Friday, November 27, 2009

Two of our favorite people

We were able to travel south this week and spend a few days with Rick. He is not too terribly far away, just far enough to keep us from being together very often. But we had a great visit and I got a good dose of Rick hugs. He is definitely one of our favorite people!

with the Jeep

in his apartment

with his girlfriend

And here is a new picture of another person we spend a lot of time with, and we love it!

in his new favorite place

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's day so I want to express my appreciation to my husband for the service he gave to our country. He saw much of the world and gained skills and perspective thanks to the time he spent in the USMC. I wish I had a picture of him in uniform that I could add, but the logo will have to do.

My dad is also a veteran. He served in World War II on a battleship in the Pacific. He was so young, yet willing to leave home and family to defend freedom. He taught me to love my country, and that freedom and liberty come at a high price.

It seems that many today have forgotten the sacrifices that have and are being made by so many to give us the freedom that we often take for granted. I am grateful to them and their families and pray that we will all do whatever is necessary to preserve the liberty of our nation that it might spread throughout the world.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the best of my journal

For the last year and a half I have been taking a small notebook to church with me and jotting down notes, thoughts, and ideas that come to mind during the meetings and classes I attend. Last Sunday I wrote on the last page. I am amazed at the insight and often profound thoughts I have been blessed with. Here are just a few of my favorites:

All I need to do to receive mercy is repent.

Remember that I am who I am because of the choices I have made.

Evil ALWAYS opposes good--but the Lord's strength is stronger than our weakness.

When we see, smell, and taste the real thing we more easily discriminate the real from the counterfeit, and are willing to sacrifice to obtain the real thing. Satan’s goal is to deceive us with counterfeits.

The Lord knows how to overcome my difficulties.

We don’t have the luxury of spending our time on anything that does not lead us back to our Father.

The gospel is not a spectator sport.

You are worth the best God could give.

The extent to which I think about Christ is the extent to which he is my God.

Obedience to law is the habit of free men.

Private behavior determines our happiness.

Sunday meetings are such a blessing in my life. Each week I marvel at the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the motivation it gives me to be a better person during the coming week.How grateful I am for the gift of the Holy Ghost, that he leads me to truth and helps me recognize and accept it, that he bears witness to all truth to all who humbly and sincerely ask.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Conservatives & Liberals

I have been reading a book I bought at Deseret Industries a few years ago called "Vindicating the Founders" written by Thomas G West. (Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. in 1997) It defends these great men against the accusations of racism, sexism, and elitism that are so pervasive in textbooks, our school system, and in our society at large. The author discusses the topics of 1) Slavery, 2) Property Rights, 3)Women and the Right to Vote, 4) Women and the Family, 5) The Property Requirement for Voting, 6) Poverty and Welfare, and 7) Immigration and the Moral Conditions for Citizenship.

I have not finished the book yet, but ran across an idea I want to share. For me, it explains the basic difference between conservatives and liberals; their perspective of mankind and the role of society/government.

John Dewey...was probably the most influential theorist of the New Liberalism... At the heart of Dewey’s liberalism was his belief in “historic relativity,” his conviction that there is no permanent human nature...the individual is always made by some historical context but is nothing in himself. “Social arrangements laws, institutions...are means of creating individuals.” Man is capable of being socially constructed in many ways. p 59
According to Dewey, man does hardly anything on his own; self-reliance and individuality are largely illusory. Qualities like “initiative, inventiveness, varied resourcefulness...are not gifts, but achievements.” Even intelligence is not “a ready-made possession of individuals.” That is because the social order, not nature, produces these qualities. “The state has the responsibility for creating institutions under which individuals can effectively realize the potentialities that are theirs.”
[That is to say] that man is essentially a victim or essentially disabled. For Dewey, it is precisely when people are left alone that they are the most vulnerable.
p 60

[the Founders] saw in human nature qualities like reason, self-control, ambition, pride, and spirited self-assertion. They thought that if government protects lives and properties from being taken away by others, most people will be able to take care of themselves and their families. Lincoln’s remedy for slavery was not affirmative action or public welfare but opportunity for all people, white and black, to keep the bread they earn with their own hands.
p 60
The presumption of the Founders is that normal human beings are capable of taking care of themselves, if only the artificial weight of legal privileges and restrictions is removed. “The political philosophy behind limited government,” writes Harvey Mansfield, “affirms that nature is more important than nurture: that humans have a fixed nature enabling them to overcome a background of poverty and deprivation.”
p 63