Archive for the ‘LDS’ Tag

LDS Church to Independently Teach Both Religious and Secular Education Classes   148 comments

ces

 

This is very good, very big news.

Even though the fight for freedom in education is fought by freedom-loving people of many different religions, I share this great news, which comes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hoping it will inspire other people and other churches as it has inspired me.

In February 2016, in an all-employee meeting at Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus, the Commissioner of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Kim B. Clark, gave an address, “CES: The Lord’s Educational System for His Church”.

The 54-minute talk can be viewed here.

Elder Clark announced that the church is launching a new initiative in fall 2016 that will eventually offer secular and religious education courses, from Master’s degrees down to high school, to people wherever the church is organized.

Elder Clark began by saying, “Whatever level of spirituality we now enjoy in our lives, whatever degree of faith in Jesus Christ we have, whatever strength of commitment or consecration we have, whatever degree of obedience or hope or charity is ours, whatever level of professional skill or ability we may have obtained, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead.  Brothers and sisters, you and I need to be much better than we are now, in every aspect of our lives.  The scriptures teach us that the world is now, and will be, in commotion and we can see it all around us. Wickedness and darkness will increase.  It seems hard to imagine, but it will.  Yet in that darkening world, there’ll be increased light, divine light.  The Lord Jesus Christ has a great work for us to do with the rising generation.  It’s a greater work than we’ve ever done before…  The Lord is working in power to strengthen teaching and learning in his true and living church.  He’s hastening his work.”  (minute 2-3)

He said that last October, the presidents of the Church’s universities counseled together and then proposed a new initiative that was soon approved by the church leaders. (minute 13-14)

It is this: “The Church Educational System (CES) will seek to provide opportunities for education to the members of the church wherever the church is organized.

The church has long operated universities, seminaries, institutes, education weeks, high school classes through its universities and through its churches.  But now, the Church will be rolling out a new program that will use all its resources to increasingly provide both secular and religious education to all its members, wherever the church exists.   Elder Clark speaks of Master’s degrees down through high school classes being offered, both online and inside church buildings; I hope, and guess, that in the future, junior high and elementary classes will also be offered.

At minute 16:37, we learn that the first principle for the church’s new initiative is:

“Education is a spiritual experience”.  It explains, “Education– the struggle for perfection– is a spiritual experience and is essential for building the Kingdom of God and establishing Zion. Religious instruction, gathering experiences and a spiritual focus to online learning will be essential.”

The second principle is: “The initiative will be a collaborative, system-wide effort involving all CES institutions.  We will also partner with Self Reliance Services (SRS) and other Church departments as appropriate and will build as much as possible on resources, courses and programs that already exist”.

The third principle is:  “Instruction will be delivered online and in local gathering activities at Institutes and chapels.  Study at local schools, combined with religious education at an Institute, is an important part of this initiative.”

The fourth principle is:  “Students will access programs through their local Church units, guided by priesthood leaders, supported by CES and Self Reliance Services.”  Elder Clark emphasized the fact that these classes are to be held under the direction of local priesthood leaders; he added:  “We felt really strongly about this.”

Even though Elder Clark said, “We’re talking about a global audience that numbers in the hundreds of thousands,” (minute 44) he felt it was important to make this educational program locally driven by local leaders.

In closing, Elder Clark reminded us that Ephesians 6:12 states:  “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  He asked those in attendance to rise to the challenge, to repent daily, and to meet the great opportunities and responsibilities before us by receiving greater spiritual power from Christ.

He said, “The rising generation in this marvelous worldwide church needs education, including the plain and simple truths of the gospel…. the rising generation will learn deeply and they will rise up.  We know this will happen.”

What a great message.  What great news.

 

 

clark

Elder Kim B. Clark

 

Is Socialism Wrong?   3 comments

It is becoming increasingly evident that education in America is becoming more and more a form of socialism, with the government held as the supreme authority over children and what they will be taught, rather than local educational leaders and parents making those decisions. Under this increasingly socialistic system of Common Core, education is determined by a small group of people with a large concentration of power, while the majority have no meaningful voice or vote.

For this reason, I am sharing the following study of the concept of socialism, especially for my latter-day saint friends, with highlights reposted from: http://www.latterdayconservative.com/about/

 

Socialism is wrong.

Brian M.,  author of   www.LatterdayConservative.com, has written that it’s not just anyone’s opinion to believe  that socialism is wrong, but that  latter-day prophets, starting with Joseph Smith, have taught that socialism is  wrong, and have clearly defined it.

The author writes, “socialistic  laws and policies within the government are in violation of the Constitution.  The prophets have also made many statements against communism, which shares  many of the same ideas as socialism.”

He adds:

Joseph Smith

“I  attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through,  I made a few remarks… I said I did not believe the doctrine.” (History of the  Church 6:33)

Heber J. Grant

“We  again warn our people in America of the constantly increasing threat against  our inspired Constitution and our free institutions set up under it. The same  political tenets and philosophies that have brought war and terror in other  parts of the world are at work amongst us in America…

“…  Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the  United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always  devises of the gospel plan… Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and  lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They  will prove snares to their feet.” (Grant and McKay 273, 343)

David O. McKay

“Church  members are at perfect liberty to act according to their own consciences in the  matter of safeguarding our way of life. They are, of course, encouraged to  honor the highest standards of the gospel and to work to preserve their own  freedoms. They are free to participate in non-church meetings that are held to  warn people of the threat of Communism or any other theory or principle that  will deprive us of our free agency or individual liberties vouchsafed by the  Constitution of the United States.” (”Statement Concerning the Position of the  Church on Communism” 477)

First Presidency 1941 ( Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David  O. McKay )

“We believe  that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from  that underlying spirit common to Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array  class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which  would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution…

“As  we see it, there is no way in which we can, to use your own words, “preserve  and perpetuate our freedom—freedom to govern ourselves, freedom of speech, and  freedom to worship God according to our own light,” except we shall turn away  from our present course and resume the normal course along which this great  country traveled to its present high eminence of prosperity, of culture, of  universal education, and of the peace and contentment which we enjoyed prior to  the inauguration of the “New Deal”. (1932-3)

“These  things are not matters of partisan politics with us. We care nothing as Church  leaders about partisan politics as such, nor about the dominance of one party  or the other. We grant to every man the right to vote as he wishes, and we  would not control his vote even if we could. But we do reserve to ourselves the  right to tell our people what we think is right regarding politics as affecting  the fundamentals of our government system, to warn them of the dangers that lie  under the present course, and to try to persuade them that their peace, their  happiness, and their security do not lie along the path of the present trends  of government.

“Truly,  we do not believe that—again to quote your own words—we can “preserve and  perpetuate our freedom—freedom to govern ourselves, freedom of speech, and  freedom to worship God according to our own light” unless we turn squarely  about and return to the old-time virtues, and re-enthrone our liberties and  free institutions.” (A Letter to the Treasury from the LDS First Presidency in  1941 )

Ezra Taft Benson

“No  true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist  principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of  this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto  that very purpose [D&C 101:80].” (”A Four-Fold Hope” 11)

“President  McKay has said a lot about our tragic trends towards socialism and communism  and the responsibilities liberty-loving people have in defending and preserving  our Constitution. (See Conference Report, Apr 1963, pp. 112-13.) Have we read  these words from God’s mouthpiece and pondered on them?” (”Be Not Deceived”  1064; compare GFC 340)

“Let  us not be deceived in the sifting days ahead. Let us rally together on  principle behind the prophet as guided by the promptings of the Spirit. We  should continue to speak out for freedom and against socialism and communism.  We should continue to come to the aid of patriots, programs, and organizations  that are trying to save our Constitution through every legal and moral means  possible.” (”Be Not Deceived” 1065; compare GFC 342)

“We  must be righteous and moral. We must live the gospel principles—all of them. We  have no right to expect a higher degree of morality from those who represent us  than what we ourselves are. In the final analysis, people generally get the  kind of government they deserve. To live a higher law means we will not seek to  receive what we have not earned by our own labor. It means we will remember  that government owes us nothing. It means we will keep the laws of the land. It  means we will look to God as our Lawgiver and the Source of our liberty.” (CHB  28-31)

“I  fear for the future when I realize that for some thirty years our once-free  institutions, political, economic, educational and social, have been drifting  into the hands of those who favor the Welfare State, and who would “centralize  all power in the hands of the political apparatus in Washington. This  enhancement of political power at the expense of individual rights, so often  disguised as ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’ or ‘civil rights,’ is ’socialism,’ no  matter what name tag it bears…

“I fear for the future when I see an affluent but complacent  citizenry paying little or no attention to these and many other socialistic trends  in America.

“Dr. V. Orval Watts, noted political economist, has described this  socialist system which I fear-and I have but suggested a very few evidences.  Here are his words: ‘Socialism… is the theory and practice of coercive  collectivism. It is the evil fruit of greed for other men’s possessions and  greed for control over other men’s labor.’” (Elder Ezra Taft Benson December 10 1963. A Race Against Time.)

“We  have moved a long way – and are now moving further and more rapidly down the  soul-destroying road of socialism. The evidence is clear – shockingly clear for  all to see…

“Now we should all be opposed to Socialistic-Communism, for it is  our mortal and spiritual enemy – the greatest evil in the world today. But the  reason many liberals don’t want the American people to form study groups to  really understand and than fight Socialistic-Communism is that once the  American people get the facts they will begin to realize that much of what  these liberals advocate is actually helping the enemy.

“The liberals hope you’ll believe them when they tell you how  anti-Communist they are. But they become alarmed if you really inform yourself  on the subject of Socialistic-Communism. For after you inform yourself you  might begin to study the liberal voting record. And this study would show you  how much the liberals are giving aid and comfort to the enemy and how much the  liberals are actually leading America towards Socialism itself.

“For Communism is just another form of socialism, as is fascism.  So now you can see the picture. These liberals want you to know how much they  are doing for you – with your tax money of course. But they don’t want you to  realize that the path they are pursuing is socialistic, and that socialism is  the same as communism in its ultimate effect on our liberties. When you point  this out they want to shut you up – they accuse you of maligning them, of  casting aspersions, of being political. No matter whether they label their  bottle as liberalism, progressivism, or social reform – I know the contents of  the bottle is poison to this Republic and I’m going to call it poison.” (Ezra Taft  Benson. Stand Up For Freedom. Assembly Hall at Temple Square, Feb 11, 1966.  Given to The Utah Forum for the American Idea)

Howard W. Hunter

“You  were given a  great message by Elder Marion G. Romney which was inspiring and profound. He  compared socialism with the United Order.  I encourage you to study carefully that message. He gave much of the basic  theory, the principles, the similarities and the differences between these two  basically conflicting systems. As I accept his premises, logic, and  conclusions, with your permission, at this time, I would like to use his  message as a springboard for my own. The basic principle in his message is the  same principle in mine, as already discussed – the principle of the Law of the  Harvest – As a Man Sows, So Shall He Reap.

“From  my own experience in business and as a lawyer and church worker, and from my  firsthand observations in this country and other countries of the world, there  appears to me to be a trend to shift responsibility for life and its processes  from the individual to the state. In this shift there is a basic violation of  the law of the harvest, or the law of justice. The attitude of “something for  nothing” is encouraged. The government is often looked to as the source of wealth.  There is a feeling that the government should step in and take care of one’s  needs, one’s emergencies, and one’s future. Just as my friend actually became a  slave to his own ignorance and bad habits by refusing to accept the  responsibility for his own education and moral growth, so, also, can an entire  people be imperceptibly transferred from individuals, families, and communities  to the federal government…

“What  is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more  socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal  unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and  righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms…

“If  man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the  gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a  democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The  government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have  last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of  their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost  their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something  for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the  gift.

“Under  this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the  vital freedoms which they have lost.” (Speeches  of the Year 1965-1966, pp. 1-11, “The Law of the Harvest.” Devotional Address,  Brigham Young University, 8 March 1966.)

I would also recommend that everyone  read the talk by Elder Marion G. Romney entitled “Is Socialism the United  Order?” This talk was recommended by Elder Hunter, and as mentioned by Elder  Romney, he was asked by “the Brethren” to give this talk in General Conference  Priesthood meeting of April, 1966. Here are some excerpts from that talk:

“Thus  in both implementation and ownership and management of property, the United  Order preserves to men their God-given agency, while socialism deprives them of  it… Socialism  is political, both in theory and practice. It is thus exposed to, and riddled  by, the corruption that plagues and finally destroys all political governments  that undertake to abridge man’s agency.

“…No,  brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However, notwithstanding my  abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is the wave of the present and  of the foreseeable future. It has already taken over or is contending for  control in most nations.

“We  here in the United States, in converting our government into a social welfare  state, have ourselves adopted much of socialism. Specifically, we have to an  alarming degree adopted the use of the power of the state in the control and  distribution of the fruits of industry. We are on notice according to the words  of the President, that we are going much further, for he is quoted as saying: ‘We’re  going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily being spent and take it  from the ‘haves’ and give it to the ‘have nots.’” (1964 Congressional Record,  p. 6142, Remarks of the President to a Group of Leaders of Organizations of  Senior Citizens in the Fish Room, March 24, 1964.)

“Socialism  takes: United Order gives.

“That  is the spirit of socialism: We’re going to take. The spirit of the United Order  is: We’re going to give.

Even the scriptures warn us against socialism:

“Wo  unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite,  and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying  hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will  not labor with your own hands!” (D&C 56:17)

“They  shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat:  for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long  enjoy the work of their hands.” (Isaiah 65:22)

What greater condemnation of Socialism  could there be than from God himself? A witness from the Old Testament, and one  from the current dispensation through Joseph Smith, as well as many other  warnings through His prophets and apostles throughout the years.

I recognize that some people, with  good intentions, have been deceived into thinking that socialism is good. I  think what needs to be realized and understood by those who feel that socialism  is in line with the Gospel and teachings of Christ is that the problem is not  regarding whether or not we should help each other, we do have a responsibility  to help those in need, the problem is in others using force and violating our  agency to accomplish it. The ends do not justify the means. Socialism violates  man’s agency. We must be free to give unto others of our own choosing.

Socialism and other false “isms” which  take away our agency are part of an ongoing battle; the war that started in  heaven continues on earth today.

Further recommended reading from Brian M. :

————-

Thank you, Brian M.

Jack Monnett on LDS Home School   Leave a comment

Interesting video from Jack Monnett.

What’s So Wrong About Socialism?   Leave a comment

What is so wrong about socialism, and why is it so bad that it’s being pushed and prodded into American education and all aspects of America by both sides of the political aisle?

The question is so eloquently answered from a man who knows what he is talking about– Ezra Taft Benson: (Excerpt from Benson’s 1977 speech, “A Vision and a Hope for the Youth of Zion.”)

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=85

“…Isaiah foresaw the time when a marvelous work and a wonder would come forth among men (see Isaiah 29:14). Isaiah also predicted that there would be those that “seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they [shall] say, Who seeth us?” (Isaiah 29:15)…

“Yes, Satan works through human agents. We need only look to some of the ignoble figures in human history who were contemporary to the restoration of the gospel to discover fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. I refer to the infamous founders of communism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Today, if we are alert, we can see further fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies…

“Through the instigation of Marx and Engels, a most successful counterfeit to the united order was introduced into the world. The declaration of principles found in their Manifesto to the World advocated the overthrow of capitalism and free enterprise, the abolition of private property, the elimination of the family as a social unit, the abolition of all classes, the overthrow of all governments, and the establishment of communal ownership of property in a classless, stateless society. All this was to be accomplished by revolution.

“On July 3, 1936, the First Presidency published this warning to Church members. I quote it in part; I hope you will get a copy of the full statement for your files. In part, the statement reads:

. . . Communism is not a political party, nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government. . . .

Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism.

To our Church members we say, Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto. Communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action. . . .

Communists cannot establish the United Order, nor will Communism bring it about. . . .

Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist.

We call upon all Church members completely to eschew [and shun] Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America.

Signed, President Heber J. Grant J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay The First Presidency

“…I have been on both sides of the Iron Curtain several times. I have talked to these godless leaders face to face. I say to you with all the sincerity of my soul that since 1933 this godless counterfeit to the gospel has made tremendous progress towards its objective of world domination, for over one-third of the human family are now under totalitarian subjugation.

“Today we are in a battle for the bodies and souls of men. It is a battle between two opposite systems: freedom and slavery, Christ and anti-Christ. The struggle today is more momentous than a decade ago, yet today the conventional wisdom, so called, is that we have got to learn to live with communism, to give up our ideas about national sovereignty. You hear that repeated today. Tell that to the millions—yes, the scores of millions—who have met death or imprisonment under the tyranny of communism. Learn to live with communism? Such would be the death knell of freedom and all we hold dear.

The gospel of Jesus Christ can prosper only in an atmosphere of freedom. As members of his Church, we have a major responsibility to do all in our power to see that freedom is preserved and safeguarded. I pray that God will bless you to see communism for what it really is: the greatest system of human slavery that the world has ever known. May you not be deceived into believing that the communists have moderated their goal toward world domination…

“…Socialism—a Philosophy Incompatible with Man’s Liberty

“Another notable counterfeit system to the Lord’s plan is collectivized socialism. Socialism derives its philosophy from the founders of communism, Marx and Engels. Communism in practice is socialism. Its purpose is world socialism, which the communists seek to achieve by revolution, and which the socialists seek to achieve by evolution. Both communism and socialism have the same effect upon the individual—a loss of personal liberty. As was said so well by President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., “The two are as two peas in a pod in their ultimate effect upon our liberties.”

“Why is socialism incompatible with man’s liberty? Socialism cannot work except through an all-powerful state. The state has to be supreme in everything. When individuals begin to exert their God-given rights, the state has to suppress that freedom. So belief in God must be suppressed, and with that gone freedom of conscience and religion must also go. Those are the first of our liberties mentioned in the Bill of Rights.

“There are some among us who would confuse the united order with socialism. That is a serious misunderstanding. It is significant to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith, after attending lectures on socialism in his day, made this official entry in the Church history: “I said I did not believe the doctrine” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church6:33).

“Socialism Disguised under Welfare State Measures

“As citizens of this noble land, we have marched a long way down the soul-destroying road of socialism. If you question that statement, consider the recent testimonial from the Nobel prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman. He indicated that government spending in the United States at all levels amounts to over forty percent of today’s total national income. If we continue to follow the trend in which we are heading today, two things will inevitably result: first, a loss of our personal freedom, and second, financial bankruptcy. This is the price we pay when we turn away from God and the principles which he has taught and turn to government to do everything for us. It is the formula by which nations become enslaved…

“…[W]e have significantly departed from the principles established by the founders of our country. James Madison opposed the proposal to put Congress in the role of promoting the general welfare according to its whims in these words:

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasure; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for [and it was an issue then], it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. [quoted in Donald L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles, and National Survival,p. 342]

“That statement, given as a warning, has proved prophetic. Today Congress is doing what Madison warned about. Many are now advocating that which has become a general practice since the early 1930s: a redistribution of wealth through the federal tax system. That, by definition, is socialism!

“…Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today’s socialists—who call themselves egalitarians—are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right…

“The chief weapon used by the federal government to achieve this “equality” is the system of transfer payments. This means that the federal governments collects from one income group and transfer payments to another by the tax system. These payments are made in the form of social security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, and food stamps, to name a few. Today the cost of such programs has been going in the hole at the rate of 12 billion dollars a year; and, with increased benefits and greater numbers of recipients, even though the tax base has been increased we will have larger deficits in the future.

“Today the party now in power is advocating and has support, apparently in both major parties, for a comprehensive national health insurance program—a euphemism for socialized medicine. Our major danger is that we are currently (and have been for forty years) transferring responsibility from the individual, local, and state governments to the federal government—precisely the same course that led to the economic collapse in Great Britain and New York City. We cannot long pursue the present trend without its bringing us to national insolvency.

“Edmund Burke, the great British political philosopher, warned of the threat of economic equality. He said,

A perfect equality will indeed be produced—that is to say, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the petitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above; they never raise what is below; and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.

“Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?

“…We stand for independence, thrift, and abolition of the dole.

“… Every individual who accepts an unearned government gratuity is just as morally culpable as the individual who takes a handout from taxpayers’ money to pay his heat, electricity, or rent. There is no difference in principle between them. You did not come… to become a welfare recipient. You came here to be a light to the world, a light to society—to save society and to help to save this nation, the Lord’s base of operations in these latter days, to ameliorate man’s social conditions. You are not here to be a parasite or freeloader. The price you pay for “something for nothing” may be more than you can afford.

“Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, “I am a contributing taxpayer too.”

Read full speech here:  http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=85

   Ezra Taft Benson

Celebrating Constitution Day   Leave a comment

    In Celebration of Constitution Day –Remember What It Doesn’t Say About Education

Thanks to Shane Vander Hart and American Principles Project for this great article, posted here: http://americanprinciplesproject.org/preserve-innocence/2012/in-celebration-of-constitution-day-remember-what-it-doesnt-say-about-education/

by Shane Vander Hart on September 17, 2012

Today we mark the day back in 1787 when our Constitution was presented to the several States for ratification.  In celebration of that historic event let’s remember what’s not in there.

In Section 8 of the Constitution we see:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

What’s missing?  Education, and yet since the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 we’ve seen a growing creep of the Federal government into education culminating in the coercision by the U.S. Department of Education of the states to except the Common Core State Standards through the Race to the Top program and the No Child Left Behind waivers.  The founding fathers saw no role for education and thus it was left out of the enumerated powers and given to the states via the 10th Amendment.

  Thomas Jefferson was quite clear about this.  In a letter written to Joseph Cabell on February 2, 1816 he cautioned even against a state role in education, let alone a federal role.  He wrote:

…if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by the governor and council, the commissioners of the literary fund, or any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience. Try the principle one step further, and amend the bill so as to commit to the governor and council the management of all our farms, our mills, and merchants’ stores. No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself.  (emphasis mine)

But what about the General Welfare clause, can’t Congress be involved in education through it’s spending authority?  That has been used for everything from education, growing federal regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency to health care reform.  James Madison, the father of our Constitution would have been horrified to see that clause used in such a matter.  He said during a debate on the ratification of the Constitution in 1792:

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the “general welfare,” and are the sole and supreme judges of the “general welfare,” then they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the United States; they may assume the provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police would be thrown under the power of Congress, for every object I have mentioned would admit of the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the “general welfare.”

Madison knew that if the original intent of the General Welfare clause were even expanded then Congress would have an unchecked ability to intrude into areas designated by the Constitution to be under the control of state and local governments.

So Happy Constitution Day and remember the limits this document places upon our government.

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Two more great ways to celebrate Constitution Day: http://www.constitutionreader.com/reader.engz?doc=constitution

and http://www.latterdayconservative.com/articles/family-home-evening-lessons-for-the-bicentennial-of-the-constitution/

Elder Quentin Cook: “That Which Is Sound And Good”   Leave a comment

I got my favorite magazine, the Ensign, in the mail yesterday.  The newest issue features an article entitled, “Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom” by Elder Quentin L. Cook:  http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/09/restoring-morality-and-religious-freedom?lang=eng

It says, “The Church respects the rule of law and constitutional government in every nation and expects Latter-day Saints to adhere to the law, to use their influence to promote and preserve their God-given rights, and “to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 5:286).”

“That which is sound and good” does not include Common Core education.  It diminishes classic literature in English classrooms.  It diminishes math learning, most noticeably for grades six and nine. It equalizes college and career preparation, making 4-year college, 2-year college, and vocational school preparation the very same thing for all.  It stifles innovation.  It concentrates power over education in a small group that includes the federal Dept. of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governor’s Association, rather than leaving power over educational decision-making in the hands of states and school districts. It sets an actual cap of 15% on the amount of learning above Common Core standards that is to be permitted.

And where is the liberty in that?

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