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Views & News Online  
Copyright © 2005, John R. Taylor
Alternative News & Editorials

South Georgia Feb. 7, 2005 edition

We Fund Terrorist Every time We Turn the Key

by John R. Taylor


You have heard all those who want to mind everybody else's business scream about your SUV. How you should feel guilty about driving one because you are aiding terrorist and destroying the environment. Well maybe you are, but isn't it going a bit far when we don't have even the freedom to choose what we drive? If are willing to pay $50 for a tank of fuel that will take you 200 miles, I think you should have that right. I like paying $16 for a tank that will take me 400 miles better; of course I'd like it better were it four or five dollars.
The problem is that we should be able to drive what we want and can afford, and not dirty up all our air, and help those who wish us dead. And we can. We may not do it, but it is completely in our power to do it. What we all together must realize is that it is not so important what we pour our fuel into, but rather what the fuel is we are putting in it. The gasoline we now use is distilled from petroleum crude oil, a resource we have in great supply, but not nearly so great as our colossal appetite for it. Because we can't supply it domestically we have no choice but to import it. The United Kingdom has a vast North Sea reserve and we import enormous quantities form them. This adds to our trade deficit and is therefore damaging to our economy, however the UK is our ally and doing business with them is much more favorable than doing business with counties and peoples who are trying to destroy us. But we require so much oil that we must get it from everywhere. OPEC, the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries, is a cartel of mostly Middle Eastern countries; Venezuela being the notable exception. That their anti-competitive practice of suppliers banning together to control the price of a commodity is unethical and would be illegal in this country, should be enough for us not to trade with them to say nothing of the fact that of every dollar we Americans spend on their oil much of it goes to sponsor terrorism and acts of violence against us and our allies. We are most literally trading with the enemy. The attacks of 9/11 were funded by American dollars paid to Saudi Arabia for oil.

We can fix all this by simply using alcohol as a motor fuel rather that gasoline. The Model T was originally designed to run off alcohol, but because gasoline was cheep and being discarded from the distillation of kerosene anyway, they switched to gas. Today's modern automobiles with their computer controlled fuel injection systems could easily be made to use alcohol. Many new cars are already multi-fuel ready. Most South American countries today use an ethanol product which is at least 75% alcohol.

There are three main reasons to switch to alcohol fuel in all gasoline powered cars. Any one of these reason alone are compelling enough to make the transition, together they may be our epitaph.
We can supply our own alcohol. While there are naysayers who say otherwise, we can unquestionable produce enough alcohol to meet our needs. An alcohol-for-fuel industry would have to be created. The relative small volumes of alcohol made for human consumption and medical prepossess would be nothing to the vast refining operations to supply the millions upon millions of gallons needed to fuel our cars. But to question that we can get it done is ridiculous; just build more stills. It might become a cottage industry; I'm sure there are some good ol' boys around here that know how to make alcohol.
The present logistical and delivery systems can be completely utilized. The same trucks which now bring gasoline to pumps at the store on the corner can bring alcohol to those same pumps. The oil companies, who are the major opponents to an alcohol fuel system, could provide the distillation and refining facilities. They should take a hint for the tobacco industry. That industry knows that it will one day die, so the companies in that industry have bought food companies, financial service businesses, and other non-tobacco ventures. While the oil industry will not die in my lifetime, we should not buy one drop of oil from Saudi Arabia to burn in our cars. Stopping the importation of oil would not only severely cripple the money pipeline to Moslem terrorist, it would also balance our trade deficit. It is true we have created many new potential problems in trade by shipping our jobs overseas, nevertheless it is oil which puts us at the greatest disadvantage. Understanding trade deficits is a topic for another time; but know this - our trade deficit negatively impacts each and every American.

The second major reason that we should burn alcohol in our cars instead of gasoline is that it is a renewable resource. We have used enormous amounts of oil, and there are even now immense amounts in the ground that we have not pumped out, and probably much more that we have not yet discovered. But one fact is inescapable. The amount of oil, however large that amount is, is finite. When it is gone, it is gone. We cannot make more of it. One day we will run out. Is it not smart to save an unreplenishable resource for uses which only it can supply? Why burn it up in our cars when there is a replensihable and renewable substitute? We can create a perpetual supply of alcohol.

The third of the major reasons to switch now to an alcohol-for-fuel system is that it is immeasurably cleaner burning that any fossil fuels. There has recently been a study which showed that our automobiles are the chief factor in air pollution. Coal-fired electric power plants were previously though to be the number one culprit. Whether they are number one or two on the list of dirty air makers, changing to an alcohol fuel would make our air a great deal cleaner for us and all of our posterity.
There has been and will continue to be those who fight with all their might to stop this from happening, but they all are motivated by self-serving reasons and hidden agendas. But it must happen. We owe it to our children.

Making it Big in a Small town


Haley Ray Warren was crowned Little Miss Georgia Cotton 2005, Saturday Jan. 29 in Tifton. This is added to a long list of local and state titles she has won. Haley is a seven year old student at Cook County Elementary School and is the daughter of Jody and Stephanie Warren of Adel. She is represented by Mirage Model Management of Valdosta and was recently signed by Elite, one of the top modeling agencies in the world. This small town girl is definitely going places.




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A Common Man's View on Gun Control

by David Hewitt

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Why then does the vocal media seem to leave the impression everyone is in favor of a gun ban? The only people you hear on the news to support anti-gun control is the survivalist militias and diverse Hollywood types like Charlton Heston and Ted Nugent. It is my intention to give a common man's view of this issue and what I think we can do. I'll also give a wide variety of quotes in support of my position.
I categorically state I believe that gun control is doomed to fail in what most people say is the goal. The assault ban treaty didn't prevent people from killing others all across the country. Mr. Brady was shot with a pistol and a low-powered one at that. The school shootings that gun control advocates use to advance their agenda? Rifles, pistols, and other weapons that they stole from family.

My point? How does one prevent suicides, school shootings, accidents, and other things that make the gun control advocates salivate? Total gun elimination. Close all gun pawns, hunting clubs, Wal-mart gun sales (including Kmart, Target, etc), and any other gun shops. Take people's hunting rifles, their sharpshooting competition weapons, and other such heirlooms. Do all that and you just might keep kids from dying and adults from accidentally hurting themselves. But that won't stop gang wars, organized crime, drug dealers from having guns...selling guns to kids. Okay, so maybe that won't work for keeping the kids from dying either.

Here's a favorite quote: After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military. -- William Burroughs

Gun control won't work, I come to this conclusion time and again. So, what do we do? We educate. Gun safety in school, no gun sold without a child proof-lock and a case to lock it in, guns no longer sold in open gun shows, those are a start. Every child's hero from Barney to the Wiggles and beyond can have shows teaching kids to stay away from guns.

Does this invade our children's innocence? Ask yourself this question: Would you rather have your freedoms, your children alive, and your guns; or no rights, kids still thinking guns are playthings, and no guns. The question always comes down to personal freedoms or safety. What do we give up to be safe?
Another aid to our safety that would leave our liberty is to require lie detector tests with every purchase and regular psych screenings to make sure those that people do not develop suicidal, sociopathic, and psychopathic tendencies. Of course, this would be a big invasion of privacy; especially if the police agencies had access to the information. But it is an imperfect solution to an imperfect problem.

All these aids to controlling guns, and we still wouldn't be perfectly safe. But we would be safer. Everyone who is mentally able, physically capable, and financially able to own a gun would have one, if they wanted one. In an era of police taking a long time to reach the scene of the trouble, you need some way to protect yourself. 911 isn't it. A burglar could enter your home in thirty seconds or less, be at your or your child's bed in under two minutes. Best Case, the man/woman runs at the sight of you.

Worst case, he attacks. If he's dangerous and not dissuaded by whatever alarm system you have, what do you do? Hide under the bed? Pray to God? Or shoot him, hopefully not hitting anyone innocent in the process.

There's a quote in the Book of Luke where Jesus tells people to sell their raiment (clothes) for a sword. Jesus' disciples had swords. They understood that the weapons are not evil or wrong, it is the person we must look at. Don't take away the good people's method of protection, train them to use their weapons. Teach their children to respect and honor what a gun can do (Don't leave it at, 'Don't Touch', make sure they know why).

Okay, so what do we have left to say. Gun control doesn't work. Criminals will always be able to get the weapons. Gun elimination will stop some of the school shootings, accidents, etc. but not all. I have given a few suggestions on ways to allow for gun ownership and still cut down on the deaths. Also, the anti-burglary argument was given. This is a thorny problem and will probably never be solved in a truly democratic society. Half the people want guns and the other half doesn't. No true majority yet rules.
Final warning against gun elimination, which is what gun control will lead to. If criminals and governments are the only possessors of the weapons, one or the other or both will end up controlling every aspect of your life. A government that controls the guns does not have to keep the people happy, either.

Here are two final quotes:
"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes."
-- Cesare Beccaria

"A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie."
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

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Who Elects the President?

By john R. Taylor

There has been much talk about how our President is elected of late, and it is true that Al Gore received more popular votes, (the votes you and I cast), than did George Bush in bush's first election. Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison were also elected even though they did not receive the most popular votes. It is also true that Bill Clinton never received more than 46% of the votes in either of the two elections for President that he won, and that means that at least 54% of the voters voted for someone else. It is nevertheless those votes that do, at least indirectly, decide the election.

In the original Constitution, before it was amended, only the members of the House of Representatives were elected by popular vote. The Senate was elected by the state legislatures and the President and Vice President by the Electoral College. The Constitution was later amended to allow the Senators to be elected by popular vote of their state. As in most state offices, Senators and members of the House must receive a majority of votes to be elected. If there are more than two candidates and no one candidate receives more than 50% of the votes then the two leading candidates have a runoff. This way no candidate can be elected to office without receiving more than 50% of the votes. But this is not true of the Presidency. He, or she when this becomes applicable, is elected by a majority of electoral votes. These electoral votes are cast by electors who are pledged to their candidate. When you cast a vote for a presidential candidate you are actually voting for the elector who is pledged to that candidate. Their names are listed on the ballet. There is one electoral vote for each congressional district. In each state whoever gets the most popular votes gets all of the electoral votes for that state, except Main and Nebraska who divide their electoral votes by congressional district.

Because of this system a third party candidate actually lessens the chances of the major party candidate that he most agrees with. In the Clinton elections the vast majority of those who voted for Ross Pero would have voted for President Bush or Bob Dole in a runoff. Because there is no runoff, Pero helped Clinton get elected. In the most recent election, Ralph Nader took votes away from John Kerry. Though Nader's liberal political philosophy is much more aligned to Kerry's, he actually helped Bush by taking votes away from Kerry.

The Electoral College also creates a disparity in the value of a vote. We all like to think that our vote is worth as much as anyone else's, however they really aren't. Because most states use a winner take all system for awarding their electoral votes it doesn't' matter if a candidate gets 99% of the popular vote in a particular state or 51%. If a candidate wins a several states by a large margin but loses several others by a small margin he could quite easily loose the election and have the largest total of popular votes. If you live in a state which Kerry is going to win big your vote doesn't' really count. The same can be said of a state like Georgia for Bush.

What is the answer? The simplest fix is to scrap the Electoral College altogether and have the President elected by popular vote. This might force a run-off if there is a strong third candidate, but that might not be so bad.

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How They Can Steal the Presidency

By john R. Taylor

It is not likely and I pray it will never happen, but it is altogether possible that they could steal the presidency. It is not likely and I pray it will never happen, but it is altogether possible that they could steal the presidency. Who are they? They are either of the political parties. The vehicle which they could use the Electoral College.

In the past I never would have even thought it in the realm of real possibilities, however in the past few years both major parities have shown that the survival and growth of the party is of paramount importance, even more important than the good of the nation. Political parties serve some good in our system. They help us to know where a particular candidate stands on issues and they have become part of the political system both inside government and out. However, George Washington warned us about the inherit dangers of political parties and he was not completely incorrect.

Neither of the major parities nor any of the minor ones have a corner on the market of the concept of party first, country second. They all are guilty, but it is the Democratic Party in which I am the most afraid of stealing the Presidency. The reason for this is that they have shown over the last dozen years or so that they would use almost any means to achieve their ends, even if those ends are obviously contrary to the will of the people. The filibustering of President Bush's judicial nominees is a prim example. The people of this country elected President Bush and the senators to fulfill their joint responsibility to nominate and confirm federal judges, but because the nominees were not to the liking of a minority of the democrats they used the filibuster to stop the confirmation process. They would be the first tell yell that they didn't get to vote if the situation were reversed but they think nothing of denying their colleagues the right to vote on the conformations.

It was the many editorials and letters which were published just after the presidential election that made me worry. In many of them the theme was that the American people were too stupid to choose a president. Somehow everyone that did not agree with them had been hoodwinked and doped into a foolish vote. In some of the editorials the author plainly said that the voters were not smart enough to be allowed to elect the resident. Will guess what, that is one of the major reasons that the Electoral College was dreamed up in the first place. The founding fathers were certainly elitists by today's standards. Of course, in their world it was probably true that the average man how not the time, education nor intellectual experience to make wise political decisions. Because of this the Electoral College provided a buffer between the voters and the actual election of the President. In that way, if the voters made a horrible mistake in deciding the person to be President, the more enlighten electors could correct it by electing someone else.

That was one of the two reasons for the Electoral College. The other was to appease the large and small states. When there is debate about Electoral College today it is always about the disproportional representation of the small states that is debated. But it is the other reason we should most fear.
To explain this, let's review the mechanics of the Electoral College. When we vote for a presidential candidate we actually vote for an elector who is pledged to that candidate. The elector is pledged to a candidate, but the elector does not legally have to vote for that candidate. For example, a little over 270 electors have been elected who are pledged to vote for President Bush on Dec. 13, 2004. He was not technically the President Elect until after that. Now let use suppose that 270 of those electors had decided to vote for someone else. Me, for instance, I am constitutional eligible. Would I be the President, even though no one voted for or few even heard of me? Yes I would be. But we don't have to worry about that. The electors had no reason to vote for me. They had every reason to vote for President Bush to whom they are pledged. They are party loyalists. Getting him reelected is what they live for. But could there be a scenario where the electors would vote for someone other that the candidate to whom they are pledge? I can think of one, and it alarms me.

The democrats have for years tried to get a liberal into the White House. They got Clinton elected, but after the Republican Revolution of the early 1990s his policies were fairly conservative. Michael Dukakis and John Kerry were roundly rejected. It is apparent, that for the foreseeable future, they can not win the south with a New England Liberal and they will not nominate a conservative or moderate, and they can not win without the south. Surly what I am about to suggest will never happed. But it would take only a conspiracy of 270 party loyalists to pull it off. 270 who think we are too dumb to elect the correct president. Less than three hundred who would do almost anything to have it their way.

Now this is how they could pull it off. At their convention, the demarcates nominate a moderate or even a conservative. Let's say Sam Nunn. In the general election voters elect at least 270 electors pledged to Sam Nunn. However, the electors don't cast their electoral votes for Nunn. They vote for Ted Kennedy. Who would be the President? Ted Kennedy. Now unless Nunn was in on it, and I think he is much too honorable to do such a thing, he would raise high heaven. The people would be up in arms, but there would be nothing that could be done. It is all constitutionally legal.

I don't think this remotely likely; if I did I would never give them the idea. I hate nothing more than the so-called journalists who like to give terrorists ideas about how they can hurt us. My aim is only to warn as many as I can that this should not even be a constitutional legal possibility. If this did even happed we no doubt would be amending the Constitution the next day. Let's not wait.

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1930 Census Online

Our Enemies Have WMD NOW!
by Adam Armstrong

To those who feel it was a mistake to invade Iraq: you have failed to learn a very important lessen in logic. As a teaching tool, let me tell you how my daughter learned this lesson.

As a new sixteen year old driver, she was parking in a shopping center parking lot. The space she decided to park in was an angle type and it was angled in the other direction. As she started entering the space, my niece, who was setting in the front passenger side, said she didn't think they could make it. Well, my daughter thought she could. She kept going. When she felt the car stop and saw the white Toyota in front of her rock, she knew she had been wrong.

The lesson in logic she learned that day, and the one I hope my disgruntle countryman will soon learn, is that the consequences of being wrong is a factor of paramount importance in any decision. What was my daughter's down side. If she was wrong but continued on her course, she would cause an accident, damage property and possible cause injury, a relatively catastrophic loss. If she was right and could have made it, but stopped anyway, she would have to stop and back up, a relatively small loss.
In the Iraqi question we must also consider the possible downside. Opponents of President Bush and our decision to go into Iraq now vehemently announce that we were wrong. They say that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and that his regime had no ties with al-Qaida. Many are not totally convinced of either of these assertions at this moment, however let us suppose that this is indeed the truth. What is the down-side to being wrong? A ruthless, murdering tyrant and his oppressive regime have been deposed. A people have the opportunity of political freedom for the first time in their history. Those who hate America and wish as many of us dead as possible have one less sanctuary from which to finance and train terrorist. Now we cannot forget that this came at a high price. Many brave Americans gave their last full measure of devotion for this cause. Freedom has always exacted a high price. In the famous words of Thomas Payne, "tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us; that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives a thing its value, and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."

Much of this has been said and augured before, but what has escaped note is what would have been the down side had we been wrong the other way. What if we had left Saddam in power and he had and used WMD? How many tens of thousands or even millions of Americas could now be dead or suffering from a nuclear terrorist attack? If we had been wrong the other way it might very well have been the most cataclysmic disaster this nation has ever faced.

If September 11 taught us anything, it should have taught us that we are vulnerable. We are the one superpower in the world, but our people are in jeopardy. The primary duty of any American president is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. As the great nation that we are, we should do all that we can to make the world a safer and better place to live, but it is the interest of America and Americans which must come first.

Our enemies now have weapons of mass destruction. They may not have nuclear warheads atop ICBMs, but they have access to dangerous nuclear material and deadly chemical and biological substances. Many of the same people who express fear of America's nuclear energy program and would in a minute line up to protest the construction of a new nuclear power plant in this country, seem to have no problem whatsoever with Iran, Pakistan or any other Islamic country building such plants. Do they so how think that Americas would be less dead from an intentional terrorist attack using radioactive materials than if they were to die from an accidental exposure to such material?

It is my hope that our leaders will soon understand that the safety of the United States demands that nations whose populations have shown that they wish us dead should not be allowed to possess any radio active material. Most of these countries have abundant supplies of oil and they can us it to generate electric power. America should use all its means, including all out military force to remove nuclear weapons form Pakistan and India. While India is not a majority Moslem state, it too must disarm in order to maintain a balance of power between it and its potential enemy Pakistan. Our safety requires that nuclear weapons be removed from Pakistan. While it is true that we bought their government's very unsteady alliance, the people of that country have great hate for America. They are harboring Osama Bin-Laden and many of what is left of his al-Qaida captains.

Rogue nations such as North Korea must also be forced to disarm, and give up all radioactive materials. This is a matter of national security. Our leaders must act now, before we are again the victims a sneak attack.
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Know Religion

While many of the humanists and atheists would have us believe that religion is outdated and irrelevant in today's world, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of the world's inhabitants have very strong religious views. Most of the good actions, and sadly, many of the bad, are done for religious reason. In this country we as a nation have strayed far from our religious roots. Views & News will present an essay on a different religion each week.

We will be as subjective, opened minded, factual, and fair as possible. Nothing in any essay is in anyway intended as an endorsement of any particular religion. If you would like to dispute, correct, or add to anything presented, please submit these to us. Christian and non-Christian religions will both be covered and we will select their order by what we deem as relevant and interesting at the present time. Religions that are very well known, will be presented after those we know little of as a matter of course.
If you have missed any of our past essays on Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Anglican Church, you can read them online at viewsandnews.ucan.us.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormon).

Again there is just too much material to cover in one week's column. We will present part one this week and part two next week. Part one will have "The Articles of Faith", which are the basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, a proclamation on the family, and a brief overview of the Church's history. Next week part two will contain statistics and more in-depth study of its history, and doctrine. In two weeks we will continue with the Presbyterian Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized as an institution among men on April, 6, 1830. However, members of the Church believe that the Church is a restoration of the original church Christ founded. Joseph Smith Jr. was the founder and first president of the church and is believed by the Latter-day Saints to have been a prophet, as have been all of his successors. The church endured much persecution in its early days, and Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in 1844. After the death of their leader some of the members splinted off into separate groups and started their own churches; the Community of Christ, (formally the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), is the largest of these groups. Nevertheless, most of the members followed Brigham Young to Utah, and they are now more than twelve million "Mormons" worldwide.

A newspaper publisher, John Wentworth, asked Joseph Smith Jr. what the Mormons believed and the letter he wrote in response is now called the "Wentworth Letter" and from it two documents have come to be used by the members of the church. One of these, the Articles of Faith is canonized in the Pearl of Great Price, a book Latter-days Saints hold to be scripture. The current President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, wrote, "The Family: a Proclamation to the World", in 1995 and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles published "The Living Christ: the Testimony of the Apostles" in January 2000. These three documents provide a good overview of Mormon doctrine in general. Next week we will look at more specific doctrine.

History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535-541

WE believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

The Family: a Proclamation to the World

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings-male and female-are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Parents. And, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirits sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for his children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives-mothers and fathers-will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

(Copyright © 1995, November 1995 Ensign, a magazine published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Jan, 2000

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary's cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to "become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His "other sheep" (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: "His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

"I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father" (D&C 110:3-4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

"For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father-

"That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God" (D&C 76:22-24). We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth-"built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). We testify that He will someday return to earth. "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts. We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles-that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

The original document signed by the three members of the Presidency of the Church and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.



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