The Most Difficult Trial of My Faith

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I find myself the last couple of days reliving in my mind the most traumatic experience I have suffered in my life. I find myself feeling a sense of full blown panic and on high alert. I find myself learning you can never truly recover from being physiologically destroyed and manipulated. From having you mind invaded, destroyed and warped. An experience that to this day holds my mind captive and when faced with the prospect of confronting the very people who inflicted this abuse and terrifying assault on me in the first place terrifies me to no end. I had thought that at this point I had recovered and been able to move on from this experience I now find it coming back to me with such force so as to nearly bring me back to the state that lead me to this experience in the first place. I feel my heart, mind and soul filled with terror not just for me but for my family as well.

What fills me with feelings of terror even more is that this same group of people who victimized me are now my last hope to help my daughter who is suffering from some problems and issues that I can no longer adequately deal with. I not only fear for the welfare of my daughter but for myself as I Confront this group of people that inflicted such terrible things on me in the first place.

At this point your probably wondering why I would even consider such a action, why would I subject my daughter to things that cause so much misery, pain, sorrow and fear in my own life.

I love my daughter very much, yet I fear that if she does not get the help I can no longer provide to her the long term consequences may be just as bad.

I have gone before God in Prayer, I have been to the Temple of God, I have tried and done everything to help my daughter, work with her, and find solutions to the problems we face. All efforts on my part have failed. My last effort was to talk to the bishop of the church with my daughter seeking council on what to do, it was then that my worst fears became true. And since that day I have been faced with what I would describe as a near mental breakdown. To say that this is not a trial of my faith is a understatement. I felt that I had no other choice in the matter but to talk to my bishop about the problems that have been going on in my life and the council he has given does not sit well on my mind, heart or soul, and yet I know that as a common judge in Israel he is inspired to provide council to those that seek it. To act on his council is the most difficult thing I have ever been faced with.

The council he gave me was to refer me to LDS Family services where we would be referred to a Psychologist  to Help with the problems that we have been having. For those that are reading this you likely don’t understand on why that is such a difficult thing for me to accept. Perhaps my experiences will help you understand a bit more.

When I was much younger around my daughters age, just a few years older I was a angry and depressed kid. I was bullied at school both physically and mentally. I was bullied at home in the same manor by members of my own family. I was told over and over again that my problems were make belief and its all in my head. I was miserable and angry. I hated my life and the world, and just wanted to end it.

I was brought to a psychologist who I only saw a couple of times. That doctor did not seem to believe that anything was wrong and that I had not conceivable reason for feeling the way that I did. I was shuffled off to a psychiatrist, who my mother never questioned his proscribed course of treatment but accepted it without question believing that all my problems were in my head. I was drugged. These drugs, which at one point I was on 3 different anti depressant and mood altering psychotropic drugs. These drugs have numerous effects on me. They were constantly being adjusted. There were times when I was on such a high that I was experiences completely bliss and euphoria which was promptly followed by anger, suicidal thoughts, depression and hostility. There were times that I experienced a sense of not being physically connected to my body as if i was just an outside observer to everything that is happening, I had felt as if I was not in control of my mind, thoughts, words or actions. I was a puppet being manipulated. I would at times feel so completely apathetic that I was oblivious to my surroundings. The sudden and drastic changes in my mental state were completely out of my control, I would swing from on extreme to the other, and with every extreme my drugs were again adjusted never making things better but worse. This went on for 5 years give or take and left me in worse shape than I was before any of this started. I was deadened to the spirit and lost complete control of my life and mind. It was an assault on my pyshce I can never forget.

During the course of this treatment I was imprisoned in a pysche ward at a hospital on at least 3 different occasions for extended periods of time where I was further controlled and manipulated. They put a smile on there face and pretended everything was fine and that I was there for my own benefit but in reality it was a prison. I could not leave and spent much of my time confined to my “cell”. Only coming out for meals and some occasional exercise. I was monitored With security cameras and not allowed much of any possessions at all. My time there was spent going through the wide ranges of mental states previously described with no end in site.

When I turned 18 I was finally able to throw off the chains of my captors, free my mind of the drugs and take back control of my life. Now I take my Daughter to the one place it started for me. The memories of this experience while they have haunted me come back with terrifying force.

Now is the time for me to put my faith in God and the council of my bishop. I know that it is only through God that I will be able to overcome my fear and take this Leap of faith that it much needed at this time. As the scriptures say, the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains and that faith is sorely needed for me now. I pray that God will help me overcome, so that my daughter can get the help she needs so that I may be able to more effectively cope with her troubles.

I thank God for wise bishops that can guide and direct us to someone who can understand and help through the same LDS faith that I have. I can overcome all things with faith, God will not leave me helpless. I now believe that I suffered what I did so that I would know and understand how to protect my children from what I went through. God knew that this day would come, and only by experiencing what I did would I be able to protect my children while still providing them the help the need. Despite my experience I thank God that I had it so that my children could be protected.

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ENVIROMENTALISM AND THE GOSPEL

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As I have been reading earlier issues of church magazine there have been some articles that talk about caring for our environment and taking care of the earth. The debate on man made climate change (previously known as global warming this changed when it was shown that there has been no measurable increase in earths temperatures in 15 years) seems to be never ending. There are those that follow the man made climate change ideology almost to the point of religious fervor. People like Al Gore and David Suzuki have made several million in profits selling the idea of man made global warming, using there lobbyists organization to pressure governments to adopt green energy initiatives. Ontario has done just this and is celebrating this as a great investment and bragging about the fact that they are leading the way in environmentally friendly alternatives (such as windmills that kill thousands of birds a year). (http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=64549) All the while ignoring the huge cost of electricity is costing people and the jobs lost at these coal powered plants. Ontario electricity rates have gone up nearly 100% in the last 10 years (5 center/kwh in 2005 to 9.7cent per kwh in 2013)  http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers/Electricity/Electricity%20Prices/Historical%20Electricity%20Prices.

In the case of Ontario, the result is lost jobs, jobs that never happened, increase in energy costs for consumers and little not no benefit or change in environmental impact. (http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/05/01/ontarios-green-disaster/)

Sadly the environment movement has gone beyond the ideals of caring for our planet and where we live, to a religion that is fervently and energetically preached Those who deny or disagree with there ideology are shamed, and threatened.

David Suzuki is quoted as saying ““You have lived your entire lives in a completely unsustainable period, You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It’s not. we can no longer tolerate what’s going on in Ottawa and Edmonton. What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act,It’s an inter-generational crime in the face of all the knowledge and science from over 20 years.” (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513)

So we have these Religious leaders of environmental movement calling for politicians to be imprisoned for not subscribing their ideology. On the other side of the coin you have the skeptics calling them out on the things they claim as fact. Its a heated debate and certainly not one with easy answers.

Some who are reading this might wonder where I stand on these issues and how my religious faith impacts how I view environmentalism. Those that know me might be surprised at what I have to say.

I am a Environmentalist. which is why I have to disagree with Al Gore and David Suzuki. Suzuki claimed that climate change is not normal, however he has only been around for 77 years, Throughout the millions of years of earths history the climate has changed numerous times in subtle and drastic ways. The little ice age which occurred between 1350-1850 is and exzample of this. This happened  just after a mid-evil warm period, the Earth has warmed up quite a bit since then. The Graph below show the temperature trends have gone up and down on a regular basis. While the average global temperature today is more than the mid evil warm period, it shows that temperatures do fluctuate up and down on a regular basis without mans help

2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison

I am and environmentalist because I support pipelines to transport crude oil to market. The fact is pipelines are significantly safer and drastically less environmental impact than any other type of transportation. Trains derail, planes crash, tanker trucks get in accident and yes sometimes pipelines burst and spill. all forms of transportation have a risk associated with them. Train, plane, or truck while transporting oil are burning fuel and putting those nasty greenhouse gases in to the air while transporting the oil, and when spills and accidents do happen a larger percentage of there volume is spilled vs pipelines, keeping in mind the media tends to sensationalize oil spills. So while people like Al Gore and David Suzuki are flying around the world to preach there gospel they are putting more CO2 emissions in our atmosphere than the average Joe consumer, who is effected by large energy cost as a result of there political pressure and ideology.

The problem with this religion of environmentalism is that it has morphed into earth worship. Often ecological natural disasters such as the recent typhoon in the philipines are pointed to as proof of climate change, while at the same time ignoring the fact that typhoons in that part of the world are actualy quite normal and natural part of the climate, just as hurricaines are a normal and natural part of the climate in the atlantic ocean. To say that storms like that typhoon are proof of climate  change is like saying snow in canada is proof of climate change, or that it snowed and was minus 30 in edmonton is proof of man made climate change. Mankind is no longer viewed as dominant and the ruling species on the planet but rather the earth itself is superior to all else even God who gave us dominion over the earth in the first place. Would you tell your children we can’t eat because the food was produced in a environmentally unfriendly way and I can’t drive the store to buy that food because the earths welfare is more important that you eating? doubtful but that is essentially what Earth worshipers would have us do. They would have us living in poverty for fear of hurting the earth. They would put millions of people out of work for the sake of and ideology that the earth is all that matters, the consequences don’t matter, the livelihoods of millions of people around the world don’t matter, the suffering inflicted on them by there ideology does not matter. Ironically those who preach this earth worship would not or could not live to the same standards they demand of everyone else.

In Genesis 1:26 it states 26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” We were commanded to have dominion over the earth and all animals on it. This dominion was not given to us to be abused but to keep and till the earth and take care of it. Because we have dominion given by God we have a responsibility to maintain our environment and care for it. We can do this in many ways that won’t result in economic and societal collapse.

To live the principals of environmentalism in the context of God and his gospel we need to stop worshiping the earth and start thinking more in terms of caring for the world that God gave us. There are many ways we can reduce pollution but we will never stop climate change, that is a fact of life on earth. Climate changes with or without our help. To try to stop climate change is like trying to stop a freight train with a piece of straw. Simply put its not going to happen.

So what can we do as disciples and saints with respect of environmentalism. Recycling is a readily available options in many areas. Recycling is a great way to keep pollutants our of our environment by reusing materials and keeping them out of the landfills. In this way we can help to keep our environment free of trash and other pollutants.

We can reduce our fuel consumption by not driving and using alternatives such as walking and biking. Busing contrary to popular belief is not actually less pollution but burns more fuel per passenger mile that cars.

We can support cleaner power options such as nuclear power rather than other power alternatives. Oil is not a clean source of energy, by its very nature it is dirty and has been since it was formed in the ground it was dug out of millions of years ago. mankind did not make oil dirty it was already that way but is the most efficient and effective means of producing energy we have, we can continue to support cleaner methods of getting the oil to market and production in cleaner and more efficient ways.

We can make sure when bad things happen like oil spills, we take responsibility and be willing to bear the cost of cleaning up the mess we made, We can pick up trash when we see it on the ground and help protect natural habitats with responsible development. It is important to strike the right balance between our God given responsibility to care for and take care of the earth and the life that we share our world with, and the well being of our selves and our families. This is no easy task but it can be done.

There are 2 extremes in this debate, those that deny pollution and climate change and those that preach man made climate change and it must be stopped. We as Gods children have a responsibility to manage our world and maintain a healthy balance between our own welfare and that of this world we live in. The earth is not going anywhere. Our focus needs to be on reducing pollution without negatively effecting our welfare. The earth is ours to care for. God expects us to care for it. We have a responsibility to do so.

THE DAY OF THE AMATEUR

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THIS WAS A GREAT ARTICLE IN THE JANUARY 1971 NEW ERA, SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE THIS WITH YOU ENJOY!! COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

The New Era, Vol. 1, no. 1 (January, 1971), pp. 42-44.

A boast of Latter-day Saints is that they have never been afflicted with a professional clergy. To this day, what most impresses outside observers is the fact that almost everything the Mormons do is undertaken on a nonprofessional basis — and it is done pretty well at that. Only when they have brought in professional help have they come to grief.

Professionalism is the child of the universities. Its modern rule began with the Sophists of old. Preceding the Sophists were those wise men called Sophoi, ancient traveling teachers who gave the modern world its moral and intellectual foundations. They were, to a man, amateurs.

They had to be amateurs, for the same reason that the greatest athletes in the world, the Olympic victors, ancienetes in the world, the Olympic victors, ancient and modern, were required to be amateurs; and for the same reason that the people who wrote and directed and acted and danced in the greatest dramas the world has ever seen were required by law to be amateurs: because what they were doing was holy business and not to be contaminated by ulterior motives and ambitions.

Then the Sophists, imitation Sophoi, took over and professionalized everything to the highest degree. They were the great professors, and since they professed publicly and for a fee, Socrates, the champion of the independent mind and not one of the Sophists, advised students to examine every prospective teacher’s credentials very carefully and critically before enrolling with him. That indiscretion cost Socrates his life, for the whole point of professionalism is that one’s credentials should never be challenged.

Rashdall has shown how the medieval universities, beginning with wild elan and spontaneity in the days when anyone could get into the act, “quickly hardened into the mold of the university system” as administration took over.

Official credentials, a foolproof shield against criticism and scrutiny, were naturally coveted most by those who needed them most: it was the poorly qualified who clamored for the status symbol of the degree. As in the days of the Sophist schools, the great demand for this valuable commodity caused factories or this valuable commodity caused factories to spring up everywhere, competing for degree-seeking customers by making their product ever easier and cheaper to get. At the same time the degree became the object — the sole object — of “education.” And when it reached that point, it was, of course, worth nothing.

Learning, forgotten in the universities, was revived in academies, salons, societies, courts and coffee houses where amateurs came together to revel in things of the spirit and make the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the high point of western civilization. It was the Age of the Amateur.

Beginning around the mid-nineteenth century, the university staged a comeback, culminating in elephantine growth as twentieth century technology sends everyone to school. During the first half of the present century, college teaching offered a safe birth for mild and mediocre souls who in time, by the sacred rule of seniority, ended up ruling their institutions.

Here they jealously perpetuated their own kind in office and shut out those talented students who might threaten their own supremacy in any way. The more intelligent students had always seen through professorial sham, but as the university population soared into the millions, the tension between the two mounted dangerously. It is no paradox that some of the most intelligent students at the best schools have been causing the most trouble. In fact, most students have been galled by the artificial restraint of professional status.

If the only way to get a professional certificate was to deserve one, there would be little trouble. But there have always been many ways of winning a prize for which the incompetent are willing to pay almost any price. The time-honored devices for beating the game are legion, but the most reliable one, since the days of the emperors, has always been appointment.

Someone (this writer, in fact) has said that anyone can become a dean, a professor, a department head, a chancellor, or a custodian by appointment — it has happened thousands of times; but since the world began, no one has ever become an artist, a scientist, or a scholar by appointment. The professional may be a dud, but to get any recognition, the amateur has to be good. To maintain his amateur status, moreover, he has to be dedicated, honest, and incorruptible — from which irksome necessity the professional, unless he cares otherwise, is freed by an official certificate.

Do Americans have to apologize for generations of ingenious amateurs from Franklin to Ford who fathered their modern technology? Or for Ives and Carpenter, their best composers? Or for Parkman, Motley, Prescott, H.C. Lea, and the rest of their excellent historians? Is science ashamed of Descartes or Priestley, or Sir William Hershel or Father Mende Is science ashamed of Descartes or Priestley, or Sir William Hershel or Father Mendel? Arts, science, and scholarship would be in a sorry way today were it not for patrons who were also first-class practitioners in their own right, e.g., von Bissing, H. Carter, and A. Gardiner in Egyptology.

Of course there has always been protest from the professional side: the greatest discoveries in classical scholarship were made by a German merchant and a young English architect, each of whom in his time was ridiculed by the professors. Emerson, “the wisest American,” was banned from the campus of Harvard for his famous “American Scholar” address, which proclaimed that one did not have to be a professional to be a true thinker and scholar.

Not long ago one of the world’s greatest violinists was barred from the music faculty of a west-coast university solely because he did not have a degree, while the head of the department gave whole seasons of concerts and got away with it, because he did have a degree.

If we have no professional clergy in the Church, it is not because the Church cannot use expert knowledge, but because all members should be experts where the gospel is concerned, and as such they should make their contribution. All the same contribution? Not at all! The Church is structured for eternal progression, and that takes place as we all feel our way forward along a broad front. Seeking and searching are among the most common words in our scriptures; we are all supposed to be seeking all the time. Just as missionaries go forth as an amateur army, searching out the honest in heart in the most scattered and unlikely places, on the widest possible front, so the rest of us increase in knowledge, here a little and there a little, not by trusting a few experts to come up with the answers, but by all of us searching, all along the line, finding out a fact here and a document there, and reporting the discovery to the whole body.