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  1. I am of the opinion that the Council on Foreign Relations should be classified as one of the groups referred to in the particular temple recommend question at hand.
  2. Last fact I saw presented was that at least 15,000 personnel will still be in Iraq, and those are just the "official" numbers. Unofficially, how many private contractors working on government/defense related contracts will also remain in Iraq? Calling a military base an "embassy" does not magically negate the fact that an occupying force will still remain in country. The "war" may be "over" (if you fight an undeclared war, is it still a "war"?), but the occupation has just begun. Ah, if we could only believe everything we hear on the evening news.
  3. As much as I don't really want to see this thread blown up again... Lest there be any doubt as to the theme heralded at Hooters being anything other than about women's breasts... check out this video clip about Hooter's suing a restaurant called "Twin Peaks". See the video here: Video - Breaking News Videos from If the Hooter's concept is about owls, then why would they be suing another outfit that clearly is based on the woman's breast as a marketing tool? Despicable... both Hooter's AND Twin Peaks.
  4. Let's be clear on the doctrine. "Where much is given, much is required" is very much the reality in matters concerning repentance and worthiness. Did Hitler lead a large scale murder of innocent people on an unprecedented scale? Absolutely. I don't think there is any historical doubt about this. Did Hitler make sacred temple covenants? Priesthood covenants or even baptismal covenants? Did he experience the sure knowledge of God and His plan for mankind and then set about to openly defy God, as Lucifer did and still does today, thus qualifying him for the punishments reserved for those who commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? No. No he did not. Hitler still very much qualifies for repentance and forgiveness. Will his path be hard and the cup bitter? Surely yes. But it will be possible, and who are we to withhold the ordinances of salvation from him? Heck, we may surprised to find Hitler and many other supposedly "unforgivable" people in the Celestial Kingdom. Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants to some of the more self-righteous and hypocritical Latter-Day Saints to whom much has actually been given?
  5. Awesome... the DRACO drug. I wonder... does it use the "Expelliarmus!!" incantation? All jesting aside; while this miracle drug sounds wonderful and all, I think I'll stick with the best cure I've found for viruses... Living what is taught in D&C 89.
  6. Are we so far gone that we still are going to continue to argue lower taxes vs. higher taxes vs flat taxes? How about NO taxes (at the Federal level, of course)? You see, this problem did not start last year... or 3 years ago... or 10 years ago... or heck, even 50 years ago. This problem started in 1913 - 1916 when a constitutional amendment was passed to allow Congress to begin imposing an income tax. Why a constitutional amendment? Because the Supreme Court had stuck consistently to the constitution on the issue of a Federal income tax by effectively stating that the Founders never intended for there to be one and that the constitution, as written, did not support in any way the concept of a national tax. A constitutional amendment was then "passed" (do a little Googling on the ratification process that took place around the 16th amendment and you may just come away with some doubts about the constitutionality of it all) and wamm-o... a national tax was born. Now, what is interesting here is that even the proponents of the national tax swore that at a worst case the tax rate would never be above 5%... yep, that's right folks... 5% worst case. We're a far cry from that with rates upward of 30% or more, wouldn't you say? Ok... so then couple the 16th Amendment (the institution of a national tax) with the 17th Amendment which followed a short time later and you have all the makings of a socialist/communist movement poised and ready to march forward. Why? Does anyone remember what the 17th Amendment did to state sovereignty? In short, the 17th Amendment changed the way we elect US Senators. The Framers intended US Senators to represent the individual states, not the people (that's what Representatives do). So, prior to the 17th Amendment, US Senators were elected by the state legislatures and not a popular vote of the people. With the passage of the 17th Amendment, US Senators were relegated to nothing more than 2 additional Representatives because it is now the electorate they ultimately have to appeal to, rather than their state legislatures. This is a BIG problem, because no one has been truly able or equipped to properly defend and protect state sovereignty from the encroachment of the Federal government. The Federal government has had virtually unbridled access to encroach upon the rights of the individual states, and they have done so largely with money. Since the 16th and 17th Amendments were passed, Federal subsidies and financial support to the states for everything ranging from education to medicine have skyrocketed. The loosely passed 16th Amendment gave the Congress the runway they needed to begin ratcheting up the tax rates to match their spending rates. Along comes the "New Deal" under Roosevelt and well... our march toward socialism was pretty much made complete and virtually unstoppable. And now we have rampant [Federal] government spending, which was never supposed to happen and in fact was one of the worst fears the Founders felt which would ultimately bring down the United States as the beacon of freedom and liberty that they originally envisioned. Benson, Goldwater, McKay, Clark (Reuben J.) all warned us. They all saw this happening. They all but got down on their knees and begged us to open our eyes, pay attention and fight for our freedoms... to fight to return sovereignty to the states. Did we listen? Clearly not. I absolutely DO NOT want to pay one single penny more in income taxes. I refuse to even consider the very mention of "increasing taxes". Instead, freeze current spending. Work to cut Federal programs which are better handled at the state level, shut down foreign military bases and stop our imperialistic policing of the world, repeal the 17th amendment and the 16th amendment and eliminate the Federal income tax entirely. What the Federal government is doing now could be compared to the management of an individual TV cable bill. The government this year wants to add a couple of channels to their bill. Next year they want to start paying for their neighbors cable bills... just cuz. And in year 3 they want to buy the cable company. Oh, and by the way, we plan to do this by asking our boss to give us a $0.25 per hour raise to cover the costs. This is what the current Federal budget plans to do with regard to spending and "programs" and military interventions. If we simply said, "let's stick with our current cable plan" and then phased out our cable subscription altogether (we should be reading more books anyway), then the savings alone would be enormous and certainly no additional revenues would be needed. The debate should be about socialism/communism vs. free enterprise, liberty and state sovereignty; not about taxes and spending.
  7. Thank you for stating your ideas and thoughts on the thread topic. I believe that I do understand what you are saying and I disagree with your conclusions on several points. I'm not sure we're going to be able to reach any common ground here. I don't believe for one second that we will not be more powerful than Satan until we are in the Celestial kingdom. Quite the contrary, he only has power to bruise our heels, whereas we have power to crush his head. This is a pretty huge doctrinal difference we have on this one and I'm not even sure we're talking about the same Gospel here. President Benson and other modern prophets have counseled us to do more than just proselyte. My points have had nothing to do with proseletyzing and everything to do with standing up to the combinations, calling them out of their places of secrecy and darkness and then taking an active role in combating them. Will things get worse before they get better? Sure. Will righteous saints suffer? Absolutely. But then again, this life isn't really about the avoidance or absolution of suffering and pain, is it? And living in the blessed and sacred land of America... and being a citizen of it... carries a responsibility to protect it. The Book of Mormon is riddled with counsel to do so and the modern prophets have counseled us likewise. Sitting back and resigning oneself to the seemingly inevitable wave of secret combinations in all their various forms is not the solution, in my opinion. I am saddened that you believe you are powerless over Satan and his secret and even not-so-secret combinations. This is truly disheartening to learn that there are members of this Gospel who do not understand who they are or how powerful they are; who do not understand even at a basic level that they are NOT subject to Satan, but rather, that the exact opposite is true. I believe the Book of Mormon counsels us to stand up and combat the evil around us. I hear you saying that it counsels us to develop our personal spirituality, which will then protect us from the evil. I believe we absolutely have power over Satan and will ultimately win this battle (with the Savior's help... especially in the end). I hear you saying that you won't be more powerful than him until we reach the Celestial Kingdom. On these points lie the foundation of both our perspectives and thus our differences. Thank you again for engaging in this dialogue.
  8. It's the bolded and italicized statement that I take issue with, not the scriptures you quote. Though the scriptures that you do quote are frankly irrelevant in this discussion of secret combinations. The experience of Alma and Amulek you refer to, if anything at all, actually illustrates my point. Alma and Amulek were not huddling in their homes with their families working on their individual personal righteousness and throwing their hands up in frustration and resignation over the combinations present in their day. No, they were out fighting... standing up for what they believed, putting themselves out there... in harms way... to further the cause of truth. They hadn't given up on trying to make a difference... they were doing something about the situation they observed and which the Lord was directing them to tackle. As to your reference to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, this has nothing to do with secret combinations whatsoever. The people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi were recovering "murder-aholics" and had buried their weapons of war following their conversion and entered into a solemn oath and covenant never to take them up again for fear they would return to their once bloodthirsty and murderous ways. This is a great story about how to truly turn away from sin and do it no more, even in the face of extreme persecution to the point of facing death. But it in no way teaches us that we should just lay prostrate on the ground clinging to our own personal worthiness simply ignoring secret combinations all around us destroying our freedoms and our way of life. Your comments remind me of many of the folks on the "Another Voice of Warning" (AVOW) forum; who sit around talking about building up their food storage, praying, reading their scriptures and huddling together in their families watching the signs of the second coming from the sidelines like it's some kind of sporting event awaiting the "great day of judgement" that is going to come sometime in the next 30 days... or maybe 30 days after that... or maybe 30 days after that... or... well... sometime the Lord is coming and I'm-just-going-to-protect-myself-and-my-family-and-pray-real-hard-and-everything-will-work-out-just-fine-for-me mentality. Elder Benson's point is that we are in a battle... one that we know who ultimately wins... and it is our responsibility to stand up and fight against the combinations; not just sit on the sidelines and say "oh well, there's nothing I can do to stop this... the combinations are all around me and I can't do anything to help my fellow man... or my country." Maybe Benson is too controversial for some to wrap their heads around. How about we try Moroni this time? In Ether chapter 8, Moroni speaks in great detail about the secret combinations which brought about the destruction of an entire people, save one person. I point out a few key verses: How is it that you propose to keep our nation from upholding secret combinations? Should we all take the stance that you suggest and just try to be as spiritual as we can be and just let the combinations run their course? After all, we can't possibly do anything to stop them, right? Poppycock. It is our responsibility to watch for the combinations; and when we see them we cannot allow them to "get above" us. We must take an active role in doing something to fight Satan and his armies with their combinations and their plans to enslave and destroy the agency of man. Yes, be thankful you live in America and not in a Chinese prison, as you stated earlier. But what you and others do to stand up for freedom... to join the fight and put yourself out there even at the risk of your and your family's lives, may just be enough to keep this nation from becoming just like the Chinese example to which you referred. I'm not talking about just saving your own soul, Sachi. You've built a great case for ensuring that your own personal salvation is taken care of; and that's wonderful, and I agree with you. What I am referring to is your and my and other Gentiles' responsibilities to stand with others in the defense of freedom from the secret combinations that are, in fact all around us. We can do something about them. We can make a difference; but not without bold and unmistakeable action. This is the point that Elder Benson and Moroni are trying to make to us.
  9. This is a very frightening statement, Sachi. Coupled with some of the other statements in your post, I am concerned that your analysis of things mirrors that of many other members of the church who are essentially tucked away in their living rooms reading their scriptures, saying their prayers and holding their Family Home Evenings just accepting that the world is falling down around them and there's nothing they can do to stop it. Worse yet, they believe that by simply being obedient within their own families they will somehow build some magical force field of protection around them from the secret combinations and abominations being promulgated throughout our society today. Yes, "if we are prepared, we shall not fear" is valid counsel. So also is the counsel by then Elder Ezra Taft Benson: Huddling under the seemingly protective blanket of personal prayer and righteousness is not enough. We must pick a side, join the battle and fight to the end. For me and my house, we have joined the battle and will fight until we can fight no more.
  10. LM, perhaps I am still pretty ignorant on this whole issue, but you probably know the answer to a question I have. Aren't Colorado growers, dispensaries and consumers of medical marijuana still at risk of violating the Federal laws prohibiting it? I seem to recall a write up on the Colorado situation a while back... a televised "20/20" kind of thing even. There were growers being interviewed and I remember them saying how they were really putting themselves at risk by being so public about their business... which was legitimate at the state level but still illegal at the Federal. If this is the case, this could be at least one explanation as to why there continues to be so much underground activity surrounding marijuana that you speak of. Until it is fully and completely legal and able to be safely grown in someone's back yard without violation of any law, state or Federal, then an underground and all the shady activity accompanying it, will still exist.
  11. Well, I'm not sure if we're seeing the crumbling of a media mogul here or not. Rupert Murdoch, as one poster has pointed out on this thread already is, in fact, a dangerous person. More than dangerous... he is powerful. Not just powerful but very powerful. I've spoken of him several times here on the forum and he has far more control of the media than just the handful of entities named in the article quoted or referenced throughout this "scandal". My guess is that someone simply got caught doing what has always been done and a little bit of leakage has been experienced. But to have Rupert set up as some kind of supposed target of an FBI investigation is almost laughable. The FBI is nothing more than a government coverup machine in my opinion and if they are involved in something surrounding literally one of the top 10 most powerful people in the entire world, then there is a much deeper story going on here than meets the public eye. This little "scandal" is a distraction from something deeper, I fear. If Rupert and his cronies did not want something like this to get out, then we would never hear of it. The mere fact that these are headlines in the mainstream media tells me that someone wants us to hear about this and has an agenda for doing so. Rupert is no spring chicken and perhaps there is a well orchestrated changing of the guard taking place here. Or perhaps something leaked that really wasn't supposed to and this grand display is now playing out in the headlines only to disappear conveniently in a few weeks or months. Will this "scandal" change the course and behavior of the mainstream media? Hardly. My feeling is that Rupert is a high stakes guy, playing in a field of other high stakes people, all of whom are deeply involved in secret combinations and evil doing far beyond the comprehension of the sheeple. What we're seeing in the headlines now is nothing more than a purposefully designed means to entertain and distract the masses from something else. At least that's my feeling and opinion on the matter.
  12. I am thinking that firstly, how big of a problem is this anyway, and therefore, how much of a perceived negative impact would there be? How many passengers who have the funds to fly first class (especially on transcontinental flights) are going to be lugging along their infant to sit on their lap. For ages over two years, you'd have to pay the first class fare for them too, which I would guess most would find excessive. (Could you imagine shelling out 4 or 5 figures to have yourself and your 3 year-old with you in first class? In the end, I would guess this "ban" would only affect a very, very small percentage of potential flyers wanting to bring their little ones along. Secondly, and to the point that was made earlier (Gwen, I think), businesses absolutely have the right to institute such a policy. We, the consumers are free to support or not support those policies with our dollars. This is what free market is all about... if there is a huge backlash from paying customers when this policy goes into effect, then the company (who in the end of it all is out to make a profit) may back off from their position. Alternatively, if consumers keep buying tickets to board those flights on that airline, then the policy will stick and might even be expanded, not only by that particular airline but by competitors watching the situation very closely. I'm personally not excited enough about this issue to go wave a sign on the street corner, but I can see how some others might be.
  13. Disagree with you on that one... and so would most Constitutional scholars. We are a Republic... at least we're supposed to be. That is what the Founders intended when they created the Constitution. You just helped to emphasize ProphetofDoom's point all the more... you've bought into the education spoon fed to us since birth... that we are a Democracy, when in fact we are supposed to be a Republic. So, we somehow are supposed to feel more secure and justified by saying that we are a "Democratic Republic". (See Germany's history, for an example of a true Democratic Republic.) This may be what we practice in today's political landscape... but if that is the case, it just goes to the point that our Republic is being destroyed. And unfortunately, the vast majority of American's don't see it nor understand it. Rather than get into a tit for tat over terminology as a show of some kind of one-up-man-ship, how about commenting on the greater point in the OP's message? That of the opinion that we are experiencing a systematic destruction of our form of government through a diminished emphasis on teaching and learning history.
  14. Such a great observation. We "mature grown ups" laugh at these silly cartoons we grew up watching and of course it's all ridiculous and implausible what happens to the characters. But what does a small child make of it? A very keen observation indeed. This just goes more to the heart of what I am hearing is the general feeling of the group here on this thread; namely, that the child was involved in a very tragic event, which may or may not have been prevented, and for which great care should be taken to protect him throughout this process and certainly NOT an event for which is he legally responsible and to be handled as some kind of criminal.