Parents as Teachers: Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Parents as Teachers:

Christian Moral Standards and Biblical Values for Children and Youth

Written, Not with Ink

C.A. Davidson

keyoldAnd we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26 )

 

Moses and 10 cropJochebed, mother of Moses, gently laid her infant son in a carefully crafted little ark, then watched over the short river journey of her precious cargo until he was safely in the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Even then, in the king’s court, she was there, nursing him and vigilant in his care.

Despite the opposition of those who would have killed him, Moses grew to manhood, delivered his people from bondage, and left to the world the priceless moral code known as the Ten Commandments. Moses went on to his reward, but opposition to his work continues.

In the New World, about 148 B.C., the prophet Abinadi was put to death by a king, for defending the plan of salvation and the Ten Commandments.

This revered code has been preserved, found today inscribed in stone or metal. The Ten Commandments have been ridiculed, forbidden, removed from public display. Yet within the calm eye of stormy hostility, this code remains serene, steadfast, and immovable.

After the children of Israel broke the Ten Commandments and other higher laws, Moses was instructed to create a complex structure of rules and regulations.

Today, many try to replace the Ten Commandments with gargantuan legal documents of government regulation.

10commandmentsLaws of men come and go. People have been killed or thrown in jail defending the Ten Commandments. But this moral code persists as a foundation for all civilized societies. Why? Because its Author is absolute— the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The Ten Commandments are moral absolutes.

Those whose behavior is consistent with moral absolutes are guided by what is called “internal government.” These individuals can successfully govern themselves, but are accountable to a just God.

When internal government breaks down, external government takes over, with rules, regulation, and bureaucracy. Persons under external government are accountable to men, who may not be just.

lesmisbookIn Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, a timeless novel about justice and mercy, hero Jean Valjean served in prison for decades because he stole one loaf of bread. He learned about mercy when a compassionate priest bought his freedom with two valuable silver candle holders. Because of that gracious gift, Valjean lived out his life serving and bringing joy to others. But Javert, his jailer, refusing to accept the price paid for Jean’s deliverance, became obsessed with re-capturing him. Failing in his objective, Javert finally ended his own miserable life. Such is the state of man at the hands of human justice.

In a civilized society, however, justice must be served, or there would be nothing to deter evil and protect the innocent. But much as we may desire to be morally perfect, we all fall short. What is to be done?

Many today reject moral absolutes because, like Javert, they do not understand the plan of mercy. A loving Father in heaven knew that his children would fail to keep all the commandments that justice required. Only His perfect Son could meet the absolute demands of justice and pay the price for His children’s deliverance.

Gethsemane2Parents need not be afraid of holding their children to high moral standards. The atonement of Christ is a safety net in the times of falling short, but it is fastened to repentance. Like Valjean, our children must forsake evil, or justice will have claims upon them.

If we as parents, like Jochebed, diligently train, nurture, and safeguard the internal government in our children, their souls will remain clean and whole when all around them are falling apart. Despite the fading ink of human doctrine, our children can remain true to eternal principles, written, not with ink, but in the fleshy tables of their hearts. (2Cor.3:3)

But remember, “It is easier to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.” (Ezra Taft Benson)

Children prepared with strong internal government will always make honor and virtue their choice; they will triumph over evil, and rejoice.

 

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

knightandlady

  1. Give examples in the world today of human injustice, in which the Ten Commandments have been perverted and the atonement of Christ is denied.
  2. If we do our very best to live high moral standards, but fall short, what must we do to receive the mercy of Christ?

 

Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson

 

True to the Faith

By Evan Stephens

 

truth1Shall the youth of Zion falter in defending truth and right?

While the enemy assaileth, shall we shrink or shun the fight? No!

While we know the powers of darkness seek to thwart the work of God,

Shall the children of the promise cease to grasp the iron rod? No!

 

We will work out our salvation; we will cleave unto the truth;

We will watch and pray and labor with the fervent zeal of youth. Yes!

We will strive to be found worthy of the kingdom of our Lord,

With the faithful ones redeemed who have loved and kept his word. Yes!

 

ShieldresizeTrue to the faith that our parents have cherished,

True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,

To God’s command, soul, heart, and hand,

Faithful and true we will ever stand.

 

 

Christian Standards for Children and Youth

 

holyspiritI will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.

I will listen to the Holy Spirit.

I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.

I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.

I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.

girlmodesty_largeI will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.

I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.

I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.

familyprayerI will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.

I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.

I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.

I will do my part to strengthen my family.

 

Advertisements

Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Common Core

Achievement Gap in Education

Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Protect Family values— Defeat Cultural Marxism. We on the Right need to “cultivate a new mindset. We have  to break up this monopoly of information.  We have to open up new space for rival and dissenting viewpoints. We have to create rival cultural institutions. ~Dinesh D’Souza

Common Core Indoctrination in Schools Increases Achievement Gap in Education

Dr. Carolyn Reeves

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

Rescuing the one

Rescuing the One Sheep; vintage oil by Wilhelmena Davidson

Rescue your children from Cultural Marxism: Click here

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

 

Is the achievement gap closing?
Achievement gaps between groups of students have been a major challenge in education for decades. Common Core made narrowing those gaps an ambitious goal and predicted that by 2017, the gaps would be greatly narrowed.

It didn’t happen.

Common Core Bias Documented:

Focus on education
“Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man.’”

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former history professor, Hillsdale College
The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core

Is bias real?
Columnist Robert Knight wrote that there is an increasing animosity toward America and free market capitalism among many younger Americans. He references author William J. Federer, who says this is no accident.

Rather it is the result of conditioning in both elementary and secondary schools that continues into universities – tactics such as being hypercritical of America’s history and failing to appreciate the genius of our Constitution.

“Deconstructing Young Minds,”
Washington Times, 6/10/18

Is change possible?

If parents would like to see Common Core repealed or altered in their state, they should contact their state legislators and ask for open hearings or surveys on the standards, with input from local and state educators, parents, and students.

Signs of problems
Almost immediately, there were signs of problems from unhappy parents, students, and teachers. Angela Hill, a parent, former teacher, and Mississippi state senator, has been an opponent of the program from the beginning. She reported in debates about Common Core in the state legislature that she had “heard from numerous parents, teachers, and students complaining about the English language arts and math standards, as well as the recommended teaching methods.”

In 2016, as Donald Trump campaigned in the presidential elections, his promise to help get rid of Common Core was greeted with enthusiastic cheers and applause.

TIMSS math, science trends
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study is given every four years to sample groups of fourth- and eighth-grade students. Results of the fourth-grade math scores from 2003 to 2011 showed a gradual increase for all student groups. From 2011 to 2015, the top quartile continued to increase, but the average and the lower percentiles decreased. Overall, U.S. fourth graders dropped from 11th in the world in 2011 to 14th in 2015. 5

Faith, family factors
Interestingly, faith and family come into the big picture in a big way. That is no surprise to those who hold to the traditions of the Founding Fathers.

Dr. William Jeynes, His study stunned many educators

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

With increasing approval of post-modern philosophies, some schools no longer support traditional family structure, and others try to eliminate all references to Christianity in such things as Christmas music selections, classroom writing assignments, and graduation speeches – falsely claiming there must be “separation of church and state” in schools. These self-defeating policies arguably make the achievement gap problem worse, not better.

Leaders’ perspective
The 2016 ACT National Curriculum Survey is given to thousands of K-12 teachers and college instructors to determine which skills and knowledge in English/writing, mathematics, reading, and science are being taught and which are considered essential for students to be ready for college and career. One result was that in general, college professors found that recent incoming students were able to analyze and summarize the opinions of others, but were often not able to generate and write original, sound ideas of their own. 7

Epic Stories of Western Civilization taken away

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former professor of history at Hillsdale College and national leader in the classical school movement, states, “[T]he standards take away the ‘great stories’ of our heritage of Western civilization and Christianity, and replace them with post-modern cynicism and political correctness.”

Moore is concerned about what are on the “exemplar texts” for the Common Core English standards, as well as the large number of traditional classics that are not on the list. He maintains that the classic articles and books are a huge influence on students in shaping morals and character.

He sadly notes that selections of the classics, when included in a lesson, are often no more than a few selected pages that are covered in one day; if they present a conservative viewpoint, they may be compared with a modern author who has a liberal viewpoint.

Common Core is clearly hostile to Biblical Values

Moore’s frank conclusion is, “Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man’.”8

States revise, repeal
A number of states have repealed their Common Core agreement and are in the process of writing new state standards and finding new achievement tests. Some states seem to be happy with the Common Core standards as they are. Others have found ways to override the copyright that only allows a 15% change in the standards, and some have made numerous adjustments that are more in line with their state values.9

Although schools in conservative communities can, and do, reject many of the more liberal selections, Moore sees Common Core as a vehicle that can influence students to accept anti-Christian, anti-American beliefs.

Teaching in the Home is the Solution.

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

Restoring U.S. public schools to a foundation of moral principles and values of the Founding Fathers – if not already too late – will be a daunting task that demands the efforts of concerned parents, educators, and politicians alike.

References
1. Valerie Strauss, “Everything you need to know about Common Core” (Diane Ravitch). The Washington Post, 1/18/14 .
2. The Nation’s Report Card. 2017 Results. Retrieved from nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2017_highlights.
3. ACT: The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017. Retrieved from act.org/content/act/en/research/condition-of-college-and-career-readiness-2017.html .
4. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/pirls2016.
5. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/timss
6. William Jeynes, “Shrinking the Achievement GAP.” Teachers of Vision, 3/7/18.
7. Valerie Strauss, “Common Core isn’t preparing students very well for college or career, new report says.”
The Washington Post, 6/9/16.
8. Terrence O. Moore, The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core
(Kindle Edition, 2013-11-29), 8.
9. Jill Norton, “Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?” EdTechTimes, 2/15/17.

____________________
Carolyn Reeves, Ed.D. (undergroundparadigm.com), is a retired science teacher and co-author of a series of elementary science textbooks.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Parenting Tips, Teaching by Example, Biblical Values in Daily Life

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Parenting Tips, Teaching by Example, Biblical Values in Daily Life

Building Spiritual Patterns

By Karmel and Lloyd Newell

You can provide safety and strength for your family by establishing patterns of spiritual living in your home.

One morning, a family was gathered for scripture study when the phone rang. The mother picked up the phone, and her sister-in-law from New Jersey spoke frantically on the other end: “Hurry! Turn on the news.”

The day was September 11, 2001. The news told of a horrifying terrorist attack in New York City. The children were shaken. Going to school seemed a little scary now.

The parents turned off the TV, and the family knelt to pray. After the prayer, the eight-year-old daughter said, “It’s going to be all right. I think the terrorists are just like the Gadianton robbers. We don’t need to be afraid of them.” Peace replaced fear. As the children left for school, the mother and father turned to each other and said, “That’s why we do this every morning.”

The family was fortified during a time of great distress because they had established a pattern of family prayer and scripture study. When fear struck, it was natural for them to pray because they prayed together every day. When world events were upsetting, they found reassurance in the scriptures because that’s where they always found reassurance.

Thankfully, events this dramatic don’t happen every day. Most often the challenges our families face are less drastic, but they are real, and they can be dangerous. You and your family can prepare to face life’s challenges by establishing patterns of spiritual living in your home.

What Is a Spiritual Pattern?

A father reads to his three young children from the Holy Bible.

A pattern in a work of art, such as a piece of music or a quilt, is a repeating design of notes or colors. A work of art is often defined by the patterns it displays.

Spiritually speaking, patterns can work in our families the same way. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) outlined some basic spiritual patterns when he counseled mothers: “Teach [your children] to pray while they are young. Read to them from the scriptures even though they may not understand all that you read. Teach them to pay their tithes and offerings on the first money they ever receive. Let this practice become a habit in their lives.”1

These spiritual habits can become such a consistent part of our families that they help define who we are. They can unite family members, continue from one generation to the next, and give us a strong sense of stability, identity, and cohesion. Most important, they bring us closer to the Savior and help us overcome trials and temptations.

Beginning to Build

The patterns we hear in a beautiful piece of music don’t happen by chance; they must be carefully planned and precisely executed. The same is true for spiritual patterns in our families. Without deliberate planning, it’s easy for other activities to creep in and take precedence over spiritual patterns. Here are some tips for creating spiritual patterns in your home:

  • Begin by discussing with your spouse the spiritual patterns you want to develop in your family.
  • Prayerfully create a plan and present it in a family council.
  • Decide on a regular time and place for the spiritual pattern. For example, one family decided to gather around the kitchen table for scripture study so there would be less contention and fewer distractions.
  • Make it fun! Nothing quite compares with marching around the kitchen table singing “We Are All Enlisted”2 after family prayer, or sipping hot chocolate together during scripture study on a cold morning, or watching your children act out an adventurous scripture story.
  • Give spiritual patterns priority. Schedule other activities around them.
  • Be creative and adapt to the needs of your family members. Scripture study for small children might last just a few minutes each day. A family home evening lesson for teenagers with lots of homework could be a well-planned 15 minutes. Remember that the length of time is not as important as consistency.
  • Pray for inspiration for successfully integrating a spiritual pattern into your busy lives.

Following these guidelines is not a quick process. But through the patient repetition of small and simple acts, we can develop reliable spiritual patterns to strengthen our families, being assured that “by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29).

Persistence through Resistance

Because establishing spiritual patterns takes time, the rewards aren’t always immediate. Parents may wonder if their children are really benefiting from their efforts—especially when the kids quarrel, complain, or refuse to participate. Unfortunately, too many parents feel paralyzed by the seeming picture of perfection they see in the families around them, causing them to think: “Other families don’t argue during family night.” “Other families don’t forget to pray. What’s wrong with us?”

The truth is, no family is perfect. Every family encounters resistance to establishing spiritual patterns. But when children resist, wise parents persist. Gordon B. Hinckley shared this encouraging example from his own parents, who established a spiritual pattern of family night that included musical performances:

“In the beginning, we would laugh and make cute remarks about one another’s performance. But our parents persisted. We sang together. We prayed together. We listened quietly while Mother read Bible and Book of Mormon stories. Father told us stories out of his memory. …

“Out of those simple little meetings, held in the parlor of our old home, came something indescribable and wonderful. Our love for our parents was strengthened. Our love for brothers and sisters was enhanced. Our love for the Lord was increased. An appreciation for simple goodness grew in our hearts.”4

Blessed for Your Efforts

The spiritual patterns you establish will bless your family and help you draw closer to each other and to the Lord.

Even if they don’t realize it at first, your children will be strengthened by the righteous habits you choose to create in your family. One young woman described how her parents put imaginary armor on her and her siblings before they left for school each day. This was meant to remind them of the spiritual armor that would protect them from evil. “I never really appreciated this until I was older,” she said. “I am just now realizing the significance of this ritual they created. … Even if it was something I thought was stupid, I know it had an impact on the way I lived my life.”6

Another young woman shared how she was affected by her mother’s persistence: “She constantly invited me to come to prayer and [scripture study], even when I refused to come. It was her consistency that helped me to repent.”7

When we consistently strive to strengthen our families and center our homes on Jesus Christ, the Lord will bless our efforts. We never really know when and how those blessings will manifest themselves. Perhaps your family or your children will face an intense crisis, as the family did on September 11, 2001, and the spiritual patterns you’ve established will provide the peace and strength to move forward with faith. More likely, a spiritual pattern will help you and your family withstand the temptations that subtly attack us every day. The Lord has promised, “Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

To Be Given Highest Priority

“We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”

First Presidency letter, Feb. 11, 1999

Biblical Parenting: Why Fathers Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Values, is Vital to their Future

Biblical Parenting:

Why Fathers Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Values, is Vital to their Future

 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

gospel-father-mentorHave you ever opened a box of parts, pulled out the assembly instructions, and thought, “This doesn’t make any sense at all”?

Sometimes, despite our best intentions and inner confidence, we pull out a part and ask, “What is that for?” or “How does that fit?”

Our frustration grows as we look at the box and notice a disclaimer that says, “Assembly required—ages 8 and up.” Because we still don’t have a clue, this does not boost our confidence or our self-esteem.

Sometimes we have a similar experience with the gospel. As we look at some part of it, we may scratch our heads and wonder what that part is for. Or as we examine another part, we may realize that even after trying hard to fully understand, we just can’t figure out why that part was included.

Our Heavenly Father Is Our Mentor

Fortunately, our Heavenly Father has given us wonderful instructions for structuring our lives and putting together our best selves. Those instructions work regardless of our age or circumstance. He has given us the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ. He has given us the plan of redemption, the plan of salvation, even the plan of happiness. He has not left us alone with all the uncertainties or challenges of life, saying, “Here you go. Good luck. Figure it out.”

holyspiritgiftIf we will only be patient and look with a humble heart and an open mind, we will find that God has given us many tools to better understand His comprehensive instructions for our happiness in life:

  • He has given us the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost, which has the potential to be our personal, heavenly tutor as we study the word of God and attempt to bring our thoughts and actions into alignment with His word.
  • He has given us 24/7 access to Him through prayers of faith and supplications of real intent.
  • He has given us modern-day apostles and prophets, who reveal the word of God in our day and have the authority to bind or seal on earth and in heaven.
  • He has restored His Church—an organization of believers who work together to help one another as they work out their salvation with fear, trembling, and unparalleled joy.1
  • He has given us the holy scriptures—His written word to us.
  • He has given myriad tools of modern technology to help us in our walk of discipleship. Many of these marvelous instruments can be found at LDS.org.

Why has our Heavenly Father given us so much help? Because He loves us. And because, as He said of Himself, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”2

In other words, Heavenly Father is our God, and God is a mentor to us.

Our Father in Heaven knows His children’s needs better than anyone else. It is His work and glory to help us at every turn, giving us marvelous temporal and spiritual resources to help us on our path to return to Him.

Every Father Is a Mentor

father-teaching-son-mirrorIn some parts of the world, fathers are honored by families and society in the month of June. It is always good to honor and respect our parents. Fathers do many good things for their families and have many admirable attributes. Two of the most important roles fathers have in the lives of their children are those of being a good example and a mentor. Fathers do more than tell their children what is right or wrong; they do much more than toss a manual at them and expect them to figure out life for themselves.

Fathers mentor their precious children and show by their good example the way an honest life is lived. Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid, helping them to their feet whenever they stumble. And sometimes when wisdom suggests, fathers allow their children to struggle, realizing that this may be the best way for them to learn.

We Are All Mentors

fathermentoringWhile earthly fathers do this for their own children, the spirit of mentoring is something we need to offer all of God’s children, regardless of age, location, or circumstance. Remember, God’s children are our brothers and sisters; we are all of the same eternal family.

In this sense, let us all be mentors—eager to reach out and help one another to become our best selves. Because we are God’s offspring, we do have the potential to become like Him. Loving God and our fellowmen, keeping God’s commandments, and following Christ’s example are the straight, narrow, and joyful path back into the presence of our heavenly parents.

If the God of the universe cares so much about us that He is a mentor to us, perhaps we too can reach out to our fellowmen, regardless of their color, race, socioeconomic circumstances, language, or religion. Let us become inspired mentors and bless the lives of others—not only our own children but also all of God’s children throughout the world.

How you can help with Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Family Values

Judeo-Christian Culture: Daily Bread 1—Small and Simple Things, Daily Prayer, Daily Scripture Study

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Daily Bread 1—Small and Simple Things, Daily Prayer, Daily Scripture Study

Small and Simple Things

Dallin H. Oaks

1) Holy Habits and Righteous Routines

We are taught many small and simple things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded that in total and over a significant period of time, these seemingly small things bring to pass great things. There have been many talks on this subject by General Authorities and by other respected teachers. The subject is so important that I feel to speak of it again.

I was reminded of the power of small and simple things over time by something I saw on a morning walk. Here is the picture I took. The thick and strong concrete sidewalk is cracking. Is this the result of some large and powerful thrust? No, this cracking is caused by the slow, small growth of one of the roots reaching out from the adjoining tree.

The thrusting power that cracked these heavy concrete sidewalks was too small to measure on a daily or even a monthly basis, but its effect over time was incredibly powerful.

So is the powerful effect over time of the small and simple things we are taught in the scriptures and by living prophets. Consider the scripture study we’ve been taught to incorporate into our daily lives. Or consider the personal prayers and the kneeling family prayers that are regular practices for faithful KJV BibleLatter-day Saints. Consider attendance at seminary for youth or institute classes for young adults. Though each of these practices may seem to be small and simple, over time they result in powerful spiritual uplift and growth. This occurs because each of these small and simple things invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the Testifier who enlightens us and guides us into truth, as Henry B. Eyring has explained.

Imparting Biblical Family Values—Made Easy! Click Here

Biblical Values: Victim Mentality vs. Discipleship Definition

Biblical Values:

Victim Mentality vs. Discipleship Definition

Three Sisters

By Dieter F. Uchtdorf

We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little—if anything—to do with the way others treat us.

A long time ago in a distant land lived a family of three sisters.

by Valeries artwork

The first sister was sad. Everything from her nose to her chin and from her skin to her toes seemed not quite good enough to her. When she spoke, her words sometimes came out awkwardly, and people laughed. When someone criticized her or “forgot” to invite her to something, she would blush, walk away, and find a secret spot where she would let out a sad sigh and wonder why life had turned out to be so bleak and cheerless.

The second sister was mad. She thought of herself as very smart, but there was always someone else who scored higher on tests at school. She considered herself funny, fair, fashionable, and fascinating. But always, there seemed to be someone who was funnier, fairer, more fashionable, or more fascinating.

She was never first at anything, and this she could not endure. Life was not supposed to be this way!

Sometimes she lashed out at others, and it seemed that she was always one breath away from being outraged by one thing or another.

Of course, this did not make her any more likable or popular. Sometimes she clenched her teeth, tightened her fists, and thought, “Life is so unfair!”

Then there was the third sister. Unlike her sad and mad sisters, she was—well, glad. And it wasn’t because she was smarter or more beautiful or more capable than her sisters. No, people sometimes avoided or ignored her too. They sometimes made fun of what she was wearing or the things she was saying. They sometimes said mean things about her. But she did not allow any of that to bother her too much.

This sister loved to sing. She didn’t have great pitch, and people laughed about it, but that didn’t stop her. She would say, “I am not going to let other people and their opinions stop me from singing!”

The very fact that she kept singing made her first sister sad and her second sister mad.

Many years passed, and eventually each sister reached the end of her time on earth.

The first sister, who discovered again and again that there was no shortage of disappointments in life, eventually died sad.

The second, who every day found something new to dislike, died mad.

And the third sister, who spent her life singing her song with all her might and a confident smile on her face, died glad.

Of course, life is never so simple, and people are never so one-dimensional as the three sisters in this story. But even extreme examples like these can teach us something about ourselves. If you are like most of us, you may have recognized part of yourself in one, two, or perhaps all three of these sisters. Let us take a closer look at each one.

The Victim

The first sister saw herself as a victim—as someone who was acted upon.1 It seemed like one thing after another kept happening to her that made her miserable. With this approach to life, she was giving others control over how she felt and behaved. When we do this, we are driven about by every wind of opinion—and in this day of ever-present social media, those winds blow at hurricane intensity.

why should you surrender your happiness to someone, or a group of someones, who cares very little about you or your happiness?

If you find yourself worrying about what other people say about you, may I suggest this antidote: remember who you are. Remember that you are of the royal house of the kingdom of God, daughters of Heavenly Parents, who reign throughout the universe.

You are in His hands.

Very good hands.

Loving hands.

Caring hands.

And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has said about you.

You are His precious child.

He loves you.

Even when you stumble, even when you turn away from Him, God loves you. If you are feeling lost, abandoned, or forgotten—fear not. The Good Shepherd will find you. He will lift you upon His shoulders. And He will carry you home.2

My dear sisters, please let these divine truths sink deeply into your hearts. And you will find that there are many reasons not to be sad, for you have an eternal destiny to fulfill.

The Hater

The second sister was angry at the world. Like her sad sister, she felt that the problems in her life were all caused by someone else. She blamed her family, her friends, her boss and coworkers, the police, the neighbors, Church leaders, current fashion trends, even the intensity of solar flares, and plain bad luck. And she lashed out at all of them.

She didn’t think of herself as a mean person. To the contrary, she felt that she was only sticking up for herself. Everyone else, she believed, was motivated by selfishness, pettiness, and hate. She, on the other hand, was motivated by good intentions—justice, integrity, and love.

Unfortunately, the mad sister’s line of thinking is all too common.

In the year I was born, the world was immersed in a terrible war that brought agonizing grief and consuming sorrow to the world. This war was caused by my own nation—by a group of people who identified certain other groups as evil and encouraged hatred toward them.

They silenced those they did not like. They shamed and demonized them. They considered them inferior—even less than human. Once you degrade a group of people, you are more likely to justify words and acts of violence against them.

I shudder when I think about what happened in 20th-century Germany.

Of course, we must always stand for what is right, and there are times when we must raise our voices for that cause. However, when we do so with anger or hate in our hearts—when we lash out at others to hurt, shame, or silence them—chances are we are not doing so in righteousness.

“Yes,” you might say, “I would be willing to love my enemies—if only they were willing to do the same.”

But that doesn’t really matter, does it? We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little—if anything—to do with the way others treat us. We obviously hope that they will be understanding and charitable in return, but our love for them is independent of their feelings toward us.

The Authentic Disciple

The third sister represents the authentic disciple of Jesus Christ. She did something that can be extremely hard to do: she trusted God even in the face of ridicule and hardship. Somehow she maintained her faith and hope, despite the scorn and cynicism around her. She lived joyfully not because her circumstances were joyful but because she was joyful.

None of us makes it through life’s journey unopposed. With so many forces trying to draw us away, how do we keep our vision fixed on the glorious happiness promised to the faithful?

I believe the answer can be found in a dream that a prophet had thousands of years ago. The prophet’s name is Lehi, and his dream is recorded in the precious and wonderful Book of Mormon.

In his dream, Lehi saw a vast field, and in it was a wondrous tree, beautiful beyond description. He also saw large groups of people making their way toward the tree. They wanted to taste its glorious fruit. They felt and trusted that it would give them great happiness and abiding peace.

There was a narrow path that led to the tree, and alongside was an iron rod that helped them stay on the path. But there was also a mist of darkness that obscured their vision of both the path and the tree. And perhaps even more dangerous was the sound of loud laughter and ridicule coming from a large and spacious building nearby. Shockingly, the mocking even convinced some people who had reached the tree and tasted the wondrous fruit to begin to feel ashamed and wander away.6

Perhaps they began to doubt that the tree was really as beautiful as they had once thought. Perhaps they began to question the reality of what they had experienced.

Maybe they thought if they turned away from the tree, life would be easier. Maybe they would not be ridiculed or laughed at anymore.

And actually, the people who were scoffing at them looked like people who were quite happy and having a good time. So perhaps if they abandoned the tree, they would be welcomed into the congregation of the great and spacious building and be applauded for their judgment, intelligence, and sophistication.

Stay on the Path

Stay on the path!

Never let go of the rod of iron—the word of God!

And when anyone tries to make you ashamed for partaking of the love of God, ignore them.

Never forget you are a child of God; rich blessings are in store; if you can learn to do His will, you’ll live with Him once more!7

The promises of praise and acceptance by the world are unreliable, untrue, and unsatisfying. God’s promises are sure, true, and joyful—now and forever.

Choosing this path of discipleship will lead to untold happiness and fulfillment of your divine nature.

It will not be easy. It will require the very best that you have—all your intelligence, creativity, faith, integrity, strength, determination, and love. But one day you will look back upon your efforts, and oh, how grateful you will be that you remained strong, that you believed, and that you did not depart from the path.

Press On

There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But in the end, you have the power to choose both your destination and many of your experiences along the way. It is not so much your abilities but your choices that make the difference in life.9

You cannot allow circumstances to make you sad.

You cannot allow them to make you mad.

You can rejoice that you are a daughter of God. You can find joy and happiness in the grace of God and in the love of Jesus Christ.

You can be glad.

Teaching Biblical Values to Young Adults—Made Easy! Click Here

Planned Parenthood Betrayal: Congressional Action belies Biblical Values, Professed Faith

Planned Parenthood Betrayal:

Congressional Action belies Biblical Values, Professed Faith

“A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit.” Matt 7:18

Walker Wildmon

AFA Assistant to the president

January-February 2018 – Americans are beginning to realize that many of our elected officials are doing more harm than good. I believe this is because our country is run by non-believers in Washington, D.C. By non-believers, I mean in the sense that they have not yet trusted Jesus Christ as the Son of God and for the forgiveness of sin as the Bible describes in John 3:16-18. The Apostle John said:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (ESV).

According to Pew Research Center, 90.7% of Congress identify as Christian. But when you consider the kind of work Congress is doing, or the lack thereof, you’d think few of them were Christian. In Matthew 7:15-16, Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”

What I call the “fruit standard” can also be used to determine if one is a Christian or not. If you apply the fruit standard to congressmen and women, you could conclude that few of them are genuine believers.

Let’s take a look at the kind of fruit that we see coming from Congress in recent months. On two separate occasions since being sworn in, the new Congress has reauthorized federal tax dollars to go to Planned Parenthood which, as the leading abortion provider in America, kills babies in the womb. Each year this organization gets over $500 million from the government alone. How can a Congress that claims to be 90% Christian continue to allocate funds for such an organization? Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder.” In the New Testament, Matthew 5:21 says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’” The Bible is clear that murder is sin.

beware of false prophets

The reality, then, is that our country is not run by an overwhelming majority of Christian individuals. Am I suggesting that some politicians who confess to be Christian aren’t genuine followers of Christ? That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. I know questioning others’ faith is a subject that most won’t dare to do, but I think it is important to discuss this. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 7:21-23:

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (ESV).

As genuine followers of Christ, we can’t allow anyone and everyone to go unchallenged when they claim the same faith without exhibiting some sort of fruit. Not only is this false representation; it also damages the overall image of the church.

We’re allowing the Christian faith and the name of Jesus Christ to be hijacked by fruitless non-believers.

Right now, the world looks at the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. and assumes that 90% of the politicians are Christian – as they claim to be. No wonder the world mocks people of faith. We’re allowing the Christian faith and the name of Jesus Christ to be hijacked by fruitless non-believers.

Are there genuine followers of Christ in Congress? Absolutely, but I would argue they are few and far between. The genuine Christians in Congress deserve our support, prayers, and respect. They are shining the light of Christ in a very dark place. To the politicians who claim the name of Christ yet offer no evidence of the truth of that claim, please, begin following biblical teaching or drop the false label.

While I believe it is healthy for Christians to hold our elected officials accountable, no matter their faith, it is more important for us to put genuine believers into office. A nation with genuine Christians directing its government is sure to be a nation that honors God with its policy decisions.

Start TODAY to train your youth for leadership in the future

Character Education Defining Moment: Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Character Education Defining Moment:

Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Morality Is NOT Determined by Individual Choice!

Rush Limbaugh

               The left mocked “family values” for fifty years and now they’re stunned to discover brutes among them. They tore down every standard of decency and now they’re dismayed to see they’re drowning in sewage. They’ve spent decades sneering at the traditions and institutions that served as societal guardrails and now they’re astonished they’ve gone off a cliff.

Yes, the absolute filth and reprobate behavior oozing from every corner of liberalism is nauseating. But . . .

  • We did not stop protecting and respecting women; you on the left did.
  • We did not stop believing in morality and virtue; you on the left called it prudery and utterly rejected it.
  • We did not stop treasuring honesty, and integrity, and character, and God; you on the left spat on all of it.

Back in 1987 when I was in Sacramento, I wrote a weekly newspaper column. One day I had writer’s block. To overcome it, I started jotting down one-sentence thoughts, hoping to inspire myself. These were pithy philosophical statements I knew were right: undeniable truths. Such as: “Communism kills.” And: “Freedom is God given.” I kept going until I looked at the collection of sentences and said, “Know what? This is the column.” They became the “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.”

My Undeniable Truth of Life No. 22 was:

                “Morality is not defined and cannot be defined by individual choice.”

               Morality is not defined by what you want it to be, by what you’d rather have it be. You don’t get to define what’s moral and not. What’s right and wrong, just and unjust, is established by God. (Undeniable Truth of Life No. 20: “There is a God.”)

Well, how’s that working out? This is exactly how we ended up with what we see all across the liberal culture: debauchery and abuse.

Choices Have Consequences

There are inescapable consequences for wrong behavior, which always, always carries a price. Conversely, morality is a protection, and striving for it (though we all fall short) is a blessing.

George Washington: Keep Moral Compass Alive

George Washington compiled his own list of undeniable truths, which he called “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” The bookend to my 22nd Undeniable Truth is Washington’s last rule, No. 110:

 “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

That, my friends, holds the secret to a good life.

The Limbaugh Letter, January 2018, p.3

How to keep their moral compass alive!

Gallery

Western Culture: Thanksgiving Message

Western Culture Dinner Topics: Thanksgiving November 2017 Culture-Wars Dear Friends, Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics! I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE ABLE TO SAY I’M THANKFUL FOR MY TRIALS, but it’s possible. I’ve observed rather extensively the trials of others, … Continue reading