July 30, 2013
An Education for Our Day: What It Might Be
by Joyce Kinmont
As we’ve been studying Common Core, we can see that its full implementation will bring nothing but heartache. It is a final step in the destruction of educational liberty. If it were not for our church and the educational direction in which we are being taken, I would have no hope of escape. But I do feel much hope for those of us who love freedom. If we are able to avoid Common Core and maintain our right to choose our own methods of education, we have an opportunity for great growth.
In Utah an event was recently held in our state capitol. Our legislators agreed to hear testimony from the citizens, and two and a half hours were set aside. Five hundred of us attended. Those who wanted to speak were allowed two minutes each to voice our concerns to approximately 30 legislators who came at the end of a full day of interim meetings. State Senator Margaret Dayton, a freedom warrior, said the one good thing that has come out of Common Core is that we have hundreds of citizens who are educated and engaged.
So now we have to act. Our first job here in Utah, and yours wherever you are, is to engage in your own state’s battle to stop Common Core. For that you will have to search the web to see what’s happening in your state. Next we have to turn our attention to the upcoming school year.
It seems to be generally agreed by patriots that what has brought us to the sorry state in which we find ourselves is the failure of past generations to pass on to the rising generations the truth about America’s religion, history, and destiny. That situation must be remedied in the home, with help from the Church and a few good mentors, teachers, and schools.
I have some thoughts about what might be happening and what we might do, and I hope you will share your own thoughts about these things.
Here are my musings about were we are now:
Thousands of our youth have proven their faith and courage by their response to President Monson’s early mission call. The emphasis President Benson and President Hinckley put on our reading the Book of Mormon and on each youth having his own set of scriptures is paying dividends today. Our youth are awesome!
This first wave of youth stepped forward after the October Conference last year. In January the Church implemented new programs that will even better prepare those coming up in the ranks.
Adults are stepping up to implement these new programs in Sunday School and Priesthood, and now I have heard that changes are coming to Seminary as well. Our youth are and will be studying and learning by “acting” rather than being acted upon. That is a huge fundamental shift that mean adults need to talk less and shift more responsibility to the youth.
The newer emphasis being placed on studying current Conference talks, and the strong teachings of our Prophets and Apostles in CES Broadcasts, local conferences, and public discourses are adding to the momentum. Years ago LDS bookstores carried the audiotape of a talk by President Benson’s son Reed entitled “TNT,” referring to the explosive from an earlier time but meaning “Today’s News Today.” I remember TNT from old cowboy movies; my parents probably knew it from WW!!. Today’s youth may not know what TNT is, but this seemingly small step propels us closer to our living prophets in a rapidly changing world.
As an extra bonus, the early mission is surely eliminating some of the extended childhood culture we call “teenage.” The high school years now need to be more focused and more serious. As the culture of self-indulgence and play is replaced by responsibility and service, our youth will grow directly from children to adults, Joseph Smith style. Thank goodness!
Seeing and feeling these changes in their older siblings, our younger children should be growing up with more maturity and sense of purpose.
The Priesthood Session of April Conference seems to be almost a Mission Manual for our youth, somewhat reminiscent of Elder Perry holding up a Military Manual from his days in the Service. Elder Callister gave us a pattern to follow.
Let’s look at “The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy,” Elder Callister’s message:
The opening story declares “the Lord had reserved this blessing for a boy, to teach him a lesson that the priesthood in the boy is just as powerful as the priesthood in the man when exercised in righteousness.”
Elder Callister gives “three key factors that contribute to such dramatic growth in the mission years”
b. high expectations of the Mission President
c. training and retaining
Then he suggests that we could apply these same principles to deacons quorum presidents.
He includes a graphic to illustrate how the growth line might increase (p.52, Ensign, May 2013).
He gives the example of a 12-year–old boy who taught a 25-minute lesson on the Atonement (p.54).
Look at that graphic in your Ensign. Do you think we could put a new line above the green dashes?
Here are my musings about how that might happen:
The first thing I expect to see from the youth who are becoming active learners through the new Church methods is that they will rebel against the “acted upon” horror of Common Core. The public schools, with or without Common Core, will not be capable of fulfilling the academic needs of the Lord’s army. To save our youth from socialism and worse, and to obey our parental responsibilities, we will need to provide a religiously based education for them.
Melchezedic Priesthood members are ordained to be kings and priests. I assume the king part is the responsibility to govern. Prophets have continually talked about our civic responsibilities, but the Saints have not listened well. We seem to have the notion that reading scriptures and praying are sufficient, and engagement isn’t necessary. Maybe the youth will engage.
The first wave of missionaries has shipped out. The waves behind them can prepare in both their spiritual training (priests) and their Constitutional responsibilities (kings). That alone would make Elder Callister’s line move up.
These youth could study American history, the Constitution, and economics outside of school hours or in a home school setting. This should be done first in the family.
The “curriculum” could begin with church sources. Other good materials abound. I am gathering a few possibilities to share soon. From there the youth could search other trusted sources to their heart’s content, as active learners moved by the Holy Ghost.
At some point another family could be invited into the home and the youth could teach their favorite lessons. This could continue until the neighborhood or ward is covered.
Groups of families might get together and the youth could teach, just as they are encouraged to do in their priesthood classes. If a 12-year-old can give a 25 minute lesson on the atonement, why can’t a 12-year-old give good lessons on Joseph Smith’s Presidential candidacy, the Founding Fathers, the Founding Documents, orthe proper role of government in our current day?
Bishops might even encourage members to get involved, in the spirit of President McKay’s letter (see below), which was given, I assume, before we were a major worldwide church and prophets had to be careful to protect members in communist countries.
The outreach could expand to teaching other students, such as young children learning math and reading, or minority groups in struggling school districts learning English.
There might be outside speakers arranged; there might be educational family outings or vacations.
The youth will take it from there, getting involved in civic issues, using social media, websites and blogs, and things we haven’t thought of, to proclaim the gospel, history, and the proper role of government. They can also develop ways to help those students who are trapped in the Common Core by countering the falsehoods being taught.
The objectives would be
To help the youth get a good education outside of government dependency.
To help the youth, especially the Aaronic priesthood, fulfill their requirement to “give meaningful service.”
To help the youth spend their non-Sunday time more advantageously and move smoothly into missions and adulthood.
To teach the nation what has been lost from our history.
This is not a program I am instituting or that I can develop or control; it will simply happen. It is the Lord’s program as it is given to us in our church, carried into the rest of the week with expanded education and ministering. It may become a “movement,” but it does not need it’s own leader or organization outside of the church. It does need engaged parents and worthy mentors, and it needs the contributions of information from many sources.
Our youth will rise to the expectation of their “mission presidents.” That would be you, mom and dad. And let’s all rise to the expectation of those beyond the veil – former prophets, founding fathers, pilgrims, pioneers and all those who fought for liberty and are watching our day, ready to help when the time is right.
Please, please share your comments.
This Statement was given to me by a good and trusted friend. I have retyped it from the brochure in which it was printed; there is no date on it.
A statement by President David O. McKay
concerning the position of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In order that there may be no misunderstandings by bishops, stake presidents, and others regarding members of the Church participating in nonchurch meetings to study and become informed on the Constitution of the United States, Communism, etc., I wish to make the following statements that I have been sending out from my office for some time and that have come under question by some stake authorities, bishoprics, and others.
Church members are at perfect liberty to act according to their own consciences in the matter of safeguarding our way of life. They are, of course, encouraged to honor the highest standards of the gospel and to work to preserve their own freedoms. They are free to participate in nonchurch meetings that are held to warn people of the threat of Communism or any other theory or principle that will deprive us of our free agency or individual liberties vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.
The Church, out of respect for the rights of all its members to have their political views and loyalties, must maintain the strictest possible neutrality. We have no intention of trying to interfere with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of our members under and within our Constitution, which the Lord declared he established “by the hands of wise men whom raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet Joseph Smith, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever.” (D&C 109:54.) The Church does not yield any of its devotion to or convictions about safeguarding the American principles and the establishments of government under federal and state constitutions and the civil rights of men safeguarded by these.
The position of this Church on the subject of Communism has never changed. We consider it the greatest satanical threat to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work among men that exists on the face of the earth.
In this connection, we are continually being asked to give our opinion concerning various patriotic groups or individuals who are fighting communism and speaking up for freedom. Our immediate concern, however, is not with parties, groups, or persons, but with principles. We therefore commend and encourage every person and every group who is sincerely seeking to study Constitutional principles and awaken a sleeping and apathetic people to the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing about us. We wish all of our citizens throughout the land were participating in some type of organized self-education in order that they could better appreciate what is happening and know what they can do about it.
Supporting the FBI, the police, the congressional committees investigating Communism, and various organizations that are attempting to awaken the people through educational means is a policy we warmly endorse for all our people.
The entire concept and philosophy of Communism is diametrically opposed to everything for which the Church stands – belief in Deity, belief in the dignity and eternal nature of man, and the application of the gospel to efforts for peace in the world. Communism is militantly atheistic and is committed to the destruction of faith wherever it may be found.
The Russian Commissar of Education wrote: “We must hate Christians and Christianity. Even the best of them must be considered our worst enemies. Christian love is an obstacle to the development of the revolution. Down with love for one’s neighbor. What we want is hate. Only then shall we conquer the universe.”
On the other hand, the gospel teaches the existence of God as our Eternal and Heavenly Fther and declares: “. . . him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4:10.)
Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state, to which he must look for sustenance and religion. Communism destroys man’s God-given free agency.
No member of this Church can be true to his faith, nor can any American be loyal to his trust, while lending aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies; for if he does, they will prove snares to his feet.