Monday, November 5, 2012

Missing But Not Absent

While I am trying to post to this blog on a weekly basis, I must say that I have a commitment to live my life, as well. I go to school, work, and help raise my kids. And... help friends publish books.

My friend, D. Christian Markham, has just today published a book, entitled "There Are Save Two Churches Only, Volume I". It is 534 pages long, and is available for purchase at cost, and to read online. What does this have to do with me, you ask? Well, I have spent a good portion of the last year-plus proofreading this tome, as well as providing research and documentation that was included. I also created the website, and maintain it. So, yeah. I've been busy.

I will will hopefully begin updating this blog regularly, as intended, now that things have calmed down a little. Unless I get that job... Well, life never stops, does it? I mean, until it does... but I don't have any morbid expectations. Of course, who ever does?

Please visit the website for my friend's book, here: There Are Save Two Churches Only.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Please Be Kind (aka Adventures in Homelessness)

A couple. (Photo: Public Domain Pictures.net)

On my way to work last Friday, I stopped at a red light. Seated next to the sidewalk on my right, just outside a Jack in the Box restaurant, was a young homeless couple. He looked to be in his early twenties, with slightly dreadlocked blonde hair and a short, pointy beard and mustache. She was a pretty girl, possibly in her late teens or early twenties, wearing a fedora. They were eating, and not begging as might be expected, but it was obvious they had not bathed in a long time. My heart went out to them, and I sort of wished they had been begging, so I could offer them something... but I had nothing to give them, anyway.

The girl looked at me for just a second and then turned away. There's no way she could have known what I was thinking, so I knew she probably assumed I was looking down on them like many others would have.

As I drove off, I began thinking about this couple, about how hard their lives must be. I wondered why they were homeless. I was reminded of an experience I had during the summer of 1991, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. I was visiting mu uncle's family in Southern California while I prepared to go on a mission for the LDS Church. In short order, I made friends with a neighbor guy who was also visiting from out of town. We'll call him B.P. He was from Omaha, Nebraska, and his father was a Lutheran pastor. We were both coming from a punk rock background, so we got along swimmingly.

We were on an Air Force base, out in the desert, so things got boring pretty quick. B.P. suggested that we take the long drive to L.A. and find something to do. I had never been, so I excitedly agreed. As we walked the streets of Hollywood, we wondered if there were any punk rock shows we could catch while we were there, and we asked the first guy with a mohawk we could find. His "name" was Irk. Irk's mohawk was purple, and twelve or so inches tall. He was panhandling, with his dog Bango, and was homeless. The particular band that would be playing that night allowed homeless people into their shows for free.

The show he would be attending was not for several hours, so he took us to his "squat" and introduced us to several of his friends. (A squat is basically any abandoned place where homeless people stay on a long- or short-term basis, with or without permission. This building was used with permission, I was told. Most squats tend to look like the building pictured below.) I was surprised to discover that this particular squat was right around the corner from the main Hollywood strip; there were Hollywood stars on the sidewalk right across the street.

An abandoned house. (Photo: Public Domain Pictures.net)

Although Irk was quite friendly, others took exception to the fact that he brought us into their refuge, and were standoffish at first, but most everyone eventually warmed up to us. Some of the others we met were Fhat Fhoot, Scooby and Scrappy, Christ and Crust, Grabby and May, and Satan. They ranged in age from around ten to the early twenties. We discovered that everyone was homeless for a reason - escaping abuse, mostly - and the street names were to hide their identities. This served two purposes: 1) to keep from being found by those you were running away from, and 2) to keep your friends from knowing who you were, so they couldn't inadvertently help the police find you.

Amy, Irk, B.P., and a few other homeless friends. Photo: the author.


I worried about all of our new homeless friends. Scrappy was the youngest. He was out with us until all hours of the night, and said that his parents didn't care where he was. I assume this was true, because he always came back, and never seemed worried about going home. (Scrappy was the only one who still technically had a home to go back to.) Grabby and May were cute teenage girls who made money by pretending to be underage prostitutes, taking the money and running, as they told me.

Because everyone was running away from something, and most were not old enough to legally get a job or live on their own, drugs and alcohol were rampant. It's a cliche', I know, but if you put yourself in their shoes you can understand the escapism. They truly were at a dead end.

B.P. and I came to visit several times that summer. We spent the night with them a few times, took everyone out for pizza, brought them blankets and candles and other things they could use, and learned all we could about their experience. We learned how to sneak uneaten food left on a plate at Denny's, and how how to make tomato soup with the free ketchup and hot water you could get there, if you couldn't find anything else. We learned that people ignore you when you panhandle, and shopkeepers call the police to make you leave. We learned that roving gangs of privileged kids seek out the homeless in order to rape them, beat them, and sometimes kill them. This made me worry about them even more.

There is a lot more to this story. I could tell you about the hollow bush that Grabby slept in in the park, until Satanists came to hold rituals there and forced her to participate. Or the homeless guy we accidentally scared away when we went to the park, who was sleeping curled up in the sand in the pit beneath a swing on the swingset, so he wouldn't be seen and harassed...

So, this is what I was thinking about when I saw that couple on the side of the road: the long days of being ignored and wondering where your next meal will come from; the long nights of wondering if you will have your personal space invaded, if you will have to run for your life, if you will live until the morning, or die at the hands of some prick who would kill you just for fun.

My point in writing this is really singular and simple: it is simply to ask that the next time you see a homeless person, you remember what you have read here. And be kind.

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

 17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

 19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

 20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

 21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

 22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

 23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

 24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

 25 And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.
--Mosiah 4:16-25

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Watchman on the Tower

From now on, I will be posting a weekly debriefing of world events, like the Weekly Web Roundups I have been doing, at this new site: Watchman on the Tower.

I will continue to publish other content here, but that site will be devoted solely to to my commentary on articles, news, and events.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Web Roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 19th, 2012

As I am no longer on Facebook, I will attempt to post, here on Blogger, all the interesting articles I come across, as well as my own religious, philosophical, and political rantings. There is a lot going on in the world, and ALL of it will have an effect on you soon. Check back here often, and I will post the things that I come across.

Above all else, please share this blog with your friends and family via email, Facebook, Google+, etc. Remember:
Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. (D&C 88:81)

Religion 


1. Muslims, Mormons and Liberals - Why is it OK to mock one religion but not another? (Wall Street Journal)

Quote:
So let's get this straight: In the consensus view of modern American liberalism, it is hilarious to mock Mormons and Mormonism but outrageous to mock Muslims and Islam. Why? Maybe it's because nobody has ever been harmed, much less killed, making fun of Mormons.
My Take:

While it is true that no one has ever been killed for mocking Mormonism, the author is correct that it is hypocritical to endorse the mocking of one religion and yet condemn the mocking of another. The truth, as always, lies beneath the surface: contentions between Islam and Christianity are being used for a number of underhanded purposes, including A) causing "conservatives," who are typically Christian, to feel justified in supporting the unConstitutional wars in the Middle East, and B) to steadily increase tensions in the Middle East specifically, and between Islam and Christianity generally, in order to foment the next World War, justifying, once again, intervention by "international authorities," leading, at last, to a global government.

In order to understand how world wars fit into the plan for global government (i.e., the New World Order), I recommend reading The Illuminati and the Council on Foreign Relations, by Myron Fagan, which I am in the process of annotating and fact checking online.


2. LDS apostle tells Mormons: Stock up on food, not ammo (Salt Lake Tribune)

Quote:
LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks cautioned Mormons against joining or supporting "right-wing groups who mistakenly apply prophecies about the last days to promote efforts to form paramilitary or other organizations." ... Latter-day Saints should not "substitute [their] own organizations for the political and military authorities put in place by constitutional government and processes," the apostle said.
My Take:

A careful reading of this shows that Elder Oaks did not say that Mormons should fail to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Beyond that, however, I have a unique angle on this story that most do not. Within the past year, it was revealed that a gentleman from a forum I frequented had taken it upon himself to form what some perceived as a "paramilitary group." From what I understand, these individuals felt that it would be their duty to fulfill certain specific prophecies in the future, and they were training to do so. The forum administrators were contacted by law enforcement, which lead to the disbandment of their organization under threat of possible excommunication of those involved. Zoiks! Apparently, all this was going on in a private sub-forum to which I did not belong.


3. Our Eternal Life (YouTube)


My Take:

The graphics in this new Mormon Messages video are pretty cool, and it is neat that they were able to pretty much cover the entire first missionary discussion in under four minutes!

Politics


1. The Federal Reserve, a Privately Owned Banking Cartel, Has Been Given Police Powers, with Glock 22s and Patrol Cars (AlterNet)

Quote:

Quietly, without fanfare or Congressional hearings, the USA Patriot Act in 2001 bestowed on the 12 privately owned Federal Reserve Banks, domestic policing powers... The Cleveland Fed notes that the job “may include, but would not be limited to: use of deadly or non-lethal force…” ... In addition to regular policing functions, the Federal Reserve police have been observed in airports with rifles, functioning as dignitary protection teams.  Various recruitment ads confirm that this is sometimes part of the job... There is also the obvious question as to why the expense, training and potential liability of armed police would be necessary when all of the Federal Reserve Banks are in cities with large municipal police forces.  With private bankers sitting on the Boards of each of these Reserve Banks, many of whom are officers of banks under criminal investigation, there is the serious need for Congressional investigation into how the Nation’s criminal databases are being used by the private sector as well as the further chilling of protest and dissent from another new sheriff in town.
My Take:

If you have not already done so, please watch Aaron Russo's film, America: Freedom to Fascism, here (on Google Video) or embedded below, from YouTube. A semi-governmental police force in the hands of a private organization, specifically a banking organization, should frighten everyone. I believe the film raises enough issues to make the reasons clear.



2. Allen West: 80 communists in the House (Politico)

Quote:
In a video clip of the event posted Wednesday, West was responding a question from a constituent asking “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?”
“That’s a fair question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,” West says in the video.


He went on to say, “It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” according to a spokesman, Tim Edson.
My Take:

While this information is only intended to rile Allen West's Tea Party supporters (i.e., don't expect any Un-American Activities Committees to be formed), it is more than likely true, as history bears out, beginning in the State Department: Alger Hiss (Wikipedia) was a Communist serving in the State Dept during the Forties, and Hillary Clinton is the Communist serving there now. Nothing has changed. If there is one thing you can trust, it is that Communists will never give up positions of power. This will be apparent if you have been following the pretended fall and subsequent "rise" of Vladimir Putin (John Birch Society). (The Wikipedia article linked above casts doubts on Alger Hiss's Communist ties. See what former Secretary of Agriculture and Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, former FBI Chief W. Cleon Skousen, and others had to say about Alger Hiss at Latter-day Conservative.)

For more specific information about the individuals mentioned, please click here to see "an alphabetical list of all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) as of April 2011" on Discover The Networks.

Other

1. Infinite quantitative easing (QE3) now initiated; the final chapter of America's financial blowout has begun (Natural News)

Quote:
This is it, folks: the final chapter of America's great financial blowout has begun. The Federal Reserve's decision to announce "infinite" quantitative easing has now put us all on the path of infinite money creation. With up to $85 billion in monthly money creation -- including $40 billion a month in purchases of mortgage-backed securities -- the Fed is now wholly committed to the creation of new fake money to cover old fake debts. Mathematically, this financial death spiral can only end in sheer catastrophe.

This massive money creation tactic is the Fed's last-ditch plan to desperately try to save the economy. "I think the country should have panicked over what the Fed is saying that we have lost control," said Ron Paul, "and the only thing we have left is massively creating new money out of thin air, which has not worked before, and is not going to work this time."

Peter Schiff added, "This is a disastrous monetary policy; it's kamikaze monetary policy." (End Of the American Dream)

And he's right. It's suicide. It's also highly offensive to anyone who can actually do math... which, sadly, isn't that many people these days.
My Take:

There was never any intention of getting America back on track, financially. These people are not idiots, no matter how the so-called "right-wing media" paints them so. They are implementing the long-planned, and hard-won, financial destruction of our country.


2. Land of The Freebies, Home of the Enslaved (YouTube)



My Take:

If you didn't already see how this all works, maybe now you will. As mentioned above, this has all been PLANNED. It is known as the Cloward-Pivens strategy. According to Discover the Networks:
First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the "Cloward-Pivens Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse...
The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare -- about 8 million, at the time -- probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls."  Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces for major economic reform at the national level."
Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy." Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all -- working and non-working people alike.
NOW do you know what a "community organizer" does, and why this all sounds so much like the last four years under Obama?

See Also:

USDA Spends $5 Mil To Recruit Food-Stamp Recipients (Judicial Watch)

Obama Admin. Boosts Food-Stamp Participation by Targeting Seniors (New American)


3. Italian Supreme Court head calls for international 9/11 inquiry (Digital Journal)


Quote:
Fernando Imposimato, the President of the Italian Supreme Court, has raised the call for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing the terror attacks to the declassified "false flag" incidents carried out by the CIA in Italy under Operation Gladio.
"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation permitted by the administration of the USA, which had foreknowledge of the operation yet remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declared in a letter published on Sunday by the Journal of 9/11 Studies. As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has extensive experience investigating high-profile crimes, including the kidnapping and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti-Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of organized crime syndicates. 
"Italy too was a victim of the 'strategia della tensione' (strategy of tension) of the CIA, enacted in Italy from the time of the Portella della Ginestra massacre in Sicily in 1947 until 1993," he wrote, recounting the decades of clandestine violence carried out by Western intelligence agencies in the Mediterranean. These terror attacks, conducted under the codename "Gladio", were condemned by the European Parliament in 1990, but a criminal investigation has yet to be initiated.

My Take:

Once again, "conspiracy theories" are borne out as true. The CIA has committed, and does commit, clandestine acts of violence in order to foment conflicts that will serve the purpose of the American Empire. End of story.

4. General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years (YouTube)


Quote:
About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you've got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you're too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We've made the decision we're going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We're going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don't know." He said, "I guess they don't know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no." He says, "There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it's like we don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it's worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from upstairs" -- meaning the Secretary of Defense's office -- "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

My Take:

I could have posted this in another section, but I thought it would be most appropriate here, beneath all of the other PLANNED orchestrations I have listed. I am not sure exactly when this interview aired, but it is clear that we have been on a steady track to "accidentally" do exactly what Gen. Clark was told had been planned, and pretty much in the order listed.

Second Amendment/Police State

1. Man Investigated By Police For Buying Ammunition (Prison Planet)

Quote:
Loftus said the police told him someone who was in the gun store while he made the purchase who works for the Chief of Police reported Loftus to make sure he “wasn’t going to do something crazy.”
Loftus told the police he had no criminal record, a fact they immediately confirmed having admitted that they had already checked his record. Loftus told the police they shouldn’t even be pulling the record unless he was a suspect in a crime, which he was not..
“I shoot that amount of ammunition on a good weekend at the range..."

My Take:

Once upon a time, when America actually was a free country, the police needed a "search warrant" and "reasonable cause" before treating people like a criminal. Now, the new nanny state just wants to check on you to make sure you have taken your pills before you go to bed. Thanks, nanny! We couldn't get along without you.

Also, the man's final comment echoes what has bothered me about most recent news stories about "alleged shooters:" the notion that "thousands of rounds of ammunition" means that a person must be "up to no good." The general public sheeple have no idea that you can shoot off a couple hundred rounds of shotgun shells in one short evening at the range with your friends. Even more so if you are shooting something cheaper like .22's, that come in boxes of thousands for that very reason.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Obama vs. Romney - Liberty News Network Does Us All A Favor

Liberty News Network recently posted an excellent series of videos comparing Mitt Romney's policies to Obama's. The results are astounding. See for yourself. About 20 minutes total.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Was the Republican Convention Romney's Defining Moment?

Image: Wikimedia Commons
When my father was in the military, a man we went to church with, an MP, I believe, was dismissed from military service for receiving stolen goods. Garbage bags, of all things.

I can only imagine that there was some proof that he had prior knowledge, otherwise how could they have justified his dismissal from service? If these allegations were true, this was a man of very poor character.

As the RNC shenanigans have taken place recently - changing rules on a whim, shutting out Ron Paul-favoring delegates, and de-certifying entire states' delegates - we must ask of Romney, as others asked about Bush during the 9/11 hearings: what did he know, and when? This is important considering that all of the shenanigans turned things in Romney's favor.

Did he know in advance, and say nothing? If so, there are serious ramifications for fraud that must be demanded. If not, then his character rests on his reaction to the news.

So, what if he only found out about it afterward? Or should we first ask if he even knows about it now? Yes, he does. How do we know? Recently, a FOX news anchor put the question to him during an interview on August 27, 2012. Without acting surprised in the slightest, Mitt Romney said he "would not comment on it," and he "really hasn't looked at this." No reaction, no disgust, just pithy politics. If nothing else, we know he is aware now.

What should be expected from a man of character upon finding out that his recent conquest was unfairly gained? I would hope it would be to demand that things be redone properly. That is, after all, what character means. But there have been no such calls from either Romney or his campaign. This is especially troubling for someone traveling so prominently in the limelight of his religion (and mine).

Perhaps you believe Ron Paul did not stand a chance of winning. Well, there are those who disagree with you. Either way, and especially if you think Congressman Paul had no chance of winning, what would Romney stand to lose by going through the motions one more time, and coming out on top a second time? This could only have served to ease suspicions that there was collusion against Congressman Paul and/or for Romney.

As it stands, many Republican voters feel disenfranchised, and wonder whether their vote really counts, or if there is a greater fraud afoot.

So, as I see things, this all boils down to one of the following options:

  1. Romney knew about these underhanded tactics ahead of time, and supported them, either actively or passively. A poor show of character.
  2. Romney did not know in advance, but even after finding out, accepted the win it provided him. Another poor show of character.
  3. Romney did not know in advance, but now that he knows about it, he will soon be calling for a proper vote. The only choice for a man of character.

How long until Romney calls for fairness? Only time will tell, of course, but I wouldn't hold my breath. After all, the Republican Convention is over.

That leaves two options, and neither one of them is good.

--DRK



Links:

Reality Check: RNC Pulling Out All Stops To Keep Ron Paul's Name Out Of Nomination (YouTube)

Opponents defeat feared 'power grab': Romney sought delegate rules change (Washing Times)

Rep. Amash Calls for Audit of RNC Over Treatment of Paul Delegates (The New American)

Reality Check: One on One With Romney, Did Romney Really Not Know About RNC & Maine's Delegates? (YouTube)

Definition of Character (Character Unlimited)

You Used to Need Five States to Be Officially Put in Nomination for President at RNC. Ron Paul Gets Six. Rule Change! Now You Need Eight! (Reason.com)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Remember the Sabbath Day...

Every once in a while I will have an epiphany of some sort, and put it down on paper (you know, on my iPhone...). This was one of those moments. As I was listening to an old Hugh Nibley lecture at work, the Spirit was present, and I suddenly realized how truly important the Sabbath is, and why. Needless to say, this is something I will pay more attention to from here on out!




When the Lord commanded His ancient covenant people to perform animal sacrifices, it was to keep their lives and their minds focused on the Messiah who was to come, continually looking forward to a specific event. They were given specific directions as to how to perform these sacrifices because of their importance, and because they represented an actual event that was forthcoming.

A careful study of the scriptures will reveal that God works in patterns. When He said "I am the same yesterday, today, and forever", this is what He meant. Not that he would always do the same things over and over again, but that what things He did do would always be done in the same manner. "[The Lord's] house is a house of order".

Another pattern of symbolic action is Elisha's commandment for the leprous Naaman to be healed by immersing himself completely seven times in the Jordan River, the exact same river where Jesus himself was later baptized, even the Savior who would later "take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people." (Alma 7:11; see also 3 Nephi 9:13)

In our day, we take the sacrament each week to remember the Savior and renew our covenants with God. This is a symbolic action to help keep our minds focused on the Atonement.

So, let us then examine the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy to find out if we can discover the true meaning and purpose of this practice.

Naaman's experience was a one-time event, just like baptism. Keeping the Sabbath, however, is a repetitious event, just like the sacrament. Repetition, we are told, is a tool God uses to keep us from forgetting. So, we know that whatever the Sabbath represents, we are meant never to forget it.

Sacrifices, baptism, and the sacrament are all things that must be done, with specific actions that must be performed. Keeping the Sabbath, on the other hand, is a period of time rather than an action, and it is defined more by what we are NOT to do, than what we must do.

What are we not to do on the Sabbath? Work. We also do not cause others to work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is to be a day of rest. So, we must remember, and never forget, some period of time within which we cannot work.

Is there anything we must do on the Sabbath, besides rest? Worship the Lord. This is mandatory. In D&C section 59, the Lord commands us to "offer up [our] oblations and [our] sacraments unto the Most High" on "[His] holy day". We have also been instructed by modern leaders about other things that are acceptable Sabbath activities: spending time with family, visiting relatives or the sick, fulfilling church callings, and doing family history work, are a few examples. In other words, enjoying our family units, and serving the Lord.

Another clue lies in who the keeping of the Sabbath applies to. According to Deut. 5:14, it is required of not only those who have made covenants with the Lord, but also all the servants and even strangers. In other words, the Sabbath is for everyone.

How often are we to observe the Sabbath? Every seven days, the scripture says. A day is a period of time. Do we have reference to any other seven periods of time in the scriptures? In fact, we do. In the beginning, of course, we know that God made all things in six days, and then rested on the seventh. Here is the origin of our Sabbath pattern: no work is to be performed during the seventh period of time.

There is scriptural reference to another seven periods of time, which might help us in our journey to understand the Sabbath. It is found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 77. In this section, the Lord is explaining to Joseph Smith some of the symbolism used in the book of Revelation. There is a book with seven seals, which, the Lord explains, is a symbol of the earth and its seven thousand years of temporal existence, each seal representing a period of one thousand years. Seven thousand years, seven periods of time. Could this perhaps be the final clue we need to discover the identity of our mysterious Sabbath symbol?

What do we know so far? Every seven periods of time, everyone must remember, and never forget, some future seventh period of time within which we cannot perform works of labor, but instead will spend our time with our families, resting from our labors, and serving the Lord.

Can the Sabbath be anything but a constant reminder of the Millenium, and the impending finality of our own mortality?

Earlier I mentioned the commandment not to work on the Sabbath. How serious is this injunction? In Old Testament times it was important enough to the Lord that He declared: "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people." In our own day, we don't have to worry about suffering physical death for disobeying God; rather, we face the much more serious consequence of experiencing the second death - separation from God and our family units forever.

"For behold," says Alma, "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now... I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity..." Remember that a day is merely a time period. The fact that we are given six days between Sabbaths should remind us of how merciful the Lord is; He wants us to have as much time as possible to repent. Then, Alma continues: "...behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."

"And the Lord spake unto Moses," in Exodus 31, "saying... Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you."

When we keep the Sabbath day holy, we show the Lord that we recognize that this life is the time period we have been given to show our obedience to Him. We recognize the importance of our daily decisions, and of not procrastinating.

As Alma said, "behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." Alma 42:4 says "And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God." The Sabbath is a constant reminder that our life is a probationary period. If we do not use our probationary period to repent, we will suffer the second death because the Lord has said so, and He cannot lie.

The degree to which we seek to obey and honor the Sabbath is, I believe, a direct reflection of how seriously we take the Lord at His word.



Citations:

Exodus 23:13, 31:12-17
2 Kings 5:10
D&C 59:9-10, 12
D&C 77:6-7, 10, 12
D&C 132:18
3 Nephi 9:13
Deut. 5:12-14
Alma 34:32-38

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Legislative Process - Vaccine Hearing

We just returned from attending a hearing of the CA Assembly Health Committee on Assembly Bill 2109. This bill proposes a new law making it mandatory to get authorization from a licensed medical doctor (or, as amended, a naturopath "under the supervision of an M.D.") if you wish to opt out of the already "voluntary" vaccination requirements of schools, etc., and only after the doctor verifies that you have received sufficient education about vaccines.

What seemed like hundreds of doctors and others in the medical industry were somehow able to leave their practices, or educational facilities, to be present and give testimony in favor of this bill. This was a mystery to me, until someone passed around a note during the hearing, claiming that the AAP (American Association of Physicians, I think) had held a lobbying class or expo in Sacramento, just so their constituents could be present at the hearing. This was obviously nothing more that anti-vaccine propaganda. It was actually the California Medical Association that held their "Legislative Lobby Day" today for precisely those reasons. Seriously, people. Get your facts straight.

This, of course, is of no importance whatsoever.

Except that Assemblyman Pan, the sponsor of AB2109, has received more money in campaign contributions from Health Professionals, including the California Medical Association, than from any other source. So, the people who stand to benefit most from the passage of this bill - those who will be paid to administer the vaccines to your children - have contributed the greatest amounts of money to the sponsor of this bill, and showed up in large numbers to support it. Interesting.

Mysteriously, this conflict of interest was never mentioned during the hearing.

The other conflict that was never mentioned was that this bill puts citizens at the mercy of doctors to "approve" their choice to not vaccinate. We heard testimony from every one of the aforementioned "medical professionals," i.e., lobbyists, that they would love to sign waivers for any parent who declines vaccines. What we didn't hear is how much money these doctors stand to put into their own pockets in direct proportion to the number of vaccines they administer. A choice which, I'm sure, would have absolutely no bearing on their decisions.

The opposition to this bill, including ourselves, were represented in greater number than the supporters, although there were many supporters. The majority of the opposition were chiropractors (specifically excluded from the language of the bill), parents of vaccine-injured children, vaccine-injured adults, medical doctors, and parents.

Although many stories of vaccine injury were shared, this issue was, again, mysteriously never addressed during the hearing.


Dr. Pan, the bill's sponsor, assured everyone time and again that there were approximately 150,000 doctors who would be authorized to sign these waivers. One of the other Assemblymen pointed out that this is an awful low number of contact points for a state of approximately 38 million people. The opposition also pointed out that studies have been done which show that 30-39% of doctors polled will not sign vaccination waivers. That drops it to... what, around 100,000? So, have fun driving around the state looking for a doctor to sign your "permission slip." And when you do find one, you will most likely still be stuck footing the bill for your visit whether or not you get the vaccine. The bill's supporters claimed that this can all be taken care of during regular visits; however, if school is approaching and vaccines are mandatory, there will be a surge of parents who will have to schedule appointments just for this purpose. Who benefits from that, I wonder? Last I heard, extremely lengthy hospital visits were on the increase in this country.

The opposition contended strongly that this bill was un-Constitutional, as it mandates vaccines, unless authorized by an agent of the government. The bill's supporters claimed that it merely ensured that parents would receive "unbiased" vaccine education before being then free to choose for themselves. In fact, as pointed out by another of the Assemblymen, educational materials are already available, and there is no evidence that parents are making the decision not to vaccinate based on lack of education. They also stated that this bill is redundant to current practice, which is that parents are already inundated with vaccine information and coercion when they go in for regular visits! Where is the need to put a government mandate behind something that is already being done? All the parents present who were in opposition testified that this was true; I know it is true from my own experience; and everyone I know that has mentioned the issue has said the same thing: doctors are already quite forceful in pushing vaccinations on parents.

Although the opposition tried to say people were getting their education from bad sources on the internet, much of the information shared by the opposition's representation came directly from the CDC's website. The information I personally submitted to the Assembly also contained information from the CDC.

In what world do doctors give unbiased information about a medical procedure that they will profit from? In the world I live in, parents get thrown out of doctor's offices all the time for refusing vaccines, and employees are fired for holding anti-vaccine viewpoints. Many of these people testified at today's hearing.

In what world are you "free" to opt out of vaccinations, when doing so will cause your child to be deemed unfit to return to public school*? The bill's sponsors claimed that there is a need to increase public education about vaccines because an increased number of people refusing vaccines leads to a public health risk, including, in their own words, their own vaccinated children. I fail to see the logic in such an argument. If vaccines are a shield against diseases, and I choose not to put this armor on my child... how does this put your armored children at risk?

Another issue that remained unaddressed today was the fact, brought up by objectors to the bill, that many people get sick, and even die, from taking vaccines! This is backed up by scientific evidence, which the opposition provided to the Assembly. Which leads us directly into the fact that, in the event that you or your children are in fact harmed by a vaccine, there is no recourse!

In the end, the bill passed the Assembly, and will now proceed to the Senate, where it will be "considered" on our behalf by the Socialists in the CA Senate. Good luck with that.



* I strongly advocate for homeschooling. However, for the millions who still put their children in government education centers, this is a valid concern.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why You Should NOT Oppose Obama in the 2012 Elections

Not oppose Obama? What on earth could he be thinking? Well, by golly, let me tell you: Everyone keeps telling me they have to vote for Romney because he is "the lesser of two evils." And that's just stupid on a bunch of different levels.

Let me explain.

To begin with, voting against Obama - voting for someone merely to keep Obama from winning -  is putting yourself on the defensive, instead of taking an offensive (i.e., proactive) stance. When your opponent puts you on the defensive, they have won the argument. Why? Because you can't gain ground from a defensive position.

Voting for Romney just to oppose Obama, instead of supporting a good candidate, is like Martin van Buren telling Joseph Smith, who was appealing for relief from the persecution of the Saints, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you. … If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri.” (Source) Instead of focusing on what was right, he had to make sure no one else got that Missouri vote. He placed political expediency before the rights of his fellow men. Instead of supporting what was right and just, he sought personal interests.

We must be sure that our actions are always in the positive. Remember Pres. Hinckley's counsel to "stand for something." (Source) Notice he didn't advise us to stand against, or in opposition to, something. Because that gets you nowhere. Merely keeping our enemies from advancing does not advance our own cause. True, we must oppose evil, but it is what we stand for that gets us somewhere.


Secondly, how will a good man ever win the Presidency if we continually insist that we must only make a choice from two bad ones? This is a popular false premise, frequently repeated in the media. The best advice I have heard on this issue is:

"Good, wise, and honest people do not vote for the best bad choice."
-- Jim Noorlander (Source)

Instead, we should find someone we support, and put our efforts behind them! It is amazing what good people can accomplish when other good people get behind them! Keep in mind that we do NOT have a "two-party system." This is a lie to reinforce the false set of choices. There are other parties and other candidates. Find one you actually agree with. Better yet, find a set of principles you believe in, and support others who agree with your principles. Better than that, read the Constitution, and find someone who support its principles.


Third, don't worry about how other people are voting. Just stand for what's right. As with the prophet Elisha, you will always be correct, even if there are only two of you. (2 Kgs. 6:16)

"I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.”
-- Joseph Smith (Source)


Fourth, ask yourself: Who selects the two people they insist you must choose from? "But it comes from polling data," you say. Can polls be manipulated? If I take the poll, and I count the results, and I declare the winner... should there be any cause for concern here? I'll let you figure that out on your own. Of course, you could always read this:

 It is the job of the polling companies to mold and shape public opinion... Much of what we read in the newspapers or see on television has first been cleared by the polling companies... This is called "public opinion making."
...
One of the most respected of all pollsters is... Daniel Yankelovich, of the company, Yankelovich, Skelly, and White. Yankelovich is proud of telling his students that polling is a tool to change public opinion.
-- Conspirators' Heirarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300, by Dr. John Coleman, as quoted in Hiding in Plain Sight, by Ken Bowers, emphasis in original.
The next time you hear someone insist that you must choose between two political candidates, ask them for facts to back up their assertion. They probably will have opinions, but very little facts. The truth is, if our votes count for anything, then it is truly anyone's game until all the votes get counted! So why not vote for someone you believe in?


Listen, don't be manipulated. Remember:

  1. Stand for something! Not against.
  2. Be principled! Take the Constitution as your guide.
  3. Don't be afraid to stand for what's right! God is on your side!
  4. Ignore the polls and other attempts to secretly manipulate you. Think for yourself.

Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form, endorse Obama for President. Go wash your mouth out with soap.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Mormons Should NOT Vote for Romney

I know what you're thinking: "Mitt Romney is a member of the Church, and a priesthood holder. He was a stake president, for crying out loud! How could we not give him our support?!?"

To begin with, I have a hard time supporting a person merely based on their religious affiliation. In my mind, that is just as stupid as voting against someone for the same reason. Neither are based on facts. So, here are just a few things I think members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should take into consideration when pondering which political candidate to support this year in the bid for President of the United States.

We will take the prophets as our guide as we do so.

1) Being Mormon does not mean you can be trusted.

As sad as that statement is, we must remember that both Harry Reid and Mitt Romney are Mormons. Give that some thought. Most people support one or the other (some of us neither, but that's a different lesson), yet both are LDS. I can give other examples, but you get the point. Pres. J. Reuben Clark put it this way:

The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood…we should be careful of them.
-- Church News June 15th, 1940 (as quoted on Latter-day Conservative; see #4 on that page)

2) Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper.

Yes, you've heard this one already. So much, in fact, that you can't believe I even mentioned it, right? I agree, but let's give this issue a little more thought than it usually gets. I can support the right of any imperfect human (that's all of us) to change their minds as they learn and grow. That's what the Gospel is all about. It's the number and frequency of changes that concerns me with Romney, and the motives behind them. Some just seem a little too politically convenient in their timing.

The other reason this bothers me, and should bother you, is that several of the issues Romney has flip-flopped on should have been non-issues from the get-go for Latter-Day Saints! Abortion? Taking away the agency of citizens with a Socialist-style mandated healthcare law? The Church has an official stance against abortion, and, even though Mitt's healthcare was legal, it definitely goes against the most fundamental belief in Mormonism - that of free agency. It was Satan's plan to force people to do what he thought was best for them, remember? God allowed us to decide for ourselves, good or bad, and suffer the possible consequences.

According to the laws and aconstitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the brights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral aagency which I have given unto him, that every man may be baccountable for his own sins in the day of cjudgment.
If you have to continually change your mind on issues, maybe you haven't given them enough thought to begin with. In contrast, some candidates have stood firm on the same issues for decades.

“Are there not, in reality, underlying, universal principles with reference to which all issues must be resolved whether the society be simple or complex in its mechanical organization? It seems to me we could relieve ourselves of most of the bewilderment which so unsettles and distracts us by subjecting each situation to the simple test of right and wrong. Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complicated. There is always a right and wrong to every question which requires our solution.” (Albert E. Bowen, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, P. 21-22)
-- As quoted by Pres. Benson in his talk, The Proper Role of Government.

3) Mitt Romney is NOT going to save the Constitution.

We Mormons have a long-standing tradition of prophecy concerning the United States and its Constitution. We love to quote the bit about the Constitution "hanging by a thread" and the elders of the Church being instrumental in saving it. Recently, I have heard some suggest that perhaps Mitt Romney will be the fulfillment of that prophecy. Pres. Benson says this will not be the case:

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church — men and women who will subscribe to and abide the principles of the Constitution.
-- Source (see #4 on that page).
In other words, the Constitution will be saved when the lay members - you and I -  learn about the Constitution and abide by its principles, including "diligently" supporting candidates who also know and support the Constitution:

Men who are wise, good, and honest, who will uphold the Constitution of the United States in the tradition of the Founding Fathers, must be sought for diligently. This is our hope to restore government to its rightful role.
-- A Witness and a Warning (as posted on Latter-day Conservative)
Do you know what "the Constitution... in the tradition of the Founding Fathers" means? To begin with, it means that we interpret the Constitution as the Founders did. None of this newfangled mumbo-jumbo about a "living document," etc. God inspired it as it was written, and inspired the men who wrote it. He even gave it His blessing in the Doctrine and Covenants, and commanded us to support and maintain it.

And for this purpose have I established the aConstitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose.
-- D&C 101: 80
Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the anations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the bConstitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.
-- D&C 109: 54

4) Mitt Romney does NOT know and/or support the Constitution.


Pres. Ezra Taft Benson gave us his wise counsel when he said:

[T]he most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.
-- The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner


What does this mean? Should our government be given the freedom to kill American citizens who are merely suspected of collusion with our country's enemies? Mitt Romney thinks so:


Does it mean giving the government the ability to track us, put us under surveillance, and otherwise give up our civil liberties in the name of "security?" Mitt Romney thinks so:



Perhaps the Lord put it best (of course He did, He's the Lord!) when He said:
And that alaw of the land which is bconstitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;



5) Mitt Romney, Foreign Policy, and Jesus

Not long ago, Mitt Romney was asked about the war in Afghanistan.

“These people have declared war on us. They've killed Americans. We go anywhere they are and we kill them,” he said. “The right thing for Osama bin Laden was the bullet in the -- in the head that he received.”
-- L.A. Times Article,  January 16, 2012.

A week ago, a member of the First Presidency said:

Let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, return good for evil.15 Let us not seek revenge or allow our wrath to overcome us.
“For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. …
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”16
Remember: in the end, it is the merciful who obtain mercy.17
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wherever we may be, let us be known as a people who “have love one to another.” 
-- The Merciful Obtain Mercy, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2012 General Conference.


Now, let me ask: Are these two views compatible?



(NOTE: You can read more about Mitt Romney's foreign policy stances here at LDS Liberty.)


6) "But he's not Obama!"

Well, that depends on how you look at things. If we exclude his race and religion, and consider that he has supported many of the most destructive laws that Obama has passed, then we aren't really that much better off, are we? Both major political parties are controlled from behind the scenes by the same people, and have long sought the exact same ends. Many conservative voters were convinced to support John McCain during the 2008 election. We were coerced into doing so by the so-called conservative talk radio hosts who told us that we had to support him in order to keep Obama from winning. Let me tell you this: you don't win anything by standing against something; you win by standing for something! As we learned then, John McCain was just a shill anyway, and he quickly jumped behind everything Obama did from the start. It turned out that they were just two faces of the same devil.


This "anyone but Obama" attitude reflects the "lesser of two evils" attitude. This is false. You do NOT have to choose any evil at all. Popular or not, you can support a candidate that you feel good about. Period. And, at the end of the day, you can sleep well, knowing that you did the best you could do to assist in the cause of righteousness.

John Adams said: "Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone." The Lord and His prophetic mouthpieces have laid out the correct principles for us, if we care to follow them.

Oh, and one more thing: the Lord will hold you accountable for how you vote. (See the sixth item listed.)


Conclusion

I could continue, but I believe the information I have provided here should make it clear that Mitt Romney is not the man to bring our country back in line with Constitutional principles in the tradition of our Founding Fathers, as the Lord has commanded us to diligently seek.

There are other candidates. Our duty is to pinpoint any that fit the description given to us by the Lord, and give them all the support we are physically able!

Here are the things God has said you should be looking for:

  1. Wise
  2. Good
  3. Honest
  4. Will uphold the Constitution of the United States in the tradition of the Founding Fathers

I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;
And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.