Gospel Teachings: Warning to Youth to Repent is an Act of Love

Gospel Teachings:

Warning to Youth to Repent is an Act of Love

The Voice of Warning

D.Todd Christofferson

While the duty to warn is felt especially keenly by prophets, it is a duty shared by others as well.

The prophet Ezekiel was born about two decades before Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. In 597 BC, at age 25, Ezekiel was one of the many carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and as best we can tell, he spent the rest of his life there.1 He was of the Aaronic priestly lineage, and when he was 30, he became a prophet.2

In commissioning Ezekiel, Jehovah used the metaphor of a watchman.

“If when [the watchman] seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

“Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.”3

Warning to Turn from Sin

On the other hand, “if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, … his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”4

Then speaking directly to Ezekiel, Jehovah declared, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them [for] me.”5 The warning was to turn away from sin.

“When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

“Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. …

“Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; …

“None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”6

Interestingly, this warning also applies to the righteous. “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his [righteous deeds] shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.”7

Look to God and Live; He seeks our Happiness

Pleading with His children, God tells Ezekiel, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”8

Far from being anxious to condemn, our Heavenly Father and our Savior seek our happiness and plead with us to repent, knowing full well that “wickedness never was [and never will be] happiness.”9 So Ezekiel and every prophet before and since, speaking the word of God out of a full heart, have warned all who will to turn away from Satan, the enemy of their souls, and “choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men.”10

While the duty to warn is felt especially keenly by prophets, it is a duty shared by others as well. In fact, “it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”11 We who have received a knowledge of the great plan of happiness—and its implementing commandments—should feel a desire to share that knowledge since it makes all the difference here and in eternity. And if we ask, “Who is my neighbor that I should warn?” surely the answer will be found in a parable that begins, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves,”12 and so forth.

Rooted in Love—To Warn is to Care

Considering the parable of the good Samaritan in this context reminds us that the question “Who is my neighbor?” was tied to the two great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”13

The motivation for raising the warning voice is love—love of God and love of fellowman. To warn is to care. The Lord instructs that it is to be done “in mildness and in meekness”14 and “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness … , and by love unfeigned.”15 It can be urgent, as when we warn a child not to put his or her hand in a fire. It must be clear and sometimes firm. On occasion, warning may take the form of reproof “when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,”16 but always it is rooted in love. Witness, for example, the love that motivates the service and sacrifices of our missionaries.

Parents—Warn your Children

Surely love would compel parents to warn their closest “neighbors”—their own children. This means teaching and testifying of gospel truths. It means teaching children the doctrine of Christ: faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.17 The Lord reminds parents, “I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.18

A crucial element of the parental duty to warn is to paint not only the demoralizing consequences of sin but also the joy of walking in obedience to the commandments. Recall the words of Enos about what led him to seek God, receive a remission of sins, and become converted:

“Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication.”19

Because of His incomparable love and concern for others and their happiness, Jesus was not hesitant to warn. At the outset of His ministry, “Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”20 Because He knows that not just any path leads to heaven, He commanded:

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”21

He devoted time to sinners, saying, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”22

He warned the Pharisees out of Love

As for the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus was uncompromising in condemning their hypocrisy. His warnings and commandments were direct:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”23

Surely no one would accuse the Savior of not loving these scribes and Pharisees—after all, He suffered and died to save them too. But loving them, He could not let them go on in sin without clearly correcting them. One observer noted, “Jesus taught his followers to do as he did: to welcome everyone but also to teach about sin, since love demands warning people about what can hurt them.”24

Shame Culture with no right or wrong, only Tolerance vs. Guilt Culture with Moral Absolutes

Sometimes those who raise a warning voice are dismissed as judgmental. Paradoxically, however, those who claim truth is relative and moral standards are a matter of personal preference are often the same ones who most harshly criticize people who don’t accept the current norm of “correct thinking.” One writer referred to this as the “shame culture”:

“In a guilt culture you know you are good or bad by what your conscience feels.

In a shame culture you know you are good or bad by what your community says about you, by whether it honors or excludes you. … [In the shame culture,] moral life is not built on the continuum of right and wrong; it’s built on the continuum of inclusion and exclusion. …

“… Everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion. There are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd. It is a culture of oversensitivity, overreaction and frequent moral panics, during which everybody feels compelled to go along. …

Moral Relativists are Strangely Unmerciful to Those who Disagree

“The guilt culture could be harsh, but at least you could hate the sin and still love the sinner. The modern shame culture allegedly values inclusion and tolerance, but it can be strangely unmerciful to those who disagree and to those who don’t fit in.25

Contrasted to this is “the rock of our Redeemer,”26 a stable and permanent foundation of justice and virtue. How much better it is to have the unchanging law of God by which we may act to choose our destiny rather than being hostage to the unpredictable rules and wrath of the social media mob. How much better it is to know the truth than to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.”27

 How much better to repent and rise to the gospel standard than to pretend there is no right or wrong and languish in sin and regret.

Voice of Warning to All; the Lord’s Watchmen Cannot Be Neutral

The Lord has declared, “The voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.”28 As watchmen and disciples, we cannot be neutral about this “more excellent way.29 As Ezekiel, we cannot see the sword coming upon the land “and blow not the trumpet.”30 This is not to say that we should bang on our neighbor’s door or stand in the public square shouting, “Repent!” Truly, when you think about it, we have in the restored gospel what people, deep down, really want. So the warning voice is generally not only civil, but in the Psalmist’s phrase, it is a “joyful noise.31

Deseret News opinion editor Hal Boyd cited one example of the disservice inherent in staying silent. He noted that while the idea of marriage is still a matter of “intellectual debate” among elites in American society, marriage itself is not a matter of debate for them in practice. “‘Elites get and stay married and make sure their kids enjoy the benefits of stable marriage.’ … The problem, however, is that [they] tend not to preach what they practice.” They don’t want to “impose” on those who really could use their moral leadership, but “it is perhaps time for those with education and strong families to stop feigning neutrality and start preaching what they practice pertaining to marriage and parenting … [and] help their fellow Americans embrace it.”32

Do Not Let Fear of the World Stifle Teaching of Truth

We trust that especially you of the rising generation, youth and young adults on whom the Lord must rely for the success of His work in future years, will sustain the teachings of the gospel and the standards of the Church in public as well as in private. Do not abandon those who would welcome truth to floundering and failing in ignorance. Do not succumb to false notions of tolerance or to fear—fear of inconvenience, disapproval, or even suffering. Remember the Savior’s promise:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”33

Ultimately, we are all accountable to God for our choices and the lives we live. The Savior declared, “My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.”34

Recognizing this, the Lord’s supremacy, I plead in the words of Alma:

“And now, my brethren [and sisters], I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would … cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;

“But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit … ;

“Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.”35

May we each be able to say to the Lord with David:I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord.”36

Heritage Foundation Report: Exit from Paris Climate Agreement good for America

Heritage Foundation Report:

Exit from Paris Climate Agreement good for America

4 Reasons Trump Was Right to Pull Out of the Paris Agreement

Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb

President Donald Trump has fulfilled a key campaign pledge, announcing that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

The Paris Agreement, which committed the U.S. to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was a truly bad deal—bad for American taxpayers, American energy companies, and every single American who depends on affordable, reliable energy.

It was also bad for the countries that remain in the agreement. Here are four reasons Trump was right to withdraw.

1. The Paris Agreement was costly and ineffective.

The Paris Agreement is highly costly and would do close to nil to address climate change.

If carried out, the energy regulations agreed to in Paris by the Obama administration would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm American manufacturing, and destroy $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035.

In withdrawing from the agreement, Trump removed a massive barrier to achieving the 3 percent economic growth rates America is accustomed to.

Simply rolling back the Paris regulations isn’t enough. The Paris Agreement would have extended long beyond the Trump administration, so remaining in the agreement would have kept the U.S. subject to its terms.

Those terms require countries to update their commitments every five years to make them more ambitious, starting in 2020. Staying in the agreement would have prevented the U.S. from backsliding or even maintaining the Obama administration’s initial commitment of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent.

The Obama administration made clear in its commitment that these cuts were only incremental, leading up to an eventual 80 percent cut in the future.

In terms of climate benefits produced by Paris, there are practically none.

Even if every country met its commitments—a big “if” considering China has already underreported its carbon dioxide emissions, and there are no repercussions for failing to meet the pledges—the changes in the earth’s temperature would be almost undetectable.

2. The agreement wasted taxpayer money.

In climate negotiations leading up to the Paris conference, participants called for a Green Climate Fund that would collect $100 billion per year by 2020.

The goal of this fund would be to subsidize green energy and pay for other climate adaptation and mitigation programs in poorer nations—and to get buy-in (literally) from those poorer nations for the final Paris Agreement.

The Obama administration ended up shipping $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to this fund without authorization from Congress.

Some of the top recipients of these government-funded climate programs have in the past been some of the most corrupt, which means corrupt governments collect the funds, not those who actually need it.

No amount of transparency negotiated in the Paris Agreement is going to change this.

Free enterprise, the rule of law, and private property are the key ingredients for prosperity. These are the principles that actually will help people in developing countries prepare for and cope with a changing climate and natural disasters, whether or not they are caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Withdrawal is a demonstration of leadership.

The media is making a big to-do about the fact that the only countries not participating in the Paris Agreement are Syria and Nicaragua.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a bad deal. Misery loves company, including North Korea and Iran, who are signatories of the deal.

Some have argued that it is an embarrassment for the U.S. to cede leadership on global warming to countries like China. But to draw a moral equivalency between the U.S. and China on this issue is absurd.

China has serious air quality issues (not from carbon dioxide), and Beijing has repeatedly falsified its coal consumption and air monitoring data, even as it participated in the Paris Agreement. There is no environmental comparison between the U.S. and China.

Other countries have a multitude of security, economic, and diplomatic reasons to work with America to address issues of mutual concern. Withdrawal from the agreement will not change that.

Certainly, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will be met with consternation from foreign leaders, as was the case when the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol.

However, it could very well help future negotiations if other governments know that the U.S. is willing and able to resist diplomatic pressure in order to protect American interests.

4. Withdrawal is good for American energy competitiveness.

Some proponents of the Paris Agreement are saying that withdrawing presents a missed opportunity for energy companies. Others are saying that it doesn’t matter what Trump does because the momentum of green energy is too strong.

Neither argument is a compelling case for remaining in the agreement.

Whether it is conventional fuel companies or renewable ones, the best way for American energy companies to be competitive is to be innovative and competitive in the marketplace, not build their business models around international agreements.

There is nothing about leaving the agreement that prevents Americans from continuing to invest in new energy technologies.

The market for energy is $6 trillion and projected to grow by a third by 2040. Roughly 1.3 billion people do not yet have access to electricity, let alone reliable, affordable energy.

That’s a big market incentive for the private sector to pursue the next energy technology without the aid of taxpayer money.

The U.S. federal government and the international community should stop using other peoples’ money to subsidize energy technologies while regulating affordable, reliable energy sources out of existence.

The Paris Agreement was an open door for future U.S. administrations to regulate and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on international climate programs, just as the Obama administration did without any input from Congress.

Now, that door has thankfully been shut.

Science Facts: US exit avoids Big Problems in the Paris Climate Agreement that are Bad for America

Science Facts:

US exit avoids Big Problems in the Paris Climate Agreement that are Bad for America

Every Bad Thing We Will Avoid By Rejecting the Paris Climate Agreement

The biggest cause of “Global Warming” is from the Hot Air of politicians, not from hardworking Americans. ~C.D.

John Carney

The president formally announced this week that the U.S. will exit the Paris climate agreement, a move that will have negligible impact on the environment but will have major benefits for the U.S. economy.

The Paris climate agreement was deeply flawed from its start. It was legally and constitutionally suspect, based on politics rather than science, and contained unrealistic goals. It promised not only a dramatic expansion of the administrative state and a huge increase in the regulatory burden on American businesses, it threatened to put the brakes on U.S. economic output at a time when most economists think the U.S. will struggle to achieve even a meager two percent growth.

It’s likely that it was already acting as a drag on the U.S. economy. After President Barack Obama unofficially committed the U.S. to the Paris agreement, businesses began preparing for its impact. Knowing that it would diminish U.S. economic output, businesses invested less and directed more investment toward less-productive technology to meet the climate deal’s mandates. Banks and financiers withdrew capital from sectors expected to suffer under the climate deal and pushed it toward those expected to benefit. A classic example of regulation-driven malinvestment.

The Paris climate agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the conclusion of the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference. Parties to the agreement are expected to begin taking measures to reduce emissions in 2020, mainly by enacting rules that sharply reduce carbon emissions. Countries are supposed to publicly announce “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” to combat climate change and periodically report on their progress.  The Obama administration announced the U.S. would commit to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a quarter of which was supposedly achievable by the implementation of the previous administration’s legally-questionable Clean Power Plan.

To get the rest of the way, the U.S. would have to make major investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner motor vehicles. This likely explains why the Paris climate deal was so popular with many in Silicon Valley and many on Wall Street. It promised a bonanza of spending and investment, most likely subsidized by taxpayers, in technologies that wouldn’t otherwise be attractive. It was practically calling out for making self-driving, solar powered cars mandatory.

Dropping out of the agreement will let the U.S. avoid several deleterious effects of the agreement.

1.Goodbye to ‘American Last.’ The Paris agreement was basically an attempt to halt climate change on the honor system. Its only legal requirements were for signatories to announce goals and report progress, with no international enforcement mechanism. As a result, it was likely that the United States and wealthy European nations would have adopted and implemented severe climate change rules while many of the world’s governments would avoid doing anything that would slow their own economies. The agreement basically made the U.S. economy and Europe’s strongest economies sacrificial lambs to the cause of climate change.

2.Industrial Carnage. The regulations necessary to implement the Paris agreement would have cost the U.S. industrial sector 1.1 million jobs, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These job losses would center in cement, iron and steel, and petroleum refining. Industrial output would decline sharply.

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection for his great cartoon

3.Hollowing Out Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The industrial carnage would have been concentrated on four states, according to the Chamber of Commerce study. Michigan’s GDP would shrink by 0.8 percent and employment would contract by 74,000 jobs. Missouri’s GDP would shrink by 1 percent. Ohio’s GDP would contract 1.2 percent. Pennsylvania’s GDP would decline by 1.8 percent and the state would lose 140,000 jobs.

4.Smashing Small Businesses, Helping Big Business. Big businesses in America strongly backed the Paris climate deal. In fact, the backers of the climate deal reads like a “who’s who” of big American businesses: Apple, General Electric, Intel, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, General Mills, Walmart, DuPont, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson. These business giants can more easily cope with costly regulations than their smaller competitors and many would, in fact, find business opportunities from the changes required. But smaller businesses and traditional start-ups would likely be hurt by the increased costs of compliance and rising energy costs.

5.Making America Poorer Again.  A Heritage Foundation study found that the Paris agreement would have increased the electricity costs of an American family of four by between 13 percent and 20 percent annually. It forecast a loss of income of $20,000 by 2035. In other words, American families would be paying more while making less. 

6.Much Poorer. The overall effect of the agreement would have been to reduce U.S. GDP by over $2.5 trillion and eliminate 400,000 jobs by 2035, according to Heritage’s study. This would exacerbate problems with government funding and deficits, make Social Security solvency more challenging, and increase reliance on government’s spending to support households.

The Paris deal was, in short, a disaster for America and a nothing-burger for climat

Moral Support for America: Separation of Powers, Agency Accountability Act

Moral Support for America:

Separation of Powers, Agency Accountability Act

Mike Lee recommended Merrick Garland, an Obama nominee, to run the FBI! I don’t get this guy. How can he talk about returning to the Constitution and at the same time favor a leftover Lefty? “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)  Time to drain the swamp, not further entrench it! ~C.D.

3 Bills Sen. Mike Lee Thinks Could Shift Power ‘Back to the People’

Rachel del Guidice

Over the past eight decades, Congress has gradually relinquished its lawmaking role and left it to the administrative state, said a conservative senator at a Capitol Hill event on Wednesday.

“Many Americans now feel that they are not in control of their own government,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said during an event hosted at the Federalist Society’s fifth annual Executive Branch Review Conference. “The administrative state is designed to be insulated from the will of the people.”

The Utah senator said that one way he is working to combat this phenomenon is through an initiative he has started called Article One Project.

“Our goal is to develop and advance and hopefully enact an agenda of structural reforms that will strengthen Congress by reclaiming the legislative powers that have been ceded to the executive branch,” Lee said.

Lee said that lawmakers are to blame for the shift in power.

“We are not, in fact, the victims, we are the perpetrators,” Lee said, adding:

We have done this willfully because it makes our job easier. It is a whole lot easier and less politically risky to have somebody else do the lawmaking than it is to do the lawmaking yourself.

There are several pieces of legislation, Lee said, that could help address executive overreach.

1.) REINS Act

The REINS Act, which has passed the House but has yet to pass the Senate, would make progress in regaining ground Congress has lost, Lee said.

This proposed law would require both congressional and presidential approval of major rules, which “have an economic impact of $100 million or more,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., wrote in a recent op-ed.

“Under this law, the specialized know-how within each agency would still be allowed to contribute to the regulatory process,” Lee said.

“But ultimately, Congress would be responsible for every major regulation that went into effect. This would make it easier for American voters to know who to blame for bad policies. As things currently stand, lawmakers can have it both ways.

2.) Separation of Powers Restoration Act

The second piece of legislation Lee suggested to help restore congressional authority is the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, which has passed the House in 2016.

In a 2016 op-ed in The Hill, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, warned that “The practice of administrative agencies engaging in de facto ‘lawmaking’ was exacerbated by a 1984 Supreme Court decision, [Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council], which determined that courts must defer to agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous laws as long as their interpretation is deemed ‘reasonable.’”

The Separation of Powers Restoration Act, which Ratcliffe has introduced in the House again this year, would “[reverse] the 1984 Supreme Court decision that established the ‘Chevron doctrine,’ placing the power to determine ambiguous laws back into the hands of the judiciary.”

“The bill would end the dysfunctional status quo that tilts the legal playing field in favor of bureaucrats who pass the legislation to [place] federal law in the hands of legislators and the power to write and judges power to interpret just as the Constitution,” Lee said.

3.) Agency Accountability Act

The third piece of legislation, the Agency Accountability Act, will do exactly what its name implies, Lee said, and will hold agencies accountable.

The act, which has been introduced in the House, would “make federal agencies accountable … by directing most fines, fees, and unappropriated proceeds to the Treasury instead of letting federal agencies keep the money and then spend it as they see fit,” the Utah senator said.

Right now “agencies have the ability to use funds received through fines, fees, and proceeds from legal settlements without going through the formal appropriations process, thus avoiding congressional oversight,” according to a report from The Heritage Foundation’s Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs.

If signed into law, this legislation would help restore Congress’ role in overseeing how money is spent, Lee said.

“You see the Constitution has this pesky little provision that … Congress has the power and the responsibility to direct spending of federal dollars. The power of the purse is one of Congress’ most potent tools for controlling bureaucracies,” Lee said.

While Lee said that many Americans feel like they have lost control of their government, legislation like the Agency Accountability Act would be a remedy.

“Passing the Agency Accountability Act will go a long way in putting Congress, and by extension, the American people, back in charge of the federal bureaucracies and specifically, the way they spend money,” Lee said.

Lee urged Congress to act.

“If we are able to pass even one of these legislative proposals … then we will have made real progress toward listening to the people and making sure that our government itself has to listen to the people,” Lee said, adding:

If we can pass all three bills, it would constitute a fundamental, generational shift of power in the country, a shift of power back to the people.

History Facts: Poland rejects Refugees, Prevents Terror Attack

History Facts:

Poland rejects Refugees, Prevents Terror Attacks

Rush Limbaugh

RUSH: In France…. this Macron guy, the 39-year-old guy married to the 64-year-old woman, is threatening Poland with future sanctions. If he becomes the president of France, he’s gonna put sanctions on Poland because they are refusing to take migrants, and that’s not fair! I mean, the burden of taking migrants and refugees and all that’s gonna be spread throughout the European Union. If you don’t play ball, this guy is gonna sanction you.

Well, I have a little map here that shows by virtue of color-coded dots how many terrorist events have occurred in European Union countries. France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria.

You get to Poland, there aren’t any dots. There isn’t any terrorism in Poland!

In every other one of these countries, there are lots of dots representing lots of them. So maybe this Macron guy thinks it’s not fair that Poland isn’t suffering any terror events, and so they want to make sure that some migrants end up in Poland so that there are terror events. That’s exactly what the map looks like.

 

Secret to Peace for your Family in a Troubled World

 

History Heroes: Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II crush Communism and Avert Nuclear War

History Heroes:

Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II crush Communism and Avert Nuclear War

A Fascinating Friendship Crushed Communism and Averted Nuclear War

Larry Tomczak

 

This story of two great history heroes is an inspiration. Don’t miss it! ~C.D.

Inspired by the supernatural intervention of God both during the Reagan years and in this recent election, may we all rededicate ourselves to praying for our elected officials, our nation and another spiritual awakening during these turbulent times. ~Larry Tomczak

 

“I don’t know what weapons would be used to fight World War III, but IV would be settled with sticks and stones.”   – Albert Einstein

USA TODAY ran this front page headline recently: “World War III: Americans are Thinking About the Unthinkable” [May 3, 2017]. Data from Google searches shows incredible spikes for – you guessed it – “World War III.” And the Doomsday clock is now as close as it’s ever been to midnight.

Not long ago there was a similar situation but it was providentially avoided because of the friendship of two outstanding leaders. Can you guess who they were?

This is the absolutely amazing account of two of history’s greatest leaders and their bond of friendship that changed the world and averted a nuclear nightmare. Both are gone but their story is worthy of reflection in these tense times.

Ronald Reagan was one of America’s greatest presidents and his stature is sorely missed. Think for a moment on his victory margin in the 1984 election of 525 to 13 electoral votes as he won 49 of 50 states!

His opponent,  Walter Mondale, only won his home state of Minnesota and that by 3,761 votes! “The Gipper’s” electoral votes remain the highest total ever received by a presidential candidate. Don’t forget he was 73 – the oldest president in America’s history.

He’s my hero and I treasure the autographed picture of him in my study. Millions draw inspiration from his life and legacy.

Since we are known by our friends, it behooves us to discover who was Reagan’sclosest friend. It may surprise you.

It’s been said there are four types of friends:

  • Just friends – social
  • Rust friends – oldies
  • Trust friends – counselors
  • Must friends – gifts from God

President Reagan had a God-given gift in a person with whom he changed the course of history. And it wasn’t his beloved wife, Nancy, to whom he was married for 52 years. Actor Charlton Heston called this unique relationship, “The greatest love affair in the history of the American presidency.”

Some Simple Clues

My father came from Poland as an immigrant. My mother was Polish as were almost all of our relatives.

We were dyed-in-the-wool Catholics.  I had 12 years of parochial school. My autobiography, “Clap Your Hands,” helped reach a quarter million predominately Catholics and both my father and I had the privilege of ministering the gospel in Poland.

Whether you’re Catholic or not, you’re most likely familiar with the first Polish pope in history who also gained sainthood in the Catholic Parthenon of saints.

This towering figure connected with President Reagan, and today they are recognized together as the principal players in collapsing Communism and averting a nuclear war.

Pope John Paul 2 in Krakow, Poland

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in 1920 and was athletic, manly and an outspoken advocate for human rights. When Nazis occupied Poland during World War II, he studied in a secret seminary in Kraków, became pope in 1978 and traveled to over 129 countries sharing the message of Jesus Christ.

He stood up to Communism using his influence and moral authority so effectively that he is credited with its fall in Poland and throughout Europe. Lech Walensa, founder of the Solidarity movement and the first post-Communist President of Poland, repeatedly honored John Paul for giving Poles the courage to affect change peacefully, altering the politics of the land.

Even Soviet leader Mikael Gorbachev once said, “The collapse of the Iron Curtain would have been impossible without John Paul II.”  [CBS News Online: “Pope Stared Down Communism in His Homeland – and Won!” (June 30, 2008)].

For years prior to his death, this icon was a prophetic symbol of perseverance under pressure and pain as he never stopped his missionary work while trembling severely with Parkinson’s.

“A Pope and a President”

Paul Kengor, political science professor and author, has just released his amazing book reviewing this little known relationship. It’s subtitle is, “A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century.”

In a compelling way, Mister Kengor documents the spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president that strengthened each other in confronting the paramount evil of the 20th century: Soviet Communism.

History Patterns

We learn the following:

  • Communism’s demise was not triggered by tearing down the Berlin Wall but Poland’s election and the Pope’s catalytic role.
  • Both men were almost assassinated just weeks apart in 1981; each should have died as they almost bled to death; and, later during personal time in the Vatican, they shared their belief that God spared their lives for a special purpose, to take down atheist Communism.
  • The Soviet Union was on the brink of invading Poland the very day Reagan was shot but with America on full nuclear alert, the highest level of DEFCON, they stopped abruptly to avoid the conflagration of a nuclear war.
  • The CIA allegedly but secretly confirmed Russia’s role in the shooting of the pontiff by Mehmet Agca (whom the pope later visited, forgave and prayed with in prison!).
  • Ronald Reagan specifically identified him as his “best friend” and Nancy as his “closest friend.”

Application Today

Former President George W. Bush once labeled North Korea and Iran as two players in the “axis of evil.” When Mitt Romney ran for president he said Russia was the number one geopolitical foe of America. The threat of all three nations to world peace is an alarming reality today.

People are understandably on edge. Add to the mix the ever-present terrorist activity in our nation and abroad, and we do have a recipe for potential disaster overnight.

 

It’s important to remember the strong prayer emphasis prevalent during the Reagan era as we study the providential hand of God in the friendship of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. It should motivate us afresh to pray “first of all… for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty… ” (1Tim. 2:1-2).

Inspired by the supernatural intervention of God both during the Reagan years and in this recent election, may we all rededicate ourselves to praying for our elected officials, our nation and another spiritual awakening during these turbulent times.

Read more about Polish heroism in the Cold War

How to apply the victories of the Reagan Era in our day

LARRY TOMCZAK
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 43 yrs, Liberty Counsel public policy advisor, Intercessors for America board member and best-selling author. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Click (here) for his “Here’s the Deal” weekly podcast. Follow Larry on Facebook

Judeo-Christian Culture: Homeschooling, Russia, and Faith in God

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Homeschooling, Russia, and Faith in God

Homeschooling now booming – in Russia!

Bob Unruh

Estimated 100,000 children taught by parents

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently until thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ~Deuteronomy 6:6,7

“I understand that children are given to me by God, but for a small amount of time.” ~Victoria, Russian homeschooling parent

 

Homeschooling, banned in Russia for most of the last century, is beginning a boom, according to a homeschooling expert.

“Homeschooling in Russia has gained recognition from both the media and society in general,” said Mike Donnelly, the director of global outreach for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Part of that stems from its growth so far.”

Donnelly, who recently attended a homeschool conference in St. Petersburg, said Russian supporters of homeschooling  expressed “genuine optimism for the future” and “confidence in their plans to achieve substantial growth.”

His organization, the world’s premiere legal defender of homeschooling, has battled over the rights of parents to teach their children, often an integral part of international agreements and treaties.

And while major disputes have raged in Germany, Sweden and the United States in recent years, in Russia the homeschool movement has been maturing, he reported.

Teach your Family the Truth not found in Public Schools.

 

One of his encounters was with Pavel Parfentiev, the chairman of the board of Za Prava Sem’i, a family rights organization.

“I do believe that home education has a big future in Russia, he said, according to Donnelly.

“Russian law specifically states that the parents are the primary educators of their children,” Parfentiev said.

The movement in Russia, still “in its early days,” has obstacles, including a Common Core-like set of national requirements that parents are working to have lifted.

Reported Donnelly: “Homeschool leaders estimated that there are between 50,000 and 100,000 Russian children being homeschooled. Although that range is well under 0.5 percent of the Russian school-age population (by comparison, estimates put the growing homeschooling community in the U.S. at close to 4 percent of the school-age population), it places Russia second only to the United Kingdom among European countries.”

Parfentiev said, “Most people do respect home education as a normal and good educational option for parents.”

Donnelly said the strength of the growing movement was evidenced by a parent named Victoria, who with her husband Boris is reviewing homeschooling options even though their oldest child is not yet 4.

Translated by Boris, Victoria said, “I understand that children are given to me by God, but for a small amount of time.”

And educating them?

“I understand that this is my task, and not the task of the teachers out there. I’m becoming more and more convinced that this is the way to go.”

Donnelly said he wasn’t alone in perceiving the hopefulness of the Russian homeschoolers

He was accompanied to the St. Petersburg conference by Gerald Huebner, HSLDA Canada’s chairman.

“In the end, Gerald said, ‘it’s just like a conference in Saskatchewan or North Dakota. People from Canada or any state in the United States would feel very comfortable here,’” Donnelly said.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

Culture Wars: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Culture Wars:

10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

Lift Where You Stand: 10 Ways to Protect Religious Freedom

“I sometimes fear that we have relied too much on the Constitution to do the hard work of citizenship for us. The Constitution—including the First Amendment—was never intended to make us lazy citizens, to absolve us from the duty and imperative to be vigilant in defense of our religious rights and interests.” ~ Lance B. Wickman

D. Todd Christofferson

Knowing how to protect religious freedom can seem daunting. It might seem like you need a legal or political background to make a difference. But there are simple things you can do in your neighborhood or community that can have big effects over time. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of building trust with others so that you have relationships already established when you need to come together on complex issues. Here are some simple ways to protect religious freedom in everyday life:

1. Study up on the issues. Study the words of the living Apostles on religious freedom and moral issues. Read responsible websites, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that explore current events from a variety of perspectives, asking God to let the Spirit help you discern truth. Let your beliefs and the facts inform your views. Be ready to act. Know your rights established by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (italics added).

2. Speak up with courage and civility. Don’t be intimidated into silence by intolerant voices. Speak up! State your views with true civility and kindness (for ideas, see “7 Keys to Successful Conversations”). Speak or write calmly. Seek true understanding. Acknowledge legitimate points. And explain why the freedoms you defend are so important to you, your loved ones, and the Church—make it personal. Keep in mind that one-on-one conversations are usually more meaningful and respectful than group discussions, especially if they’re online. Stand firmly for principle while understanding that in some areas we will have to seek compromise to protect our most vital freedoms.

voter placing ballot3. Get involved in the political process. Vote in your local, state, and national elections. Support candidates who understand the proper role of religion in society and the need to protect it for everyone. Learn about how laws are made. You could also attend city council meetings, join a political party, write your representatives, and combine your efforts with others who support religious freedom.

4.Get to know people of other faiths. Talk with them about matters of shared concern. Participate in an interfaith service project. Support their religious freedom.

5.Volunteer for a charity. Help solve problems in your community by giving of your time to a local charitable or service organization. When people of faith do good, they increase their ability to convince others that religious freedom should be respected and protected.

6. Get involved in education. Participate in your local PTA. Run for the school board. Lend your voice and resources to solving problems in your school. Help preserve reasonable space for religious values in educational settings. Support the right of parents to guide their children’s education. Support values-based extracurricular activities like religious clubs or Bible-study classes.

Parenting Resources for Teaching Families to Defend Religious Freedom

7. Be part of a club, business group, or professional association. Build relationships and gain perspectives by joining with community members in a book club, a debate team, a college alumni group, a conservation effort, a Scout troop, a speech forum, or a sports team. Be where the conversations are happening. That will give you opportunities to educate others about the importance of religious freedom and challenges to it. Likewise, business groups and professional associations exert great influence on policy makers and on other business people and professionals. They need your voice in support of faith, family, and religious freedom.

8. Extend the reach of your faith. Connect ward service activities with the needs of the community where possible. Cooperation between church groups and community organizations helps build mutual trust and focuses resources on helping those in need.  Again, when people of faith do good works, others will be more likely to respect their need for religious freedom.

9. Make it a family matter and a matter of prayer. Take your children to a speech or conference on religious freedom. Watch a movie or documentary on the role and history of religious freedom in society. Conduct a lesson or activity about the United States Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other foundational documents. Invite a family of another faith into your home.

Cyrus, non-Jewish ruler who helped the Jews get their country back

Pray that our freedoms will be preserved. Pray and exercise faith that governments at home and abroad will be opened—or remain open—to the Church. As the Lord long ago “stirred” Cyrus, the King of Persia, to issue a decree allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:1), so can He stir other leaders with influence to help preserve religious freedom. Pray as you study about religious freedom that you can understand what you need to know and do. Pray for the Spirit to help direct you in conversations.

Teach your children why Religious Freedom Matters

10. Enlarge your voice through social media. Be persuasive by being civil in online conversations; the person who gets angry loses. Share appropriate links, stories, photos, articles, and personal experiences on social media. Start a blog, write an op-ed, or submit a letter to the editor. Learn from those who might disagree with you as you defend gospel standards and religious freedom. Sometimes even just sharing goodness you see in the world can help people recognize that your beliefs are about bringing peace, not contention, to the world.

Follow Western Culture Dinner Topics, Defender of Religious Freedom

 

Moral Support: Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Moral Support:

Religious Freedom supported, Defund Planned Parenthood, Trump Immigration Policy, Economic policy vindicated

Dogs bark, but the wagons roll on. ~Louis L’Amour

 

Religious Freedom and Traditional Family; Defund Planned Parenthood

VP Pence Breaks Senate Tie over Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

by Dr. Susan Berry

Justice Dept. Drops Pro-Transgender Lawsuit

by Neil Munro

Good Friday: Trump Appoints Religious Liberty Defender to Head HHS Office for Civil Rights

by Dr. Susan Berry

Feds Promise to Protect Half a Million American Girls from Genital Mutilation

The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse,” the acting Assistant Attorney General of the justice department’s criminal division, Kenneth Blanco, said April 13.

POTUS Signs Repeal of Obama Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate

Ancestry.com helps family of dead boy find man posing as him

 

Trump Immigration Policy Vindicated

Lansing, Michigan, Will No Longer Declare Itself a ‘Sanctuary City’

by Katherine Rodriguez

Most Americans, especially minorities, say no to sanctuary cities

Poll: Only 1 in 3 wants own community to protect illegals

http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/most-americans-especially-minorities-say-no-to-sanctuary-cities/

Ann Corcoran: Trump Effect: More Central American migrants want asylum in Mexico, not moving on to US

And, that is how asylum is supposed to work.

Anyone who meets the legal definition of a refugee*** is supposed to seek asylum in the first safe country they reach—

National Security

 

Donald Trump and Israel PM Netanyahu

Bibi Welcomes New U.S. Amb. — ‘to Jerusalem’

 

Foreign Policy: Trump Has a Strategy for Destroying Islamic State – and It’s Working

 

Trump Economic Policy, Drain the Swamp

Trump Admin Releases ‘Drain the Swamp’ Guidance

Ben Garrison

Trump Halts U.S. Funding of UN Population Fund

Trade Deficit Falls by 10% as U.S. Factories Benefit from Economic Stability

Shock Berkeley Poll: California Voters Want DemS to Work with Trump

EPA Chief Pruitt Calls for ‘Exit’ from Paris Climate Agreement