Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneer Family

THEY rise to mastery of wind and snow;
They go like soldiers grimly into strife
To colonize the plain. They plough and sow,
And fertilize the sod with their own life,
As did the Indian and the buffalo.

Hamlin Garland
#loveboxes #pioneers #LDS #faithineveryfootstep

Friday, July 21, 2017

Picasso Calla Lily

I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world. ~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Glimpse...

Sometimes I get to see pictures of the wedding. Congratulations beautiful bride. I hope you will always be happy!


The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

During the Great Depression, my grandfather was a young farm boy in the west. He recounted a story to me on several occasions about when a portion of Roosevelt's New Deal was forced upon the farmers in his area. There were friends who were not getting enough food, families who had gone without meat for over a year when agents of the federal government came into the valley rounded up the yearling calves, slaughtered and burned them with the idea that scarcity would prop up markets. The waste, the loss of liberty,  and the idea of being commanded what to do with your private property bothered my grandfather his entire life.

In Doctrine and Covenmants 134:2 it reads:
We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
The famous economist, Dr. Thomas Sowell wisely quipped, "It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it."

I believe that. I believe that we can do more good with less government and more freedom. I think those who believe they can manipulate markets and send every little problem to central planning need to study a bit more history. The loss of liberty is a disaster, always.

This is the second time I've read this book. It was worth reading again and I think it's time I ought to purchase my own copy and stop borrowing one from the library. Schlaes also touches on the the history of education in this country and where it went wrong and the men and ideologies that affected that change. The history of John Dewey requires more time than I have but THIS is helpful to understand his influence.

The following quote seems to have been the inspiration for the title of the book. It's the forgotten man that pays. He pays for the the failed programs that cost dreams and freedom and for vast failures for which no one is held accountable.  The real history of FDR's administration isn't taught in the public schools and it is important information to know. This is a book I will purchase and keep.

"As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X…. What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of…. He works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays…. —WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1883" 

— Amity ShlaesThe Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Noah Webster, Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef

Noah Webster became a devout Christian after his marriage and a few children came along. Despite the sad fact that this book makes only cursory references to this aspect of his life and its role in his mission, I loved this book. It seems written for the 10 and above crowd, but any fan of Noah Webster may enjoy it. It would make a wonderful gift for a young scholar. The book is nearly two hundred pages, but double-spaced and easy to follow. It's full of interesting show and tell items; maps, portraits, and other curiosities from Webster's life and times. The life of the man is heroic. He was as determined in his efforts as Columbus was. His calling was, I believe, as important and the book captures some of that.

What few biographers seem to understand is the current importance of Webster's 1828 dictionary, which is still in print and widely used by Christian families. While certain parts of our language change with new discovery, Webster's definitions of marriage, education, and many others contain truths that have been lost in our current culture. The language of the 1828, heavily influenced by the King James Bible, is foundational as we work to preserve both Christian morality and liberty in this country. It is said that he who define the terms, controls the debate. Webster looked to the bible to define those things that matter most and to God to define the debate. I am grateful that Webster's 1828 has a prominent place in my home. It is an integral part of our study of the scriptures and the history of the founding of the United States.

Webster's dictionary was his gift to the United States, the country he loved, and its people.

I present it to my fellow citizens, not with frigid indifference, but with my ardent wishes for their improvement and their happiness and for the continued increase of the wealth, the learning, the moral and religious elevation of character, and the glory of my country. ~Noah Webster


MAR'RIAGEnoun [Latin mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Hebrews 13:4
1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage
The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Matthew 22:2.
2. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Revelation 19:7.


EDUCA'TIONnoun [Latin educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Establishing True Doctrine

How does one establish what is true doctrine in the LDS church? I think this is an important point to ponder. Many members of the church in different fields have opinions about certain aspects of doctrine, but how do we know what is truth? Here are a few quotes on the topic that may be helpful.

“[We] should [bear] in mind that some of the General Authorities have had assigned to them a special calling; they possess a special gift; they are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, which gives them a special spiritual endowment in connection with their teaching of the people. They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church. Others of the General Authorities are not given this special spiritual endowment and authority covering their teaching; they have a resulting limitation, and the resulting limitation upon their power and authority in teaching applies to every other officer and member of the Church, for none of them is spiritually endowed as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Furthermore, as just indicated, the President of the Church has a further and special spiritual endowment in this respect, for he is the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator for the whole Church.”

J. Reuben Clark Jr., “When Are Church Leaders’ Words Entitled to Claim of Scripture?” Church News July 31, 1954, 9-10

Attempting to understand a doctrine or principle by relying unduly upon a single scripture or prophetic statement in isolation from all else that has been revealed on the subject generally is misguided. True doctrines and principles are emphasized repeatedly in the standard works by the prophets and apostles and through the illuminating and confirming power of the Holy Ghost.  David A. Bednar, Act in Doctrine (2012) p. xvii

Elder Bednar's statement is consistent with scripture where we learn that truth is established by two or three witnesses. Each book of scripture has at least one statement that teaches this principle.

Old Testament: Dueteronomy 19:15
New Testament 2 Corinthians 13:1
Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 11:3
Doctrine and Covenants 6:28

An individual my fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends, but the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be. Joseph Fielding Smith, Ensign July 1972

The Book of Mormon declares the doctrines of the gospel. In his April 2017 conference address, President Thomas S. Monson said:

My dear associates in the work of Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. as we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven's help in our lives." Thomas S. Monson, The Power of the Book of Mormon, April 2017

If we really do our homework and approach the Book of Mormon doctrinally, we can expose the errors and find the truths to combat many of the current false theories and philosophies of men. I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter." - Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, December 1988

Understanding true doctrine changes behavior.

True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior... The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel. Boyd K. Packer, Little Children, October 1986

If we want to really know, we must do.

John 7:17
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

One could write a book on this topic, but I think the above quotes give solid direction and are helpful when trying to discern truth from error and in the effort to teach true doctrine.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

I've been reading this book about the wisdom of French parenting and there are definitely some ideas to adopt. French parents seem to actually believe in the role of parent, rather than the American iteration of playmate or servant. They When they are with their children, they seem to be passing a long values important to their culture without smothering any sense of independence. I admire their firmness. I think the fact that in general they don't over-praise children is a good thing.

However, a great portion of the book is dedicated to singing the praises of government funded early childcare which is essentially to have the state raise children from about two months. I don't want to get too far into my views on this from a family perspective because it would be interminable. But, I will say this, "Who is going to care about your child more than you?"

Bills pushing more and more state funded early childhood education come up every session in Utah. Those who are interested might read this book praising the French state and read it carefully. One thing you won't find... any discussion of cost. In any discussion of what services government should or should not provide one most important truth should be remembered and that is: Government can give nothing it hasn't first confiscated from someone else first. Whether or not they can afford it, whether or not it's convenient, whether or not it's truly beneficial to families, whether or not it subverts goals that would better serve society is never considered or studied. 

Just like 
Obamacare made healthcare available to everyone at an incredible cost both in resources and liberty, everyone was given access to healthcare by the state.... except they weren't and healthcare is less accessible than ever. The same is true in France. If you read the book carefully then you know these public benefits are available to only a small portion of the public... "some pigs are more equal than others." Yet, France teeters on the brink of insolvency.

A viewpoint more inline with my own is this commentary written by an actual French parent entitled 4 Myths and One Truth About French Childcare

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Child Is Only A Moment by Earl Brown


Spring will return to the meadow when the long winter's chill fades away
Tomorrow, the blossoms will open their eyes to the skies, of a brand new day
No matter how dark be the nightfall, each day the sun is reborn
To shine on the beauties and wonders that stir with new life every glorious morn
Most of the treasures we cherish can delight us again and again
A rose in a book and the murmuring brook, as it wanders across the glen
The words of a poet that lie on the page can recapture the soul of the past
A song in the heart can be sung and re-echoed, as long as our voices may last
But a child is only a moment, only a snowflake of sweet remember when
Yes, a child is only a moment, a wonderful moment that never comes again
Yes, a child is only a moment, hold on to that moment, for it never comes again.