I don’t want to bore you with my own explanation, so if you want to see a simply 6.5 minute explanation of what school vouchers will do for parental education choice and for the public schools click here. Richard and Linda Eyre put it quite simply and effectively. I agree that the parents should have options to take their children out of the public school system if they choose to. A private school is, on average, cheaper than what the public schools spend per student anyway, although currently parents have to pay out of pocket for it as well as pay taxes for other students to attend public school. The vouchers is a great way for a parent to take some of the money currently spent on their child and apply it to private school while still leaving a portion of the money in the public school system (and hey, the public school’s class size just went down!). I won’t give you my opinion on the ps school system, but their reason for not wanting vouchers is not a valid one, imo.
I was reading George Washington’s 1st Inaugural Address today as found in 28 Great Inaugural Addresses From Washington to Reagan published by Dover Publications. It amazes me how humble he really was. He didn’t say what people wanted to hear for the sake of appearing humble or pleasing to the people of the United States, he was sincere! Several times he mentions Heavenly Father’s hand in the forming and success of this country. Without Him, the country would not be successful. If you would like to read the whole address, here’s a couple of links to it online: Image of Washington’s First Inaugural Address with background information and a typed version.
I really liked this quote:
“I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my Country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity: Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
My husband, David, brought this to my attention. Wounded soldiers being “helped” at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center aren’t really being helped. They’re being neglected in many cases and sent home with little or no disability benefits despite having maimed bodies and minds. See these two articles (they’re long, but informative): Washington Post Article and Indy Star Article. Be prepared to cry. It’s so sad, but something needs to be done about it! I encourage you to write your legislators about this issue. These men and women should not be forgotten. They’ve sacrificed so much already.
Okay, so this is a VERY emotional issue for me. Childbirth is a very personal choice and effects the well being of mom, not just the baby. Also, I’m uninsured and refuse to birth in a hospital if it”s unnecessary. This bill would force me to choose Unassisted Childbirth (UC) at home or pay a huge bill to an OB and hospital. NO WAY! Just because not everyone chooses homebirth (after all it’s not for everyone), doesn’t mean it should be taken away from the women who do. Please write to your legislators to encourage them to vote NO on the bill.NO TO SB243!!!
This is a nasty attempt by the Utah Medical Association to get rid of Direct-entry Midwifery (DEM) in the state of Utah and to take away a woman’s right to have their babies “where, when, how, and with whom they choose” (see Utah Code 58-44a-601 below). They may say they’re not trying to do this, but that’s what the effect of this bill would be. The Utah Legislature passed the Direct-entry Midwife Act (HB25) in 2005. Why is someone trying to legislate this again? They say it’s to help keep moms and babies safe, but I don’t believe it for one minute.
Why would I be excluded? Well, having a “history” of large babies (over 8# 13oz) would risk me out of a DEM’s care for one. Also measuring over 3cm for the week of gestation, suspected GBS (I was negative with my third child and positive with my first two), and infection requiring antibiotics. So having a tooth infection (I’ve had it with my last pregnancy) that’s been treated would force me out of my DEM’s care.
As part of the original bill, HB25, the midwives are required to report all pregnancies and subsequent births to a national database. (I believe MANA keeps the database.) Then DOPL would put together a report for the year. 94 laboring moms were in the 2006 report (see DOPL Report below). If SB243 were in effect then, only 4% of those 94 women could have delivered at home assisted by a midwife. Hmmm, there’s a HUGE problem with this bill!!!
No other profession regulates another profession. Midwives and Medical Physicians treat patients so differently that they should NOT have the same rules. Midwives are highly trained and they know what they’re doing, oh, and SO DO I! It’s as if the UMA thinks we’re all dumb sheep who can’t think for themselves. Ugh!
I could write about all the bad things about this bill (and the sponsor), but reading it yourself as well as the following links should say it all for me.
Join the Utah Friends of Midwives group to learn more and how to help:
Say NOOOOO! to SB243 – NOOOOOO!
Sen. Dayton (Sponsor of the bill and wife to an OB) – She doesn’t stick to her “views” on government. I don’t think her “unborn children deserve our protection” applies to forcing women to birth in the hostile environment of the hospital because they have big babies!
Alright I’m done for now.
I was asked to speak in church on Sunday. I have to type out my talks or I lose track of my thoughts when I get up in front of people, so the following is mostly what I said. I did add that you need to be an example and teach it to your children, but it’s not in this typed version. I tried citing everything, but I may have missed some thing. Also, please forgive the format here. I just couldn’t get the line spacing right. WordPress kept changing it on me. :)
Talk given on January 28, 2007
Elder David O. McKay (prior to becoming Prophet) said in the April 1908 Conference:
“in Lord Byron’s Cain…Cain is tempted by Lucifer; and after the Devil has led him on, telling him that the Gospel is nothing, that Adam was deceived, that the Lord is only a cruel God,
Cain says: ‘Wilt thou teach me all things?
”Aye,’ says Lucifer, ‘upon one condition.’
Cain: ‘Name it.’Satan: ‘That you fall down and worship me, the lord.’
Cain: ‘Thou art not the Lord my father worships?’
Cain: ‘His equal?’
Satan: ‘No. And have naught in common with Him. No; nor want anything to do with Him. I would be aught above, beneath, I would rather be anything than subject to His power. I dwell apart; yet am I strong, and many there are who follow me, and many yet who shall. Be thou among the first.’
Cain answered: ‘I have never yet bowed to my father’s God, though my brother, Abel, oft implores that I should offer sacrifices with him.’
Lucifer quickly catches him: ‘Hast thou not bowed to Him?’
Cain: ‘Have I not said it? Need I say it? Dost not thy mighty knowledge teach thee that?’
“Then these words and Byron never uttered a greater truth.
Satan: ‘He who bows not to Him has bowed to me.’
“He who bows not to God has bowed to Lucifer.”
But, says Cain, ‘I will bow to neither.’
‘Ne’ertheless,’ answers the tempter, ‘thou art my worshiper; he who worships not Him is mine the same.’
“This truth harmonizes with the scripture [Matthew 6:24] ‘No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.’ Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
This example is as relevant today as it was in 1908. Over and over we, as Latter-day Saints, have been told that we need to “…choose ye this day whom ye will serve” as it reminds us in Alma 30:8. We know there are only two masters in this world: God and the devil. As was mentioned by President McKay and illustrated by Lord Byron, those who do not choose God, choose the devil. You must make the choice to serve God or by default you are the devil’s for the taking. However; we can choose to change our lives to serve God, and is the time to choose.
I was attending a forum last year, and the keynote speaker, [Dr. Oliver DeMille], spoke of allegiances. I’ll attempt to summarize a few of his points.
He said that each person in the world has one primary allegiance, one master as the scriptures say, and which allegiance you choose makes all the difference. He pointed out four primary allegiances, but I”ll be pointing out how there are only two.
- The first allegiance is to self. Doing what you want and accomplishing what you want. Then when you accomplish what it is you set out to do, you’ll wonder why it’s not enough. It’s empty and you’re not happy.
- The second allegiance is to others, whether it be keeping up with the Jones’ or trying to always please someone else. You will give your all, spend your life trying to impress or please them. The result will be that it is not be enough. They’re still not all that impressed, and you’ll wonder if it was all worth it. Of course, we know that answer is no.
- The third allegiance is to evil. You will give your heart and soul for something that you want, and you will get it. The deal is that when you get it, it will be given to you in a way that you totally didn’t want which will cause untold misery. Oh, and by the way you can’t have your heart and soul back. It’s a bad deal.
- The fourth allegiance is to God. Your part of the deal is that you give your heart and soul to Him and say, “I’ll do whatever you tell me to do. My life is yours. I’ll go where you tell me. I’ll say what you tell me to. I’ll do what you tell me to do.” Then God will send you to unexpected service. He sends you to do things that you never imagined that would be what He’d send you to do. It’s not easy, but in the end the deal is, that during and after you’ve given your all, you will make a huge impact on other people and help them. You will find happiness and fulfillment.
I’m going to add that you also can have eternal life by having an allegiance to God.
Now, from what President McKay said, the first two, allegiance to self and others, is really choosing an allegiance to evil. All good things come from God, and if you choose not to align yourself with God, then you are, again, by default choosing Satan. Choosing evil doesn’t always mean we are making a pact with the devil. Sometimes we choose to do something that puts God second or even last. We get distracted, and by our actions or inaction, push ourselves away from Heavenly Father. So, if we’re not close to Him, who are we closer to?
Bishop LeGrand Richards said: “We often see in our midst brethren who turn away from the Lord, who cease to pay their tithes and their offerings, who neglect to prove to God that they love him better than they love mammon, and darkness comes into their lives, and they do things that are not pleasing to the Lord. They walk in the ways of darkness and cease to help to build the kingdom of God in the earth” (Bishop Legrand Richards, Conference Report, October 1948, Afternoon Meeting, 41).
Maybe we put off paying tithing because we don’t think that we can pay all of our bills when in reality, God blesses us so that we can pay them when we pay Him first. We cannot obtain the blessings of the temple without paying our tithing. Take the leap of faith and pay the Lord first. Faith is the first step.
Maybe we put off reading our scriptures because we could always “do it later,” when in reality, life gets in the way and by the end of the day we’re perhaps too exhausted to read them and heed the promptings of the Spirit. If our priorities don’t put our Heavenly Father first, are we truly serving Him?
Elder Larry W. Gibbons in the last October Conference (2006) said: “We cannot keep one foot in the Church and one foot in the world. One reason is the world and the Church are rapidly diverging. We will lose our balance.” “Commandments are not given to burden or restrict us. Rather, they are guideposts from an all-wise Heavenly Father to keep us out of trouble, to bring us a fulness of happiness in this life, and to bring us safely back home to Him.”
Isn’t that what we all want? To live with our Heavenly Father again? We know what it takes to get there. It takes holding to higher standards, standing up for what we know to be right, and keeping all the commandments to the best of our abilities. The Lord will make up the difference for our faults, we just need to choose Him over anything else. We need to give our whole heart and soul to Him.
As Elder Gibbons also said, “…let’s sell that summer cottage in Babylon. Let us be not ‘almost’ but ‘altogether’ Latter-day Saints.” So, how do we sell that summer cottage in Babylon? We keep our feet out of the worldly things, and seek the Kingdom of God. Heavenly Father should always come first and everything else secondary.
Elder Robert D. Hales said: “As Latter-day Saints we need not look like the world. We need not entertain like the world. Our personal habits should be different. Our recreation should be different.” It’s okay to be different than the world. Say it to yourself, “It’s okay to be different from the world.”
Elder Gibbons goes on to say: “In JST of Luke 14:28 the Lord says: ‘Wherefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.’ I love that phrase ‘settle this.’ Brothers and sisters, I pray that we are ‘settled.’ There are precious blessings that come only from the complete yielding of one’s heart to God…”
Elder Gibbons also speaks to the youth, but it applies to us all. “You lived with your Heavenly Father in a premortal life. You were there with Him. Your spirit knows what it is like to live in celestial realms. You can never be truly happy in an uncelestial environment. You know too much. That is one of the reasons that for you, wickedness never can be happiness. What a great thing it is to decide once and for all early in life what you will do and what you will not do with regards to honesty, modesty, chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and temple marriage.”
Wow! What a profound statement! It struck me, as I hadn’t thought of it in that way before. Of course we couldn’t be happy by being wicked. We’ve lived in such a glorious place and lived a celestial standard. How else could we truly be happy except by living a celestial law on Earth too?
Today, no, now is the time to decide whose side you’re on. We know that we cannot serve two masters. We know the result of our aligning ourselves with God or Satan. We know where the straight and narrow path is. Stay in the middle and don’t get off!
I know this to be true!