Biblical Worldview: Thank God everyday for Christopher Columbus

History Facts, Christopher Columbus Facts

Biblical Worldview:

Thank God everyday for Christopher Columbus

Bryan Fischer

Columbus Day, now celebrated on the second Monday of every October, is the day set aside by Congress in 1937 to commemorate Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in 1492.

Christopher Columbus Facts

Lest you think Columbus Day is only a holiday for white racists in America, it is also celebrated as Dia de la Raza, “Day of the Race,” in many Latin American countries. It has been celebrated in Argentina since 1917, Venezuela and Colombia since 1921, Chile since 1922 and Mexico since 1922.

Critics of Columbus claim that he brought slavery, disease, and death to America, destroying a tranquil and peaceful world in which everybody got along wonderfully with everybody else.

The problem with this view is that when Columbus arrived, slavery, disease, and death were already here. On his second voyage, he discovered that all the men he had left behind had been savagely murdered by the locals, and members of the peaceful Arawak nation had been emasculated, sodomized, and cannibalized by the Carib natives.

In the wake of Columbus’ voyage, conquistadors followed in his wake, including Hernan Cortes. When Cortes conducted his conquest of Mexico in 1520, all the native populations other than the Aztecs joined his hardy band of conquistadors to overthrow the brutal Aztecs, who had reduced them all to slavery and used them as helpless victims in their barbaric rites of human sacrifice.

Cortes’ astonished men once encountered a temple which housed more than 100,000 skulls, Aztec trophies stacked like cordwood. The Aztecs performed the sacrifices by forcing the victim to lean back against a rounded rock, exposing his chest, at which point the Aztec priests, hair and clothing matted with blood, would rip open the victim’s chest, seize the beating heart, rip it from his body, and eat it. The point here is that the New World was simply not an Edenic paradise when the Europeans arrived.

Dinesh D’Souza, in his 2014 documentary “America,” debunks a number of myths that have gathered around the European settlement of the Americas. As Arnold Ahlert writes:

History Facts

For example, while the left singles out the settlers of the New World for “stealing” Native American territory, D’Souza reveals the same land transfers occurred in precisely the same manner among tribes who successively conquered one another.

The charge of genocide is debunked when D’Souza explains that far more Indians died from disease than slaughter, and the same lack of natural defenses that made Native Americans vulnerable to European-borne maladies are the ones that made Europeans susceptible to the Asian-borne diseases that devastated Europe. Tellingly, no one refers to the European tragedy as genocide.

This is certainly not to exonerate Columbus entirely, although his relationship with the native nations was for the greater part benign. He also at one point executed some Spaniards for their cruelty to native populations, and the priest Bartolome de las Casas, a true friend and protector of the indigenous tribes, spoke highly of Columbus’ character and treatment of the nations he encountered.

Columbus’ voyage, at that point the longest ever undertaken out of sight of land, opened the New World to European exploration and settlement, and made possible the creation of the United States of America.

Truth about Islam

And by the way, if one is still inclined to blame Columbus for all of modern civilization’s evils, it might be worth noting that he only launched his voyages of exploration because the Muslim hordes had overrun all the land routes to trade with India and China. When they took control of Constantinople in 1453, they left Europe no choice but to find a highway through the seas. Columbus was Europe’s pathfinder. So if you need someone to blame for Columbus, look no further than the followers of Muhammad.

Truth about America

The United States has been the greatest force for good in the history of civilization, from creating the finest system of government ever devised, defeating tyranny in 1776 and again in 1945, and abolishing slavery in 1865. The U.S. has shown the world the way in religious liberty, political freedom, education, science, medicine, and business. We have sent more missionaries bearing the light of the gospel to more darkened corners of the world than the rest of the nations in human history combined.

Christopher Columbus made all of this possible. As President Trump said in his Columbus Day proclamation, Columbus’ discovery of America “was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation.”

No Christopher Columbus, no United States of America. In truth, every day ought to be Columbus Day.

Advertisements

Biblical Worldview: Christopher Columbus and the Holy Spirit

Biblical Worldview: Christopher Columbus and the Holy Spirit

Christopher Columbus: Part 2, Book of Faith and Prophecies

Part 1- Epic Hero: Columbus and the Israel Connection

 

by Shirley R. Heater

keycolumbus3… our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea…. Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that he [the Spirit], with marvelous rays of light, consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures…. encouraging me to proceed, and, continually, without ceasing for a moment, they inflame me with a sense of great urgency (Brigham 1991:179).

columbusIn His Own Words
Columbus’s title for what is called his Book of Prophecies, conveys the essence of his vision: Notebook of authorities, statements, opinions and prophecies on the subject of the recovery of God’s holy city and mountain of Zion, and on the discovery and evangelization of the islands of the Indies and of all other peoples and nations. To Ferdinand and Isabella, our hispanic rulers (West and Kling 1991:2,101).

The book is a personal collection of letters, scriptures (from both the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Apocrypha) and quotations from Biblical commentators such as St. Isidore, Rabbi Samuel and St. Augustine, and other sources. It was prepared for the benefit of the King and Queen of Spain to assure them that his mission, and their support, had been a fulfillment of prophecy. Columbus divided his material into four parts. The first is introductory, followed by three sections entitled: “Concerning the Past,” “Concerning the Present and Future” and “Concerning the Future. In the Last Days.”

Columbus compiled this work in 1501-1502 between his third and fourth voyages to the New World, using many handwritten notes as well as marginal notes he had made in books in his personal library. These notes lead West and Kling to conclude that there can be little doubt that Columbus’s systematic study of Bible history and prophecies began at least as early as 1481, concurrently to forming his great plan” (1991:91). Columbus’s Book of Prophecies culminated a lifetime of deep religious conviction and intense scriptural study and interpretation.

columbus4Today the original manuscript resides in Spain in the Biblioteca Colombina at the Cathedral of Seville. In 1894-four hundred years after Columbus’s first voyage to the New World-it was finally published in Spanish. Two translations of Columbus’s Book of Prophecies are now available in English for the first time (Brigham 1991; West and Kling 1991).

Kay Brigham presents a reproduction of the original Latin and Spanish manuscript followed by the English translation; a companion biography is published separately (Brigham 1990). Delno West and August Kling place a transcription of the original text with the English translation on facing pages, introduced by historical/biographical information and commentary. Other writings by Columbus include logs he kept of each of his voyages. His logs have been published many times and are well studied. They reveal a fascinating picture of a man skilled in the “mariner’s arts,” astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, in drafting spherical maps, and drawing “the cities, rivers, mountains, islands and ports”–a man learned in “geographies, histories, chronologies, philosophies and other subjects” (West and Kling 1991:105). Many biographers and historians have focused on his numerous accomplishments in these areas.

However, more significant is his deep spiritual life, knowledge and interpretation of scripture, especially his fervent conviction that he had been chosen by God to fulfill one of the most significant missions in history, a “holy enterprise”-taking the message of Christ to the nations, which would then usher in the return of the Savior.

columbuslandsThe spiritual side of Columbus has been treated as at odds and in conflict with “scientific rationale.” The content of the Book of Prophecies with its emphasis on the spiritual has been virtually ignored or dismissed as “mad ravings,” “delusions,” “bizarre,” an “accute embarrassment “temporary ‘dark and sordid stupor’ … or a clever ploy … to convince the gullible queen that he was ‘the chosen man of destiny to conquer an Other World”‘ (Sale 1990:188-189).

This unbalanced treatment of Columbus is now changing with the English translation of his Book of Prophecies. Restoration Christians, as well as non-Restoration Christians, will find it significant, because “[t]he discovery of America was a triumph of Christianity” (Slater and Adams 1992:2). Many Christians believe that this nation is God’s instrument for taking the gospel to the world, a vision also shared by Columbus.

 

Led by the Holy Spirit
holyspirit
Nephi’s vision in the Book of Mormon clearly shows that “a man among the Gentiles”-Columbus was led by the Holy Spirit to make his voyage of discovery.

And I looked and beheld a man
among the Gentiles which were
separated from the seed of my
brethren by the many waters;
And I beheld the Spirit of God, that it
came down and wrought upon
the man;
And he went forth upon the many
waters, even unto the seed of my
brethren which were in the
promised land.     1 Nephi 3:147

Columbus’s own testimony that he was led by the Holy Spirit was made available in English when Peter Marshall and David Manuel published in their book, The Light and the Glory (1977:17), excerpts from an earlier private translation of the Book of Prophecies by Kling (see also West and Kling 1991:105). Brigham’s recently published translation reads:

… our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea…. Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that he [the Spirit], with marvelous rays of light, consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures…. encouraging me to proceed, and, continually, without ceasing for a moment, they inflame me with a sense of great urgency (Brigham 1991:179).

columbuswglobeColumbus’s “sense of great urgency” is embodied by West and Kling as “his vision.” They characterize him as a “seer” who saw himself as gifted with “spiritual intelligence.” They point out in their introduction that “few know the story of [Columbus’s] vision.” This has led some to propose that because advances in reasoning and technology made the timing ripe, had Columbus not made the voyage someone else would have.

However, West and Kling emphatically disagree with the latter supposition, believing that “one important ingredient was missing: a vision so strong that nothing could deter its holder from the attempt” (West and Kling 1991:3, 22). The timing was ripe for the discovery of the New World however, it was God’s timing. And He selected the man to do the job. Columbus’s vision grew as he gathered numerous scriptural passages, seeing the role of his discovery in their prophetic fulfillment. The vision permeates the most predominant themes of his selections: islands of the sea, hidden lands, ends of the earth, the scattering and gathering of Israel, Zion and Jerusalem. And as we realize that Columbus was moved upon to fulfill his vision in God’s timing, the Book of Mormon also reveals that God’s timing was involved in keeping knowledge of the New World from other nations.

columbus5Hidden Lands
In[ancient American history found in] the Book of Mormon, a Christian prophet named Lehi explains God’s wisdom in keeping their lands hidden:

And behold, it is wisdom that this
land should be kept as yet from
the knowledge of other nations;
For behold, many nations would
overrun this land, that there
would be no place for an inheritance.
Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a
promise,
That inasmuch as they which the
Lord God shall bring out of the
land of Jerusalem shall keep his
commandments,
They shall prosper upon the face of
this land;
And they shall be kept from all other
nations, that they may possess
this land unto themselves.
And if it so be that they shall keep his
commandments, they shall be
blessed upon the face of this land,
And there shall be none to molest
them, nor to take away the land of
their inheritance;
And they shall dwell safely for ever.       2 Nephi 1:16-2

Lehi goes on to say, that when the time comes that “they shall dwindle in unbelief,” i.e., “reject the Holy One of Israel” (vv. 22-23), the Lord would bring judgment upon them and “bring other nations unto them” (vv. 23-24). This calls to mind a particular reference which Columbus included in his Book of Prophecies: “Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,… a nation meted out and trodden down…” (Isaiah 18:1-2). The “land shadowing with wings” in this Isaiah reference has long been equated by Book of Mormon believers (and others) with the New World because the shape of the North, Central and South American continents resembles a bird with its wings spread. Besides fitting the description, the location of the New World is “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.”

columbusreachesamerica2Columbus believed that God had kept knowledge of these lands hidden until he–Columbus-was led to make their discovery. He cites such scriptures as Matthew 11:27 [251: “0 Lord … because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them to the little ones” [babes; innocent; i.e., Columbus] (West and Kling 1991:107), and comments, “This I offer on my own behalf, together with the results that one has discovered by personal experience” (West and Kling 1991:109).

Brigham points out that Columbus also saw himself in a poem by a first-century Spanish-Roman writer who prophetically described, “An age will come after many years, when the Ocean will loose the chains of things, and a great land will lie revealed; and a mariner… will discover anew world.” Columbus’s son, Ferdinand, made a marginal note beside Columbus’s copy of the poem which reads, “This prophecy was fulfilled by my father… the Admiral in the year 1492” (Brigham 1990:116).

Lehi prophesied “that there shall be none come into this land save they should be brought by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:10). In addition to Columbus, Nephi saw that others would also be brought to the New World.

 

And it came to pass that I beheld the
Spirit of God, that it wrought
upon other Gentiles;
And they went forth out of captivity
upon the many waters;
And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles
which had gone out of captivity
were delivered by the power of
God out of the hands of other
nations.         I Nephi 3:148,155

The other Gentiles which Nephi saw in his vision were most likely the Puritans and Pilgrims who fled their homelands in Europe to find governmental and economic control. God had decreed that this land would be a land of liberty for those who served Jesus Christ (Ether 1:29-35).

 

REFERENCES CITED
Brigham, Kay
1990   Christopher Columbus: His Life
and Discovery in the Light of His
Prophecies.
CLIE Publishers, Terrassa, Barcelona.

1991   Christopher Columbus’s Book of
Prophecies: Reproduction of the Original Manuscript With English
Translation. Quincentenary Edition.
CLIE Publishers, Terrassa, Barcelona.

Judge, Joseph
1986   Where Columbus Found the
New World. National Geographic,
Nov. 1986, pp. 566-599.

Marshall, Peter and David Manual
1977   The Light and the Glory. Revell,
old Tappan, New Jersey.

Sale, Kirkpatrick
1990   The Conquest of Paradise:
Christopher Columbus and the
Columbian Legacy.
Alfred A. Knopf,
New York.

Slater, Rosalie J., and Carole G. Adams, eds.
1992   Principly Speaking, Vol. 2, No. 2.
foundation for American Christian
Education, San Francisco.

West, Delno C. and August Kling
1991  The Libro de las profecias of
Christopher Columbus: An en face
edition. Vol. 2, Columbus
Quincentenary Series, University of
Florida Press, Gainesville.

This article taken from the Zarahemla Record, issue 63 Sept/Oct 1992

Bible Study

 

 

 

Critical Thinking: Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Critical Thinking:

Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Why the Bible Matters: Defining Right and Wrong

keyThere is a right and wrong to every question—Paying attention to your conscience is what helps you develop good character.

Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

right-wrongsignOnward, press onward, the goal is in sight.

Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.

Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.

Battle for freedom in spirit and might;

and with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.

God will protect you; then do what is right!

~Anonymous; The Psalms of Life, Boston, 1857

 

See More Defining Moments

 

 Birthright Covenant Series

birthright_cvr

Birthright Covenant Series-Young Adult Christian Books

picnicwyouthIn this excerpt from the historical  Birthright Covenant series college history professor Jacob Nobles uses discovery teaching and ancient ruins at a historic site to lead his students in a discussion of truth, and discerning right from wrong.

      “Okay—” Preston spoke with caution. “I’ll give you that the Bible is actually a history. But why does it matter?

                “That is the million-dollar question …” Jacob smiled. “And you can find the answer here—for free!

                Jacob held up the Bible. “Now, Preston, you have asked why the Bible matters. Would you agree that the Bible is a history of God’s dealings with man?”

creationhands                “I guess you could say that. Apparently, somehow God’s version of the creation was given to Moses, and Moses wrote it down,” Preston commented carefully.

                “It makes sense to take God’s word for it,” Allison remarked with her usual bluntness. “After all, He was there when it happened—a distinction the rest of us cannot claim.”

                Preston shook his head. “Still, none of us were there for the creation process—not even Moses.”

                “That’s true.” Jacob chewed thoughtfully on his ham sandwich and inclined his head. “Hmm. So we have here two explanations for the Creation process—to keep it simple, we’ll call them two different stories. Since we were not present for the event, we’re forced to accept either one story or the other—on faith.”

                Puzzled, Preston tilted his head.

“What is faith, anyway?”

  “Well now, faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true,”[1] Josiah Bianco said.

 shepherdboy               Folding his arms across his chest, Preston surveyed the surrounding hills and glimpsed a boy leading a few sheep. “Are you saying that everybody just blindly follows …” He paused. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend.”

                “No offense taken.”

                “Don’t worry,” Ben said. “We all have done the same thing.”

                “Really?”

                “Of course. It’s called academic freedom.”

  “Sure. Bring it on!” Allison took a sip out of her can of grape juice. “Only frauds and liars are afraid to answer questions.”

                “Why is Dr. Marlow so afraid of other points of view?” Nola asked.

                “He doesn’t want to lose the debate!” Allison interjected.

“Yes. Debate is an important part of academic freedom, but anyone can win an argument without teaching truth. A friendly discussion with free exchange of ideas is more effective in discovering truth.” Jacob chuckled. “However, when you prefer to control what others say and think, truth can get in your way.

   “Now that we are away from the university, we can actually look at more than one point of view! We will look at two stories of the Creation—one, in the Bible, and the other, Dr. Marlow’s version.”

                “The Bible version seems too simple,” Preston said.

                “Well, what is Dr. Marlow’s version called?” Nola inquired.

                “Dr. Marlow believes in a theory called Natural Selection which, simply put, proposes that everything somehow creates itself by chance,” Jacob replied.

                “That doesn’t make sense.” Nola frowned in disagreement. “The human body—and mind—are complicated. Something can’t be produced by nothing.[2] My experience has shown me that nothing worthwhile happens by chance. Everything takes work, and effort, and planning.

                “Yes, Nola. That’s why some scientists say that the Bible history discloses an intelligent design, a purpose, or an orderly plan.”

                “Aren’t Bible stories for children?” Preston wondered.

                “Men struggle to explain their philosophy. The Bible explains the Creation so a child can understand—so that parents can teach their children through the ages. Who is more intelligent?” Jacob shrugged. “Anyway, the important thing is, who is telling the truth—Man, or God?”

                “Can you just assume there is a God?”

Preston asked.

Jacob laughed. “We can look at some evidence. Where is evidence of chance?”

            No one answered for a moment.

            Josiah Bianco chortled. “Shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?” he quipped, quoting Isaiah.[1]

[1] Isaiah 29:16

“What about evidence of design?”

                “The ability to think, for one thing,” Allison said, “ …one of many.”

                “As I said, the human body,” Nola added, “and life itself. I know many very intelligent scientists and doctors, but no one can earimageduplicate an eye or an ear.”               

  Preston’s gaze rested momentarily upon Nola’s face—round blue eyes, delicate sculpted features like a work of art. “All right,” he said. “Let’s say God is the intelligent Creator. Couldn’t He have made man out of apes?”

“Of course, He could, but would He? He is a God of order. As Creator of earth and all living things, He set up the rules for justice and science. Why would He violate His own laws?”[3]

         “What do you mean?”

                “Okay, if the Bible is really a history, and if it is true that we humans are created in the image of God, how are we different from animals?”

                “We can reason, while animals use instinct,” Preston said. “You’ve already established that.”

teotihuacanserpent               “Humans can draw, read, and write,” Allison said. “I have yet to see an animal who could carve something like this creature.” She poked her finger into the big teeth of the dragon carving, but withdrew her hand quickly. “Yikes! I don’t think an animal would make something this weird, even if it could!”

Free Will

  Jacob grinned. “True. Also, you chose to come here today, others did not. Ruben left early; the rest of you stayed. What does that mean?”

                “People have the power to choose,” Ben said.

                “Yes, that’s called Free Will. We have no empirical evidence of such a thing, but let’s suppose we have here a creature who is half man and half ape—by whose laws would this creature live—by the laws of man or nature? You’re the law student here, Preston. What do you think?”

   “Uh …”

                “If the creature is half man, would it be fair to make him live like an animal? Or if he is half animal, and cannot reason fully as a man, would it be just to impose upon him the laws of men?”

                “This is really getting confusing!”

   “Yes, Preston, it is confusing. But when He had completed the creation, God blessed human beings and all living things to multiply, each after their own kind.[4] There is nothing confusing about that.”

                A flutter of wings announced the arrival of a dove which lit next to his mate upon a limb of the tall tree.

How Do You Know What Is True and Right?

“The human soul can never die. So you see, it is created, not evolved, because God is not the author of confusion.[5] Therefore, to avoid confusion, would you agree we need some kind of law to bring order and justice to our lives?”

                “Absolutely,” Preston said. “We must have justice.”

 KJV Bible              “Let’s think for a moment about the two kinds of laws—which law provides true justice? Dr. Marlow makes no distinction between humans and animals. His law is simple: those who are strong rule and prevail over everything and everyone else.” Jacob placed his right hand firmly upon the rock and continued. “The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”

“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly, in vigorous unison.

                “How do you know it’s wrong?”

                Jacob waited.

                “Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why … Somehow I just know that.”

compass liahona   “Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”

                “Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”

                “Yes. The Bible contains our true moral compass in writing. And that, Preston, is why the Bible matters.”

More About Birthright Covenant series

[1] Isaiah 29:16

[2] John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Great Books of the Western World, vol.35

[3] These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60

[4] Genesis 1:22,24

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:33

Judeo-Christian Culture: Biblical Worldview, Bible Story, God is with Israel

Dinner Topics for Monday

keyoldThis is the last day in which the great consummation of God’s purposes will be made, the only dispensation in which the Lord has promised that sin will not prevail. ~Ezra Taft Benson

elisha2Christians faced with persecution in the 19th century were reminded by their leader: “Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. ” ~Doctrine and Covenants 128:22; 123:17

9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.

10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.

11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?

12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

13 ¶And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

 elisha416 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Gallery

Science Facts: Study of Genetics Supports Biblical Worldview of Creation versus Evolution Theory; Media Bias Ignores

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Science Facts: Study of Genetics Supports Biblical Worldview of Creation versus Evolution Theory; Media Bias Ignores There is a God. Evolution cannot explain Creation. A cat cannot  build a hospital and never will. Nor can a dolphin. Humanity is exceptional. … Continue reading

Judeo-Christian Culture: Bible Quotes—Biblical worldview vs. Secular World

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Bible Quotes—Biblical worldview vs. Secular World

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ~Romans 12:2

Biblical Worldview News: Planned Parenthood Facts; Abortion Statistics

Biblical Worldview News:

Planned Parenthood Facts; Abortion Statistics

American Family Association Issues at Hand

Abortion Statistics— numbers steadily decreasing

January-February 2018 – The Centers for Disease Control released a November 2017 report citing 2014 abortion rates (most recent available) in the U.S. According to CDC, abortion in the U.S. had fallen to its lowest rate of occurrence since 1971, when it was legal in only six states. From 2013 to 2014 alone, the numbers dropped 2%.

However, while CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies of every state, as well as the District of Columbia and New York City, the federal government does not require that the agencies report. Therefore, CDC figures run short. For instance, in 2014, CDC received data from 49 reporting areas rather than 52.

Nonetheless, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, known to have more inclusive data, also reported a decrease of nearly 4% from 2013 to 2014.

According to their numbers, abortion rates have not been lower since 1975, just two years after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that brought about legal abortion nationwide.

cdc.gov, 11/24/17; lifenews.com, 1/17/17, 11/22/17

Planned Parenthood Facts

Planned Parenthood defunding intact

January-February 2018 – On November 13, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request to reconsider its decision to uphold Arkansas’s defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ended the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood in 2015. In August 2017, a three-judge panel of the court annulled a federal judge’s preliminary injunction that had temporarily prevented Arkansas from suspending Medicaid payments for Planned Parenthood services.

onenewsnow.com, 11/13/17

Middle school parents fight Planned Parenthood sex education

January-February 2018 – When the Cumberland County, North Carolina, school board approved a Planned Parenthood sex ed program for its middle schools, parents fought back. Hundreds of parents complained about the Comprehensive Sex Education curriculum that assumes all children are sexually active, and focuses on sexual preferences, LGBTQ education, and contraception. (See AFA Journal, 9/17.)

“I don’t need somebody else teaching my kids … the myths and facts about sexuality.” parent Nick Quello said. “That’s something the parents need to do. I just don’t think that’s appropriate for a 12-year-old, whether it be a boy or a girl. The school board needs to stay out of our homes.”

After the outpouring of parental complaints, the Cumberland County Board of Education decided to hold off implementing the program, pending review of the curriculum.

As the nation’s largest abortion provider, PP continues to face threats of taxpayer funding cuts and FBI investigation following years of numerous scandals, including Medicaid fraud, allegations of child sex abuse cover-up, and alleged profiting from the sale of aborted baby body parts.

wral.com, 10/18/17, 10/19/17; breitbart.com, 10/20/17

Planned Parenthood blatantly targets America’s minority women

 

January-February 2018 – On October 31, 2017, Planned Parenthood tweeted, “If you’re a Black woman in America, it’s statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth.”

Margaret Sanger, founder of PP, stated in 1926 that “colored people are like weeds and are to be exterminated.” Ninety-one years later, the abortion giant continues to target racial minorities.

In 2012, 79% of PP’s surgical abortion clinics were located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods. And the targeting has accelerated with Planned Parenthood’s 25 mega centers built since 2004. Alarmingly, 88% (22 of 25) of them target women of color.

lifesitenews.com, 6/29/17; Planned Parenthood tweet, 10/31/17

Scientific Facts: Evolutionary Theory Debunked—again; Truth About Climate Change; Truth About Drugs, Legalized Pot in Colorado

Scientific Facts:

Evolutionary Theory Debunked—again

Oops! Scientific retraction a major blow to evolutionary theory

Experts admit they were ‘totally blinded by our belief’

Biblical Worldview. The more honest research that scientists do, the more it confirms Intelligent Design. Truth Matters.~C.D.

It was heralded as decisive proof of the theory of evolution. But Harvard biologist and Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak now has retracted a major paper that claimed to explain one of the most important questions about the origin of human life.

In 2016, Szostak published a paper claiming he had found a way for ribonucleic acid (RNA) to replicate itself.

Many proponents of evolutionary theory believe RNA was one of the first molecules to develop. However, RNA requires its own enzymes to replicate.

Szostak and others were looking for evidence of “non-enzymatic replication of RNA,” which could supposedly assemble by irradiating materials that would have been present on Earth in an earlier time.

Find the REAL story at the WND Superstore, in “Eden to Evil,” “Biblical Creationism,” “Kent Hovind’s Creation Seminar,” “In Six Days,” “Scientific Creationism” and more.

If this could be created, it would show RNA could copy itself and could have evolved before DNA or proteins, bolstering the naturalistic explanation of life’s origins.

However, Szostak recently retracted his paper after colleague Tivoli Olsen couldn’t replicate the findings. Szostak said the debacle was “definitely embarrassing.”

Scientific Method Neglected

“In retrospect, we were totally blinded by our belief [in our findings] … we were not as careful or rigorous as we should have been (and as Tivoli was) in interpreting these experiments,” Szostak told the publication Retraction Watch.

http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/oops-scientific-retraction-a-major-blow-to-evolution-theory/

 

Truth about Climate Change:

Forest Fires and Climate Change policies

Rush Limbaugh

About those forest fires. One other quick observation about this. You may be shocked to learn that a state like Georgia is more densely forested than California. I’m not talking about total acreage. I’m talking about forestation per acre. Here’s the difference. In Georgia, where they have much more forestation as a percentage of the state than in California, do you ever hear about these fires? Very rarely.

Do you ever see scenes from Georgia or other southeastern states with — fly over some of these states, you can’t even see the roads beneath them, the forests are so thick, including in upstate New York, it’s incredible. You wonder how whatever’s below the forest ever gets any sunlight. It’s thick as hell. You know what the difference is? In Georgia and a lot of places the southeast, most of that is privately owned. (interruption) What? No, it’s not rainfall.

It’s private ownership versus state ownership.

In California the state owns it and you’ve got idiots thinking that it is against nature to clear out deadwood, which is timber for fires, kindling. If you have wackos who think doing anything to prevent fires from spreading or growing or even starting is a violation of nature, well, then I’m sorry, you’re cooking your own goose.

But privately owned land, the people that own that land have a much greater sense of worth and value. They protect it, they clear it, they take the stuff out of it that could cause a fire to spread if it starts. None of that happens in California because they’re run by a bunch of left-wing lunatics. And so when these fires start out there, coupled with the Santa Ana winds, when they happen, much of this forestation is literal kindling wood because they’re not allowed to clear it out. It’s considered a violation.

In some of these western states, the leftists, the environmentalists don’t even want you putting out a fire because that’s artificial. A fire starts, it’s natural. What burns is natural. The more it burns, the better for the stupid climate change agenda that they’ve got. Then you couple that with a governor telling people that live there, “Sorry. New normal. Can’t do anything about it. Climate Change.” People that vote for people like that deserve to be paying higher taxes because of the stupidity, if you ask me.

If Global Warming Were Science, It Wouldn’t Need a PR Campaign

 

Truth About Drugs:

Stoned: How Colorado’s 5 Years of Legalized Pot Is ‘Devastating Communities’

Dale Hurd

CBN

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Colorado’s legalization of the commercial marijuana trade, and the reviews aren’t good.

An editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, “Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot.”

The paper says, “Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post. Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared.”

Rocky Mountain PBS reports that an investigation in 2016 showed that “drug violations reported by Colorado’s K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen.”

The investigation found that drug violations by high school aged students had increased by 71 percent since legalization.

Colorado ranks first in the country for marijuana use among teens, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The head of Colorado’s Marijuana Accountability Coalition said, “It’s one thing to decriminalize marijuana, it’s an entirely different thing to legalize an industry that has commercialized a drug that is devastating our kids and devastating whole communities.”

The Gazette editorial concludes, “Commercial pot’s five-year anniversary is an odious occasion for those who want safer streets, healthier kids and less suffering associated with substance abuse.”

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

Are you concerned about your children’s future?

How to keep your kids healthier, guard against substance abuse, and have more peace of mind

History Facts: Judeo-Christian Values essential to Victory of Western Civilization vs. Islamic Invasion of Europe

History Facts:

Judeo-Christian Values essential to Victory of Western Civilization vs. Islamic Invasion of Europe

How Christmas Has Shaped Our History and Values

Robert Kraychik

“Christmas is essential to our understanding of Western Civilization and our values,” said Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour

Mansour made her comments while co-hosting Breitbart News Sunday alongside Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon during a special Christmas Eve live broadcast on SiriusXM.

“The symbols and celebration of Christmas have shaped our history [and] Western Civilization,” said Mansour.

Reflecting on “the dawn of Christianity,” she noted Christianity’s “transformative” impact on the old pagan world and the culture of Germanic barbarian warrior tribes.

Influence of Christian Chivalry

Chivalry — rooted in ethical monotheism — spread the concept of valuing all human life as having dignity, said Mansour:

Chivalry was introduced to Western feudalism [via Christianity]. It made feudalism actually livable and bearable. What chivalry called for, what the concept of chivalry was, it was about the defense of the weak. It said that the strong had to be champions of the right and the good against injustice and evil. That was the code of chivalry.

This only came about because of the Judeo-Christian West, and I say Judeo-Christian for a very specific reason; all of this is rooted in the ancient Jewish scripture, what the Christians would call the Old Testament. You can see it right from the beginning. The God of the Old Testament, the God of Jewish scripture instructs that every single human being has worth and dignity — even the foreigner, even somebody outside of your tribe, even the widow and the orphan. They all have worth and value — the weakest among you as well as the strong. This is a radical concept, and it is from the Jews that we have monotheism, and it is from that that Christianity evolved.

“The idea of protection of the weak and innocent,” said Mansour, entered Western culture via Judeo-Christian ethics, which radically “changed the way that we have looked at the rights of the weakest among us.”

Bannon agreed, noting that the “Rough Roman justice” of the old pagan world had “no sense of you as a person or an individual.”

Christianity’s spread to the Germanic lands on the frontiers of the Roman Empire, noted Mansour, set the stage for the evolution of conceptual human rights and created the foundation for the Western values we cherish today.

Mansour tied this to the symbols and celebration of Christmas by explaining that the “most iconic” and ancient Nativity image is the Madonna and Child.

The ubiquity of depictions of the Madonna and Child as “the highest expression of art” in European countries, said Mansour, vividly illustrates Christianity’s transformation of the “Viking-type” “warrior tribe” cultures that valued only the strong and worshipped war gods. People who once subscribed to an ethos of “might makes right” had transitioned to a civilization that elevated the image of a woman holding a child to preeminence in their artistic expressions.

Christian Symbolism—Ensign for Victory over Islamic Invasion of Europe

Christian symbolism — particularly pertaining to the Christmas-themed image of the Madonna and Child — played an indispensable role in rallying Christian forces to victory against Islamic enemies in determinative battles, said Mansour. Pointing to the Battles of Vienna (1683) and Warsaw (1920) as examples, she noted the centrality of Christian symbolism to the war efforts of European nations in defending against Islamic and communist invasions, respectively.

In both battles, Mansour explained, Catholic Poland’s devotion to a depiction of the Madonna and Child known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa served as a rallying point and source of consolation. It also served as a unifying symbol for Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Movement in their struggles against their communist rulers in the 1980s, she noted. Walesa famously wore a lapel pin bearing the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

Mansour and Bannon went into particular detail about the epic Battle Vienna in 1683. As Mansour explained, the Polish King Jan III Sobieski rallied his forces to liberate the besieged city of Vienna from the Islamic army of the Ottoman Turks by encouraging them to fight for “God and Our Lady” and to invoke the Madonna’s help in securing their victory and protecting their homeland, which he had entrusted to her care when he visited the shrine at Częstochowa before departing for battle.

The allied Christian forces, known as the Holy League, under Sobieski’s command knew that if Vienna fell, the Turks would then turn their sights on their ultimate goal which, Mansour explained, was “the greatest city in Christendom — Rome,” and “if Rome fell, Holy Mother Church would fall.” The Christian forces were fighting to preserve their faith, she said.

Sobieski himself led the cavalry charge to liberate Vienna — the largest cavalry charge in history — with 18,000 Polish and allied knights, including 3,000 of the famed “Wing Hussars.” The allied forces of the Holy League smashed the Turkish army and sent them scurrying over the Danube. The victorious Sobieski sent the Pope the Turkish army’s green Islamic banner along with a message paraphrasing the words of Julius Caesar: “Veni, vidi, Deus vicit.” (“I came, I saw, God conquered.”)

“The Christians had turned the tide against the sword of Islam” in the Battle of Vienna, said Mansour, quoting Ludwig Heinrich Dyck. The Turks would never again venture that far into Western Europe.

September 11, 1683

“It was on September 11, 1683 that the conquering armies of Islam were met, held, and thrown back at the gates of Vienna,” wrote the late Christopher Hitchens, describing the rationale behind the date selection of the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.

“The radicalized Muslim world,” said Bannon, views the Battle of Vienna as a symbol of Christian victory that must be overcome. “It was one of the symbols of the September 11 bombing seventeen years ago, this Battle of Vienna.”

“We would all be in mosques today” if not for Christianity and Christmas as galvanizing forces among Western societies against hostile Islamic societies, said Bannon.

Although civilizational conflict between Western and Islamic societies has modified across space and time, it continues through the present day with certain commonalities. Bannon explained:

The Siege of Vienna we’re talking about, with the Ottoman Empire — which is Turkey, and the Muslims — this whole invasion of the West, occurring literally today with the same migrant issues coming up through Syria, through Turkey, and you see the countries of Poland, and Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and Slovakia taking the lead here in trying to reverse this.

“These fights haven’t really changed all that much. It’s still Iran and the West. It’s still Persia and the West,” said Bannon, noting the similar conflictual flash points between Western forces and ISIS of today and the Roman and Persian empires of nearly two thousand years ago.

Christianity and broader Judeo-Christian values, suggested both Bannon and Mansour, reinforce Western Civilization’s sense of purpose in the face of internal and external threats.

The migration of tens of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent decades, said Bannon, is an existential threat to Europe and modern iteration of aforementioned civilization conflict between Western and Islamic societies: “The entire situation with this mass migration and refugee situation, which is really, there is no doubt, is starting to destroy Europe.”

 

Biblical Worldview: Gospel Eclipse Glasses prevent Eclipse of Christ in our Lives

Biblical Worldview:

Gospel Eclipse Glasses prevent Eclipse of Christ in Our Lives

Spiritual Eclipse

By Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Don’t let life’s distractions eclipse heaven’s light.

Solar Eclipse

The other rare and heavenly event occurring on the same day and captivating millions worldwide was a total solar eclipse. This was the first time such an eclipse had marched across the entire United States in 99 years.2 Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? Perhaps I could describe this in greater detail.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, almost completely blocking any light from the sun’s surface.3 The fact that this can happen is a marvel to me. If you imagine the sun as the size of a common bicycle tire, the moon in comparison would scarcely be the size of a small pebble.

How is it possible that the very source of our warmth, light, and life could be so greatly obscured by something comparatively insignificant in size?

Although the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, it is also 400 times farther away from the earth.4 From earth’s perspective, this geometry makes the sun and moon appear to be the same size. When the two are aligned just right, the moon seems to obscure the entire sun. Friends and family of mine who were in the zone of total eclipse described how light was replaced by darkness, the stars appeared, and birds quit singing. The air became chilly, as temperatures in an eclipse can decrease by more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius).5

They described a sense of awe, astonishment, and even anxiety, knowing an eclipse brings certain hazards. However, they all exercised care to prevent permanent eye damage or “eclipse blindness” during the eclipse event. Safety was made possible because they wore glasses equipped with special filtered lenses that protected their eyes from any potential harm.

The Analogy

In the same manner that the very small moon can block the magnificent sun, extinguishing its light and warmth, a spiritual eclipse can occur when we allow minor and troublesome obstructions—those we face in our daily lives—to get so close that they block out the magnitude, brightness, and warmth of the light of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

Neal A. Maxwell took this analogy even further when he stated: “Even something as small as a man’s thumb, when held very near the eye, can blind him to the very large sun. Yet the sun is still there. Blindness is brought upon the man by himself. When we draw other things too close, placing them first, we obscure our vision of heaven.”6

Clearly, none of us wants to purposefully obscure our vision of heaven or allow a spiritual eclipse to occur in our lives. Let me share some thoughts that may assist us in preventing spiritual eclipse from causing us permanent spiritual damage.

Gospel Glasses: Maintain a Gospel Perspective

Do you recall my description of special eyewear used to protect those viewing a solar eclipse from eye damage or even eclipse blindness? Looking at a spiritual eclipse through the protecting and softening lens of the Spirit provides a gospel perspective, thus protecting us from spiritual blindness.

Let’s consider some examples. With the words of the prophets in our hearts and the Holy Spirit as our counselor, we can gaze at partially blocked heavenly light through “gospel glasses,” avoiding the harm of a spiritual eclipse.

So how do we put on gospel glasses? Here are some examples: Our gospel glasses inform us that the Lord desires that we partake of the sacrament each week and that He desires that we study the scriptures and have daily prayer. They also inform us that Satan will tempt us not to. We know that his agenda seeks to take away our agency through distractions and worldly temptations. Even in Job’s day, perhaps there were some experiencing a spiritual eclipse, described as: “They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.”7

Brothers and sisters, when I speak of seeing through gospel glasses, please know that I am not suggesting that we do not acknowledge or discuss the challenges we face or that we walk blissfully ignorant of the traps and evils the enemy has placed before us. I am not speaking of wearing blinders—but just the opposite. I am suggesting that we look at challenges through the lens of the gospel. Dallin H. Oaks observed that “perspective is the ability to see all relevant information in a meaningful relationship.”8 A gospel perspective expands our sight to an eternal view.

When you put on gospel glasses, you find enhanced perspective, focus, and vision in the way you think about your priorities, your problems, your temptations, and even your mistakes. You will see brighter light that you could not see without them.

Ironically, it is not only the negative that can cause spiritual eclipse in our lives. Often, admirable or positive endeavors to which we dedicate ourselves can be drawn so close that they blot out gospel light and bring darkness. These dangers or distractions could include education and prosperity, power and influence, ambition, even talents and gifts.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught that “any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. … There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.”9

Let me share in greater detail examples that could become catalysts for avoiding our own spiritual eclipses.

Social Media

A few months ago I spoke at BYU Women’s Conference.10 I described how technology, including social media, facilitates spreading “the knowledge of a Savior … throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”11 These technologies include Church websites like LDS.org and Mormon.org; mobile apps such as Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, LDS Tools, and Family Tree; and social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. These modalities have generated hundreds of millions of likes, shares, views, retweets, and pins and have become very effective and efficient in sharing the gospel with family, friends, and associates.

All of the virtues and appropriate use of these technologies notwithstanding, there are risks associated with them that, when drawn too close, can put us in a spiritual eclipse and potentially block the brightness and warmth of the gospel.

The use of social media, mobile apps, and games can be inordinately time-consuming and can reduce face-to-face interaction. This loss of personal conversation can affect marriages, take the place of valuable spiritual practices, and stifle the development of social skills, especially among youth.

Two additional risks related to social media are idealized reality and debilitating comparisons.

Many (if not most) of the pictures posted on social media tend to portray life at its very best—often unrealistically. We have all seen beautiful images of home decor, wonderful vacation spots, smiling selfies, elaborate food preparation, and seemingly unattainable body images.

Here, for example, is an image that you might see on someone’s social media account. However, it doesn’t quite capture the full picture of what is actually going on in real life.

Comparing our own seemingly average existence with others’ well-edited, perfectly crafted lives as represented on social media may leave us with feelings of discouragement, envy, and even failure.

One person who has shared numerous posts of her own said, perhaps only partly in jest, “What’s the point of being happy if you’re not going to post it?”12

As Bonnie L. Oscarson reminded us this morning, success in life doesn’t come down to how many likes we get or how many social media friends or followers we have. It does, however, have something to do with meaningfully connecting with others and adding light to their lives.

Hopefully, we can learn to be more real, find more humor, and experience less discouragement when confronted with images that may portray idealized reality and that too often lead to debilitating comparisons.

Comparison apparently is not just a sign of our times but was in times past as well. The Apostle Paul warned the people of his day that “they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”13

With so many appropriate and inspired uses of technology, let us use it to teach, inspire, and lift ourselves and to encourage others to become their finest—rather than to portray our idealized virtual selves. Let us also teach and demonstrate the righteous use of technology to the rising generation and warn against the associated hazards and destructive use of it. Viewing social media through the lens of the gospel can prevent it from becoming a spiritual eclipse in our lives.

Pride

Let’s now address the age-old stumbling block of pride. Pride is the opposite of humility, which is a “willingness to submit to the will of the Lord.”14 When prideful, we tend to take honor to ourselves rather than giving it to others, including the Lord. Pride is often competitive; it is a tendency to seek to obtain more and presume we are better than others. Pride often results in feelings of anger and hatred; it causes one to hold grudges or to withhold forgiveness. Pride, however, can be swallowed in the Christlike attribute of humility.

Relationships, even with close family and loved ones, especially with close family and loved ones—even between husbands and wives—are fostered in humility and are stymied by pride.

Many years ago an executive of a large retailer called me to talk about his company, which was being bought out by one of its competitors. He and numerous other headquarters personnel were extremely anxious that they might lose their jobs. Knowing that I was well acquainted with senior management of the acquiring company, he asked if I would be willing to both introduce him and give a strong reference on his behalf, even to arrange a meeting for him. He then concluded with the following statement: “You know what they say? ‘The meek shall perish!’”

I understood his comment was more than likely intended as humor. I got the joke. But there was an important principle that I felt might ultimately be of use to him. I replied, “Actually, that isn’t what they say. In fact, it is just the opposite. ‘The meek … shall inherit the earth’15 is what they say.”

In my experience in the Church as well as throughout my professional career, some of the greatest, most effective people I have known have been among the most meek and humble.

Humility and meekness fit hand in glove. May we remember that “none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.”16

I pray that we will strive to avoid the spiritual eclipse of pride by embracing the virtue of humility.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a solar eclipse is indeed a remarkable phenomenon of nature during which the beauty, warmth, and light of the sun can be completely covered by a comparatively insignificant object, causing darkness and chill.

A similar phenomenon can be replicated in a spiritual sense, when otherwise small and insignificant matters are drawn too close and block the beauty, warmth, and heavenly light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, replacing it with cold darkness.

Eyewear designed to protect the sight of those in the zone of a total solar eclipse can prevent permanent damage and even blindness.17 Gospel glasses comprised of a knowledge and testimony of gospel principles and ordinances provide a gospel perspective that can similarly provide greater spiritual protection and clarity for someone exposed to the hazards of a spiritual eclipse.

If you discover anything that seems to be blocking the light and joy of the gospel in your life, I invite you to place it in a gospel perspective. Look through a gospel lens and be vigilant not to allow insignificant and inconsequential matters in life to obscure your eternal view of the great plan of happiness. In short, don’t let life’s distractions eclipse heaven’s light.

I bear testimony that no matter the obstruction that may block our vision of gospel light, the light is still there. That source of warmth, truth, and brightness is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I bear testimony of a loving Heavenly Father; of His Son, Jesus Christ; and of the Son’s role as our Savior and Redeemer.