Character, Apparel, and Moral Standard

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Building good character …

Courage to Choose Modesty

By Carol F. McConkie

What can we teach our sons and daughters to help them have the courage to choose modesty [in their apparel] in a world that would mock them for their virtuous choices?

keyWhy is modesty so important? Why would a hemline, a neckline, or a T-shirt matter to the Lord? I am the mother of five daughters and two sons, and as you can imagine, the topic of modesty has come up in our home once in a while. But over the years, I have learned that modesty is taught best by teaching the doctrine and setting a positive example. The doctrine will help our children understand why modesty is so important, and our example will demonstrate the blessings of modesty in happy ways.

What Is Modesty?

modestyouthModesty is a God-given principle that can help us learn to use our bodies appropriately here in mortality. The definition of modesty in True to the Faith is “An attitude of humility and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior.”1 Modesty is not vain or boastful. Modest people do not use their bodies or their behavior to seek approval from the world or to draw attention to their own real or supposed accomplishments or desirable attributes.

Please remember that the principles of modesty shared here apply to both men and women, sons and daughters, and remember that even as we teach and exemplify modesty, we never condemn those who choose short skirts or “rainbow hair and the many splendored rings.”2 Always we exemplify compassion and Christlike love for the individual while we remain loyal to the standards the Lord has set.

I testify that the choices we make to appear and behave modestly send a powerful message that we understand our identity as sons and daughters of God and that we have chosen to stand in holy places.

templeI love this scripture: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17). Our bodies are the temples of our spirits. It is to this bodily temple that we invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I believe that when we choose to wear modest clothing and behave with a modest demeanor, we wear and we live our testimony of God the Eternal Father and of His Son, Jesus Christ. We witness by our physical appearance that we are disciples of Christ and that we live His gospel.

Why Is Modesty Important?

We live in a world of good and evil, and the physical body can be used for either righteous or wicked purposes. But we know that our precious bodies are a gift from God to each of us. They are sacred. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “To those who know and understand the plan of salvation, defiling the body is an act of rebellion [see Mosiah 2:36–37] and a denial of our true identity as sons and daughters of God.”3 We choose to care for and protect our bodies so that we may be instruments in the hands of God to bring about His glorious purposes (see Alma 26:3). If we desire to stand for the Savior and do His work, we must ask ourselves, If the Savior stood beside us, would we feel comfortable in the clothing we wear?

Modesty in dress, appearance, thought, and behavior is evidence that we understand the covenants we have made that bless us, protect us, and empower us in our preparation to return to His presence. When we were baptized, we stepped out of the world and into the kingdom of God. Everything must be different for us. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “By choosing to be in His kingdom, we separate—not isolate—ourselves from the world. Our dress will be modest, our thoughts pure, our language clean.”4

Modesty is a principle that will help keep us safely on the covenant path as we progress to the presence of God. Modesty in dress and appearance and in thought and behavior will help prepare us to make and keep sacred temple covenants. To bless and protect Adam and Eve, God gave them coats of skins to clothe them before sending them out of the garden. In like manner, God has given us a covering of covenants in mortality, symbolized by our sacred temple garments.

What Are the Blessings of Modesty?

What can we teach our sons and daughters to help them have the courage to choose modesty in a world that would mock and scorn them for their pure and virtuous choices? Do they see us using our bodies to draw attention or to glorify God?

Modesty in thought, word, appearance, and behavior helps us obtain three empowering and ennobling blessings.

  1. Modesty invites the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Elder Hales has taught, “Modesty is fundamental to being worthy of the Spirit.”5

Let’s help our children understand that they will not want to do anything to deny themselves “the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 121:26). Help them know that precious and powerful spiritual gifts accompany His sacred companionship. God has promised, “I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; … By this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive” (D&C 11:13–14). Knowledge, wisdom, and testimony; joy, peace, and happiness—these are some of the great blessings we can promise our children as we invite them to live modestly and be worthy of the Holy Ghost.

One of the challenges of modest dress is that fashions and socially accepted behaviors change regularly. The standards of the Lord never change. Teach young men and young women to be sensitive to the Spirit as they make choices about what to wear, say, and do. As they live close to the Spirit, they do not need to be like the world.

Our children have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they are traveling the covenant path that leads to the temple and will return them to the presence of God. They need us to assure them and exemplify for them that they will be guided, protected, comforted, and purified as they live worthy of the Holy Ghost.

  1. We can teach our sons and daughters that modest appearance and behavior helps protect us from the destructive influences of the world. One of the most deceptive weapons used against all of us is the socially accepted attitude that morality is old-fashioned. Modesty is a defense against such evil influences and a protection of chastity and virtue. Listen to these words in For the Strength of Youth: “Before marriage, … do not do anything … that arouses sexual feelings.”6 Immodest appearance and behavior will often arouse sexual feelings and will break down barriers and invite increased temptation to break the law of chastity.

Elder Hales has taught: “Modesty is at the center of being pure and chaste, both in thought and deed. Thus, because it guides and influences our thoughts, behavior, and decisions, modesty is at the core of our character.”7 Teach and exemplify modesty to help our young men and young women be prepared to defend and protect the procreative powers within them. Help them hold sacred and preserve the expression of love between a husband and wife for marriage.

  1. Modesty enables us to “stand as witnesses of God at all times” (Mosiah 18:9). The Savior taught: “Hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up” (3 Nephi 18:24). We have a divine mandate to be a beacon to the world, to demonstrate the joy of gospel living, to teach righteousness, and to build the kingdom of God on the earth. Each of us reflects the Light of Christ when we are modest and pure and keep the commandments. Modesty is a witness of our testimony of the Savior and of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How beautiful and how blessed are they who are guided by the Holy Ghost, who protect themselves from worldliness, and who stand as witnesses of God to the world. And blessed are they who exemplify and teach the doctrine of modesty for all the sons and daughters of Zion.

As we have covenanted to follow the Savior and desire to receive the fulness of the blessings of His Atonement in our lives, there is really only one outfit that matters. Moroni records, “Awake, and arise from the dust, … yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; … that the covenants of the Eternal Father … may be fulfilled” (Moroni 10:31; emphasis added).

The beautiful garments are the robes of righteousness, worn by those who have kept their covenants. Are we preparing our children to put on these beautiful garments?

I testify that salvation is in Christ and that those who have kept their covenants will “have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness” (2 Nephi 9:14).

 

Mitt Romney Spanks Obama with Identity Joke

Romney spanks Obama with identity joke

Mitt clowns about president being asked for ID

Joe Kovacs

Bazzzing!

A joke about President Obama’s identity that has been circulating on the Internet has just received a big boost from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The 2012 GOP nominee voiced the zinger Sunday night in West Des Moines, Iowa, during a rally for Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst.

“Now when you’re running for office people tell you, you shouldn’t tell jokes,” Romney explained. “But I’m not running for office, so I can tell one.”

Romney noted he “got this on the Internet from a family member.”

obamajoke1Here is Romney’s account of the joke:

President Obama went to the bank to cash a check and he didn’t have his ID. And the teller said you’ve got to prove who you are.

He said, “How should I do that?” She said the other day Phil Mickelson came in, he didn’t have his ID but he set up a little cup on the ground, took a golf ball, putted it right into that cup so they knew it was Phil Mickelson. They cashed his check.

And then Andre Agassi came in. And Andre Agassi didn’t have his ID either. He put a little target on the wall, took a tennis ball and racquet– hit it onto that target time. We knew that was Andre Agassi so we cashed his check.

And she said to him, “Is there anything you can do to prove who you are?” And [Obama] said, “I don’t have a clue.”

obamajoke2And she said, “Well, Mr. President, do you want your money in small bills or large bills?”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/romney-spanks-obama-with-identity-joke/#jBwHgdxiDDkigctG.99

 

US Constitution Series 12: Democracy Attacks American Republic

US Constitution Series 12: The United States of America shall be a Republic

There are many reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government rather than a democracy.

IMPORTANT: See Republic and Democracy Defined—Read this First

democracyjeffersonThe Founders’ Basic Principles: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

The practical application of this book review of Skousen’s educated wisdom is to leverage “We, The People’s” knowledge to easily expose ignorance, anarchy and tyranny, and hold the government accountable.

 

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

How the American Constitutional Republic became known as a Democracy

Modern Emphasis on “Democracy”

In spite of efforts to clarify the difference between a democracy and a republic, the United States began to be consistently identified in both the press and the school books as a “democracy.”This transformation of our Constitutional republic into a “Democracy” began with the Progressives in the early 20th century. President Wilson, a leader in the Progressive movement, helped contribute to this confusion when he identified World War I as the effort to “make the world safe for democracy.” ~Skousen, 158

 

Socialists use a Front Group to mask their true purpose

Definition: (A Front Group is an organization that uses a false name to deceive people about their true purpose)

Two leftists, Harry Laidler and Norman Thomas, set up an organization called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. (ISS)They spoke at campuses from coast to coast, calling America a democracy. The ISS adopted a snappy (socialist)slogan for the times: “Production for use, not for profit.”

By 1921, with the violence and brutality associated with the Communist revolution, “socialism” became repugnant to people. So ISS changed their name to “The League for Industrial DEMOCRACY.”

 

“Democracy” Loses Its Identification with Socialism

Following World War II, an interesting semantic transition began to take place in the American mind with reference to the use of the word “democracy.”

To begin with, the Communists, the National Socialists of Germany, and the Democratic Socialists throughout the rest of Europe had all misused the word “democracy” to the point where it had become virtually meaningless as a descriptive term. As a euphemism for socialism, the word had become totally innocuous.

The word “democracy” used to cover up the abject worldwide failure of “socialism”

obamaSocialistDemWOrkersPartyFurthermore, socialism, whether spelled with a capital or small “s”, had lost its luster. All over the world, socialist nations—both democratic and communistic—were drifting into deep trouble. All of them were verging on economic collapse in spite of tens of billions of dollars provided by the United States to prop them up. Some had acquired a notorious and abhorrent reputation because of the violence, torture, starvation, and concentration-camp tactics they had used against their own civilian population. All over the world, socialism had begun to emerge as an abject failure formula. To the extent it was tried in America (without ever being called “socialism”), it had created colossal problems which the Founding Fathers’ formula would have avoided. (Skousen, 160)

 

The Attack on the Constitution

With the preceding historical picture in mind, it will be readily appreciated that the introduction of the word “democracy (to describe the United States) was actually designed as an attack on the Constitutional structure of government and the basic rights it was designed to protect.

signers3As Samuel Adams pointed out, the Founders had tried to make socialism “unconstitutional.” Therefore, to adopt socialism, respect and support for traditional constitutionalism had to be eroded and then emasculated. In view of this fact, it should not surprise the student of history to discover that those who wanted to have “democracy” identified with the American system were also anxious to have Americans believe their traditional Constitution was outdated, perhaps totally obsolete. (Skousen, 160)

 

Next: Principle 13

A Constitution should be Structured to Permanently Protect the People from the Human Frailties of their Rulers.

US Constitution Series 11: Liberty of the People vs. Government Force

 

Heritage Health News Update: Marijuana Legalization Decision was Wrong

Health News Update:

Marijuana legalization decision was wrong for interest of American People …

Democrat Governor: Legalizing Pot Was ‘Reckless.’ A New Study Proves Him Right.

Cully Stimson

From Heritage Foundation

U.S. Marijuana Enthusiasts Gather For Mass Pot-Smoking CelebrationThe top Democrat in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper, said Monday during a gubernatorial debate that legalizing marijuana in Colorado was “reckless.” His Republican opponent, Bob Beauprez, agreed.

According to The Huffington Post, Hickenlooper said, “I think for us to that that [legalize recreational use] without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless.”

Hickenlooper is right and wrong.

He is certainly correct, and gets credit for admitting that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado was reckless. As we have shown here, here, here and here, the negative social costs are proof positive that this radical experiment is not only reckless, but dangerous.

But Hickenlooper is wrong that there is “not enough data.”

As former Obama administration drug policy expert Kevin Sabet has said, the trope that marijuana is harmless and non-addictive is a myth. His book, “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana,” is a must-read for anyone who actually wants “the data.”

But now there’s even more “data.”

A definitive study published this week by the Journal of Addiction by professor Wayne Hall of Kings College London shows that marijuana is highly addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway drug to other illegal dangerous drugs.

Hall’s research, conducted over the past 20 years, confirms what other studies have shown:

  • Regular adolescent marijuana users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers;
  • Those users are more likely to use other illegal drugs;
  • Adolescent use produces intellectual impairment;
  • It doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia;
  • And, not surprisingly, increases the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged adults.

 

Hickenlooper’s warning to other states should be heeded. Legalizing marijuana is reckless, no matter what the pot pushers say to the contrary.

Government: Republic or Democracy?

What is the Difference between a Republic and a Democracy?

Month-Defining Moment

More Defining Moments Here

key “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.” ~Benjamin Franklin

We may define a republic to be …a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during [the people’s] pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. ~James Madison (Federalist Papers, No. 39, p. 241)

Because Progressives were corrupting the definition of democracy, the U.S. Army published the following explanations in their Training Manual in 1928. (Skousen, The 5,000-Year Leap, 157-158.)

 

Government Manual Defines a “Democracy”

democracyjeffersonDemocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. ~ James Madison (Federalist Papers, No. 10, p.81)

The manual had the following to say concerning the characteristics of a democracy:

  • A government of the masses.
  • Authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of “direct” expression.
  • Results in mobocracy.
  • Attitude toward property is communistic—negating property rights.
  • Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or government by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restrain or regard to consequences.
  • Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

 

Government Manual Defines a Republic

225px-BenFranklin2 “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  “A Republic, if you can keep it.” ~Benjamin Franklin

We may define a republic to be …a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during [the people’s] pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. ~James Madison (Federalist Papers, No. 39, p. 241)

 

The government manual then proceeded to outline the characteristics of a republic, which all of the Founders had vigorously recommended over a pure democracy or any other form of government.

  • Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
  • Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.
  • Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard for consequences.
  • A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
  • Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
  • Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.

Building Character: Champions of Liberty

Building Character, Champions of Liberty

Ode to the Epic Hero

Epic Hero resize medYour epic quest begins at birth

To find your purpose here on earth.

Along the way your heart will learn

How good from evil to discern.

Moments in time will come to define

Trials of your soul, to test and refine.

 

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for families and youth—

To strengthen, protect, and to prepare

A way to escape the enemy’s snare.

 

biblicallampThe journey of life demands your part—

Courage, faith, and a willing heart.

You need not fall, though you may stumble,

For angels fail not to help the humble.

Your lone small flame may not seem bright,

Yet it reveals the way to greater light.

 

Day by day, big and little—

Answers await life’s every riddle.

Just when you think you can’t continue,

You’ll find the epic hero within you.

Honor and virtue will be your choice.

Return home triumphant, and rejoice.

~C.A.Davidson

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

Epic Heroes Quest—for Youthknightonhorse

 

Epic Heroes in Training

 

YouTube Video: Classical Music and Franz Liszt

Dinner Topics for Friday

Listen to Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt

Franz_Liszt_1858Franz Liszt, T.O.S.F. Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz; October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886), in modern use Liszt Ferenc[n 1] from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt,[n 2] was a 19th-century Hungarian[1][2][3] composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary.

Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.[4]

As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the “Neudeutsche Schule” (“New German School”). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.[5] He also played an important role in popularizing a wide array of music by transcribing it for piano.

Paganini

After attending an April 20, 1832, charity concert, for the victims of a Parisian cholera epidemic, by Niccolò Paganini,[14] Liszt became determined to become as great a virtuoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin. Paris in the 1830s had become the nexus for pianistic activities, with dozens of pianists dedicated to perfection at the keyboard. Some, such as Sigismond Thalberg and Alexander Dreyschock, focused on specific aspects of technique (e.g. the “three-hand effect” and octaves, respectively). While it was called the “flying trapeze” school of piano playing, this generation also solved some of the most intractable problems of piano technique, raising the general level of performance to previously unimagined heights. Liszt’s strength and ability to stand out in this company was in mastering all the aspects of piano technique cultivated singly and assiduously by his rivals.[15]

In 1833 he made transcriptions of several works by Berlioz, including the Symphonie fantastique. His chief motive in doing so, especially with the Symphonie, was to help the poverty-stricken Berlioz, whose symphony remained unknown and unpublished. Liszt bore the expense of publishing the transcription himself and played it many times to help popularise the original score.[16] He was also forming a friendship with a third composer who influenced him, Frédéric Chopin; under his influence Liszt’s poetic and romantic side began to develop.[11]

Liszt in Weimar

In February 1847, Liszt played in Kiev. There he met the Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who was to become one of the most significant people in the rest of his life. She persuaded him to concentrate on composition, which meant giving up his career as a travelling virtuoso. After a tour of the Balkans, Turkey and Russia that summer, Liszt gave his final concert for pay at Elisavetgrad in September. He spent the winter with the princess at her estate in Woronince.[22] By retiring from the concert platform at 35, while still at the height of his powers, Liszt succeeded in keeping the legend of his playing untarnished.[23]

The following year, Liszt took up a long-standing invitation of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia to settle at Weimar, where he had been appointed Kapellmeister Extraordinaire in 1842, remaining there until 1861. During this period he acted as conductor at court concerts and on special occasions at the theatre. He gave lessons to a number of pianists, including the great virtuoso Hans von Bülow, who married Liszt’s daughter Cosima in 1857 (years later, she would marry Richard Wagner). He also wrote articles championing Berlioz and Wagner. Finally, Liszt had ample time to compose and during the next 12 years revised or produced those orchestral and choral pieces upon which his reputation as a composer mainly rested. His efforts on behalf of Wagner, who was then an exile in Switzerland, culminated in the first performance of Lohengrin in 1850.

Princess Carolyne lived with Liszt during his years in Weimar. She eventually wished to marry Liszt, but since she had been previously married and her husband, Russian military officer Prince Nikolaus zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg (1812–1864), was still alive, she had to convince the Roman Catholic authorities that her marriage to him had been invalid. After huge efforts and a monstrously intricate process, she was temporarily successful (September 1860). It was planned that the couple would marry in Rome, on October 22, 1861, Liszt’s 50th birthday. Liszt having arrived in Rome on October 21, 1861, the Princess nevertheless declined, by the late evening, to marry him. It appears that both her husband and the Tsar of Russia had managed to quash permission for the marriage at the Vatican. The Russian government also impounded her several estates in the Polish Ukraine, which made her later marriage to anybody unfeasible.[24]

Read more about Franz Liszt

 

 

Action Update: Ban Air Travel from Ebola-stricken Nations

Action Update—

Where is Common Sense?

keyoldA double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:8

If we would have done what 15 other nations have done — maybe 10, I’m not sure — we’d simply ban flights from Ebola-stricken countries.  Until you figure it out, just ban the flights from those countries. Fifteen, 10, whatever, other nations have done that.  Philippines, Canada.  Any number of nations have done it!  We haven’t.  ~Rush Limbaugh

1. White House Petition to Ban Flights From Ebola-Stricken Nations Gathers Steam

Wynton Hall

A White House petition urging the Obama administration to change its position on allowing flights from Ebola-stricken countries into the United States has received 22,262 signatures in less than two weeks. 

ebolaquarantineairport-boardingThe petition states: “Experts had stated it was ‘highly unlikely’ that Ebola would show up on American soil. But now it has, in the City of Dallas, Texas, brought here by an individual who entered our country from the West African nation of Liberia, where Ebola is rampant.” 

The petition continues, “We do not want any more Ebola-infected individuals bringing the epidemic to our shores. The longer we allow people to enter our country from Ebola-stricken areas, the higher the chance another person infected with Ebola will arrive here, putting ALL our citizens at risk. Please tell the FAA to ban ALL incoming flights from any/all Ebola-stricken regions.” 

Sign Petition Here to

Have the FAA ban all incoming and outgoing flights to ebola-stricken countries until the ebola outbreak is contained

 

In order to receive an official White House response, the petition must receive 100,000 signatures by October 31.

An NBC News poll taken a day before the Liberian man who brought Ebola to America was diagnosed found that 58% of Americans support halting travel to Ebola-stricken areas.

2. Heritage Action Update

heritageactionIt looks likely that Republicans will retake Congress on November 4.

That gives conservatives an opportunity to set the agenda for the country — on cutting taxes, reining in spending, halting illegal immigration, repealing Obamacare, and getting back to constitutional government.

This is a major opportunity you can’t let slip away. You and I must act now — before the election — so we can lay the groundwork for victories in December’s lame duck session and in 2015.

Find out more >>

Even if liberals lose on November 4, they won’t sit still. We set a deadline of Tuesday, October 14 to give us three weeks to prepare for the coming battles.

We need 2,000 patriots to get involved by Tuesday to stop the left and enable conservative victories. I know I can count on you. Get involved >>

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

 

3. Government Emergency Manager: Ebola Outbreak is Being Conducted On Purpose; Violates All Protocols

Mac Slavo

In the United States, where tens of billions of dollars have been spent on national security, one can’t help but notice the complete lack of discipline and failure to follow containment protocols once the infection was identified in Dallas. Among the evidence for how poorly the situation has been handled are haphazard quarantine guidelines, unbelievably unsanitary cleanup procedures, failure to isolate the ambulance that was used to transport the victim, and a total breakdown during hospital intake.

The situation begs the question: Are top-tier officials at the CDC and at the White House incompetent, or are they letting this happen on purpose?

Considering that the response to Patient Zero in Dallas lacked even the most basic response for pandemic prevention, the notion that this is an engineered event is becoming all the more likely.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/10/gov-emergency-manager-ebola-outbreak-conducted-purpose-violates-protocols/#c3Uilo4KQym5TJEq.99

 

American Character: Government Corruption vs. Liberty

A Nation’s Quality of Government reflects the Character of its Citizens

Socialists used government to plunder citizens in ancient American History. At that time they were called Gadianton robbers. They took over the government, spread corruption, and destroyed liberty.

History-Clues

Choices

keyoldAnd if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you. (Mosiah 29:27)

Theater MaskIn The Lord of the Rings, every character is tested by the Ring’s compelling power— including Frodo, who was chosen to carry it to Mount Doom to destroy it. Even the most innocent were not exempt from its influence. Tolkien manages skillfully to embody all that is evil— be it on the personal or national level— into one inanimate object, a ring. In other words, the ring represented every conceivable temptation the devil could contrive to thrust upon the human race. Tolkien’s metaphor is extremely effective, and his book makes very instructive reading.

Unfortunately, temptations in our own lives are never so forthright. Evil can be maddeningly subtle, often imperceptible.

David O. McKay taught that temptation could be divided into three recognizable categories:

1) A temptation of the appetite or passion;

2) A yielding to pride, fashion, or vanity;

3) A desire for worldly riches or power and dominion over lands or earthly possessions of men. [1]

Our private battles to overcome personal weaknesses may be known only to ourselves. But at the end of the day, the character of an entire nation will reflect the integrity of its individual citizens.

Epic Hero resize medIn the Book of Mormon (a history of ancient America), the Gadianton organization became a powerful political force.

For there was one Gadianton, who was exceedingly expert in many words, and also in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery;. . .

Therefore he did flatter them, . . . that if they would place him in the judgment-seat he would grant unto those who belonged to his band that they should be placed in power and authority among the people. (Helaman 2:4,5)

We can see the contrasting response of two different nations.

The Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.

On the other hand, . . . the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.

And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.   (Helaman 6:37-39 emphasis added)

Both peoples were fully exposed to the flattery, deceit, and enticing campaign promises of Gadianton and his organization of robbers. The Gadiantons put money and personal gratification over moral values.

Ironically, it was the Nephites, once the more righteous people, who had the democratic system of government. The Gadiantons took over the government, not by force, but by persuasion. Whether by public voice or private ballot, the Nephites voted for the policies of the Gadiantons. Even the “more part of the righteous” came down to believe in their works. They voluntarily made Gadianton robbery legal.

How could they willingly support something which to us is so obviously evil? Jacob said that the Nephites were a “stiffnecked and a gainsaying people” (Jacob 6:4), thus they were vulnerable to Gadianton flattery, and could not resist the promised spoils of plunder. Plunder is “something taken by force, theft, or fraud.”[2] Gadianton flattery appealed to Nephite covetousness.

Any righteous Nephite would have abhorred the very thought of stealing from his neighbor. Yet they somehow rationalized: “I am personally opposed to it myself, but if the government does it in the name of public welfare, it is different.” Thus the Nephites were seduced by the Gadianton philosophy.

The Lamanites, on the other hand, chose to resist the temptation for riches and dominion over lands of others. Every time you choose to resist temptation, you diminish the devil’s power over you.

Dinner Talk Topic: A nation’s quality of government reflects the character of its citizens.

*Moral Agency, Citizenship

Dinner Talk

A nation’s quality of government reflects the character of its citizens.

*Agency, Citizenship

1. In the democratic reign of the judges, how did the government reflect the character of the  governed?

2. Why did Nephites choose Gadianton plundering when they would not think of robbing their neighbor?

3. What is a double standard, and how is it sometimes used to rationalize doing wrong?

4. How can covetousness and pride lead to deceit, immorality, and even murder?

5. How can we diminish the devil’s power over us?

            [1] Teachings of the Prophets: David O. McKay, p. 82

                [2] Merriam Webster Dictionary, p. 652

Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson

History: Israel and Zion

Dinner Topics for Thursday

David Ben-Gurion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ben_Gurion_1959David Ben-Gurion (Hebrew: דָּוִד בֶּן-גּוּרִיּוֹן‎, Arabic: دافيد بن غوريون‎, born David Grün; 16 October 1886 – 1 December 1973) was the main founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel.

Ben-Gurion’s passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946.[1] As head of the Jewish Agency, and later president of the Jewish Agency Executive, he became the de facto leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, and largely led its struggle for an independent Jewish state in Palestine. On 14 May 1948, he formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which he had helped to write. Ben-Gurion led Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and united the various Jewish militias into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Subsequently, he became known as “Israel’s founding father“.[2]

Following the war, Ben-Gurion served as Israel’s first Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, he helped build the state institutions, presiding over various national projects aimed at the development of the country. He also oversaw the absorption of vast numbers of Jews from all over the world. A centerpiece of his foreign policy was improving relationships with the West Germans. He worked very well with Konrad Adenauer‘s government in Bonn and West Germany provided large sums in compensation for Germany’s mistreatment of Jews in the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany.[3]

In 1954, he resigned and served as Minister of Defense, before returning to office in 1955. Under his leadership, Israel responded aggressively to Arab guerrilla attacks, and in 1956, invaded Egypt along with British and French forces after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal.

He stepped down from office in 1963, and retired from political life in 1970. He then moved to Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert, where he lived until his death. Posthumously, Ben-Gurion was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.

Zionist leadership

After the death of theorist Ber Borochov, the left-wing and right-wing of Poalei Zion split in 1919 with Ben-Gurion and his friend Berl Katznelson leading the right faction of the Labor Zionist movement. The Right Poalei Zion formed Ahdut HaAvoda with Ben-Gurion as leader in 1919. In 1920 he assisted in the formation and subsequently became general secretary of the Histadrut, the Zionist Labor Federation in Palestine. At Ahdut HaAvoda’s 3rd Congress, held in 1924 at Ein Harod, Shlomo Kaplansky, a veteran leader from Poalei Zion, proposed that the party should support British Mandatory authorities plans for setting up an elected legislative council in Palestine. He argued that a Parliament, even with an Arab majority, was the way forward. Ben-Gurion, already emerging as the leader of the Yishuv, succeeded in getting Kaplansky’s ideas rejected.[8]

In 1930, Hapoel Hatzair (founded by A. D. Gordon in 1905) and Ahdut HaAvoda joined forces to create Mapai, the more right-wing Zionist labor party (it was still a left-wing organization, but not as far left as other factions) under Ben-Gurion’s leadership. In the 1940s the left-wing of Mapai broke away to form Mapam. Labor Zionism became the dominant tendency in the World Zionist Organization and in 1935 Ben-Gurion became chairman of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency, a role he kept until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Ben-Gurion believed that the sparsely populated and barren Negev desert offered a great opportunity for the Jews to settle in Palestine with minimal obstruction of the Arab population, and set a personal example by settling in kibbutz Sde Boker at the centre of the Negev.[9]

During the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, Ben-Gurion instigated a policy of restraint (“Havlagah“) in which the Haganah and other Jewish groups did not retaliate for Arab attacks against Jewish civilians, concentrating only on self-defense. In 1937, the Peel Commission recommended partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab areas and Ben-Gurion supported this policy.[10] This led to conflict with Ze’ev Jabotinsky who opposed partition and as a result Jabotinsky’s supporters split with the Haganah and abandoned Havlagah.

The Ben-Gurion House, where he lived from 1931 on, and for part of each year after 1953, is now a museum in Tel Aviv.

Views and opinions

Attitude towards the Arabs

Ben-Gurion published two volumes setting out his views on relations between Zionists and the Arab world: We and Our Neighbors, published in 1931, and My Meetings with Arab Leaders published in 1967. Ben-Gurion believed in the equal rights of Arabs who remained in and would become citizens of Israel. He was quoted as saying, “We must start working in Jaffa. Jaffa must employ Arab workers. And there is a question of their wages. I believe that they should receive the same wage as a Jewish worker. An Arab has also the right to be elected president of the state, should he be elected by all.”[11] Ben-Gurion recognized the strong attachment of Palestinian Arabs to the land and in an address to the United Nations, he doubted the likelihood of peace:

This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking people, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms. Remember what Arab delegations from Palestine and its neighbors say in the General Assembly and in other places, talk of Arab-Jewish amity sound fantastic, for the Arabs do not wish it, they will not sit at the same table with us, they want to treat us as they do the Jews of Bagdad, Cairo, and Damascus.[12]

Nahum Goldmann criticized Ben-Gurion for what he viewed as a confrontational approach to the Arab world. Goldmann wrote, “Ben-Gurion is the man principally responsible for the anti-Arab policy, because it was he who molded the thinking of generations of Israelis.”[13]Simha Flapan quoted Ben-Gurion as stating in 1938: “I believe in our power, in our power which will grow, and if it will grow agreement will come…”[14]

In 1909 Ben-Gurion attempted to learn Arabic but gave up. He later became fluent in Turkish. The only other languages he was able to use when in discussions with Arab leaders were English, and to a lesser extent, French.[15]

Later political career

In May 1967, Egypt began deploying forces in the Sinai after expelling UN peacekeepers and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This, together with the actions of other Arab states, caused Israel to begin preparing for war. The situation lasted until the outbreak Six-Day War broke out on 5 June. In Jerusalem, there were calls for a national unity government or an emergency government. During this period, Ben-Gurion met with his old rival Menachem Begin in Sde Boker. Begin asked Ben-Gurion to join Eshkol’s national unity government. Although Eshkol’s Mapai party initially opposed the widening of its government, it eventually changed its mind.[27] On 23 May, IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin met with Ben-Gurion to ask for reassurance. Ben-Gurion, however, accused Rabin of putting Israel in mortal danger by mobilizing the reserves and openly preparing for war with an Arab coalition. Ben-Gurion told Rabin that at the very least, he should have obtained the support of a foreign power, as he had done during the Suez Crisis. Rabin was shaken by the meeting and took to bed for 36 hours.

israel_flagOn 5 June, the Six-Day War began with a preemptive Israeli air strike that decimated the Egyptian air force. Israel then captured the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria in a series of ground offensives. Following the war, Ben-Gurion was in favour of returning all the captured territories apart from East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Mount Hebron as part of a peace agreement.[28]

On 11 June, Ben-Gurion met with a small group of supporters in his home. During the meeting, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan proposed autonomy for the West Bank, the transfer of Gazan refugees to Jordan, and a united Jerusalem serving as Israel’s capital. Ben-Gurion agreed with him, but foresaw problems in transferring Palestinian refugees from Gaza to Jordan, and recommended that Israel inisist on direct talks with Egypt, favoring withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace and free navigation through the Straits of Tiran. The following day, he met with Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek in his Knesset office. Despite occupying a lower executive position, Ben-Gurion treated Kollek like a subordinate.[29]

Following the Six-Day War, Ben-Gurion criticized what he saw as the government’s apathy towards the construction and development of the city. To ensure that a united Jerusalem remained in Israeli hands, he advocated a massive Jewish settlement program for the Old City and the hills surrounding the city, as well as the establishment of large industries in the Jerusalem area to attract Jewish migrants. He argued that no Arabs would have to be evicted in the process.[29] Ben-Gurion also urged extensive Jewish settlement in Hebron.

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