Category Archives: hs methods

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education | Three Reasons for Home/Private Schooling

July 30, 2014

Common Core: Report on Glenn Beck’s We Will Not Conform

LDS Homeschool Conference, Aug 8-9, UT

One more LDS Homeschooling conference is being held this summer, on Aug 8-9 at Utah Valley University in Orem UT.  This conference is offered by long time homeschoolers Thom and Tresta Neil. The Neil’s are extremely well organized and their speaker lineup looks fantastic. I was delighted to see that at least two of the speakers invited class attendees to read a selection beforehand. There is also a youth conference.  If your financial and family situation allows, I encourage you to attend. I will have a table in the vendor area, which is open to the public, so please come by and visit whether you are attending the conference or not.

Some people have thought this was my convention, but it is not. We held our last LDS-HEA Conference in 2007.  By then my “staff” had all grown up and moved on, and I was worn out.  My place in the homeschool movement now, as I see it, is to be a voice for the Lord’s educational program.  I believe the time has come to speak boldly, though I realize I am preaching to the choir.

The Next Steps Toward Religious Education

A few days ago my husband presented me, with fanfare, the newly arrived AugustEnsign, opened in a two page spread to the article, “Home, the Heart of Learning” (p.28).  It said, “The primary place of teaching and learning is the home.” I also watched the 2014 Learning and Teaching in the Home and the Church videos, and loved them.

The article spoke of learning being “centered” in the home. I picture a beam of light illuminating the home where education is part of the family culture.  Whenever a family member leaves for education, a portion of the light moves with him, and he goes to a tutor who also lives in a beam of light. The Church is also a place he goes, and the light is certainly there.  I like to say the office is at home and every home a school.

The Ensign article went on to emphasize developing the habit of continual teaching in the family.  Once homeschoolers obtain the mindset and habits of inspired teaching and learning (if they don’t already have it) they are only inches away from every home a celestial school, and inches away from obtaining for themselves and their children a truly religious education.

What came as a shock to me was that I had already been planning to propose a few “Pondering” activities, which I intended to put in a handout on my table at the Neil’s conference (and I still will). One would say something like this:

  • Our Heavenly Father sent His own Son to parents who would provide a fully religious education.  If you look under Education in the LDS Bible Dictionary, you will find that, “The ‘religious question’ could not exist in Jewish education…”  What would it feel like to have all of education be religiously based?  What did it mean for Mary and Joseph?  How and what would Mary teach her son?  How and what would Joseph teach?  How would the boy Jesus and other 12-year-old youth in his village be different from our youth their age?Can you picture, or feel, what education in your home might be if all of it were taught from a religious perspective?  Can you picture the Holy Ghost shining down on your home as a shaft of light and everything being taught by that light?

Please feel free to refine my “Pondering” activity and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions. This is just the first of many Ponderings we need to do.  Maybe your words will help others.

Now for the bold part, which has been on my mind for some time. These are my strongest opinions, so hold on:

Three Reasons for Home and Private Religious Education

1.  Government schools are not spiritually, morally, or physically safe
It is time for all parents to really examine the wisdom of sending our children to the schools of Babylon which are working models of everything anti-Christ.  Not only are our children indoctrinated in falsehoods, but they practice the behaviors and thinking patterns of the anti-Christ as they are controlled by bells and tests and computer screens and evil philosophies.  Once Common Core is fully implemented, our children will be nothing more than objects to be acted upon.  Even if Common Core is stopped, the same people with the same philosophies will simply pull back and wait for everyone to go back to sleep and then move forward again.

We can no longer put a bubble over our local school and allow things to happen there that we would not allow anyplace else.  We can not justify evil in the name of “learning to live in the real word” or of “being missionaries.” Our youth are gasping for air.  Many develop coping strategies, such as spending lunch hour in the Seminary building, “Where I feel safe,” or “finding a quiet place to read a few scriptures on an iphone.” Those who don’t find a way to cope fail, and thus we have an epidemic of “failure to launch.”

We tell our youth to hold to the rod, don’t get off The Path; then we plant them firmly on the other path. It’s one thing to live in Babylon and not be of Babylon; it is another thing to be enrolled, controlled, converted, perverted, and force-fed poisonous philosphies by Babylon.

Why did this happen?  Because parents and schools stopped teaching the rising generations religion and morality, and society began to crumble.  In December 1962, President McKay said: “By making [prayer] unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator himself” (Religion in Public Life, Elder Dallin H. Oaks).  The cord is cut; American schools as they once were, and as we wish they still were, are no longer.  Anything that is still good, including great teachers, is not part of the current plan and will not endure.  Someday all may be restored, but in the meantime, our children need to be rescued, not abandoned to “social justice” and Marxism.

2.  There is an opportunity cost
The “opportunity cost” to our children is enormous. Because the great bulk of their time is taken up by the Babylonian education, there is no room in their day in which to obtain a good Christian education.  Nor do they have the spiritual hunger to invest in that education, or even the hunger for the less rigorous pursuits of great music and literature.  Their love of learning has been extinguished.

In the seventh grade at American Heritage school in American Fork UT, the students meet in a beautiful, peaceful classroom.  On the wall is a large picture of General George Washington kneeling in prayer.  The students study true American history from original sources, and at the end of the year they write a final essay listing 50 proofs that America was founded as a Christian country.  I find that inspiring.  And simple.  If enough families would do this, we might save America.

3.  The Lord wants us to have a religious education
Do anti-Christ educations prepare us for Zion?  Will anti-Christ schools be welcomed there? Or does the Lord want a Christian education for His children?  It certainly seems the Church is slowly moving us in that direction.  Will homeschoolers ignite the fire?  What will a religious education look like in our homes?  What will it be like in a ward?  A stake?  Should this be another Pondering activity?

I wonder if we could find 50 proofs that the Lord wants a religious education.  Maybe some families or some groups of families should try this and report.  If anyone who lives near me wants to meet together to talk about these ideas, I’d love to participate.  My head is swimming with thoughts ready to be joined by yours.

Joyce

Please, please go see Dinesh D’Sousa’s America, Imagine the World Without Her if you can.  It is wonderful. Here’s a debate with D’Sousa and Bill Ayers.

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Elder Bednar Leads the Way to Restoring Education!!!

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about strategies our youth are using to deal with the temptations and evils of their public schools, things like finding a hidden moment to listen to scriptures on their phones or hanging out in the Seminary building at lunch to feel safe. Our youth are gasping for air!  When will we get them to safety? For a people in the process of building Zion, a Godless education can not be tolerated.

In Christ’s day, education among His people was religious (see Education in the Bible Dictionary). So it was in early America.  So it was for the Saints under the leadership of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  In John Taylor’s day the Utah Saints chose “free” government schools, and they did so over the objections and the pleadings of Church leaders.  If we want to build Zion, we must restore religious education,

Joseph Smith’s Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ reconnected the Church to what Christ had established on His earthly mission.  The Restoration also restored forward, taking us to unfamiliar places that were not seen in Christ’s day, such as temple work for our ancestors. If we continue moving forward we may learn things that have been hidden in plain sight and some that only the City of Enoch knew. That path is becoming more clearly marked.

We often hear messages from church leaders that if we teach our children the gospel at home they will survive public schools. Those messages used to bother me because so many don’t survive and those who do survive have been cheated out of a Godly education in American History, Literature, Government, and even Math and Science.  I’m comfortable with that message now because I can see the wisdom in it.  The first and the foundational step toward homeschooling must be a the building of a gospel culture in the home. That culture must go far beyond check-box scripture reading, family prayer, and family night.  The home itself would look and feel like a place where people love to learn.  Family members would become self-directed gospel learners, and the Holy Ghost would become their teacher.

Family-directed religious education might do two things:  First, it will prepare the family for, and lead them into learning together every day, all subjects, at home and/or in places that feel like home.  Youth being taught under the influence of the Holy Ghost will see the difference between being a child of God with the gift of agency and being an object who is acted upon. They will not want to waste their time in anti-God schools and will demand a religious education.  Second, the strength of the families and the power of the Priesthood will be a protection from challenges to religious freedom, religious education, and homeschooling.

Families who are new to homeschooling or who are not feeling successful should consider that the first thing is to strengthen relationships, then faith, and then skills and knowledge.What Elder Bednar teaches about Teaching and Learning points the way for all we do at home, not necessarily by his intention but simply because the same principles he is teaching the church apply to home and family.  A friend pointed me to some outstanding videos, and my grandson taught me how to put them on a YouTube Playlist,  Go to YouTube, then search for Every Home a School, then “Prophets Teach Us How to Learn/Teach/Parent.”  The first video is “The Importance of Teaching in the Gospel, Part 1.”  Following it are 11 short clips, the first five lifted from Part 1 and the other six apparently from a Part 2 which I cannot find. I’ve also added another short clip from Elder Bednar, a story he told in England about a remarkable experience at BYUI.  And then there are three full talks, one from Elder Perry on how his mother made their home a school (my words, not his), and two from members of the Seventy: Elder Lynn Robbins, “What Manner of Men Ought We To Be,” about “becoming” and parenting, and Elder David Stone, “Zion in the Midst of Babylon,” which calls us to examine the influence of culture.If you have read the many pages of text I linked to the Escape Common Core video on the home page of our website, you may remember that I said, with great delight, that the Church is teaching us how to homeschool our children. Elder Bednar is magnificent.  Enjoy!

What Manner of School Ought We to Have?

I was out driving one day and thought to turn my radio on just minutes before an hour break and just in time to hear the last question in an interview with Dr. Raymond Moody who speaks about near-death experiences. The questions was about the people who stayed on the other side for the longest amounts of time, and Dr. Moody said the thing they all talked about was seeing multitudes of people going into beautiful buildings of education.  They were excited about learning. Naturally I thought of the 24 temples in Joseph Smith’s plat plan for the New Jerusalem in Missouri.

What will a school in Zion be like?  Will it be like early American schools?  The Founders envisioned government encouraged education. The Northwest Ordinance, signed into law by George Washington, directed the circumstances under which new states to the west of the original thirteen would be admitted to the union.  The ordinance said, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”  Land was set aside in the middle of each township for a school.  The schools were built and run locally.  Thomas Jefferson supported taxation.  He said, “Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”

The reason the Founders wanted schools in every community was to protect our liberties.  How much of what is done in school today prepares students to protect their liberties? How much actually destroys “religion, morality, and [true] knowledge”?  Should we, then, restore the early American pattern of schools?  Should schools again be established under state constitutions, without federal involvement?  Should they be overseen and supported by taxation at the local community level rather than at the federal level?  Or might there be an even better way?

The Brigham Young Academy was founded in 1876 in Provo, Utah, 20 years before statehood and the adoption of “free” schools in Utah.  President Brigham Young called Carl Maeser to head the academy and told him not to teach “so much as the alphabet or the multiplications tables without the Spirit of God.”  The story was told by Terry Warner in a BYU Devotional address on November 11, 2008.  Brother Warner also established a permanent exhibit on the BYU campus as a tribute to the Academy and the great men and women who taught there.  The Academy was technically a high school, but I suspect the courses were more challenging and the students more mature in that day before the invention of “teenage.”  (Thanks to the new changes in our church, our teenage culture is changing.)

I first discovered Brother Warner’s Devotional a couple of years after he gave it, and wondered how anyone could watch it and not want such a school for their children.  I watched and read the devotional many times and visited the exhibit at BYU.  Now, three years later, I watched the talk again and it seemed quite different.  I heard things I didn’t remember hearing before and was so stunned by some of it that I downloaded the text again and compared it to the one I had saved in 2011, which was actually entitled “The Education of the Whole Soul.”  (The title is still the same on the print out, but on the BYU website it is listed as “The Lighters of Our Lamps.”).  The words are still the same!  I am amazed.  The only explanation I can see is that our situation has changed in the last year or two with the rapidity we see in Book of Mormon accounts.  Last night I attended a small meeting at which people spoke of having feelings that they need to start a private school.

If you’ve read Brother Warner’s devotional speech before, please read it again. It is very moving and quite sobering.  Whatever we do in education, we want to be on the path to that City of Zion.  Are there clues here about what that path might be.

We will be coming back to this topic soon to look at more schools.

For further study:

The American Founding Fathers, more Jefferson quotes:  http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-education

Terry Warner, “Lighters of our Lamps,” text, audio, and video
http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1813

Joyce

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.

Common Core: Our Destruction or Our Opportunity Part 2a: About Common Core by Joyce Kinmont

This article is long.  It has taken me weeks of study and rewriting and trying to simplify.  Every time I think I’m done, there is something new. I’ve discovered that others have had the same frustrations.  This has not been a pleasant experience.

Learning about Common Core may not be a pleasant experience for you either.  It may overwhelm you.  It may scare or depress you.  But it is real and it will affect us all during the next school year, if it hasn’t already.  Please hold on to your faith; all is not lost yet.  As big and as ugly as Common Core is, there is also a growing movement for innovation and freedom in education.  Life has always had its opposites, and at times like this the clash between the two can be intense.  At this point we are in a fight to the death — the death of liberty, of family, of our future as a country is at stake.  Interestingly, Education may be the issue that wakes us all up. Education may also be the weapon that stops Common Core, so let’s get educated and start educating.  As my lawyer friend always says, “know your enemy.”


Common Core is an educational system that completely nationalizes education in America.  It is an unconstitutional and illegal takeover orchestrated by the federal government, political activists, and private interests.  It moves all significant oversight and decision making from parents, teachers, and local districts to the national level and the private sector.  It’s goal is to connect education to the workforce in a “seamless web, cradle to grave.”  Common Core is about indoctrination and control.

Except for its name, Common Core is not new; it’s basically the same plan that was nearly introduced when President Clinton was elected to the White House in 1992.  Let’s look at that plan first so we can better understand the new version.

“DEAR HILLARY”

On November 11, 1992, a week after the election, progressive education reformer Marc Tucker sent an 18 page congratulatory letter to Hillary in which he detailed a strategy by which the new president could “move like lightening” in a national takeover of the schools and the workforce.  This plan would have made the Clintons dictators.

By some miracle, the “Dear Hillary” letter was leaked, and in 1998 it was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Bob Schaffer who considered the plan treasonous.  The letter gives us a candid view of the true intentions of Mr. Tucker and his conspiring friends.  It is not an editorial or an article; it is a “confidential” communication of an excited man who believes he can be part of a new America.

The Clintons did not accomplish all of the dreams outlined in the letter, but they did move the agenda forward incrementally.  You can read the full letter on Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum website, and I encourage you to do so and keep it handy as you learn about Common Core and watch its implementation over the next year.  (The Eagle Forum website is a good source of information about political and educational issues, including Common Core.)

Here are parts of the Tucker letter:

Dear Hillary,
I still cannot believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met last Wednesday in David Rockefeller’s office with him [and three others]. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were more expansive than I have ever seen them — literally radiating happiness….

The subject we were discussing was what you and Bill should do now about education, training and labor market policy. Following that meeting, I chaired another in Washington on the same topic [15 invited].

Our purpose in these meetings was to propose concrete actions that the Clinton administration could take — between now and the inauguration, in the first 100 days and beyond. The result, from where I sit, was really exciting. We took a very large leap forward in terms of how to advance the agenda on which you and we have all been working — a practical plan for putting all the major components of the system in place within four years, by the time Bill has to run again. . . .

We think the great opportunity you have is to remold the entire American system for human resources development, almost all of the current components of which were put in place before World War II. . . .

First, a vision of the kind of national — not federal — human resources development system the nation could have. This is interwoven with a new approach to governing that should inform that vision. What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities, to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone — young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student….

Second, a proposed legislative agenda you can use to implement this vision. We propose four high priority packages that will enable you to move quickly on the campaign promises:

…. an apprenticeship system as the keystone of a strategy for putting a whole new postsecondary training in place….

…. a rebuilt employment service and a new system of labor market boards to offer the Clinton administration’s employment security program, built on the best practices anywhere in the world. . . . assuring adult workers . . . that they need never again watch with dismay as their jobs disappear….

… a special program to greatly raise the work-related skills of the people trapped in the core of our great cities.

…. advance the elementary and secondary reform agenda.

The other major proposal we offer has to do with government organization for the human resources agenda.  While we share your reservations about the hazards involved in bringing reorganization proposals to the Congress, we believe that the one we have come up with minimizes those drawbacks while creating an opportunity for the new administration to move like lightning to implement its human resources development proposals.  We hope you can consider the merits of this idea quickly, because . . . it will greatly affect the nature of the offers you make to prospective cabinet members….

We take the proposals Bill put before the country in the campaign to be utterly consistent …. for a new human resources development system for the United States….

…. A seamless system of unending skill development that begins in the home with the very young and continues through school, postsecondary education and the workplace.

…. Clear national standards of performance in general education….

…. curriculum, pedagogy, examinations, and teacher education and licensure systems are all linked to the national standards …

…. a system that rewards students who meet the national standards with further education and good jobs, providing them a strong incentive to work hard in school….

The proposal reframes the Clinton apprenticeship proposal as a college program and establishes a mechanism for setting the standards for the program. The unions are adamantly opposed to broad based apprenticeship programs by that name. Focus groups conducted by JFF and others show that parents everywhere want their kids to go to college, not to be shunted aside into a non-college apprenticeship “vocational” program. By requiring these programs to be a combination of classroom instruction and structured OJT, and creating a standard-setting board that includes employers and labor, all the objectives of the apprenticeship idea are achieved, while at the same time assuring much broader support for the idea, as well as a guarantee that the program will not become too narrowly focused on particular occupations. It also ties the Clinton apprenticeship idea to the Clinton college funding proposal in a seamless web….

…. The question is how to get from where we are to where we want to be. Trying to ram it down everyone’s throat would engender overwhelming opposition. Our idea is to draft legislation that would offer an opportunity for those states — and selected large cities — that are excited about this set of ideas to come forward and join with each other and with the federal government in an alliance to do the necessary design work and actually deliver the needed services on a fast track. The legislation would require the executive branch to establish a competitive grant program for these states and cities and to engage a group of organizations to offer technical assistance to the expanding set of states and cities engaged in designing and implementing the new system. . . . As soon as the first set of states is engaged, another set would be invited to participate, until most or all the states are involved….

In spite of his Marxist, redistribute-the-wealth, despotic plan, I could feel Mr. Tucker’s smiles.  He really believes he is doing something good for people.  He thinks Lucifer’s plan really works!

Reading this letter now had a much greater impact on me than reading it in the 90’s.  It was far removed from my reality then; but now, after watching hours of video on Common Core, reading many articles and websites, and attending several of the public meetings, I find the Tucker letter helps me understand the reality of what’s happening today.

COMMON CORE
Two decades after “Dear Hillary” we have Common Core, a new name for the same program.  Where the Tucker agenda had “advance the elementary and secondary reform agenda” as the fourth step, Common Core has the educational components as the first focus while the workforce part rests quietly within — for now.  That part will come later, “like lightening.”   And this time the program is lavishly financed by $4 billion of stimulus money controlled by Arne Duncan, head of the federal Department of Education, and by grants from billionaire businessman, Bill Gates.

State/National Standards
Common Core has four parts.  The first is the much touted writing of new standards to define what skills and concepts students should learn in each grade.  “Clear national standards of performance in general education,” Tucker had called them.  In Common Core proponents insist on calling them State Standards.  In Utah the state proponents insist on calling them the Utah Standards.  When 46 states join together and write a single set of standards which all 46 states voluntarily agree to follow, how can they be anything but National?

Since it is illegal for the federal government to develop curriculum, a bait-and-switch game was devised in which a consortium was set up for teachers and educational experts to write standards “for their own states.”  Mr. Gates wined and dined them and, magically, they ended up with one set of standards upon which they all agreed – except for a couple of the experts who refused to sign off on the them because they were so poorly done.  So, to repeat myself, 46 states produced one unchangeable, copywrited set of standards which all 46 states voluntarily agree to use — thereby agreeing to be managed, controlled, measured, graded, and fined or rewarded by the federal government on the basis of the state, school, and teacher performances.  How can that not be the nationalization of education?

Governors “developed” the Common Core Standards in their own NGA (National Governor’s Assn.).  Why?

The State Superintendents “developed” for Common Core Standards in their CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers).  Why?

Bill Gates donated millions of dollars to make it all happen.  Why?

No state legislatures debated the new standards or the total concept of Common Core.  Why?

The citizens knew nothing about Common Core or the new standards.  Why?

The media seldom covers any of the anti-Common Core concerns.  Why?

Who actually developed the new standards? Did Marc Tucker and friends have it prepared already?

The Standards don’t really reveal the full program.  The website says “Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education.”  If we can’t trust the first sentence, how can we trust anything?

Did the $4 billion in stimulus money being offered to the states have anything to do with getting governors and state superintendents to sign up for this program?

The complete restructuring of our school system and our workforce into a federally controlled, Marxist leaning, cradle-to-grave system should have been transparently presented and nationally debated.  Actually, it should never have been considered.

Curriculum
After the Standards come the curriculum and the testing.  Bill Gates made it clear at a National Conference of State Legislatures in 2009 that the national standards drive both the curriculum and the testing.  How many legislators heard this?

To begin with in Common Core, the curriculum includes only Math and ELA (English Language Arts).  Only portions of the curriculum have been available so far, and none of the testing. The school board, at least in Utah, tells us over and over that teachers are free to determine their own curriculum. Truth is, they may use their own for up to 15% of the content, but most likely that 15% will be more trouble than it is worth for teachers under pressure to teach to the test.

Did you notice that Gates also said (in the video above) that “for the first time” there would be a “powerful market . . . a large uniform base of customers”?  In other words, some private businessmen will make a lot of money on curriculum.  Who might that be?  Recently Gates partnered with Pearson, the largest curriculum provider in the country. Surprise!

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NOTE:  If any Utah legislators missed the early warning signs in 2009, they did have questions later, probably going into their January-February 2011 session.  The State answered those questions with more of the same lies.  A few knew something was wrong from the beginning; more are waking up now, and a few will remain faithful to Common Core to the end.  After I watched the Bill Gates video above again I noticed there were six other parts of it,. I linked from one of those pages to the Gates Foundation video page where I found clips of the first teacher consortium meeting.  It is obvious that Wisconsin did not call Kentucky and say Let’s get together and design some better standards.  Someone conceived this plan, invited the participants, set the agenda, and chose the presenters.  I had begun to wonder if Gates and Duncan were also pulling a bait-and-switch on curriculum — a sham within a sham.  Their talk about curriculum has many good points, but self-motivated, created, thinking students is not what progressives really want.  Are the teachers being massively deceived?

Didn’t anyone who was promoting Common Core see the truth and feel some remorse?  Superintendent Larry Shumway resigned after only three years.  Is he still a supporter?  Does he feel remorse now?  I came across an isolated Facebook page of pictures from his retirement party in December 2012.  A teacher posted a comment there, the only comment made.  First she wrote: “Good Bye to the man who sold our children’s educational freedom to the federal government! I hope he enjoys his 30 pieces of silver!”  That seemed harsh, but I had already written something similar.  And it is true.  Then a few minutes later she added. “This is what a teacher who use to support Common Core now says about it! parents you should be very worried! First, I want to offer you my apologies. It wasn’t long after my presentation that I had a crushing realization that the entire thing (minus the hands-on stuff) was completely misguided. I felt like a flip-flopper, but I’ve always valued the truth more than feeling good. So, I’m here to clear the air. The truth hurts and it should start scaring the hell out of you, because your children are your most precious gift and you will do anything to protect them. The whole reason I was part of the team that put those presentations together was to ease your worry about the changes that were coming. I’m here to retract everything I said. You should be worried. Very worried! I was wrong. The Common Core State Standards is a sham, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is an instrument of devastation… …Now, the Common Core State Standards has one goal: to create common people. The accompanying standardized tests have one purpose: to create standardized people. Why? Because the movers and the shakers have a vested interest in it. It’s about money and it’s about making sure all that money stays in one place. Lots of good people have faced scorn and ridicule for taking a stand against Common Core, and I admire them all, but this was the first time I had seen someone with the courage to change her mind after being a promoter.  I was amazed.

I had also noticed her mention of the hands-on stuff.  I had just watched a classroom teacher doing math with about a dozen second graders, teaching the children to add from left to right which is standard to Common Core.  The problem is that when a column adds up to more than 9 there will be an amount carried over to the next left column.  If you have already added that column, you will have to add it again.  That is why we add from right to left.  This teacher was trying to get the children to think of different ways to solve the problem, also standard Common Core.  After her demonstration the children were to go back to their desks and do a problem on their own.  She reminded them that they must draw pictures and also use words to describe how they worked the problem.  I remember a mother somewhere saying her child worked the problem, got the correct answer, then wrote how she did it — but she didn’t write the correct words in her explanation, so she failed.  So much for independent thinking.  Now picture yourself sitting with a first grader in your home with blocks or chips or cookies, and a paper and pencil.  The problems would have all been done in ten minutes and you would have known exactly what your child was thinking and when he understood. I assume this video was a good example or it wouldn’t have been posted, and I conclude that moms should never be intimidated by classroom schools. The teacher was doing her best, but nothing is as effective as a mother and a child working together.

Now back to where we were in Common Core curriculum.
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Common Core ELA texts for elementary schools were recently sent to Utah for approval. Here is a sample of some of the political indoctrination.  Near the end of this video is a link to an excellent interview with a Clinical Mental Health Therapist who tells us why these books are harmful to children.  You will see the link on the screen or you can link here. (The therapist, Joan Landes, gives some very good, probably unintended, reasons for homeschooling.)

The new math curriculum has been used in some jr high and high school classrooms this year, and it has been a colossal failure, revealing incompetence and a hidden political agenda.  Parents who have helped older children with their math assignments for years are angry that they cannot help anymore because the assignments no longer make sense.  Mothers get tearful about their previously A students who are now failing in math.  Some students are frustrated because they had earned the right to be in an advanced math class but were instead given the new, lesser curriculum.  Many students are upset because they wasted this whole year getting nothing useful from their math class.  There were no year-end test because the tests aren’t written yet! So no none knows if this social justice math program succeeded.  Oh, yes, Mr. Gates, who is also very personable and had done much good with his billions, did tell us we wouldn’t know until the curriculum and the tests were written.

Teachers are complaining too, in private.  Many have posted on a blog, www.UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com hosted by a Utah dad, Oak Norton.

In Texas, a state whose governor did not sign on to Common Core, the CSOPE curriculum was snuck into a large number of the schools.  The curriculum was all on-line and the teachers were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements — they were not allowed to tell parents anything!  The unAmerican curriculum was leaked, however, and David Barton, bless him, got right on it.  He found that the state standards had actually been changed.  He brought samples to Glenn Beck and a Blaze TV show was devoted to it.  Most of the CSOPE heroes were progressives or communists.  Marxism was promoted over capitalism, and globalism was promoted.  Two Texas teachers who were also on the program said the curriculum was scripted and monitors came into the classrooms holding clipboards to see that the scripts were being followed.  A legislative hearing was held and corrections were made.  CSOPE was sanctioned for dishonesty and has now been banned from the state.  You can watch the whole program here. http://youtu.be/DkMNnVk2DtA

Actually, as I’ve read around online, it seems CSCOPE has been heavily involved in subversive teachings in Texas for a long time.  Governor Perry, who saved his state from unfunded federal obligations and horrible, expensive curriculum and testing, needs to watch more closely what’s going on in the schools in his state.  So do we all.

CSCOPE, I understand, is the brainchild of Linda Darling-Hammond.  Here is a long video of her.  When you first watch her she seems like a nice lady.  What’s the problem?  But soon she complains about how the schools have been teaching “a mile wide and an inch deep.” I’ve heard teachers and administrators say that quite a bit lately, and I believe it is coming down from her.  I have two problems with the comment.  First, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with going “a mile wide and an inch dep.”  The instruction period lasts for a set amount of time.  The curriculum must either go “a mile wide and an inch deep” or “a mile deep and an inch wide” or someplace in between, depending on the circumstances.  Second, if “a mile wide and an inch deep” was such a horrid thing, then all teachers, experts, and administrators who promoted it should resign immediately.

Deep into this presentation Ms. Hammond begins to discuss the math. I’m sure she was promoting this before they called the teachers together to come up with the idea on their own, as their state’s personal new standard.  I didn’t finish the video but I want to watch it again with a student who has been through the class.

Then I watched this very enlightening YouTube video from three very smart Utah moms. Christel, Alisa, and Renee who host the What Is Common Core blog. On a YouTube video Renee talked about math with a teacher who started out trying to repeat Linda Darling-Hammond. It was nice to pause for a moment of laugher.  At the end of the conversation Renee and Alisa talked about careers.  If you have read the Tucker letter, you’ll understand.

Then I found this video. Linda Darling-Hammond again, sounding great.  Watch and see if what’s she’s selling us is what will be delivered.  Actually, what she’s selling is closer to what homeschoolers do.

If you watched the documentary Monumental you know the pattern God gave America.  The people bringing us Common Core have a different pattern of government in mind, and that’s what Common Core is really all about. The kind of teaching we are, or should be doing, is what the Church is presenting — active learning, led by the Holy Ghost.  What Common Core is presenting is the opposite of everything Christ wants for our families.  If nothing else, Common Core is proving that homeschoolers should never feel intimidated by the professionals.  We reject Common Core in favor of Common Sense.
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I’m going to stop here for now and call this Part 2a, and will finish the parts about testing and data collection as soon as possible. I’ve been questioning how good people, like superintendents and school board members and administrators on state and local levels, have gotten themselves tied into this and the personal battles that must be going on, and I’ve found some answers.  I’m also anxious to get to the part about what might happen as more people get informed and as the next school year begins, and I also think there are things LDS families can do. We will have to strengthen integrity, faith, and courage. 

And please share your comments!

Learning in the Lord’s Way: At the Start of a New Year

February 9, 2013

LEARNING IN THE LORD’S WAY:  At the Start of a New Year . . .

A new year has begun. The number itself – 2013 – feels unlucky. No surprise in a superstitious culture that builds hotels without 13th floors (a feat magically accomplished by numbering the floor above the 12th as 14 and pretending it is so).

In the Kingdom of God, 2013 is already a good year. It is the Year of the Youth. For a decade or more we have been watching our youth falling away in droves – not just in our church but in all churches. We were warned years ago that what we were then doing in our homes would not be sufficient. We tried, and some tried very hard, but the enemy got above us. This is the year things change as our youth “become converted to the gospel through learning and teaching in the Savior’s way.” This is the year they learn to exercise faith and do the hard mental work of being hungry, active, self-directed learners. This is the year the gospel moves from their heads to their hearts. This is the year they become mission oriented and step forward as an army of righteousness.

Of course these changes will require good training in the wards and stakes as well as teachers who are willing to change old thinking and old methods for new, inspired approaches. And of course there will be wonderful successes in some places and less success in others. Homeschoolers have an opportunity and a responsibility here. We have already experimented with force and freedom methods of learning. We already know how to do hard things, be self-directed, think outside the box, take risks, fail and try again; and we already know the pure joy of being in the presence of a child when the light of new learning fills his mind.

If you have a calling to work in the youth program, bless you! If not, remember in your prayers the of adults who have only known “acted upon” methods and now have to change their thinking.  Those of us who are blessed to attend Sunday School and Relief Society or Priesthood meetings can support the teachers as they learn to become facilitators. We do this by studying the lesson ahead, pondering the questions, bringing our manuals to class, and being prepared to help the Holy Ghost be the teacher.

The new program will invite positive changes in our church and family cultures. Are we willing to make those changes, whatever they may turn out to be? Will the adults be able to keep up with the youth? As homeschoolers, we know what joy awaits as every home becomes a school.

The History

Here is a very brief, and probably inaccurate, peek at recent history from my perspective:

In 1997 Elder Bednar, whose educational and professional background was in organizational communication and behavior, became the President of Rick’s College. In 2000 the college became BYUI. New buildings and a temple have been built, the student population has greatly increased, and a new Learning Model has been introduced.

In 2004 President Bednar said, “It should be obvious to all of us that something spiritually significant is taking place in Rexburg, Idaho.”  He also spoke of BYUI as a “Disciple Preparation Center.” Then he said, “Ultimately, the best Disciple Preparation Center is located within the walls of our own homes.” That concept made me feel that homeschoolers should connect our homeschooling efforts with BYUI in some way, that we should steer our own course toward their light. We couldn’t yet see that light; we just knew it was there.

Then last Christmas and again this Christmas, Elder Bednar published his wonderful books, Increase in Learning and Act In Doctrine. and the light became more visible to the whole church.

BYUI has also developed a program called Pathway in which students not on campus can attend two years of college at home, through their local Institute. A missionary couple is called to direct the program and the students meet together once a week. Pathway is now available in over 75 locations around the world. My daughter is in the only “Over Thirty” group in Utah, and she loves it.

In 2003 the Church held the first worldwide Leardership Training. In 2007 President Packer and Elder Holland presented the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting: Teaching andLearning. The video doesn’t seem to be on the church website anymore, but the text was published in the June 2007 Ensign as “Teaching and Learning in the Church.”

In 2004 changes were made in the General Sunday School. The Teacher Development position, which was disconnected and ineffective (I know; I once held that calling) was eliminated and the Sunday School Presidencies were given the responsibility of teacher training — and they’ve done a wonderful job.  In my stake the Sunday School Presidency is strong and effective and things are happening.

In 2004 the Missionary Department presented Preach My Gospel, a book and a program that revolutionized the mission field and probably made the lowering of the missionary age requirement possible.

A few years ago changes were made in how Seminary is taught.

Watching all these changes has been exciting, even though we see just the small pictures and have no real idea of the back-stories or what our Apostles do with the other 99% of their time.  And now we are making a giant move forward with the new youth program, “Come, Follow Me.” How blessed we are to be members of this church. Or, as an Institute teacher put it, what a Majestic God we have!

One Final Thought

I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to work on this article. As I typed “Come, Follow Me” something happened — my attention was drawn to the comma. The comma matters! A comma is a separator, a signal to pause. “Come Follow Me” without the comma is a simple command that can easily be said harshly or without feeling. If we respect the comma we must pause after “Come.” That forces us to say the title slowly and gently. “Come, . . . . Follow Me.” We hear the Savior’s voice!  It is an invitation.  We are commanded, but He will not force.  Lord, How is it that thou canst weep?  I gave unto them agency. All I want is that they love one another and choose me.  (see Moses 7:29,32-3)

His invitation is to our youth. They are His. Our job is to love and teach each other in His way in our callings and in our families. A little comma, the size of a mustard seed, perfectly explains how His Way feels.

The Election is The Lesson: What Do We Learn from The Storm?

November 3, 2012

It could have been worse, but Sandy was horrible. We are left with sadness for the losses, but with hope and faith — the missionaries are there helping and the Lord’s healing has begun. It will be a long recovery.

We are also left with questions: Why did this natural disaster occur at this time? Why in this place? Is Divine Providence involved? If so, what is the purpose?

OMINOUS PATTERNS

In his April 2004 Conference address, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Elder Dallin Oaks said, “the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.” Indeed.

The September 2012 issue of National Geographic has an article about Extreme Weather in the United States. The article included a chart of the disasters caused by drought/heat waves, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, or blizzards and that caused over $1 billion in damages over two 16 year periods in the United States:

  • 1980-1995 46 disasters – total losses $339 billion
  • 1996-2011 87 disasters – total losses $641 billion
  • 2011 had the most $1 billion disasters: 14
  • Hurricane Katrina alone cost $146 billion.

Imagine what the costs will be after Sandy, and imagine the costs if we considered earthquakes and terrorist attacks and drug wars and all the pestilences increasing throughout the world.

DISASTERS AS WARNINGS

Quoting D&C 43:23, 25, Elder Oaks said, “. . . some of these signs are His voice calling His people to repentance.”

Some people blame climate change for weather disasters. New York Mayor Bloomberg, udoubtedly distraught by the horror, took time to formally endorsed Obama for president in hope that he will lead out on climate change, as if a man could decide how to stop what has been prophesied.

The National Geographic considers global warming as a contributing factor. “As the oceans warm, they’re giving off more water vapor. ‘Everybody knows that if you turn up the fire on your stove, you evaporate the water in a pot more rapidly.’”

Everybody needs to know that the true cause of commotion on earth, and the cause of any “global warming,” is sin. “Let the people be holy, and the earth under their feet will be holy.” (Brigham Young. Teachings of Presidents of the Church, p. 333.)

The solution is repentance.

OF WHAT ARE WE TO REPENT?

I’m a New York native, born in 1941 in the Queens borough of New York City. I don’t actually remember the area, but all the names I was hearing reported during the storm were familiar to me. The places where we lived when I was very young are inland enough that the sea did not heave itself beyond its bounds that far, but there was plenty of wind and water and the area was without power.

Atlantic City in New Jersey was a lovely beach resort when I was a child. The ice cream on their cones came wrapped in paper in a cylindrical shape. You pulled the paper off and dropped the ice cream into the cone. Since I only remember the ice cream, I can only imagine the boardwalk, and I see it with young lovers strolling there in turn-of-the century costume. Unfortunately, today Atlantic City is the Gambling Capital of the East Coast.

Only two states have not legalized gambling: Hawaii and Utah.

Wikipedia reports that to deal with hard economic times, in 2010 Governor Chris Christie made the city into a state-run tourism district, over the objections of 43% of the citizens. “The district would include heavier police presence, as well as beautification and infrastructure improvements. The CRDA would oversee all functions of the district and will make changes to attract new businesses and attractions. New construction would be ambitious and may resort to eminent domain.”

I am no expert on eminent domain, but the Constitution is pretty clear that it was never intended for the taking of private property for tax revenue. This is unconstitutional and immoral, and it is being done in Utah too.

So there are two things going on in New Jersey: gambling and the forced redistribution of property. That’s for starters.

What about New York? What evils go on in the United Nations headquartered there? In the stock market? In the major banks? On the Broadway stage? And everywhere else?

There is actually a town named Babylon on Long Island where over 200,000 people live. Those close to the beach were evacuated, and the town was without power as of Friday.

Worse of all, how did most of our 13 original colonies, the cradles of liberty, become “blue,” socialist, big government states? How did those people lose the gift their ancestors fought for? How do the Founding Fathers and the Armies of Heaven feel about this?

While we don’t want to judge the people individually, there is much about these areas that is out of order with the heavens. There is much room for repentance in all states. We might start by cleaning up the earth and planting trees. Trees cool the earth.

PREPARATION FOR DISASTERS

Certainly there is not much anyone can do to prepare for the sudden destruction of their home, but citizens should be prepared as well as they are able and have extra to help their neighbors. Governments should also be prepared.

On video I saw a desperate, hungry woman in a neighborhood of rubble ask the officials on tour, “When is the government coming? Will they bring gas for our generator? Are they bringing food? We’re cold. We are going to die.” She could have been you or me. She had prepared; she had a generator. Her food may have been washed away. She is not going to die; she was walking. But with ineffective disaster preparation and ineffective leadership, help may be slow in coming.

We should be as self reliant as possible. Beyond what we can do, the next step should be the city government. After that, the county. Then the state. And along with this comes the private citizen who wants to help out and the private businesses (Wal-Mart and Home Depot sent trucks to Katrina, as did individual businessmen.) Churches and other non-profits are often the first responders. Our missionaries were already there and went to work immediately, and other Saints will be coming. Our trucks are probably on their way from Salt Lake. Glenn Beck’s charity organization, MercuryOne, has also been there and is sending trucks.

Is there a time for the Federal government to step in? When the disaster covers more than one state? Only in a coordinating role? When there is Federal property involved? I don’t know. Which brings us to FEMA, the federal disaster agency. Until now, I hadn’t given much thought to FEMA.

In a blog article connected to, but necessarily representative of, the Akron Ohio Beacon Journal on Friday, Romney was quoted from a previous CNN interview about the “devastating tornadoes at the time in Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere.” Romney said:

Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.John King countered….”Including disaster relief?” Romney was unmoved….

“We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” Romney replied. “It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

In a nutshell, that exchange….combined with Mitt’s reprehensible, faux-food collection photo op stunt on Tuesday….tells you all you need to know about how Mr. Romney would lead our nation.

Romney spoke well, but the text does read a bit like a cut-and-past job, possibly because the Beacon article was written by “The Reverend.” He ended with this:

Is there anyone out there who actually believes that disaster relief following Katrina, Irene, tornadoes in Missouri, or Superstorm Sandy would have been “better” if individual states, alone, were responsible for providing relief?

Further, does anyone think that sub-contracting state-led, disaster relief to private, for-profit businesses (assuming they exist) could get the job done more effectively and efficiently than FEMA?”

A friend who makes annual visits to DC tells me that FEMA does contract to private industry and does so on a no-bid basis. He speaks of the “lines of pinstripe suits” with outstretched hands, standing ready — cronyism at its worse. He says none of the rebuilding jobs will go to those in the disaster area. all will go to the president’s union friends. Let’s watch that and see.

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION

President Oaks said, “There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current “commotion” is spiritual.”

Spiritual preparation we can all do, and it doesn’t cost anything!

I have known much of fear over the past couple of years in seeing where our government was going, but I am stronger for having been through the process. I’m not alone in believing that we stand in real danger if the election does not bring us a change of leadership, and I’d love to throw the covers over my head; but we were sent for these days. If we want to be spiritually prepared, we have to put in the time. Pray for courage and faith.

SATAN’S DOMINION

In my study of the election over the past months, I have learned that this is truly Satan’s kingdom and he is always busy. The Lord said, “For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.” (D&C 1:35)

Historically, our “perfect” government did not last long; freedom has been eroded away in waves, over two and a half centuries. Every era has its challenges, and prophets have continually warned. It seems that every person must be given the opportunity to make choices about freedom and force in government and about the closeness of his own walk with God.

Every organization of our government, the best government in the world, is crumbling to pieces. Those who have it in their hands are the ones who are destroying it. How long will it be before the words of the prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all it must be done by this people. – President Brigham Young, delivered in the New Tabernacle, afternoon, April 8, 1868

I do believe that Tuesday represents our final vote, or at least our most serious one. Freedom, including our freedom to homeschool, may be washed away in one last storm as the costal beaches just were. President Benson once said the Constitution would be saved, but “what remains to be seen is how heavy the chains and how deep the blood.” That is the question on the ballot on Tuesday.

STAYING STRONG

There will be many more disasters in the future; that we know. There may be terrorism and war. In our fears and tribulations, will we fall back to our position of dependence on the big government we are used to? Can we become more self-reliant? Do we want to go through more national disasters with ineffective leadership? Do we want the priesthood in the oval office? Do we want Godly men and women in the Houses of Congress? In our State Legislatures?

How will this storm effect the election? Some say it works in Obama’s favor. Obama has been in the spotlight and Romney is out. Most media, busy protecting the president’s image, will follow him around and ignore the suffering on the coast that might make him look bad.

There is one day of prayer left, and one day of action. Beyond what we can do, the event is in the hands of God. If the Lord wants Mitt Romney in office, He seems to be going about it in a strange way; but then His ways are not our ways. If not, we will keep repenting and keep praying and keep working for liberty in spite of the heaviness of the chains and the deepness of the blood, and we will do so with courage and faith — and we will be expecting miracles. There are many, many good people in the Lord’s army. We know how the story ends.

“And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst . . .” (D&C 1:36)

Expect miracles, no matter what.