Judeo-Christian Culture: Hope is from God

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Hope is from God

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George Washington Facts, Quotations

Dinner Topics for Monday

Heritage Foundation:

George Washington Deserves His Own Day, Not Presidents Day

georgewashingtonQuotations

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
~George Washington

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. ~George Washington

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. ~George Washington

2nd Amendment

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.

~George Washington

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. ~George Washington

Morality

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason

and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. ~George Washington

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

~George Washington

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

~George Washington

Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. ~George Washington

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. ~George Washington

Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. ~George Washington

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. ~George Washington


Quotations: Holy Spirit, Virtue, and Vice

Dinner Topics for Monday

Month-Defining Moment

Quotes by Alexander Pope

key“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

“What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.”

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

“Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound,
Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found.”

Defining Moment

lineofdemarcationThere is a Line of Demarcation, well defined, between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s. If you stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will have no desire to do wrong, but if you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord. ~George Albert Smith

Gallery

Perspective on Life: Look Up, Quotes to Live By

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Dinner Topics for Tuesday Perspective on Life: Look Up, Quotes to Live By See that ye look to God and live. ~Alma 37:47 HI, THERE! CAN YOU LOOK UP FROM YOUR SMART PHONE FOR A SEC? There! Do you see … Continue reading

Quotations: Thomas Jefferson and Christianity

Dinner Topics for Friday

The media in Thomas Jefferson’s day tried to slander him, saying he was an atheist. The quotations below set the record straight.

 

ThomasJeffersonHistorical Note about Jefferson’s contributions to the Great Seal of the United States

Thomas Jefferson, April 13, 1743

Together with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, Jefferson was appointed to draw up a proposal for the Great Seal of the United States. Although Congress later adopted a simpler design, Jefferson took this occasion to emphasize the historical influence of two earlier civilizations on the liberties of his countrymen. One side of his proposed seal depicted the Anglo-Saxon leader Hengist and Horsa, while the other side portrayed the ancient Israelites being led through the wilderness by God’s pillar of fire. (Allison, The Real Thomas Jefferson, pp. 73-74)

“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

We can surely boast of having set the world a beautiful example of a government reformed by reason alone, without bloodshed. . . but the world is too far oppressed to profit by the example.

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. (Allison, p. 200)

“I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another; for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents. “

“As to the calumny of atheism, I am so broken to calumnies of every kind. . .that I entirely disregard it … It has been so impossible to contradict all their lies that I have determined to contradict none, for while I should be engaged with one they would publish twenty new ones. [My] thirty years of public  life have enabled most of those who read newspapers to judge of one for themselves.”

My views of [the Christian religion] are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be—sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.

I hold the precepts of Jesus, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent, and sublime which have ever been preached to man.

If the freedom of religion guaranteed to us by law in theory can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fanaticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesus, so long perverted by his pseudo-priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reformation will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but too late for me to witness it.

Read more about Jefferson—Wikipedia

Literature: Quotes about Life Lessons

Dinner Topics for Monday

How do I find my way Home?  …There is a Plan.

keyThe following excerpt from Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality” suggests that our home is with God in heaven. It reminded me of my own piece, entitled “The Map,” which touches on our purpose here on earth. We are here on earth with a quest: to learn how to return Home triumphant and live in heaven with our Father who loves us. ~C.A. Davidson

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.

Helping_Hand_430-LargeOde: Intimations of Immortality

By William Wordsworth

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing Boy,

But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in his joy; (lines 58–70)

More about William Wordsworth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wordsworth

MapThe Map

Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  (Luke 14:18)

You may have been on a tour of some kind, with a map at the beginning, and at points along the way, wherein a mark indicates your current position with the words, “You are Here.”

By now you are fully aware that you are here on earth.  You may not be sure how you got to this point, or why you are here.  All you may know right now is that you are here, and the most pressing question now is, where are you going from here?  You need a good map.

One definition of “map” is to “plan in detail.”  It has been said that sometimes we plan our vacations with more care than we plan our lives.  Fortunately, God planned the creation, not only of our dwelling place, but also of us, His children.  The way we turned out was not left to chance or guess work.  Furthermore, a plan is provided to help us find our way through this mortal existence to the desired goal.

The first thing we look for on the map is our destination.  Amulek, a great Christian missionary, said that this life is the time to prepare to meet God.  The object, therefore, would be that we emerge from this earthly training session with the capability of standing on holy ground when we arrive there.  During this preparation period, then, we would expect to gain experience, and be tested to see if we have developed that capability.  Just as a delicate butterfly must struggle free from a confining cocoon to develop the power to fly, and to fulfill the measure of its creation, so we must endure certain inevitable pressures.  But there is no avoiding it if we are to achieve the necessary holiness to withstand God’s presence. He allowed His Son to endure all things to pay that price which we could not pay ourselves.  What if He had cracked under pressure?

Joseph resists TEven those tests which are not wholly unexpected can be overwhelming and painful.  We can’t instantly solve life’s every riddle, nor can we anticipate every problem that will come our way.  The very uncertainty can be frightening.  However, we can prepare ahead of time for certain tests that may lie in our path.  We can decide ahead of time that we will keep ourselves pure, and that we will avoid temptations that could destroy us.  Just as Joseph fled the wiles of Potiphar’s wife, so we can steer clear of obvious moral entrapments.  If the decision is made once and for all, at the beginning, then there will be no vacillation under pressure which could cause regrettable consequences.  The faster the lesson is learned, the sooner the trial passes and peace returns.  Prior preparation can take much of the fear out of our journey.

At times our soul may yearn to escape the furnace of affliction to which we were born. But the thrust of mortality impels each to the battle front, and there is no turning back.  And in the end, buoyed up by enduring obedience, we can emerge on the surface cleansed from the evils of this generation. It is all part of the eternal plan, and therein is the miracle.

Dinner Talk Topic: Planning ahead gives focus and purpose in life. *Planning, Purpose

1. How can training prepare us for critical decisions?

2. How can daily study, prayer, and keeping the commandments help us avoid unrighteous detours in our lives?

3. How can obedience to the Ten Commandments free us from temptation?

4. What is the connection between faith and works? (James 2:20)

5. How do we set proper priorities and keep them straight?

Copyright © 2010 by C.A. Davidson

Quotes to Live By: Courage and Traditions

Dinner Topics for Friday: Quotes to Live By

Parenting

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children.

~Gordon B. Hinckley

dangerGuide to Youth

The commandments of God are like signs along the road of life, to keep us out of the danger zones. ~C.A. Davidson

Avoid tragedy by heeding spiritual “Beware” signs placed along our way by God and prophets. Strive to follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ, who “suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.” ~Anthony D. Perkins

Often you will experience much criticism and ridicule even by those who believe as you do, even though they may respect you for doing right. But remember that the Savior himself was tormented, ridiculed, spat upon, and finally crucified because he would not waver in his conviction. Have you ever stopped to think what would have happened had he weakened and said, ‘Oh, what’s the use?’ and abandoned his mission? Do we want to be quitters, or do we want to be valiant servants in spite of all the opposition and evil in the world? Let us have the courage to stand up and be counted as true, devoted followers of Christ.”8  ~N. Eldon Tanner

Be Valiant in Courage

Bishop Gary E. Stevenson

I would like to focus on the first trait that describes them [those who are]: “valiant for courage.” Each of you will also have defining moments in your life requiring courage. A friend of mine, John, shared with me one of those moments in his life.

Some years ago, John was accepted at a prestigious Japanese university. He would be part of the international student program with many other top students from around the world. Some enrolled with a hope to deepen their understanding of the culture and language, others viewed it as a stepping-stone to an eventual profession and employment in Japan, but all had left home to study in a foreign country.

Soon after John’s arrival, word of a party to be held on the rooftop of a private residence spread among the foreign student population. That evening, John and two friends made their way to the advertised address.

Following an elevator ride to the top floor of the building, John and his friends navigated the single narrow stairway leading to the rooftop and began mingling with the others. As the night wore on, the atmosphere changed. The noise, music volume, and alcohol amplified, as did John’s uneasiness. Then suddenly someone began organizing the students into a large circle with the intent of sharing marijuana cigarettes. John grimaced and quickly informed his two friends that it was time to leave. Almost in ridicule, one of them replied, “John, this is easy—we’ll just stand in the circle, and when it is our turn, we’ll just pass it along rather than smoke it. That way we won’t have to embarrass ourselves in front of everyone by leaving.” This sounded easy to John, but it did not sound right. He knew he had to announce his intention and act. In a moment he mustered his courage and told them that they could do as they wished, but he was leaving. One friend decided to stay and joined the circle; the other reluctantly followed John down the stairs to board the elevator. Much to their surprise, when the elevator doors opened, Japanese police officers poured out and hurried to ascend the stairs to the rooftop. John and his friend boarded the elevator and departed.

When the police appeared at the top of the stairs, the students quickly threw the illegal drugs off the roof so they wouldn’t be caught. After securing the stairway, however, the officers lined up everyone on the roof and asked each student to extend both hands. The officers then walked down the line, carefully smelling each student’s thumbs and index fingers. All who had held the marijuana, whether they had smoked it or not, were presumed guilty, and there were huge consequences. Almost without exception, the students who had remained on the rooftop were expelled from their respective universities, and those convicted of a crime were likely deported from Japan. Dreams of an education, years of preparation, and the possibility of future employment in Japan were dashed in a moment.

Now let me tell you what happened to these three friends. The friend who stayed on the roof was expelled from the university in Japan to which he had worked so hard to be accepted and was required to return home. The friend who left the party that night with John finished school in Japan and went on to earn degrees from two top-tier universities in the United States. His career took him back to Asia, where he has enjoyed immense professional success. He remains grateful to this day for John’s courageous example. As for John, the consequences in his life have been immeasurable. His time in Japan that year led him to a happy marriage and the subsequent birth of two sons. He has been a very successful businessman and recently became a professor at a Japanese university. Imagine how different his life would have been had he not had the courage to leave the party on that important evening in Japan.3

Young men, there will be times when you, like John, will have to demonstrate your righteous courage in plain view of your peers, the consequence of which may be ridicule and embarrassment. Additionally, in your world, skirmishes with the adversary will also be fought on a silent, solitary battlefield in front of a screen. Technology with its substantial benefits also brings challenges not faced by generations before you. A recent national survey found that today’s teens are tempted at alarming levels each day not only in schools but also in cyberspace. It revealed that teens who were exposed to images of drinking or drug use on social networking sites were three to four times more likely to use alcohol or drugs. Commenting on the survey, a former U.S. cabinet secretary stated: “This year’s survey reveals a new kind of potent peer pressure—digital peer pressure. Digital peer pressure moves beyond a child’s friends and the kids they hang out with. It invades the home and a child’s bedroom via the Internet.”4 The demonstration of righteous courage will often be as subtle as to click or not to click. Missionaries are taught from Preach My Gospel, “What you choose to think and do when you are alone and you believe no one is watching is a strong measure of your virtue.”5 Be courageous! Be strong! “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved.”6

Judeo-Christian Culture: Quotes by L. Tom Perry

“Culture is defined as the way of life of a people. There is a unique gospel culture, a set of values and expectations and practices” common to all Christians. ~L. Tom Perry

Lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread.

Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility.

. . . they [families] can hold family prayer, scripture study, and family home evenings and eat together as often as possible, making dinner a time of communication and the teaching of values.

[W]e can organize our families based on clear, simple family rules and expectations, wholesome family traditions and rituals, and “family economics,” where children have household responsibilities and can earn allowances so that they can learn to budget, save, and pay tithing on the money they earn.

Our strengthened family cultures will be a protection for our children from “the fiery darts of the adversary” (1 Nephi 15:24) embedded in their peer culture, the entertainment and celebrity cultures, the credit and entitlement cultures, and the Internet and media cultures to which they are constantly exposed.

The onslaught of wickedness against our children is more subtle and brazen than it has ever been. Building a strong family culture adds another layer of protection for our children, insulating them from worldly influences.

Traditions

“I believe family traditions are like the hewn oak trunks driven into the ground to build the Old Fort House. Make the honoring of family traditions—holiday traditions, birthday traditions, Sunday traditions, dinnertime traditions—and the development of new ones a priority throughout your lives. Honor them, write them down, and make certain you follow them. Studies show that the reason young people join gangs is for the tradition and ritual of belonging to something larger than self. That is what a family should be. Be certain you are creating a rich environment in which your family can look forward to special times of the year when traditions hold you together as a great eternal family unit.

Understand that this is neither a simple nor an easy solution. Just as Rome was not built in a day, neither are family traditions. Family traditions can offer basic and lasting support, but there’s a lot that must be built around them. Perhaps family traditions work only when they create a role for every member of the family and when there is united effort to build them. This means family members need to spend time together and learn how to work together. When it comes to families, there is no such thing as quality time without a certain quantity of time.”

~L. Tom Perry

Life Quotes: America, Pride

Quotes to Live By

Dinner Topics for Friday

America

The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.”

Prager Zeitungon

This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper

 

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~Abraham Lincoln

 

“The Christian religion, is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.”[ “From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

~William McGuffey

 

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe. ~Thomas Jefferson

 

Family

Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not in what happens in the White House, but on what happens in your house. ~James E. Faust

Persistence

Temporary setbacks are overshadowed by persistence. ~Quentin L. Cook

 

“Nothing in the world can take the place of
Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than
unsuccessful men with talent.

“Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~Calvin Coolidge

 

Pride

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right. ~Ezra Taft Benson