Archive for December, 2005

Happy Birthday Joseph

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

“If you teach people the correct principles, they will govern themselves.”

\”Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.\”
—–Joseph Smith

Today is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. When history is ultimately viewed by all men in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the life and the example of Joseph Smith will stand as a beacon to all.

It is no accident that he was born 16 years after the ratification of the Constitution; the first document ever to grant religious freedom to a nation. Joseph was keenly interested in religion and he attended many of the local congregations. As it is with most people, he wondered how it was possible for so many ministers to draw such differing conclusions from the same source; the Bible.

He chose to search the Bible for answers and came upon the passage in James, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God—-“. With the faith of youth (he was 14) and lacking the doubts and cynicism of adults, he asked God. He received more than the answer to his question. He asked to know which church was true. He was informed that they were all churches of men and that he should join none of them. He was told that if he remained faithful and if he observed to do the things he was directed to do, that he would be the instrument of the Restoration of Christ’s true church; lost from the days of the martyrdom of Christ’s apostles, at the beginning of the great apostasy most frequently referred to as the “Dark Ages”.

In spite of bitter derision and scorn, severe persecutions and trials; being called, at last, to lay down his life as a complete and unambiguous witness of the Divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Restoration of the Savior’s Gospel in the only nation where it was possible, Joseph withstood every tempest and temptation he was called to endure. With his martyrdom at the hands of assassins, he sealed his testimony with his own blood.

He is to be found at the right hand of God.

Christmas Cease Fire Broken

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Federal Judge John E Jones III ruled this morning that the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in the classroom is unconstitutional. The theory he employs in this ruling is as specious as the theory of evolution he promotes.

On one hand his ruling is clearly discriminatory, elevating one faith (the faith in evolutionary theory) over another; the faith espoused by the most influential scientist in the history of the world, Isaac Newton, that this world was indeed “created” by an intelligent being.

On the other hand, the Constitution does not prohibit the teaching of Intelligent Design; neither does it come close to doing any such thing. What the Constitution does prohibit is the “Establishment” of a government sponsored religion, i.e. the Church of England. Intelligently offering the option of Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolutionary theory, in a classroom setting, in no way violates the principles established by the Founders and the foundational document they intelligently authored.

The Neo-Secularists wring their hands over the recent judicial construct of “Separation of Church and State”, while the ruling of John E. Jones III further illuminates the real problem in our government and our culture; the broadly ignored but unambiguous violation of the Constitutionally mandated “Separation of Powers”. The Judicial Branch has subjugated the Legislative and vanquished the Executive with a Fifth Column comprised of Officers of the Court (a.k.a., attorneys). As a result, Jones III and the ACLU feel free to frivolously abuse the Constitution and the segment of the populace (the majority) that believes in a Supreme Being. Perhaps, someday when the believers are in the minority, the ACLU might deign to defend us because of our minority status.

Still, one must wonder about the degree of intelligence this judge is exercising. Was he educated beyond the capacity of his intellect, or is he simply engaging in judicial sophistry to hide other sins?

The Goal

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Though we must begin with the end in mind
no one starts at the finish line.

The Warrior\’s Life

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

The Don Juan Doctrine is worthy of a moment’s reflection. Don Juan, a Shaman from the Central Mexican highlands, was quoted by Carlos Castaneda as having said that “to be a man of knowledge, one must live his life as a warrior. A warrior lives with his death at his shoulder”; as his constant companion. As much as questions exist about the source of this wisdom, it remains unquestionably a gem.

Contemplation on the inevitability and proximity of one’s death has a way of reorganizing priorities. It is rather like a cosmic reset button returning us to our default settings. When confronted by the reality of mortality, the dross of our existence is shed like the exoskeleton of a crab or like the fur of a musk ox at the approach of the Arctic summer.

We recognize that some, if not most of the marvelous distractions that surround us are of little value and of even less consequence. We understand that the things that are worth fighting and dying for are identical to the only things that are truly portable; our familial relationships and our ideals. We awake each morning knowing that “today is a good day to die”, and is therefore a great day to live fully.

In life’s endless struggle, death humbles us and points to the only things we can take with us as we depart. In a warrior’s final struggle, with his final breath, the word “mother” crests his lips.

It is not necessary that we die in order to live as the warrior lives but in order to fully appreciate the opportunity of living, the translation of experience into knowledge and the richness of serving, and serving with, our respective bands of brothers and sisters, we must keep death close; not recklessly but respectfully. In so doing our lives become sweeter, our capacity to love grows deeper, and the sacred sense of the sweep of our immeasurable existence is beheld most keenly.

Thank you, Don Juan.

Claptrap

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

It\’s AIDS Day. How does one greet someone on AIDS Day? Is it permissable or appropriate to say \”Happy AIDS Day\”? Why don\’t we celebrate Typhus Tuesday or Plague Week? Will we be seeing a Flu Festival in the near future? What is the difference between AIDS and all these other diseases? The answer is, AIDS is overwhelmingly behaviorly transmitted and as such is the first political disease. The others noted have innocent vicitms. Shouldn\’t we also be observing Syphilis Sunday, or is all this just so much claptrap?