ONE FLESH

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I was reading in the Pearl of Great Price and I came across a passage of scripture from the book of Moses chapter 3 verses 23-24

2And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

One flesh. Simple in its statement yet is so full of meaning it can be near impossible to truly articulate what that truly means for us as individuals, husbands and wives. What does one flesh really mean and do we fully understand the implications of such a statement. One flesh is something I wonder if can truly obtain in this life. I imagine one flesh is much like the relationship between God our father and our heavenly mother. Wholly and fully united in all things. Having a perfect understanding of each other. Never arguing or disagreeing with each other. Is this possible in our mortal lives. Can we truly become one flesh in this mortal existence.

This is a question that many I am sure have asked. What does it mean to be one flesh. Within out relationships we have many trials and struggles. We have disagreements and stressors that can make or break our marriage for better or worse.

Getting married is truly the best decision I have ever made. It has been a journey through my life that I would never go back on. My marriage has been a blessing in my life greater than anything else you could possibly imagine. Has my marriage been a union of one flesh. That I don’t know if I can honestly answer yes. While we have a love in our relationship that transcends time. We have grown as a couple in many ways. Countless ways really. Our children have brought a new layer to our relationship I did not imagine is possible. Are we of one flesh? I don’t think we are quite in perfect harmony yet. We have our disagreements and frustrations with each other, as every couple does at times. Our journey together is not meant to be perfect but challenging which is essential to our journey to being one flesh.

The idea of one flesh to me at least means being in perfect harmony with each other. Never disagreeing and having a perfect vision for the future and eternity as a couple. The Scriptures say that we are to cleave to our spouse for the cause of becoming one flesh. This is a life long journey that cannot be accomplished simply by proclaiming your vows of eternal love to each other. This becoming one flesh with our spouse is a key component and essential to our eternal journey. Without this kind of commitment we cannot hope to inherit our eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

This Idea of one flesh can go beyond just a marriage relationship. This idea applies to our families as well in more than one sense. When our genetic codes merge to create a child you have taken what was 2 flesh or 2 persons and created one flesh the child as a result of the merger of your 2 identities to created a new identity in perfect harmony with the 2 of you. In This same sense we must take our 2 identities as man and woman and through our love merge those 2 identities to become one in harmony with all aspects of our lives.

N Elden Tanner has said “It is important for us to understand, as we can learn from the scriptures, that God is eternal, that his creations are eternal, and that his truths are eternal. Therefore, when he gave Eve to Adam in marriage, that union would be eternal. Marriage as ordained of God and performed in his holy temples is eternal—not just until death. ”

Becoming one flesh with our spouses is not just for life on the earth in mortality but an eternal principle of action. We are to turn our hearts and flesh together for our eternal progression and our passions are to be forever focused on our spouses.

Proverbs 5:18-19 says

18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

The sentiment expressed in this proverb is fundamental to a loving relationship that is meant to express the importance of becoming one flesh. There is truly no greater relationship than the one between husbands and wives who are truly committed to each other. It is a love that transcends time and survives into the eternities. Our work and glory, to paraphrase from Moses, is in becoming one flesh before God and the world. In so doing we will be able to survive all the that devil may through our way.

Our journey to becoming one flesh will not cease at the end of our mortal existence but will continue into the eternities. This is why it is so vital to workout our own natural inclinations and selfish desires. It is in doing so that we serve, love and become one flesh with our wives, or husbands for the women out there. If we want to become one flesh in the eternities then we need to work and live for that every day in our mortal existence.

I would never claim to be in perfect harmony with my wife. It is something I strive to live for and accomplish. This is a life long pursuit, an eternal pursuit really. It is however something that we strive for day in and day out. We work together to overcome our disagreements for the betterment of our family. We strive to have in our home and relationship loving compassion. Anything less than this is not a marriage of one flesh as the Lord would have us work for.

Your marriage is or will be the most important relationship you will ever engage and it must be the priority in you life. That is what one flesh truly means. As David O McKay once said “no success can compensate for failure in the home.” We fail in our homes when we do not have a marriage of one flesh. This is relationship that takes 2 and by committing to such principles our love will flourish.

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Universal Health Care: The Best Way To Help Others?

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I have often wondered whether the health care system we have here in Canada is truly the ideal health care system. With the Obama administration pushing through Obama care, he has been quoted as saying that he wants every American to have access to health care like we do here in Canada. I can’t help but think that Obama really does not have a clue about our health care system at all. It has become somewhat of a sacred cow. To even suggest that a Canadian citizen should have the right to seek private medical care in this country is blasphemous by many.

A recent article in the National Post discusses a lawsuit that could revolutionize Canadian health care.  A lawsuit has been brought forward by what was previously 5 Patients who could not effectively access the care that was needed. Now only 3 of them are involved as the other 2 have died waiting for care. But they are not the only ones who have suffered through our “universally accessible” health care. In Winnipeg a man dies after 34 hours in emergency waiting room. 

These examples and many others I could site are examples of how our current universal health care is maybe not the best option to truly meet people’s needs. From what I understand Canada is one of only 3 nations in the world that operate a single payee universal health care service. The other 2 being Cuba and North Korea. Given that we live in a very socialist country it is not that surprising that we have that one thing in common with those 2 communist nations. Because it is illegal in Canada to purchase private health care and private insurance the individuals mentioned previously and many thousands like them do not have the option to seek private health care to address their needs.

I love the idea of universally accessible health care. The concept is a wonderful idea that would ensure everyone get the care they need when they need it. Sadly that is not what is happening here in Canada. While people continue to die on waiting lists and in emergency rooms we continue to debate how we are going to improve our health care system without changing the way we deliver health care. We keep saying the solution is more money, doctors, hospitals, beds …. But is that really the solution?  In this country we spend in excess of 211 billion dollars a year on health care. That works out to 5,988 dollars per year per person. That means that the average family is paying 23,952 dollars a year for health care. I am pretty sure that If I could opt out of public health care my family could get health insurance that meets our needs for a lot less than 24,000 dollars a year.  (source http://www.cihi.ca/CIHI-ext-portal/internet/EN/subtheme/spending+and+health+workforce/spending/cihi015954) Throughout history it has been proven again and again when the government has a monopoly on any service the cost of that service rises far beyond what is reasonable. How much longer can we afford to continue down this path.

The heavy cost of our public health care is crushing our system under its own weight and no improvements are in sight. When I think of how Christ asked us to care for the sick and needy I do not imagine he meant for us to bankrupt our selves to stick with an ideal that does not work. How long before out health care system collapses under its own weight and we as a nation wake up and realize that It is just not working and drastic change is needed to ensure that every Canadian gets the health care that they need.

What can we do to change a system that is failing us. How can we ensure that are families are being taken care of and our needs are being met. There is an option which many in this country are too afraid to try. Privatized health care is an option that needs to be looked at. I would not suggest that we eliminate the public health care all together. In fact I think we should keep the current heath care system with some massive changes and overhauls while introducing alternative health care options. If we are to truly care for the sick and afflicted then changes need to be made.

With regard to changes in the public sector health care here are a few ideas that may be able to help out.

1) Eliminate half the management in the system. It is no secret that the bureaucracy within the Canadian health care system is part of the bloated problem that we are facing in what I would call a national health care crisis. There is significantly higher manager to staff ratio in our public health care system than in the their private sector health care counterparts.

We spend millions of dollars per year on management that is completely unnecessary and money that could be better spent on hiring more doctors and nurses. Opening up more hospitals and utilizing the facilities more efficiently than we do now.

2) Hire 3rd party contractors to operate medical machinery such as MRI machines. This is cost-effective and would enable the machines to be used possibly 24/7 drastically reducing wait times for necessary medical testing and treatment. It should not take a medical degree to operate a MRI machine. There is no reason why we cannot hire a 3rd party medical services company to operate medical machinery and then give the doctors the test results to interpret. As it stands currently these machines and other medical equipment are not currently used nearly to the extent that they could be.

This hiring of 3rd party companies could go beyond just running medical machinery. We could contract out all medical services to 3rd parties and have competition for government contracts to deliver health care. Rewards those that provide high quality and efficient services and meet the high standards with more contracts. Actually have hospitals compete with each other. The ones that provide the best services gets more business this way while still being covered under the Canadian health care payee system.

3) Using the cost savings of reduced management build more hospitals. We clearly do not have enough to deal with the demand that we are facing.

As part of this solution we need to bring in Private medical services in this country. Yes I actually said that. Private medical care facilities, doctors and hospitals are needed drastically in this country and there is a market for it. Though I do not remember where I read the stats it is estimate that up to 50,000 + people per year are leaving Canada to seek medical treatment elsewhere. They take 10’s of thousands of dollars and spend it on treatment that is either not offered here or the wait times are excessive and so at their own costs are spending 10’s of thousands of their own money to seek the medical aid that they require. That money could be better spent in the Canadian market getting Canadians access to care they are already paying out of pocket for elsewhere. This has the side effect of creating more jobs and keeping 10’s of thousands of dollars in the Canadian economy instead of of elsewhere.

If we allow Private doctors and investors to set up private hospitals with their own staff and medical equipment It could go a long way to reducing the demand on the public sector. By giving people the choice and freedom to choose who their health care provider is they will have more options and quicker access to services. But not just private health centers and hospitals, allow private 3rd party health insurance plans that can be catered to each individual and family needs rather than the one size fits all ideology that we have now. Allowing people to customize their health care plans to fit them personally Gives them the ability to not just control their medical cost but ensure that they are getting the health service best suited for them personally while still having the public system as a back up if something happens that is not covered under their plan.

There is often much fear about having private hospitals and doctors. The fear is that doctors will not want to work in the public systems or the rich will get medical treatment at the expense of others who otherwise could not afford it. I find this argument to be a red herring and not based in any kind of fact. To me this argument is about as useful as guns kill people so we should ban guns when the guns themselves are not the killer but rather the one pulling the trigger.

Lee Tom Perry once said “The major difference between public and private service is that one relates to the activities of governments or the public sector whereas the other relates to the activities of businesses or the private sector. In the end, however, service is service, and all attempts to distinguish between different kinds of service are somewhat artificial.”

When all is said and done health care services are and should be a service. Because it is a service, as a people we should have the choice on who delivers that service. Only by having the option of public or private for our personal health care needs can we truly ensure that everyone is getting the care they need when they need it. It is through such a system that we can deliver Christ like service in caring for the poor and sick and needy.

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

Don’t download this song

Weird AL Yankovic is quite the funny guy. He makes fun of just about anything and anyone. In his usual comical fashion he wrote a song called Don’t Download this Song, and in a bit of an ironic fashion offered it as a free download on his website.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re downloading? How much you are downloading and from where? From what I understand it is perfectly legal to torrent in Canada, something that a lot of people do, downloading content via the internet or file sharing sites and not paying for that content. There is nothing inherently wrong with this practice but I often wonder about the morals of taking something for nothing like this. It’s not a gift that was given to you from those that created it.

I know I am probably in the minority but something just bugs me about downloading content and not paying for it unless it has legitimately been offered free by the ones who created that content. There is a lot of money and time that has gone into creating movies, TV shows, music and other forms of content. The artist behind these creations have spent countless hours and millions of dollars to create something for you to enjoy. It just does not feel right to take it and not pay for it. Surely that music, movie, TV show or book has some value to it.

Imagine for a moment that you were given a gift from someone. You just love that gift. It was something that you have wanted for a long time but you could never afford to buy it yourself. You have spent years looking for the right deal and the right price. One year for your birthday or Christmas a family member, friend, co-worker someone gives you this gift. Later you find out that this gift was actually stolen or purchase through illegal means. Would you still keep the gift? Would you still feel good about having the gift knowing that those who created the product or service did not get paid for it after all their hard work to produce that product or service? Would you just say hey it does not matter I did not have to pay for so it is not my problem.

I am not trying to suggest that there is something wrong with content sharing. I do believe, however that we should not be downloading content for free unless specifically offered through the producers of said content. For me the legality of the issue is not in question but the morality of the issue.

Imagine for a moment that you spent hours or years producing your art. You worked hard and dedicated your life to producing that content. You put your heart into it, it is your passion and the love of your life. Then you found out that millions of people around the world have been taking that content without paying you anything for your hard work to produce it. How would you feel? Would it bother you at all?

Perhaps another analogy would work better. You go to work everyday. You are passionate about your job. You work hard to make your employers business profitable and successful. You put in a couple of thousand hours a year. One day your boss comes up to you and says thanks for all you hard work but we are not going to pay you for it. We just don’t feel we need to because you can work for free. Sure some might pay you for your work but we don’t think we need to because so many people would rather you work for free. Why should we pay you if we don’t have to?

I would imagine you would be pretty upset. Angry even. This is not right you say. It’s not fair. You worked hard for your boss and deserve to be paid. How is this any different than authors, musicians, actors and other artist who produce content for your enjoyment. They have a job because of their fans. They get paid through sales of their art, Just as you get paid for your hard work and dedication in whatever you do for your vocation. This is only fair and just.

When God gave the commandment of “thou shalt not steal” I do not believe he was saying that its is OK to take for nothing when it is legal to do so. For me at least it is theft to take and download content that has not been offered for free legitimately by the artist, producers or publishers of the work. It simply does not sit right with me to take that which has been worked so hard to achieve without paying for it.

Would you go in to a record store and just steal a movie or CD? would you walk into a book store and steel a book? or sneak into a movie theater and watch a movie without paying for a ticket to the film?. I really can’t see how that is any different from torrents. We love to tell our selves that it is OK because it is legal in this country, but if you do not see sufficient value to pay anything for it then what value does it have to begin with?

When all is said and done, I feel that downloading movies, music and other content for free without it first being offered by the owner of said content is theft and it just does not sit well with me to think that so many people are taking something for nothing after all the hard work that went into producing that art. It’s dishonest and not in council and not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals