symbols. A massive, otherworldly, 160,000-square-foot Temple just north of Washington, DC, was dedicated in the 1970s, a symbol of LDS power and permanence for the nation to behold. Always there was the “Every Member a Missionary!” vision beating in each Saintly heart.
By 1984, the dynamics of LDS growth were so fine-tuned that influential sociologist Rodney Stark made the mind- blowing prediction that the Latter-day Saints would have no fewer than 64 million members and perhaps as many as 267 million by 2080.3 It must have seemed possible in those days. In the following ten years, LDS membership exploded from 4.4 million to 11 million. This may be why in 1998 the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. The Mormons–a misguided cult in the view of most traditional Christians, most Baptists in particular–had to be stopped.
They weren’t. Four years after the Baptists besieged Temple Square, the Winter Olympic Games came to Salt Lake City. This was in 2002 and it is hard to exaggerate what this meant to the Latter-day Saints. A gifted Mormon leader, Mitt Romney, rescued the games after a disastrous bidding scandal. A sparkling Mormon city hosted the games. Happy, handsome all-American Mormons attended each event, waving constantly to the cameras and appearing to be–in the word repeatedly used by the press at the time–”normal.”
The LDS Church capitalized on it all. It sent volunteers, missionaries, and publicists scurrying to every venue. It hosted grand events for the world press. It made sure that every visitor received a brochure offering an LDS guided tour of the city. Visitors from around the world read these words: “No other place in America has a story to tell like that of Salt Lake City–a sanctuary founded by religious refugees from within the United States’ own borders. And none can tell that story better than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Largely unchallenged, the Mormon narrative prevailed.
What followed was the decade of the new millennium we have already surveyed. Mormons seemed to be everywhere, seemed to be exceptional in nearly every arena, seemed to have moved beyond acceptance by American culture to domination of American culture. At least this was what some feared at the time.
But Mormons did not dominate the country. Far from it. Remember that they were not even 2 percent of the nation’s population as of 2012. True, they were visible and successful, well educated and well spoken, patriotic and ever willing to serve. Yet what they had achieved was not domination. It was not a conspiracy either, as some alleged. It was not anything approaching a takeover or even the hope for a takeover.
Few observers seemed to be able to explain how this new level of LDS prominence in American society came about. They reached for the usual answers trotted out to account for such occurrences: birth rates, Ronald Reagan’s deification of traditional values, the economic boom of the late twentieth century, a more liberal and broadminded society, even the dumbing down of America through television and failing schools. Each of these explanations was found wanting.
The Mormon Machine
The truth lay within Mormonism itself. What the Saints had achieved in the United States was what Mormonism, unfettered and well led, will nearly always produce. This was the real story behind the much-touted “Mormon Moment.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had risen to unexpected heights in American society because the Mormon religion creates what can benevolently be called a Mormon Machine– a system of individual empowerment, family investment, local church (ward and stake level) leadership, priesthood government, prophetic enduement, Temple sacraments, and sacrificial financial endowment of the holy Mormon cause.
Plant Mormonism in any country on earth and pretty much the same results will occur. If successful, it will produce deeply moral individuals who serve a religious vision centered upon achievement in this life. They will aggressively pursue the most advanced education possible, understand their lives in terms of overcoming obstacles, and eagerly serve the surrounding society. The family will be of supernatural importance to them, as will planning and investing for future generations. They will be devoted to community, store and save as a hedge against future hardship, and they will esteem work as a religious calling. They will submit to civil government and hope to take positions within it. They will have advantages in this. Their beliefs and their lives in all-encompassing community will condition them to thrive in administrative systems and hierarchies–a critical key to success in the modern world. Ever oriented to a corporate life and destiny, they will prize belonging and unity over individuality and conflict every time.
These hallmark values and behaviors–the habits that distinguish Mormons in the minds of millions of Americans– grow naturally from Mormon doctrine. They are also the values and behaviors of successful people. Observers who think of the religion as a cult–in the Jim Jones sense that a single, dynamic leader controls a larger body of devotees through fear, lies, and manipulation–usually fail to see this. Mormon doctrine is inviting, the community it produces enveloping and elevating, the lifestyle it encourages empowering in nearly every sense. Success, visibility, prosperity, and influence follow. This is the engine of the Mormon ascent. It is what has attracted so many millions, and it is the mechanism of the Latter-day Saints’ impact upon American society and the world.
Mormons make achievement through organizational management a religious virtue. It leads to prosperity, visibility, and power. It should come as no surprise, then, that an American can turn on the evening news after a day of work and find one report about two Mormon presidential candidates, another story about a Mormon finalist on American Idol, an examination of the controversial views of a leading Mormon news commentator, a sports story about what a Mormon lineman does with his “Temple garments” in the NFL, and a celebration of how Mormons respond to crises like Katrina and the BP oil spill, all by a “Where Are They Now?” segment about Gladys Knight, minus the Pips, who has become–of course–a Mormon.
Mormons rise in this life because it is what their religion calls for. Achieving. Progressing. Learning. Forward, upward motion. This is the lifeblood of earthly Mormonism. Management, leadership, and organizing are the essential skills of the faith. It is no wonder that Mormons have grown so rapidly and reached such stellar heights in American culture. And there is much more to come.
President Thomas S. Monson Prophet, Seer, and Revelator The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Nurse Tells Story of Baby Born After Failed Abortion.
On November 4 of 2012, a new pro-life documentary – The Voice of John – was released. This film discussed the reality of babies born alive after abortions as well as evidence of atrocities that occur with far too much regularity in the abortion industry. In The Voice of John, the humanity of the unborn will be made real in yet one more way for the world to see, as “one small voice will speak for millions.”
“John” is not a make-believe person or a fantasy. He is a real baby, who survived an abortion and was then left to die by medical professionals. The movie’s site details the true story behind The Voice of John:
In 1977, a young nurse was working in an obstetrics unit of a major veteran’s hospital, stumbled upon a LIVE baby, placed in a ‘dirty utility room,’ left to die! What she did not realize is that Roe vs. Wade had just been passed by the U.S. Supreme Court and this atrocity was indeed legal! The staff in the facility reprimanded her as she tried to explain that a baby was alive and placed on a cold metal table and left to die! Against their instruction, she held that baby in her arms and listened to his soft whimpering cries for survival. She held the child, baptized him, and said, ‘I name you John, and I will tell the world what I saw here today. I will be your voice!’
Thirty-five years later, Maryann Lawhon will hold true to her promise as River Song Productions presents…’The Voice of John.’
The Voice of John will featured former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Planned Parenthood director and current president of And Then There Were None Abby Johnson, Father Frank Pavone, scientist Ken Ham, multiple members of the U.S. Congress, medical experts, abortion survivors, women who have had abortions, and former abortion doctors like Carol Everett. The Voice of John takes a look at abortion through a prism of countless angles, opinions, and stories that will bring the real truth to light.
The documentary’s producer shares one of the main purposes behind this film: to convince the church as a whole to act on the issue of abortion:
This film was designed to be an forensic educational production that will not only expose the truth about this senseless killings but show to goodness and forgiveness that we all have through our Lord Jesus Christ. For we learn in Luke 6:37 we see: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven’. (NIV) Yet statistics show Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as ‘Born-again/Evangelical’. (says Dorothy Guyton of dirt2diamonds.blogspot.com)
A new study by The Center For Reason (www.CenterForReason.com) finds that Christians have just as many abortions as their non-Christian counterparts. The study concludes that in the year 2000, Christians were responsible for 570,000 abortions. Catholics were found to be the worst offenders, with abortion rates higher than the national average. (www.centerforreason.com) We have a lot of work to do but it’s not all done on the streets of this great nation. It needs to be done right inside our own church walls. The church can no longer be silent, and then come to ‘life’ every January and every other November, and say ‘We are Pro-Life’ Of the 70 million Christians in the US about 3.5 m or about 5% are involved in the Pro-life movement in some way. Until we realize that abortion is a bigger symptom of the real problem, we cannot see an end in sight.
Five percent of Christians is clearly not enough. More Christians must stand against abortion and stand up for the innocent. Without question, abortion must be spoken about from our pulpits and in our pews. We must speak with truth and compassion, with love and courage. We must determine that we will not stop until every life is saved and every silenced voice – like John’s – is heard. This is the call that has been put on Christians, and we must answer it.
Yet this is not a film for just Christians. The Voice of John is a wake-up call to the nation as a whole. Despite your religious affiliation – or lack of it – and despite your involvement on either side of the abortion issue, and despite your current beliefs, this documentary is a must-see. We must individually wake up to the truth and choose to stand up for innocent lives. We must choose to forgive, and not condemn. Christians must choose to live like Christians, not just claim to be Christians.
Watch The Voice of John, weep with the reality of millions of innocent lives lost, and then get up out of your chair and do something to end the slaughter.
New Church Website on Same-Sex Attraction
Offers Love, Understanding and Hope
SALT LAKE CITY —
In an effort to encourage understanding and civil conversation about same-sex attraction, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched the website “Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction” (www.mormonsandgays.org). It features a number of videos from people who share real experiences from their own perspectives on a sensitive and sometimes emotionally charged topic.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says the website is important because it seeks to further understanding.
Elder Oaks said that because we don’t understand everything about this subject it is wise to stick to the revealed word of God as found in the scriptures. “What we do know is that the doctrine of the Church—that sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married—has not changed and is not changing. But what is changing and what needs to change is to help our own members and families understand how to deal with same-gender attraction,” he said.
Church apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook stresses that Latter-day Saints, who devote their lives to following Jesus Christ’s teachings, should be an example to the world of expressing love and hope for those with same-gender attraction.
“As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate,” Elder Cook said. “Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”
The website is a collection of conversations with Church leaders, Church members who are attracted to people of the same sex, and family members and friends of those who experience same-sex attraction. The website’s various sections discuss important topics such as our common ground as human beings, our family relationships, our identity and potential as children of God, how members of society treat each other, and what it means to be disciples of Christ. While the website does not endeavor to address every issue that could be addressed in relation to same-sex attraction, these candid and sincere expressions show the many human facets of a sensitive matter. Compassion comes from understanding.
One of the participants in the website explains why it’s important to address this topic:
“This is a dialogue that I feel very passionately about and one that I think we’re not used to having in the Church. It’s a dialogue that needs to come from a place of understanding and empathy rather than fear and misunderstanding.”
“I hope we will give ourselves the time and have the patience to listen and understand and not insist on everything being resolved within a certain framework of time,” Church apostle Elder D. Todd Christofferson said.
Regarding the timing of the announcement, Church spokesman Michael Purdy said, “Too often these types of big, important issues are dealt with in sound bites and often by individuals who do not have the complete picture of what the Church is doing. This website was produced over two years and puts the entire issue in context.
“The attention the Church received during the presidential election period highlighted areas of Church belief and practice that are poorly understood by the general public. We think additional context will help people better understand the Church’s position on a number of issues. Over the next few weeks we expect to be publishing more resource materials that will help address other topics.”
“Having been born of goodly parents”, I was blessed to be the third member of a family of eight sons and one daughter of George and Olive Osmond. We grew up in the town of Ogden, Utah with fond memories of a wonderful family life.
My Mother, Olive, was so kind and tender as she nurtured us children. She love to cook and taught us music in a most wonderful and loving home. Her parents were both educators and my mother would have been too, but she fulfilled her first priority and married my father and had a large family. Because she loved education, she asked my father to build a schoolroom in the attic of our home where she used her skills as a teacher and theologian to teach us children many truths.
My Father was my hero and my role model. We called him “Father” out of respect and I wanted to be like him when I grew up. I was by his side when he built, plumbed, wired, and remodeled homes as a great carpenter. I watched him and was by his side when he milked cows, hauled hay, irrigated the orchard and fields, or as we stamped and packaged postal items at the post office that he had. Father also loved to sing. I sat behind him while he was driving the car and as we sang together, he would sing in harmony with Mother. That was how I learned to sing harmony. Learning that skill truly impacted my life. Father taught me how to fish, to hoe sugar beets and how to drive the tractor and haul hay. He always involved my brothers and me in his work projects and led by example. He always stood by us when the going got tough or was challenging. You see, Father had been an army sergeant and knew how to lead men. Several evidences of that training showed up in how he raised our sister Marie and us eight boys.
One example of that was when we got older and our home needed more bedrooms. Father decided to build on to the back of our house and built what he called, a dormitory. Yes, you are right, it was like an army barrack with seven military metal framed army cots and blankets, foot lockers at the end of the beds, and open closets where our clothes needed to be neatly hung and arranged as there where regular inspections that occurred. He knew how to lead and train military men in the army so like them, Father taught us in many of the same ways and how to have order. Some neighbors had asked him if the way he was raising his kids wasn’t ‘regimentation’. He would just smile and respond back saying; “I look at it as organization.”
I remember many times when he helped friends by serving them. My Father and Mother were always doing things to help others. They started the Osmond Foundation to raise money for deaf children, two of which were my older brothers. This was a pattern of my father and I wanted to be like him, “Like Father, Like Son.” He was a hard worker and organizer and gave freely of his time in headed up several fundraising projects within the church and the community.
Like my father, I too, found and married the most wonderful girl in the world, Suzanne Pinegar, and she is my eternal partner. Suzanne has blessed me with eight wonderful sons. As a father, I tried to raise them the best I knew.
I can look back and see a parallel in many of the same ways and traditions that I learned from my father. Those patterns and traditions of life now exist among us as a family with our sons and their families. Yes, they honor me and call me Father and they have learned to work hard and to never give up. Yes, they also love
music and have excelled in it masterfully. I told them to get “real jobs” and they did get good educations with a love to learn. Yes, they love the out of doors like I did as a son and are all Eagle Scouts. Seven of them so far have served full time missions and have returned and married. Yes, they grew up in a home with respect, order, good cooking, love, and with religious convictions that honors our Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We learn from Jesus’s example that even what He did, was as His Father has done; “Like Father, like Son”.
This Father’s Day, I reflect back on my father’s life and how much he showed me by example the way to be and to become. He taught us to be positive and to never give up when we were challenged and would say, “You can do it”. He also taught us that “You can be what you want to become, if you become what you want to be.” He was hard working yet a righteous man with a tender “marshmallow” heart”, as my mother would say, as he blessed his family and took us all to church. He served in the bishopric and held several other church callings in which he blessed others. We never had a meal together without first having a word of prayer and giving thanks and blessing the food. We always had family prayer at night and even before every show that my family and I did later when we became entertainers. When major decisions were made, we would counsel with the Lord together in kneeling family prayer seeking inspiration and giving thanks. This was the way we grew up because it was the way he did.
I remember the day my mother passed away and which was a hard thing and then not long after that when my father died. It is not easy to see them go but it is those times when the knowledge of that they had taught us gave us the understanding that we would live again and be with them. When my Father died, I was the first one to be by his side. I saw him lying cold and still on his bed. His body was there but my Father’s spirit wasn’t. I shed some tears and held his hand as I offered a prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I thanked Him for giving me the greatest earthly father I could ever have and for the good man that he was. It was then that I honestly started to smile as I knew he was now once again with my Mother in the Spirit world. I looked at him and said, “Father, save me a place, up there.”
Some day, I too, will graduate and do as my Father, my Savior, and my God have done, and live on eternally. ”Like Father, Like Son”.
Families need to be self-sustaining to the full extent of their own powers. They should not voluntarily shift from themselves the burden of their own support. So long as they can, under the inspiration of the Almighty God and with their own labors, they will supply themselves with the necessities of life.
They should take care of their own material needs and then contribute to the welfare of those who cannot provide for themselves.
If a family is unable to sustain themselves, then they are to call upon their own fanilies, and then upon their Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all.
When families are able but unwilling to take care of themselves, then according to the Lord, “the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer.” (D&C 42:42)
The simple rule has been to take care of one’s self. This couplet of truth has been something of a model:
“Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
The primary purpose of one’s beliefs and church is to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of ‘the Church’ is to help people help themselves.”
Occasionally some families are attracted to their Church because of the welfare program. They see material security.
Our answer to them is: “Yes, join the Church for that reason. We can use all of the help we can get. You will be called upon continually to bless and assist others.”
It is a self-help system, not a quick handout system. It requires a careful inventory of all personal and family resources, all of which must be committed before anything is added from the outside.
It is not an unkind or an unfeeling church leader who requires a member to work to the fullest extent he can for what he receives from Church welfare.
There should not be the slightest embarrassment for any member family to be assisted by the Church. Provided, that is that he has contributed all that they can. To care for people on any other basis is to do them more harm than good.
The principle of self-reliance or personal independence is fundamental to the happy life. In too many places, in too many ways, families are getting away from it.
The same principle self-reliance and being prepared has application to the spiritual and to the emotional.
Families have been counseled to store additional food, clothing, and, if possible, fuel at home for times of need. Can we not see that the same principle applies to inspiration and revelation, the solving of problems, to counsel, and to guidance?
If families do not do seek for their our own inspiration and revelation for solving problems, they are quite as threatened spiritually as they should be were they to assume that the Church or Government should supply all material needs.
Unless families use care, they are on the verge of doing to themselves emotionally (and, therefore, spiritually) what they have been working so hard for generations to avoid materially.
Some families seem to be developing an epidemic of “counselitis” which drains spiritual strength from the Church and family counseling agencies much like the common cold drains more strength out of humanity than any other disease.
That, some may assume, is not serious. It is very serious!
There are many chronic cases families who endlessly seek counsel and advice but do not follow the counsel that is given. The greatest therapy is to show them how to help themselves, and more than that, how to help others.
If families lose their emotional and spiritual independence, their self-reliance, they can be weakened quite as much, perhaps even more, than when they become dependent materially.
If they are not careful, they can lose the power of individual inspiration by going to others before they seek personal revelation.
The Lord has said, “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong.” (D&C 9:7–9.)
Spiritual independence and self-reliance is a sustaining power within families. If others step in to help too quickly, they rob the families of how they can get personal revelation for themselves. How will families know there is a God? How can they get answers to prayers? How can they know for sure for themselves?
Families should follow proper channels in solving problems.
It is not unusual for some to “shop around” to get advice from friends and neighbors, from every direction, and then choose what they think is the best of it. That is a mistake.
Some want to start with psychologists, with professional counselors, or to go directly to church leaders to begin with.
Their problems may need that kind of attention but only after every personal, and family, and every local resource has been exhausted.
When families have used all of their own resources there should be no embarrassment in receiving welfare assistance.
That principle holds true with emotional assistance as well.
There may be a time when deep-seated emotional problems need more than can be given by the family or church leader.
Be very careful seeking for professional help. There are some spiritually destructive techniques used in the field of counseling. Do not let your family be subject to these things. Solve your problems first, the Lord’s way. It is seldom as easy to put something back together as it is to take it apart.
If your son or daughter needs counseling, it should be the parents responsibility first, and the church’s second.
If your son or daughter needs recreation, parents should provide it first, and the church second.
If your son or daughter needs correction, that should be the parents responsibility first, and the church or government second.
If parents are failing as a father or mother, they should be helped first, and their children second.
Do not be too quick to give up your job as parents in raising your children.
Do not be too quick to go outside the family for counsel to solve all of the problems.
We live in a day when the world stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems.
Families are indoctrinated that somehow they should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some families become anxious—and all too frequently seek relief from counseling, from analysis, and even from medication.
It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.
The scriptures record, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”Ether 12: 27
If families have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out.
There is great purpose in our struggle in life.
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” 2 Ne. 31: 20
The folks who are getting the free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.
The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!
We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.
Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.
The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 235 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that. In 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.
ELECTION 2012 IS COMING
A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!
We the people are coming.
“The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out
of other people’s money”. – Margaret Thatcher
Our Prophets have told us how to deal with these kinds of issues.
“We expect the individual to do all he can to help himself, whether it be an emergency for a single family or for a whole community, that the relatives will do all they can to help, then the Church steps in with commodities from the storehouse, with fast offerings to meet their needs that commodities from the storehouse will not supply. Harold B. Lee
The Lord’s Plan of taking care of oneself is in this order:
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye loveone another; as I have loved you, that ye also loveone another. John 13: 34
And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God — I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. D&C 82: 17-19
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was nopooramongthem.
It’s Time To Stand For Our God, Our Freedoms, And Our Families!
We are living in the Last Days!
He is "The Way".
We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, “as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” D&C 21: 4-5
There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will desperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”D&C 21: 6
If the emotions one feels as he contemplates the fore-boding days ahead are primarily fearful, then perhaps what is needed is a serious evaluation of one’s personal relatioinship with Jesus Christ. It is he to whose coming we look, and if it is with frightened eyes, perhaps it is because we are not completely comfortable with our present relationship to him.
We must be prepared. The Lord spoke through Joseph Smith and gave a most profound truth, and a promise, saying: “…if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Elder John A. Widsoe said, … Fear, which “shall come upon every man,” is the natural consequence of a sence of weakness, also of sin. Fear is a chief weapon of Satan in making manking unhappy. He who fears loses strength for the combat of life, for the fight against evil. Therefore, the power of evil ever seeks to engender fear in human hearts. In this day of sorrow, fear walks with humanity. It directs, measurabbly, the course of every battle. It remains as a gnawing poison in the hearts of the victors as of the vanquished.
As leaders in Israel, we mst seek to dispel fear from among our people. A timid, fearing people cannot do their work well. The Latter-day Saints have a divinely assigned world-mission so great that they cannot afford to dissipate their strength in fear. The Lord has repeatedly warned His people against fear. Many a blessing is withheld because of our fears. He has expressly declared that man cannot stop his work on earth, therefore, they who are engaged in the Lord’s latter-day cause and who fear, really trust man more that God, and thereby are robbed of their power to serve.
The key to the conquest of fear has been given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. “If ye are repared ye shall not fear.”D&C 38: 30 That devine message needs repeating today in every stake and ward. Are we prepared in surrender to God’s commandments? In victory over our appetites? In obedience to righteous law? If we can honestly answer yes, we can bid fear depart. And the degree of fear in our hearts may well be measured by our preparation by righteous living, such as should characterize Latter-day Saints.
In this world upheval, in this day of wanton destruction, we, as a people, must look upward. There must be trust and faith in our hearts. Hope must walk by our side. We must remember charity also. We must treasure the warm words of the Father to His Church. “Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord God am whith you, and will stand by you.”D&C 68: 6
Oh!, that each heart could honestly repeat the words spoken by President Joseph F. Smith during World War I. “No matter what may come to me, if I am only in the line of my duty, if I am in fellowship with God, if I am worthy of the fellowship of my brethren, if I can stand spotless before the world, without blemish, without transgressioin of the Laws of God, what does it matter to me what may happen to me? I am always ready, if in this frame of understanding, mind, and conduct. It does not matter at all. Therefore, I borrow no trouble nor feel the pangs of fear.
Much has been said concerning the coming of the Lord. Much more could be said. The world rushes headlong toward disater and many live in fear of that “dreadful day“. But many others look forward with poignant longing for the “great day“ of the Lord.
The advice of Elder Orson Pratt should be in the forefront of the mind of every Latter-day Saint in these troubled and ominoius times.
With a work of such magnitude before them, the Latter-day Saints should be wide awake, and should not have their minds engaged in those fooleries in which many indulge at the present time. We should put these things away, and our inquiry should be, “Lord how can we prepare the way before thy coming? How can we prepare ourselves to perform the work which must be performed in this greatest of dispensations, the dispensation of the fulness of times? How can we be prepared to behold the Saints who lived on the earth in former disipensatioins, and take them by the haved and fall upon their necks and they fall upon ours, and we embrace each other? How can we be prepared for this?” How can all things that are in Christ Jesus, both which are in heaven and on the earth, be assembled in one grand assembly. without we are wide awake?
When we can make such questions the code for patterning our daily living, we too can truly be prepared for the coming of the Lord.
“And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.” D&C 133: 48 & Isa. 63: 2