Seeking Songs of the Heart

The Church is embarking on a global hymnal, in which all the songs will be published in each language. A similar effort will apparently take place for the Children’s songbook.

You can participate in the survey seeking information on what hymns should stay and which should gracefully exit, and which hymns not currently in the hymnal should be added.

And each individual can submit up to five new songs by July 1, 2019.

The effort to select the final collection and prepare the hymnal in dozens of languages will take years, so no one need mourn the imminent loss of our familiar green hymnal.

Now go to – make your voice heard!

The REAL problem with Immigration

Henry David Thoreau once said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” This is also true of immigration, a long time problem that Washington DC has grappled with for more than a century.

The issue never goes away, because government never really deals with it, but only uses it as political fodder. George W. Bush attempted a compassionate method to deal with immigration, but the Republican Congress voted it down, fearing the next election. Barack Obama promised his constituents that immigration would be the first issue he tacked as president, only to side step it completely until after his second election, when he decided to side step the Constitution in proclaiming DACA as an executive order. It was just too easy for the next opposition president to tear up the paper it was written on.

Neither major party is truly interested in a solution. They claim they do, but it isn’t in their interests to do so. Too many Republican voters fear immigrants, convinced they all belong to the MS13 gang. Meanwhile, most Democrats refuse to do any compromising with Donald Trump, who is willing to give immigration reform if he can get a wall.

Yes, taking kids away from their parents because they committed a misdemeanor crime by entering the country is wrong and tragic. No, it isn’t anything like Hitler’s concentration camps. Both sides are so full of hyperbole and BS that we could fertilize all the cornfields in America (if their BS wasn’t so toxic!). Such stupid speech from both sides paralyzes the conversation. The kids still aren’t reunited with their parents, and won’t be until some tough compromises are made. Remember how Ronald  Reagan and Tip O’Neill used to arm wrestle through tough legislation on Social Security, Welfare, Star Wars, etc.? It wasn’t easy, perfect or pretty, but it created a strong America with a long lasting growing economy. Remember when Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress got serious and passed Workfare and a balanced budget? Again, not a pretty process, but it worked.

Insincerity drives Congress and presidents to make promises that they do not keep. It isn’t just an immigration issue. Remember Obama promising immigration, but instead delivered a massive, expensive health program that almost no one wanted, but guaranteed Neo-socialist control of 1/6 of the economy?

Republicans promised us a quick war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but then messed up the systems, so that they collapsed even further into chaos. Now, we are in eternal warfare on several fronts, where we sometimes are fighting against Iran, and sometimes with them! The prison system is filled with victims from another war, the war on drugs. While some states and many doctors now recognize the importance of cannabis in pain relief for cancer, PTSD, and other illnesses, Jeff Sessions continues to act like marijuana is worse than the opioid crisis that the FDA created.

Democrats have made many promises too, as long as we keep pumping tons of money into the system for them to gleefully spend. Trillions into the Dept of Education has not lifted test scores and has left us ranked about 25th in the world in science and math. The War on Poverty is no better than before LBJ  began federal spending over $22 trillion.

Social Security, which was patched by Reagan and Tip O’Neill, needs a major overhaul. It is now losing money, which is bad, given LBJ and following presidents often borrowed from our big SS bank account to pay for their huge reelection projects.

Oh, and Medicare/Medicaid are in critical condition, too. It isn’t a secret. Neither is the $21 trillion deficit. But Congress doesn’t seem to care, as long as they can kick the can down the road.

The problem isn’t Immigration, Medicare, SS, endless Wars, or Donald Trump. Those are the leaves we have long been hacking at. The root problem is government is too big. It is so unwieldy that they can no longer fix the problems they create with their own legislation! Too many in Congress have been in office for decades, holding onto power as oligarchs, and using our tax money to buy power from lobbyists and others.

The solution is an easy one: We need to fix the Fed, as it is unwilling to fix itself. Fortunately, the Constitution has given voters in the fifty states a method to do this. Article V of the Constitution allows the states to call for a Convention of States. Several states have already voted for a convention.

The convention has a short list of things it wishes to accomplish:

  1. Term Limits for Congress
  2. Balanced budget
  3. Impose limits on the Federal government’s power

It requires 34 states to convene the convention. 38 states must approve of each amendment, for it to move forward on the ballot.

With more power returned to the States and the people, the economy will thrive, and government oversight and regulation will decrease.

Imagine states having more individual power over immigration. California could bring in all the immigrants they wish, while other states can prohibit them, according to their needs. We don’t need the federal government to do it for us. Texas can build its own wall, thank you. Colorado can legalize marijuana without Jeff Sessions’ wraith darkening the skies.

I hope you will join me in joining the Convention of States, and contacting your state legislatures, demanding them to pass the Convention of States in your state.


Of Dads and Missionaries

Missionaries get to phone home on Mother’s Day and Christmas. But fathers don’t get a call.

But it’s still possible for fathers of missionaries to get something on their special day, with our help.

When my daughter first arrived in the airport, an LDS lady took a photo of the arriving missionaries and texted it to all the parents. And I’ve been blessed since then because people in my daughter’s mission will snap pictures and either text us or post them on the mission Facebook page.

I’ve also adopted this practice, of snapping pictures of missionaries and letting them type in the phone number of folks so I can text the picture.

I invite you to make a father’s day and text him a picture of his missionary. And while you’re at it, take the chance to let the fathers in your life know how much you love them as well.

The Restoration will be Posted

Years past people would take pictures and videotape mission calls, only to put them away in storage. As with just about anything these days, cameras and smart phones are used to capture the event. Then when put up on the Internet it becomes the property of the world. After watching a lot of them by following a rabbit hole of links there are several similarities to all the videos. A particular ritual has formed organically out of the process of opening up the paper delivering a destination. Not every video covers the full process, but they all contain an element of it with the assumption the rest happen off camera. Here is a “perfect” example. Try to list all that happens that can probably be found in others:

To compare the list Continue reading

Why God Chose Humans: Grandmothers

Most calories in modern hunter-gatherer societies come from the efforts of women gathering tubers.

If you’re like me and don’t spent much time listening to NPR, you might have missed yesterday’s story (Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution).

Turns out the “neanderthal hunter-man bringing home the bacon” idea is debunked. The main reason humans evolved to live long (and prosper) was the role of the grandmothers.

Humans are the only primates where mothers let others help. The primary “other” helping raise the new generation is the mother’s mother (grandmother). This placed an evolutionary premium on women living long enough to nurture the child’s children. Men, being part of the same species, got to live longer as a side benefit. It’s interesting to note that women as a population enjoy longer lifespans than their male counterparts.

What does provider-grandmother look like in the nurture of our current generation? Continue reading