Contention and Civility

Modern politics is war. The goal is to completely overwhelm, dominate, and overpower. The problem is that when one side “wins,” they have to continue fighting to maintain the high ground. The other side is perpetually working to overthrow and take their turn behind the wheel.

Today, political dialogue is almost always public and arguments are crafted to embarrass, demonize, and score political points. Both sides have given up on the other. Liberals and conservatives have largely determined that those one “the other side” are ignorant and irrational, even evil.

Are we too quick to condemn? Are we guilty of assuming we fully comprehend the hearts and intentions of those who disagree with us?

If we really believe we are right, shouldn’t we be a little more tactful in how we discuss the political principles that matter most to us?

Imagine what could happen if we weren’t so quick to give up on others. Imagine what we could accomplish politically if we learned how to actually have engaging conversations with others.

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The Jonah Principle

Conditional Prophecy

The story of Jonah is a fantastic example of what I call "conditional prophecy." Some prophecy is absolute and will happen exactly as it is proclaimed, no matter what. Nothing we can do will change the major or minor details of those prophecies. However, a lot of prophecy is conditional and our repentance or behavior can determine whether or not the prophecy happens or the degree to which it happens.

Jonah and Nineveh

This story teaches us of God’s desire to refrain from inflicting devastating punishments on his children. I think we can often be like Jonah, slow to forgive and quick to inflict "righteous indignation." Pay attention to how Jonah responds to the repentance of the city of Nineveh: (more…)

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The Political Kingdom of God

[This essay is not yet finished, but it will likely be an ongoing project for many more weeks. Enjoy what is available so far!]


I’m writing this article in an attempt to clear up a prominent misunderstanding regarding the kingdom of God seen in dream by King Nebuchadnezzar and in vision by the young prophet Daniel (see Daniel 2).  Verses 44 and 45 report:

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

It seems that the interpretation of this dream is falsely interpreted by a vast majority of the members of my Church. A correct understanding of this dream really matters because it affects how we prepare for the return of Jesus Christ and his Millennium of peace. I will use scriptures and statements made by church authorities to illuminate the truth of this "kingdom of God." (more…)

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Communist Strategy of Subversion through "Peaceful" Relations

Featured image from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-25/north-and-south-korea-talks-explained/9675710

North and South Korea

In light of the recent and sudden talk of peaceful relations between North and South Korea, I wanted to share what I have been studying with the Columbus Center in Principles of Freedom 101.

According to official communist  strategy, communists never abandon their end goal of total world domination. They will, however, seek to establish peaceful relations to lure free nations into dropping their guard. South Korea seems to understand this, as it is willing to move forward in establishing peaceful relations with North Korea but desires that the US maintains military presence and protection regardless of any future peace treaty they sign.

Some are speculating that the sudden peace talks are due to the potential collapse of a major nuclear test site in North Korea which might cause them to abandon aggressive military activities. Others contest that this wouldn’t deter them.

Regardless of the reason North Korea decided this was the time to change their stripes, these promises are seen by many as empty and deceptive. (more…)

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Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer in Palestine

This is the letter containing Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer over the land of Palestine. It was printed in chapter 26 of volume 4 of History of the Church, under the subtitle "Elder Orson Hyde’s Letter — His Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives."


ALEXANDRIA, Nov. 22, 1841

DEAR BROTHER PRATT:

— A few minutes now offer for me to write, and I improve them in writing to you.

I have only time to say that I have seen Jerusalem precisely according to the vision which I had. I saw no one with me in the vision; and although Elder Page was appointed to accompany me there, yet I found myself there alone.

The Lord knows that I have had a hard time, and suffered much, but I have great reason to thank Him that I enjoy good health at present, and have a prospect before me of soon going to a civilized country, where I shall see no more turbans or camels. The heat is most oppressive, and has been all through Syria. (more…)

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American Founding Fathers Try Communism

From The Naked Communist by W. Cleon Skousen

One of the forgotten lessons of U.S. history is the fact that the American founding fathers tried Communism before they tried capitalistic free enterprise.

In 1620 when the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, they had already determined to establish a Communist colony. In many ways this communal society was set up under the most favorable circumstances. First of all, they were isolated from outside help and were desperately motivated to make the plan work in order to survive. Secondly, they had a select group of religious men and women who enjoyed a cooperative, fraternal feeling toward one another. The Pilgrims launched their Communist community with the most hopeful expectations. Governor William Bradford has left us a remarkable account of what happened. The Governor reports: (more…)

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What is Liberal? What is Conservative?

I began studying this issue because my heart breaks when I see relationships fall apart because of political beliefs or wild accusations made about people without even knowing who they really are. I am a conservative who has learned to really appreciate the talents and strengths liberals have. Please consider what I have learned.

What is liberal?

"Liberal" is a term that conservatives throw around loosely to describe anyone who disagrees with or opposes "conservative" ideals. I believe this term is used incorrectly and falls short of truly describing what it means to be liberal.

The word liberal comes from a 14th century word meaning "generous, selfless, magnanimous, admirable, willing, zealous, munificent, or gracious." From the 12th century, it also has a slight negative connotation: "extravagant, unrestrained." Also, "of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free person" and "free, unrestricted, unimpeded; unbridled, unchecked, licentious." (more…)

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Laie Hawaii Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 27–30 November 1919

by Heber J. Grant

O God, the Eternal Father, we, Thy servants and handmaidens, thank Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy well-beloved Son, with all the power of our being, that we are privileged this day to be present in this beautiful land, to dedicate into Thy Most Holy Name, a temple of the Living God.

We thank Thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that Thou and Thy Son, Jesus Christ, didst visit the boy, Joseph Smith, Jr., and that he was instructed by Thee, and Thy beloved Son.

We thank Thee that Thou didst send Thy servant, John the Baptist, and that he did lay his hands upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and ordain them to the Aaronic, or Lesser Priesthood. (more…)

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Current Event Summary: Douglas High School Shooting – 02/14/2018

Core Details

  • Wednesday February 14th, 2018
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 3,000 students
  • Parkland, Florida
  • Shooter: Nikolas Cruz, 19, former student
  • Purchased AR-15 style gun legally after passing background checks
  • 4 deputies remained outside behind their cars with guns drawn for 4 minutes during the shooting and would not go inside the school
  • 17 killed, at least 14 more injured, (2 LDS killed)
  • Claimed to hear voices of demons that told him to do this
  • His adoptive mother died in the fall
  • Deadliest school shooting since 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary (26 died)
  • FBI notified in 2017 about a comment on a YouTube video by user with same name saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI could not identify the person.
  • Local police had not been warned about him
  • Member of a white supremacist group called “Republic of Florida”
  • School authorities had emailed teachers about Cruz’s behavior. Expelled (from threatening students? not officially stated) and wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack. He had been found with bullets in his backpack.
  • BBC: “It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year.”
  • Aaron Feis, assistant football coach, shielded students with his body, "died a hero"

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About Jacob Householder

Jacob is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints. He is the senior intern over Development and External Relations at the Madison Liberty Institute, the Director of Outreach for the Columbus Center for Constitutional Studies, and a senior at BYU-Idaho studying Financial Economics.

Copyright © 2019 | Jacob Householder — All Rights Reserved.

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