Archive for May, 2015

This morning, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed a medley of the hymns of the four armed services of the Unites States of America.  Were you aware that each service has an official hymn?  I’m not talking about the rousing, official songs of each service, but sacred hymns where the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard acknowledge that hand of God and plead for His divine protection.  I’m an Air Force veteran, myself, but my favorite is the Marine Corps hymn:

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill;
Be Thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.

However, if you search the internet or the official websites of each armed service—with the notable exception of the Navy—it’s difficult to find a reference to the official hymns.

I find this disturbing.

Military chaplains are now forbidden to read or quote certain verses from the Bible.  The armed services used to teach Judeo-Christian ethics courses to military officers, but this has been discontinued in recent years.  Atheist and Wiccan chaplains have been commissioned.  Military counterterrorism briefings now define Catholics and evangelical Christians as threats to national security.  Acceptance of every form of sexual perversion (including pedophilia where it is culturally allowed) is preached in U.S. military “sensitivity training.”  This week, President Obama declared that one of the major threats our armed services face today, ranking right up there with ISIS, is—you guessed it—climate change.

We have gone from Judeo-Christian principles to a gospel of “tolerance” and earth-worship.

American blood purchased the freedom of the Iraqi people.  While I am not discounting the sacrifices made by brave men and women of other coalition nations, the lion’s share of the blood shed on the altar of freedom in Iraq was American.  And today, we see the Islamic State slaughtering, raping, and enslaving innocents, all in the name of their perverse and evil ideology, negating the sacrifices of so many heroes.

The scriptures warn us that we must serve the God of the land, or be swept off.  Instead, we allow ourselves to be blown about by every wind of doctrine comprised of the philosophies of men.  We worship the false deities known as Tolerance, Political Correctness, Social Justice, Covetousness, and Gaia.  We forget who the Author of our liberty truly is, even Jesus Christ.

If we would truly honor those who paid the ultimate price to secure and preserve our liberty and the freedom, we must turn back to the true Source of liberty.  Otherwise, their sacrifices will be in vain.

There is no country on earth like the United States of America.  This nation, even with all her flaws, is the beacon of freedom for all the world.  Ronald Reagan said, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”

With all my heart, I say, God bless America.  May we be that “shining city on the hill.”

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

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Interview today on the Kim Power Stilson show:  http://www.byuradio.org/episode/222e9b70-e01a-4061-9ae8-22c47c6ac64a/the-kim-power-stilson-show-women-farmers-and-vampires

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A mother cradles her newborn in her arms and sings the babe a lullaby—a beautiful, iconic image of maternal love.  We think of a lullaby as a quiet song meant to lull and soothe a child to sleep, but the word may have a much darker, and conversely, profoundly beautiful origin.

A common theory for the etymology or origin of the word “lullaby” is that it is derived from the Hebrew Lilla abi or Lilith abi, which means literally, “Lilith, go away!”  In Jewish tradition, Lilith was the mother of all vampires.  It was believed that Lilith or one of her children would come unseen while a newborn was sleeping and kiss the child and steal him or her away.  A female infant was vulnerable until she was fourteen days old.  A male infant was vulnerable until he was circumcised at eight days old.  So a mother would sing to her child until it slept, and then she would keep watch over it carefully, in spite of the fact that she was exhausted after the life-threatening ordeal of childbirth.  And as she kept watch, if her baby smiled in its sleep, the mother would tap the child on the lips to wake him or her up.  It was believed that if the child smiled as it slept, Lilith was kissing it.  So the mother would wake the child, driving Lilith away, and then sing to her child once again.  In this way, the mother stood guard over her baby, protecting it from the unseen forces of evil.

That’s what a mother does, doesn’t she?  She stands watch, protecting as best she can her children from the evils of the world, both seen and unseen.  And she does so in spite of exhaustion, pain, heartache, sickness, fear, doubt, and personal danger.

A mother isn’t perfect.  Sometimes, she dozes off.  Sometimes, she cannot see all the threats her children face.  Sometimes, she lets exhaustion, despair, hormones, and other human frailties momentarily overcome her patience.  But she selflessly stands guard with all the love she possesses.

My own dear mother isn’t perfect, neither is my dear wife.  But our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother don’t send Their children to perfect mothers.  I believe this is by divine design.  Our Heavenly Parents allow imperfect mothers and innocent children to grow together.  And then, when children are grown, a mother continues to worry, pray, and shed tears for her children.  And she continues to beat herself up for her failures.

Young children cannot comprehend the enormous sacrifice of a loving mother.  Even adult children fail to see how much their mothers have done and continue to do for them.  It is only as a parent of grown children, some of whom have temporarily lost their way to one degree or another, that I can begin to understand all that my mother and my wife have given to guide and protect their children.

They stood guard in the lonely, dark, exhaustive, thankless, doubt-ridden, and tearful watches of the night.  And for that, I am profoundly grateful.

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