My Wallet

My Wallet

I went to an appointment this morning and my plan was to grab lunch after my appointment.  I had a coupon for a free sandwich – no strings attached.  I thought I would get my free sandwich and buy a soda.  I go to grab for my wallet, and my wallet isn’t there.

When that happens, your first reaction is panic.  “Did I leave my wallet somewhere?”  “Did someone steal it?” are among some of the thoughts you have.

Then, I remembered, I took it out of my jeans last night so my jeans could be washed.  It’s probably on the bench in the bedroom.

I took my sandwich to-go and headed home, worrying the entire way that I might be mistaken and my wallet really is missing.  I drove carefully and cautiously home so not to draw attention to myself.

When I got home, I went straight to where I thought it might be.  I didn’t see it right off the bat which would explain why it didn’t make it to my pocked.  But, mingled in with some objects of similar texture and color it was there.  Whew!


I ate my sandwich and then headed to my office to get some work done.  I had received an e-mail requesting I teach on a few subjects later this month in the Church Service Missionary Photography meeting.  Today happened to be a good day for getting that organized.

Their asking me to teach on the subject was great timing.  Last night I had dreamt about teaching this subject and a good way to present the topic.  I headed to the cyclorama table to take a picture that I would use in teaching the subject.

copyright 2016 db walton
Color Space

It will be an overly simplified example to teach what many find a very complex subject.  The exciting thing is, it will work.

Bucolic

Bucolic

It’s a nice bucolic day today.  It got up to about 60 today, and they are talking about snow later in the week.  At least it is a nice bucolic day today.

The hymns went quite well today.  It is a rare Sunday when I feel comfortable with every single hymn.  This was one of those days.

President and Sister Black were the speakers, and as he is the temple president, the topic was temple work.  President Black’s talk felt like validation about my feelings about the temple.  I love that we have a temple across the street from our chapel.  I love that Elizabethe and I only live 2 miles from the temple.

copyright 2016 db walton
Palmyra Temple as viewed from the Smith Farm

After church I gave Matt a ride to the airport so he could retrieve his pickup truck.  We had a nice talk on the way there.

As soon as I got home, it was time to prepare dinner for the sister missionaries.  Elizabeth wanted me to make a parmesan crusted chicken and pasta.  So it was.

copyright 2016 db walton
Chicken and Pasta

I told the sisters they needed to pose for a few stock photos for the church.  It’s funny how people act when you want them to act candid, but we managed to finally get a good shot that appeared to look as though they were teaching a discussion.

copyright 2016 db walton
Sisters Van Kampen and Hershi

Free Education

Free Education

An essay on free education:

Joe’s 18 year old son is excited about free education.  Jeff, a senior in high school, has his own job, and has been saving for college, but Joe (Jeff’s dad), just got laid off from his job.  So, Jeff’s worried about affording tuition.

“Dad,” Jeff exclaimed, “This will be the first presidential election I will be able to vote in.”

“Oh,” dad asked, “have you decided who will get your vote?”

“Of course, Bernie Sanders!  He’s promising affordable tuition and says a college education should be free,” Jeff replied.

“How about we go grab some ice cream,” Joe said to his son, and they headed out the door to the car.

On the drive to the ice cream parlor, Jeff and his dad talked about the car needing new tires, dad’s being tired of sending out resumes and the cute girl Jeff saw at school.  Soon, they arrived at the mall, parked the car, and made their way to the ice cream parlor.

“May I take your order?” asked the waitress soon after the sat their menus down.

“I’ll have the double-banana split,” Jeff said with a look of defiance prepared to take on the gigantic sundae.

Joe shook his head, “No”, as if to say, “Nothing for me.”

“Dad?  You aren’t eating?” Jeff said with surprise in his voice.

“Nope, you’re on your own.  You have a job.  You can pay for your own sundae and I’ll just sit here,” said Joe in a disappointing voice.

Soon, Jeff’s sundae arrived and before he could take his first bite, Joe reached over and scooped a huge spoonful Jeff’s sundae.  Another spoonful went from Joe’s lips to the ice cream and back, and another, soon another and before long, Joe had consumed most of Jeff’s sundae.

“Hey, dad!  I thought you said you weren’t having any,”  Jeff grumbled.

“Well, I changed my mind since it’s free,” Joe smiled.

“What?  It’s not free, you said I am picking up the tab because you’re not eating,”  Jeff protested.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t eating, but you’re the one with all of the money, so it is only right that you pay,” Joe explained to his son.

“But, that’s not fair,” said Jeff still in protest.

“Why not?  I’m out of work, I don’t have a job, and you have more than enough ice cream there to feed me too,” Joe firmly stated.

“I’m still hungry, and I don’t make THAT much money, so are you going to buy me another sundae?” Jeff whined.

“No, son.  I’m giving you a free education,”  Joe said with a wink.

Sitting quietly, ponder what had just happened, Jeff looked at his dad and said, “I think I see what you’re trying to do.”

“You do, son?  Explain it to me,” Joe requested of Jeff.

“I have money, you don’t, but you got to enjoy my ice cream at my expense,”  Jeff said.

Joe responded, “In part, yes, but there is more to it than that.

“You see, that so-called free education will be paid for by someone.  In this case, Bernie Sanders is proposing a tax on the gains from the sale of stocks and bonds. ”

Interrupting, Jeff inserted, “Yes, but only rich people can afford to play the stock market.”

Explaining to Jeff, Joe said, “That’s not so.   Many people profit from the stock market without even knowing it.  For example, that job I was just laid off from had a 401K plan.  That’s a voluntary retirement plan that I have been paying money in to it so you don’t have to take care of mom and me when we get old.  That 401K can make or lose money.  Given how the market has been the last 8 years, it has been really hard for it to make money.  If Bernie Sander’s plan goes in to effect, it will even be harder for it to make money.”

“How so, Dad?”  Jeff’s interest was peaked.

“Let’s say my 401K is making about 5% interest a year.  That’s not a lot, but if that interest gets taxed, it is making even less than 5%, and if every change has a fee, I might not make anything on my 401K.  In fact, my 401K manager says I might even lose money,” Joe said with a furrowed brow.

“Why would you pay in to it then?” Jeff asked, and added, “Sounds like you’d be better off without a 401K.”

“It may come to that if Sanders’ plan goes through,” Joe added, “and let’s hope it doesn’t.

“But there’s more to it than just 401Ks.  Corporate retirement plans rely on that money too.  A lot of companies no longer offer pensions, and if this plan goes through, fewer will.  In addition to 401Ks, retirement plans, there are also IRAs, and Certificates of Deposit.  All of these draw upon the performance of stocks and bonds, and to tax stocks and bonds is to reduce the amount people make from these safer investment options,” Joe concluded.

“How does that effect me, Dad?  I’m not anywhere close to retiring,”   Jeff asks.

“Well, someday you’ll be 60, 65, 70 years old and you’ll be tired of working and your body will need a break.  You’ll want to enjoy your retirement,” Joe explains when Jeff interrupts.

“Yeah, like playing golf every day,” Jeff smiles.

“Yeah, like playing golf every day… if you can afford it,” Joe continues, “Besides taxing the gains on stocks and bonds, I can guarantee you there will be other taxes to pay the large debt.  Currently, there are hidden taxes you don’t see on your pay stub.  You may only have 20% being withheld right now, but mom and I pay property taxes, there are excise taxes on the tires on your car, gasoline, and more.  And, when something is paid for with tax dollars, it is like a loan.  It’s a loan that you, the taxpayer must repay.  You will repay it through higher costs of food, clothing and other necessities, even though you don’t see the “tax”.  Some corporation is paying that tax.”

“Wow, Dad, that sounds serious,” Jeff says with concern.

“It is serious son, and that is why I want you to take voting seriously,”  Joe says with a look of pride in his son.

“Of course,” Jeff says with awry grin on his face, “you wouldn’t know if I voted for Bernie or not.”

“Son, it’s your future.  It is you who will have to live with the decisions you make comes November.  I probably won’t be alive while you’re still paying of Bernie’s debt, and it is you and your children and grandchildren who will pay,” Joe began to explain, “My parents were among the most prosperous generation, and it is unfortunate that the New Deal debts are now wreaking havoc on this nation.”

“I heard about that in my U.S. Civic’s class,” Jeff said, “but I’m not exactly sure what you mean.”

“Because of the New Deal we have the Federal welfare program,” Joe explains. “It sounded great in the late 1930s, but today, much of our tax dollars goes to support people who can work, but won’t work.”

“Oh, you mean like the…,” Jeff starts to say.

Joe cutting him off, “Yes, I think I know who you’re going to mention, but let’s not gossip about them.”

“But, dad, he’s on welfare and comes into the restaurant and order prime rib all of the time,” Jeff says raising his voice a tad, and continues, “and here you and mom are, working your butts off and you can’t afford to eat out that often.”

“Son, I think you’re starting to see the dilemma of what happens when the government provides free stuff,”  Joe says point-blank.

“Okay, Dad.  You’ve made your point,” Jeff says, but not in a defeated tone, “I’m going to order another sundae, but this time, I’m ordering it to-go, and I’m taking it home and eating it in my bedroom and you’re not getting any!”

Having taught his son to be giving and caring, Joe decided to let this one ride.  His son learned a valuable lesson, and for that, he deserves to keep what he earned.

 

Two Men

Two Men

An essay about attitudes:

Two men sat watching General Conference.  Upon hearing the talk, the one man threw the remote at the TV.

“How dare they bring that up in General Conference!” he exclaimed, “The church should keep out of matters of the such.  This isn’t a topic to be discussed in church.”

The other man, upon hearing the same talk, sat quietly until he had heard all of the talks.  Retiring to his room, me got on his knees.

“Lord,” he said, “I don’t understand, but I’m guilty as charged.  Help me rid my life of this evil they servant has spoken of.”

The week when by, and next Sunday in church, the two men sat in the same quorum.  Their president rose to his feet, and standing in front of the quorum, read the conference talk to the members.  It was of importance enough that he felt it necessary to read it even though most of those present, watched it on TV the week before.

The first man, fumed in his seat.  His blood pressure rose, but he held his peace.  Anger, resentment, and unkind thoughts danced in his head.  He had to hear this once, but why again?

“I’ve got my rights,” he thought in anger, “who is he to judge me.  I’m not hurting anyone.  This is a matter that shouldn’t be discussed in church.  Someone should educate this brother.”

The second man, bowed his head in prayer.  Asking forgiveness, was what he sought, but he listened again.

“Please, Lord, forgive me,” he asked silently as he listened.

The two men died, as all men do.  The first approached the judgement bar and was questioned about the subject of the talk that so greatly angered him.  He pounded his fist against the desk and expressed his view.

The man behind the desk ordered him bound, “1,000 years confined to think about why.”

Two men, bound him, and took him away.  His expression was that of surprise, grief and unsurity.

The second man approached the desk, fell to his knees and pleaded, “Oh, Savior, please forgive me of my offenses against Thee.”

The Savior asked him to stand, and wrapped his arms around the second man and said, “Whether by mine own voice, of the voice of my servants, it is the same.  You listened and repented.  Well done my good and faithful servant, enter in to your rest.”

The talk struck a chord in both men.  Both guilty of the same offence, while one took offence, and the other sought forgiveness.  ‘Which am I?’  is the question I ask myself.

Afternoon Outing

My friend Ron Harris and I went to Artisan Works this afternoon.  Ron had never been there and I thought he might enjoy this weird eclectic gallery. and that he did.

copyright 2016 db walton
Life Sized Dolls at Artisan Works

Ron really enjoyed the Model T made from solid wood.  It’s life-sized and sits opposite a real Model T Ford for comparison.  The guy who builds this stuff is amazing.  (I’d sure love to see him build a Canon 5D camera.

copyright 2016 db walton
Ron Getting Ready to Break

We grabbed a bite to eat at Wendy’s on the way home.  After dropping Ron off I saw this field with the sun scraping across it.  I thought, “Now there’s a cool shot.”

copyright 2016 db walton
Winter In Macedon

Disappointment

Disappointment

There’s a scripture that says we should put our trust in the Lord and not in the arm of flesh. (Jeremiah 17:5, 2 Nephi 4:34)  Doing this (putting your trust in man) leads to disappointment.  Not always, but there will be those people who disappoint.

I guess for me, the biggest disappointment comes when I see things like this (and maybe I just need to stop using social media so I see less of it):

  • A return missionary who was one valiant, posting on social media about going out and getting drunk last night.
  • A member in a church leadership position voicing opinions of disagreement with the prophet and apostles on certain subjects.  (I’ve seen this as it pertains to gay marriage, legalization of marijuana and women and the priesthood.)
  • A member who announces they are leaving the church because other members aren’t intellectual enough.  (This happened with my mom’s home teacher years ago.)
  • A member shuns another because they simply don’t like them (for whatever reason).  It becomes even more disappointing when they let their dislike keep them from attending church or the temple.

That’s just a few examples.  The key to avoiding disappointment is to trust in the Lord.  I’ve seen people turn around their lives.  Even wayward return missionaries and do an about-face, repent and get active again.

Avoiding Disappointment

In avoiding disappointment, I think it is important to be careful where we place our trust.  I watch quasi-celebrities within the church and I think it’s great that they have their time in the lime-light.  At the same time, I hope there aren’t people who will get their hearts broken once they discover their idol is only human too.

Trust in the Lord

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25

I think that’s the key.

Route 31 Updates

I worked on some Get It Done on 31 ™ updates today.  It’s time to get things back on track.

Today’s update involved DiBella’s on NY SR 31 in Fairport (Perinton Plaza).  You’ll see more at www.GetItDoneon31.biz.

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DiBella’s on NY SR 31

Internet Troll

Internet Troll

The Internet Troll is, according to Wikipedia, “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.”

I’m sure there are some liberals out there who might classify me as a troll, but there is a difference between standing up for your convictions, and deliberately provoking an emotional response.    I will, and will continue to stick up for my convictions.  However, I’m starting to take a backseat to commenting on moronic posts I find on the Internet.  (By moronic, I mean things that haven’t been researched.  For example, that epsom salts and vinegar make an effective weed killer.   Or, my favorite, you can heat a room with four tea light candles and a clay pot.)

My recourse lately has been to completely block trolls on Facebook.  I decided to take that stance when I read this (source, with links: Wikipedia):

Two studies published in 2013 and 2014 have found that people who are identified as trolls tend to have dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, psychopathy, and machiavellianism.[41][42] The 2013 study suggested that there are a number of similarities between anti-social and flame trolling activities[41] and the 2014 study suggested that the noxious personality characteristics known as the “dark triad of personality” should be investigated in the analysis of trolling, and concluded that trolling appears “to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.”[42]

After reading this, I examined some posts by so-called friends on social media that were engaged in trolling.  What I discovered is this:  Those engaged in trolling activities post some pretty dark and disgusting stuff on their timeline.  This discovery was very chilling, to say the least.  Others, however, were less controversial in their own post, but mostly trolled other people’s posts.

Solution

So, here’s the recommendation.  If someone is harrasing you on Facebook, go to their profile, in the upper right of their profile click on the […] box and select “Block”.  That will do it.  For them, it will be as you do not exist, and for you, you’ll find peace in knowing they can’t harass you anymore on Facebook.

Weather

The weather today is rainy and cold.  I was hoping to go check out a park someone said I should visit.  Well, not today.  It’s too miserable outside.

Lame Arguments

Lame Arguments

I will admit that I sometimes get sucked in to arguments (or debates – they are the same).  So, I want to share some lame arguments I’ve heard in the past.  I hope you find them funny.  (Some are esoteric to Mormons, so if you’re not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you might not get them, but I’d be happy to explain.)

  • After showing someone where one of the latter-day prophets had said something, the other person responded to the effect, “That was before my lifetime.  None of them have said it since.”  I wanted to respond, “The first vision was before my lifetime, but I still believe it.”  I just walked away.
  • A friend couldn’t take his wife’s abuse and eventually asked for a divorce.  When he did, she said, “Well, what about where it says in the Bible, ‘Until death do you part?'”
  • Speaking of the bible, a friend posted a meme about life’s sanctity and abortion.  Someone posted a response trying to convince him that the bible says life doesn’t start until you start breathing.
  • A guy stopped me on my birthday.  He asked, “What’s today?”  I told him, “Wednesday.”  He said, “No, what is the date?”  I told him the date and then he said, “Uh-uh.  It is not.”  He then bet me $20 that the next person would give a different date (he wasn’t sure what the date was, but he knew it wasn’t the date I gave him.)    So, the next person walks up, he stops them and asks them.  They agreed with me.  He pulled out his wallet and gave me a $20.  I gave it back.  When he asked why I wouldn’t take it I told him I don’t gamble, nor do I take money from stupid people.  (Okay, I was 16 at the time… In fact, it was my 16th birthday.)
  • A woman starts arguing with my mission companion telling us that Mormons have horns.  My companion finally agreed with her and offered to let her feel his horns.  She was very reluctant.  She reached out and quickly rubbed his head.  He asked, “Did you feel them?”  “No,” she said.  “Do you feel anything?” he asked.  She said she did not, to which he replied, “Did you feel stupid?”
  • A friend at school had recently attended an anti-Mormon lecture.  The next day he tried very hard to convince me I don’t believe in Christ.  When he felt like he was failing, he asked, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God?”  I answered, “Yes”.  In fact, I answered yes to all his questions.  “Do you believe Christ died for you?”  “Do you believe if you accept him you’ll be saved and forgiven of your sins?”  Finally he said, “Okay, you believe in Christ, but a different one than I do.”

I just thought I’d share a few chuckles.

Taxes

I’ve been adding up numbers for taxes.  Why do they make it so difficult.   I think there are two ways to make taxes more fair and easier.

Method 1:  Sales tax.  That’s right.  A national sales tax.  The only time you pay tax is when you make a purchase.  Save your money and you’re not taxed… until you spend it.

Method 2:  Flat income tax.  Just take 10% out of everyone’s check regardless of the amount.  No loopholes.  No deductions.  It’s just 10 cents on the dollar.

I’m done.  It’s time to call it a day.

Risen

Risen

We went to see the movie Risen this morning.  This is a movie about the resurrection as being told by a fictional character (a Roman Tribute).

I’d give the movie a B.  Aside from a few inaccuracies, it was a decent story.  I wish it would have illustrated more of the actual events.  For example, I wish they would have shown the angle coming and rolling the stone away, and the guards  witnessing the angle and stuff instead of having a drunken guard tell the story to Flavius.  (Flavius was the Roman Tribute.)

Little things that bug me in a movie like this are things like this…

The guard looks to the left, rather than to the right, when looking to see if Jesus is in the tomb.  (The Gospel of Mark tells us the body of Jesus was to the right of the entrance.)  The movie implied they were at Galilee when Christ ascended to heaven, and not on the Mt. of Olives.  And, one of my pet peeves is having Jesus look like an Arab, and not the Jew that he was.

It’s got some violence in it and is a bit graphic in places, however, no sex, nudity or bad language.  Risen is an okay movie and definitely better than most things Hollywood produces in terms of content.

MG

For lunch we visited MG – Mesagrande.  It’s a burrito place on 31 & 250.  Entres for two, chips and two drinks will run you about $25.

Elizabethe had a chicken cessadilla and I had a pork burrito.  We shared some chips and guacamole.  The food was a bit on the bland side for my taste.  I don’t mean it wasn’t spicy enough, because you can always add hot sauce.  I mean the meat and guacamole were lacking in seasonings.  The meat needed a little more savory spices and salt, and the guac needed lime juice and salt.

copyright 2016 db walton
Mesagranda Meal

The place was EMPTY.  When we first got there, there were two ladies finishing their lunch, but when they left, we were it.  Granted, it was 3 in the afternoon, but I’m willing to bet there were 6 or more people eating at McDonald’s while we ate here.

copyright 2016 db walton
Empty

I will say this, my wife likes it  because nothing burned her mouth.  It is also clean.  So, we’ll probably return again.

This I will predict…. if they don’t do something to bring in the business, they aren’t going to survive.  The sign out front doesn’t say, “EAT HERE”.  In fact, when I first saw it, I thought the black and white sign was for a trendy clothing store.  So, if anyone from MG is listening, you need a bright yellow sign with a big green MG and bright red Mesagrande under it.  Then, people will think FOOD.

Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a book I recommend to everyone living in the United States.  Mormon (member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), or not, it is a must-read book for what is going on in our nation right now.

I have Christian friends who won’t read it because they have a prejudice regarding Latter-day Saints’ view of the book and their view of the Bible.  If they would only set aside that prejudice and read the book in terms of hearing what it says about this nation, government, and its warning against secret combinations, I think they would enjoy it.  Just for once, set aside Revelations 22:19 (because you already don’t believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture), and listen to the story.

Don’t give up once you start reading it.  Remember, you’re reading it for the story line to find out what it has to say about the country we live in.  And, start with the introduction and cover page.  They will set the scene.  (This is important because it is actually several books that have been abridged by a man named Mormon, and finished by his son Moroni.  If you don’t realize this as you read, it kind of throws you for a loop when Mormon starts to speak.  His comments should be parenthetical, but parenthesis weren’t used, and that can throw you for a loop if you don’t realize this.  I know it did me the first time I read it.)

It’s written in King’s English, and that’s a bit tough for some people, but yea means yes, and nay means no.  Thee and thou means you, thine means yours, thy means your, and if you can handle that, you can handle the “est” at the end of words (like thinkest).

Pay particular attention to what it says about kings, taxes, elections and corruption.  Look for an underlying theme throughout the book.  (Oh, and it pays to know some biblical history such as the Exodus and the Babylonian captivity.)  Listen for promises.

While there is an underlying theme, there are also stories within stories.  There is also an insert, the Book of Ether, that is another entire story of another group of people.  Interestingly, their story is like a condensed version of the entire story.  I like to think of the Book of Ether as a short, “I told you so,” story.

There’s nothing in the book that’s going to corrupt you.  In fact, just the opposite.    You’ll see things like King Benjamin teaching his people that when you serve and help others in need you are in the service of your God.  That’s just one example of the good teachings contained in the book.

You can order a free copy here:  https://www.mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon  You can also ask a friend who is a Latter-day Saint for a copy.  (You can even purchase one here, but seriously, we’ll gladly give you a copy if you ask.  And, there is a free app called Gospel Library that contains the Book of Mormon.)

Scripture Study

After completing the New Testament, Elizabethe and I decided to add the U.S. Constitution to our scripture reading.  A few General Conferences back, Elder Oaks encouraged members of the church to study the Constitution so we will recognize the rights granted in the Constitution.  Today was the day we started our reading.

It is amazing how quickly we read through the scriptures by reading every morning and night.  We only read two pages each time (4 per day).  As a result, we’ve read the scriptures dozens of times over.  And, while there was a time in my life I could remember a lot of what I would read (I used to have chapters and verses memorized verbatim), as I grow older I appreciate re-reading the scriptures because my memory is waning.

Dinner

The sisters came over for dinner tonight.  I made black beans (feijoada) and cornbread.  Elizabethe finally likes cornbread!  The secret is to partially cook the cornmeal before making the batter.  It makes for a moister cornbread.

Against My Religion

Against My Religion

Socialism, whether you call it Democratic Socialism, Communism (a form of Socialism) or whatever you want to call it, is against my religion.  I won’t mince words.  And, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and disagree with me, I’ll simply say, take it to the Lord after you study the topic.

Recognizing my personality type is that of protector, I felt driven today to do some further research on the subject.  This was after going to professed socialist Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page.  I noticed 11 friends “like” his page.  Of the 11, several are church members.  Now, given them the benefit of the doubt, I might think they are just following his posts.  However, when you see them posting “Bernie Sanders for President” memes on their site, you know it is more than that.

Also, the Daily Universe, the BYU Newspaper, posted about a survey claiming 30% of BYU students support Bernie Sanders for president.  Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist has caught the admiration of many young people across the nation.  It is surprising, as well as disturbing, that BYU students would get lured in to the trap of socialism.

Great Evils

Pondering the great evils of our day, and reading recent General Conference addresses, here is a list I’ve complied:

  • Pornography – we have heard it stressed over and over about the evils of pornography.
  • Attacks on Family – this includes abortion, gay marriage, divorce, cohabitation of unmarried people in sexual relationships, pornography, etc.
  • Attack on Personal Liberties – attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and worship, socialism, communism, over-taxation, etc.

To My LDS Friends

So, to my LDS friends, here are a few quotes from our prophets and apostles on the very subject.  Oh, and before you say, “Well, that’s socialism, this is democratic socialism,” or, “That’s communism, this is socialism,” I think you’re going to read they are all one-in-the same.

First, from Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church:

“Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan… Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.”

Second, the First Presidency, 1941, Consisting of Heber J. Grant, J. Rubin Clark, and David O. McKay:

“We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from that underlying spirit common to Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution.

Third, from Ezra Taft Benson:

No true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto that very purpose.”

Wow, that’s some pretty strong language and should cause any Latter-day Saint to perk up their ears.

Forth, from Howard W. Hunter:

“If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.”

Fifth and Sixth, from the scriptures themselves:

“Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!”  D&C 56:17

“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”  Issaiah 65:22

Seventh, from President Benson’s message in the 1988 Ensign:

“Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc.”

Finally, there is plenty to be said in Church manuals about socialism versus the Law of Consecration (or United Order).  (see https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-instructors-guide-religion-324-325/the-law-of-consecration-and-stewardship-part-2-lesson-31-sections-83-85-92-104?lang=eng&query=socialism for an example).

Study the Constitution

This quote from Elder Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve, “U.S. citizens should follow the First Presidency’s counsel to study the Constitution.  They should be familiar with its great fundamentals: the separation of powers, the individual guarantees in the Bill of Rights, the structure of federalism, the sovereignty of the people, and the principles of the rule of the law. They should oppose any infringement of these inspired fundamentals,” (Ensign, Feb. 1992) has driven my wife and I to include study of the U.S. Constitution as part of our scripture study.

By so doing, studying the Constitution reinforces core values in the Constitution, and also helps us prepare to recognize when our Constitutional rights have been trampled.  Having been subject to that myself, this is something I feel very strong about.

As one reads the Constitution, they should question things like…

  • Can a president really create a law by executive order?
  • Conversely, can a president overturn a law by the same?
  • Can the Supreme Court make rulings that become new laws?
  • Can someone be tried in a court, while not being accused of a crime, and denied a trial by jury?
  • What does the Constitution say about religion and state?
  • What is the role of the President (Executive Branch)?
  • What is the role of Congress and the Senate (Legislative Branch)?
  • What is the role of the Supreme and lesser courts (Judicial Branch)?
  • Can agencies, like the FCC, USDA, etc., create law?
  • Who authorizes the spending of tax dollars?

… just to name a few.

Conclusion

I think we are, in general, as a people (church members) fairly naive regarding politics.  And, for good reason, we keep political discussions outside the church.  However, this is not about politics, it is about freedom and God-given rights as defined in the Constitution.  Both are discussion that do belong at church and are based on scripture, namely the Book of Mormon, and will impact our personal freedoms (including religion) for years to come.

We need to stand up and be champions of the Gospel as well as the Constitution.  And, where needed, we need to repent and rid ourselves of sin, false doctrines and champion the cause of freedom.  (Read the Book of Alma, and pay particular attention to the phrase, “cause of freedom”.)