Gospel Teachings: Foundation of Faith

Gospel Teachings:

Foundation of Faith

By Quentin L. Cook

My plea is that we will make the sacrifices and have the humility necessary to strengthen the foundations of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If there is one preeminent objective of general conference, it is to build faith in God the Father and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

My remarks address the foundations of that faith.

Personal foundations, like many worthwhile pursuits, are usually built slowly—one layer, one experience, one challenge, one setback, and one success at a time. A most cherished physical experience is a baby’s first steps. It is magnificent to behold. The precious look on the face—a combination of determination, joy, surprise, and accomplishment—is truly a seminal event.

In our family, there is one event of a similar nature that stands out. When our youngest son was about four years old, he came into the house and gleefully announced to the family with great pride: “I can do everything now. I can tie, I can ride, and I can zip.” We understood he was telling us that he could tie his shoes, he could ride his Big Wheel tricycle, and he could zip his coat. We all laughed but realized that for him they were monumental achievements. He thought he had truly arrived and was grown up.

Physical, mental, and spiritual development have much in common. Physical development is fairly easy to see. We begin with baby steps and progress day by day, year by year, growing and developing to attain our ultimate physical stature. Development is different for each person.

When we watch a great athletic or musical performance, we often say that the person is very gifted, which is usually true. But the performance is based upon years of preparation and practice. One well-known writer, Malcolm Gladwell, has called this the 10,000-hour rule. Researchers have determined that this amount of practice is necessary in athletics, musical performance, academic proficiency, specialized work skills, medical or legal expertise, and so on. One of these research experts asserts “that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert—in anything.”1

Most people recognize that to obtain peak physical and mental performance, such preparation and practice are essential.

Unfortunately, in an increasingly secular world, less emphasis is placed on the amount of spiritual growth necessary to become more Christlike and establish the foundations that lead to enduring faith. We tend to emphasize moments of sublime spiritual understanding. These are precious instances when we know the Holy Ghost has witnessed special spiritual insights to our hearts and minds. We rejoice in these events; they should not be diminished in any way.

But for enduring faith and to have the constant companionship of the Spirit, there is no substitute for the individual religious observance that is comparable to physical and mental development. We should build on these experiences, which sometimes resemble initial baby steps.

We do this by consecrated commitment to sacred sacrament meetings, scripture study, prayer, and serving as called. In one recent obituary tribute for the father of 13 children, it was reported his “loyalty to daily prayer and scripture study profoundly influenced his children, giving them an immovable foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”2

An experience I had when I was 15 years old was foundational for me. My faithful mother had valiantly tried to help me establish the foundations of faith in my life. I attended sacrament meeting, Primary, then Young Men and seminary. I had read the Book of Mormon and had always prayed individually. At that time a dramatic event occurred in our family when my beloved older brother was considering a potential mission call. My wonderful father, a less-active Church member, wanted him to continue his education and not serve a mission. This became a point of contention.

In a remarkable discussion with my brother, who was five years older and led the discussion, we concluded that his decision on whether to serve a mission depended on three issues: (1) Was Jesus Christ divine? (2) Was the Book of Mormon true? (3) Was Joseph Smith the prophet of the Restoration?

As I prayed sincerely that night, the Spirit confirmed to me the truth of all three questions. I also came to understand that almost every decision I would make for the rest of my life would be based on the answers to those three questions. I particularly realized that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was essential. In looking back, I recognize that, primarily because of my mother, the foundations were in place for me to receive the spiritual confirmation that evening. My brother, who already had a testimony, made the decision to serve a mission and ultimately won our father’s support.

Spiritual guidance is received when needed, in the Lord’s time and according to His will.3 Just as repetition and consistent effort are required to gain physical or mental capacity, the same is true in spiritual matters.

Faith is a Principle of Power

Faith is a principle of power. Let me illustrate: When I was a young missionary, a great mission president6 introduced me in a profound way to the scriptural account found in Luke 8 of the woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years and had spent everything she had on physicians who could not heal her. It has remained to this day one of my favorite scriptures.

You will remember that she had faith that if she could but touch the border of the Savior’s garment, she would be healed. When she did so, she was healed immediately. The Savior, who was walking along with His disciples, said, “Who touched me?”

Peter’s answer was that all of them, walking together, were pressing against Him.

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”

The root word for virtue could easily be interpreted as “power.” In Spanish and Portuguese, it is translated as “power.” But regardless, the Savior did not see her; He had not focused on her need. But her faith was such that touching the border of the garment drew upon the healing power of the Son of God.

As the Savior said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”7

I have contemplated this account all my adult life. I realize that our personal prayers and supplications to a loving Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ can bring blessings into our lives beyond our ability to comprehend. The foundations of faith, the kind of faith that this woman demonstrated, should be the great desire of our hearts.

However, initial foundations of faith, even with spiritual confirmation, do not mean that we will not face challenges. Conversion to the gospel does not mean all our problems will be solved.

Like the ancient Apostles on the day of Pentecost, many members experienced marvelous spiritual experiences in connection with the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.8 But, as in our own lives, this did not mean they wouldn’t face challenges or hardships going forward. Little did these early members know they would be faced with a United States financial crisis—the panic of 1837—that would test their very souls.9

One example of the challenges related to this financial crisis was experienced by Parley P. Pratt, one of the great leaders of the Restoration. He was an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the early part of 1837, his dear wife, Thankful, died after delivering their first child. Parley and Thankful had been married almost 10 years, and her death devastated him.

A few months later, Elder Pratt found himself in one of the most difficult times the Church has experienced. In the midst of the national crisis, local economic issues—including land speculation and the struggles of a financial institution founded by Joseph Smith and other Church members—created discord and contention in Kirtland. Church leaders did not always make wise temporal decisions in their own lives. Parley suffered significant financial losses and for a time became disaffected with the Prophet Joseph.10 He wrote a stinging criticism to Joseph and spoke in opposition of him from the pulpit. At the same time, Parley said he continued to believe in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.11

Elder Pratt had lost his wife, his land, and his home. Parley, without telling Joseph, left for Missouri. On the road there, he unexpectedly met fellow Apostles Thomas B. Marsh and David Patten returning to Kirtland. They felt a great need to have harmony restored to the Quorum and persuaded Parley to return with them. He realized that no one had lost more than Joseph Smith and his family.

Parley sought out the Prophet, wept, and confessed that what he had done was wrong. In the months after his wife, Thankful’s, death, Parley had been “under a dark cloud” and had been overcome by fears and frustrations.12 Joseph, knowing what it was like to struggle against opposition and temptation, “frankly forgave” Parley, praying for him and blessing him.13 Parley and others who remained faithful benefited from the Kirtland challenges. They increased in wisdom and became more noble and virtuous. The experience became part of their foundations of faith.

Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of His blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the refiner’s fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.14 When the Prophet Joseph was in Liberty Jail, the words of the Lord to him described all manner of challenges—including tribulations and false accusations—and conclude:

“If the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”15

The Lord, in this instruction to Joseph Smith, also made it clear that his days were known and would not be numbered less. The Lord concluded, “Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”16

What, then, are the blessings of faith? What does faith accomplish? The list is almost endless:

Our sins can be forgiven because of faith in Christ.17

As many as have faith have communion with the Holy Spirit.18

Salvation comes through faith on Christ’s name.19

We receive strength according to our faith in Christ.20

None enter the Lord’s rest save those who wash their garments in Christ’s blood because of their faith.21

Prayers are answered according to faith.22

Without faith among men, God can do no miracle among them.23

In the end, our faith in Jesus Christ is the essential foundation for our eternal salvation and exaltation. As Helaman taught his sons, “Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation … , which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”24

My plea is that we will make the sacrifices and have the humility necessary to strengthen the foundations of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Abuse of Power exposed: Socialism Facts—Socialism is Theft

Abuse of Power:

Socialism Facts—Socialism is Theft

 

Rush Limbaugh

RUSH: Okay. Here’s the text of the ad: “‘They’re coming for it — our money, money that belongs to us, that our families depend on,’ a narrative [sic] says as the masked burglars break and enter into a home and rifle through the family’s belongings, breaking things and stealing whatever they like. ‘But socialists in Congress have a scheme to take our money and use it to pay for their political campaigns — even personal expenses and negative TV ads, up to $5 million for every candidate, every election.

“Every House Democrat supported it. This isn’t the old Democratic Party. It’s a new, radical, socialist party. Their self-serving plan could cost us billions, money that won’t be spent to educate our kids, care for our veterans, or fix our crumbling roads and bridges. They’re assaulting not just our money, but our way of life. Call this plan what it is: Theft. But there’s time to fight back. Call the Democrats. Tell them to fund their own campaigns and put the people first.’ The above is a 60-second version that will air nationally over August recess.”

And get this: “The vicious National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ad, which will debut on Fox … shows a group of armed and masked [bad guys] entering a suburban home in the middle of the night. ‘They’re coming for it — our money, money that belongs to us…’” This is the kind of ad the Democrats have never had to face, or rarely have — certainly not on a national level — and it comes at a time when the Democrats are having their own argument about how to cover up the fact that they are radical socialists.

Judeo-Christian Worldview: Foundation of Faith

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

Foundation of Faith

Western Culture Dinner Topics

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, ALFIE? In the 70s, there was a popular song by that title.

Nowadays there are many people wandering the streets, who think they know the answer to that question. But they are very angry all the time, so I suspect they don’t really know what it’s all about, and are therefore very frustrated. Or perhaps, deep down, they do know what it’s all about, but do not want to face the truth.

Then, there is a legion of young adults, who are so self-absorbed—so imprisoned in the pretty lock-box, AKA a “smart phone”—that any glimmer of light from Life’s big picture does not even reach their peripheral  vision. So narrow is the world of this self-imposed digital prison, that its inmates don’t even know there is a window to their future.

What’s it all about? The poor things don’t even know to ask the question, let alone seek its answer.

“It’s not about you.” These words are often spoken to the spoiled, to the selfish, to the control freaks. Yes, it’s true. People like that need to get their minds off themselves. But I would suggest amending that statement:

“It’s not ONLY about you.” Because you are not alone.

 First of all, it’s about God. After all, He created you and me. He has a plan for us, which is the key to our happiness, because He is our Heavenly Father, and He loves us. To Him, it is very much about you. It’s about your choices, and actions. If you are a parent or grandparent, it’s about what you do to teach your children and grandchildren to build a foundation of faith—that is, God’s plan for them. If you are a son or daughter, it’s about learning how to follow the guideposts along the road of life. Those guideposts are also known as The Ten Commandments. If you obey those, you will avoid so many “fiery swamps”, “pits of despair,” and “cliffs of insanity.”[1]  You will be well on the path to happiness. And you will never be alone. You will be more in tune with your Heavenly Father’s will; therefore you will have the Holy Spirit as your companion. And God will raise up friends who will help you.

Why are we here? This is another question answered by God’s plan.

Some people blame all our problems on Adam and Eve. Come on. Is that fair? They were only human. They made mistakes, just like we do. God knew we would make mistakes. That’s all part of His Plan. That’s why He sent His Son.

Choices have consequences. The consequence of our First Parents’ choice to eat the  fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was to gain ability to know good from evil. So Heavenly Father sent them from Eden, not because He was angry, but because they needed to experience the inevitable consequence of every choice. He also sent them out of His presence, to learn how to distinguish good from evil in the great proving grounds called mortality, and to learn how to walk by faith.

So that’s why we are hereto choose right over wrong, of our own free will. God will force no man or woman to heaven. But we needn’t worry about being punished for the sins of Adam and Eve. Only our own mistakes. That is enough. But we must own those, not blame them on Eve, or anyone else. This accepting of responsibility is called repentance. That’s all we have to do—simply repent, and our beloved Savior does the rest.

compass liahonaOur merciful Heavenly Father did not send His first children into the wilderness without preparing them.   Nor does He expect us to make our epic journey of life without help. We can set our course using the guidebook, or the Bible, which shows the path taken by our noble ancestors. We can gather our daily bread from the scriptures. And we have a built-in compass called our conscience.

These are the bricks for our foundation of faith, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.

And that’s what it’s all about.

Your 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.

 

The 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

Does it all seem too complicated to train your Children for the Future? Here’s How to Keep it Simple!

Everyone has to eat dinner, right?

Nothing like a fascinating dinner table conversation to teach the Biblical worldview in a comfortable setting. And it’s so much easier to explain what you stand for when it’s a way of life.  Follow in His footsteps HERE.  Every week you get Biblical worldview dinner topics so you can plan your teachable moments right along with your dinner menu.

Even if you do it once a week to begin with, it’s a great start. Congratulate yourself. Out of small and simple things, great  things come to pass. Do not be weary in well-doing.

 

YouTube Video: Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

YouTube Video: Milton Freedman, Capitalism and Freedom

From Rush Limbaugh Radio

miltonfriedman2One sound bite is two minutes of Milton Friedman schooling Phil Donahue and his audience in greed and capitalism and virtue.

RUSH:  [Obama] was quoting Reverend Wright, and he said that’s for me, man, I love that.  White folks’ greed runs a world in need.  So let’s go to 1979, ancient times for many of you.  We may as well be going back to the Roman Coliseum for this.  Nineteen seventy nine, I was 28.  Ancient times for many of you.  Phil Donahue interviewing Milton Friedman, and they had this exchange.  And Donahue starts off wanting to know about greed and capitalism.  Here it is.  And listen to this.

DONAHUE:  When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on?

Greed Definition

FRIEDMAN:  Well, first of all, tell me, is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed?  You think Russia doesn’t run on greed?  You think China doesn’t run on greed?  What is greed?  Of course none of us are greedy. It’s only the other fellow who’s greedy.

The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests.  The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus.  Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat.  Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.  In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.  If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that.

So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

DONAHUE:  But it seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate the system.

Virtue Definition

FRIEDMAN:  And what does reward virtue?  Do you think the communist commissar rewards virtue?  Do you think Hitler rewards virtue?  Do you think American presidents reward virtue?  Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout?  Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?  You know, I think you’re taking a lot of things for granted.  Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.

DONAHUE:  Well —

FRIEDMAN:  I don’t even trust you to do that.

RUSH:  Milton Friedman back in 1979 schooling Phil Donahue, and everybody else who heard that on the notions of virtue and greed and just basically upsetting Phil’s applecart.  Phil wasn’t smart enough to know it was happening. He’s still running around lamenting the accident of birth. If he’d been 30 miles south he would have grown up in poverty.  Anyway, we wanted to play that for you and recognize Milton Friedman.

miltonfriedmanMilton Friedman:  “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there will be a shortage of sand.” 

 Milton Friedman:  “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” 

Another Milton Friedman quote:  “Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.”  

Boy, isn’t that true? Pass another law.  Government comes along and creates a program.  The program is an absolute disaster.  Government says, “That’s gotta get fixed.”  Government says, “Okay, we’ll fix it.”  And it compounds itself, one error atop another. (Rush)

Another Milton Friedman quote:  “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”  

I’ll tell you, the guy was great.  He was a genius.  He lived into his late eighties.  He would have been a hundred years old this week. (Rush)

Dinner Talk

1. Who does Mr. Friedman say is greedy?

2. Do you think political self-interest is better than economic self-interest? Why or why not?

3. According to Mr. Friedman, which system fosters a stronger economy— management by government bureaucracies (socialism), or free enterprise? Why?

Racist Meaning: Left-wing Smear Campaign vs. True Meaning of Respect

Racist Meaning:

Left-wing Smear Campaign vs. True Meaning of Respect

CALLER: Racism is about excluding individuals based on their race. It’s about denying something from someone because of their race. To say that you think Koreans smell is not racist. It’s rude. To say to someone who’s Chinese that you don’t like their facial features is not racist.

RUSH: Real racism is despicable, it’s hideous, and it’s ugly — and this is what’s so outrageous.

 

Hitler identity politicsCALLER: I thought I would help define a little bit for the young people what racism truly is. Racism is about excluding individuals based on their race. It’s about denying something from someone because of their race.

To say that you think Koreans smell is not racist. It’s rude. To say to someone who’s Chinese that you don’t like their facial features is not racist.

It shows you are offensive, but not racist. To deny these same people access to something all other people have access to because they are Asian is racist.

There’s a huge difference between being rude, prejudice, pejorative, impolite, offensive, uncouth, and being racist. I think that needs to be clear to young people, because they think that if you say, “Oh, I hate Italian food. I don’t like the Italian food,” it makes you a racist.

white husky puppyRUSH: Hang on a minute, Al. I appreciate what you’re saying, and I agree with you. He’s absolutely right about his definition of racism, and you can even take it further. But I have to share something with you here. I just saw this. Ivanka Trump just got her kids a new puppy. I think they went to a… It might be a rescue puppy, or they might have gone to a breeder. I’m not sure which. It looks like a Husky. The thing is, it’s a white-furred dog. It’s white with blue eyes. Twitter has blown up accusing the Trumps of being racist by getting a white dog.

Trump's America-All Lives matterI’m not kidding you! I’m not kidding you. I just had the thread sent to me. There are pictures of the dog with allegations that this proves Trump family racism. “They had to get a white dog, and one with blue eyes. Did you see that! They had to get a white dog.” We’re talking about fur, hair! We’re not even talking about skin. There is no such thing as a racist dog. What if they gone out and they got a black Lab? Would that have been okay? That would have shown they were not racist? So, Al, this is how far gone we are.

You can give the proper definition to a lot of things. The proper definition of socialism? They don’t know what that is. They don’t know what the real definition of communism is. Millennials today hear “socialist” and think that it means being social, being nice to people. Living in groups of people that treat each other fairly. That’s what think socialism is. They have no idea what it is. Same thing with racism. Racism now is any disagreement with somebody… By the way, the only people that can be racist in America today are white men.

 

Left Cheapens Real Hate, Calls Ivanka’s White Dog Racist

Leadership Styles: Procrustes Definition, Liberal Egalitarianism, and Inequality for All

 

Procrustes Definition, Liberal Egalitarianism, and Inequality for All

Leadership Styles

Month-Defining Moment

Definition of Procrustean Leadership Styles

Procrustes—a legendary robber of ancient Greece noted for stretching or cutting off the legs of his victims to adapt them to the length of his bed.

Procrustean—marked by arbitrary often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances

Liberals do not lift others to a better life; They pull everyone down to the lowest common denominator. ~Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

Liberal Egalitarianism=Inequality for All

procrustesbedSome kids get more goods than other kids, and that makes it unfair.  Of course as liberals, the answer is not to help the kids who are not in good familiesThey become the lowest common denominator.  They become the baseline.  Everybody must be made to be like them in order for everything to be fair and equal.  The natural tendency of the left is to punish success, to punish achievement, to punish anything that they believe gives an unfair advantage.

It is who they are, and you’re seeing evidence of it all over the country, if you have the courage to stop and recognize it.  Here’s a pull quote from the story: “In contrast, reading stories at bedtime, argues Swift, gives rise to acceptable familial relationship goods, even though this also bestows advantage.  ‘The evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ he says.

“This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion — that perhaps in the interests of leveling the playing field, bedtime stories should also be restricted.”  There really are expert academicians and philosophers who are pushing the idea that being a good parent and reading to your kids and being loving gives your kids an unfair advantage in life.  You know, in the old days — and it wasn’t that long ago — families like that were what you emulated! Families like that were what you wanted to be.

Liberals: Reading to Your Kids Gives Them an Unfair Advantage

fatherreadingfireplaceThere’s a theme for today’s program, and that is: Everything I’ve told you about liberalism is being demonstrated. It’s on parade in the Drive-By Media today.  All you have to do is notice it and take note…  Never make people better, but always take the people at the top and bring them down so that everybody is equally disadvantaged, equally miserable.

Having a loving family is an unfair advantage, is a social justice problem, and there are people in this article who literally make the claim that abolishing the family and letting the state and government raise kids may be the only answer.  This is in the UK.  I erred when I said Australia first.  In the UK.  Makes it even closer to home.  But liberals here and liberals in the UK, liberals are liberals in Australia. They’re liberals everywhere and the same, no matter where you go.  And they’re dead serious about this.

Admittedly, there are some of them who think it’s a bad idea to ban or abolish the family as an educational institution.  There are some people here who will say it’s a bad idea to abolish the family and let the state or the government raise kids for the purposes of education, but even those people still think that good families give kids an unfair advantage, and they measure that by “familial relationship goods.”

Only 18% of 8th-graders are ‘proficient’ or above in US history, and only 23% are proficient in civics.”

Anti-American Book

Anti-American Book

RUSH: From Breitbart: “Results of the ‘Nation’s Report Card’ released this week by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that only 18% of 8th-graders are ‘proficient’ or above in US history, and only 23% are proficient in civics.”

Now, it should be noted that you have to be able to read in order to learn history.  Just listening won’t get it done because you never know if who’s telling you about it is being truthful.  But the saddest thing is that many of those who are rated “proficient” in history have probably been taught a bunch of psychobabble, probably a brand of Howard Zinn’s hate-America-first history.

 

slavery-democrat-thing“Despite hundreds of billions of dollars poured into education programs in the United States via the US Department of Education, the ‘Nation’s Report Card’ states that 8th-graders’ average NAEP scores in US History, Geography, and Civics demonstrated no significant change since 2010 when students were last assessed.” Just think of all the money that Obama and the Democrat Party have poured into the teachers… (Ahem!) I was gonna say teachers union; I mean education.

corruption2The stimulus bill alone sent the teachers unions untold billions of dollars.  It was disguised money.  They were telling us it was going to education, to rebuild schools and roads and bridges.  But we now know, looking back, that the vast majority of the money went to teachers unions, part of the Democrat Party’s very well-constructed money-laundering scheme using the unions to do so. 

Defining Moment: American Covenant with God

Defining Moment:

American Covenant with God

keyThe fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”~ George Washington [3]

covenant2Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons or nations; more often between God and man; but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in his good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts. The same word is sometimes rendered “testament.”

The gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenant placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment. Thurs the severe consequences to Ananias and Sapphira, who deliberately broke their covenant and lied unto God. (Acts 5:1-11)[1]

Prayer-at-Valley-forge-500George Washington, the Covenant Leader

“We have nothing, my Dear Sir to depend upon, but the protection of a kind Providence.” (Washington in a letter to John Adams)

When Washington and his troops were trapped at Brooklyn Heights, he called for his men to repent and be righteous, to do those things which would bring the blessings of heaven. This was in the pattern of a covenant relationship.

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, MAY 15, 1776:

Friday [May] 17th, Instant to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the Arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America, upon  a solid and lasting foundation.[2]

 

by Jon McNaughton

The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”[3]

Washington understood the power of the Declaration of Independence. On July 9, 1776, he had the Declaration read to his men.

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllThe commitment and dedication of the signers is revealed in the covenantal concluding statement:

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

After the reading, he reminded his men:

“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger–The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.” [4]

 

[1] Bible Dictionary, 651

[2] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 393

[3] Novak, Michael and Jana, Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of our Country, 71

[4] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 390

Critical Thinking Skills: Parable shows Unseen Realities of Bad Economic Policy

Dinner Topics

Moral Character Education

Critical Thinking Skills:

Parable shows Unseen Realities of Bad Economic Policy

Frederic Bastiat and Legalized Plunder, or Socialism Failure

Frederic Bastiat: The Law

keyNote: I found the Parable of the Broken Window when I clicked on just one more link. Parents, teach your children to pursue topics they are interested in. Your young people will excel in their education when they educate themselves, and they acquire a thirst for learning. You will not find any teachings of Frederic Bastiat in typical public schools. And look what they are missing!

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat. This is a short little book written in the nineteenth century. It really nails the notion of governments who think they can plunder the citizenry, just because they are the government and “above the law.” This is classic literature that you will want in your library, and which teens and young adults will find thought-provoking. It is well known by reliable historians, and should be easily available to purchase online. I highly recommend this little book to read aloud and discuss together. It will give you a clear understanding of how economics should be. ~C.A. Davidson

 

The Parable of the Broken Window

Bastiat’s original parable or story of the broken window from Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (1850):

brokenwindowHave you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation-“It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.[1][2]

Bastiat’s argument

Austrian theorists, and Bastiat himself, apply the parable of the broken window in a different way. Suppose it was discovered that the little boy was actually hired by the glazier, and paid a franc for every window he broke. Suddenly the same act would be regarded as theft: the glazier was breaking windows in order to force people to hire his services. Yet the facts observed by the onlookers remain true: the glazier benefits from the business at the expense of the baker, the tailor, and so on.

Bastiat argues that people actually do endorse activities which are morally equivalent to the glazier hiring a boy to break windows for him:

Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;” and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To  break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labour; or, more briefly, “destruction is not profit.”

What will you say, Moniteur Industriel[3]-what will you say, disciples of good M. F. Chamans, who has calculated with so much precision how much trade would gain by the burning of Paris, from the number of houses it would be necessary to rebuild?[1][2]

Bastiat is not addressing production – he is addressing the stock of wealth. In other words, Bastiat does not merely look at the immediate but at the longer effects of breaking the window. Moreover, Bastiat does not only take into account the consequences of breaking the window for one group but for all groups, for society as a whole.[4]

Complete article from Wikipedia

Biography

BastiatBastiat was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, a port town in the south of France on the Bay of Biscay, on 29 June 1801. His father, Pierre Bastiat, was a prominent businessman in the town. His mother died in 1808 when Frédéric was seven years old.[2] His father moved inland to the town of Mugron with Frédéric following soon after. The Bastiat estate in Mugron had been acquired during the French Revolution and had previously belonged to the Marquis of Poyanne. Pierre Bastiat died in 1810, leaving Frédéric an orphan. He was taken in by his paternal grandfather and his maiden aunt, Justine Bastiat.[2] He attended a school in Bayonne, but his aunt thought poorly of it and so enrolled him in Saint-Sever. At 17, he left school at Sorèze to work for his uncle in his family’s export business. It was the same firm where his father had been a partner. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo suggests that this experience was crucial to Bastiat’s later work since it allowed young Frédéric to acquire first-hand knowledge of how regulation can affect markets.[3] Sheldon Richman notes that “he came of age during the Napoleonic wars, with their extensive government intervention in economic affairs.”[4]

Bastiat began to develop an intellectual interest. He no longer wished to work with his uncle and dreamed of going to Paris for formal studies. This dream never came true as his grandfather was in poor health and wished to go to the Mugron estate. Bastiat accompanied him and took care of him. The next year, when Bastiat was 24, his grandfather died, leaving the young man the family estate, thereby providing him with the means to further his theoretical inquiries.[2] Bastiat developed intellectual interests in several areas including “philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy and biography.”[3] “After the middle-class Revolution of 1830, Bastiat became politically active and was elected justice of the peace of Mugron in 1831 and to the Council General (county-level assembly) of Landes in 1832. He was elected to the national legislative assembly after the French Revolution of 1848.”[1]

His public career as an economist began only in 1844 when his first article was published in the Journal des economistes in October of that year. It was cut short by his untimely death in 1850. Bastiat had contracted tuberculosis, probably during his tours throughout France to promote his ideas, and that illness eventually prevented him from making further speeches (particularly at the legislative assembly to which he was elected in 1848 and 1849) and took his life. In the fall of 1850, he was sent to Italy by his doctors. He first traveled Pisa, then onto Rome. On 24 December 1850, Bastiat called those with him to approach his bed. He murmured twice the words “The truth” then passed away.[2]

Bastiat’s most famous work, however, is undoubtedly The Law, originally published as a pamphlet in 1850. It defines, through development, a just system of laws and then demonstrates how such law facilitates a free society.

 

manwbagBastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to defend and protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies, which are inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the only things (life, liberty, and property) it is supposed to defend.[12]

He was also a strong supporter of free trade. He “was inspired by and routinely corresponded with Richard Cobden and the English Anti-Corn Law League and worked with free-trade associations in France.”[1]

In The Law, Bastiat explains that, if the privileged classes use the government for “legalized plunder”, this will encourage the lower classes to revolt or use socialist “legalized plunder” and that the correct response to both the socialists and the corporatists [crony capitalism and corporate socialism are the same] is to cease all “legalized plunder”. Bastiat also explains why his position is that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. When used to obtain “legalized plunder” for any group, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.[12]

 

Dinner Talk

1. What do you learn from the Parable of the Broken Window? Why do Progressives and Socialists use the broken economy to make people dependent on them? (Hint: They get more power and votes.)

2. Bastiat writes of “legalized plunder.” In ancient American history, there was a group called Gadiantons who took over the free government and engaged in plunder. How is this a type of what governments do today? What recent examples can you give of our government engaging in “legalized plunder?”

Critical thinking: Decision Making, based on Emotions, or Absolutes of God?

Critical thinking:

Decision Making, based on Emotions, or  Absolutes of God?

Dr. Joe McKeever

The Lord is not asking for feelings or wishing for greater emotions.

I cannot find any place in Scripture that places a premium on emotional exuberance.  But it’s not a sign of anything permanent. But that doesn’t seem to be what the Lord is wanting. It’s the whole life, not the emotional outskirts. ~Dr. Joe McKeever American Family Association The Daily Stand

 

Skyler Gleue

American Family Association

The Daily Stand

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity. Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either.

Absolutes of God

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal once stated, “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” Pascal’s comment suggests that we are more inclined to ‘reason’ based on emotions rather than logic, or at the most, let our deductions be clouded with our emotions.

There is tremendous truth behind this observation. However, whatever is most attractive is not always advantageous. Big businesses may benefit and capitalize on compulsive and emotion-based decision making, but when this mindset enters the church or a religious atmosphere it often conflicts with objective truth. Because of this mindset of arriving at beliefs based on what is attractive rather than absolute, many churches have become lukewarm in their teachings on difficult truths and adopted a secularized mindset.

Alongside this, many self-professing followers of Christ also tend to hold secular positions on important social issues of our day, such as abortion, separation of Church and State, and tolerance toward contradictory political views. Many Christians openly support these views on the basis of love, acceptance, and conformity. This causes an identity crisis for what Christianity absolutely stands for and against.

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity.

Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either. To stress the importance of His message, Christ offers a caution. Immediately preceding the warning by Jesus where He said “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” He issue a secondary warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Jesus instructs us to recognize false teachers, those who are part of the Church and tolerant toward anti-Biblical social issues, by their character (Matthew 7). We are further instructed to “test all things” and “hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” When we treat the Scriptures as a buffet and selectively choose what we accept and deny, we inadvertently reject Christianity as a whole. God calls such people “lukewarm” and “false prophets,” and this taints the mission of the Church, to be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). God rejects secularized Christianity, and so should we.

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Capitalism vs. Socialism Definition: Capitalism Benefits are Freedom; Socialism Fails because of Its Selfishness

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Capitalism vs. Socialism Definition: Capitalism Benefits are Freedom; Socialism Fails  because of Its Selfishness Rush Limbaugh Capitalism Benefits are Freedom “Our booming economy can still overcome progressive misinformation, propaganda and myth.”~Andy Puzder Because Capitalists meet needs of others Andy Puzder, … Continue reading