Category Archives: hs curriculum

The Preschool Frenzy

October 31, 2013

We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. – Ezra Taft Benson, October 1981

I have watched over the years as preschool has become more and more accepted and expected. I have heard the stress in the voices of young moms trying to find the right preschool, fearing that a wrong choice would harm their child forever. But the wrong choice may have already been made.

Little of what a young child really needs is offered in preschool, especially as preschool is about to become.  The things that matter most are the “inner” things, the things of the heart and the character.  When a mother believes that a professional can do a better job than she can  in the early years, she devalues herself and misunderstands the Plan of Happiness.  Earth life is simply a school for the family. The home is the greenhouse and the respite center and the classroom for our personal, spiritual, biological, social, emotional, and academic development. The right choice for a mother, when circumstances allow, is to engage herself fully in the beautiful, purposeful rearing of her precious children.

Better Late Than Early
Dr. Raymond Moore, a Seventh-day Adventist educator and researcher, and a strong opponent of preschool who soon became a proponent of homeschooling in the earlier days, taught that even an ordinary mother in an ordinary home is the a best teacher for her own children.  He and his wife authored many books about homeschooling, and he was often asked to testify to legislatures and in court cases. His advocacy began with an article in the Reader’s Digest against preschool.  There was so much response that the Digest asked him to write a book.  He wrote two: Better Late Than Early and School Can Wait.  He was mocked by his profession after the first one, so he wrote the second one with the same message, but in education jargon, and it was published by BYU.  Apparently the Church was also opposed to preschool.

Based on solid research, Dr. Moore taught that children were not neurologically ready for formal learning until age 8 or 10 or 12.  He had no concern over the age at which children learned to read because all children are different.  Here is a quote from his book, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook,1988/1994:

  • We have done one of the world’s most extensive research analyses on school readiness in a fruitless search for some justifications, any justification for sendingnormal children away to kindergarten or school at four or five or six or seven.  We’ve found absolutely none!Yet, instead of studying how best to meet our children’s needs, we simply do what everyone else seems to be doing, and often put our little ones out of their homes,their homes, and away from environments that best produce outgoing, healthy, happy, creative children. . . . America is placing its little children in formal settings long before most of them, particularly boys, are ready.
This book is still available on Amazon and Kindle. I highly recommend it.

The Impact of the Earliest Years on Students’ Success
This is a chapter in a book by Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Professor, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma and other books, and a highly respected church leader.  Search for him on YouTube; you will love him.  The book in which the chapter appears is Disrupting Class, and I highly recommend it although the business parts of it are way over my head.

Brother Christensen writes that “98 percent of education spending occurs after the basic intellectual capacities of children have been mostly determined.”  He quotes the work of Hart and Risley who found that the amazingly simple key is in parents talking to their babies.  They call it “language dancing,” and it is powerfully effective.  He are some quotes from the chapter:

  • [P]arents are engaged face to face with the infant and speak in a fully adult, sophisticated, chatty language–as if the infant were listening, comprehending, and fully responding to the comments.Other scholars have shown that the most powerful factor influencing reading skills is auditory processing skill–the very skill that is honed as infants listen to parents speak to them in sophisticated, adult language.One of the most important findings of the Risley-Hart study was that the level of income, ethnicity, and level of parents’ education had no explanatory power in determining the level of cognitive capacity that the children achieved.  It is all explained by the amount of language dancing, or extra talk, over and above business talk, that the parents engaged in.  It accounted literally for all the variance in outcomes.In other words . . . . some working, poor people talked a lot to their kids and their kids did really well.  Some affluent business people talked very little to their kids and their kids did very poorly. . . . And there is no variance left for race either.  All the variation in outcomes was taken up by the amount of talking, in the family to the babies before age 3.

After studying prekindergarten programs, Brother Christensen wrote, “we have concluded that such programs are an ineffective mechanism for addressing the challenge of better preparing children for school.”

“Of course they are ineffective,” say I.  Children were born to be with their mothers.  Bonding to teacher after teacher causes attachment disorders, but it is considered good socialization if a child is ok with being separated from Mommy.)  Brother Christensen’s suggestion:  “Rather than funding programs that hire people to substitute for parents who aren’t succeeding at preschool talk, quite possibly we might have greater impact if we taught children how to be parents before they become parents.”

I don’t know if Brother Christensen was thinking of a government program here, but someone will be.  Before we do that, let’s look to the home.  Let’s appreciate what God hath done; His hand is in our creation.  He gave babies an assignment to to use their mouths, both for subsistence and for language, beginning in the womb.  He made babies obligate mimickers — what mom does with her mouth baby will try to do.  After that comes the drive and ability to investigate and explore. Then to socialize.  All these Divinely designed “pre-academic” learning activities are facilitated just by daily life within the family and the home and on family outings. The family exists by Divine design.

In preschool, the only life style, profession, or activity being modeled is teaching, and the “world” is only the size of a classroom.  A mom has a much more interesting life, especially when she is aware that her children are learning machines and she is their primary mentor and nurturer.  If there is love and refinement and a learning atmosphere in the family, no one even has to be aware of what they are doing as they prepare the baby’s brain for learning in a way that will be noticed years later.  Love is a powerful force.  No preschool can compete with family.

If government must do something, a “family-is-best” awareness campaign would be helpful; but it’s not likely to happen — there’s no money to be made.  If the government can’t or won’t fix the problem in Babylon, we can at least improve our parental leadership in would-be-Zion and teach truth wherever we can.

Be sure to check out the Hart-Risley website and enjoy their short videos, but remember, this is a program the Lord has already set up in our hearts and brains, so we don’t have to be too clinical about it.  Just be purposeful and pay attention. You are raising your baby and he can walk beside you for a long time to learn from real life.  The Heavens are pleased.

(Someone should do a study about the benefits to babies when their siblings are homeschooled, and the benefits to homeschooling siblings when a baby is in the home.)

Do It Yourself Preschool
If you know someone who just has to have an organized preschool, refer her to the Ensign article  A Do-It-Yourself Nursery School, by Jill Wonnacott Dunford, August 1978.  I wonder how folks in the church office building felt when this plan didn’t take off and become popular with the Mormon moms. Maybe if there had been Pinterest.

This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it. Hired help cannot do it; kind relatives cannot do it. Only by mother, aided as much as may be by a loving father, brothers and sisters, and other relatives, can the full needed measure of watchful care be given. – President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, March 1976

If the purpose of your daily employment is simply to get money for a boat or a fancy automobile or some other desirable but unnecessary thing, and in the process you lose the companionship of your children and the opportunity to rear them, you may find that you have lost the substance while grasping at the shadow. – President Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 1983

Stan Ellsworth – American Ride – The Gettysburg Address – Common Core Update – Columbus

September 21-27, 2013
Stan Ellsworth, American Ride, and The Gettysburg Address

I love Stan Ellsworth’s American Ride program on KBYUtv, but I’d never had any indication that anyone else knew about the program, not even the homeschoolers. I was surprised when Stan was announced as the speaker for the September 17 Constitution Day Celebration in Layton, Utah.  Stan is a “biker” and the American Ride episodes I’ve seen were filmed in the East, so I never suspected that KBYU produced the program or that Stan actually lives in Draper, Utah. (He is originally from the South).  A former football player, a coach, a history teacher, and a film maker, Stan is a hero figure to kids, and he is certainly loved by the hundreds of people who let their enthusiasm for him be known last Tuesday night (Sept 17).

Stan had visited a school in Southern Utah that morning.  He taught the students about the Gettysburg Address and challenged them to memorize it for the 150th anniversary of its delivery on November 15. I waited at the end of a very long line after the program to ask the homeschoolers’ question: how did he teach the Gettysburg address?  He reached in his pocket and pulled out a 4×6 card with the Gettysburg Address on one side and the website address www.gettyready.org on the other.

This morning, after being out of town for three days, I was catching up on email, and I found that Utah Policy, which posts daily newspaper headlines, had posted an essay by Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, titled “Honoring the Gettysburg Address.”  What!  Is everybody reading it?  Yes.  Lt. Governor Bell challenged everybody – families, service organizations, teachers, students, and civic leaders – to dig in, and he pointed us to the GettyReady website for resources, saying “The GettyReady challenge is this: Learn it. Understand its deep meaning. Learn to love the essential American republican principles which it so elegantly restates. Teach it to those around you.”

Then I remembered –  Stan had mentioned that the Governor had flown him up from his school presentation in Southern Utah that morning.  Maybe Lt. Gov. Bell had hosted the event and the plane ride.

Next I found this long headline (without caps) from the Deseret News:  Do you know all 272 words of the Gettysburg Address?  Utah students kick off memorization challenge.  Again, the GettyReady website was referenced.  The site was put up by public school entities, lawyers, KBYUtv, and others.  Many resources are given, including American Ride. I don’t know how reliable they all are.  Then a friend reminded me that the schools will be teaching the Progressive version of Lincoln.  Of course!  The Gettysburg Address is part of Common Core curriculum!  I remember seeing David Coleman on a video saying something like, “I just wrote a curriculum for the Gettysburg Address.  It takes at least three days and should take six.”  Then he went on to talk about Martin Luther Kings letter from Birmingham Jail, which he thought should take 10 days.  I’ve never found the curriculum itself, but I did see a video of one of Coleman’s employees teaching teachers how to present the Gettysburg lesson.  She only went over the first lesson of the three, and all she did was talk about the vocabulary.  I kept thinking, “Is this all?  What a waste!”

Note:  This newsletter was originally finished by Saturday night, and all I had to do was reread it in the morning and push the button. — but my computer locked up.  On Monday I went into a “stop the presses” mode and thought I needed to studying more and I needed to find the Gettysburg lesson. So now new paragraphs are mixed in.

I found the Exemplar (lesson plan) for the Common Core Gettysburg Address, to download.  There are some good ideas in it but I did see some problems.  First, I wouldn’t want my children/students to rewrite the address; I would want them to understand it as it is written and come to love the beauty of the words.  Secondly, and most important, I disagree completely with the closing point that there could be debate over whether America’s founding was at the time of the Declaration or the Constitution, and that Gettysburg changed America from “the United States are” to “the United States is.” meaning that the “nation preceded the states, in time and importance…”  or that the federal government trumps the states.  That notion destroys the concept of Federalism, or States’ Rights.  It is completely, totally wrong.

If you read this Exemplar and see anything else that is troublesome, please share your comments.

Because the children in Utah public schools, and probably in other states as well, will be studying this Common Core lesson and being told a fundamental mistruth, I suggest that you go to David Barton’s website, Wallbuilder’s.com, and download the mp3 of “God in the Constitution.”  It will cost just $4.95, and you will see that the two documents are tied together and how the Constitution was grounded in Biblical teachings.  Knowing this will also make next year’s reading of the Old Testament more meaningful.

November 19th marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  Learn it.  Understand it.  Teach it.  In Utah, students will be reciting the Gettysburg Address all over the state, and what will they be learning?  Be prepared to teach truth where you can.  And enjoy Stan Ellsworth’s American Ride episodes on the Civil War on KBYUtv.

Common Core Update:  Disagreement in the Districts  
The  R- 6 A School District in East Newton, Missouri has passed a resolution to stop Common Core, stating that it is “designed to manipulate states and facilitate unconstitutional federal overreach to standardize and control the education of our children for the purposes of workforce planning.”  Can a District opt out?  No. This was just a Resolution; the contractual documents were signed on the state level.  But hooray for the local district anyway!  They are caught in the middle.  Their teachers are unhappy.  The parents are unhappy.  If the students aren’t unhappy yet, they soon will be.  This is where the real turmoil is going to be, and this is not the first local district to speak out.

On the opposite extreme, there was the man near Baltimore who dared to ask a question during the school board Common Core presentation.  He was removed from the room by a security guard, then arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault.  Another citizen happened to video it, and the video went viral.  The Rutherford lawyer said on Glenn Beck’s show that he would love to represent the dad.  I don’t know if the city was listening, but the charges were dropped; however, the city made it known that they “had cause,” a move meant to scare anyone else from speaking out.

I will say that when a frustrated person stands up and talks over people in a meeting, he has to expect something to happen next.  Maybe we need to be careful how we handle such meetings. Maybe there are smarter ways to do these things. Maybe we need to attend in groups, working together. My suggestion would be: 1) record everything on video.  “Think evidence” my lawyer friend says.  2)  Ask that the presenters state the rules of the meeting and the times (how long the presentation will be, how much time will be given to answering questions, what time the building will close, etc.)  Ask beforehand and get the answer in writing if possible.  In Baltimore the man was accused of not following the rules of the meeting.  I’m sure the board laid the rules out beforehand. I’ve been to such meetings and I’ve seen the strategy.  In this care the board made a presentation, took written questions, then played a video, and then answered selected questions. They do get to make the rules; you get to vote them out of office.  3) Sit patiently through their skewed, drawn out presentation.  Record it.  4) Then have someone scan the questions as people turn them in so you will have a record of what was asked.  5) Sit patiently through their video.  Record it if they don’t stop you.  Don’t fight it; it’s probably online anyway.  I assume that in Baltimore they were sorting out the questions while the video was playing.  6) Sit patiently through the answering of the questions. Record everything.  6) Then go home and put it all out on social media — the boring presentation, the questions that weren’t answered, etc.  7) Call another meeting and walk the streets giving people a good piece of literature and inviting them to watch the video of the last meeting and then to come to your group’s meeting. We need to be firm, professional, and kind.  These people are also being threatened by someone above them.

And now, as I was proof reading for a final time, comes one more school district superintendent this one from Idaho  God bless him.

Columbus Day
A man much maligned in public schools is Christopher Columbus.  If you search the Church website you will find quite a few good references to him, enough to assign out some to each family member.  And there is a good book, Christopher Columbus, a Latter-day Saint Perspective, by Church educator Arnold Garr, written from the viewpoint that Columbus “was not just a skilled, courageous sailor but was also a chosen instrument in the hands of God.”  The book is out of print, but it is available on Amazon Kindle and there are several used copies available.  Be sure to investigate the temple endowments that President WIlford Woodruff administered vicariously to many eminent men and women in the St. George temple.  Four men were made high priests:  Washington, Franklin, Wesley, and Columbus.

Happy homeschooling,
Joyce
and now I’m leaving again, for a week, again without internet!

PS  After listening to one of Larry Arnn’s addresses again (I think it was The Founders’ Key), I read Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address and noticed something very interesting.  Dr. Arnn had said that the only way to change government is through elections, which gives us time to think before we act.  He knows Lincoln well.  I read the First Inaugural, and Lincoln said:

By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject.

That is certainly the intended way, but I think Lincoln also mentioned another way to stop presidential mischief: defunding.  Here is what he said:

Doing this [preserving the Union] I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

Our U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Obamacare.  Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ted Cruz led the fight, and they are both really good men who have spent their whole lives, from childhood, studying and loving our Constitution (as did Rand Paul).  Their legislation defunded only Obamacare; all other government funding would have continued. Getting the bill through the Senate was not possible, but at least they didsomething and they got the attention of the American people.  Or at least some of them.  The hours of testimony Senator Cruz gave explaining why Obamacare is bad were not covered by the mainstream news outlets.  Here is a clip from TheBlaze.com that will give you an idea of Senator Cruz’s character.

And if you are confused about what is going on, here is Senator Lee’s explanation.

Will our Union “constitutionally defend and maintain itself”?  Isn’t it the same issue today — the balancing of power between the states and the feds.  Did Lincoln get it right?  Will we?

A Core of Our Own: With Our Feet Firmly Planted by Joyce Kinmont

August 13, 1013

A Core of Our Own:  With Our Feet Firmly Planted
by Joyce Kinmont

As Latter-day Saints we are engaged in becoming worthy citizens in a Zion society, a society we have to build.  As a part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, shouldn’t we return to the religious education that was originally understood by Joseph Smith and our early church leaders?

When I wrote a three part article for our website several years ago, I relied on Jack Monnett’s book, Revealed Educational Principles and the Public Schools for understanding and for quotes. I wondered if I dared to use a couple of quotes that included the word “infidelity.” Was the word too strong?  Would people be offended? How was it meant? I decided to use them.  Today I have no question; the word fits.

So let’s visit those quotes again, and some more.

When the legislature passed the Free Education Act of 1890 (and really, “Free” should be written in quotes because it isn’t free; it’s expensive!) President George Q. Cannon wrote in the Juvenile Instructor:

“It will be a great temptation to many people to send their children to the free schools that will now be supported by our taxes, but of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith.”  – Monnett, p.154

The gospel was not taught in the “free” schools.  The Saints didn’t seem to care.  So President Cannon tried again, in stronger language, in a later issue of the Juvenile Instructor:

There are parents who are very favorable to their children receiving education, but appear to be indifferent as to the character of the teaching which they receive. They do not seem to place any value on their children being taught the principles of their religion. Apparently, therefore, they would as soon their children be taught in schools or colleges where religion is entirely ignored as in an academy taught by Latter-day Saints . . . the Latter-day Saints have forsaken everything for their religion. They have been willing to die for it . . . how persons who have had these feelings concerning religion in their own case can be so careless as to expose their children to infidelity seems a great mystery. -p.161

If Christ is the bridegroom, then unfaithfulness to Him is infidelity.  But the Saints still did not respond.

One frustrated church school principal wrote to Brother Maeser, “We believe the Saints should say today as Israel of old, ‘God hath spoken, let Israel obey and patronize these schools and fill them to overflowing.” –p.155

The Saints heard plenty of counsel, even pleadings, from their leaders.  And the Church did everything possible to reduce tuitions and make obedience easier. But the Saints weren’t willing to make the sacrifices.

Jack points out that their choice was clear.  The Lord’s schools, or man’s.  Follow inspired leaders, or not.  For us the choice is clouded by years of compromise and by our having lived so long in Babylon.

Another friend of mine points out that the very purpose of the state schools was to destroy the Mormon religion.  So why would the Saints fall into that trap?  And why are we still there?

Had those early Saints, some of them the posterity of the pioneers, chosen what seemed at the time to be the hard road, would they have built Zion by now?

Instead they put their church leaders into the same quandary the Utah State School Board found themselves in:  Is it better to have a place at the table than to not have any influence at all?  It seems the School Board used that question as a justification for doing what they wanted to do – receive a “chunk of cash.”  From the taxpayers. (see previous article)  The Church, of course, looked to the Master for answers.  I’m sure there was much sadness.

Jack wrote that enrollment in church schools “peaked at about 10%. . . . Not only was this a sad commentary against the Saints, it was an embarrassment to their leaders. Their enemies, however, were elated.”

Commissioner Jacob Boreman, who had feared that the Mormons would blindly follow their leaders, reported:

These efforts of the Mormon Church are necessarily causing divisions among the membership of the church upon educational matters. This, however, is a healthful sign, as is every act which causes the people to think for themselves. It creates and develops individual independence. The outlook is indeed encouraging. – p.187

Jack wrote:

President Cannon had been one of the chief leaders of the church school movement.  As President Woodruff’s first counselor, he had worked hand and hand with the prophet to bring about a celestial education program that they and all the General Board agreed was a necessary step in creating Zion among the Saints.  When it became clear that church members were more comfortable with an education program “like all the nations,” (1 Sam 8:5) and were not willing to sacrifice or separate themselves from those around them, plans were made to once again work with Latter-day Saint youth in public schools.  It was awkward because the Brethren had been vocal about the differences of public and church education and had pointed out public school weaknesses. Previously, President Cannon had asked the Saints, “of what value is learning if it is acquired at the expense of faith?” He spoke to church educators and observed that “Although infidelity is not directly taught in the public schools, its spirit is fostered by the exclusion of religious education.

“In the summer of 1891, recognizing that a partnership had to be forged in order to continue teaching LDS youth, he said:

“The district schools must be patronized by the Latter-day Saints for many reasons; they are supported, to a large extent, by the taxes of the Latter-day Saints, and it would be well for the children to be trained in those schools at least up to their twelfth year; as it is supposed that this can be done without endangering their faith. Again, we have been accused of being opposed to education and the district school system, and we must not give our traducers the shadow of a foundation on which to rest their charges.” – Monnett, p 192-3

Jack continued:

Necessarily, the foe became the ally.  Competition that had at times been bitter now became friendly.  A new educational direction was given to the Saints. . . . Karl Maeser, who had once labeled public schools “godless,” said in 1898:  “By wise legislation it is provided, that the public schools shall be kept free from partisan politics, sectarian influences, and the inculcation of infidel theories.  These sound restrictions guarantee in some measure at least to the children of our people, a so-called common English education without the bias of sectarianism or the negative tendencies of atheism.” – p.193

In the 1890’s the Church did have a place at the table.  John Taylor was the first Superintendent of Schools.  Many teachers were LDS.  And society was basically moral.  By the 1990’s the Church had little influence.  And today?  Is there any reason to remain in the schools of our enemies?

Now It’s Our Turn
One of the most beautiful talks ever given about becoming Zion is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s August 2012 CES address, “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling.”  He spoke of the many times when the Lord’s people had to flee:

For more than 4,000 years of covenantal history, this has been the pattern: Flee and seek. Run and settle. Escape Babylon. Build Zion’s protective walls.

Until now. Until tonight. Until this our day.

Our call is to build Zion where we are.

One of the many unique characteristics of our dispensation, this the dispensation of the fullness of times—the last and greatest of all dispensations—is the changing nature of how we establish the kingdom of God on earth. You see, one of the truly exciting things about this dispensation is that it is a time of mighty, accelerated change. And one thing that has changed is that the Church of God will never again flee.

In these last days, in this our dispensation, we would become mature enough to stop running. We would become mature enough to plant our feet and our families and our foundations in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people permanently. Zion would be everywhere—wherever the Church is. And with that change—one of the mighty changes of the last days—we no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.

How are we going to live?  How are our children going to learn their gospel, their life mission and occupation, their family heritage, and their national heritage, all of which includes reading and writing and every truth about everything on this planet?  Is it time to pick up where the children of the pioneers stepped off the path?  Is it time to walk away from schools that were originally set up in Utah for the purpose of destroying the power of the Mormon church (and on the East Coast for similar reasons, including to make all immigrants “common.”

Do we want to be like Germany, as is the stated goal of the president and was the goal of Horace Mann in early Massachusetts?  Why do we put a bubble around government schools and release them from accountability to Biblical moral standards?  Why do we force our children to go where they aren’t safe and pretend what happens there is good for them — although we wouldn’t allow such things at home?

Elder Holland said:

In the 21st century we cannot flee any longer. We are going to have to fight for laws and circumstances and environments that allow the free exercise of religion and our franchise in it. That is one way we can tolerate being in Babylon but not of it.

Our children were born into our family, but not into a school classroom.  We do not need to “flee” the school system; we just need to stop choosing to send our children there.  If there are attempts to force us to do otherwise, they would be unrighteous dominion and unconstitutional.  

What “laws and circumstances and environments” will allow our children to have a religious education?  Elder Holland didn’t say anything about education, so we have to figure it out for our own families.  Are we willing to fight for our choice of “circumstances”?  I hope we are!

With our feet and our families and our foundation firmly planted!
Joyce

For Further Study:
Israel, Israel, God is Calling, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Broadcast, 2012 Elder Holland didn’t talk about education, but he did talk about Zion behaviors we must learn, so please watch the talk!  
Not Commanded in All Things, Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Conference Report, April 1965

An Education for Our Day: What It Might Be

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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Seeing and feeling these changes in their older siblings, our younger children should be growing up with more maturity and sense of purpose.

  7. 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:

  1. 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.”

  2. Elder Callister gives “three key factors that contribute to such dramatic growth in the mission years”
    a.      trust
    b.     high expectations of the Mission President
    c.      training and retaining

  3. Then he suggests that we could apply these same principles to deacons quorum presidents.

  4. He includes a graphic to illustrate how the growth line might increase (p.52, Ensign, May 2013).

  5. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. There might be outside speakers arranged; there might be educational family outings or vacations.

  11. 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

  1. To help the youth get a good education outside of government dependency.

  2. To help the youth, especially the Aaronic priesthood, fulfill their requirement to “give meaningful service.”

  3. To help the youth spend their non-Sunday time more advantageously and move smoothly into missions and adulthood.

  4. 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
on Communism.

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.

Celebrating July’s Holy Holidays

July 24, 2013

 Celebrating July’s Holy Holidays
by Joyce Kinmont
Happy 24th of July
The Fourth of July is always marked by parades, but in Salt Lake City the biggest parade of the year is held on July 24, Pioneer Day.  My favorite parade, by far, was one none of us attended.  It was held on July 24, 1849, two years to the day after the Saints had arrived in Utah.  It was a grand celebration and a parade to commemorate that arrival.
President Packer described it in his October 2008 Conference address, The Test.  He said that in spite of the persecutions the Saints had suffered, and although they were living in exile beyond the borders of the United States, they remained faithful to the Constitution.
It may seem puzzling, incredible almost beyond belief, that for the theme of this first celebration they chose patriotism and loyalty to that same government which had rejected and failed to assist them. What could they have been thinking of?  If you can understand why, you will understand the power of the teachings of Christ.
“If you can understand . . . .”   President Packer used those words several times.   I do understand that our pioneers knew and treasured the Declaration and the Constitution far more deeply than we do.  I believe they better understood the religious significance of those documents.
I think the significance of the young men carrying the documents in the parade rises from their responsibility to protect their families and communities.  The documents should have been their protection in the states, and it was the mobs who violated the principles, not any failure of the documents, that caused their suffering.  The Saints knew the documents were of God and were for all people.
I think the significance of the young women carrying the scriptures arises from their nurturing role and their future motherhood.  President McKay said motherhood is the closest thing to Godhood.  Mothers sacrifice their own bodies to bring others to this second estate.  Mothers nurture the children and provide their first gospel lessons.
As for the “silver grays,” President Packer explained the symbolism:  “These men were a symbol of the priesthood…”  My own realization is that since the men are ordained to the priesthood as “kings and priests” they are responsible to both governing and administer the gospel in their family and community by Holy principles.  The Declaration and the Constitution are Holy documents that contain the principles God gave to ancient prophets.
It disappoints me that we pay so little attention to our founding documents on our Holy July holidays.  Yesterday Glenn Beck had a man named Carlo on his tv program.  Carlo is one of the leaders of a 30,000 member “tea party” in Italy.  He came to America for a month to attend Glenn’s Man in the Moon event and to study how they might implement the principles in our founding documents in his own country.  How he loves our documents.
The 4th of July, Independence Day
The Declaration of Independence was approved in Congress on July 2, but the printed document was dated July 4.  John Adams had already written to Abigail on the 3rd:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
For my family this year was truly “a great anniversary festival.”  The celebrations around the 4th were the same as always in our local communities, but there was a great festival in Salt Lake City because Glenn Beck was in town.  On the 5th my husband and I joined his celebration.  We spent Friday at the hotel handing out literature at the Common Core table, bagging books at David Barton’s table, listening to Senator Mike Lee’s speech, and talking to many wonderful people from all over the country.  That evening we attended the Freedomworks event and heard more fantastic speakers.  We were especially moved by Rafeal Cruz, the Cuban immigrant and father of US Senator Ted Cruz.
On Saturday evening thirteen members of our family, including five grandchildren, attended the Man in the Moon program.  We came hours early to stake out our place on the lawn. Yes, we got very wet.  No, we didn’t care.  Yes, we prayed with David Barton, saw the double rainbow, and knew that God was there.  Yes, the program was fantastic and inspiring.  And yes, all 20,000 of us will feel the lasting impact of the Man in the Moon’s message for a long, long time.
Oh, and after the Man in the Moon finished his story there were spectacular fireworks! 
Here’s what the rain and the rainbow looked like before the show.
Here’s a look at the Man in the Moon himself.
If you are fascinated by the flag ceremony you may want to watch this close up footage and this radio discussion about how the flag lowering was done.
If you are a subscriber to TheBlaze.com you probably watched the Behind the Scenes Documentary that aired July 12.  If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up for a two week free trial.  There is so much good on that station; it is a living curriculum for any family.  Raj, who made the short before-the-show rainbow video, also hosts a wonderful children’s program called Liberty Tree.  For the teens and college students, Wilkow, is a great “civics” teacher who your teens and college students will enjoy.
From Church History
Today I reread The Test, but on the 4th of July I watched both President Packer and President Benson and wrote:
In 1997 the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence was celebrated by our Church with great seriousness.  Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, was in charge.  This morning I watched his October 1976 Conference Address, Our Priceless Heritage, which he gave at the end of the bicentennial celebration.  (I think he really wanted to call his remarks “America on Her Knees.”) He paid tribute to the Declaration and to the brave, inspired men who risked their lives to write and sign it:
The Declaration of Independence was to set forth the moral justification of a rebellion against a long-recognized political tradition—the divine right of kings. At issue was the fundamental question of whether men’s rights were God-given or whether these rights were to be dispensed by governments to their subjects. This document proclaimed that all men have certain inalienable rights. In other words, these rights came from God. Therefore, the colonists were not rebels against political authority, but a free people only exercising their rights before an offending, usurping power. They were thus morally justified to do what they did.
President Benson also paid tribute to pioneers and quoted President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. from his remarks on July 24, 1947 when he dedicated the This Is the Place Monument, at the mouth of Emigration Canyon where that first company of Saints stopped to survey the valley below.  President Clark asked:
 “Can we keep and preserve what they [those valiant patriots and pioneers] wrought? Shall we pass on to our children the heritage they left us, or shall we lightly fritter it away? Have we their faith, their bravery, their courage; could we endure their hardships and suffering, make their sacrifices, bear up under their trials, their sorrows, their tragedies, believe the simple things they knew were true, have the simple faith that worked miracles for them, follow, and not falter or fall by the wayside, where our leaders advance, face the slander and the scorn of an unpopular belief? Can we do the thousands of little and big things that made them the heroic builders of a great Church, a great commonwealth?”
We can and we must do at least a few little and big things.
I’ll be sending that article out very soon.  Today I just wanted to note these sacred and Holy days.

Which Presidents’ Day?

February 16, 2013

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington’s of course!

We used to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Washington’s on February 22. In my childhood, way long ago, decorations were in every home and elementary schoolroom. The “5-and-10 cent” stores, affectionately called the “5 and 10”, had a nice variety of knickknacks and flags and pictures. Silhouettes were popular. The holiday was important to Americans. 

There was no question then that Washington and Lincoln were our greatest presidents. I knew their faces well from my childhood, but until recently I never knew about the covenants they made with God.

I learned this from Timothy Ballard, who teaches that both of these men understood that America was a Promised Land.  Both understood the covenants made between God and ancient Israel.  Both made covenants with God.

Abraham Lincoln:  You can read Tim Ballard’s fascinating article, “Joseph Smith, Abraham Lincoln, and the Call for Repentance” in Meridian Magazine.  You will learn of the religious struggle Lincoln had and the covenant he made that led to the call for emancipation.  It’s an inspiring and amazing article!

George Washington: You can purchase the video of Tim Ballard’s presentation “The Covenant” about Washington’s miraculous experiences and his walk with God.  The presentation was given at Glenn Beck’s Restoring Love event.  I wasn’t there, but I love, love, love this video. 

Order the video this week:  Tim’s publisher has agreed to give us a special price of $10 for the video (regular price $17.76) just for the coming week. I am not making any money on this and neither is the publisher; we just want to make this year a special celebration for two former Presidents whose stories need to be told. 

We will do this special “group buy” offer through PayPal.  Just send me an email at joyce@ldshea.org by Saturday, Feb 23, at noon.   Tell me how many copies you want and I will send you a bill which you can pay on your credit card.  A PayPal account is not necessary.  Postage will be $3.95 (unless you want more than two copies), and there is tax if you live in Utah.  I will do the work — I’ll go into Salt Lake on Monday the 24th to pick the videos up, and I’ll have them in the mail in padded envelopes that day or the next.  Obviously you’ll have to celebrate Washington’s birthday a bit late, but I promise it will be worth it.  (I have two copies of the video, one for myself and one that I am passing around the neighborhood.  I’m also having a family party on Feb 22, projecting the video on the wall, and serving cherry cake.)

Tim Ballard has researched and written two wonderful books, one about Washington and the newest one about Lincoln.  If this group buy is successful, I will ask if we can do one for the books in March or April.

Remember, the Lincoln article is free, and the Washington video is only $10 until noon on Saturday.  Send your order and address by Saturday at noon to joyce@ldshea.org.  (I’ll buy envelopes Saturday afternoon and get them addressed.)

Was the founding of the United States of America a fulfillment of biblical prophecy?  Did George Washington defeat the greatest military power of his day by making a covenant with God? Was the Civil War a holy war?

Timothy Ballard has brought together a narrative of America that has never been told before. He has searched the depth and breadth of American history, revealing for sure about America what some Americans already knew, and many hoped to be true…. that God is the author of this nation.

Have a wonderful, extended Presidents’ Day,

Joyce

The Election is the Lesson: “for such a time as this”

Joyce Kinmont, joyce@ldshea.org
LDS Home Educators Assn, since 1990

http://www.ldshea.org

Many years ago, Diane Hopkins from LoveToLearn.net wrote an article titled “The Baby is the Lesson.”  I don’t remember what the article said, but the title said volumes.  Regular schoolwork goes on auto-pilot or minimum schedule or is set aside all together while the most important lessons of life are learned.  What better teaching experience could there be?

Americans seem to have come alive with the recognition that the upcoming election is the most important election of our lifetime.  The presidential debates — the first one is being held tomorrow — is important and homeschoolers should watch and discuss it. 

Over the weekend I received a message from my good friend, Gayle Ruzicka, who is as constitutionally-minded a lady as you will ever meet and a long-time homeschooler and protector of homeschooling rights.  Her powerful influence can be measured by the way the media is always interviewing her about legislative matters, by the editorials written for and against her, and by the threats and hate mail she gets from certain groups.  Gayle was never a strong Romney supporter because Romney was not a strong conservative.  Now she, like so many others, has taken a deeper look and is wholeheartedly supporting him. Her endorsement means a lot.

I am also satisfied that Romney is the man for our day.  President Benson used to say that America is the Lord’s base of operations, and the first rule of warfare is to protect your base.  I have to think that if there are enough good people and the Constitution is to be saved, surely the Lord would want a spiritual, faithful leader?  Romney may need some informed citizen pressure here and there, and he needs a constitutional congress to work with him, but he is up to the job and the alternative is unthinkable.  Here is Gayle’s email note (emphasis hers):

Dear Friends,

Please join Don and myself as we join with thousands of good people across this nation in a special day of fast and prayer for Mitt Romney on Sunday, September 30. 
Mitt and his family need our prayers and support.  The first presidential debate will be [tomorrow], October 3, and we need to pray for Mitt’s success at the debate.  We need to pray that Mitt will have the strength and endurance necessary to survive the next 6 weeks.
 
We must have a change in the White House.  I am concerned that freedom cannot not survive for 4 more years if the current administration remains.

God loves the United States of America and he wants us to be successful as a nation. I believe if we do all that we can through our hard work and prayers in behalf of Mitt Romney that miracles will happen and through God’s grace this nation will be saved.
 
Can you imagine the power of a fast with thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of people from all religious beliefs and churches joining together in prayer for the salvation of our country through the election of Mitt Romney?  Remember Esther Chapter 6 when Esther asked her people to “fast for me?”  They did and a nation was saved.
 
Please contact all your friends and family everywhere and ask them to join with us in this special day of fast.  Ask them to contact all of their friends.  Take this message to the churches. You can forward this email or compose your own.
 
I am so excited to be a part of this time in history, to have this special opportunity to stand for liberty.  Who knows that just maybe we are here for “such a time as this.”
 
Thank you,
Gayle Ruzicka

I received Gayle’s message a second time when it was forwarded by Oak Norton, a former Ron Paul supporter.  You may not know Oak, but he is probably the leading voice in opposition to Common Core.  You may not know what Common Core is, but you can learn about it on Oak’s website, Utah’s Republic .  Just look for articles on the right sidebar.  Common Core is the complete nationalization of education, which is the complete antithesis of liberty.  It will result in the end of homeschooling, and I can hardly think about what it will mean to our children.  Mitt Romney does not support Common Core.  Here is the note Oak added to Gayle’s email:

For any of you that feel like participating in this, I will be. Many of you are Ron Paul supporters like myself. Many of you were frustrated at the treatment he received by the GOP. I know I was. However, one thing is clear and that is the president has a definite motive to destroy America. His agenda is to tear us down and implement a fundamental change that would negate the constitution. Mitt Romney has some big government tendencies but he loves America. He’s also a good person at heart who loves God and I believe with that characteristic in the office of President, he will be open to inspiration because this country needs it more than ever if we are going to turn things around. Mitt turned around Massachusetts’ finances while he was in office, and my hope is that he can do the same for this country. We all know we need it and we all know we’re not going to get it from our current president who is actively trying to push us further into debt.
Oak

I was not home on Saturday so I couldn’t send this message out on time, but fasting and prayer is going on all over this country and will continue.  There are many perspectives out there, so please be patient where there are disagreements.  And please be very serious about the consequences of this election.

Incidentally, Gayle was at the Republican convention and was well aware of the mischief that happened there against Ron Paul.  It was not Mitt’s doing; he was campaigning in a different state at the time.

I will post as much information as I am able between now and the election. I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it is offered.  We are living in a historic time.

On 9-11 you probably spent the day in front of your television, maybe many days.  You may remember that flags were seen everywhere; you probably put one up in your front yard.  My daughter Tina was homeschooling in Salt Lake City at that time, and life stopped for them.  Even though they knew no one in the buildings, they clung to every piece of information. The event became the lesson. To focus her children, who were fairly young, on something positive, she had them make thank you cards for the New York City police and firefighters.  Then they put out a call for other children to make cards.  They put drop boxes in local libraries.  The tv news reported the effort.  Twelve hundred cards were collected by Tina and her children and sent to New York City through the Red Cross.  

This year an ambassador and three others were killed on 9-11 and the White House lied about it.  This month the election is the lesson.  We fought a spiritual battle over liberty before and we were valiant then; we are fighting for liberty again here on earth, both spiritually and physically.  Who shall be our Captain?  Who shall be his warriors?

Study from true sources, pray, fast if you can, and ask the Lord what you should lay on the altar.  The election is the lesson.  Our role in saving the Constitution and all that it stands for is the lesson. God bless us.