History Facts: Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

History Facts:

Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

Calvin Coolidge represents the exact opposite of Left-wing politics.. Coolidge had integrity. He deserves a lot more respect than he ever got. ~C.A. Davidson

“Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.”

key“We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.” ~Calvin Coolidge

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones. ~Calvin Coolidge

Amity Shlaes
Author, Coolidge

calvincoolidgeCalvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

AMITY SHLAES is a syndicated columnist for Bloomberg, a director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and a member of the board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. She has served as a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and as a columnist for the Financial Times, and is a recipient of the Hayek Prize and the Frederic Bastiat Prize for free-market journalism. She is the author of four books, Germany: The Empire Within, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy and What to Do About It, and Coolidge.

The following is adapted from a talk given at Hillsdale College on January 27, 2013, during a conference on “The Federal Income Tax: A Centenary Consideration,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series.


WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.

An alternative model for conservatives is Calvin Coolidge. President from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was Coolidge’s penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Coolidge was the Great Refrainer.

Enter Coolidge
Following World War I, the federal debt stood ten times higher than before the war, and it was widely understood that the debt burden would become unbearable if interest rates rose. At the same time, the top income tax rate was over 70 percent, veterans were having trouble finding work, prices had risen while wages lagged, and workers in Seattle, New York, and Boston were talking revolution and taking to the streets. The Woodrow Wilson administration had nationalized the railroads for a time at the end of the war, and had encouraged stock exchanges to shut down for a time, and Progressives were now pushing for state or even federal control of water power and electricity. The business outlook was grim, and one of the biggest underlying problems was the lack of an orderly budgeting process: Congress brought proposals to the White House willy-nilly, and they were customarily approved.

The Republican Party’s response in the 1920 election was to campaign for smaller government and for a return to what its presidential candidate, Warren Harding, dubbed “normalcy”—a curtailing of government interference in the economy to create a predictable environment in which business could confidently operate. Calvin Coolidge, a Massachusetts governor who had gained a national reputation by facing down a Boston police strike—“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he had declared—was chosen to be Harding’s running mate. And following their victory, Harding’s inaugural address set a different tone from that of the outgoing Wilson administration (and from that of the Obama administration today): “No altered system,” Harding said, “will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.”

One of Harding’s first steps was to shepherd through Congress the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, under which the executive branch gained authority over and took responsibility for the budget, even to the point of being able to impound money after it was budgeted. This legislation also gave the executive branch a special budget bureau—the forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget—over which Harding named a flamboyant Brigadier General, Charles Dawes, as director. Together they proceeded to summon department staff and their bosses to semiannual meetings at Continental Hall, where Dawes cajoled and shamed them into making spending cuts. In addition, Harding pushed through a tax cut, lowering the top rate to 58 percent; and in a move toward privatization, he proposed to sell off naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming to private companies.

Unfortunately, some of the men Harding appointed to key jobs proved susceptible to favoritism or bribery, and his administration soon became embroiled in scandal. In one instance, the cause of privatization sustained damage when it became clear that secret deals had taken place in the leasing of oil reserves at Teapot Dome. Then in the summer of 1923, during a trip out West to get away from the scandals and prepare for a new presidential campaign, Harding died suddenly.

Enter Coolidge, whose personality was at first deemed a negative—his face, Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, “looked as though he had been weaned on a pickle.” But canny political leaders, including Supreme Court Justice and former President William Howard Taft, quickly came to respect the new president. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, after visiting the White House a few times that August, noted that whereas Harding had never been alone, Coolidge often was; that whereas Harding was partial to group decisions, Coolidge made decisions himself; and most important, that whereas Harding’s customary answer was “yes,” Coolidge’s was “no.”

The former governor of Massachusetts was in his element when it came to budgeting. Within 24 hours of arriving back in Washington after Harding’s death, he met with his own budget director, Herbert Lord, and together they went on offense, announcing deepened cuts in two politically sensitive areas: spending on veterans and District of Columbia public works. In his public statements, Coolidge made clear he would have scant patience with anyone who didn’t go along: “We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.”

If Harding’s budget meetings had been rough, Coolidge’s were rougher. Lord first advertised a “Two Percent Club,” for executive branch staffers who managed to save two percent in their budgets. Then a “One Percent Club,” for those who had achieved two or more already. And finally a “Woodpecker Club,” for department heads who kept chipping away. Coolidge did not even find it beneath his pay grade to look at the use of pencils in the government: “I don’t know if I ever indicated to the conference that the cost of lead pencils to the government per year is about $125,000,” he instructed the press in 1926. “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy,” he told voters.

Coolidge in Command
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge had once advised his father. And indeed, while Harding had vetoed only six bills, Coolidge vetoed 50—including farming subsidies, even though he came from farming country. (“Farmers never had made much money,” he told a guest, and he didn’t see there was much the government could rightly do about it.) He also vetoed veterans’ pensions and government entry into the utilities sector.

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

The Purpose of Tax Cuts

In short, Coolidge didn’t favor tax cuts as a means to increase revenue or to buy off Democrats. He favored them because they took government, the people’s servant, out of the way of the people. And this sense of government as servant extended to his own office.

Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”

But as unpopular as he was in Washington, Coolidge proved enormously popular with voters. In 1924, the Progressive Party ran on a platform of government ownership of public power and a return to government ownership of railroads. Many thought the Progressive Party might split the Republican vote as it had in 1912, handing the presidency to the Democrats. As it happened, Progressive candidate Robert LaFollette indeed claimed more than 16 percent of the vote.

Yet Coolidge won with an absolute majority, gaining more votes than the Progressive and the Democrat combined. And in 1928, when Coolidge decided not to run for reelection despite the urging of party leaders who looked on his reelection as a sure bet, Herbert Hoover successfully ran on a pledge to continue Coolidge’s policies.

Unfortunately, Hoover didn’t live up to his pledge. Critics often confuse Hoover’s policies with Coolidge’s and complain that the latter did not prevent the Great Depression. That is an argument I take up at length in my previous book, The Forgotten Man, and is a topic for another day. Here let me just say that the Great Depression was as great and as long in duration as it was because, as economist Benjamin Anderson put it, the government under both Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, unlike under Coolidge, chose to “play God.”

Lessons from Coolidge

Beyond the inspiration of Coolidge’s example of principle and consistency, what are the lessons of his story that are relevant to our current situation? One certainly has to do with the mechanism of budgeting: The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 provided a means for Harding and Coolidge to control the budget and the nation’s debt, and at the same time gave the people the ability to hold someone responsible. That law was gutted in the 1970s, when it became collateral damage in the anti-executive fervor following Watergate. The law that replaced it tilted budget authority back to Congress and has led to over-spending and lack of responsibility.

A second lesson concerns how we look at tax rates. When tax rates are set and judged according to how much revenue they bring in due to the Laffer Curve—which is how most of today’s tax cutters present them, thereby agreeing with tax hikers that the goal of tax policy is to increase revenue—tax policy can become a mechanism to expand government. The goals of legitimate government—American freedom and prosperity—are left by the wayside.

Thus the best case for lower taxes is the moral case—and as Coolidge well understood, a moral tax policy demands tough budgeting.

Finally, a lesson about politics. The popularity of Harding and Coolidge, and the success of their policies—especially Coolidge’s—following a long period of Progressive ascendancy, should give today’s conservatives hope. Coolidge in the 1920s, like Grover Cleveland in the previous century, distinguished government austerity from private-sector austerity, combined a policy of deficit cuts with one of tax cuts, and made a moral case for saying “no.” A political leader who does the same today is likely to find an electorate more inclined to respond “yes” than he or she expects.

Coolidge and Moral Economy, complete article

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Parenting: Teaching Integrity

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

Honesty and Integrity: Parenting Value for July

Richard and Linda Eyre

Honesty

family7gardeningIntegrity with other individuals, with institutions, with society, with self. The inner strength and confidence that is bred by exacting truthfulness and trustworthiness.

Introduction

How can we teach our children to develop the inner strength and confidence that is bred by exacting truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity? How can we help our children avoid the common childhood tendencies to stretch the truth, to exaggerate, to rationalize, and to tell the little lies that often lead to bigger ones? Can small children develop the early integrity that will help them become honorable, dependable adults? Can elementary-age kids learn the direct, look-you-in-the-eye truthfulness that will win them respect and confidence? Can adolescents communicate candidly with parents?
“Parenting-by-Objective”

Review the activities and stories that go along with this months value. Make sure everyone in your family understands the value so they can see how they can apply it in their own lives and situations.

Talk about the Monthly Value every morning and remind your family to look for opportunities to use the value throughout the day. They may also observe how others don’t understand the value. Get your children to share their experience with the value each day at the dinner table or before you go to bed. Be sure to share your experience each day as well. It will help your children know that you are thinking about the value too.

Bonus

Methods for teaching honesty

Honesty

Integrity with other individuals, with institutions, with society, with self. The inner strength and confidence that is bred by exacting truthfulness and trustworthiness.

Method for Preschoolers: The Honesty About Feelings Game

This will help small children realize that feelings are caused by what has happened — and that it is okay to feel things and okay to tell others honestly how we feel. Go through a magazine (one with lots of ads and colored pictures) and point at faces saying, “How do you think he feels?” Then say, “Why do you think he feels that way?” Then say, “Is it okay to feel that way?”

Help children to identify feelings and their probable causes and to know that it’s okay to feel those things and to tell other people how they feel.

Method for Elementary Age: The Honesty Under Pressure Award

This is a motivational way to get children to evaluate their personal honesty every week. On Sundays (or whatever day you most often get your whole family together for a meal) ask, “Who had a situation this past week where it was a challenge to be honest?” Have an “award” on hand to give to the person who remembers the best incident of being honest. A piece of construction paper or colored card with a neatly printed H.U.P. (Honesty Under Pressure) will do nicely as the award. Let the child (or adult) who wins put it on his bedroom door during the week until it is awarded again the next week.

After a couple of weeks of “getting used to,” you will find that children are thinking hard about their behavior of the past week in hopes of winning the award. And it is this kind of thinking and recognition that strongly reinforces honesty.

Method for Adolescents: Share Your Own Honesty Dilemmas

This can help demonstrate to older children that you are willing to be honest with them — even about your own struggles. Be brave enough to tell your children about times when you have had a hard time being honest. Tell them “positive” incidents when you were honest and negative ones when you weren’t — and tell them about any current situations where you are struggling to be completely honest.

This kind of sharing is quite a compliment to your older children because it expresses your confidence in their maturity. Nothing will inspire more trust from them or encourage them more to share their struggles with you.

 

Character Education, Integrity, and Thomas More

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Integrity: Foundation of a Christ-like Life

Tad R. Callister

keyIntegrity is the courage to do right regardless of the consequences and the inconvenience.

thomasmoreand kingRobert Bolt’s classic play A Man for All Seasons is the story of Sir Thomas More. He had distinguished himself as a scholar, lawyer, ambassador, and, finally, as Lord Chancellor of England. He was a man of absolute integrity. The play opens with these words of Sir Richard Rich: “Every man has his price! … In money too. … Or pleasure. Titles, women, bricks-and-mortar, there’s always something.”1

That is the theme of the play. It is also the theme of life. Is there a man or woman in this world who cannot be bought, whose integrity is beyond price?

As the play unfolds, King Henry VIII desires to divorce Queen Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn. But there is a catch: divorce is forbidden by the Catholic Church. And so King Henry VIII, not to be thwarted in his desires, demands of his subjects the taking of an oath that will support him in his divorce. But there is a further problem.

Sir Thomas More, who is loved and admired by the common people, is a holdout—his conscience will not let him sign the oath. He is unwilling to submit, even at the king’s personal request. Then come the tests. His friends apply their personal charm and pressure, but he will not yield. He is stripped of his wealth, his position, and his family, but he will not sign. Finally, he is falsely tried for his life, but still he will not succumb.

They have taken from him his money, his political power, his friends, and his family—and will yet take his life—but they cannot take from him his integrity. It is not for sale at any price.

At the climax of the play, Sir Thomas More is falsely tried for treason. Sir Richard Rich commits the perjury necessary to convict him. As Sir Richard exits the courtroom, Sir Thomas More asks him, “That’s a chain of office you are wearing. … What [is it]?”

Prosecutor Thomas Cromwell replies, “Sir Richard is appointed Attorney-General for Wales.”

More then looks into Rich’s face with great disdain and retorts, “For Wales? Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. … But for Wales!”2

In the life to come, no doubt many will look back amidst uncontrollable sobs and repeat again and again, “Why did I trade my soul for Wales or temporary physical pleasure or fame or a grade or the approval of my friends? Why did I sell my integrity for a price?”

Principles of Integrity

I would like to address seven principles of integrity that I hope will inspire us to make this Christlike attribute a fundamental character trait in our personal lives.

1. Integrity is the foundation of our character and all other virtues. In 1853 the Saints commenced the construction of the Salt Lake Temple. For the better part of two long, hard years the Saints dug the excavations and laid the foundation: over eight feet (2.4 m) deep, made of sandstone. One day the foreman came to President Brigham Young with this devastating news: there were cracks in the blocks of sandstone. Brigham Young was faced with this dilemma: (1) do the best they could to patch up the cracks and build a temple of much less weight and grandeur than anticipated or (2) rip out two years of work and replace it with a granite foundation that could support the magnificent temple God envisioned for them. Fortunately, President Young chose the latter course.3

Integrity is the foundation upon which character and a Christlike life are built. If there are cracks in that foundation, then it will not support the weight of other Christlike attributes that must be built upon it. How can we be humble if we lack the integrity to acknowledge our own weaknesses? How can we develop charity for others if we are not totally honest in our dealings with them? How can we repent and be clean if we only partially disclose the truth to our bishop? At the root of every virtue is integrity.

Christian author C. S. Lewis noted that once we make a mistake in a mathematical equation, we cannot just keep on going: “When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start over again, the faster I shall get on.”4

Likewise, we cannot continue to fully acquire other Christlike virtues until we first make integrity the granite foundation of our lives. In some cases this may require us to go through the painful process of ripping out an existing foundation built upon deceit and replacing it stone by stone with a foundation of integrity. But it can be done.

2. Integrity is not doing just that which is legal but that which is moral or Christ-like. It may be legal to commit adultery, it may be legal to have premarital physical relations, it may be legal to gossip, but none of those actions is moral or Christlike. Integrity is not just adherence to the legal code; it is also adherence to the higher moral code. It is as U.S. president Abraham Lincoln suggested: living in accord with “the better angels of our nature.”5

Every young man has the moral duty to protect and preserve the virtue of his date, and every young woman has the reciprocal moral duty for her date. It is a test of his or her integrity. The man or woman who is striving for integrity will develop a resolve and a discipline that transcend even the powerful passions of physical emotions. It is that integrity to God and to self and to others that sustains them and empowers them even when Satan unleashes his arsenal of moral temptations upon them. To this generation the Lord said, “I will raise up unto myself a pure people” (D&C 100:16). God is counting on us to be that generation.

Some years ago my business partner and I needed to terminate an employee. After some discussions we reached a settlement to compensate him for his services. I felt that the settlement was more than fair, but some strained relationships resulted from the negotiations nonetheless. That night I felt a gloom come over me. I tried to dispel it by reasoning within myself that I had been fair, but the feeling would not leave. Then this impression came: “It’s not enough to be fair; you must also strive to be Christlike.” Adherence to the highest moral code is a hallmark of a man or a woman of integrity.

3. Integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications. One of the young women in our ward was taking a test at the local high school. As she looked up, she saw one of her friends cheating. Their eyes made contact. Embarrassed, the friend shrugged her shoulders and mouthed the words “I need the grade.” Somehow this young lady had lost her eternal vision—it is not grades but godhood that is our destination. What good does it do to be accepted to the most prestigious university but forfeit our exaltation in the process? Every time someone cheats, he trades his spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage (see Genesis 25:29–34). In his shortsightedness he has opted for a dollar today rather than infinite wealth in the life to come.

A disappointed father once told me that his teenage daughter wanted to “live it up” and then, three months before her intended marriage, clean up her act so she could receive a temple recommend. I do not know of any stake president who would give a recommend under such circumstances. But even if it were given, it would be a curse, not a blessing. Integrity is not shortsighted—it is not just a temporary change of behavior; it is a permanent change of nature.

King Benjamin told us how we might change our natures from a natural man to a spiritual man: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).

Changing our natures, not just our behaviors, is facilitated by an eternal perspective that we are the children of God, that we have His spark of divinity within us, and that through the Atonement we can become like Him—the perfect model of integrity.

4. Integrity is disclosing the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I believe the Lord can live with our weaknesses and mistakes, provided we demonstrate a desire and effort to repent. That is what the Atonement is all about. But I do not believe He can easily tolerate a deceitful heart or a lying tongue.

A few years ago I conducted a mission tour. Some of the missionaries were struggling with obedience. That evening the mission president and I conducted interviews with some of the missionaries. The next morning the mission president commenced our zone conference by giving a masterful talk on integrity. I felt impressed to speak further on that subject. We observed that in a few moments we would be conducting additional interviews. We requested that the missionaries not play the game in which someone only discloses the truth if he is asked the perfect, pointed question.

The Spirit was there, and four missionaries from the night before privately stepped forward and said, “We have something else to disclose.” One of them said, “I want to be an honest man.” That day he changed his foundation of sand for a granite foundation of integrity.

5. Integrity knows no alibis or excuses. There is something ennobling about the man or woman who admits his or her weaknesses and takes the blame square on without excuse or alibi. On multiple occasions Joseph Smith recorded his weaknesses in the Doctrine and Covenants for all to read. This tells us he was not perfect, but it also tells us he had nothing to hide—he was a man of integrity. What does this do for his credibility when he tells the story of the First Vision or the account of Moroni’s visitations? It tells us that we can trust him, that we can believe his every word because he is, indeed, a man of integrity.

6. Integrity is keeping our covenants and our commitments, even in times of inconvenience. Integrity is the courage to do right regardless of the consequences and the inconvenience. President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), former First Counselor in the First Presidency, told the following experience:

“A young man came to me not long ago and said, ‘I made an agreement with a man that requires me to make certain payments each year. I am in arrears, and I can’t make those payments, for if I do, it is going to cause me to lose my home. What shall I do?’

“I looked at him and said, ‘Keep your agreement.’

“‘Even if it costs me my home?’

“I said, ‘I am not talking about your home. I am talking about your agreement; and I think your wife would rather have a husband who would keep his word, meet his obligations, keep his pledges or his covenants, and have to rent a home than to have a home with a husband who will not keep his covenants and his pledges.’”6

He had a difficult choice: his home or his integrity. A man or woman of integrity does not yield or succumb merely because it is hard or expensive or inconvenient. In this respect the Lord has a perfect sense of integrity. He has said, “Who am I … that have promised and have not fulfilled?” (D&C 58:31).

One of the acid tests of our integrity is whether we keep the commitments and promises we have made or whether there are loopholes in our word.

7. Integrity is not governed by the presence of others. It is internally, not externally, driven. Elder Marion D. Hanks (1921–2011) of the Seventy told of the man and his small son who “stopped at an isolated cornfield on a remote country road” and eyed the delicious corn beyond the fence. The father, after looking in front of him, behind him, to the left of him, and to the right of him, “started to climb the fence” to take some ears of corn. His son looked at him and said reproachfully, “Dad, you forgot to look up.”7

hamletIn Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Polonius says to his son Laertes:

To thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.8

What wonderful counsel! We have a choice. We can either seize the moment and take control of our lives or become mere puppets to our environment and our peers.

Would you watch pornography in front of your mother, your date, your spouse, or your bishop? If it is wrong in the presence of others, it is just as wrong in their absence. The man of integrity who is true to self and to God will choose the right whether or not anyone is looking because he is self-driven, not externally controlled.

May the integrity of our souls have a sign that reads in bold black letters “NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE” so that it might be said of us, as it was of Hyrum Smith, “Blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart” (D&C 124:15).

May we all become men and women of integrity—not because we have to but because we want to. The Lord announced the reward for those who do so: “Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest … and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice … are accepted of me” (D&C 97:8; emphasis added).

May we all be accepted of God because we are striving to become men and women of integrity.

© 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Stress Relief Ideas: Words to Live By

Stress Relief Ideas:

Words to Live By

 

 

The most destructive habit………………………………………>

Worry

The greatest Joy ……………………………………………….>

Giving

The greatest loss ……………………………………………..>

Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work ……………………………………………..>

Helping others

The ugliest personality trait ………………………………………………>

Selfishness

The most endangered species ……………………………………………..>

Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource ……………………………………………..>

Our Youth

The greatest problem to overcome ………………………………………………>

Fear

The most effective sleeping pill ………………………………………………>

Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease ……………………………………………….>

Excuses

The most powerful force in life ……………………………………………>

Love

The most dangerous pariah …………………………………………….>

A gossiper

The world’s most incredible computer …………………………………………………>

The brain

The worst thing to be without ………………………………………………..>

Hope

The deadliest weapon ……………………………………………..>

The tongue

The two most power-filled words.…………………………..>

“I Can”

The greatest asset …………………………………………….>

Faith

The most worthless emotion ……………………………………………>

Self-pity

The most beautiful attire ……………………………………………>

SMILE!

The most prized possession …………………………………………..>

Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication…………………..>

Prayer

The most contagious spirit  ………………………………………….>

Enthusiasm

The most important thing in life …………………………………………….>

GOD

Parenting Tips: Fortifying Rising Generation by Teaching Integrity, Repentance of Sin, and Covenant Relationship

Parenting Tips:

Fortifying the Rising Generation by Teaching Integrity, Repentance of Sin, and Covenant Relationship

A Sin-Resistant Generation

By Joy D. Jones

Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation.

As you teach, lead, and love children, you can receive personal revelation that will aid you in creating and arming valiant, sin-resistant children.

A year and a half ago, President Russell M. Nelson spoke of the need “to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.1 That phrase—“a sin-resistant generation”—struck a deep spiritual chord within me.

We honor children who strive to live pure and obedient lives. I have witnessed the strength of many children throughout the world. They stand resilient, “steadfast and immovable”2 in a variety of challenging circumstances and environments. These children understand their divine identity, feel Heavenly Father’s love for them, and seek to obey His will.

However, there are children who struggle to stand “steadfast and immovable” and whose delicate minds are being wounded.3 They are being attacked on every side by “the fiery darts of the adversary4 and are in need of reinforcement and support. They are an overwhelming motivation for us to step up and wage a war against sin in our effort to bring our children unto Christ.

Listen to the words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie nearly 43 years ago:

“As members of the Church, we are engaged in a mighty conflict. We are at war. We have enlisted in the cause of Christ to fight against Lucifer. …

“The great war that rages on every side and which unfortunately is resulting in many casualties, some fatal, is no new thing. …

“Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war.5

Today the war continues with increased intensity. The battle touches us all, and our children are on the front lines facing the opposing forces. Thus, the need intensifies for us to strengthen our spiritual strategies.

Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, and leaders. We each bear responsibility to help. However, the Lord has specifically instructed parents to teach their children “to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost” and “to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”6

How to “bring up [our] children in light and truth”7 may be a challenging question since it is individualized for each family and each child, but Heavenly Father has given universal guidelines that will help us.

The Spirit will inspire us in the most effective ways we can spiritually inoculate our children.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

 

1) Have a vision of the importance of this responsibility

To begin, having a vision of the importance of this responsibility is essential. We must understand our—and their—divine identity and purpose before we can help our children see who they are and why they are here. We must help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.

2) Understand the doctrine of Repentance

Second, understanding the doctrine of repentance is essential for becoming resistant to sin. Being sin-resistant doesn’t mean being sinless, but it does imply being continually repentant, vigilant, and valiant. Perhaps being sin-resistant comes as a blessing from repeatedly resisting sin.

As James said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8

The stripling warriors “were exceedingly valiant for courage … ; but behold, this was not all—they were … true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, … they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”9 These young men went to war carrying Christlike virtues as weapons against their adversaries.

President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that

 “the call for courage comes constantly to each of us. Every day of our lives courage is needed—not just for the momentous events but more often as we make decisions or respond to circumstances around us.”10

3) Start Early and Be Steady

                . . . .With Holy Habits and Righteous Routines

Our children don spiritual armor as they establish patterns of personal daily discipleship. Perhaps we underestimate the abilities of children to grasp the concept of daily discipleship. President Henry B. Eyring counseled us to “start early and be steady.”11 So a third key to helping children become sin-resistant is to begin at very early ages to lovingly infuse them with basic gospel doctrines and principles—from the scriptures, the Articles of Faith, the For the Strength of Youth booklet, Primary songs, hymns, and our own personal testimonies—that will lead children to the Savior.

Creating consistent habits of prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and Sabbath worship leads to wholeness, internal consistency, and strong moral values—in other words, spiritual integrity. In today’s world where integrity has all but disappeared, our children deserve to understand what true integrity is and why it is so important—especially as we prepare them to make and keep sacred covenants at baptism and in the temple. As Preach My Gospel teaches, “Keeping commitments prepares people [including very young people] to make and keep sacred covenants.”12

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught, “When we talk about covenant keeping, we are talking about the heart and soul of our purpose in mortality.”13 There is unusual power in making and keeping covenants with our Heavenly Father. The adversary knows this, so he has obscured the concept of covenant making.14 Helping children understand, make, and keep sacred covenants is another key in creating a sin-resistant generation.

Sin-resistant Children Keep Promises

How do we prepare our children to make and keep sacred covenants as they enter and progress along the covenant path? Teaching children to keep simple promises when they are young will empower them to keep holy covenants later in life.

Let me share a simple example: In family home evening, a father asked, “How are we getting along as a family?” Five-year-old Lizzie complained that her big brother, Kevin, was teasing her too much and hurting her feelings. Kevin reluctantly admitted that Lizzie was right. Kevin’s mother asked him what he could do to get along better with his sister. Kevin thought and decided he would promise Lizzie that he would go one whole day without teasing her.

At the end of the next day as everyone gathered for family prayer, Kevin’s dad asked Kevin how he had done. Kevin’s response was “Dad, I kept my promise!” Lizzie happily agreed, and the family congratulated Kevin.

Kevin’s mother then suggested that if he could keep his promise for one day, why couldn’t he do it for two days? Kevin agreed to try it again. Two days passed, Kevin was successful in keeping his promise, and Lizzie was even more thankful! When his father asked why he was keeping his promises so well, Kevin said, “I kept my promise because I said I would.”

Integrity

A succession of small, successfully kept promises leads to integrity. The consistent practice of promise keeping is spiritual preparation for children to receive their first covenant of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, wherein they covenant to serve God and keep His commandments.15 Promises and covenants are inseparable.

In the book of Daniel, we learn of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refusing to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.16 The king warned them that they would be cast into a burning fiery furnace if they didn’t comply. They refused and said:

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. …

“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.”17

Keeping Covenants is Always Independent of Our Situation

“But if not.” Consider the meaning of these three words and how they relate to keeping covenants. These three young men were not basing their obedience upon being delivered. Even if they were not delivered, they would keep their promise to the Lord because they said they would. Keeping our covenants is always independent of our situation. These three young men, just as the stripling warriors, are wonderful examples of sin-resistance for our children.

How do these examples apply in our homes and to our families? “Line upon line, precept upon precept,”18 we help children taste success in small bites. As they keep their promises, they feel the Spirit in their lives. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught that “the consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.19 Then shall our children’s “confidence wax strong in the presence of God.”20

Out of the well of integrity springs an empowered, sin-resistant generation.

Brothers and sisters, hold your little ones close—so close that they see your daily religious behavior and watch you keeping your promises and covenants. “Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.”21 We are indeed helping to teach and raise a sin-resistant generation unto the Lord promise by promise and covenant by covenant.

I testify that Jesus Christ leads this Church. As you teach, lead, and love children in the Savior’s way, you can receive personal revelation that will aid you in creating and arming valiant, sin-resistant children. My prayer is that our children will echo the words of Nephi: “Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?”22 I testify that our Savior atoned for the sins of the world23—because He said He would—and that He loves us more than we mere mortals can even comprehend24—because He said He would.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

Science Facts: Most Global Warming is Junk Science, no Scientific Method used

Science Facts:

Most Global Warming is Junk Science, no Scientific Method used

Study: <1% Of Papers in Scientific Journals Follow Scientific Method

Allum Bokhari

 

When I was in college 40 years ago, all science was conducted using the scientific method. It was a matter of integrity. Now everything is based on political opinion. Most so-called scientists don’t even know what the scientific method is. ~C.D

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Professor Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim in a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change.

“We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.”

Armstrong defined eight criteria for compliance with the scientific method, including full disclosure of methods, data, and other reliable information, conclusions that are consistent with the evidence, valid and simple methods, and valid and reliable data.

8 Criteria for Scientific Method (Empiricism)

Digging deeper into their motivations, Armstrong pointed to the wealth of incentives for publishing papers with politically convenient rather than scientific conclusions.

“They’re rewarded for doing non-scientific research. One of my favourite examples is testing statistical significance – that’s invalid. It’s been over 100 years we’ve been fighting the fight against that. Even its inventor thought it wasn’t going to amount to anything. You can be rewarded then, for following an invalid [method].”

They Cheat

“They cheat. If you don’t get statistically significant results, then you throw out variables, add variables, [and] eventually you get what you want.”

“My big thing is advocacy. People are asked to come up with certain answers, and in our whole field that’s been a general movement ever since I’ve been here, and it just gets worse every year. And the reason is funded research.”

“I’ve [gone through] my whole career, with lots of publications, and I’ve never gotten a research grant. And I’m proud of that now.”

Armstrong concluded his talk by arguing that scientific evidence should be required for all climate regulations.

Why?

According to Armstrong, very little of the forecasting in climate change debate adheres to these criteria. “For example, for disclosure, we were working on polar bear [population] forecasts, and we were asked to review the government’s polar bear forecast. We asked, ‘could you send us the data’ and they said ‘No’… So we had to do it without knowing what the data were.”

According to Armstrong, forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) violate all eight criteria.

“Why is this all happening? Nobody asks them!” said Armstrong, who says that people who submit papers to journals are not required to follow the scientific method. “You send something to a journal and they don’t tell you what you have to do. They don’t say ‘here’s what science is, here’s how to do it.’”

Election 2016: Trump First 100 Days Plan–America First; Repeal Obamacare, Obama Executive Orders; constitutional Supreme Court Justices

Election 2016:

Trump First 100 Days Plan–America First; Repeal Obamacare, Obama Executive Orders; constitutional  Supreme Court Justices

trump-thumbAs your President, I will not waste any time, but immediately begin working to Make America Great Again.

As soon as I enter the White House on January 20, 2017, I will begin implementing my 8-Point Plan for the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration, and here’s what we’ll do:

  1. On Day One, we will roll out our plan to BUILD THE WALL, send criminal illegal immigrants home, and finally end the open borders nightmare.
  2. Begin renegotiating ALL unfair trade deals like NAFTA which have undercut American employment and exported our prosperity.
  3. CANCEL all executive orders, bureaucratic rules, and crippling regulations that send American jobs overseas.repeal-obamacare
  4. Work with Congress to REPEAL and replace the disastrous ObamaCare legislation that is ruining American healthcare.
  5. Lift the radical Obama regulations on America’s energy industry to END our dependence on foreign sources and create new jobs here at home.capitalism
  6. Propose, pass, and sign into law a massive TAX CUT for all working Americans and unleash the jobs-creating power of our small businesses.
  7. NOMINATE Supreme Court Justices who will uphold the Founders’ Constitution and not legislate the liberal agenda from the bench, and…constitution1
  8. IMPOSE strict new ethics integrity2rules to restore the integrity of the Office of the Secretary of State.
Gallery

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Integrity

This gallery contains 9 photos.

April 2016 Dinner Topics Newsletter: Integrity Culture-Wars Dear Friends, Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics!   “IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES,” said Richard Weaver. Look at the consequences of atheism, multiculturalism, and moral relativism.             After God was removed from schools more than … Continue reading

History Facts: Presidential Candidates’ Moral Character and Integrity matter

History Facts:

Presidential Candidates’ Moral Character and Integrity matter

GOPStopObamaPIXThe ideal candidate may not get the nomination.

But whoever the Republican nominee is, he will be more patriotic and better for the country than anyone the Left has to offer. If your preferred candidate does not get the nomination, PLEASE do not stay home. If you don’t vote, then you will be accountable for the tyranny of the Left. If the destruction of the Democrat party is not stopped, then it is over for America. You don’t want to be responsible for that. It may be a risk, but it’s a risk we must take, and unite behind that person, or there might not be another election. ~C.D.

Voter Guide

Despite today’s politically correct mindset, a candidate’s moral character and integrity matter.

president-candidatespotus4The candidate’s character, the citizen’s call

Rob Chambers

National Field Director, AFA Action

April 2016 – Voters have begun the process of choosing the next U.S. president in the primary and caucus elections leading up to the general election in November. For a Christian citizen, finding the ideal presidential candidate must begin with prayer for wisdom and discernment. And despite today’s politically correct mindset, a candidate’s moral character and integrity matter.

Not a democracy?

An ideal presidential candidate and voters alike must understand that America is not a pure democracy in which the ideas of a majority rule. The Founding Fathers called that “mobocracy” or mob rule.

“Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state,” said John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence. “It is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.” Today this madness is manifested in candidates who promote abortion and sexual immorality. Unfortunately, we are in a country where evil is called good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).

America is a constitutional republic based on the rule of law. The country is guided by unchanging principles. James Wilson, signer of the Constitution and a U. S. Supreme Court Justice, said, “All [laws], however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human. … But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God. … Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.”

The ideal presidential candidate knows these key principles and concepts our country was founded on and maintains that they are true today. These concepts are what made it possible for America to become great, prosperous, and free.

Once in office

Once elected, the ideal candidate evaluates policy issues on the basis of these principles and explains and promotes them on that basis. He or she persuades people to support these principles, defends citizens’ rights and freedoms, and fights against contrary agendas. This candidate advances policy diplomatically, but manages the political process so that liberty and just causes are advanced, not hindered.

At one time this ideal candidate was the norm in America, though none have ever been perfect. It is imperative that all who love freedom pray that God will raise up such candidates in all political races, especially the race for the highest office in the land.

LEADERSHIP BY THE BOOK

Loves righteousness and hates iniquity, a person of truth (Exodus 18:21)
Is known to be wise in the fear (respect) of the Lord and His word (Exodus 18:21; Deuteronomy 1:13; 17:15)
Seeks truth rather than prestige or personal profit and power (Deuteronomy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 19:6-7)
Will not succumb to flattery or be bought by favors or bribery (Deuteronomy 16:19)
Will put the best interests of the people above the pressures of private and special interests (Deuteronomy 17:17; Leviticus 19:15)
Will seek justice, knowing that justice will be found only in obedience to God’s holy word (Deuteronomy 16:18; 2 Samuel 23:3)
Is blameless, without scandal in personal or public life (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Exodus 20:1-17)
Is not easily swayed, firmly grounded in the Bible, and strong in the faith; not covetous (1 Timothy 3:3)
Governs self and household well (1 Timothy 3:4-5; Proverbs 25:28)
Exercises sound judgment; acts to uphold God’s purposes for and principles of self and civil government 
(1 Timothy 3:6-7; Mark 12:16-17).

For a voter guide on the presidential candidates and their stand on moral issues, go to afaaction.net.

Science, Integrity vs. Liberal Propaganda

Dinner Topics for Friday

keyProper science studies what is – which is, in principle, knowable – and is consequently very cautious about the future – which isn’t. [knowable] ~Charles Moore

This is called the Empirical Method of scientific research, or “what you see is what you get.” As Moore’s article illustrates, climate change believers have relied on their imaginary “computer models” and abandoned the empiricism used by scientists who have integrity. Climate change believers use “junk science,” which skews the truth to fit their political agenda. ~C.A. Davidson

The Game is Up for Junk Scientists’ Liberal Propaganda

By Charles Moore

hoaxglobalwarmingMost of us pay some attention to the weather forecast. If it says it will rain in your area tomorrow, it probably will. But if it says the same for a month, let alone a year, later, it is much less likely to be right. There are too many imponderables.

The theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more. However interesting the scientific inquiries involved, therefore, it can have almost no value as a prediction. Yet it is as a prediction that global warming (or, as we are now ordered to call it in the face of a stubbornly parky 21st century, “global weirding”) has captured the political and bureaucratic elites. All the action plans, taxes, green levies, protocols and carbon-emitting flights to massive summit meetings, after all, are not because of what its supporters call “The Science”. Proper science studies what is – which is, in principle, knowable – and is consequently very cautious about the future – which isn’t. [knowable] No, they are the result of a belief that something big and bad is going to hit us one of these days.

Some of the utterances of the warmists are preposterously specific. In March 2009, the Prince of Wales declared that the world had “only 100 months to avert irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse”. How could he possibly calculate such a thing? Similarly, in his 2006 report on the economic consequences of climate change, Sir Nicholas Stern wrote that, “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least five per cent of global GDP each year, now and forever.” To the extent that this sentence means anything, it is clearly wrong (how are we losing five per cent GDP “now”, before most of the bad things have happened?

How can he put a percentage on “forever”? It is charlatanry.

Like most of those on both sides of the debate, Rupert Darwall is not a scientist. He is a wonderfully lucid historian of intellectual and political movements, which is just the job to explain what has been inflicted on us over the past 30 years or so in the name of saving the planet.

GoreWizardofOzThe origins of warmism lie in a cocktail of ideas which includes anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government. It involves a fondness for predicting that energy supplies won’t last much longer (as early as 1909, the US National Conservation Commission reported to Congress that America’s natural gas would be gone in 25 years and its oil by the middle of the century), protest movements which involve dressing up and disappearing into woods (the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Mosleyite Blackshirts who believed in reafforestation) and a dislike of the human race (The Club of Rome’s work Mankind at the Turning-Point said: “The world has cancer and the cancer is man.”).

Scientists, Rupert Darwall complains, have been too ready to embrace the “subjectivity” of the future, and too often have a “cultural aversion to learning from the past”

 

Read more at the UK Telegraph