Monday, November 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Brothers

The article below was written by Gary C. Lawrence for the November 17, 2010 edition of Meridian Magazine online.

Glenn Beck and Harry Reid – Future Buddies?
By Gary C. Lawrence

Normally, the argumentation device in the teaser runs something like this, to borrow a comparison that has popped up again:

You show me a state that can elect both Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown as governors, and I’ll show you a state with a serious identity crisis.

The Church, of course, does not have an identity crisis, so the punch line in our case is more introspective:

You show me a church that has both Glenn Beck and Harry Reid as active members and I’ll show you a big tent religion that … is destined to come out of obscurity.

How can that be? After all, the Church is not unique in having various cultures, ideologies, and partisanship under one umbrella, and there are many organizations that will never be noticed, no matter the polarization among their members.

I submit it’s because we are members in more than names on a roll, in more than dabbling now and then with some common interest.

It has to do with the perspective we gain at the temple.

Both Brother Beck and Brother Reid faithfully attend the temple, I am told, and are just two examples of a special kind of glue – temple worship – that binds people of contrasting political viewpoints together because it has the power to bind generations together.

A Church that can foster such commitment from those holding intensely opposite political positions will not long remain hidden to the world.

When I served as bishop, a good friend once complained about a testimony – better said, a political-mony – that a sister had given in sacrament meeting that morning, which led to a discussion of politics in the Church. I suggested that if he and I – being of different political parties – were to list our personal values side by side, that we would discover not a dime’s worth of difference. He agreed. Our only difference, I continued, was that he has chosen one vehicle to effectuate them and I another – like getting on two buses, each of which promised to take us from Orange County to Los Angeles.

We both want to arrive at the same destination. The problem comes if one of the buses veers toward Barstow.

The Church in New Testament times had the same problems. Jewish, Greek, Roman and miscellaneous pagan converts brought their own desired vehicles – political, cultural and religious – with them, a practice that years later tubed the Church, but for a few decades was held in check by such preaching as Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”[i]

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”[ii]

In other words, Paul said, put aside your past, your ideologies, your pet projects and be enveloped in the broad, eternal warmth of Christ’s gospel.

We are told in today’s scriptures, that many from among “all sects, parties, and denominations”[iii] are seeking the truth, and it is to be expected that vestiges of previous associations will continue for a while until they fade in importance against the great truths of the temple.

But until that happens, active members will on occasion find themselves in a vehicle crisis – what earthly vehicles, if any, will we ride to reach our goals?

Back to Harry and Glenn.

Past experiences have shaped their views and motivations:

Reid: a hard-scrabble life in the Nevada desert with few modern conveniences led to a burning ambition and a desire to help the underdog.

Beck: a youth spent tinkering with addictions, a failed marriage, and then came guiding principles from a Mormon friend that turned his life around.

Judging from what I’ve heard about them, I believe both men will remain true to gospel principles and their mutual goal of returning to the Father’s presence. And I would not be surprised to see them arm in arm at that great future priesthood meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman.
But before that happens, one will find out he’s been riding the wrong bus.

Bloggers' note: Our opinion is that not only is Harry Reid on the wrong bus, he's not even close to being in the correct bus terminal.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Testify

In October of 1988 President Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk entitled "I Testify". Considering this was his final spoken message to the saints in General Conference, this talk could be considered his final testimony. The following is an abridged version of his testimony (see link at top for full article).

"As a special witness of Jesus Christ, and as His humble servant, it is now my obligation and privilege, as the Spirit dictates, to bear pure testimony and witness to that which I know to be true..."

"I testify that we are the spirit offspring of a loving God, our Heavenly Father... that God reveals His will to all men through the Light of Christ... that throughout the ages God has spoken to His children through His prophets... that a world so wicked that it killed the Son of God soon began killing the Apostles and prophets and so plunged itself into a spiritual dark age... that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith... bringing to an end the long night of apostasy... that through the Book of Mormon God has provided for our day tangible evidence that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is His prophet... America will be a blessed land unto the righteous forever..."

"I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world."

"I testify that the church and kingdom of God is increasing in strength. Its numbers are growing, as is the faithfulness of its faithful members. It has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission."

"I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph."

"I testify that it is time for every man to set in order his own house both temporally and spiritually... that not many years hence the earth will be cleansed. Jesus the Christ will come again, this time in power and great glory to vanquish His foes and to rule and reign on the earth... I testify to you that a fulness of joy can only come through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to all of the laws and ordinances of the gospel, which are found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

"To all these things I humbly testify and bear my solemn witness that they are true, and I do so in the name of Him who is the head of this church, even Jesus Christ, amen."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Week In History

Chip Wood wrote the following article for the Personal Liberty Alerts online publication.
The Adoption Of The Articles Of Confederation

It was 233 years ago this week that our original 13 colonies took a huge step toward nationhood. On Nov. 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. The articles vested the conduct of war and foreign policy in a Federal government, but left everything else to the States.

The Articles of Confederation were modeled after the Swiss Confederation that had been established more than four centuries earlier. On Nov. 15, 1315, the Swiss defeated the powerful Austrian empire in the Battle of Morgarten, when the men of Schwyz (a Swiss canton) lured the Austrians into the mountains and ambushed them in a pass.

The men of Schwyz killed 1,500 Austrian troops, drove hundreds more into Lake Lucerne and put the rest to flight. The country's inhabitants were so grateful they changed the name of their nation from Helvetia to Switzerland. The country has remained free, independent and faithful to its own Articles of Confederation for nearly 700 years.

Our own Articles of Confederation did not survive nearly as long. Too many Federalists objected to the almost total lack of power the articles gave the central government. Demands for a new Constitutional convention began almost at once.

We know what happened next. Some people still say it was a mistake.

--Chip Wood

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A New Blog

We have started a second blog that will concentrate on Nevada politics. We will also keep posting to this site with other news.

Our new site is:

Friday, November 5, 2010

GOP Wave

This would be funny...if we didn't live in Nevada.

This would be funny...if we didn't live in Nevada.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clueless Harry

In the November 4, 2010, Las Vegas Review Journal, Harry Reid is quoted as saying that he invites Republicans to cooperate with Democrats, saying voters are tired of gridlock.

Does anyone else see the idiocy and irony of this statement? It was the DEMOCRATS who were voted out of office for their policies, not the Republicans. So why would the Republicans commit political suicide by cooperating with Democrats? Wait a minute... maybe Harry is smarter than we thought. Maybe he's intentionally trying to get Republicans to commit political suicide. Nah... no way that Harry is that smart. There certainly isn't any evidence to support the theory that he's smart.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reid's Bullying

Former F.E.C. official on Reid strong-arming: ‘I’ve never seen anything so blatant’
By: J.P. FreireAssociate Commentary Editor11/02/10 6:25 PM EDT

A former official with the Federal Election Commission, Hans von Spakovsky, blasted the Reid campaign, saying they are clearly engaging in coercion and illegal coordination under federal campaign finance rules. “I’ve never seen anything this blatant,” he told The Examiner. “Most corporations stay far away from this because they know they can get in big trouble if they tell their employees to go out and vote for a particular candidate. That’s a big no-no.”

“There are two issues. The first is illegal coordination. The Reid campaign is specifically asking a corporation with the help of a union to get voters to the polls. It’s what a campaign usually pays for and it’s the equivalent of an illegal contribution,” he said.

The second issue, he explained, falls in federal statute 18 U.S.C. 594:
Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

“There’s clearly coercion going on,” he said. “They’re setting up a full program to get people to the polls to vote for Reid and going after supervisors who don’t do what they’re told on this.”
The Reid campaign is under fire for emails allegedly sent from a staffer to the management of mega-casino company Harrah’s. The company management, at the urging of the staffer, reportedly has been asking its employees whether they have voted yet, and agitating about Reid’s potential loss as a deathblow to the industry.

“They’re trying to get people to explain why they haven’t voted. This isn’t some general email from a corporation head to his employees saying, “look we have an election coming up, please get out and vote. These emails make clear that they’re getting people out for Reid.”

Such an offense could be punished not just by a year in fines, but also by a year in jail.

“If they have a U.S. attorney out in Nevada who is actually a real prosecutor, as opposed to a political clone who’s not willing to do his job, he’d open an investigation,” he said.Read more at the Washington Examiner: