Sunday, June 10, 2012

Haven’t We Heard This Argument Before?

So I was listening on the radio the other day to a conversation about “Obamacare” and it went something like this:

Host: So you think everyone should be forced to pay for Healthcare, whether they want it or not?  

Listener:  Yes.

Host: And they shouldn’t necessarily be able to choose their doctor they want, or where or when they can have a particular procedure?

Listener:   Everyone will be given the same care.  It will be good care.  They will not have to decide, the government will decide for them.  It will be fair for everyone.  Everyone will be equal.  No one will be put above another.

Host: What if I want to use a different Doctor, or want to control my own care?  Make my own decisions?  

Listener:   No, we should let the government do it.  They are better equip ted.  They can control all the money, and all the power.  Last year my son was in an accident and didn’t have insurance.  If the government were in charge, he would not have died.  He died because he did not have any money, no insurance, and no one cared.  The government would have saved his life, and he would be here today, with me.  Think of all the lives that would be saved.

Host:  But I don’t want anyone making my decisions for me.  I want the freedom to make my own decisions, my own choices.  We need a government and a system that will allow us to choose for ourselves.

I could not help but think I have heard this line of thinking before, and I have a feeling it did not go so well for about 1/3 of the participants.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I just don’t get it!

A Facebook discussion caught my attention and caused much reflection:
Why is it seen as such a negative insult if a guy wants to be a “stay at home dad”?
The resulting stream of comments by both men and women both surprised and dismayed me at the same time.  I would have expected more from students attending what I thought was a University of higher learning with exceptionally spiritual educators and a campus with an environment geared to provide a unique atmosphere close to “The School of the Prophets”.   I am afraid, however that Alma 12:14 seemed to take on meaning as I read through the comments.
            The prophet Alma testified, “Our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; … and our thoughts will also condemn us”. 
Strong words, I know.  But it was eye opening to hear the chosen of the chosen generation, attending the most elite church school in the world answer this questions with such answers as:
            1- “Because we live in a stereotypical society that views the male only as the main provider and housekeeping/child care as the womens “job” only….”
2-Because the typical male cannot actually be a stay at home dad.  They will generally stay home with the kids, but who does all the cooking and cleaning?  The mom after she gets home from work.  If a man can actually do the job of at home dad then more power to him.”
3-“If a guy wants to take an unusually active role in his children’s lives he can.  He just needs to find a woman that really wants to have a career and children and is wondering how she is going to be able to do it all.  There are many jobs that a man/woman can do from home that will afford him the ability to have time for his children’s needs.  Women do it all the time.  But I should say it’s a lot of work.”

This caused me to ask, why are men and women either so confused about their gender roll as to parenting or as it relates to being a spouse or why are they so willing to neglect this God given responsibility?  WAIT!  Perhaps, just perhaps, they do not understand the God given responsibility part.  Maybe they have not read, don’t understand, or do not remember what has been written in. . . . . . . . . . “The Family-A Proclamation to the World.  Below are a few selected paragraphs particularly pertinent.
All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
 By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
I just can’t put it any clearer than that.  If you have any faith, if you have any testimony of the Church or its Profets, how could you ever have any doubt or questions as to how to answer that query?  No matter which path the free spirit or the natural man within you, may want to take?
You may have noticed that The Proclamation also stated - “Disability, death or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.  Extended families should lend support when needed.”   I noted it didn’t say, run to the government, the Bishop, or whoever else you felt you could panhandle from.  The point being made is that earthly probation is a family affair.  As we mature, we practice what we have learned.  We provide for our own.  As needed, as challenged, we hope we can rely on our family.  Where no family exists, the church is your family.  This is a concept lost on even some of the most faithful members of the Church. This is also why it is important that all members of the family realize their roles and are productive and help one another.
So, what don’t I get?  I don’t get the attitude of today’s youth and young adults, especially as it relates to what I seem to consistently read and see through comments made through various electronic media.  Particularly disheartening when you hear or see it coming from LDS youth.  I found it interesting while studying for my Priesthood lesson, that this week’s topic is on “The Final Judgment” with the main point being that we will be judged from mainly two sources:  The books on earth and the books in Heaven.  Reference was made to Rev. 20:12
‘The books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’
We are told that the books spoken of refer to the records of your works which are kept on the earth.  It occurred to me that there are many records kept on earth.  Sure there are those in the Church, and President John Taylor taught that our own mind records everything we have done and will be a source of information at our judgment.  It struck me after hearing a news story that the Congressional Library was just given a complete record of every tweet ever sent through Twitter, by Congressional Order. Do you think there is a record of every Facebook entry?  Every email ever sent?  I think on an eternal note there is, and this will be part of the “books opened as part of the “books of life”.
So what will you think when reading about the latest complaints of modesty crackdown at BYU-I?  Or perhaps before you send that vulgar or inappropriate post, you should think twice.  Are those pictures really what you want anyone or everyone to see?
Just Sayin’

Friday, April 29, 2011

Zip Ties and Bungi Chords

Years ago, while camping, I was able to relax on a rock and observe an off road event unfold. As the day progressed, and I watched the different vehicles go by I was struck by, yes even amused with the similarities that existed between this 4 X 4 outing and Gospel Principals. I was sitting on a rock watching a wide variety of machines coming up the hill, the last leg of a very long grueling trail known as the "Sierra Trek". Now some of these rigs were very well equipped and ready for the challenge, although many did not end the ordeal without incident or need for repair. As the participants would call it, "Carnage" to the vehicle was a common occurrence. Some vehicles approached with great care, taking time to make each foot pass with discretion. Others came barreling up the hill as if there was no way they would fall to the hazards of the course. I watched with horror as one truck almost flipped from front to end over backwards. There were those along the trail watching that cheered and screamed in delight at the danger under way. Encouraging the driver without regard to the damage befalling the vehicle or danger to the driver. Others, more concerned, attempted to help in whatever way they could with advice or "hands on" help, pushing being the most prevalent.

Several hours into the experience, I was surprised to see what, by standard previously seen, was a quite common street jeep without much of the special off-road equipment to aid it in the journey. It came up the hill, making the sharp turn, bumping, thumping, and scraping up the last incline. As the dust flew, the engine roared, and the wheels spun. Again, direction and encouragement came from those along the trail. With one last roar of the engine, the little jeep seemed to leap over the boulders on the trail. As it cleared what seemed to be the last obstacle, cheers rose up until a large crash was heard. But the vehicle was now paralyzed literally ten feet from the trails rough end. The front wheel of the jeep laid detached and lodged under the frame of the vehicle, now blocking the trail. Immediately the trail supervisors were on the radio, notifying those concerned that a vehicle was broken down on the trail and in need of assistance. As I approached the broken vehicle, my eye caught a bright yellow strap that seemed to holding a piece of the front axle assembly in place..
 Closer inspection revealed several zip ties holding together other parts attache to the axle assembly. I came to find out that further back on the trail, the axle assembly had broken and "trail mechanics" had patched it back together with the bungi chord and zip ties, expecting it would last until the driver could return back to the main camp and better repairs could be made. I was amazed the temporary fix had held so well given the grueling nature of the trail, and in fact had not failed nor was part of the breakdown now being experienced by the driver. In a matter of minutes the "trail mechanics" arrived again and devised a way to jerry-rig the broken wheel so yet again the jeep could make it back to camp. The job was not easy, many necessary tools or parts were not available. However, due to the driver having some of the tools needed, the "trail mechanics" having other tools, and with the cooperation of and with the assistance of the "trail mechanics" a difficult situation was managed and the broken jeep was able to make it back to camp where it was able to get additional help and finish the necessary repairs to compete the journey back home.
In the hope that you will ponder the significant points of the experience I have related to you, I will not expound any further, but encourage you to evaluate how you may have, or may not have assisted your families on their trail of life. I promise you that if you do so, with an open mind, including prayer, the Holy Ghost will revel to you your standing in this important assignment and calling, allowing you as a brother, sister, parent or fellow church member to apply as necessary, the needed fix--zip tie or bungi chord, so the finish line can be crossed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Being grandparents, my wife and I like to have special dates from time to time with our grandchildren. A couple of weeks ago, as we had a busy Saturday planned preparing for the upcoming summer garden pre-planting seeds in our greenhouse and doing other odd jobs on our 5 acre property. We decided to have our 7 year old granddaughter join us the night before and make a weekend of it. Opportunities like this, give us a chance to teach our grandchildren the importance of work, play, and our love for them. Friday night was spent watching age appropriate movies, our granddaughter picking each title under our supervision, and outlasting our ability to stay awake. As you know, it is our privilege to violate any parental bedtime, especially given the weekend. We tucked our precious gift in bed that night after the last show and went to bed. The next morning, I was awakened by my sleep number bed moving into a "V" shape. Thinking I was sleeping on the remote, as I have done in the past, I scurried to find the magical box without avail. Jumping out of bed thinking it must have been knocked on the floor during the search, I was met with a little girls giggling behind the footboard of the bed. My granddaughter had snuck in, snatched the remote and decided to wake me up in her own little way while grandma was making breakfast. I was amused.
The real lesson came later that day though while arranging new shelves we had purchased in grandma’s greenhouse. My wife had purchased four sets of shelves, and together the three of us put them together to place the soon to be planted seeds on. My wife began to place the shelf units in a "L" configuration around a corner in the greenhouse. My reaction was immediate and managerial--as a business owner, I am use to having an opinion, and having it followed. I "suggested" that the shelf units be placed against one wall in a row. It was more efficient and looked more organized. As my suggestion was not met with open arms, a discussion commenced, my granddaughter, out of sight, out of mind, listening in the background. No less than a minute into this discussion, I hear this little female voice say: "Bumpa" (Our familiar name for grandpa), you have your "Man Cave" , (my workshop) and grandma doesn’t tell you how to do things in it, this is her Greenhouse, shouldn’t she be able to put the shelves however she wants?" Needless to say, my jaw dropped open, almost as much as my mind, as I knew she was right, and the shelf discussion was over. Not just over, but overwhelmed with a sense of joy and gratitude that I too at 54 years old could still learn from a 7 year old.
Needless to say, although the day was full of chores and hard work, ending with a B-B-Q joined by the rest of the family members that evening, continued, deep, family bonds and love were established that day. As I reflected back that night I chuckled to myself how it is such a good thing that family members, old and young can learn so much from each other, and that the quest for knowledge should be multi-generational- and how blessed we are when we make the effort to make it happen.

A New Era

Since all my kids have Blogs, I thought it was time I too got on the "Band Wagon" and started to maintain such a record which could serve as a Personal History Record.  I was impressed with the way my daughter-in-law had her blog made into a bound book.  This made a really neat Personal Journal, complete with pictures.  As I have found myself drifting into memories of "days gone by" more and more lately, I have felt impressed to get these down on paper, (or in this case electronically), so that perhaps my posterity can benefit from, or at least be amused by my life's experiences. Hence, the name of my blog, "Life's Experiences".  As such, there will probably be no particular chronilogical order to my postings.  Hopefully, those who read the contents of my rantings will get to know me and understand me better.