This article was originally written as a response to someone on FaceBook who asked about the origins of the Zionist movement, and asked why Jews have to live in Israel at all. My approach to answering this inquiry was as follows: as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in the Bible: in its historicity, and in its doctrine. Most of my understanding of Jewish history comes from the Old and New Testaments, from modern Prophets like Joseph Smith, Jr., and from LDS Scriptures like the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. It’s from this perspective that I responded (see below).
How would you like to take a 10-hour non-accredited, diploma-less online study course in LDS American History? Here it is. I promise that at minimum, you’ll learn something new.
People often confront me about my political and religious beliefs, and challenge my views on various aspects of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon church). At one online discussion forum, I found that I had written over 1,200 comments teaching or defending my beliefs – totaling nearly as many pages when cut and pasted into a MS Word document. And people still weren’t done asking questions or challenging.
As I’ve thought about similar experiences I’ve had since that time, I realize that I could have probably written a few thick books instead. I have also found that a lot of people – even really well educated people – don’t consider the foundation of their positions. Nor do they think beyond the immediate or near-term results of their political or religious positions. In many instances, having all of the facts proves impossible – especially given time constraints on our thoughts. But a lot of people don’t even try to come up with simple reasoning – let alone a basic and complete functioning logical paradigm – even just a simple one – for their viewpoint.
It’s in consideration of those points that I’ve compiled these Web links to 8-10 hours of videos and reading that present an awesome view of our nation’s origins. Of course it doesn’t contain every variable, detail, and facet of our country or of the LDS faith. But it does paint a simple and complete picture of our nation’s origins and foundation. It also provides some great insights to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and to the circumstances and environment in which the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints emerged.
These videos and resources have been helpful to me, and I hope they can be helpful to someone else too. I put these in the best order possible so that they build on the understanding of each other. The early pilgrims came to North America largely for religious freedom and for economical opportunities. This series of videos begins with the origins of these pilgrims, continues with the persecution of the Mormon pioneers for their religious practices, and concludes with resources about the importance of religious freedom to Americans and to people all over the world. I hope you enjoy it!
Below is the eMail I received shortly after the BSA voted to abandon it’s devout Christian membership in favor of LGBT youth and funding.
My response follows this letter from the BSA asking me to renew my support for the Scouting program.
To whom it may concern,
Due to the recent emphasis by the Boy Scouts of America placed on child sexuality and alternative forms of it, I have pledged to no longer support the Boy Scouts of America. I’m disheartened by the fact that accommodating and promoting deviant childhood sexual expression was valued over accommodating and promoting religious values and basic portions of the long-standing Oath and Law. In other words, you chose homosexuals over religious adherents who oppose and desire to protect their children from that behavior. You had to know that you would be trading out one demography for another. Our values are incompatible with the promotion and express endorsement of such gross immorality.
Homosexuality and other forms of “alternative” sexuality should not be tolerated or promoted within the BSA. The Boy Scouts of America is no longer the stellar organization that it once was, and no longer represents the family virtues that sustain American vitality, culture, and greatness. As a result, you no longer have my support.
I wish the Boy Scouts of America success in back-stepping out of this policy change, and look forward to the time when my values and concern for the safety of my son are held in higher esteem than this risk and immorality falsely advertised as “inclusiveness”.
Former Arrow of Light Recipient, former Order of The Arrow member, former Eagle Scout, former Cub Master, and former Boy Scout Leader,
We were all taught in Scouts, in church, in school, and by our parents that appropriate times to say no will confront us throughout our lives. Many methods of delivery for this lesson have been tried on us from our youth until the present time. Some of these methods have proven more effective than others.
Friends of the Boy Scouts of America, Please sign this petition to show your support for the BSA to keep its “morally straight” policy in place. Please have your friends of scouting sign it too. http://www.libertyaction.org/376/petition.asp
LGBT&P activist groups (some well funded) have been harassing the BSA for over 15 years to shut down or change its membership policy to include child and adult homosexuality. Without your active support, the efforts of those activist groups inflict great damage. In their most recent effort, they managed to raise 1.4 million signatures from activists all over the world to present to the national BSA council. Continue reading Petition the Boy Scouts of America to Keep The “Morally Straight” Policy in Place→
Because this topic is of vital importance, I wanted to share my open letter to the voting members of the national council for the Boy Scouts of America concerning the upcoming “morally straight” policy vote.
Dear voting members of the national committee,
Some advocates for changing the “morally straight” policy of the BSA insinuate that all BSA participants can find cohesion based on tolerance – extreme tolerance only exercised by all members and chartering organizations that appreciate the long-standing national policy as is.
If you do a google search for Condi Rice, you’ll find a lot of buzz surrounding the name that has become one of Mitt Romney’s most likely VP picks. Several recent online news reports claim that Condi Rice would lose Mitt Romney the evangelical vote. Condi Rice would likely increase the religious vote. Here’s why:
Unemployment was on it’s way up when Barack Obama got in office, it’s true. He’s not responsible for what he inherited as president. Unemployment was at about 7.7, and hasn’t dropped below 8% since he has been president. I’m one of the 45 percent – 45% of graduates from 2009 or later who are either unemployed or are working less than full-time in a job that doesn’t require a degree.
Why is Mitt Romney the best presidential candidate in the 2012 election? Some supporters of other candidates have called Mitt Romney “out of touch”, have claimed that he’s secretly trying to win the White House to hook up his cronies with tons of money while leaving the working class and poor out to dry. Or worse – some have referred to him as a flip-flopper.
For people who say Mitt Romney is somehow out of touch, they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. He can relate to the rich, the middle-class, and the poor – as where most of his critics can only relate to one of these demographs.
Many complex issues went into the decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. If we had not gone to war with those countries, where would we be today?
I occasionally run into people who think that George W. Bush was somehow the devil, the puppet of Dick Cheney, and a mastermind out to destroy the economy. The liberal media has purported gross misrepresentations in the past about President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice – and a lot of people have believed those lies. An objective study can still help people to gain an understanding about what makes both George W. Bush, Condi Rice, and even Dick Cheney heroes and Saviors of the western world.
I know that some skeptics roll their eyes when they read praises about Gee Dubyah and Rice Candy; however, if these same people have taken basic micro and macro economics courses, read up on OPEC, and can follow this insight-offering article, their opinions can very likely change. Two numbers constitute important factors in evaluating both the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan (and ultimately the War on Terror): 7 of 12 and 5 of 10. Continue reading George W. Bush and Condi Rice – Great American Heroes→