Friday, November 28, 2008

The Light of Providence

As the light of providence and the shadow of darkness continue to be cast on the chasm of good and evil, I feel compelled to share some poignant words from a modern prophet. Recently we have seen fulfillment of prophecy in our modern time. Recent attention to California’s Proposition 8 illustrates how it has been fulfilled. This amendment serves as a specific canvass for the general promotion of secularism in society and the attack on church and family today.

The radical homosexual community aggressively and tirelessly demanded that society afford it protected class status because of predisposition for same sex attraction. The notion that behavioral predisposition should be protected is illogical. It is arguably a misinterpretation of constitutional protection.

Many individuals have genetic, environmental or psychic predispositions for destructive behavior. Predispositions including heterosexual promiscuity, pedophilia, abuse, pornography, adultery, chemical addictions, greed, power, etc., have always been manifest in human societies.
The destructive consequences of acting out on predispositions is well documented. The numberless concourses of victims left in the wake of selfish indulgences includes self, family, community and nation. Even casual students of history, not blinded by their own lusts, have clearly observed the consequences of unbridled restraint from individual predisposition.
Other organized groups continue to fight to lower standards of decency so that their predispositions can be satisfied. Sound-bytes which resonate from their camps include slogans like “drug abuse is a victimless crime”, or “any behavior is appropriate between consenting adults.” The dark path of these lies is paved with broken homes, sorrow, remorse, divorce, disease, neglect, abuse, murder and other heinous outcomes.

In reality predisposition is really just a verbose word that is usually used to describe selfish and unchecked destructive behavior. With remarkable effectiveness the Gay community has glamorized, popularized and packaged it with slick slogans designed to desensitize the masses. Perhaps never before have we ever seen such a well organized and wealthy movement silence so many with it’s blatant fear mongering.

The radical element of the homosexual community has always had a hidden agenda. What is that agenda?

The homosexual community is incapable of producing progeny naturally. It relies solely on recruitment or conversion. It’s collective indulgence depends upon it’s ability to network and socialize like minded individuals. The perpetuation and very survival of it’s cause depends upon self promotion.

Ironically angry, radical, “gay” voices are the most verbose in shouting “hate” speech. These voices seek to silence any who oppose their deviant definition of marriage. Their campaign of vitriol, social protest, and ugly harassment exposes the desperation of their minions and the selfish emptiness of their cause. This powerful, wealthy and well-organized lobby has validated the myth of their supposed victim status. They have clearly illustrated they oppose free speech and constitutional processes for any who dare stand against them. Their tactics are outrageous and brutal. One simple example of their egregious tactics is the website Californians Against Hate. This site specifically targets those who donated funds in favor of passing Proposition 8.

Can you visualize the firestorm of publicity that would be raised if someone was to post a similar site on the web that highlighted any individuals that donated to defeat Prop 8?

Can you imagine the backlash of outrage the media and judiciary, infiltrated by gay activists, would raise if anyone were to target individuals in the gay community with the same tactics they have deployed against those who supported Prop 8?

Can you comprehend the outcry that would be made if individuals were to target and picket the homes and businesses of homosexuals?

Documentation to illustrate a radical pattern of harassment and hate speech against religious minorities and the “silent majority” is available in exponential detail.

It is astonishing how outrageous their organized behavior has become. It is intriguing to see their rhetoric of phobia exposed. It is notable to see how quickly these forces of radicalism that claimed that religious rights wouldn’t and couldn’t be restricted, now hypocritically are demanding that those rights do be restricted, including tax exempt status for churches. It is significant to note how a religious minority has been specifically targeted. It is perhaps nor really surprising that they have advocated that temples be burned, opposing proposition donors be identified and harassed, and hate labels be applied to decent citizens whom apposed the amendment.

Their are those who might accuse me targeting the Gay community unfairly by my assertions is without merit. I decry the indulgence of all unbridled, destructive, behavior in all it’s forms. I will continue to treat individuals to whom I do not agree with respect and decorum. But I feel compelled to stand firm against what is clearly an organized attack on freedom of speech, the institution of marriage and the free exercise of religion afforded in the constitution of this great land.

Perhaps those who seek to attack the LDS church would be well advised to study the depth and breadth of persecution heaped upon it’s membership historically and even today by those whom are ignorant of it’s advocation of decency. The Gay community has never been the recipient of an extermination order by the government.

It is noteworthy to comprehend the specific targeting of The Church is Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The fact that this specific focus was directed at the Church despite the fact that a broad inter-religious and interracial coalition worked together is both gratifying and positive. This, once again holds up the living Church of Christ as a banner of truth and good, an ensign to the nations and a light unto the world. The pure in heart of the earth will look with curiosity to us collectively and individually. Glorious is our opportunity to help them see the unwavering nature of God’s church and of the sweet peace the gospel brings. Great is our responsibility to bring many to the knowledge of the truth because the good and honorable people of the earth will recognize, as in all times past, the power and glory of the Lord.

We with great satisfaction should be grateful for our opportunity to play a role in bringing God’s purposes to pass. I am grateful that we are being attack for we now see how our collective efforts, under the direction of the prophet can “bring about much good” and move other good people to action.

While the radical voices of this powerful “protected class” continue their quest to silence the voice of the diverse majority, with fervor, anger and manipulation, the quiet, calm and sure word of God resonates to mind and spirit of the pure in heart. For they seek after that which is virtuous, lovely or of good report.

My thesis above was presented to help illustrate how prophecy has been fulfilled today. I have quoted portions of the words of Neal A. Maxwell below that were delivered prophetically 30 years ago. I have added italics on portions I find especially poignant. I testify that his words portray the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord. I admonish all who read them to strengthen their personal resolve to stand against evil and to increase their personal commitment to follow the Prophets counsel today. For as Isaiah confidently asserted in viewing our day: Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded…No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54)

A More Determined Discipleship
By Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy
An address delivered at Brigham Young University, 10 October 1978, Ensign, Feb 1979, 69–73

Discipleship includes good citizenship. In this connection, if you are a careful student of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions—especially when the First Presidency has spoken out—the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people; and causes, not candidates. On occasions, at other levels in the Church, a few have not been so discreet, so wise, or so inspired.

Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)
President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!

We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

M. J. Sobran wrote recently:
“The Framers of the Constitution … forbade the Congress to make any law ‘respecting’ the establishment of religion, thus leaving the states free to do so (as several of them did); and they explicitly forbade the Congress to abridge ‘the free exercise’ of religion, thus giving actual religious observance a rhetorical emphasis that fully accords with the special concern we know they had for religion. It takes a special ingenuity to wring out of this a governmental indifference to religion, let alone an aggressive secularism. Yet there are those who insist that the First Amendment actually proscribes governmental partiality not only to any single religion, but to religion as such; so that tax exemption for churches is now thought to be unconstitutional. It is startling to consider that a clause clearly protecting religion can be construed as requiring that it be denied a status routinely granted to educational and charitable enterprises, which have no overt constitutional protection. Far from equalizing unbelief, secularism has succeeded in virtually establishing it. …

“What the secularists are increasingly demanding, in their disingenuous way, is that religious people, when they act politically, act only on secularist grounds. They are trying to equate acting on religion with establishing religion. And—I repeat—the consequence of such logic is really to establish secularism. It is in fact, to force the religious to internalize the major premise of secularism: that religion has no proper bearing on public affairs.” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 51–52, 60–61.)

Brothers and sisters, irreligion as the state religion would be the worst of all combinations. Its orthodoxy would be insistent and its inquisitors inevitable. Its paid ministry would be numerous beyond belief. Its Caesars would be insufferably condescending. Its majorities—when faced with clear alternatives—will make the Barabbas choice, as did a mob centuries ago when Pilate confronted them with the need to decide.

Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, “A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59).

This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.

In its mildest form, irreligion will merely be condescending toward those who hold to traditional Judeo-Christian values. In its more harsh forms, as is always the case with those whose dogmatism is blinding, the secular church will do what it can to reduce the influence of those who still worry over standards such as those in the Ten Commandments. It is always such an easy step from dogmatism to unfair play—especially so when the dogmatists believe themselves to be dealing with primitive people who do not know what is best for them—the secular bureaucrats’ burden, you see.

Am I saying that the voting rights of people of religion are in danger? Of course not! Am I saying, “It’s back to the catacombs?” No! But there is occurring a discounting of religiously based opinions. There may even be a covert and subtle disqualification of some for certain offices in some situations, in an ironic irreligious test for office.

If people, however, are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold which grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would we be?

Our founding fathers did not wish to have a state church established nor to have a particular religion favored by government. They wanted religion to be free to make its own way. But neither did they intend to have irreligion made into a favored state church.

Notice the terrible irony if this trend were to continue. When the secular church goes after its heretics, where are the sanctuaries? To what landfalls and Plymouth Rocks can future pilgrims go?

If we let come into being a secular church which is shorn of traditional and divine values, where shall we go for inspiration in the crises of tomorrow? Can we appeal to the rightness of a specific regulation to sustain us in our hour of need? Will we be able to seek shelter under a First Amendment which by then may have been twisted to favor irreligion? Will we be able to rely for counterforce on value education aided in school systems which are increasingly secularized? And if our governments and schools were to fail us, would we be able to fall back upon and rely upon the institution of the family, when so many secular movements seek to shred it?

It may well be that as our time comes to “suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41), some of that special stress will grow out of that portion of discipleship which involves citizenship. Remember, as Nephi and Jacob said, we must learn to endure “the crosses of the world” and yet to despise “the shame of it” (2 Ne. 9: 18; Jacob 1:8). To go on clinging to the iron rod in spite of the mockery and scorn that flow at us from the multitudes in that great and spacious building seen by Father Lehi, which is the “pride of the world” (1 Ne. 11:36)—is to disregard the shame of the world. Parenthetically, why, really why, do the disbelievers who line that spacious building watch so intently what the believers are doing? (See 1 Ne. 8:33.) Surely there must be other things for the scorners to do. Unless deep within their seeming disinterest. … Unless. … If the challenge of the secular church becomes very real, let us, as in all other relationships, be principled but pleasant. Let us be perceptive without being pompous. Let us have integrity and not write checks with our tongues which our conduct cannot cash.

Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, “summer is nigh” (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!

Have I come today, however, only to add one more to the already long list of special challenges faced by you and me? Not really. I have also come to say to you that God, who foresaw all challenges, has given to us a precious doctrine which can encourage us in meeting this and all other challenges.

Properly humbled and instructed concerning the great privileges that are ours, we can cope with what seem to be very dark days, and with true perspective about “things as they really are,” we can see in them a great chance to contribute. Churchill, in trying to rally his countrymen in an address at Harrow School on 29 October 1941, said to them:

“Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days—the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.” (Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, p. 923.)

So should we regard the dispensation of the fulness of time—even when we face stern challenges and circumstances. “These are great days”! Our hearts need not fail us. We can be equal to our challenges, including the aforementioned challenge of the secular church!

The full text of Elder Maxwell’s address can be found at:

What we learned from Hurricane Ike

In September Hurricane Ike ripped through Texas with a vengeance. My Sister Marva, husband Steve and kids, though they resided hundreds of miles north of hardest hit Galveston, still lived through a exciting adventure. They were well prepared with food and provisions but learned many things through their experiences.

After talking with her on the phone after the ordeal I discovered that they had been without power for over 10 days. I asked her about what they had learned and she told me some very interesting things. I also asked if she would write her insights down so they could be shared with others. I have, with her permission included the text of her email below and hope you will ponder and prepare as you may in you own situations.

"I wrote many thoughts I had down about our experience with "Ike" the other night. My thoughts are jumbled, figured it would be better to send you this jumbled than not at all.

Generator: would have been nice for a fan and the fridge.
Next storm, I will put all the frozen food into the fridge to help keep the food cold longer.

I was amazed at how quickly fatigue set in. (Laundry in the tub, carrying water & not sleeping well because of the heat, but more because of the smoke from burning wood.)

When I plug in my freezer in the garage, I will be freezing large blocks of ice to keep on hand. I heard people here did that after "Rita" and had them ready when "Ike" came.

I would have had many more paper towels on hand. I was amazed at all the kitchen and bath towels we went through. (We did go in the back yard when it rained the following day, to cool off and collect water.) I think I washed my kitchen towels three or four times. I was always worried about cross contamination.

Luckily I had screws, rope and clothespins to make a clothes line between the fence posts in the corner of the yard, initially it was in the garage. I wish I would have had more clothespins. There were no where to be purchased.

It would have been nice if the cordless drill battery had of worked (we need a replacement), next time I will recharged the battery the day before. I made the clothes line with a screw driver and had to take down the plywood off the first and second windows with regular screw driver.

I would like to purchase a siphon for the gas tank. So that we don't have to worry about having multiple gas cans for our new generator. We keep our large van gassed up.

It would have been nice to have 2 or 4 electric or stand up lamps. Our kitchen does not have a window close to the stove, we felt like we were always cooking in the dark. We did realize after a few days that we had a hurricane lamp and oil. We were in heaven!

I was surprised at how many matches we used. Between the candles, gas stove and lamp we went through a lot.

Remember, the early bird gets the ice from stores, but waiting in line for FEMA is not worth 4 miles of gasoline and 4 hours of frustration. We chose to go with out rather than stand in long lines. We did discover that gas stations out of the way were stocked with ice. Who would have thought?

Heavy duty paper plates, bowls, silverware and cups would have come in handy. We had the good bowls, but found our plates wilted in the humidity of the air before the food. SO we decided to use real plates. Which gave us the opportunity to wash many dishes by hand. We used the dishwasher as a drying rack. I was surprised at the amount of water it took to do dishes.

We were always worrying about cross contamination of food and counter tops, because we cooked so much raw meat. We ended up going and getting 3 container of Clorox wipes after using what we had in the house, just so we wouldn't worry as much.

We found it helpful to use a small tub to wash dishes in, and rinse them in the sink that did not have the disposal. We did not want to have a foul smell from food in the disposal. We then flushed the dish water down the toilet.

Remember, if its yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown flush it down. At first I had the kids just pour water into the toilet. Then I realized that was counterproductive and we took the lids off all the toilets and kept the tanks full.

We always keep candy in our 72 hour kit. The Jolly Ranchers became one big piece of candy-even in the unopened original bag. Star Bursts and individually wrapped Life Savers were awesome!

What surprised us the most was that we never ate the food in our 72 hour kit. Except for the granola bars, they were nearing their expiration date, and there were kids always looking for a snack. We ate whatever was in the fridge and freezer. We had a unusually large bag of flour tortillas and ended up eating chicken casadillas more often than I would like to admit. They were easy to customize and make. We boiled the chicken, chopped it up. We even made homemade tortillas, none were to be had in the stores. We did have to Google the recipe though.

We have always meant to get a water bladder for the tub. Here is the link:

Water became more of a luxury than electricity did. The night it started raining after the storm passed I got up, maybe I was a little fanatical, but with 90 degree weather and 90 humidity can you blame me. I woke some of the kids to help me empty plastic bins to collect rain water. I dumped out Christmas containers, sewing supplies etc. I did not want to be without water. It was refreshing to be out in the rain, we even took some soap and kind of had a shower. We ended up boiling some of the water to use for dishes and to warm up water from the tub to take a shower with a small bucket.

The storm brought unseasonably cooler weather. What a blessing this was!!!!!!
Texans are hard working people. Before the rain from "Ike" had completely stopped, many were out with chainsaws cutting trees that had fallen on roads. When we took a ride to see the damage, it was amazing to see what people were already doing.

When we finish repacking our 72 hour kit, I will not worry so much about mobility. Living here, there is no where to go. I would rather be in my home than on a freeway stuck in traffic. I think that I will also label and make a master list of the contents. When the kids and I helped a couple a street over, I was eaten by fire ants and discovered we did not have any Benedryl. We went out at 9 p.m. and discovered that nothing was open due to the curfew, not even a CVS by the hospital. While we were gone, the kids discovered that we had Benedryl in the 72 hour kit. It had not even occurred to me to look.

It was a good experience for us. Some of the other comments the family made were:
They were amazed at the number of hours of darkness.

It was nice to have a UPS for the Internet. A few days when the phone worked we were able to see pictures of what had happened. We would have liked to have seen more pictures. We saw very little of the destruction.

It was nice to have work gloves. I would like to get more for when they get wet(sweaty) or muddy.

We had a portable radio which was wonderful to be able to hear the news.
We had charged our batteries and mp3 players.

We did the laundry before the storm. We ended up wearing clothes that would survive being washed in the tub and bleach int he sun.

Chinese checkers is fun to play with six players. Although, as the sun goes down it is hard to distinguish the marble colors.

We gassed all the vehicles 2 days before the storm, lines were short. Lines were extremely long the day before the storm.

We boarded up the back of the house, we did not worry about what the neighbors think. It seen kind of weird putting up boards 2 days before the storm in 90 degree weather. We knew that it would be breezy the next day. We did see another neighbor doing a few windows. We tied rope around the boards, used the ladder as a pulley to hoist them up to the second story. We could have used more rope and kept the ropes on some of the higher boards. (A previous storm, many in the neighbor hood had taken down sections of fence and covered their windows.)
We had about 12 sheets of plywood in the garage. Did not have to go stand in line at Lowes. It took longer and hard work to put the boards up on the windows. Although, I must confess that we have many windows.
The nice thing about boarding up the windows was that Steve and I slept through the night. I know that I would have worried all night it I had not put the boards up. We heard stories of how loud the storm was. Danny came down stairs because it was so loud.

My last piece of advice is: take care of you and those around you. For days we saw the lines at grocery stores, gas stations, donut shops, FEMA, Subway, etc. and were glad that we did not have to wait in line. I was at the grocery store Thursday Oct 2, the store finally looked fully stocked. I was surprised at how long it took for things like eggs, milk, bread, Miracle Whip to be stocked in the stores. It had never really occurred to me that not only was there a run on the stores before the storm, but that after power was restored people needed to restock all the foods they had lost.

I do miss the simplicity that we enjoyed. It was good to take time to stop and reevaluate what is important. Replacing the annoying washing machine that I have is not even a priority anymore. I was surprised at how I reacted some of the time. I do not think I realized the amount of stress and fatigue we were all under. We did not even have any damaged. I cannot even comprehend what others are going through. I will confess that I was getting a little whiny that last day.

The last observation I have is that not having power was the toughest on Steve. I wish I would have realized it sooner.

But life is good. We were watched over and had opportunities to serve others. Sometime I need to tell you the story of going to help one of the members of our ward, but ended up helping someone else that needed assistance.

I think I have a better perspective of life and challenges. There are so many good things that come from tough times. The future looks way more challenging than this hurricane was.

Hard work, faith and service goes a long way.

Gotta Go.
Love Marva"