Thursday, October 27, 2016

Opinion Piece in Response to Voting this Election--Don't Read if You Hate Those Who Don't Think the Same as You Do

I wrote this as a response to a comment in a thread on someone else's wall. But I have been thinking through so many things. Some people have thanked me for the things I've shared. Other have been overly angry with me and even blasted me. So please, if you disagree, hide the post and move on. So far, we should still respect freedom of speech and press, and also freedom to censure our own walls and self-control in using civility to our family and friends.
Friend's Caption: Remember Utah, every vote you cast for Evan McMullin is a vote for Hillary Clinton

Mutual Friend's Reply: Trump is the worst most incompetent narcissistic candidate the Republicans have put up EVER. If he loses, which he will with or without Utah, at least the good people there can say I told you so. If he wins, with or without Utah, he and the rest of the evil Republicans will take it out on the Never Trumpers and there will be hell to pay. Vote for whomever you want but as for me and my house...

My Reply: That attitude I disagree with. I am not choosing to not serve the Lord because I voted Trump. I'm voting in favor of the Constitution and freedom, and I'm voting against the evil that is rampant in Washington.

The question of evil Republicans may very well be in usurpation, not in a citizen's vote.

When I had time later in the evening, I gave a longer reply, which is the essence of this post:

This is an election that has tried the hearts of men. I'm not going to say who's right in voting for Trump or for McMullin. But I am going to have my say from my angle.

I was upset when the tape came out, and I thought who am I going to vote for now? But I was able to keep it in perspective too, instead of letting the media tell me it was rape culture, or the women who popped out of the woodwork tell me that Trump accosted them in public.

I agree it was locker room talk, and it's not even appropriate for middle or high schoolers. It was braggadocio and lustful, but it wasn't rape culture. From what he said, the woman denied him.

With that said, do I like it? No. Nor do I like some allegations against him. But neither do I like the real criminal activity of Hillary: the email scandals that put and may still be putting our country at risk; and the deaths in Benghazi; plus, the allegations of people being picked off if they have any info against the Clintons.

So much for the manure we all need to sift through.

But I actually believe in Trump's patriotism, and when he looks at the camera and talks to America, I feel he is telling the truth (even if I'm proven wrong some day); I sure do know that Hillary is not.

I originally liked Ben Carson, and I'm glad Ben and Mike Pence are sticking with Trump. They are really good men. And you know what? Trump is a really good judge of character, because he picks good men to get the needed jobs done. Wouldn't that be a great plus in a President, as far as Supreme Court Justices and cabinet members? Wouldn't it be wonderful to see more Pro-lifers and be on the road to repealing Roe vs. Wade? I've never heard a politician since the 70's when that passed say any such thing. I love Trump for that! There is no excuse for 58 1/2 million or so abortions that have taken place in our Country since Roe vs. Wade, and I for one am glad to be voting policies and principles towards that end, and towards protecting our Constitution along with The Bill of Rights.

Then on to McMullin. I did not appreciate him entering the race at all. I thought it unethical. I think the right thing to do is to back up the Republican nominee. You know what it speaks to me? Not only does Hillary think I'm deplorable, so does Romney, McMullin, and the rest of the Never Trumpers. We have Republicans sitting in high places who would rather put Hillary into office, even though the FBI and all of America know how guilty she is. Sounds like usurpation and secret combinations to me.

Bob and I both thought of when King Mosiah helped his people set up judges, and then some turned into kingmen and didn't want to allow the people the responsibilities that go along with freemen. Yeah, it's pretty clear that the Never Trumpers aren't going to allow their own countrymen and their own party to support their nomination, because they are so much better than we are. Or are they? Or does Trump actually see the corruption that is there and want to make a difference?

Okay, so now that all sounds harsh. I listened to McMullin back in August, and like I said, we thought his timing and reasons for entering the election were unethical. I did listen to one of his ads the other day and it was impressively done, and I saw some of the people who are backing him and their excitement in doing so. They believe they are doing what is right, and I can't fault them for that.

But I've listened to him since, and my opinion is the same. He is telling people to send a message to Washington that they don't want a candidate like Trump. So who is the message going to? It is going to the very people that they are supporting through voting for McMullin. In other words, their message is one of endorsement for the current administration and the state of affairs in Washington. If you want to make a statement that you are fed up with how things are, it seems that you'd swallow your Never Trump pride and vote for the candidate who wants to clean things up and make Washington accountable to the people again. Now I don't need to fault anyone for a choice that differs than mine for whatever reason. The backlash of a Hillary presidency will fault us all with severe repercussions.

I just think it's a shame that the false quote about the lesser of two evils is still voting evil. That's ridiculous. I didn't vote for a sexist any more than people who are voting for Hillary are doing so because she's a murderer, or people that are voting McMullin are doing so because he's a spoiler. Everyone brings his or her own schemata to the voting board, sifts and reasons (hopefully), draws conclusions, prays and seeks inspiration (hopefully), and makes a decision.

But the arrogance of those who believe the lesser of two evils lie either can't count above two, or they think that anyone who thinks differently than they do must not be inspired of God.

Ridiculous. Voting is about agency and responsible choices. We aren't going to be eternally condemned if we are following our conscience, listening to the Spirit, and doing the best we can. There is no true candidate, as there is a true Book of Mormon or a true Restoration. We are all fallible people and also gifted people, but a candidate is not an eternal truth we are praying about. We may bring swift judgment upon ourselves though, if we choose a candidate that does not care about upholding the Constitution, wants to impose liberal agendas through Pro-choice Supreme Court Justices and other venues, and is entangled with people and governments that seek to harm us and destroy our Country.

In other words, there will not be consequences to our votes. I do not want Hillary in office, and I heard from McMullin's own mouth that he'd rather have that happen than have Trump. Trump has a vision and has outlined what he'd like to do in office and it's exciting and I respect him for it. McMullin doesn't have a vision of what to do, because he isn't running for president, he's just running to keep Trump out.

So I am voting for someone who actually wants to be president; wants to clean up Washington; wants to serve the people; and he loves America.

Monday, October 24, 2016

McMullin's Shady Run

What do we know about Evan McMullin?

McMullin is a 40-year-old unmarried man. We know very little about him other than he was reared as a Latter-day Saint and that his run for the presidency is only to stop Trump from being President. We know that his backers are also just "Never Trump"ers.

McMullin says he is pro-life; but he would rather put Hillary into office than Trump, even though Trump will choose Pro-life Supreme Court Justices and seeks to repeal Roe vs. Wade; and Hillary believes that we've "come too far" to go back, and that it is a woman's and her family's decision to murder full-term babies before they are born if they want to.

McMullin says that as a member of the Church he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, but he respects the decision of the Court and the Amendment to the Constitution, and that he feels it's time to move on. Since his own mother is a lesbian married to another woman, this could certainly influence his decision to leave that alone.

Many people are voting McMullin because they think he is a conservative, LDS candidate and because they do not like Trump's brashness or the allegations against him. But we have seen the mounting evidence of real criminal behavior in Hillary and the media's lack of balance in reporting. 

Some are voting McMullin because they want to make a statement to the Republican Party. But there are no longer clear lines in seeing whose allegiance is where, so the only statement that will be made in a vote for McMullin is that the voter prefers Clinton to Trump, but does not want to cast a vote for Clinton. In this way the voter abdicates the responsibility for his vote to the"Never Trump" society, which thinks that they are too elite to allow the people's choice from the primaries to become President. 

McMullin says he thinks that Trump is a great threat to our Country. I think the greater threat is the uninformed citizen, who casts his votes against his own beliefs.

Very soon we will know who the new President will be. I know it won't be McMullin, and I certainly hope that it will not be Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This Election and Another Look at the Great Plan of Happiness

Since this piece contains my political views for this Presidential Election, I want the reader to know that the views are mine. The Great Plan of Salvation is taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The suggestion to vote for the Presidential candidate whom I see as supportive of principles in that Plan is mine.

I firmly believe in our Father’s Great Plan of Happiness. In our Pre-mortal lives, we lived with our Heavenly Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. When Father presented His Plan for us to come to this earth, gain bodies, have a testing period, learn obedience, and have the chance to become like Him, we all shouted for joy. We were excited to be born into families and gain a body and help our Father in accomplishing His great plan.

We learned that we would all fall short in our abilities and sometimes our desires to do right. We would be lost forever from returning to live in our Father’s presence if it weren’t for the perfect gift of His Son Jesus Christ and His willingness to suffer and die for us, and be resurrected again. Because of the gift of His Atonement, we can all repent, be forgiven, progress, find happiness here through the Spirit that God sends the obedient, and have joy in the eternities forever with Him.

We accepted our Heavenly Father's Plan. We chose life! Whenever there is a viable choice, I believe that we should choose life. When we consider that we accepted God’s Plan while we lived with Him in heaven, we should consider again now what we can do to help further that Plan on earth.
The family has been under attack for years; and the sacred means by which children enter the world has also been under attack. Abortion remains the most barbaric and greatest evil of our day. 

Our Country has become increasingly wicked. The world has become much less safe for everyone; but, in the last while, we have seen that it is becoming increasingly dangerous for believers in Jesus Christ. So we need to assess what we can do to make sure that we are faithful ourselves in keeping the commandments of God, and also that we are seeking leaders, who want to uphold those principles of righteousness, even if they do not have an understanding yet of God’s Plan and our role in it.

Our government has become increasingly corrupt. We see those in power, upholding and defending each other in their wickedness, so that they do not have to bear accountability for their actions. This was also true in The Book of Mormon times. We also see citizens who do not value the freedoms that this Country has had to offer, but seek more and more for government entitlements; which will actually enslave them and rob them of their freedom. The more accountable we are able to be, the more free we become. One measure of our accountability is taking responsibility for our vote. 

We have an election coming up very shortly. Some have felt certain that one Latter-day Saint candidate came into this race with the intent to do good, “because it is never too late to do the right thing,” he said. We know that our Prophet and Apostles do not endorse candidates, but ask us to study the issues and prayerfully consider whom we should vote for. There is not a perfect candidate, and all of them are tainted in some way to some degree. So the erroneous quote that if we vote the lesser of two evils, we are still voting for evil, is just wrong here, for a number of reasons.

First , of all, as stated already, each candidate is flawed. Second to that, I believe that we can all count higher than two. If we were looking at two candidates and didn’t like either of them, then we should not just accept a third one because he is a member of the Church. What is his purpose in running? He obviously, did not make a serious commitment to do so through thoughtful planning and prayer. He did so as a last resort move among the Society of “Never Trump”. He did not give the citizens of the United States a chance to even know who he is; and, he has told his following that they will not win, that he will not be President, but that they will be able to stop Trump.

Now, I am not endorsing any evil that anyone who is running has done. But let’s face the facts: Hillary has a long record of criminal activity for which the government, the media, the FBI, and half the Country is turning a blind eye. McMullin, a rather unknown single man without the experience gained from having a family of his own and without any real leadership experience entered the election solely to stop Trump from winning the Presidency.

Now, this is the principle I am endorsing: Trump has said that he wants to appoint Pro-life Supreme Court Justices and, with that, he seeks to reverse Roe vs. Wade. Do we believe in our Heavenly Father’s Plan? Do we believe that abortion is a great evil? Do we know that there are spirits waiting to come to earth and get a body? Abortion was legalized in my youth. Since then, I have not heard of one politician who has said that he wants to repeal it. Most politicians only seek to make each other happy and keep the status quo, and take us spiraling down with them.

Ask yourself, "When will another President seek to end abortion in our Country?" We may not get the chance to see a leader committed to doing so again.

Not only does Trump want to end abortion, he wants to help families through the creation of more jobs and economic growth, better education, and better insurance. He also wants to support and sustain and build our law enforcement and our military. And he wants to ensure that our Constitutional freedoms, as found in the Constitution and The Bill of Rights, are protected. We should also seek to safeguard those freedoms, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and all other freedoms that we hold dear which have been under attack.

Hillary has shown that she is dishonest. McMullin and the “Never Trump”ers have shown that they are Kingmen who do not want the average citizen voting in a way with which they disagree. We as citizens, need to defend our freedoms in every way we can: first, through righteous living, keeping the commandments, being faithful, and serving; but also, we must take the chance when an opportunity presents itself to vote against the establishment which we already know is evil.

I have had so many losses in my life. Sometimes I really am saddened by them. Then I remember my God and His Son Jesus Christ and the promise of those I love being restored to me again. Indeed, it is a Great Plan of Happiness. But, if we think that we can just have faith that God will protect our freedoms without taking thought to do what we can to defend them, we are wrong. Freedom has never, ever been free. Jesus paid a great price; our military has paid a great price over and over; our Forefathers paid a great price; and, if we do not do what we can now to support these principles of freedom, we will also find ourselves paying a great price. If we do not value the cost of freedom, we will have to learn it.

More than anything, I see this election as a chance to give our voice to the desire to support those principles which will aid in furthering our Father’s Plan for our happiness. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Vote is My Right; Your Vote is Your Right

I have seen a marked air of superiority among citizens who believe that their candidate is the best. We need to remember that voting is a sacred right and privilege, and we need to remember that we are seeking to be The "United" States of America.

The intolerance, hate and division over moral agency is truly sad. Like most others, I do not take my vote lightly, and way more is put into the equation than one mere candidate. Principles, surrounding people, whom I think will have the ability to influence the Country for the most good in the next four years, fighting socialism, defending the family, strengthening the military, defending the Constitution along with The Bill of Rights, and many other factors come into play.

While voting, we should be humbly looking to the Spirit to guide us of course; but, do not think that because your conscience dictates that you vote one way, that others who disagree with you are wrong. This election itself will not be the real test of who is right and who is wrong. It is what we all choose to do afterwards, and between elections, that will determine what type of citizens we really are.

We need to stop looking for our identity in our candidates, sports team, and the like. We are more than that. We are children of God who has given us all the ability to think and reason, and the agency to do so.

Those who think that they are justified in bashing others because they believe that they are following prophetic counsel; please stop accepting newspaper articles, opinion pieces, individual interpretations, of what may or may not have been said, as the final word. They aren’t. Follow the dictates of your own conscience, and allow all other citizens to do the same.

For those who are fellow Latter-day Saints, and for all other individuals of strong faith, the following is what has been said by The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those who post anything other than their official statement, rest assured that it does not come from the Church, no matter how well-intended you may think it is.

Please note the underlined portion. 

First Presidency 2016 Letter Encouraging Political Participation, Voting in US

The following letter was issued by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 5, 2016, to be read to Church congregations throughout the United States:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Political Participation, Voting, and the Political Neutrality of the Church
As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs.
We also urge you to spend the time needed to become informed about the issues and candidates you will be considering. Along with the options available to you through the Internet, debates, and other sources, the Church occasionally posts information about particular moral issues on which it has taken a position at
Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles.
While the Church affirms its institutional neutrality regarding political parties and candidates, individual members should participate in the political process. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.
Sincerely yours,
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The First Presidency

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Now, How Will I Vote?

8 October 2016

Last night I watched the video that surfaced, which puts Trump and his campaign in a very poor light; but, it is not so condemning as the words reported without context given. By no means can his behavior be justified as acceptable. It just is another load of crap for voters to trek through in making their decision on whom to vote for.

I am at a loss of what to do at this point; not so much just over the video, but over the reaction from Trump and from America concerning the video. First off, individuals should claim responsibility for their own actions without pointing fingers to anyone else. It’s a hard thing to do, but until we can do that America is going to remain weak. Second of all, there are those who still praise this man and brush aside his faults as if they don’t matter at all; while on the other hand, there are those who flatly condemn him without considering whether he has grown, changed, or improved. So either way, we have those who are severely lacking in judgment or those who are quick to judge severely. And this seems to be the trend in our Country over everything, from top leaders to average citizens; which probably goes to show that we are all found lacking for the most part.

I am also amazed that the citizens of the United States view their politic responsibilities pretty much in the same way that they do their preferred sports’ teams. They accept or excuse behavior solely because they have chosen a team and may all others lose and be damned. This has certainly be proven time and time again with what has been accepted during the past umpteen years and the blinders that have been put on by citizen and representatives of citizens. The lies and evil that have been perpetuated in and by our government officials are blatant, but we seem to have come to accept them as normal, and some even seem to uphold the injustice of it all.

I really tire of seeing all those who compare current situations to President Richard Nixon, saying that he was forced to resign. Because of his cover up of Watergate happenings, he chose to resign. He still wanted the best for our Country. With all the scandals we’ve seen in government since, no one has willingly left office, not even when impeached. Certainly, top officials and even the American populous should not uphold, back, or cast a vote for someone whom they know has broken the law repeatedly and has put our Country and our military at great risk, even costing lives.

When I do vote, rest assured that I will vote my conscience. That means that I will cast my vote thinking about my accountability to God and to my country as I do so. That also means that I will vote for the person whom I think is best positioned to do the most good for our Country in the next four years. And I suggest that we all allow each other the sacred right to do so without condemnation or judgment of our own superiority and their stupidity. We need to do what we can to once again make or nation The United States of America.

 I watched the video in question last night. Not at all pretty, but it was important for me to see for my own evaluation. In sharing the link, I am not promoting the reprehensible nature of the content, but trying to put into context what happened then with who Trump may or not be now.

From Donald J. Trump's Page:

Here is my [Trump’s] statement.
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, know these words don’t reflect who I am.
I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.
I’ve travelled the country talking about change for America. But my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.

Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs, we are less safe than we were 8 years ago and Washington is broken.
Hillary Clinton, and her kind, have run our country into the ground.
I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.

See you at the debate on Sunday.

My Response to Trump:

Mr. Trump, it is disgusting that a grown man would talk like a middle school boy trying to impress his friends. Whether or not what you said is a reflection of what you would really do, you were willing to make a few others think so to somehow prove your manhood. It didn't work.

I was actually going to vote for you, even though you weren't the Republican candidate that I favored in the primaries. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. If nothing else, I've told others, you have proven that you are willing to work with others for the good of the country; even those whom you debated strongly against in the primaries. 

Listening to your apology was sad. I agree that Bill Clinton's actions were really wrong. But using his actions to justify your own words and actions really isn't the morally responsible thing to do. 

To make America great again, we need morally good, clean, and straight citizens, who are willing to bear responsibility for their actions, including those in office who are supposed to represent us. It's too bad that you've lost the faith and trust of so many who actually believed that you wanted to make America great again. 

The America we need is not a reality TV show, nor is it the posh rich or the crass rich, which really seem to be one and the same; they just put on airs in different ways.

From Dr. Ben Carson's Page:
It is obvious that the media has decided who the winner of this election should be; but by so grossly overplaying its hand, the media has lost all credibility as a source for objective facts and surrendered its role as a neutral arbiter of political discourse.

My Response to Carson:

just wish that Trump had apologized without a comparison to someone else's wrongs. We don't need any "sorry buts(s)". The main problem with America is having citizens and leaders who are unwilling to face consequences for actions. Until we can do that, America will not be great again.

I find it sad that the populous just falls in line to defend a candidate in the same way they do a sport's team. It shows that not only are these candidates immoral, so are We the People.

The thing that seems redeemable about Trump is that he appears to be willing to work with great people like Carson and others who were past opponents. He's picked a good running mate. I thought he'd pick better judges and cabinet members. That is what was holding me to vote for him in the past. But the reality check now is that this is not a reality TV show and there is no way of telling what kind of presidency he'd have.

I am undecided again. I don't want Hillary as president ever, but I also want a clear conscience before God concerning my vote.