Mormon Prophet Praises 'No-nonsense attitude"

"Affairs in the home must not be neglected, President Hinckley said, noting that he deals frequently with cases of divorce and requests for cancellation of sealings. "Almost without exception each case involves deception, dishonesty, broken promises, violated covenants, heartbreak and tragedy. Begin with your own home to preserve the sanctity of your marriage, the eternity of your covenants and the happiness which comes when there is love and security and trust in the family. Put the comfort of your companion and your children ahead of your own. And reach out with a helping hand to those whose marriages have become troubled."

Gordon B. Hinckley, September 21, 1996 as noted in the LDS Church News page 4.

Matthew 5 - What would congress be like if they followed the beattitudes?

The following comes from Decisions for Successful Living written by Harold B. Lee, one of the Prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Turning from the love of the world to the Love of God.

1. Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
"To be poor in spirit is to feel yourselves as the spiritually needy, ever dependent upon the Lord for your clothes, and your food and the air you breathe, your health, your life; realizing that no day should pass without fervent prayer of thanksgiving, for guidance and forgiveness and strength sufficient for each day's need."

2. Blessed Are They That Mourn
"To mourn, as the Master's lesson here would teach, one must show that 'godly sorrow that worketh repentance' and wins for the penitent a forgiveness of sins and forbids a return to the deeds of which he mourns."

3. Blessed Are the Meek
"A meek man is defined as one who is not easily provoked or irritated and forbearing under injury or annoyance. Meekness is not synonymous with weakness. The meek man is the strong, the mighty, the man of complete self-mastery. He is the one who has the courage of his moral convictions, despite the pressure of the gang or the club."

4. Blessed Are They That Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness
"Did you ever hunger for food or thirst for water when just a crust of stale bread or a sip of tepid water to ease the pangs that distressed you seem to be the most prized of all possessions? If you have so hungered then you may begin to understand how the Master meant we should hunger and thirst after righteousness. It's that hungering and thirsting that leads those away from home to seek fellowship with saints in sacrament services and that induces worship on the Lord's Day wherever we are. It is that which prompts fervent prayer and leads our feet to holy temples and bids us be reverent therein."

Learning to love our fellowmen

5. Blessed are the Pure in Heart
"If you would see God, you must be pure. There is in Jewish writings the story of a man who saw an object in the distance, an object that he thought was a beast. As it drew nearer he could perceive it was a man and as it came still closer he saw it was his friend. You can see only that which you have eyes to see. Some of the associates of Jesus saw him only as a son of Joseph the carpenter. Others thought him to be a wine-bibber or a drunkard because of his words. Still others thought he was possessed of devils. Only the righteous saw him as the Son of God. Only if you are the pure in heart will you see God, and also in a lesser degree will you be able to see the 'God' or good in man and love him because of the goodness you see in him. Mark well that person who criticizes and maligns the man of God or the Lord's anointed leaders in his Church. Such a one speaks from an impure heart."

6. Blessed are the Merciful
"Our salvation rests upon the mercy we show to others. Unkind and cruel words, or wanton acts of cruelty toward man or beast, even though in seeming retaliation, disqualify the perpetrator in his claims for mercy when he has need of mercy in the day of judgement before earthly or heavenly tribunals. Is there one who has never been wounded by the slander of another whom he thought to be his friend? Do you remember the struggle you had to refrain from retribution? Blessed are all you who are merciful for you shall obtain mercy!"

7. Blessed Are the Peacemakers
"Peacemakers shall be called the children of God. The troublemaker, the striker against law and order, the leader of the mob, the law-breakers are prompted by motives of evil and unless they desist will be known as the children of Satan rather than God. Withhold yourselves from him who would cause disquieting doubts by making light of sacred things for he seeks not for peace but to spread confusion. That one who is quarrelsome or contentious and whose arguments are for other purposes than to resolve the truth is violating a fundamental principle laid down by the Master as an essential in the building of a full rich life. 'Peace and goodwill to men on earth' was the angel song that heralded the birth of the Prince of Peace."

8. Blessed Are They Which Are Persecuted
"May youth everywhere remember that warning when you are hissed and scoffed because you refuse to compromise your standards of abstinence, honesty and morality in order to win the applause of the crowd. If you stand firmly for the right despite the jeers of the crowd or even physical violence, you shall be crowned with the blessedness of eternal joy. Who knows but that again in our day some of the saints or even apostles, as in former days, may be required to give their lives in defense of the truth? If that time should come, God grant they would not fail!"

9. Continuing Efforts to Acquire the Attributes of God

This was an interesting exercise. It put a unique reading to the "Blessed Attitudes".

We all need a friend

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

Sometimes we all feel lonely
Those are common tears to cry
We feel that we care only
That we sit and sadly sigh

The spirit's a gift the Savior sent
When he ascended to dwell above
This gift he left when life was spent
Can make a place in hearts for love

The gift of the Holy Ghost
Can fill our heart with peace
This Comforter can help the most
To make our heartache cease

God's love can dry our tears
No matter why we've cried
The Spirit calms our fears
Warming hearts up, from inside

Sometimes, we feel that we're alone
When friends are hard to find
Some leave our God, who they have known
And depart from peace of mind

The tragedy of this dark path
Is very hard to bear
They lose the peace the Spirit hath
For he can't follow there

Our constant friend in life
The one who dwells inside
Must abandon them to strife
As their commitment died

Oh, let us keep this one true friend
And walk with God each day
For, we'll go home at this life's end
If we endure and pray

If we want to conquer sadness
Finding peace in every hour
Let's receive this gift with gladness
And be filled with love and power.

Fathers and Sons Aaronic Priesthood Campout May 15-16

Every year in May the Mormons embark on a mass migration, well not entirely mass, as only the men and their sons attend an overnight camp to commemorate the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. This year my father, my brother and his son, and me with my two sons attended the 26th Ward's camp out.

We traveled to Burraston Ponds. Where, in the year the thirteen colonies were declaring Independence, a Spanish group of explorers led by Father Escalante called the large spring the "ojo de San Pablo" (27 Sep. 1776).

The event was enjoyable. My father cooked up a delicious dutch oven dinner. BBQ chicken, potatoes, carrots, and above all his scrumptious cobbler. (I won't be revealing his secret recipe here.) The boys had a fun time shooting cap guns and going on adventures through the underbrush.

When the sun went down about 40 men and boys gathered around the campfire to have a Priesthood commemoration fireside. On May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism. As they prayed, "a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light." This messenger was John the Baptist, the prophet who had baptized Jesus Christ centuries earlier. With this event, Mormons believe the authority to baptize was restored directly to them. This is one reason members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe their church is a "restored" church as opposed to a "protesting" church (in other words, those churches that broke away from other churches because of the way things were run).

The next morning, the Bishop of the ward prepared a breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Then we packed up and headed for home. I look forward to next year's Priesthood Commemoration Fireside.

Mormon Family selected as World's Strictest Parents

A new TV show called World's Strictest Parents has shown up on CMT. As I was watching the other day, you can imagine my surprise when a family knelt down in prayer and I immediately recognized the Mormon phrases. A short time later the family said they were Mormon. Wow, I thought, this might be very interesting.

In World's Strictest Parents two unruly teenagers are taken from their families and dropped into the lives of a family with very strict parents. The disrespectful and/or lazy teens are supposed to learn lessons from the strict family that their own parents wish them to learn.

The Cork family said their nightly prayers, enforced their rules on modesty, and asked the children to keep their language curse word free. The young women of the family were very articulate explaining why they did what they did.

The Cork family had two main rules:
  • Respect each other
  • Teamwork
In an ironic twist, as the two teens were driving to the house. Julie (16) turned to Sebastian (16) and said, "They might be Mormon or Amish or something..."

It was a good glimpse into the hearts and minds of a family from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mrs. Cork and the guests visited a woman with two children and helped clean her house. The two teenagers did the dishes, swept the floor, and cooked up dinner for the kids. Mormons tend to be doers, engaged in community and aware of those around them.

The Corks talked about the sweet child they had adopted from China. Which I found interesting since President Barak Obama just announced on Saturday May 16, 2009 that Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. of Utah will be the new U.S. Ambassador to China. Incidentally, Mr. Huntsman and his family also adopted a child from China. The story appeared to have a strong impact on Sebastian - he was amazed at how quickly a change had occurred in the little girl.

This show was very good. It was inspiring on so many levels. Julie appeared to transform in some ways and Sebastian, the teenage boy, really stepped up to the plate with regard to service. Sebastian started the show repeatedly calling the Corks "cheesy". He ended the show stepping up and realizing that he has an abundance of power to help others. They even showed the family praying with their guests a few times. Julie's Mom's prayers appeared to be answered. As Julie realized that family is the most important thing. Again, I thought it was a great show. The only thing lacking in this show, is a follow up on how the two visitors are doing.

Hat tip to the Cork family and their two guests.

Honestly, I don't understand why people have an issue electing a Mormon to the White House.

The Most Important Knowledge

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

There’s so much knowledge in the world
On which to feast and dine
So many ways that truth is hurled
Toward my open mind

Yet, the most important truth
That we can understand
Comes by learning in our youth
To obey the Lord’s command

The feasting that is best, to me
The most important dish
Is the word the Lord gives us for free
Feeding thousands with two fish

For the teachings of Lord Jesus
Though simple and so small
Are packed with truth and goodness
That can feed and strengthen all.

Paraphrasing Luke 14:28-29 Live Within Your Means

So the New York Times writes an article that gets on the case of the Mormon Church for having enough money to complete its building projects even with the economic downturn.

Hat tip to Mark Gibbons, the project lead, for the following quote:

“For which of you intending to build a tower does not first count the cost
to see if he have money to complete, so he doesn’t look like a fool,” said Mr.
Gibbons, paraphrasing Luke 14:28-29. “We set aside reserves to build this
project, we counted the cost before we started, and we have the resources to

The "so he doesn't look like a fool" had me falling out of my chair with laughter.

And who can help but laugh at Jason Mathis' statement:

“We don’t have a Microsoft or Coca-Cola,” said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance. “In many ways, the L.D.S. church fills that role.”

Yes Mr. Mathis, because the L.D.S. church writes software and bottles beverages.

Linda Baker, the author, did a nice job on the article. It made me laugh in some places and emphasized the wealth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Again, Mr. Gibbons has a great quote.

A Firm Foundation

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

The workers need a place to start,
A foundation on which to build.
Yet, footings aren’t displayed like art,
Their surface with gold we don’t gild.

The foundation is an important part,
Of a building great or small.
And forms, in effect, the structural heart,
That helps it to stand or to fall.

We must build the foundation of our life,
Upon the teachings of our Lord.
Building each other as husband and wife,
To be ready when concrete is poured.

If we don’t build upon solid ground,
If we don’t take the time or the care,
We know that it will be found,
That there’s shifting and weakness down there.

When a structure has problems, Its owner will frown,
If the building is beyond all repair.
It’s so sad when we must tear buildings down,
And start building a new structure there.

Yet, if we build our lives with God’s plan,
We can find a whole lifetime of peace.
Yes, there can be joy for each woman and man,
The kind that will not ever cease.

The Soothing Summer Breeze

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

Sometimes the wind can move you, and make your heart beat fast.
But, a whirling violent vortex is a thing that cannot last.
For, in that wind is always strife, bringing chaos into life.
I prefer a gentle breeze that’s always constant.

I’ve seen the flames, with a devil’s tongue, leaping to the sky.
Burning up the innocence, to make the forest die.
Passion must be held in check, for sin can make your life a wreck.
I prefer a gentle breeze that’s always constant.

I’ve seen a twister on the lake, spouting water high.
It lifted up a fishy, though It's not safe for trout to fly.
Excitement can bring danger. It’s unwise to kiss a stranger.
I prefer a gentle breeze that’s always constant.

I’ve seen a snow-white devil, in it’s frozen hate.
Throwing snow up all around, angry to face it’s fate.
It seems to know the ageless truth, that it won’t make it out of youth.
I prefer a gentle breeze that’s always constant.

I’ve seen a dusty funnel cloud, out in the desert waste.
It seems to run toward its end with sad and reckless haste.
A desert is so bare and dry, that love born there will surely die.
I prefer a gentle breeze that’s always constant.

Our love and friendship both have grown, stronger through the years.
We’ve cried together many times, with sad or joyful tears.
Your love for me is always there, an answer to my fervent prayer.
You are the gentle breeze that’s always constant.

To my Sweetheart, Dressed in White

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

There you are, in flawless white.
As a brilliant star, through gloomy night.

I love your soul, and I'm glad to be
Bound by our goal to partake from God’s tree.

We're sealed forever, and though we die,
We'll soon be together, You and I.

I do not recall, time preceding this life.
Yet, someday I’ll know all about you my wife.

Someday this veil, which hides the past
Itself will fail, and part at last.

I then shall know, the one by my side
As we both go, up to God and abide.

So, before the casket closes, I’ll kiss you one more time.
And know that like our roses, next spring you’ll be sublime.

Yes, then I’ll know you fully, as in blazing light we dwell.
In the presence of the holy, and the great Immanuel.

Should Health Care be Nationalized in the United States of America?

By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet

The Health Care system should not be nationalized in the United States of America. In other words, the US government should not set the price that doctors can charge for specific procedures or set the price of prescription drugs or the cost of medical insurance.

Poul Anderson spoke the truth when he said, “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.” (Sylvan Barnet, Bedau Hugo. Current Issues and Enduring Questions pp. 257)

It is true that we live in a complicated world. The Body Works Health Database teaches that "The processes of life are wondrous, indeed. Though much has been learned about the technical intricacies of pregnancy and childbirth, for example, the concept of the existence of life itself, is still overwhelming. On our planet, over five billion people are engaged in the day-to-day occupations of life, from conception to death. In spite of this dramatically large number of people, each person is unique, a notion which, in itself, is cause for reflection." (CD-ROM Body Works 5.0 for windows from Softkey)

The health care system in the United States is a delicate and complicated system. Dianne Hales identifies some of the options available to a family using the current system.

“Many individuals with insurance are covered under an employer-based plan (options offered and partially funded by their employer). Individual health insurance coverage, though more costly, can be obtained through some companies. Uninsured persons depend on their own ability to pay, their qualifying for government insurance, or the care that physicians and institutions donate to those unable to pay." (Hales, Dianne. An invitation to Health 2009-2010 Edition.)

Hales also identifies some of the problems that exist in the Health Care System of the United States, “People with family incomes of $75,000 or more are twice as likely as those with family incomes less than $20,000 to be in excellent health” (12).

Hales continues by saying that, “. . . Race itself isn’t the primary reason for the health problems faced by minorities in the United States. Poverty is. Without adequate insurance or the ability to pay, many cannot afford the tests and treatments that could prevent illness or overcome it at the earliest possible stages. One in three Hispanics under age 65 has no health insurance. According to public health experts, low income may account for one-third of the racial differences in death rates for middle-aged African American adults” (13) Hales also notes that, “Women are more likely than men to lack health insurance, and the lower a woman’s income and education, the less her likelihood of getting important preventative services…” (500).

I ‘m a U.S. citizen and I’ve also lived in Canada for several years. I ‘ve been a patient in the heath care systems of both Countries. While living in Canada I experienced some chest pains one morning while hiking and over exerting myself. I went to the Hospital and immediately was given an EKG test. The results suggested that I had not had a heart attack and that I had just pushed myself too hard until I was at the point of exhaustion. I was never sent a bill for this examination.

While living in the United States, I ruptured a disk in my back. I was self-employed and had no medical insurance. I was unable to sit or stand without experiencing extreme agony. Because I had no medical insurance, I did not have access to medical care. I was no longer able to work for myself and I found it necessary to go to work for someone else. The nature of my injury caused me to experience extreme pain in the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of the left leg. I went to work for a company in which I had the responsibility of working at a computer all day. This required me to be seated and I was in agony the entire time. I worked in this way so that I could eventually qualify for medical insurance with this employer.

After receiving medical insurance I went to the doctor and had an MRI which confirmed my suspicion that I had ruptured a disk. Surgery was performed on my back and the disk was removed. Because of the time that had gone by, the nerve in my left leg had died and I am not able to flex the calf muscle in my left leg. This muscle has atrophied to almost nothing and I will be crippled and walk with a limp for the rest of my life.

After reading the story of my injury, it may seem that my essay would urge the Government of the United States to change current system of health care and Nationalize the health care system. This is not the argument that I am making. I recognize the impact that nationalization would have on the many people in this Country who are currently employed by HMOs and other medical insurance companies.

Income taxes in the United States are similar in this way because, a flat tax would be much more efficient and provide the most equitable taxation of the people. However, if the United States were to make a sudden change to a simple flat tax, the current structure of tax servicing would be devastated and the IRS itself would find it necessary to terminating the employment of a large percentage of its workers.

A sudden and drastic change in U.S. policy and law in the areas of the health care system and income tax code; would cause devastating effects on the economy by causing a sharp increase in unemployment. Changes to the tax code and health care system must come gradually if at all. Otherwise there will be devastating consequences to the wellbeing of every citizen in this country.

The health care system today is similar to a very high quality public transpiration system. We have a system that is like a high speed train from New York to LA. We have the fastest and best high speed train in the world. There is a large problem with this train however, it has a very limited number of cars and only one engine to pull it. There are simply not enough seats, daily trips, or stations to accommodate the needs of the entire Country. There is no possibility of offering a greater number of stops, additional trains, or more frequent service. This kind of train is simply too expensive. Some additional modes of transportation toward good health are needed.

We need a bus system that can help the common work-a-part-time-day people in this Country. The decision to add buses to the public transportation system does not require us to take the train out of service. We do not need to alter the daily life of those who have already been using the train with great satisfaction. We do, however, need to provide the rest of the people in the Country with a less expensive way to promote good health. Many of those who are stranded, in the backwaters of poor health, will not object to the idea of lowing slightly, the quality of service in order to increases the quantity of service.

Here is another way to think of the high speed train of US healthcare. Imagine that the train is running with many seats available at times because the fare is just too expensive. Therefore some people need to have the bus fare that is less expensive even thought the bus may take a longer time to get them to their destination. This needs to be an alternative so that we can, as a Country reach the destination of Good Health.

President Obama proposes some interesting and monumental changes to the health care system in order to accomplish the goal of providing more Americans with Health Insurance. The following is a summary of these proposals according to the world wide web site for Barack Obama 7 Apr. 2009 .

Some argue that we must either nationalize the health care system or keep it exactly the way it is. We propose to keep things the same for those who are happy with it, (While giving them a cost savings of 2,500 dollars per year.) For those who are not happy with the current system, we will tax the rich to pay for you to have better access to health care. If we get these taxes in place we will be able to: Require coverage of pre-existing conditions, Make health care coverage affordable for small business, control malpractice insurance premium prices, and set the prices of treatment for catastrophic illnesses.

President Obama’s current proposals are more grounded in getting elected for the next term and winning over public opinion, than they are in finding a strategy that will receive the needed congressional votes to become law. The following counter argument for government price control comes from the world wide web site for Fox News 10 Apr. 2009 .
I have summarized this article as follows:
There is obviously a problem with the Health Care System in the United States. The focus of any constructive debate should therefore, center on what to do to solve the problems in the Health Care System. It is not right to paint
current Health Care workers as bad people. It is dangerous to believe that the government will do a better job than the current system.

Government run Health Care Systems have failed in Countries around the World and even in individual States here is the USA. We currently have the greatest health care system in the world. If the healthcare system were to be Nationalized completely, there would be a crisis as Doctors refused to work under the conditions mandated by the Government. The savings that are being promised from using Technology to stream line the medical records are not really possible.

We must, as citizens, recognize what we are in danger of loosing. We need bold leaders to set a course away from Nationalizing the Health Care System in the USA.

Universal Health Insurance coverage is a goal that morally, we cannot afford to abandon. Dianne Hales points out that “Most colleges offer some type of health insurance plan, with the student health center acting as the primary care provider. Many schools require enrollment if the student is not covered under any other plan.” (505)

Following this example on a national level is a simple solution to the problem of the medically uninsured in America. The most effective solution to this problem is to pass laws that require everyone in the US to have medical insurance. The government can provide an insurance program that is far more expensive and far less beneficial that current medical insurance, the uninsured could then be required by law to enroll in this unattractive government program.

If this law were enacted, the citizens of the United States of America, as they began to protest this action and look for other options, would influence the collective price of medical insurance and the cost of medical insurance would be reduced drastically in this Country. This drop in price would occur naturally as the existing medical insurance companies tried to secure the business of the 45 million Americans that would suddenly be shopping for medical insurance. The citizen health insurance motto would no longer be, “We can’t afford to have medical insurance.” Instead the national, citizen medical insurance motto would change to, “We simply can’t afford not to have medical insurance.”

Regrettably, like President Obama’s proposals, such a law would never receive the public support necessary to demonstrate to elected officials the political will necessary to successfully move the bill through congress with the required votes. If we as a Nation had started out with Nationalized health care it would be a good idea to keep it running and reform it as needed; however, making such a drastic change now, would only bring chaos and injustice to an industry that has done a fine job of caring for those who can afford the ticket to ride on the high tech train of the US health care system. We must not, therefore, blow up the high tech train just because alternate modes of transportation are not being created fast enough.