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Apostles on You Tube

Apostles on You Tube

What gets people politically motivated?

What gets people politically motivated?

Are we Whiners or Solvers?

Are we Whiners or Solvers?

Recognize and Resolve

Recognize and Resolve

Take Your Fingers Out of Your Ears

Take Your Fingers Out of Your Ears

What Happened to Win-Win Situations?

Ladybug Life . . . . . . . . . . .: What Happened to Win-Win Situations?

LDS Power Women

Ladybug Life . . . . . . . . . . .: LDS Power Women

In Defense of Families

Ladybug Life . . . . . . . . . . .: In Defense of Families

LTE RE: adding Homosexuals to listed minorites

LTE RE: adding Homosexuals to listed minorites

Who will stand up for marriage?

Ladybug Life . . . . . . . . . . .: Who will stand up for marriage?

Democrats should worship Bush?

Democrats should worship Bush?

Congress gone crazy

Congress gone crazy

Where are we headed?

Where are we headed?#links

In Defense of Families

In Defense of Families

Candidates put to the test

Candidates put to the test

Party Platform.... huh??? You mean I can do that?

Party Platform.... huh??? You mean I can do that?

Why Do Homosexuals Hate Diversity?

Why Do Homosexuals Hate Diversity?

Why Republican's Should Never Trust Their Candidates

Why Republican's Should Never Trust Their Candidates

Can't Sleep

It's 4:30 AM and I can't get back to sleep. Maybe I've had too much sleep the last week, being sick and all. I never thought I'd get too much sleep so that's not likely. I had turned the heater up before getting in bed and so I got too warm and woke up. Now I'm stuck with almost enough sleep and not enough tired. I've been awake for an hour. My mind is making plans.
I am thinking about driveways and garages, breezeways and decks, flowers and trees and bushes, gardens and dirt. It's all too much for my brain to put to bed! I'm planning kitchens, laundry rooms and bedroom decor.
I'm thinking about my library interview, scheduling, my hubby's job search, food storage and savings. I heard a call on Dave Ramsey tonight about a woman who was getting forclosed on who was only 4 payments behind! Yikes! Because of that she needed about ten thousand dollars to catch up, including the fees and penalties. And her house was about the price of mine! Double Yikes!
I hate it when my hopes and fears collide in the early morning hours.... And now I know I'll need a nap later... Like about nine o'clock!


Some of My Favorite Books

Here are some of my favorite books. I get many of my books at the library since my budget can't keep up with my reading habits. My favorite book and the one I am most likely to recommend is 1776 by David McCollough.I also loved John Adams also by him. Another good history book I have lately enjoyed was The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes, which I don't have at home since that was a library book.
Lately, I have been reading far too many college textbooks, but I have also found some great books through investigating homeschool resources. Joy Hakim wrote an excellent science book called The Story of Science.I've heard she planned to write a series of science books like her series of history books, but the library didn't have them. Her history books are very comprehensive, and my 12 yo daughter liked them. I didn't get a chance to read them, just browse.
I recently did a research paper on Porter Rockwell that I posted at my Modern Education website, and for that project I read several books. Of course I had to read Orrin Porter Rockwell, Man of God/ Son of Thunder by Harold Schindler. Before that one I read Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman. It was an excellent and very informative book that went into the history and times of the man rather than limiting itself to doctrine. It helped me get a better picture of this imperfect but inspired man. I also read The History of Joseph Smith By His Mother edited by Scot and Maurine Proctor. These books taught me to investigate the figures surrounding your subject. Many journals also contained references to Rockwell and good information was found in my mothers History of the Church books that she let me borrow.
My hubby and I have also been reading books to help our relationship. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman was a great help. He also wrote The Five Languages of Apology, and another one about marriage seasons that was also extremely helpful. He also wrote Anger: Controlling a Powerful Emotion which was very insightful if at times flawed by limited doctrinal understanding. Dr Laura Schlessinger's The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriages were also on my bedside table. I usually like her very much, but the Marriages book was a little flat. It basically repeated the Husbands book and I discovered she is not as good at advising men as advising women. Some think she is a female basher but I think she has a knack for advising women how to improve their marriages. She tends to look for ways that women can make changes (Because after thousands of years we haven't figured out how to change others yet) and that always means our own actions rather than whining about others actions. (Hey, we women like to whine, I know.)
Anyway, that is what I have enjoyed lately. How about you?

Are we set up to fail?

This article on (Wallace Goddard) is a good explanation of our "natural man" trails. How do our habits and choices interact with our memories and attitudes?
Life can be legitimately seen as a painful tragedy or a purposeful triumph. Each of us must choose. I choose to see God at work blessing His children in wise and loving ways. The very fact that God has created a world in which everything can be seen in gloomy or glorious ways seems to be evidence that He honors our agency.

Man Says He Can Convert Anything That Grows Into Oil!

It's so simple! Let's hope this works better than ethanol! And here is the rest of it.


Good Idea's Not Ready for Publishing

I bought the book “America In Danger” by Stephen Studdert. Before I got through the first 50 pages, I was ready to throw the book at the wall. It was riddled with grammatical errors and nonsense sentences. The author repeated himself over and over. He was disorganized, lacked credibility, and worse gave opinion without adequate explanation. I have to say if this is the caliber of writing of our high government officials we are toast. I think he has a good idea for a book, but someone should have told him it wasn’t ready to be published.

Unfortunately, this is not the first book written and published by LDS authors and little known publishers that has had this problem. I have now wasted almost $100 on these books. They were good ideas, but not ready to publish. I will be paying more attention to the books I buy from now on, seeing now that this isn’t just a fluke. I have continued to plod through this book writing my comments and corrections as I go. I plan on sending it back to the author with these comments. This publisher ought to be ashamed to sell this book. I want my money back!

The Flu and Lilacs

UGH! I’ve had the flu for the last several days. I felt it coming on about Friday, and on Saturday I was just draggin. I should have rested on Saturday but I didn’t and by Sunday I was down for the count. Monday was the worst, Tuesday a little better and today (Wednesday), well so far not too bad but still lurking. Every few years I get the flu. I have been overdue. I am blessed not to get it every year or multiple times per year like some. I am also blessed that my kids don’t get it often either. They usually get it mildly and still go to school or fake sick once a year. This time Megan had it first, then again while I did, but not nearly as bad as me. Nick has been so great to fix dinner and do small things I ask him to do. It’s nice to see a fifteen year old care about his mother. It’s rare, you know.

Yesterday I felt well enough to go pick up Ben from school, and then to go out and finally plant the lilacs in the holes Nick dug for me two weeks ago. I can’t wait to see them grow and flower. Pat didn’t get the BNSF job, so we are not so likely to move again. Whew! I really don’t want anymore moving. I like where we are and I want to stay here. I want to see my flowers grow and bloom. I want to see my trees produce fruit. I want to can it and give it away and enjoy the “fruits” of my little patch of ground here. I want to see my climbing roses climb all over the fences, the vegetables grow each year, and my house change as we work on it a little at a time. I want to be able to say next year we’ll do this or that project and mean it and plan on it and do it. And then plan another year. I want the confidence that we will be around to enjoy it….or hate it and change it again! I DON’T want to think about resale value ever again. I DONT want to do this or that, because it will add market value. The only value I want to add is personal and family memories. I have big plans for this little spot, to make it a heaven for us and our kids and grandkids.

I want to be able to be down with the flu without worrying that I have wasted valuable time. Even time spent sick is valuable, since we learn while we are sick. I learned that I want to have a community and friends that I can count on and that can count on me, who will check on me when I am sick, and tell me about their day and their passions. I want to be happy and content with where I am and who I am. Even when I am sick and miserable or my cabinets are missing three doors and my lilacs are still in the packages.



Remarkable Rockwell: Bibliography


Bushman, Richard Lyman, Joseph Smith; Rough Stone Rolling; A Cultural Biography of Mormonism’s Founder, New York: Vintage Books, 2005.

Clark V. Johnson, ed Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict: Individual Affidavits from the National Archives, (Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center: 1992), (Accessed February 14, 2008).

L’Amour, Louis, Brionne. New York: Batam books, 1968,

Schindler, Harold. Orrin Porter Rockwell; Man of God/ Son of Thunder. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966.

Smith, Joseph. History of the Church, 6 vols. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1978.

Smith, Joseph Fielding. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976.

Remarakable Rockwell: Death of the Prophet part 6

By June of 1844, amid renewed violence and threats once again coming against the Saints, the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper set up to inflame the area against Joseph Smith and the Church in general began circulating. On June 10, 1844, the Nauvoo City council voted to demolish their press for printing libel. Among the destroyers was Rockwell.
Word came that a mob was looking for Joseph Smith with the intent to kill him and sack Nauvoo. Joseph Smith concluded that he must either submit to arrest again and the possibility of being killed, or begin exploring the possibilities of moving the Saints once again, this time to the Rocky Mountains. He left Nauvoo with his brother, Hyrum Smith, and Rockwell and crossed the Mississippi River planning to explore the Rocky Mountains that summer. Joseph’s wife Emma and others from the community accused Joseph of cowardice and abandonment, encouraging him to give himself up to the Governor who had promised Joseph protection. Despite Rockwell’s dissent, on June 25th 1844, Joseph Smith with his brother and Rockwell returned to Nauvoo. Joseph agreed to disarm the city’s militia, gave himself up with a prophecy that he was going to his death, and left Nauvoo for Carthage Jail. He specifically directed Rockwell not to come to Carthage and not to let himself be taken by anyone. Two days later, Joseph was dead. In a sworn statement made by Rockwell, that same afternoon he overheard a group of men speaking to Governor Ford. Rockwell heard one of them say “the deed is done before this time” , after which they fell silent upon seeing Rockwell enter. Rockwell did not yet know what this meant, but finding later that it was the same day that Joseph was killed he interpreted this to refer to the killing. Rockwell was distraught.
Soon the Saints we expelled from Nauvoo and Rockwell accompanied the newly appointed prophet Brigham Young in the first company of Saints to enter the Salt Lake Valley, stopping for the winter in Council Bluffs Nebraska. He served as a tracker, scout, postmaster, hunter and livestock tracker along the way. He even submitted to arrest in an orchestrated stall tactic to allow all the Saints time to escape Nauvoo. Reflecting his growing fame, many of the Saints personal journals mention Rockwell showing up uneventfully in their camps.
Many years later when well-known journalist Fitz Hugh Ludlow came through Utah he met Rockwell. He described Rockwell as “the most interesting man and problem I ever encountered in Utah.” He also records a physical description:
His personal appearance in itself was very striking. His figure was of middle height, and very strongly made; broad across the shoulders, and set squarely on the legs. His arm was of large girth, his chest round as a barrel, and his hand looked as powerful as a grizzly bear’s. His face was of the mastiff type, and [in] its expression, fidelity, fearlessness, ferocity. A man with massive lower jaw, firm mouth, good humored but steady and searching eyes of steel-blue. His hair, black and iron gray in streaks, was gathered just behind the apex of the skull and twisted in a hard round bunch…He was very obliging in his manners; placable, jocose, never extravagant…No one would take him on sight for a man of bad disposition in any sense…In his build he was a gladiator.
During the considerable time Ludlow spent with Rockwell, including a guided tour of the countryside, the only terrorizing Ludlow witnessed was Rockwell, mocking his own reputation, threatening to subjecting him to a real Mormon dinner of sausage and scalding hot gravy and pancakes. Ludlow’s impressions contradicted the popular myth and he comments that Rockwell was “one of the pleasantest murderers I ever met….A strange mixture, only to be found on the American Continent.” Yet, not one to let personal experience ruin a good story, he flagrantly embellished Rockwell’s murderous reputation, gratuitously accusing him of more than forty murders. Rockwell did not appreciate this. Apparently, Ludlow was well aware that sensationalism sells.
During the rest of his life in Utah and surrounding areas, he demonstrated loyalty and honesty towards Brigham Young as well as strangers passing through Utah. When groups came through Utah and asked Brigham Young to help them rectify an injustice, frequently he referred them to Rockwell. Whether livestock had wandered, been stolen or a group needed guidance, Rockwell proved talented, honest, and effective at finding solutions. He returned livestock, captured outlaws, carried mail and guided groups in the mountains and wilderness that was the Utah territory. On more than one occasion his skills were invaluable to Brigham Young.
A great example of the genius of Rockwell occurred in 1863 when he escorted General Connor to Pleasant Grove, Utah, through an area of active Indian hostilities. William H. Seegmiller, on his way to Salt Lake to meet with Brigham Young, disdainfully noted Rockwell socialized with the troops late into the night, as if he had had too much whiskey. To his surprise, early the next day Seegmiller witnessed a sober and well-dressed Rockwell reporting to Brigham Young on the Indian situation in Pleasant Grove. He concluded. “Rockwell lived a double life in the interest of his friends and God’s cause on earth. I will ever remember him with esteem.”
Though he struggled to live according to all the new doctrines taught in the church, Porter Rockwell’s life was not the popular myth that was so feared in the American West. He was an immensely loyal, hardy and effective supporter of the church to which he had committed his life. Significantly, the only time Rockwell shed blood was in self defense, despite the persecutions that surely traumatized his early adult years. On his gravestone is engraved: “He was brave & loyal to his faith, true to the Prophet Jos. Smith, a promise made him by the prophet thro. Obedience was fulfilled.”
LDS leader Joseph F. Smith eulogized, “He had his little faults, but Porter’s life here on earth, taken altogether, was one worthy of example and reflected honor upon the Church. Through all his trials he had never once forgotten his obligations to his brethren and his God.” While Americans seems to love a bloody outlaw story, the real Porter Rockwell, a remarkable protector and defender, was loved by the Saints both during his lifetime and today.

Remarkable Rockwell: Nauvoo part 5

Their home in Caldwell County was not to be the last for the Rockwell’s. In late 1838, the Saints were again violently driven out of their homes, this time from the state, under an infamous extermination order from Governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Rockwell fled with his wife and two daughters. This time the Saints began again in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was early in the establishment of Nauvoo that Rockwell’s father died, in September 1939. Early in this period Rockwell accompanied Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Elias Higbee, and Dr R.D. Foster to petition President Martin Van Buren to help the Saints recover their lost properties from the Missouri persecutions. They carried affidavits from the Saints testifying of the treatment they received and detailing the losses they had suffered. This trip ended in disappointment when Van Buren reportedly declared the cause just but not politically expedient. Rockwell arrived home to Nauvoo in 1840 to a newborn son.
By early 1842 Rockwell’s wife was again pregnant and the family relocated to Independence to be with Luana’s parents until after the baby was born. But in May of that year someone attempted to shoot the former Governor Boggs and the suspicion quickly feel on Rockwell. Rockwell fled leaving Luana in the protection of her family, but was arrested in early 1843 and brought back for trial in Missouri. While traveling in chains to Missouri, Rockwell’s coach, driven by a drunk, crashed into a tree. Rockwell fixed the carriage and the trip went on. The second time the coach crashed, Rockwell offered to drive the rest of the way and did so in his shackles. At the next station Rockwell was promptly lodged in the jail. Finally, in late 1843, after spending nine months freezing and starving in jail, he was tried, but not for shooting Boggs. Instead he was tried for attempting to escape custody. He was found guilty and sentenced to five minutes in jail. After five hours he was released with only the rags on his body and desperately made his way back to Nauvoo.
During Rockwell’s Missouri imprisonment the jailers had often kept him updated on their attempts to capture Joseph Smith. At one point they offered to reward him with anything he asked and protection if he would help them capture him. With typical Rockwell loyalty he responded “I’ll see you all damned first, and then I won’t.” Rockwell’s concern for the safety of the Prophet increased when he overheard the conspirators talking about someone inside the church leadership who was helping them. As soon as Rockwell rejoined Joseph Smith he informed him of the threat of a traitor. Joseph Smith asked Rockwell to be his bodyguard. The two would rarely be separated from then until the Prophets death.

Remarkable Rockwell: Danite part 4

In 1838 Rockwell signed a document that would be tauted as proof of his membership in a violent secretive band called Danites. The document does not assert that the signatories were part of any group other than the Far West community, but the nature of the document inspired the imaginations of the enemies of the church. The document was presented to some former members of the church that were bitterly critical of Joseph Smith yet were still residing among the Saints. This created resentments in the faithful members of the community. They wanted these “apostates” to leave and go elsewhere so as not to poison their covenant community. A document was drawn up telling them they must leave the community and contained veiled threats of retribution if they did not leave. Though semi-illiterate, Rockwell’s X was included in the eighty three signatures.
This list is commonly believed to be a list of the legendary Danites. The term Danites is understood completely differently by the two opposing sides of the debate, so as to make the debate unnecessarily complicated. The Saints used the term to refer to the Book of Daniel in which Daniel interprets Nebachadnezzar’s dream of the statues made of various metals and then smashed by a rock cut without hands. Detailed in the letters and journals of A.P. rookwood, the community organized a public group whose task it was to provide for the destitute victims of the violence. Their task was to help the victims find, repair or build homes, acquire and distribute food and provide protection from the random mob violence.
Encouraged by former Mormon Simpson Avaard, the would-be-leader of this Danite band, the enemies of the church imagined a violent bloodthirsty and powerful band of men bound by secret oaths and vowing retribution upon apostates and those who exposed the group’s dark secrets. Temporarily trusted by church leaders, Avaard did try to organize such an order with promises that the church leadership approved of his actions. However, his success was short lived when members began to question his tactics of murder, robbery and intimidation, and members began to revolt. Exposed for his treachery, he then fled the church and joined the Missourians who persecuted the Saints. He exposed the bloody acts he envisioned for the band while conveniently shifting all blame to Joseph Smith. Even the vengeful Missourians saw through his self serving tales. In the end, Avaard was not even credible enough to help in the eventual legal case against Joseph Smith. However, they were exactly what the gossips needed to build up a fantastic reputation for Porter Rockwell. Newspapers and rumors would carry these tales far and wide chasing Rockwell until his death. Fear of the Danites was rampant among the non-Mormon population and the Saints capitalized on this fear for their self defense.

Remarkable Rockwell: Persecution part 3

As a result of this conflict, Missouri Governor Dunklin was persuaded that the Mormons, in league with the Indians, had ambushed Independence and he allowed the state militia to be used by the mob leaders. Duplicitously, Lt. Governor Lilburn Boggs, accompanied by the Missouri militia, proposed that if the Saints would turn over their guns, they would be allowed to live in peace. However, after surrendering their guns, the mob turned on them with renewed violence until the men were being hunted and women and children were driven through November ice and snow on foot, some barefoot, across the Missouri river into Clay County. The Missouri mobs were not satisfied with the pace and began to beat unarmed fleeing Saints. Lyman Wight, a contemporary of Rockwell, lamented the trail of blood from the feet of the women and children. This was to be the first trial of Rockwell’s forbearance and loyalty to his faith.
Rockwell with his wife and infant daughter fled to Clay County, Missouri with the twelve hundred now homeless Saints still hoping that their rights could be restored in Jackson County. Those hopes were dashed when Governor Dunklin reneged on his promise to restore the Saints to their Jackson County lands, suggesting that the case should go through the very courts run by their persecutors. After only three years in Clay County, the community of Saints was similarly violently expelled. Rockwell, with his wife and now three year old daughter Emily, fled again in 1836 to settlements in Caldwell County.

Remarkable Rockwell: Missouri part 2

Rockwell was baptized on April 6th 1830, the same day that Joseph Smith organized the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). The next year, he left New York to gather to Missouri with other Saints. There he operated a ferry on the Big Blue River, twelve miles west of Independence, Missouri with his father. Here Rockwell courted and married Luana Beebe on February 2nd, 1832 in the first LDS wedding in the area. In 1833, the Church held its regular semi-annual conference there and Rockwell’s first child, a daughter named Emily was born. Shortly after these events, all hell broke loose in Jackson County Missouri. Enemies of the new church began mockingly calling them “Mormons”, while members called themselves Saints. Rockwell’s signed affidavit detailing the persecutions in Missouri, tells of Rockwell encountering men on his ferry who boasted “of entering into resolutions to drive the Mormons from the County”. On similar occasion, Rockwell again overheard a mob crossing the river bragging about how they had just torn down the Mormons printing press and scattered the type being prepared by W.W. Phelps to publish the church’s book of covenants. These men also bragged about viciously tarring and feathering Bishop Edward Partridge and Charles Allen, a barbaric practice of pouring hot tar over bare, often beaten and raw, flesh and coating the victim in feathers. Rockwell and his father were then menacingly threatened by these men that if they would not renounce their doctrine and religious faith as Mormons they “would share the same fate.” Rockwell names some of these men in his affidavit including “Col Bower, Isaac McCoy, missionary of the Indians, and Cummings, Indian agent” among other prominent community leaders. Soon, Rockwell personally witnessed their zeal.
He described an October night in 1833 in which a mob, disguised as Indians, pulled women and children from their homes, one woman by her hair, terrified and scattered children, and threatened women with tortures and death if they did not reveal the whereabouts of missing men. They then pulled down several homes and destroyed their household goods. The mob beat men they caught, while constantly firing a gun, leaving them for dead. Rockwell’s home, the third to be torn down in this area was devastated. His sister went to the men and begged them to “be so kind as not to destroy the goods.” Her request was poorly received. The mobber met her with a blade and an offer to “cut her throat from ear to ear.” Rockwell also observed Missourian Hugh L. Brazeale brag that “he would wade to his knees in blood but what he would drive the Mormons from the county if he could get but ten men to follow him.” Brazeale would die trying.
Despite continual violence, Rockwell and the Mormon men did not fight back until one night mobbers held the women and children hostage, threatening them if they would not reveal where the men had gone. A small group of men rode frantically to stop the mob and engaged them in battle. Here, the braggadocios Brazeale perished.

Remarkable Rockwell part 1

Orrin Porter Rockwell died in 1878, while awaiting a trial and popularly accused of numerous murders at the bidding of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He was often called Brigham’s Avenging Angel, Danite Chief, and Mormon Sampson. Mormon persecutors feared him and hated him.
His reputation as a Danite chief, who would rather murder you than look at you, traveled far and wide. As a result, Rockwell’s acquaintance was sought out by curious contemporary explorers traveling through Utah. Nineteenth century novels began to include him and his legendary reputation in their stories. Even into the twentieth century, popular western novelist Louis L’Amour makes use of this reputation in one of his novels:
Shall we string them up? I hear that’s the thing to do out here. Or shall we take them down to Brigham’s boys? I have a feeling that Porter Rockwell would know just what to do with them.
Even some modern LDS authors include Rockwell’s reputation in their stories. Lee Nelson, who finished Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer among the Indians, includes Porter Rockwell’s reputation and activities during the Mormon War in Utah. In his obituary published in the Salt Lake Tribune he is described as avenger-in-chief, a bloody instrument, a fitting agent to lead in scenes of blood, a brutal, lawless, fanatical, vociferating maniac and accused of murder for profit, murder for revenge, murder of apostates, murder of mere sojourners for simple relevance, and finally guilt driven public drunkenness. Reminiscent of the biblical character Sampson, who received excessive strength until his hair was cut; Joseph Smith prophesied and promised Rockwell in 1843 “cut not thy hair and no bullet or blade can harm thee”. None ever did.
Yet his reputation was in complete opposition to the truth of his life. Rockwell was born in 1813. His family lived near Joseph Smith’s family in Palmyra, New York, and he was profoundly fond of Joseph Smith. He knew firsthand of Joseph Smith’s stories of visions of God, angels, and gold plates and was eager to aid in the publication of the translation of those plates; the Book of Mormon. Unbidden, Rockwell, though young, spent his limited free time picking and selling berries and firewood, giving all the proceeds to Joseph Smith for the project. This small youthful act would set the true pattern for Rockwell’s life of loyalty to this newfound Prophet and faith...


LDS Publishing

I'm taking back my recommendation to read "America In Danger" by Stephen Studdert. I haven't even read the first 50 pages and I'm ready to pull my hair out! Unfortunately this is not the first time I’ve bought a book with a compelling title and subject, only to find that the author neglected to use a proofreader, or even take a writing class! I am beginning to wonder if the author really did work for the government like he claims. If he had such high positions and couldn’t even proofread and write a tight paragraph, we really are in trouble. He repeats almost word for word his claims and vague assertions over and over without ever giving any details. This book is disorganized, repetitious, opinion without any support, low credibility, and odd facts from all over the place. This is the third book I’ve bought and found to be atrociously written. The crazy thing is that these books were good and valuable ideas. The publishers probably didn’t even read the manuscript. How could they print and sell such poorly created books? The days where you could trust a book at the bookstore to be at least proofread are over. Self publishing has created published authors who aren’t ready to be published. The publishers should have turned them down and referred them to a ghostwriter or editor. .


WOW! I Need To Lighten Up

I have been looking at blogs from others in my ward and area. I am way to serious here. I have been too serious about the things in my life. I need to throttle back and get some more humor. I promise I will try to be more lighthearted and less depressed and stressed out. I need to remember that S.M.I.L.E. scripture. "To be Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal." School and politics are temporary concerns. Even though they are important and they drive me crazy, there is so much more to enrich our lives. Go check out my list of other bloggers to counteract my pessimism and complaining! I'll start with this..... Grab a kleenex you'll need it when you roll on the floor laughing...

The Atonement

Our Bishop's wife spoke in Sacrament meeting around New Years. She gave an excellent talk. I wanted to post it here but she didn't have it written and I didn't get around to writing it down. However... my wonderful visitng teacher did!. So, go see her excellent post here..


The Libertarian Candidate

So I read this guys statement on where he stands and this quote about sums it up:
"I will end the Nanny State. I will give personal responsibility back to the American people. The decisions on how to live your lives are yours. The decision on vaccinations for your children is yours. The decision on what to eat is yours. The decision on what to watch on your computer or television is yours. The decision to own a gun is yours. The decision to smoke or drink or gamble is yours. The decision to wear a helmet on a motorcycle is yours- as long as you accept personal responsibility. The job of government is not to protect you from yourself. Or to prosecute victimless crimes. Big Brother will no longer be open for business under my watch."
--Wayne Allyn Root

I can agree with him on most of it - more than I agree with or trust McCain anyway- and those things I think he's a little too far out there on are better than where we are headed now anyway! He may have my vote.....

Exxon Mobil Needs a Hug (not a tree)

If only more people knew where all that Big Oil money went.......


Steps of Revelation

(1 Nephi 11) After Nephi heard his father tell his family about his vision of the tree of life, Nephi believed. This is the first step. Then he prayed and asked to see the vision himself. He acted on that belief. That is faith. The payoff was his own personal revelation. He saw not only the vision but was given an explanation of the vision and visions of his posterity, American History and the Last Days. Nephi progressed from hearing to believing, to motivating faith, to a vision. That's the process of personal revelation.
It doesn't have to be so dramatic, but it can be just as powerful as a vision when you feel the Spirit testify of truth to you. It is a life altering experience and we must be ready for it or God won't burden us with it. If he did he would be condemning us, because God makes us accountable for our knowledge.
What a wonderful plan God has given us. We aren't expected to be perfect. How freeing that is to the perfectionist in me. He will teach me line upon line and I will be nourished along until I am ready. Perfection simply is not be expected of me yet.

You've GOT To Be Kidding: Chertoff scolded for lack of staff's diversity

This article just left me with my jaw on the floor. Democrats are worried about National Security and what a failure they think we have had in Homeland Security. These two clowns think that the fact that we've had no more attacks in the last seven years means nothing? How do you get better than that? These men ought to be thanking Mr. Chertoff and his staff rather than scolding them for lacking "diversity"!!! Give me a flipping break! Talk about a ridiculous waste of Chertoff's time! These Congressmen ought to be in kindergarten so they can whine without wasting our time and money! This is where we are headed folks -too much political correctness, not enough political courage. This is just sooooooo stupid!

Just Another of Nicole's Blogs

Ok, so my book lists were getting too long for my general blog. This is the place for me to discuss good quality books that will help American's get a real education. College education is merely an indoctrination. The only thing they offer of value is the discussion and practice.

Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet

Finding Faith in Jesus Christ

"What manner of man is this, thaat even the winds and the seas obey him? This video on the LDS church's new website dedicated to Jesus Christ is AWESOME! It has a multi media section that has church video's including the one called "Finding Faith in Christ." It opens with the scene on the water, in the storm, where the Apostles ask him "carest Thou not that we persih" as they paniced at the storm. The Lord respondes by calming the storm. It gives me goosebumps!


Why Republican's Should Never Trust Their Candidates

Did you trust George Bush? I did. Notice the past tense. After his handout of Prescription Drugs I got past that. I am a loyal Republican because I believe in the ideals of the Party. But it seems more and more that the candidates from the GOP don't believe them. Sure they spout them in election years, but the proof is in the pudding right?
I settled on Mitt Romney about a month before he "suspended" his campaign. I might have trusted him because he shares my faith, and that strongly, I believe. But not enough to give him free reign. Not enough to turn off my brain and sit back and never pay attention again. I'll never do that again. That went out the door when Clinton was elected. I've been paying attention since then.
I srongly dislike John McCain. Mostly because of campaign finance reform. I beleive it was unecessary and Unconstitutional. Rather than cleaning up with new laws we should have cleaned up with new politicians. It was a demonstration of Ben Franklin's wisdom regarding a moral people upholding freedom while an immoral people require bondage.
I do not trust McCain. But it looks like he will get the nomination and I will reluctantly and with a clothespin in my nose vote for him (maybe- not sure yet). But I will never trust another politician. And I believe that is as it should be. Power corrupts remember? Good people make mistakes. They should never feel like they have a blank check of trust from their consituents.I grid like lock!


Why Do Homosexuals Hate Diversity?

Why do homosexuals hate diversity? I thought we were striving for diversity in America? Homosexuals by definition exclude on a gender basis in their love relationships. It is rumored that they even may hate the opposite sex. So they are all bigots according to the modern definition. There is no equal opportunity in their highly monogamous love lives. Those who are fighting for redefining marriage to mean any two people who feel like having sex, they are discouraging the progress of women who have traditionally had power in society by subjugating a male. By excluding half the population from their marriage opportunities they are dismantling millennia of diverse marriages between the two types of humankind.
We cannot let them win! Stand for diversity! Stand for empowering women through traditional marriages! We must condemn this narrow minded movement in America. After all our diversity is what makes us strong, right......?


Aristotle and Choices

Aristotle uses the term voluntary which seems to correlate more with our modern idea of choice. He understands that actions done in ignorance or from compulsion do not stem from an individual’s choices. For instance, acts of racism are often blamed on ignorance. However lies we tell ourselves cannot properly be termed ignorance. True ignorance might be a situation where someone does not have information that would change the action they take. For instance if one is driving and enters an intersection not knowing that the truck coming the other way has lost his brake power he acts from ignorance. Compulsion offers an interesting qualification. If a man told me he would rape my daughter unless I did some immoral act would I do it? Would it not be my choice to act even in this case? I have the power to act or not act in this case. However, if I were tied up and dragged to a place, I am not choosing to move to that location. There is a point that compulsion takes away choice or makes actions involuntary, but it may not be as we sometimes believe. If we are the agent of action, or we act on our own power to do something that another cannot do or will not do whether we are ignorant or being compelled, we must determine if we actually do have the choice to do the opposite. If we do have the opposite choice we may be assured that our actions are voluntary. It all rests on that power to act being taken from us.

When is Good Good?

The possession of a good will makes all other virtues good. The possession of good talents such as bravery, or wealth can be used for evil as easily as for good. A brave man may use his bravery to pursue evil ends such as if he shoots a police officer to prove his bravery to his fellow gang members. This shows that bravery, of overcoming our fear to act, can be evil. We all know bravery can be good, for example a man who saves a drowning child who has broken through some ice. The difference in these two uses of the characteristic is that one had a good will while the other did not. The good man did not want to drown or freeze personally, but his desire to save the child, overrode his aversion to these consequences of his actions. Whether the child actually lived or not does not change the fact that the man acted righteously. The consequence does not make the act good or bad. The will of the man makes it good.
Because the common virtues we hold dear can also be used for evil purposes, we cannot say that the mere act that displays the virtue is always good. Conversely characteristics typically thought of as negative can also be good. Stubbornness is one example. A child can be stubborn about getting a piece of candy and can cause his mother to be greatly embarrassed, while a stubborn child can also persist in showing love to an indifferent parent. The good will of the second child to show love to another person, makes the characteristic of stubbornness a positive trait.
These acts done when it is not convenient or rewarding are a beacon to others to the goodness of the actor. The goodness of our acts is visible to us and brings us happiness. We know we did well when it was difficult and unrewarding to ourselves. We act as we wish others to act towards us when we have a good will. This qualifies the will as good and the only thing beneficial to society without exception.

Hedonism and Pigs

If by calling Mill’s theory hedonism, one means the elevation of bodily or physical pleasure above all else, he has in my view misinterpreted Mills assertion of the theory of utility. Mill likens hedonism to the satisfaction of a pig in his pleasures. He says “a beast’s pleasures do not satisfy a human being’s conceptions of happiness.” In fact he speaks of “the pleasures of the intellect, of the feelings and imagination, and of moral sentiments as much higher value as pleasures than to those of mere sensation.” He asserts that it is better to be a dissatisfied human than a satisfied animal. Mill did not stand for a hedonistic theory of utility.
According to Mill, the theory of utility has as its ultimate object the happiness of mankind, or Eudaimonism, a much different standard than the mere gratification of physical appetite. Not only this, but he asserts that those who are enslaved by these physical appetites will misguidedly pursue them to their own injury in opposition to the happiness sought by men free from such invisible bondage. (pg 10) They lose the ability to experience any pleasure beyond the bodily or physical pleasures that they share with pigs. Some examples of this kind of indulgence are gluttony, sexual perversions and addictions, drugs, and laziness. This kind of indulgence is what is commonly referred to as hedonism and is an undesirable outcome for John Stuart Mill.

Ethanol: Burning our Food

In an effort to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, namely Middle Eastern nations from whom we buy oil, President Bush, called for a reduction in our use of foreign sources of oil. The White House believes that the use of ethanol can replace up to thirty percent of foreign oil use by 2012. (Bush). Later, in his 2007 State of the Union speech, President Bush introduced the specific goal of reducing U.S. gasoline consumption by twenty percent in ten years. He proposed creating “mandatory fuel standards to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017.” While not explicitly stated, the President was thinking about the use of ethanol. Ethanol blended with gasoline is already used in some gas stations. In order to draw attention to its use, President Bush made a trip to Brazil, which is already a heavy user and producer of ethanol. Since then, ethanol research and development has exploded on the American scene. But the question remains, will ethanol use remove our dependence on foreign oil producers? And how will our economy be affected by using a significant food source for energy production?
So what is ethanol? According to the American Coalition for Ethanol, “ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn.” Ethanol is produced “similar to beer and hard alcohol,” when “the corn is ground and mixed with enzymes to break it down… Yeast is added, creating alcohol, carbon dioxide and the scent of a brewery.” One farm in Arizona, Pinal Energy, decided to build an ethanol refinery nearby and hopes to sell its product within Arizona. (Randazzo). The ethanol is then blended with gasoline to create either E10, a ten percent ethanol ninety percent gasoline mix, or E85 an eighty-five percent ethanol fifteen percent gasoline blend.
Some groups are trying to create a “super ethanol” from waste sources such as “sewage sludge, switchgrass, plant stalks, trees, even coal -- virtually anything that contains carbon.” (Heargraves). Native prairie grasses grown on degraded farmlands can improve soils, and require less energy to grow and harvest. The technology is not as far advanced for these sources as it is for corn, but creating fuel from our waste has obvious benefits.
The processes used to make corn ethanol have been criticized for creating more demand for energy than they satisfy. Consuming energy in the production process, farmers must plant, fertilize, irrigate and harvest the corn using machinery that requires fuel. The corn must then be transported to refineries, refined, and transported to fuel stations using more energy. Ethanol cannot be transported through pipelines without degrading and therefore must be transported by truck.
Many U.S. citizens believe that because it is domestically produced, from renewable resources, ethanol helps reduce America's dependence upon foreign sources of energy. This has been called into question by some experts. By some estimates, the process of growing and making ethanol will realize only a 20 % energy savings for the gasoline replaced. But others point to innovations in farming to claim that this is an inaccurate figure. Farming practices are always evolving more efficient practices like any other industry and some estimates of the energy derived from corn based ethanol do not take this into account. The claims very widely with some saying it will save energy while others claim ethanol use will cost us more energy. The technology for making ethanol and growing corn seems to be constantly evolving and many producers are trying new methods.
In addition, the fuel efficiency of ethanol blends have been called into question by the Detroit News Weekly. "Cars modified to run on E85, consume on average between 20 and 30 percent more fuel than those operating on gasoline.” (Winton). Comparing these cars to those that run on diesel gasoline, we find that burning E85 “will use almost 50 percent more fuel.”
Arco currently blends its fuel with ethanol creating a ten percent ethanol mixture. They report on their website that this increases the savings to their customers. Another benefit they stress is that this is a renewable domestic source. However they acknowledge that the product results in a one to three percent loss in fuel economy. Thus the ten percent savings in oil consumption that would seem to be the result of selling E10 should be reduced to take into account the more frequent fill ups that customers will require. This ten percent blend seems good on the surface by reducing our consumption of foreign oil, but it needs to be tempered by the reduced utility of the blend.
The jury is still out on whether ethanol use will benefit America. Until ethanol’s production processes are settled and fuel efficiency is studied there is not really an accurate way to anticipate whether President Bush’s goal of twenty percent reduction in foreign sources of oil will be realized.
In the meantime, the side effects of producing energy from corn, a significant food crop, are beginning to surface in our economy. In anticipation of high demand for corn, and therefore high corn prices, corn farmers are planting corn everywhere. The USDA expects farmers “to plant 90.5 million acres of corn, the largest area since 1944 and 12.1 million acres more than in 2006.” That is a fifteen percent increase in corn acres over 2006. Ag Weekly in June reported that “corn prices [hit] above $4 a bushel several times this year, compared with a 10-year average price of about $2.50 a bushel.” (Villagran). When supply is short of demand, as is currently the case with corn, the shortage will drive up the price levels, and therefore profits, for corn farmers. A dramatic increase in the amount of corn supplied will be necessary to meet the anticipated demand for ethanol. So far, increased production has not been enough to avoid price level increases. According to the Washington Post, “If every one of the 70 million acres on which corn was grown in 2006 was used for ethanol, the amount produced would displace only 12 percent of the U.S. gasoline market.” (Tillman, Hill).This is short the twenty percent goal of the Bush Administration and would not provide corn for any of its many current uses. Corn is used in many food products from corn syrup based products like soda and candy, to feeding animals for meat and dairy products. In the future, more arable land needs to be developed to meet the increased demand, but for now the affect has been to substitute corn for other crops in existing fields to try to fill the shortage.
In anticipation of higher profits, corn is displacing rice, cotton and soybeans in fields. The USDA reports a fifteen percent reduction in soybean planting this year, seven percent reduction in rice, and eleven percent less soybeans. This practice has upset equilibrium prices across the economy by upsetting supplies of these resources resulting in higher prices for products such as clothing, and soy products. Even Starbucks has seen costs go up as milk prices rise. (Sullivan). Until the supply of corn becomes stable, prices will to be affected in many areas not anticipated by average Americans. This kind of ripple will continue until a new equilibrium is found.
So will ethanol use reduce our dependence on foreign oil for energy? It appears that with the current fad of corn based ethanol it could, but at a high cost to other necessary products we buy. It is becoming apparent that its use will not save us money. However, innovations are abundant and may provide the answer to the problem. In balancing our need for food and fuel, the market will eventually settle on a favorite product that will satisfy the demands currently placed on it by our government and Americans who want affordable food production and to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.


American Coalition for Ethanol. “Ethanol 101”. Ethanol Today Magazine. Accessed 7 July 2007. .

Arco Gasoline FAQ. Accessed 20 July 2007. categoryId=16002950&contentId=7023062>.

Bohrer, Becky. “Louisiana cotton acres about half as corn draws attention.”Ag Weekly. 3 July 2007. Accessed 7 July 2007. /crop/crop35.txt>.

Hargreaves,Steve. “Super Ethanol on its Way.” CNN 26 June 2006. Accessed 7 July 2007. version=2006062909>.

Tillman, David. Hill, Jason. “Corn Can’t Solve Our Problem”. Washington Post. 25 March 2007. Accessed 7 July 2007. 03/23/AR2007032301625_pf.html >..

Oxford Analytica. “Ethanol Boom Requires Careful Management.” 9 March 2007. Accessed 7 July 2007. .

Randazzo, Ryan. “Corn to fuel, Arizona facility brews new ethanol.” The Arizona Republic. 23 July 23 2007. Accessed 24 July 2007. business/articles/0723biz-ethanol0724-ON.html>.

U.S. “President Bush delivers State of the Union.” January 2007. Accessed 10 July 2007. .

Sullivan,Todd. “How Ethanol Hurts Starbucks”. 18 May 2007. Accessed 10 July 2007. .

U.S. Government. USDA. “Corn Acres Expected To Soar In 2007, USDA says Ethanol, Export Demand Lead to Largest Planted Area in 63 Years.” 30 March 2007. Accessed 24 July 2007. .

Villagran, Lauren. “Soybean prices hit daily trading limit.” Ag Weekly. 29 June 2007. Accessed 7 July 2007.

Winton. Neil. “Diesel efficiency likely to trump even subsidized ethanol.” Detroit News Weekly. 3 July 2007. Accessed 7-7-7. 20070703/AUTO02/707030301/1148/AUTO01>.

Handcart pioneers

During the 1830s through the 1880s, many Americans moved west into the frontier in familiar covered wagons, or Conestoga wagons, pulled by teams of oxen. Early in this period, members of the newly-formed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were driven from their homes by violent threatening mobs. Often these Mormon pioneers used covered wagons as they fled from New York to Ohio, then to Missouri and finally to Illinois. In the late 1840s the bulk of the members finally fled the borders of the United States to move over the Rocky Mountains to the Salt Lake Valley. By this time the church was sending missionaries all over America and overseas to European countries to spread the gospel. Those who joined the church in Europe did not escape persecution, and many of them lived in virtual poverty. Brigham Young, President of the Church, encouraged these new members to gather in America to build up a Zion society. Their Zion was the Salt Lake Valley, thousands of miles away, and from 1856-1860, the method of transportation over plains and mountains was handcarts.
Many thousands of these European Mormons wanted to migrate to Salt Lake City, but there were obstacles. It was very costly to come so far making it nearly impossible for many of them who were barely scraping out an existence in England, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, and other places. In order to travel so far, they needed to travel to a port city, sail to America, and ride trains, ferries, and steamships to the edge of the frontier before striking out through the plains and over the Rocky Mountains, carrying with them all that they owned, wore, and ate. Creating problems for them on their arrival to the frontier, many immigrants had never even seen oxen before and did not know how to handle them. Wagons and oxen were expensive and after almost a decade of settlement, the Salt Lake Valley was overflowing with wagons and oxen making them an almost worthless asset on arrival. New settlers no longer needed to bring a future supply of food to sustain them through their first harvest.
In order to overcome the cost of traveling so far, the Perpetual Emigration Fund, began operating in England in 1850 as method for funding this poverty stricken people with small loans to pay for the travel and supplies. To repay these loans, the beneficiaries would work on public projects such as building roads and irrigation systems, or they could pay cash when they began earning a living. Funded through donations , the PEF provided the means for 85,000 people to enter America and the Salt Lake Valley between 1852 and 1887. But in 1855 the lean harvest in the Salt Lake Valley created a tight money situation there.
In 1856, after years of using traditional wagons to gather the Saints, Brigham Young needed to try something new. He decided to try providing small handcarts for people to push and pull overland. Since large amounts of baggage and supplies were not necessary, the idea was to make lighter, less expensive carts in order for the people to carry their food supplies for the trail and bring over their belongings. They were hand drawn in order to get to the Salt Lake Valley quickly and without cumbersome oxen. According to Utah History Encyclopedia, the handcarts “resembled carts pulled by porters in large cities. The carts had hickory or oak wagon beds and hickory shafts, side pieces, and axles. Wheels were as far apart as normal wagon wheels.” These groups were able to travel faster than the traditional wagon groups, sometimes covering more than 20 miles on a good day according to many company journals.
In order to avoid overloading the small carts, “adults could take only seventeen pounds of baggage, children ten pounds. Families with small children traveled in covered or family carts which had stronger axles made of iron.” Family carts tolerated the added weight of tired children who periodically needed to ride on the carts. The church established re-supply points at Fort Laramie and Fort Bridger along the 1300 mile trail, allowing them to reduce the heavy food that they needed to carry. “Each cart carried 400 to 500 pounds of foodstuffs, bedding, clothing, and cooking utensils, and needed two able-bodied people to pull it. Five people were assigned to each cart.” But even with this system, there was never enough food and clothing so the people were sometimes cold and always hungry. Food was often rationed in order to last them until they could obtain more.
The railroads brought the immigrants as far as Iowa City and after 1859 to Florence, Nebraska, where they were outfitted with handcarts and tents for the long walk and educated on trail living. Most of these immigrants had never been in such unsettled wide open spaces, nor had they been so far from urban areas. Many of them were former industrial workers and some did not know any English. A few had been coal miners who rarely saw the light of day. Coming from cramped cities, they did not know how to build campfires, put up tents, fix handcarts or cook over fires . These skills were perfected in Iowa City and Florence and perfected along the extensive trail.
Handcart groups were arranged into companies. There were ten handcart companies between 1856 and 1860, providing almost 3000 people the means to join the rest of the Saints in Salt Lake. Five of the ten companies crossed in 1856. Organization was important to a successful journey. As with earlier Mormon wagon companies, each handcart company organized itself by hundreds with a “captain of hundred” at the head. Each hundred was further organized into tents of twenty people, with about five people or a family assigned to each cart. These captains were to watch over the people in their groups and all were expected to help whenever they could, even sharing their resources with each other. Some ox-driven wagons escorted the handcart companies as baggage and provision transportation with one wagon per twenty carts.
The route these pioneers took, known as the Mormon Trail, broke off from the Oregon Trail and followed its own route through Nebraska and Wyoming into Utah. “The route followed the Platte, North Platte, and Sweetwater rivers across the Great Plains to South Pass, in Wyoming, and then turned southwest and crossed the Wasatch Range, passing through Echo and Emigration canyons.” Some of the rivers had sandy bottoms and required great exertion for the people to pull the loaded carts through. They crossed the Platte River often, and pushed and pulled over bluffs and loose, sandy roads. As they ascended to higher elevations, the weather often became very cold. Rocky Ridge was an especially cold, brutal pass strewn with rocks and steep inclines , which often broke carts and exhausted the people. Upon entering the Salt Lake Valley the new arrivals were taken in to the homes of the Mormons there and given time to rest, heal, and get their strength back.
Throughout these years the immigrants worked hard to make the handcart program a success. Ultimately, using handcarts to cross the plains was short-lived, ending in 1860. Various other methods were employed and by 1869 most immigrants moved west via the newly constructed transcontinental railroad . But the handcart program was an answer to the many problems of poverty and persecution facing thousands of European Mormons, who wanted to gather to the Salt Lake Valley during these years. It also provided hope to thousands of people and inexperience was no longer a major obstacle. The handcart program allowed the people to escape the persecution they experienced and live in a community with those who believed as they did. Although the trail was difficult and tragedies lined the way, handcarts proved to be an inexpensive and efficient means of crossing the terrain for thousands of these Europeans who wanted to gather to Zion.
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