By Alan on Oct 14 in Blog tagged a choice land, Abraham Lincoln, agency, Almighty, American, Columbus, conflicts, country, covenant, divine, divine purpose, first americans, founded, founding fathers, george Washington, God, God bless America, healing, homes, liberty, Lincoln Memorial, miracles, most important election, native Americans, Obama, one nation, personal salvation, proclamations, promises, Prosperity, protection, religion, return to God, Romney, schools, scourges, serve God, silences, spiritually, taken God out, temple, the people, thomas jefferson, tragedies, Under God, victories | 2 Comments
The American Covenant – One Nation Under God
noun: A binding agreement;
verb: To promise by or as if by a covenant.
The Lincoln Memorial, often referred to as a temple, with it’s ninety-nine foot marble sculptured edifice spiritually manifests that the United States of America is truly “One Nation Under God” and set apart as a choice land commissioned with a divine purpose.
There is compelling evidence that America founded by the Almighty, is embedded in divine purpose through a national covenant between God and the people of this nation with specific obligations, promised blessings and divine instruction.
If we keep and obey Gods Commandments and live by His inspired Constitution, then God covenants with with us these three specific socio-political blessings:
2) Protection, and
It is a covenant that enhances and maximizes God’s gift of agency unto personal salvation by providing an environment where His children might choose freely, becoming who and what they desire to be and in providing the environment where freedoms of religion enables them to progress spiritually.
America “is a choice land” to “be free from bondage,” as long as we “serve the God of the land”. (Ether 2:12)
America has struggled through bloody conflicts, glorious victories, devastating scourges, healing redemptions, long silences, great proclamations, deep tragedies, and phenomenal miracles.
For example, ancient prophets saw the discoverer Columbus and that the first settlers and founders willfully received the land and nation under covenant; that George Washington’s scripture of choice was an ancient prophecy about the gospel destiny of America, and knew the many battlefield miracles he witnessed were connected to a covenant with the Almighty; that Thomas Jefferson testified that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution profoundly reflect and codify the American Covenant; and how Abraham Lincoln fulfilled some of the greatest prophecies related to God’s kingdom on earth.
Additionally, it is the astonishing and miraculous relationship (forged in life and death) between the founders of this nation and the temple of God all the way throughout the present day with miracles, revelations, tokens, and symbols of God’s work throughout our history.
If we are to continue to have the freedoms that evolved within the structure that was the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true author. If we keep our promises, God will keep His promises.
We have taken God out of our country, our homes and our schools!
America is essential for our freedoms and it was founded upon God!
WE ARE FACING THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN HISTORY!
LET”S FAST AND PRAY TOGETHER!
May we ACT and choose well the one who will best lead our nation into the future and
sustain the Constitutional principles of freedom and our promises to God.
WE MUST RETURN TO GOD!
… AND REMEMBER OUR COVENANTS!!!
May God Bless America
The First Americans – The Native Americans
By Alan on Jun 19 in Blog tagged Americans, apostles, beliefs, challenges of worshiping, conscience, convictions, faith, Joseph Smith, LDS, legal provisions, legal shifts, liberty, Mormons, organizations, priveliege, protection, religion, religious liberty, rights, social, statements, supress, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson | 2 Comments
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have great reason to revere religious liberty. From a history that at times has involved religious persecution, Mormons have a special appreciation for the freedom to speak and live according to their convictions and faith. Religious liberty, in fact, has been significant for Mormons since the beginning. Church founder Joseph Smith was a strong and generous proponent of this principle, and he recognized that it was critical for all parties to reciprocate in upholding it. “I am bold to declare before Heaven” he said, “that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbytarian [sic], a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination.”
In a 19th-century Mormon settlement, Smith also underlined the importance of religious freedom by introducing a city ordinance that guaranteed religious freedom for inhabitants of all faiths. Freedom of conscience and religion were incorporated into the Church’s Articles of Faith, which explain, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”  Mormons are steadfastly committed to religious liberty and to its protection.
The mounting challenges to religious freedom
The condition of religious liberty and freedom of conscience in the United States is not as dire as it is in some areas of the world. Today, American people of faith and conscience do not generally face the physical violence or coercion sometimes experienced in other nations. However, freedom of religion and conscience in the United States are nonetheless at risk. Social and legal shifts are squeezing this liberty in new and deeply problematic ways. Americans who have long taken it for granted are being reminded of its value.
Challenges to religious freedom are emerging from many sources. Emerging advocacy for gay rights threatens to abridge religious freedom in a number of ways. Changes in health care threaten the rights of those who hold certain moral convictions about human life. These and other developments are producing conflict and beginning to impose on religious organizations and people of conscience. They are threatening, for instance, to restrict how religious organizations can manage their employment and their property. They are bringing about the coercion of religiously-affiliated universities, schools and social-service entities. They are also resulting in reprimands to individuals who act in line with their principles — from health practitioners and other professionals to parents. In these and in many other circumstances, we see how religious freedom and freedom of conscience are being subtly but steadily eroded. And of equal concern, the legal provisions emerging to safeguard these freedoms are often shallow — protecting these liberties only in the narrowest sense. In many aspects of public life, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are being drawn into conflicts that may suppress them.
Selected Beliefs and Statements on Religious Freedom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
SALT LAKE CITY —
We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life. . . . We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul. Doctrine and Covenants 134:2, 4 (1835)
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. Articles of Faith 1:11 (1842)
Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Episcopals, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans, and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration, and equal privileges, in this city. Joseph Smith, Nauvoo City Ordinance (1841)
The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing before Heaven to die for a “Mormon,” I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbytarian [sic], a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. Joseph Smith (1843)
The Latter-day Saints proclaim their unqualified allegiance to the principles of religious liberty and toleration. Freedom to worship Almighty God as the conscience may dictate, they affirm to be one of the inherent and inalienable rights of humanity. . . . No person possessing a regard for Deity can be content if restricted in the performance of the highest duty of his existence. James E. Talmage (1899)
Nothing else in the great document, the Constitution [of the United States], is so important to this people as is this guarantee of religious freedom, because underneath and behind all that lies in our lives, all that we do in our lives, is our religion, our worship, our belief and faith in God.” J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1935)
Those who oppose all references to God in our public life have set themselves the task of rooting out historical facts and ceremonial tributes and symbols so ingrained in our national consciousness that their elimination could only be interpreted as an official act of hostility toward religion. Our constitutional law forbids that. As the ruling principle of conduct in the lives of many millions of our citizens, religion should have an honorable place in the public life of our nation, and the name of Almighty God should have sacred use in its public expressions. First Presidency Statement (1979)
Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms. I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our “First Freedom,” the free exercise of religion. Dallin H. Oaks (2009)
By Alan on Jun 01 in Blog tagged Americans, Baptist, Billy Graham, Bonheoffer, by Oath, Catholic Online, champion for Christ, christianity, Chuck Colson, Culture matters, David Landes, different faiths, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Viktor Frankl, graduates, John Paul the Second, Judeo-Christian tradition, Liberty University, marriage, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney is correct, Mormon, one man and one woman, Presidential elections, protection, purpose-driven life, religious freedom, Rick Santorum, spiritual ideals, standards, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family, US Consttution, Welsly, Wilberforce | 1 Comment
Governor Romney did not attempt to argue the compatibility of his own religious faith and that of most of the graduates. I was relieved. He told the graduates and their guests, “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.” He is right. - Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
. . . . . . . .
LYNCHBURG,VA (Catholic Online) – On Saturday May 12, 2012, Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party who will contend with President Barack Obama in one of the most important Presidential elections in the history of the United States, surprised many, including me.
The fact that a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would be the commencement speaker at the Baptist University founded by Dr Jerry Falwell speaks to the urgency of the hour. Add to this the fact that this Catholic Editor in Chief of Catholic Online would consider the speech important enough to make it the lead article, and the point is made even clearer.
Governor Romney addressed a graduating class of 14,012 and a crowd estimated at over 30,000 people. That made it the largest crowd of the 2012 campaign. His speech was deeply respectful. He affirmed the founder of the University, the late Dr Jerry Falwell:
“The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness”
He affirmed the Liberty graduates noting, “You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.”
“That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonheoffer, John Paul
the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.”
Mitt Romney even managed to weave in an affirmation of his former rival, my friend and preferred candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum. In his emphasis on the importance of the culture, he told the graduates, “You enter a world with civilizations and economies
that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian
tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.”
“The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family. The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Sen. Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For
those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters.”
Then, in the line quoted most from the speech by the media, Romney stood firmly and squarely for marriage and the family and free society founded upon it noting, “As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between
one man and one woman.”
He was equally firm on the vital issue of religious freedom noting, ”The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.”
“But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there
is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.”
“Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us. Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is
always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”
This was a well delivered speech filled with excellent content which the Romney campaign should use more frequently in the campaign ahead. The signal was sent to many who, like me, who are deeply concerned that the moral issues not be separated from the economic issues. It appears that the presumptive Republican candidate has listened. Governor Romney did not attempt to argue the compatibility of his own
religious faith and that of most of the graduates. I was relieved. He told the graduates and their guests, “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. The best case for
this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.”
“Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison. He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably. They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man. His choice
at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.”
I will attend Chuck’s memorial service this week. He had a great influence on my own life when I was a younger man. I was moved that the Governor included him in the commencement address. Chuck deserved the honor and, frankly, I think he would have approved. What I discovered in this speech and the venue was the importance of our
exercise of faithful citizenship at this critical moment in our history as a free people – a Nation conceived in liberty.
The Governor concluded with these remarks: “The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen. Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us. How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.
“In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service -the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.”
The Romney candidacy raises a certain irony. Here we had a Mormon candidate who went to Liberty University and addressed a crowd which has major disagreement with his religious faith. However, it was this candidate who affirmed the fundamental moral values which inform the foundations of the American experiment in ordered liberty. He did so in a way which even made this Catholic Editor look twice at his candidacy.
I contend that I have more in common theologically with Liberty’s Baptists as a Catholic Christian – though I am sure some present in Lynchburg on Saturday would disagree. However, Mitt Romney hit a home run in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday. That commencement address was not only a great speech, it also inspired me at an important moment. Article VI, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution includes these words, ”The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
This Mormon candidate who spoke at that Baptist Liberty University is looking better and better to this Catholic citizen as the fall Presidential race approaches. The future of the American experiment in ordered liberty is at risk. We do indeed share common values which are essential for our future as a free people. Mitt Romney is correct, “we
can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.”
Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Note: Dr. Jerry Falwell was a previous recipient of The Family Award, “for standing up and speaking out to the world with his strongest voice …a message to defend and maintain family values.”
By Alan on Feb 05 in Blog tagged awareness, car seat, crying baby, do not drive off, do not open door, elevator, life saving tips, lock the doors, loved ones, parking car, parking garage, protection, robber, run in zig zag pattern, safety, save your life, shopping, water scam | 1 Comment
Life Saving Tips…Personal Protection, Safety, Awareness
A good friend of mine sent an email to me, which included the tips below, and asked if I could write something up for his blog (www.thefamily.com ), so I decided that my readers needed it as well. I am not sure of the source of these tips, except at the bottom of the page there was a name. I included the name at the end to make sure that if, indeed that was the author, they would get the appropriate credit. I do not know the validity of some of these tips…but they seem like great ideas, so I decided to leave them in. Some of the tips have been altered for grammar, editing etc, and I have added other information as well.
Tips to help save your life and the lives of your loved ones:
1. The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, then use it!
2. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, don’t HAND it to them; toss it AWAY from you…Chances are that they are more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and they will go for the wallet/purse. Run in the other direction. This may also give you the time needed to draw an emergency tool for your protection.
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out, or rip out, the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy… The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit there doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for them to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE..
If someone is already in the car and puts a gun to your head, DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a person is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. (This is especially true at NIGHT!)
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, get away if you can. The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern! Better yet, get trained in self defense techniques and also get trained in firearms familiarity.
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked for “help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.. The police told her “Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door” The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, ’We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.’ He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night. Another addition to such criminal techniques, is to leave a baby car seat or baby carrier on the side of the road and when a concerned citizen stops to investigate…they are kidnapped or car jacked or something else. Be aware!
10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
According to the email I was sent, the “crying baby” tactic, was mentioned on America’s Most Wanted, when they profiled a serial killer in Louisianna. I have not verified that claim… but it sure does sound like something a criminal would do.
SO…remember that there are criminals out there who can be innovative in what they do. Being aware of your surroundings is the FIRST thing you can do to combat crime and have a safer life. Keep your head up, keep your eyes open, create a routine of looking and taking notes of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Parking your car way out in the boonies, next to that tree, just to get a little more shade on your vehicle can be great, but that can also be an ambush waiting to happen…especailly at night!
Be Safe, Be Aware, and Check Your Six Often!
Teresa Flinchbaugh (assumed author of the emailed 10 safety tips)
For The Family