Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rhys' Mission Call



The letter arrived today. We have been on pins and needles as we expected the call to show up a couple of weeks ago. Rhys showed tremendous restraint, as he knew that the call was here in the middle of the day and he actually waited until everyone was home before he opened it. We had grandparents and siblings on speaker phones on everybody's cell phones.

As it turns out, I should've stuck with my first guess because it was right. However, I let logic and reason take over and after I had thought about it for a while I decided that Rhys would end up going to New York City. He's not going there. Like I said, he's going to place that I guessed first.

Intially, Rhys was hoping to be called to Fiji, but earlier today he was hoping for Mozambique. He didn't get called to either of those places.

Rhys will enter the MTC on February 4th, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday. Sending our son on a mission is a good birthday gift, but getting him back two years later will be a better one. Rhys will serve the Lord for two years in the St. Louis Missouri Mission.

He is very pleased with his call and is looking forward to getting into the field.

Congrats Rhys. We love you and are so pleased by your decision to give two years of your life to the Lord in this endeavor.

The Promise - Moroni 10:3-5



3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

(Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:3 - 5)

The promise of the Book of Mormon. I love that I can go to my God, my Heavenly Father, and seek truth from Him directly. I do not have to rely on my own wisdom and learning, or anyone else’s. The promise is made in the very last chapter of the Book of Mormon that if I want to know about its truthfulness I can pray and get an answer.

I have put this promise to the test. I have studied its words and implications. Throughout the pages of this work I have felt the love of my Savior. I have witnessed for myself to what great lengths Heavenly Father has gone to provide salvation for all of His children.

I have received a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon several times. Typically it comes to me after a period of quiet solitude and reflection. It comes after I have read a passage, perhaps a chapter, and have wondered why was this chapter put into this book?

The scriptures, i.e. The Book of Mormon, The Bible, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, are relatively small when you consider the significance of what they hold. I love to read. I have several bookshelves full of books on many different topics and genres of writing. My scriptures make up only a fraction of the words on paper that I own.

This forces me to ask every time that I read, “What is so important about these verses that they wound up in sacred writ?” It is that contemplation that has invited the Holy Ghost to witness to my spirit the importance and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Like Moroni, I invite you to put the promise of the Book of Mormon to the test. Read the book for yourself, and think about how merciful the Lord has been to you throughout your life. If your life is like mine, you have had your ups and downs through it. You’ve had tremendous struggles, and also experiences of great joy. I can see in my life where the Lord has helped me through my struggles and challenges, and I am grateful for His guiding hand.

The Book of Mormon is true. I know this with every fiber of my being. I challenge you to find out for yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Chandler, AZ to Provo, UT...and still pedaling

Back in July I started riding a bike to work. My intentions were twofold. First, skyrocketing gas prices were taking a toll on my finances. Second, I thought it would be a good way to get some exercise, and perhaps drop a few pounds.

Living in the greater Phoenix area, starting such an endeavor in late July proved interesting. The temperatures were typically over 90 degrees when I started my ride in the morning and had climbed to about 110 degrees by the time I decided to go home. I carried 50 oz of water both to and from work and drank most of it.

After about a month of riding I stopped getting dizzy as I rode and acclimated a bit to the challenge. My trip is a tad over 13 miles round trip each day and I ride Tuesday through Friday. On Monday, I drive all of my clothes into work for the week.

The first day after buying the bike I went on a short 2.5 mile ride. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since my mission which was about two decades ago. Anyway, my bike has this really cool odometer/speedometer on it. On that first ride I averaged 10.5 mph and reached a top speed of 12.63 mph.

When I wrote about this on my blog I bravely suggested that someday I’d like to ride with an average speed of 14 mph. That seemed a bit unrealistic to me, but I wanted to set a high goal.

I now regularly average over 14 mph on my ride. Once I even maintained an average of 16.2 mph with a top speed of 22.92 mph. I now tend to pass the beginner riders on the road. They’re easy to spot because they look a lot like me. However, the hard core bikers, you know the ones with the bike shorts and shirts, and a bicycle that probably cost as much as my car, still pass me. It’s all good though as I simply enjoy the ride.

This afternoon the total miles ridden on my odometer said 634 miles. Curious to see how far that would be if I rode in one direction I went into Yahoo maps and started playing around.

If I road my bicycle from my home in Chandler and headed west I would hit Los Angeles and then head north. I’m currently about 20 miles past Fresno. The distance from Chandler, AZ to Las Vegas, NV is 317 miles, so I have ridden there and back. If I just head north, Provo is 634 miles from Chandler, so I just made it to my old Alma Mater.

With the savings in gas, the bike has pretty much paid for itself. Ironically, I haven’t really lost a lot of weight. However, there is muscle definition on my legs that I haven’t seen since the last time I was a student at BYU and played on their club Water Polo team.

Unfortunately, I think that I still look more like a water buoy, than the water boy I used to be. I tell friends and acquaintances (and now complete strangers in cyberspace) that I used to look like a greek god, but have since traded that body in for a more Asian deity…

Here’s the good news though. Before I started riding my bike I was on high blood pressure medicine. I was taking 60 mg of Lipitor a day to lower my cholesterol, and my sodium levels were high.

Now, my blood pressure without any meds is 120 over 68. My resting heart rate is 66 (better than average). My cholesterol meds have been decreased to 20 mg a day, and my sodium levels are normal. So I now have the Buddha body on the outside, but the sleeping athlete is starting to wake up on the inside.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Missionary e-mail 10-20-08

Hello there!

It was definitely a little more calm this week. Things are going great as usual. The assistants decided to move our splits from tomorrow to last week. The divisions went well and I was able to learn a lot from the new AP, Elder Camargo. I went over to their area (Telegrafo) and another elder from my group Elder Emery came here. I worked in Telegrafo for 8 months so I know the area better than Elder Camargo. I was able to show him around to some old investigators' houses and we found some awesome new people including some families that have really good potential.

We went back to Abaetetuba this week to do a baptismal interview for Elder Nitta. It was my first interview so I was really nervous! It went well though and she passed. Her name is Joana. Her an her sister Aldalice were baptized Sunday after church. They had another baptism of a 16 year old boy named Neilton. He is really strong in the church and has a strong testimony of the gospel but his parents, nonmembers, didn't want him to be baptized right now and wanted him to wait a little while to make sure he was ready. Just going there to Abaetetuba and back on Saturday took up our whole day. We got back late then went to a meeting with the bishop and other ward leaders.

Iago went to church again and is excited for his baptism on the 1st. He already chose me to baptize him which is a good sign that he really wants to be baptized.
Well, I gotta run. I love you all tons. Im way excited to see you all in 2 weeks!

Love,
Elder Childs

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prophetic Warnings

video

Tell me if President Ezra Taft Benson's words don't ring true today? He gave this speech, not as president of the church, but as a citizen of the U.S. 43 years ago.

I've posted several times recently about prop 8 in California and prop 102 in Arizona. I will use that issue to reinforce Ezra Taft Benson's words on socialism.

It has been widely reported how a first grade teacher in San Francisco took her first grade class to City Hall to watch her marriage to her same sex partner. If you don't know about this just scroll down a few posts where I discuss the issue.

Due to the recent change in California law, i.e. legalizing same sex marriage, the school felt that the field trip was, "Academically relevant."

Here's the kicker. Pehaps you're thinking that you can avoid the issue altogether by just homeschooling your child. If you live in California, think again. Earlier this year a California Court of Appeals ruled that Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, CA, could not home school their children because Mary (the mom/teacher) was not a certified teacher in CA.

From the above cited article:
"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."

The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.

The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.

The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.

"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."

Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

Now back to my own thoughts:
The government is dictating how our children must be taught. Therefore, they get to decide what is taught.

What's next? Will Sunday School teachers need to be certified by the state? Some might consider that an incredible stretch that the state would never presume to impose. However, the ruling above caught the entire homeschooling community in California by surprise. And now an estimated 166,000 children are potential truants and their parents face possible prosecution.

Socialism typically deals with economic issues. The underlying principle however is that the government should dictate how goods and services are produced and distributed. When the government decides how and what should be taught to our children, regardless of our views on how our children should be taught, we are sliding down a slippery slope that we might not be able to recover from.

Vote yes on prop 8 in California and prop 102 in Arizona. Our children are too important.

Guess where Rhys will go on his mission

Hi all,

Our son Rhys should receive his mission call either today or next Friday. Feel free to post a comment and take a wild guess as to where he'll end up.

To make full disclosure I will give the following information which might be relevant, but then again, might not be...

He has studied four years of spanish in high school. His older brother is coming home from the Belem, Brazil mission on November 5th. He is secretly hoping to be sent to Fiji.

Please post a guess and we'll let you know where he's going once we find out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

1st Graders field trip to a lesbian wedding

Yesterday, I posted a video from Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council. It talked about how in states where gay marriage was allowed, that the students would have to be taught that gay marriage in all ways is equivalent to traditional marriage. Just in case you thought I was over reacting. This hit the newswires today.

School Field Trip to Teacher's Lesbian Wedding Sparks Controversy

First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to “indoctrinate” the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.

"It really is what we call a teachable moment," said Liz Jaroslow, the school’s interim director, according to the newspaper. She said same-sex marriage had historic significance. "I think I'm well within the parameters."

California will vote on Nov. 4 on Proposition 8 which seeks to ban same-sex marriage in the state, and supporters of the measure say the field trip shows that allowing same-sex marriage will mean it’s taught to school children, the newspaper said.

"It's just utterly unreasonable that a public school field trip would be to a same-sex wedding," said Chip White, press secretary for the Yes on 8 campaign, told the Chronicle. "This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to have an understanding of its purpose."

Everyone will be affected by recent court decisions in Massachusetts and California. Stand up and be heard. If you live in California, vote yes on prop 8. If you live in Arizona, vote yes on prop 102. Families are too important not to stand up for them at this defining moment in history.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Angels among us

Like many others, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to General Conference last weekend. I have a close friend that told me of an experience he had last week that reminded me of Elder Holland's talk. With his permission, I share his story:

I saw a wonderful thing this morning that God had done that I wanted to share with all of you.

I was on my weekly commute back up to Portland on the 6am flight out of Sacramento. While I am not someone to eavesdrop on a conversation I could not help but hear the two people seated behind me. This was on Horizon and thus the seats are quite close. Before we took off I could tell that the two people behind me were not together but they were talking with each other about families and such. The lady (Susan) was traveling to visit a friend in Portland though she was afraid to fly. Seated next to her was Ted from Alaska who had been in Sacramento attending a wedding. Early on Ted told her that he is a pilot of small planes so he knew about flying. He also made comment to her that he liked it when the flight was a little bumpy. Maybe in retrospect that was to comfort Susan with her anxiety about flying.

When Susan asked Ted about what he did, he said that he and his wife run a Christian camp for kids in Alaska. In the rest of the conversation they had I heard her tell him of challenges she was having with her adult son and she did not know how to help with the problems. At that point I could tell that Ted was sharing the gospel with her and telling her about Jesus. Susan was open to what he was saying throughout the conversation. When we were descending into Portland I heard Ted ask Susan if he could pray for her. We were going through a pretty good cloud layer but it was not too rough. In his prayer he asked God for help for Susan and the challenges with her son and also to be with her as she felt anxiety on the flight (and also for her flight home on Wednesday). The whole time I could hear Ted praying I was saying my own prayer not only for her but thanks to God for putting the two of them together on the flight.

After we landed I heard Susan thank Ted for praying for her. As we left the plane I had to stand in the jet way to wait for my second bag which they put in baggage on Horizon. When Ted came by I stopped him and said that I don’t normally listen in to other’s conversations but I had heard what he said and how wonderful I thought it was what he did. Ted asked if I was a believer to which I answered “Oh yes I am.” He responded with “isn’t it great what He does?”

I don’t do the send this to 10 people kind of thing, but here is what I would ask each of you to join me in doing. Please tell God thank you for a messenger like Ted and that he had the courage to reach out to a stranger with God’s word. I pray that I would someday be able to do what he did in serving God.

One last thing that shows even more of God’s hand all over this. Last night when I checked in for the flight I was looking to change seats as I saw 2 seats together and I had hoped to get an arrangement like that so I could work on a spreadsheet on my laptop during the flight. I didn’t make the change as I had a feeling I can’t really describe that told me to not make the change. If I had done the change I would have taken the seat that Ted had.

God bless Ted and I pray that what took place this morning at 30,000 feet will lead Susan to Jesus!

In Christ’s name,

Scott

Thank you Scott for sharing that with me, and allowing me to share it with others.

In Elder Holland's talk he said:

I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. Elder James Dunn, from this pulpit just moments ago, used that word in his invocation to describe this Primary choir—and why not? With the spirit, faces, and voices of those children in our mind and before our eyes, may I share with you an account by my friend and BYU colleague, the late Clyn D. Barrus. I do so with the permission of his wife, Marilyn, and their family.

Referring to his childhood on a large Idaho farm, Brother Barrus spoke of his nightly assignment to round up the cows at milking time. Because the cows pastured in a field bordered by the occasionally treacherous Teton River, the strict rule in the Barrus household was that during the spring flood season the children were never to go after any cows who ventured across the river. They were always to return home and seek mature help.

One Saturday just after his seventh birthday, Brother Barrus’s parents promised the family a night at the movies if the chores were done on time. But when young Clyn arrived at the pasture, the cows he sought had crossed the river, even though it was running at high flood stage. Knowing his rare night at the movies was in jeopardy, he decided to go after the cows himself, even though he had been warned many times never to do so.

As the seven-year-old urged his old horse, Banner, down into the cold, swift stream, the horse’s head barely cleared the water. An adult sitting on the horse would have been safe, but at Brother Barrus’s tender age, the current completely covered him except when the horse lunged forward several times, bringing Clyn’s head above water just enough to gasp for air.

Here I turn to Brother Barrus’s own words:

“When Banner finally climbed the other bank, I realized that my life had been in grave danger and that I had done a terrible thing—I had knowingly disobeyed my father. I felt that I could redeem myself only by bringing the cows home safely. Maybe then my father would forgive me. But it was already dusk, and I didn’t know for sure where I was. Despair overwhelmed me. I was wet and cold, lost and afraid.

“I climbed down from old Banner, fell to the ground by his feet, and began to cry. Between thick sobs, I tried to offer a prayer, repeating over and over to my Father in Heaven, ‘I’m sorry. Forgive me! I’m sorry. Forgive me!’

“I prayed for a long time. When I finally looked up, I saw through my tears a figure dressed in white walking toward me. In the dark, I felt certain it must be an angel sent in answer to my prayers. I did not move or make a sound as the figure approached, so overwhelmed was I by what I saw. Would the Lord really send an angel to me, who had been so disobedient?

“Then a familiar voice said, ‘Son, I’ve been looking for you.’ In the darkness I recognized the voice of my father and ran to his outstretched arms. He held me tightly, then said gently, ‘I was worried. I’m glad I found you.’

“I tried to tell him how sorry I was, but only disjointed words came out of my trembling lips—’Thank you . . . darkness . . . afraid . . . river . . . alone.’ Later that night I learned that when I had not returned from the pasture, my father had come looking for me. When neither I nor the cows were to be found, he knew I had crossed the river and was in danger. Because it was dark and time was of the essence, he removed his clothes down to his long white thermal underwear, tied his shoes around his neck, and swam a treacherous river to rescue a wayward son.”12

My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.”13 On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.

May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, . . . my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”14 In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”15 Perhaps then we can be emissaries sent from God when someone, perhaps a Primary child, is crying, “Darkness . . . afraid . . . river . . . alone.” To this end, I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I am grateful for heavenly help that is frequently manifested by mortal angels living among us.

Missionary e-mail 10-13-08

Hey there!

What an interesting week! I don't remember If I told you or not, but last week I was asked to conduct a multi-Zone conference with the president and the assistants. There were several zones from here in Belem. It was a great experience. It was the first time I had done that before.

This Tuesday, our zone got together and had its meeting. My companion, Elder Beames, and I had to give an hour long training on how we can work better with the members to get referrals to work with. It went really well. Afterwards, we headed over to pizza hut for an all-you-can eat, and ate away. We went on splits for 2 days with the District Leader from a place called Abaetetuba. The District Leader's companion stayed with Elder Beames in our area, and I went to work with Elder Nitta in his. We took a bus down to Ver-O-Peso then walked over to a nearby dock and took an hour long boat trip down a branch of the Amazon to a large island outside of Belem. Once there, we took a bus for an hour through the forest to the small city of Abaetetuba and then walked a half hour to their house. It was quite the trip. I really liked the area, it reminded me of when I was in Braganca a year and a half ago. It sure was a lot more quiet than Belem and a little cleaner with a lot of forest. It turns out Elder Nitta and I lived in the same stake as kids when I lived in Cypress, CA. What a small world.

This week here in Belem there was a large anual event called Cirio. I believe it's the worlds largest Catholic gathering. Every year on the second Sunday of October, over 1 million Catholics from all around the world come to Belem for this event. They have a statue of Mary on a cart thing attached to a massive cord that they pull from one church to another. The whole route they take is within my area and my last area, Telegrafo. The streets get totally packed full of people as they all try to get a turn at touching the rope. I would have loved to see the actual proccession but we work far away from where it happens. I have seen pictures and video and it is quite an interesting sight. Im sure you can find better info and pictures looking up something like "Cirio de Nazare" or "Cirio Belem" on google.

During Cirio, Belem becomes totally uncontrollable. It was pretty chaotic in our area. Those that aren't at Cirio are at home drinking their brains out. Crime rates rocket that day and the police flood the street. Last year 7 people were trampled to death during the procession. I don't know how many died this year. We had an interesting day yesterday. In the 2 hours between lunch and church, we saw 2 people shot and killed and an armed robbery during broad daylight on the side of a main road(3 different instances). What an awesome holiday... Props to whoever invented that one. Im glad things are back to normal now.

There is a nice little old lady who lives next door to us that is not a member but who loves the missionaries. She invites us over to her house every Sunday to eat cake and other desserts she makes. Im going to miss going there. Its always a great way to end the week.

Our investigators are doing well. We are currently working hard with a teenager named Iago (yes, again... I know I already baptized one... we found another) He is the son of a recent convert who has a ton of friends in the church. He was really sceptical at first when we talked about baptism but we gave him a date of the 1st of November this week. He accepted the date and when we asked him to say the prayer when we taught him, he prayed that his baptism would go well. That was great progress. I hope it does go well.

This week should be pretty busy too. We will be sitting in on a district meeting tomorrow and we will go on splits with another District Leader from our zone. It's a little closer this time. Whew. Next week we will be going on splits with the assistants. Maybe Ill be able to head back to Telegrafo to see some of my recent converts. That would be awesome. Gotta run. Love you all tons. Have a fantistic week!

Love,
Elder Childs

Gay marriage is a slippery slope to the destruction of society

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council helps explain the slippery slope we’re on if we endorse gay marriage. At the end of the day, the question becomes, what is best for a child? What is best for a family? And what is best for society? Those that disagree with my views, invariably ask what is the harm to anyone if two people want to be married, regardless of their gender? The answer is PLENTY. Several studies suggest that a child is best raised in a two parent household, with both a mother and a father. My support for that comment can be found below in other posts I have written on the subject.

If we legalize same-sex marriage, then it must be taught in our school system as being morally equivalent to traditional marriage. It is now the gay rights community that is being intolerant. I affirm that God does exist and that He loves all of His children regardless of how we choose to live our lives. However, that does not diminish the fact that He wants to bless His children. He has given us commandments, that if followed, will bring us happiness and peace, in this life and the next. As always, please feel free to post your comments for or against my views.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Eight Reasons to Defend Man/Woman Marriage

Family Watch International has published a treatise called, "Eight Reasons to Defend Man/Woman Marriage. It reads in part:

Eight Reasons to Defend Man/Woman Marriage

“One can believe in same-sex marriage. One can believe that every child deserves a mother and a father. One cannot believe both.”
David Blankenhorn, Institute for American Values 1

1. Legalizing same-sex marriage severs children from their right to know and be raised by their biological parents.

Whatever you legalize, you encourage, and therefore get more of. If same-sex marriage is legalized, more children will be raised without a mother or a father. Social science research overwhelmingly proves that children do best on all measures of health and wellbeing when they are raised by their married biological parents. Man/woman marriage optimizes the chances of children being raised and cared for by both biological parents while same-sex marriages establish unions that will always deny the child the right to be raised by either a mother or a father.

Research also shows that mothers and fathers, by nature of their genders, make unique contributions to the development of their children and that these contributions cannot be replaced by two “parents” of the same sex. If society sanctions marriages that make it impossible for children to be raised by either their mother or father, children suffer.

To use an analogy: You could pass a law that says oranges now are apples. But oranges will never look like apples or taste like apples or be apples no matter how many laws we pass, nor will they ever produce the same seeds as apples. Just because we recognize this reality does not mean we have animosity toward oranges. In fact, we can like both oranges and apples and still hold an opinion that they are different. While this example may seem silly, it illustrates that the proposed radical experiment with same-sex marriage attempts to achieve the impossible. Same-sex marriage will never bear the same fruit as man/woman marriage – no matter how many laws are passed because it is radically different.

2. Legalizing same-sex marriage encourages the creation of children through reproductive arrangements that are not in their best interest.

By the laws of nature, same-sex couples cannot have children naturally. Recognizing same-sex marriages encourages increasing use of sperm banks, surrogate mothers and a number of other artificial reproductive technologies. The “products” of these technologies (i.e., children) too often find themselves at the center of court battles to determine who are their legally recognized parents. In addition, troubling testimonies have begun to emerge from children created through sperm donation regarding the negative impact this has had on them. For example, a woman who was raised by two lesbian parents from birth stated, “… I have still felt an empty space in my life, the lack of a father, and no matter the love that I have had from both of my mothers and the rarity of...

To read the rest of their article please click here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who's responsible for this mess?

What are the two things that you're told you shouldn't discuss? Religion and politics. Since, I usually talk about religion on this blog, I decided to venture (briefly) into politics as well. I was e-mailed this article, and felt that I needed to post it. I couldn't find a date for when it was written. It claims that the U.S. population is 235 million. Our population is currently 305 million, so it was written a while ago, but it is just as true today as it was when it was written. Let me know what you think.

THE 545 PEOPLE
RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL
OF AMERICA'S WOES



BY CHARLEY REESE

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.

A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY

Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

O'neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.

REPLACE SCOUNDRELS

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation" or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Trunkie ate o po? Espero que nao

Hey everyone!

What a week. It has been quite the adjustment working in the field full time again. I have to get used to everything still, including the sore and blistered feet. I guess I had gotten weak and lazy in the office :P Im the zone leader of one of the main zones here in belem, called "Belem Zone". As a zone leader you have an elevated responsibility to work even harder and acheive higher numbers and standards than the other missionaries in your zone to show an example. We have been working hard to set that example. Although its tough, its nice having all the pressure to keep me working all the way til the last minute of my mission.

General conference this week was incredible. I dont know if I had a favorite talk... they were all so great. I enjoyed Elder Aidukaitis' talk about how he honored his father for the testimony of the Book of Mormon he had and how he did what he knew to be right even in the face of many difficulties. I'm always a big fan of Elder Holland who gave a great talk about the angels in our life that help us through our challenges. 5 new temples announced. Amongst them, Jackson County Missouri and Rome... can you say... Second Coming? Im getting tickets to the next conference in april if someone else wants to join me.

I got to see a ton of my recent converts from Telegrafo, it was great. Domingos is preparing to get the priesthood and had an interview last week. Ulisses is still going on splits with the missionaries at least once or twice a week. Breno and Gabriel went to all of the sessions.

I bought some awesome souveniers from Ver-O-Peso last week. We are going again today to do some more shopping. I already got you all your christmas presents lol. If you have any last minute requests, make them now because you only have 3 more mondays to tell me and Ill only be going there once more.

I love you all tons. I miss you and cant wait to see you all again.

Love,
Elder Childs