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Category Archives: Religion

  • Would You have Followed?

    In my previous ward I was called to teach the Valiant Boys in Primary (9-12 year olds). During my short time teaching them (almost a year), we studied and discussed topics in the Book of Mormon. We spent far more time on Lehi’s exodus from Jerusalem than what the lesson manual allotted, but I was consistently impressed at the enriching conversation that we were having with that young group of boys on the subject. So long as there was interest, we continued to talk about it.

    On one Sunday I asked the boys whether they would follow their fathers into the wilderness. They were curiously surprised at the questions that I followed up with.

  • On Honesty and Loving our Neighbor

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    “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest” (Mahatma Gandhi). 

    “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom” (Thomas Jefferson). 

    “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to ever man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor 4:2). 

    As I walked into Walmart today I pushed the lock-button on my key-fob. As my car beeped, telling me that it was now locked and secure, I suddenly realized that my unconscious and habitual action was in response to a presupposed negative assumption and possibility that someone might steal from me while I was in the store. Without even thinking, I assumed dishonesty.

    I have spent many, many hours contemplating the state of a just and honorable society, but it wasn’t until my subconscious distrust became a conscious reality that I realized how much a dishonest society really affects my daily choices.

  • Knowledge Precedes Deliverance

    I do not know how many times that I have read 1st Nephi chapter 1 in the Book of Mormon, let alone how many times I have read the first verse in that chapter. Yet, even now, I find what I see is an amazing insight in that first verse as I re-read it.

    My purpose for reading the Book of Mormon this time through is to find aspects of deliverance in how the Lord deals with leading his people to liberty and freedom. Under this purpose, I noticed something new in the first verse of 1 Nephi.

  • Book of Mormon and Deliverance: Introduction

    book of mormonThroughout Christian scripture are the consistently repeated themes of redemption, liberation, and reclamation. It is of interesting note that there is no real case of God’s children achieving these things through revolution on their own terms and philosophy but, rather, through divine deliverance as they learn how to turn to the Lord will full purpose of heart, put their trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind (Mosiah 7:33).

    This constitutes a new project for me. As I begin to re-read the Book of Mormon I will write about passages of scripture that stand out and inspire me to in learning more how the tender mercies of the Lord apply to the Christ’s power of deliverance (1 Ne 1:20). I will log each article here, as I write them.

  • Liberty, Not Legislated Morality, Leads to Human Excellence

    Originally published on Libertas Institute, December 4, 2012.

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    “The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be” (Lao-Tzu). 

    “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government” (Tacitus).

    Everyone has a philosophy. The question is whether it is a good philosophy that leads to a consistent, objective, and systematic way of thinking, or a bad philosophy that leads to subjective thinking and cognitive dissonance. In a recent article published by the Sutherland Institute on the supposed evils of marijuana decriminalization, the Institute’s president, Paul Mero, demonstrates a clear case of bad philosophy, and exemplifies what is currently wrong with Utah political thinking in general.

  • Locke, Benson, and Bastiat

    Originally posted with an audio recording on LDS Liberty here on August 19, 2010.

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    Many people have wondered what correlation there is, if any, between John Locke’s and Ezra Taft Benson’s principle concerning the proper role of government. Locke asserts a primary state of nature wherein all men are at perfect liberty to act according to the laws of nature, and that it is government’s responsibility outside the state of nature to maintain the natural principles of life, liberty, and property. Benson agrees with Locke and promotes the ideals of Frederic Bastiat that explicate the necessary principle of individual rights and duties wherein all government power originates.

  • Congressman Ron Paul: Farewell to Congress

    On November 14, 2012, Congressman Ron Paul concluded his public service in Washington D.C. that spanned over 36 years (23 years of which were spent in public service) with his final speech given on the House floor. While speaking of government, Congressman Ron Paul’s message is not one of politics — but of “the plain truth of things”.

    This man’s consistent example, message, and address will go down in the annals of history as one of the most important testaments to the name of liberty that has ever been known. Read his final address below. 

  • Flaxen Cord Dependency

    This article was published on libertasutah.org on October 25, 2012, and an audio recording is available here.

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    Recently, a very accommodating and encouraging Lieutenant from the Provo Police Department showed up at our neighborhood’s first Neighborhood Watch in years. We have recently experienced a small crime wave in our neighborhood, as mostly unlocked cars were robbed and a few neighbors experienced backyard trespassers. Present at the gathering were several of us who wanted to take personal responsibility to patrol our own neighborhood at night. I live in a very good close-knit neighborhood, and my neighbors and I are all both shocked at the recent criminal activity and concerned for our neighbors’ well-being.

    There are several concealed-weapon-permit holders in my neighborhood and others who sometimes open carry, all of whom carry on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. I say this to illustrate the fact that my neighborhood is very conscientious in taking personal responsibility for its own problems.

  • Realizing True Personal Responsibility and Individual Accountability

    This article was published on libertasutah.org, on August 2, 2012, and an audio recording is viable here.

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    Both sides of the political aisle claim a near monopoly on accountability and responsibility while demonizing the “other side” for its irresponsible behavior. These ideals, however, have changed meaning throughout the years. Whereas individual accountability and personal responsibility meant taking care of one’s own business, and accepting the consequences and effects of one’s own actions, these concepts now come in the form of more legislation, stricter regulations, and more government involvement in the lives of the individual. True responsibility and accountability enhance individual liberty, yet in our current society, social and political accountability and responsibility are unnecessarily (and improperly) enforced at the expense of individual liberty.

  • Why Utahns, and Everyone Else, Should Vote 3rd Party

     

    In a previous post, I argued for the need to “shift Overton’s Window” by voting 3rd party, as a significant and realistic way of pulling the window of social acceptance back to a discussion of liberty and freedom.

    Today, America is staring down the barrel of a loaded double-barrel shotgun and is asking herself which single barrel she should look down to injure her less when it inevitably goes off. It is time to stop looking down the barrel of this shotgun and actually vote – for those who so choose—to change America. It is time to vote 3rd Party.

    Voting 3rd Party in Utah

    There is a realistic strategy to voting 3rd Party in Utah. Utah, like most states, doesn’t count write-in votes. This is to say that Utah only counts names on the ballot in its tally of the 100% voting. If those who wish to show a statistical significance in their 3rd Party vote, they must needs cast a vote for someone on the ballot. A vote for Ron Paul, for instance, will not be counted – period. However, a vote for Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode, because they are actually on the ballot as candidates from their respective parties, will be counted.