Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Joy of My Life


My grandson Christopher adds his photographic contribution to the Christmas celebration.



Lucas practices his truck-driving skills with the new RC toy...

Happy New Year!


Best wishes for prosperity and happiness!  The Lord bless us all...

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hallelujah!






And He shall reign for ever and ever...
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords

Christmas Wishes



...peace on the earth, good will toward men...



It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Peace on Earth



 The promise of Jesus Christ:  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.



Handel's Messiah
Glory to God

No Gay Blood Wanted Here


I would be happy for Elizabeth Warren and her liberal friends to volunteer themselves to accept blood donations from those engaging in homosexual activity.  Maybe Warren believes her Native American blood would prove impervious to blood-borne pathogens.  But I personally will never again willingly trust the US blood bank system.

The media is triumphantly trumpeting their victory in prevailing to force the FDA to liberalize their policy which has heretofore banned homosexuals from donating blood.

The article in Politico quotes Senator Elizabeth Warren as admonishing the FDA to "have courage to set policies based on science” in order to “commit to building a bigger, safer blood supply through risk-based screenings.”

In fact this rhetoric argues directly against science and contradicts all reason.   It is well known that of the more than a million HIV/AIDS carriers in the US, most of them (about 80%) are among the active homosexual population.  Homosexuals comprise a small fraction of the total US population (less than 5%), but the greatest majority of AIDS/HIV carriers.  Declining to accept blood donations from known homosexuals obviously will not significantly diminish the blood bank supply.  See my earlier post discussing the now relaxed acceptance of AIDS/HIV in US.


Earlier this month, Warren wrote a letter, along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), that was signed by 75 congressional colleagues and called for Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to end the “outdated MSM blood donation policy”.  Notwithstanding the liberalized rules, these Congress critters insist that the policy is still "discriminatory", advocating for further rule changes.

My hope and expectation is that this ill-considered policy change to be reversed as soon as the new Congress convenes.  Instead of liberalized policies dictated by partisan interests and based on ignoring the facts of medical science, the blood banks should rightly be operating under stricter rules that automatically disqualify homosexuals from ever donating blood that according to all evidence, is quite likely to be tainted with disease.  There is absolutely no justification for exposing the general population to elevated risks for a disease that remains primarily an attribute of homosexuals.

It is a sad commentary on popular culture that "discrimination" is so enthusiastically denigrated. How exactly do we propose to characterize the stupid insistence that blood from homosexual donors is not qualitatively different from any other source, if not "blind gross discrimination"?   There are a number of other criteria for blood donation, for which a donor is disqualified for life from donating blood.  Why should homosexual behavior be any different?  And as if we could ever even opt to make informed choices without discriminating.  Discerning decisions informed by good evidence should predominate in politics and the public square.  Instead we depend on politically-correct buzzwords and morally bankrupt philosophies as a substitute for doing the cognitive hard work needed to make sound and discriminating choice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Political Capitol Presumes to Speak for the Church




The misguided proposal known as "Utah SB 100" continues to lurk in the dark halls of the Utah State Capitol.  In the left-slanted commentary about political dealings in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah, the "Utah Political Capitol" effectively puts foot-in-mouth.

Perhaps emboldened by their apparent success in pressing for government-sanctioned deviant "marriage" practices, the liberal-minded were wont to crow that the LDS Church has come out in support of SB 100, though the "discovery" was somewhat premature.  Apparently an anxious by-product of wishful thinking.

First they were all in a breathless sweat to make the announcement, "BREAKING:  LDS Church Announces Support for State-wide Non Discrimination Law"

Next, apparently disappointed that their spin was somewhat flawed, the group decides that the LDS Church is somehow "Walking Back" the announced support announcement.   "Walking Back" is a polite political term for abruptly changing your stated position.  It frequently accompanies the insinuation that advocates for the former ideology are being "thrown under the bus" in the interest of political expediency.  This elaboration appears to be "CYA" spin to cover up the embarrassing misread of the original Church statement, actually nothing particularly new, a work in progress derived from the Salt Lake City deliberations in 2009.

Finally the Deseret News publishes a statement from the Church explaining this fabricated controversy, clearly a product of wilful misunderstanding.  Apparently the Church feels entitled to actually speak for itself in isolated rare instances.  Imagine that.

Fox13, the local news affiliate in Salt Lake City, applies their own pro-homosexual spin to the story.

My initial examination of the proposed SB100 and why it is still a bad idea.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Revisiting: Counsel from my Dad



My dad always had good advice.  After some hospital time a while back, I asked him to send this letter to our family.

It is still good counsel.

Everybody has their own joys and sorrows, their own challenges.  I have had some hope that in spite of the day-to-day struggles, we could endure as long and through our own hardships, as my Dad.

----
9 Mar 2009
Bill Cobabe

This is the message to the family that I promised yesterday in response to Jim's request.

Dear Family,

I do not know how may of you will read this.  I think it is important that I use this medium to speak to you.  When I talked to Jim last night I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he requested that I talk to my family and try to stop the bitter fighting that is going on via the internet.  King Benjamin (in Mosiah 4) counseled the saints to see that their children do not fight and quarrel one with another.  This is my attempt to do so.

The role of patriarch in a family is not really well defined in the scriptures.  Just because I have lived longer than any of you does not necessarily make me any wiser than you.  I guess my authority in this regard is whatever each one of you grant to me.  I regard your faith and trust as a sacred and precious gem.  I do not take it lightly.  I have lost some sleep and spent much time in prayer and I now pray that the Lord will bless me with the words I need.

In the past few days there have been bitter thoughts and words published in family blogs.  I have to think this is grievous to the Lord and gives great comfort and joy to Satan, who is the enemy to all of us.  There have been accusations and vicious attacks from many sides.   Cruel words which can never be recalled have been spoken without regard to the consequences.  I call upon each one of you to cease and desist right now!

None of us is perfect.  This is a goal we're supposed to be striving for, but will likely not achieve in this life.  To aid us in our quest the Savior has given us some clearly defined guidelines.  I'm sorry I don't have my scriptures with me, but I will try to recall some of them.  Maybe some of you can add to my list.

1.  First of all we are supposed to love each other.  "As I have loved you, love one another." (John 14)
2.  He foreknew we would fail in our attempts to live as we should and has provided a means for us to avoid the consequences of our failure.
3.  He paid dearly in Gethsemane and on the cross for our mistakes. (D&C 19)
4.  His love for us in infinite and without any qualifications.  He grants pardon -- which only He can do.  He forgives us.  Though our sins may be as scarlet, they may be as the driven snow. (Isaiah 2)
5.  Our responsibility is to forsake our sins and repent.  He promises us if we do so He will remember our sins no more. (D&C 58)
6.  He tells us that we must forgive one another of all offenses.  He says he will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all men (women too). (D&C 64)
7.  His brand of forgiveness is that he forgets -- I will remember your sins no more.  He tells us that if we do not forgive in the same manner that we are guilty of a greater offense than the offender. (D&C 58, D&C 64)
8.   He tells us that we are to suspend judgement ".. let the Lord judge between me and thee." (D&C 64)

Well, I guess that's enough of that.  As I said, maybe you can add to the list.  But now I want to take another direction -- the internet.  It is a modern day miracle and can be a blessing in our lives.  So much information, so much knowledge, so much good.  Also so much trash, so much ugliness, and so much evil.  The Lord blesses us with great tools to further His designs, and Satan manages to turn these tools against us.  We must be ever watchful. 

Please, I implore you, don't use this great means to accomplish the work of the devil.  Watch carefully what you write.  Guard your children carefully.  Many of them have or will have their own computers.  Perhaps some of these precious little ones have already been exposed to pornography or other evils.  I don't know enough about it to advise you how to block it, but it is imperative that you make every effort to do so.

Please believe that I love each of you.  I pray often for all of you by name; sometimes that takes a long time.  I want you to enjoy happiness and the Lord's peace in your lives.  You are my greatest source of joy -- all of you.

Finally, I testify to you that the principles that we are taught by our Savior, and by his holy prophets, are true.  His gospel is true.  He is the Only Begotten Son of our Eternal Father.  He created the heavens and earth as a place for Father's children to grow and learn -- to become as He is -- and we can do this.  He has given us the church organization and the scriptures and ordinances and inspired prophets and leaders to help us.  And he has given us a sacred charge to nurture his children in example and precept, that they too may become more like Him.

I pray that we may all succeed in our mission in life and enjoy the eternal life that awaits those who persevere in righteousness.

----

To follow this counsel is more than I have ever hoped for.  But I know that we have to try, and keep trying to the end.  Beautiful blessings will be fulfilled for those who keep their sacred promises.  This is what I pray for daily.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Horse Marriage


A minister in Mississippi makes a relevant point.  A horse wears the wedding gown to illustrate what has happened to government rulings regarding marriage traditions.

Do you take this horse to be your unnatural wedded spouse to have and to hold?

Of course, this will offend many western cowboys who have long loved their horses.



We cannot identify what particular legal principle, under the current interpretation of the law, that would prohibit the recognition of any relationship based on mutual love, that would exclude it from being recognized and solemnized by the state as a legitimate marriage.