Sunday, July 09, 2006

Immigration Reform

There is a lot of debate right now on the solution to the number of people coming across the border. There also seems to be a lot of contention between illegal immigrants and American citizens. This contention seems to be spreading into contention between Hispanics in general and other American citizens.

I believe that we do have problems with the large amount of Mexican immigration, especially illegal immigration. The problem I want to comment on today is our response, as American citizens, to it. There are many examples of things we could do to improve our response to Mexican immigration. I will focus on the language barrier.

"They need to learn English"
Let me start out by saying that I believe that if you move to a place where they predominantly speak a different language than you, then you should learn that language. This isn't happening as often or as quickly as it should. Programs or incentives or something for people to do this might help. I do not know. While we work to figure these things out, the problem still remains that there are a large number of people in this country that do not speak English.

We can complain that they don't speak English and we can continue to leave communication between us in an impassable condition or we can do something. If you frequently interact with people who are Hispanic, Korean, Indian, or whatever you could help your situation by learning their language.

America is one of the few countries in the world where the majority of the population isn't fluent in a second language.

My position that we should do what we can to fix the results of a bad situation does not mean that we stop attempting to find a way to eliminate the bad situation. One might look at one's inability to communicate in the language of those around as their problem, but learning other languages than your native language could also do a lot to coexist peacefully.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Better to Obey than to Sacrafice

Today while I was reading 1 Sam 15 I noticed
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

It was good timing since I had just watched the Da Vinci Code. One of the characters that went around murdering and such, but at night would pray and whip himself to either atone for his sins or to be close to Christ by experiencing what he did.

This movie also made me think about how everyone involved in the quest for the Holy Grail were unhappy. There was so much darkness and contention. Coming to Christ is about peace and light.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

More Death

I saw an interview with Elder Russle M. Nelson who is a retired surgeon and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The article was titled "Death is part of life, ex-surgeon says"

He talked of death being an important part of God's plan.

He talked about people relating to him that they could see him working on their bodies while they were dead before being brought back.

He talked about being "troubled by extraordinary efforts to prolong life "that are unreasonable,""

He touched on something that I commented previously about in my Death post. The article talked about that "Those who mourn fulfill God's command, he said, to love each other sufficiently that they shall weep for those who die.""

Elder Nelson states, "Is the veil thin (between life and death)? Absolutely. They are not far away from us."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oil Prices Rant

With Exxon posting record profits it has brought me back to a rant I have had for several years as I have seen several oil companies posting record profits.
Some would argue that we would cheer on a company in a different industry if they made profits like this, even if their product is more expensive. The problem is that we can't choose not to buy gas for the most part. They could charge us anything they wanted to. I pay for the gas not just for my car, but also for the gas of companies that I buy other products and services from, since they are forced to raise their prices when gas prices are up. Unfortunately I don't get to charge my employer a higher rate if gas goes up in price.
The auto companies are being slow to get alternate fuel vehicles to market. The gas-electric cars are such fluff. You are still using gas and not really using that much less of it.
Where is the competition? Where are my choices?
I guess Exxon has more than made back the cost of the clean up of its oil tanker. My guess is that even before gas prices took a spike they made back that cost in the first few weeks after the accident.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I have thought about the concept of forgiveness for a long time. I have seen people screaming that a person must be punished by the legal system for something they did to them or their family. I have heard them saddened because the punishment was not severe enough. It has made me think about how I would respond to something that was done against me or my family. I really want to be a forgiving person, but how would I act if it happened to me.

Do people really feel better when they have gotten revenge or is it never enough? Does it just leave them bitter inside?

Is the purpose of the legal system to exact revenge on criminals? Is it to only punish them? What good have we done if we just punish people? Do the people that were wronged really feel better after the person has the punishment enacted on them? Does their bitterness go away?

I have been reading about the woman who was hit by a frozen turkey while she was driving and forgave the kid that threw it at her. I then read as people questioned her motivation for forgiving him.

Obviously we can not just let people be unaccountable for their actions, but what good does it do to just punish them and think that is going to enough to make them change their ways? If you have a child do you just punish them without then following up and try to help them understand why what they did was wrong? Would a child that was just punished and had love removed from them grow to want to do better?

Sunday, January 08, 2006


People always want to know WHY. Why did this happen to me? Why would God allow this?

It is for our good. It teaches us things (compassion, patience, and so on). If you were never sick would you appreciate being well? Would you know what warm was if there was not hot and cold? Would we be able to be compassionate if we had never had any trials of our own? What sort of people would we be if all of the adversity was taken from the Earth?


Why is death in our culture such intense sorrow? Is it because it is unexpected? Is it because it is a tradition to be that way? Is it because others around us are being that way? Is it because we don't actually understand death, even though many of us profess to believe in a better life after we die?

What is the difference between someone moving away and someone dieing?
Say my son gets a fantastic job. It pays great. It comes with a beautiful house and he is set for life. The problem is that he is moving somewhere that it will be a long time before I can afford to go visit him and for whatever reason he can’t get back here to me for some time either. Do I fall to my knees and say, “God why have you done this to our family?” I should ask God to share with me his plan for me and show me the good that can come from this experience.

Death is simply a vehicle to another place. A place that we can go someday too. Why do we miss someone so much more when they die than when they move away? In our day of easily transferred text, pictures, and even video does it make moving less painful. In a different age was moving more bitter like death?

I have felt the sting of death that is left with a survivor. I have thought of missing someone who has died grow up and do the things we all have done. I have thought of others that have died and will not see others grow up. Should I be that way? Is not God in control? Has he not designed this mortal existence to be for my good? Will I really have missed out on anything?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grace vs Works

Over the years I have had many conversations with people about being saved by faith. The conversations have tended to end up at "Are we save by grace or by works?" I don't think it is an either/or situation.
One is saved by grace by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior. We accept that grace doing what he has asked us to do. If we don't keep His commandments, then we don't accept Him.
Some might say that men aren't perfect so we can't keep His commandments. One of the things he has asked us to do is repent. If we do that on a daily basis we can get better at keeping the commandments. He knows our hearts.
In the comments I will include scripture references that talk about grace and works.
People tend to make faith synonymous with grace. Doesn't faith indicate action? When the scriptures talk about faith are they talking about grace? There is one that often gets sited about being saved by grace through faith. It talks about not being saved by works because people boast about their works, but that does not mean that faith does not include continual action. We cannot earn our way into Eternal Life, but we must continually strive (do our best) to do what he has asked (keep his commandments). What ever we fall short on his grace makes up the rest, but only if we are striving to keep the commandments.