"Teach more people more truth, and they will improve their own lives."

(Abr. 3:25)

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strengthining families


By on Dec 28 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment on A SPIRAL OF SILENCE



John Locke, a seventeenth century philosopher, said there are
three forms of law —-

  1. Divine,

  2. Civil, and

  3. Opinion.

He, considered the father of modern liberalism, claimed the law of opinion is the only one by which people really abide.

It is the law governing what a person feels
they can express, without being
in danger of isolation.

This produces what Dr. Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann, professor of communication research at the University of Mainz in Germany, calls a spiral of silence.

When put in an environment where a person feels they might be laughed at or turned away in derision if they say what they really think, the spiral begins.

People want to avoid the social stigma that comes from having a different opinion on social issues. To avoid it they switch to a go-along-to-get-along mode even if they are considered to be a conformist. That is considered to be better than rejection. Most people want peace and contentment so badly they don’t speak out.

see no evil

The electronic and print media give us most of our knowledge of the world around us. Most of the national media does not give a balanced insight into what people are thinking proportionate to the various opinions. todayThe selective perception given primarily by TV makes it appear  everyone thinks as they represent issues. The media’s sanctioned view tends to bias the nation’s judgement. This can make the minority appear to be the majority.

This is where the spiral starts.

– Those who hold the opinion fostered by the media are emboldened thereby and speak out all the more.  

– Those who hold a view contrary to the media are silent in order to avoid ostracism.

  • Pick any one of several controversial social issues.  A position on it in the media appears to be the accepted norm. Many people are unwilling to take an opposing view in a group for fear of rejection.

  • Take as examples freedom of religious speech,  don’t-ask-don’t-tell or abortion. Does the media project what appears to be an accepted view on these subjects?

  • Is it popular to speak out in opposition to the reported popular attitude?

  • If one does speak out in a group that concurs with the image fostered by the media what is likely to be the reaction of the group?

  • Does the person holding an opposing view risk getting a cold-shoulder?

  • Who wants a cold-shoulder?

Often the only way to avoid it is silence.
The spiral is then complete.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in the nineteenth century gave this analysis of the decline of religion just before the French Revolution.

“People still clinging to the old faith were afraid
of being the only ones who did so,
and as they were more frightened of isolation
than of committing an error,
they joined the masses even though they
did not agree with them.

In this way, the opinion of only part of the population
seemed to be the opinion of everybody.”

Could that be happening in the
religious community in America today?

 Society can only be changed by those who are
willing to risk isolation to defend their faith.

So, Why Don’t More Christians Speak Out?
Where are the Jews?
The Defenders of the Constitution?
The Pioneers?
The Silent Majority?
Those for Pro Life?
The Believers?
Where are you?

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I wish there there were more people who were
willing to stand up and speak out on moral issues!
So does the Lord!

“But with some I am not well pleased, 
for they will not open their mouths
but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, 
because of the fear of man.
Wo unto such, for mine 
anger is kindled against them.
D&C 60:2


THE FAMILYthe family

For The Family


Does Anyone See A Problem Here?

By on Dec 10 in Blog tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Does Anyone See A Problem Here?

Does Anyone See A Problem Here?

A Ford Dealer’s Report – From Tom Selkis’ (Latham Ford)

True story yesterday at the dealership.  “I’ll try to make this as short and to the point as I can.

the familyOne of my salesmen here had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus.   As  he was reviewing her credit application with her he noticed she was on social security disability.   He said to her you don’t look like you’re disabled and unable to work.   She said, well I’m really not. I could work if I wanted to, but I make more now than I did when I was working and got hurt (non-disabling injury).   She said the governmentt sends her $1500.00 a month in 1 check. And she gets $700.00 a month on an EBT card (food stamps), and $800.00 a month for rent.   Oh yeah, and 250 minutes free on her phone.

That is just south of $3500.00 a month.  When she was working, she was taking home about $330.00 per week.   Do the math and then ask yourself why the heck should she go back to work.  
If you multiply that by millions of people, you start to realize the scope of the problem we face as a country.  

Once the socialists have 51% of the population in that same scenario, we are finished.   The question is when do we cross that threshold if we haven’t already, and there are not enough people working to pay enough taxes to support the non-working people?  Riots??  

the family

Be prepared to protect your homes.  She didn’t lease the Focus here because the dealer down the road beat our deal by $10.00/month.
Glad to know she is so frugal with her hard earned money.”
How passing info on to others in America is having an effect…
10 pass it on to their 10
100 then pass it on to their 10
1,000 then pass it on to their 10
10,000 then pass it on to their 10
100,000 then pass it on to their 10
1,000,000 then pass it on to their 10
10,000,000 then pass it on to their 10
100,000,000 then pass it on to their 10
Yes, through the power of the Internet America is becoming aware.
Does anyone see a problem here…….?

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;
for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Genesis 3:19

For The Family

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Religious Liberty

By on Jun 19 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments on Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Religious Liberty

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 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 the familyimportance 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.” [2] 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.

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Selected Beliefs and Statements on Religious Freedom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


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)

A Prophet Of Yesterday Speaks Truthful Words Of Today!

By on May 15 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Prophet Of Yesterday Speaks Truthful Words Of Today!

A Prophet of yesterday speaks truthful words for Today! – Ezra Taft Benson

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Our past Prophets  knew our day, TODAY!

We must be involved in Civic Affairs! … AND VOTE!

For The Family

“Pay Thy Debt and Live.” WARNED BY A PROPHET!

By on Jan 14 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments on “Pay Thy Debt and Live.” WARNED BY A PROPHET!


Given by: President Ezra Taft Benson.  1957

My beloved brethren and sisters, humbly and gratefully I approach this sobering responsibility. I am grateful for this conference. I have had a prayer in my heart in the last few moments that every person living in this world might have the opportunity to hear and to read the masterful address given by our beloved President at the beginning of this conference and the great and statesmanlike address to which we have just listened from President Clark.

For months I have had borne in upon my heart a desire to discuss a certain matter in this conference which I feel impressed to discuss with you. I hope I will not be misunderstood. I assure you that I also need the counsel which I am about to express.

In the book of Kings we read about a woman who came weeping to Elisha, the prophet. Her husband had died, and she owed a debt that she could not pay; and the creditor was on his way to take her two sons and sell them as slaves.

By a miracle Elisha enabled her to acquire a goodly supply of oil. And he said to her:

Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. (IIKings 4:1–7.)

“Pay thy debt, and live.” How fruitful these words have ever been! What wise counsel they are for us today!

Read the words of wise men down through the ages, and we find over and over again this great insistence upon the wisdom of being debt-free.

Shakespeare put on the lips of one of his characters in Hamlet these words:

Neither a borrower nor a lender be: For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

Others have written:

Do not accustom yourself to debt as only a convenience; you will find it a calamity. (Johnson)

The debt-habit is the twin brother of poverty. (Munger)

Poverty is hard-but debt is horrible, said another philosopher. (Surgeon)

John Randolph, one of the early leaders of our nation, remarked:

I have discovered the philosopher’s stone that turns everything into gold; it is, “Pay as you go.”

And one of the wisest men in the annals of our country, Ben Franklin, wrote:

Think what you do when you run into debt; you give to another power over your liberty.

True, times have changed since Franklin’s day, but the principles of truth and wisdom never change. Our inspired leaders have always urged Latter-day Saints to get out of debt, live within our means, and pay as we go.

Our own pioneer forefathers have left us a heritage of thrift–of saving–of freedom from debt.

Surely they would counsel us today: “Pay thy debt, and live.”

I speak to you today of a two fold duty which all of us have-a duty to our country as Americans-and a duty to ourselves as individuals, as children of God.

Never has a nation been so blessed with productivity as we in this land. Last year our output of goods and services reached the enormous value of 412 billion dollars. This was an increase in terms of real value of more than forty percent in the last ten years. The increase in output for each person since 1946 has been nearly twenty percent.

Whence comes this astounding capacity to produce? I am deeply convinced that it lies in the blessings of our Heavenly Father and in the untrammeled initiative, enterprise, and freedom of our people, in the fact that success or failure of our nation rests primarily with the people.

Yet, despite our wealth, our productivity, our material progress, do we not see signs of danger ahead? Do we not discern unhealthy tendencies, perhaps even germs of decay, in a general weakening of some of our oldest American traditions?

In the past quarter century, there has been a tremendous shift from individual to governmental responsibility in many phases of economic and social life. There has been a rapid shift of responsibility from the states to the federal government.

Twenty-five years ago the federal government received one-fourth of all the taxes collected in the United States. Today the federal government collects not one-fourth but three-fourths of all our taxes. Twenty-five years ago all taxes, federal, state, and local, took fourteen percent of our national income. Today, taxes take thirty-one percent.

In twenty-four years, our expanding federal government has boosted the average family’s tax bill from 120 to 1600 dollars a year. In twenty-four years the national debt has swollen to an average of 7,000 dollars for each family.

Many forces work together toward the concentration of power at the federal level. Our people have come to look to the federal government as the provider, at no cost to them, of whatever is needful. If this trend continues, the states may be left hollow shells, operating primarily as the field districts of federal departments and depending upon the federal treasury for their support.

The national debt today is 277 billion dollars, equal to two-thirds of a year’s total income. Interest on this debt is more than seven billion dollars a year, about sixty percent as much as the net income of all our farm people.

Through a great effort, in this the period of our greatest prosperity, we reduced this debt by four billion dollars last year (1956), and the expectation is for a further slight reduction this year. This but illustrates how much easier it is to go into debt than to get out.

History teaches that when individuals have given up looking after their own economic needs and transferred a large share of that responsibility to the government, both they and the government have failed.

At least twenty great civilizations have disappeared. The pattern is shockingly similar. All, before their collapse, showed a decline in spiritual values, in moral stamina, and in the freedom and responsibility of their citizens. They showed such symptoms as excessive taxation, bloated bureaucracy, government paternalism, and generally a rather elaborate set of supports, controls, and regulations, affecting prices, wages, production, and consumption.

When we add up our total debt-debt owed by federal, state, and local governments, by business and by individuals-the sum is a staggering 693 billion dollars. In ten years, our total debt has risen nearly 300 billion dollars-about seventy-five percent. Most of this increase was in private debts, which climbed from 252 to 425 billion dollars, or an increase of seventy percent.

We have mortgaged our future. We have done so because we live beyond our income.

Now I do not mean to say that all debt is bad. Of course not. Sound business debt is one of the elements of growth. Sound mortgage credit is a real help to a family that must borrow for a home.

But is it not apparent that in the areas of both public and personal debt the limitations of soundness have been seriously strained?

Personal income, even after taxes, on a per capita basis, is the highest it has ever been. Yet mortgage debt and personal debt have been increasing. Between December 1952 and December 1956, home mortgage debt rose sixty-nine percent. This was by no means due entirely to the building boom.

Personal debt has also sharply increased reaching a total of 42 billion dollars at the end of 1956, compared with about 9 billion dollars only fifteen years earlier. The increase in personal debt during the past two years exceeded the total personal debt outstanding in 1954. No matter which income group we select, the proportion of people with such debt has increased since 1949. A few years ago only one family out of three owed personal debts; now more than half have such obligations.

Why this great increase in debt today? Have incomes declined so that people must borrow money to maintain their level of living? No, incomes generally have shown a steady climb to the present record level.

Is there something about the distribution of income which explains this increase in debt? No, strangely enough, personal debt is reported most frequently not for the low but for the middle income brackets, those families with incomes from $3000 to $7500 annually.

How, then, can we explain the increase in private debt?

One reason, I believe, is that the adult experience of many people covers only the period of the war and postwar inflationary period, the years of high employment and high income since the early ‘forties. During these years, those who went in debt to buy a home or a farm saw the value of their equity increase. Those who bought cars or home utilities experienced relatively little difficulty in paying for them. Wages and prices rose. Incomes increased. The longer one postponed a purchase, the more he had to pay.

For many of these people it is difficult to believe that serious recession will ever come again. Feeling secure in their expectations of continuing employment and a steady flow of wages and salaries, they obligate their future income without thought of what they would do if they should lose their jobs or their incomes were stopped for some other reason. But the best authorities have repeatedly said that we are not yet smart enough to control our economy without downward adjustments. Sooner or later these adjustments will come.

Another reason for the increase in debt, I believe, is deeper-and causes greater concern. This is the rise of materialism as contrasted with spiritual values. Many a family, in order to make a “proper showing,” will commit itself for a larger and more expensive house than is needed, in an expensive neighborhood. Again almost everyone would, it seems, like to keep up with the Joneses. With the increasing standard of living, that temptation increases with each new gadget that comes on the market. The subtle and carefully planned techniques of modern advertising are aimed at the weakest points of consumer resistance. And there is a growing feeling, unfortunately, that material things should be had now, without waiting, without saving, without self-denial.

How many people stop to think when they buy on a thirty-six-months-to-pay basis that they place their future earnings for three years ahead in the hands of moneylenders. What is there about a late model car that can make such a sacrifice worth while?

Worse still, a large proportion of families with personal debt have no liquid assets whatsoever to fall back upon. What troubles they invite if their income should be suddenly cut off or seriously reduced! We all know of families who have obligated themselves for more than they could pay.

There is a world of heartache behind such cases.

All of us as Americans have a patriotic responsibility not to contribute to the inflation danger by needlessly building still higher the mountain of total debt. All of us as individuals-and above all, as members of families-have an obligation in conscience not to mismanage our resources.

Yes, there is a tendency for all of us to want to “keep up with the Joneses,” but even though our income is low we have plenty of company. This should make it easier to live within our income and resist borrowing from the future except in cases of necessity-never for luxuries.

It is not fair to ourselves or our communities to be so improvident in our spending that the day our income stops we must turn to relief agencies or the Church for financial aid.

Do not, I solemnly urge you, tie yourselves to the payment of carrying charges that are often exorbitant. Save now and buy later, and you will be much farther ahead. You will spare yourselves high interest and other payments, and the money you save may provide opportunity for you to buy later at substantial cash discounts.

If you must incur debt to meet the reasonable necessities of life-such as buying a house and furniture-then, I implore you, as you value your solvency and happiness, buy within your means.

So, use credit wisely-to acquire a farm, to own a home.

But resist the temptation to plunge into a property far more pretentious or spacious than you really need.

How much better off you will be, especially young families just starting out, if first you buy a small house which you can expect to pay for in a relatively short time. Such a house in a neighborhood where values are increasing will usually provide the basis for a very large down payment on a bigger home when you are ready for it.

True, you can sometimes buy with little or no down payment, and on long terms. But these terms mean that a very large part of your total payments will go to pay interest charges, not to retire the principal of the debt. Remember, interest never sleeps or takes a holiday. Such payments of interest can easily become a tremendous burden, especially when you add to them taxes and cost of repairs.

Do not leave yourself or your family unprotected against financial storms. Forego luxuries, for the time being at least, to build up savings. How wise it is to provide for the future education of children and for old age.

The smaller the family income, the more important it is that every dollar be used wisely. Efficient spending and saving will give the family more security, more opportunities, more education, and a higher standard of living.

As I look back on the establishment of my own home I’m grateful for a companion who, although accustomed to many of the luxuries of life, was willing to start humbly.

Vividly, I recall her doing the washing by hand until we could buy a secondhand washer. There was no overstuffed furniture; there was no carpeting on the floors. As a graduate student on a $70-a-month scholarship, I recall entertaining at dinner the head of the department at the college. He sat down at a card table-which was not used for cards-because there was no dining table. We gathered vegetables from the college experimental plots to cut down on the grocery bill and live within our means. Many have had similar experiences in a determination to make ends meet.

Now, when personal incomes nationally are at the highest level in history, is the time to pay off obligations.

I doubt that there will be soon again a more favorable time for Latter-day Saints generally to get out of debt than now. Let us use the opportunity we have to speed up repayment of mortgages and to set aside provisions for education, possible periods of decreased earning power, and emergencies the future may hold.

Truly, man does not live by bread alone. A good name is still to be preferred to great riches. Especially is it to be preferred to the appearance of riches, acquired with nothing down and nothing to pay for two months.

Stewardship, not conspicuous consumption, is the proper relationship of man to material wealth.

There may never be a more favorable time than now for most people to get their financial house in order so far as debt is concerned.

Yes, let us live within our income. Let us pay as we go. Let us “pay thy debt, and live!”

Cry unto the Lord for strength to heed the counsel of the oracles of God. The prophet Amulek said:

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase. (Alma 34:24–25.)

May I add this to Amulek’s counsel: Pray to the Lord over your debts that they may be paid. Pray to him for faith to get out of debt, to live within your means, and to pay as you go. Yes, “pay thy debt, and live!”

My brothers and sisters-Latter-day Saints-let us heed the counsel of the leadership of the Church. Get out of debt!

Let us pay first our obligations to our Heavenly Father. Then we will more easily pay our debts to our fellow men. Let us heed the counsel of President Brigham Young, who said:

Pay your debts…do not run into debt any more….Be prompt in everything, and especially to pay your debts.

President Joseph F. Smith:

…In the time of prosperity…get out of debt….If you desire to prosper, and to be…a free people, first meet your obligations to God and then…to your fellow men.

President Heber J. Grant:

Tithing is a law of God…be honest with the Lord and I promise them [the Latter-day Saints] that peace, prosperity, and financial success will attend. Let me warn the Latter-day Saints to buy automobiles…and the luxuries of life…when they have the money to buy them, and not to mortgage their future.

Brothers and sisters, there is a peace and a contentment which comes into the heart when we live within our means.

God grant us the wisdom and the faith to heed the inspired counsel of the priesthood to get out of debt, to live within our means and to pay as we go-in short, to “pay thy debt, and live,” I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ezra Taft Benson. General Conference Talk – April 1957. Pay Thy Debt, and Live.

Brian Mecham
For The Family

Attorney’s Advice. NO CHARGE!

By on Jan 07 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments on Attorney’s Advice. NO CHARGE!

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees of his company:

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts,  DO
NOT put the complete  account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the  last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address.Never have your  SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.

4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards..

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.
But here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

6. File a  police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here’s what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
7. Call the  3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.

The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit..

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Kirk Matsen
For The Family