About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

Mitt Romney’s big problem

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who is on an anti-Trump rampage, gave an interview to the Atlantic in which he made the following comments:

What set him (Mitt Romney) off was my recitation of an argument I’ve heard some Republicans deploy lately to excuse Trump’s behavior. Electing a president, the argument goes, is like hiring a plumber—you don’t care about his character, you just want him to get the job done. Sitting in his Senate office, Romney is indignant. “Are you worried that your plumber overcharges you?” he asks. “Are you worried that the plumber’s going to scream at your kids? Are you worried that the plumber is going to squeal out of your driveway?” I am playing devil’s advocate; he is attempting an exorcism.

To Romney, Trump’s performance as president is inextricably tangled up in his character. “Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth—those are not private things,” he says, adding: “If during the campaign you pay a porn star $130,000, that now comes into the public domain.”

At this, Romney glances over at two of his aides who are watching silently from the other end of the room, and grins. “They’re going, Oh gosh, shut up.”

There are numerous problems with Romney’s approach, but I would like to start with the most obvious one: the reality of politics in 2019 is that the choice is not between a poorly behaved plumber and a well behaved plumber. The choice is between a poorly behaved plumber and a fake fire fighter who will come to your house, set it on fire, watch the house burn, prevent other people from trying to put the fire out, and then send you a bill.

News flash to Mitt Romney: the Democratic party is literally insane. The young Democratic leaders in Congress are uncouth, anti-semitic socialists. The presidential candidates do not know basic elementary school math and can only attempt to outdo each other with the creation of new multi-trillion dollar government programs. The Democratic leaders are so filled with Trump Derangement Syndrome that they have lost all touch with reality. Hillary Clinton, the Dem standard-bearer in 2016, just accused a sitting congresswoman of her own party of being a Russian agent.

The Democrats are hell-bent on stripping Americans of our First and Second Amendment rights. The Democrats’ deranged positions on sexuality and gender and the complete embrace of intersectionality politics is a direct contradiction to the Church’s long-standing positions. You would think a former stake president would be a bit concerned about that.

The Democrats and a willing media and the intelligence community are mounting a coup against a sitting president. Regardless of what you feel about Trump, the anti-democratic behavior is mostly on one side these days, and we should all be alarmed about it. I hated Barack Obama as president, but if the Republicans and the media and the intelligence community had launched a coup against Obama as president, I would have spoken out against it loudly. That is dangerous, third world behavior that sets a horrible precedent for the future of this country.

(Note: when I say there is a coup against Trump, I am not referring to the most recent impeachment drive against the president over his call to the Ukrainian president. I am talking about the anti-democratic behavior of the intelligence agencies since 2016. You can read more from an honest left-wing writer here: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup)

And meanwhile Mitt Romney spends all of his time criticizing Trump. As I say, this is like worrying about the fact that your toilet is leaking when a flood is about to engulf your entire house.

I am going to write something that is certain to upset some of my fellow Latter-day Saints, but it is an uncomfortable truth that we all need to face: when it comes to politics, Mitt Romney’s willful blindness is much more dangerous than Donald Trump’s bad character and bad policies. At least Trump is aware of what the stakes are. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, and I still disagree with him about half of the time, but I have been very happy to see that Trump has, in some important ways, grown in office. Trump was your basic New York populist liberal just a decade ago. Now, because of the crazy behavior of the opposition, Trump is clearly aware of who the enemy is. And Mitt Romney is worried about mean tweets.

I was a big supporter of Mitt in 2008, and in 2012 I supported Ron Paul during the primaries, but I ended up voting for Mitt in November 2012. It saddens me to no end to see how lost he is as a senator. I am not saying he needs to support everything Trump does. Heaven forbid. Trump has been one of the worst presidents ever when it comes to government spending, and the president needs to be criticized — loudly — for that. And as I have written many times, Trump’s boorish behavior should be criticized as well.

Mitt Romney may be one of the most un-self aware politicians ever. He simply has no idea how he comes across to most people, ie as a holier-than-thou, opportunistic flip-flopper. He happily accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012, then hated Trump during the summer of 2016, then went on bended knee to Trump for a position in the Cabinet in early 2017, and now he hates Trump again. The first thing he did in 2019 was write an op-ed attacking Trump. I mean, come on. He can’t be that blind, can he?

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney is that blind when it comes to politics. He reminds me of the left-wing poseurs who go to Cuba and are taken on tours of the one good government hospital, and the one good government building, and the one good farm, and then those people go back to the United States and declare that the people of Cuba are better off than Americans. In private, the Communist Cubans had a description for these people: “useful idiots.” Sorry to say it, friends, but when it comes to politics Mitt Romney is a first rate useful idiot for the left.

President Oaks’ comments on gender and identity

President Oaks made the following comments regarding the Proclamation on the Family, sexuality and gender identity on Wednesday:

President Dallin H. Oaks
In a continuation of the teaching given two weeks ago by President Nelson at Brigham Young University, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, offered remarks about the eternal nature of God’s children, His plan for them and the commandments to love God and to love our neighbors.
“While God’s commandments forbid all unchaste behavior and reaffirm the importance of marriage between a man and a woman, the Church and its faithful members should reach out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same sex or whose sexual orientation or gender identity is inconsistent with their sex at birth,” President Oaks taught. “We do not know why same-sex attraction and confusion about sexual identity occur,” he continued. “They are among the challenges that persons can experience in mortality, which is only a tiny fraction of our eternal existence.”

President Oaks spoke of three fundamental doctrinal truths that God has revealed:
First, … that God created ‘male and female,’” and that this “binary creation is essential to the plan of salvation.”
Second, modern revelation teaches that eternal life, the greatest gift of God to His children, is only possible through the creative powers inherent in the combination of male and female joined in an eternal marriage (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:19). That is why the law of chastity is so important.”
Finally, the long-standing doctrinal statements reaffirmed in [The Family: A Proclamation to the World] 23 years ago will not change. They may be clarified as directed by inspiration.” For example, “the intended meaning of gender in the family proclamation and as used in Church statements and publications since that time is biological sex at birth.”
“When counseling with any members experiencing challenges related to their sexual orientation, Church leaders should affirm that God loves all His children, including those dealing with confusion about their sexual identity or other LGBT feelings,” President Oaks said. “Such members and their families have unique challenges. They should be offered hope and be ministered to as directed by the Spirit according to their true needs, remembering the admonition of Alma to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort (see Mosiah 18:9).”
“Because we love God and understand His great plan of salvation and the significance of His commandments, we manifest our love for our neighbors by helping them come unto Christ, repent, and keep His commandments. This is part of bearing one another’s burdens that they may be light.”

(I added the bolded emphasis above).

Big change in witnessing for ordinances

The Church just released this email:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

Witnessing Ordinances

Early in this dispensation, the Lord instructed that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:28). Consistent with this direction, members of the Church serve as witnesses when sacred ordinances of salvation and exaltation are performed. 

We are pleased to announce procedural adjustments for the two individuals who serve as witnesses to baptisms and sealing ordinances. These adjustments are effective immediately in all temples and in all Church units. As invited by presiding authorities:
–Any member holding a current temple recommend, including a limited-use recommend, may serve as a witness to a proxy baptism.
–Any endowed member with a current temple recommend may serve as a witness to a living or proxy sealing.
–Any baptized member of the Church, including children and youth, may serve as a witness to the baptism of a living person.
We trust that you, as individuals and families, will find great joy in your service as you help provide saving ordinances to Heavenly Father’s children. 

Sincerely yours, 

The First Presidency
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Trump names Latter-day Saint as new national security advisor

Robert O’Brien was Catholic and joined the Church in his 20s. The Deseret News calls him the “highest ranking” member of the Church in the U.S. government.

As many readers know, Ezra Taft Benson was the Sect. of Agriculture in the 1950s. And there have been many Latter-day Saints in a myriad of other federal government positions.

O’Brien is close to Mitt Romney but unlike Romney is unique in praising Trump’s presidency. Some people call him a foreign policy “realist,” and other say he will be a hawk just like John Bolton, whom he replaced.

You can read more about O’Brien here.

Here is an analysis of O’Brien’s hawkish foreign policy philosophy.

Life is still good

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have two thoughts battling in my brain at the same time. Thought one: traditional morality is in decline, and society is suffering because of it. The Proclamation has warned that attacks on the family will cause problems in society, and we are seeing this.

But then there is thought two, which is that many things in society are the best ever. Fewer people dying in wars. Desperate poverty is in decline worldwide. Most people live quite well, especially compared to past generations.

Readers may find this video interesting regarding thought two: