Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Part 1: Our World...

Thanks for all of your thoughts. I would like to thank everyone who commented about my last “my opinion” blog or e-mailed me. I think many of us are silently frustrated and weary of what seems to be a losing fight in politics, social changes, sin, finances, and the noise that is our world.

Often it is so easy to dwell on the negative. It is so easy to get weary of fighting with the opposing influences in our country and our own personal lives. Over the next few days I want to point out the more positive aspects of our world, our worth, and our technology.

The first thing I want to talk about is our world...

I’m not talking about our society. I’m talking about the beautiful world our Heavenly Father has given his children. We don’t belong to the earth as our green friends would say. The earth belongs to us. The earth is ours to use as we see fit. The earth is our stewardship. We will be held accountable someday for our stewardship over the world.

And God blessed [Adam and Eve], and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Pretend you had a daughter who was moving to Phoenix. If you live in Phoenix you really need a car to make it around town. So you buy your daughter a car to use in Phoenix. Some time later you came to visit her and you found the car you bought for her trashed. The oil wasn’t changed, there where pizza boxes in the back seat, the car was dented and scratched, and there was a Hillary ’08 sticker on the back window. How would you feel about your daughter?

Pretend you gave a car to your other child who was moving to Phoenix. Some time later you went to visit him and you found out he was taking the bus or the taxi. He was broke because couldn’t keep a job. He was having a hard time making it to work because he was taking the bus or paying for a taxi. He didn’t want to drive the car because he wanted to keep it clean. He was a good driver; he just didn’t want to lose that new car smell. Maybe he thought his ’01 Ford Focus would be a classic someday and he didn’t want to put the miles on it. How would you feel about your son?

Which child would you be most disappointed in?

I would be disappointed in both kids – my daughter for not taking care of her car and my son for not using the car in the first place. Believe it or not, I would be more concerned about my son. He didn’t even use the car. I would think that he didn’t appreciate the car I gave him. I would think he was kinda dumb for just letting the car sit in his driveway. Is the car more important than my child? No! My son is far more important to me than the car. I gave him the car so he could be successful in Phoenix. My daughter may have trashed her car but she had a job and she wasn’t broke. I could always buy another car – the Hillary ’08 sticker is a whole other matter.

Our Heavenly Father looks at us in much the same way. He has given his children this world and he wants us to be happy. He doesn’t want us to trash the earth and he doesn’t want us to think the earth is more important than we are. In fact, we are far more important to him than the whole earth. We have been created in His image. God can always create another earth...

Friday, April 18, 2008

My opinion...

It has been a hectic time. Church stuff, family, work, babysitting, the list goes on and on. It is for all these reasons that I haven't really spent any time writing on my blog.

It's not that I haven't wanted to write or that I don't have anything to write about. There are so many things going on in the world that have bothered and interested me: The current political state of our nation, my thoughts on my relationship to my Savior, and my frustrations with life and work. I truly wish I had the gift of just writing without getting distracted or interrupted. I suppose I should make time to write stuff every day.

All this being said, I actually have time to write something. Currently, I'm in the clerk's office at the church bored out of my mind. I'm here to watch the Deseret Industries donation trailer from 3 to 7. Basically, nothing’s going on. There's nothing in the trailer worth stealing and if someone did steal something then they could consider it a donation to themselves.

So, here are some of my thoughts in case you are interested:

I am so weary of the state of our nation. I am so weary of politics and the media. To me it seams like the fabric of what makes this nation is eroding away. We are a nation that lacks any will. Many of our nation’s challenges could be easily solved if we just had the will to solve them. We'd rather play our video games and watch The Biggest Loser, before we would think outside of ourselves. Marx said “religion is the opium of the masses.” That may have been true with most people back then but today TV and the internet are our mind numbing opiates.

Many people spend countless hours "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" surfing the Internet. Many people seek out the pleasure of toys, food, and immorality. Many people find their whole week is gone and they have nothing to show for it. Many people are going to find they have lived their whole lives with nothing lasting to show for it. They don't care about their own kids or their own families. They only care about themselves. All of this and many other social ills you could name have sucked away our will as a people.

I must include myself in all of this. I am the chief computer potato.

We get upset about the price of gas. We make a lot of noise at the pump and around the water cooler at work, then we get back into our SUV turn on the radio where we are quietly numbed back into submission. Talk radio does this also. We listen, we get incensed, but we don't do anything. In some ways we think by merely listening we are actually doing something. When, in all actuality, we're continuing our numb existence. We are truly lukewarm. We are truly lulled away into carnal security.

I’m not advocating riots or protest. It would be nice, however, to see more verbal and angry protests coming from the conservative right. It seems like the “children” on the liberal left are always noisier than we “adults” are on the right. My 4 year old son is noisier than my wife.

What can we do? Honestly, I really don't know.

I do know the opposite of numb is feeling. Maybe, America needs to feel a little pain. Believe it or not in some cases pain is good once in a while. When I was young I touched the stove and burnt my hand. It hurt! But, I can tell you I never touched the stove again. It would be nice to eliminate all the negative consequences in the world but in doing so we would eliminate peoples ability to learn and grow. We need to quit looking for the easy way out, or for someone to just take our pain away. We need to face our challenges and not look towards government to fix everything.

Just a few generations ago you were faced with two choices: you where free to achieve anything you wanted or you were free to starve. It was your choice - success or starvation. Given these two choices most people would choose success. They really had no alternative. They were forced to make things work. If they failed at something, they tried again until they succeeded. They continued to do this for their entire lives because they had to.

No one was going to bail out my great great great grandfather if his crops didn’t grow. There was no government agency standing in the background with prepaid Visa cards waiting to rebuild his house if it was destroyed by a hurricane. My great great great grandfather had to ultimately rely on himself.

Back then the choice between success or starvation created another positive side effect in addition to self reliance: Charity. When you know the government is just going to make things better for the less fortunate you can easily put aside the Lord’s commandment to be charitable. When you know everyone is faced with the scary choice between succeeding or starving, then you are more likely to want to help out people who haven't succeeded. You don't want to succeed for them, you want to help them to succeed themselves.

When faced with the choice between succeeding or starving people were more likely seek out God’s blessings. People in generations past prayed with all their hearts for God's blessings on themselves, their families, their fortunes, and their fellow man.

I am an ultra conservative. My conservative philosophy teaches the value of a limited government is in giving people the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential. Power rests with the people. Government is limited to the protection of its citizen’s rights. That’s it. There are all kinds of arguments back and forth on the role of government but they should ask themselves what kind of people do you want to make of your citizens. Do you want a nation of “children” who whine and complain if they aren’t getting bailed out of their own bad choices? Do you want a nation of responsible “adults” who rely on themselves and help out their neighbor?

Odiously, you want a nation of adults. How do government policies help create more “adult” citizens? What government policies create more whiny children citizens?

I’ll leave you, the reader, to answer these questions for yourself. I just have one thing to say: If you put a safety net under everyone, then eventually everyone will have a very expensive trampoline to jump on or worst, a hammock to sleep in.