Friday, December 25, 2015

A Good Time To Reflect

Merry Christmas to all!  I hope that this time of year you can enjoy family and friends regardless of your beliefs.  As the new year draws nigh I hope you will take this time to reflect, recommit, repent, and resolve that the coming year will be better for you, your family, friends, and the world.
As for me and my house, we hope that the light of Christ can be with you and yours.  May all that is good and right be amid your lives always.  Commit to being better prepared, spiritually, mentally, physically, and temporally.  Commit to taking your safety and security into your own hands.  I believe being prepared gives great safety and security so that you can serve others.
This season we should focus on what matters most God, Family, Country, Honor.

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Danites

Danites. The common name for the “Daughter of Zion,” an oath-bound military society organized among the Mormons in Missouri in summer 1838 to defend the LDS church from internal and external opposition. The official name was apparently derived from a passage in the book of Micah: “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” The more common nickname “Danites” was derived from the Israelite tribe of Dan. The society was modeled after the Israelite armies of the Old Testament, with companies of tens and fifties, but it also had officers like those found in state militia organizations. The society’s constitution vested executive authority in Joseph Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency. Joseph Smith attended at least one of the society’s meetings and reportedly expressed approval of its aims, but the precise nature of his involvement with the organization is unclear. The Danites began in connection with the effort to intimidate dissenters into leaving Far West, Missouri. According to its constitution, the society sought to protect the God-given rights of the Latter-day Saints and to resist oppression. It also promoted political candidates favored by the First Presidency and attempted to enforce consecration efforts. Later, in the “Mormon War” of autumn 1838, the term Danites was used interchangeably with armies of Israel to describe Mormon forces generally. The popular notion of the Danites as an enduring secret society of Mormon avengers far outlived the society’s brief existence in summer and autumn 1838.
The above description is from The Joseph Smith Papers ( the LDS Church’s website.
I’ve only done a casual research on the Danites. I know that lots of anti-Mormon people use the Danites as a source to discredit Joseph Smith. They’ll try anything.
I like the thought of the Danites as the “CIA” of the Church. I tend to agree with many who said it was originally a group to defend the Saints during Missouri madness. It was only organized for about 6 months until it was used by a guy named Sampson Avard to do his evil deeds. He sold out the Church and Joseph Smith to save himself so naturally he’s quoted and used as a source.
Contrast Avard with Orrin Porter Rockwell. Rockwell was loyal to the Church and especially to Joseph, until his death. I’m surprised Porter didn’t take out Avard as revenge. I’m not sure of the timing, maybe Porter was in prison at that time.
Porter Rockwell was a Danite but remained loyal. I’m not sure about some of the others. Like I said, I have not really researched it.

The St Louis Era newspaper in 1843 reported that OP Rockwell, arrested under an assumed name, for the attempted murder of Governor Boggs.
Even Porter understood being as stealth as possible and traveled using alias’s.
This is the Society’s Constitution
Whereas, in all bodies laws are necessary for the permanency, safety and well-being of society, we, the members of the society of the Daughter of Zion, do agree to regulate ourselves under such laws as, in righteousness shall be deemed necessary for the preservation of our holy religion, and of our most sacred rights, and the rights of our wives and children. But, to be explicit on the subject, it is especially our object to support and defend the rights conferred on us by our venerable sires, who purchased them with the pledges of their lives and fortunes, and their sacred honors. And now, to prove ourselves worthy of the liberty conferred on us by them, in the providence of God, we do agree to be governed by such laws as shall perpetuate these high privileges, of which we know ourselves to be the rightful possessors, and of which privileges wicked and designing men have tried to deprive us, by all manner of evil, and that purely in consequence of the tenacity we have manifested in the discharge of our duty towards our God, who had given us [those] rights and privileges, and a right in common with others, to dwell on this land. But we, not having the privileges of others allowed unto us, have determined like unto our fathers, to resist tyranny, whether it be in kings or in the people. It is all alike unto us. Our rights we must have, and our rights we shall have, in the name of Israel’s God.
“ART. 1st. All power belongs originally and legitimately to the people, and they have a right to dispose of it as they shall deem fit. But as it is inconvenient and impossible to convince the people in all cases, the legislative powers have been given by them from time to time, into the hands of a representation composed of delegates from the people themselves. This is and has been the law in both civil and religious bodies, and is the true principle.
“ART. 2d. The executive power shall be vested in the president of the whole church and his counsellors.
“ART. 3d. The legislative powers shall reside in the president and his counsellors, together with the generals and colonels of the society. By them all laws shall be made regulating the society.
“ART. 4th. All offices shall be during the life and good behaviour, or to be regulated by the law of God.
“ART. 5th. The society reserves the power of electing all its officers with the exception of the aides and clerks which the officers may need in the various stations. The nomination to go from the presidency to his second, and from the second to the third in rank, and so down through all the various grades, branch or department retains the power of electing its own particular officers.
“ART.6th. Punishment shall be administered to the guilty in accordance to the offense, and no member shall be punished without law, or by any others than those appointed by law for that purpose. The Legislature shall have power to make laws regulating punishments as in their judgment shall be wisdom and righteousness.
“ART. 7th. There shall be a secretary whose business it shall be to keep all the legislative records of the society, and also to keep a register of the names of the members of the society, also the rank of the officers. He shall also communicate the laws to the generals, as directed by laws made for the regulation of such business by the Legislature.
“ART. 8th. All officers shall be subject to the commands of the Captain General given through the Secretary of War. And so all officers shall be subject to their superiors in rank, according to laws made for that purpose.
There are parts of this Constitution that sound like Alma 46:12
“…In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children…”
I am certain the Church does not have a group of Danites anymore. I don’t think they existed for very long in the first place.
Moroni did not like the way he saw some leading away church members. So he decided to remind the people. I think we as church members need to be reminded once in a while. Perhaps this saying applies
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
Richard Grenier
Perhaps it’s time we, as the more “rough men” in the church, should reorganize the Danites.
Joseph Smith Jr., in his letter to Emma Smith, his wife, dated June 27, 1844, the day of his death, wrote, “There is one principle which is eternal; it is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of the household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has a right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety”.
Caution IS the parent of safety.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Building First Aid Kits

A few years ago we were putting together our kids go bags. These 3 kids were in college and living away from home. As we came to their first aid kits we weren’t real sure what we needed to include. I have a YouTube channel that I follow. Nutnfancy is the guy that does videos about outdoor adventure. He reviews guns, knives, and other gear. I highly recommend his channel and videos. His POU (philosophy of use) and mine match up nicely. He did a few videos specifically on first aid kits. First he did a video describing an experience he had with a bad car wreck. From that experience he vowed to never be unprepared in the first area again. He does two other video series on "level 1" and "level 2" kits. The level 1 kit is a one to two person kit. It is small and compact but covers the items that are needed. He focuses on blood stoppers but goes beyond what a store bought kit would be. Store bought kits usually have a lot of band-aids and maybe some aspirin. In his videos he explains why he included each item. I am not going to go through a list but will touch on a few things I feel are important. Like a go bag or 72 hour kit, first aid is up to the individual. Usually the items you would include will match your capabilities and training. If you have had training putting in an IV you would probably want that in your kit. If you know how to suture, you would probably have a suture kit. Make sure you have training and experience with the procedures you are planning for. If you have no training I would strongly suggest you start with a Red Cross course in first aid and CPR. Get trained and stay current. If you have a friend who is a Doctor or Nurse ask them for training. Don’t get too technical but it is good to know when and why you should do a procedure. Learn what can go wrong and how to correct or treat the problem. As was mentioned the Red Cross is a good source of training. Also mentioned were friends who are Doctors or Nurses, EMTs. A Boy Scout Troop might be another source. There are many good books, websites, and videos. Be careful about self-education. Ensure you have good information by checking with a credible source to verify what you’ve learned is actually how it is. Another good YouTube channel that I like is PatriotNurse. She is very informative and does not get too technical. She teaches in layman’s terms and realizes everyone hasn’t had several years of college courses concerning medicine. Also, if you know someone in the military they receive a lot of training in first aid procedures. A combat medic can teach some things that a Doctor would not know. Most Doctors have an office or hospital with equipment and other professionals at their disposal. A combat medic is usually alone and is taught on a level that you and I may experience. If you come upon a car wreck you won’t have a full staff and facility to use in treating the injured. I would highly recommend courses that focus on field first aid. EMT’s and combat medics, first responders if you will; in my opinion have the most practical experience for survival or emergency medicine. As I said above, most doctors and nurses have experience in a controlled environment. Now I’m not saying those professionals are not trained in this type of medicine, many are But many have little or no experience in this type of medicine.

As you put together your kit think about experiences you’ve had with first aid and what you needed. Then look at your skills and training and add those items. Then, think of what you think you may need in the future and add those items. Then get the proper training to support those possible future events. Remember that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Ask those who know about their gear. Find out what professionals use and try to obtain the same items that they use. Buying in bulk is always cheaper. If you need 3X3 surgical pads, find a good price on the internet and buy a bulk amount. You will need them for other kits. We have a kit in every go bag, then one in each vehicle or "get home" bag. You may want one at your place of work or school. There will always be a use for certain bulk items.

Pick a container that can meet your needs. For me it would always be contingent on SWB (size, weight, bulk). Also, how functional is the case, or container? Can you get to everything quickly? Can you find most things in it by sight or do you have to dump out the whole container first? Is it easy to carry? Are things clearly labeled so someone unfamiliar with the kit can use it quickly and efficiently? Is it easily accessed or hard to find? All these and more should be considered when choosing a kit container.

First aid skills will generally not change although some procedures do change, such as CPR. Become trained and practice on occasion. This could be a family activity. To make it real and more fun, employ makeup for real looking wounds. Stick to the basics and don’t try to practice medicine. This is first aid after all. Think of first responders and their job. That is what you become, the first one on the scene.

First Aid skills are probably more important than first aid materials, because you can improvise if you have the knowledge. So get trained. But with that training make sure you know how to use your equipment and materials in your first aid kit. Be familiar with how to use these items so you won’t fumble with them when you have to use them. After your training is getting your kit together so you have the items that will make your knowledge applicable to the emergency you are responding to.

Put together a list that fit with your skills. Remember that others may have some skills you may not have. Once you get a list, start putting together the items in your container of choice. When I did this I considered SWB (size, weight, bulk). If your budget doesn’t allow buying products all at once, put it together a little at a time. Maybe a few items a month. Make sure you write this all down and set your goal. Then keep track of your progress. In no time at all you will see kits being built. You may want to put temporary items in your kit until you can purchase what you really want. Such as scissors. Put in what you have until you get what you want.

This is truly a labor of love because these first aid kits may save the life of you or your loved ones one day.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kids Skills

Teaching your kids is an important responsibility. As you are, they will be. Make no mistake, they will do similar, if not the exact, things that you do. Even if you tell them not to do something, and they see your example as the opposite, they will follow your example.
It doesn’t have to be stressful, “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Even with preparedness. Teach them preparedness and self-sufficiency. That means you must practice the same.
Here are 5 skills you should teach them.
Gun Safety (Wouldn’t you know I’d start with a gun?)
Start with the Basics: Start by talking to your kids about the basic rules. If they ever find a gun, they should not touch it but should get away and tell an adult immediately.
Test and Retest: If possible, test your kid. Place a real-looking replica of a firearm somewhere in the home where your kid will see it when you're not in the room. They should come tell you about the gun. If they don't, use that opportunity for more instruction. Do NOT use a real gun!
Ask About Unsecured Guns: Before your kids go to a friend's house do two things. 1) Review the safety skills with your kids and 2) Ask the parents if they have guns in their home and, if they do, ask how they store their guns. If you're not comfortable with the answer, have your kids' friends come to your house instead.
Simulate Peer Pressure: If you have teens, add peer pressure to the scenarios. Role play another teen trying to convince your teen to pick up the gun. Make the peer pressure seem real and encourage your teen to practice, even if your teen thinks it is "silly."
You must decide at what age you start teaching in more detail. I think your kids should know how to shoot. I started at age 8. A BB gun is a good starter. I shot many .22’s until I was about 12. By then I knew the adult safety rules and had practiced them. I had also shot real guns so when I shot higher caliber guns I was ready. These guns were both pistols and rifles.
This actually happened to one of my kids when they were a teen. They did pick up the gun. They cleared it and made it safe. I told them that may not be the best thing if the gun was used in a crime, but at least it was safe and they knew what to do to make it that way.
A lost child is a scared child, and usually their first instinct is to begin searching for their family. Train your children to stop and sit as soon as they realize they are lost. Assure them that, no matter how scared they might be, you are searching for them at that very moment; but also that, if they keep moving around, it will take longer to find them. Consider equipping your children with an inexpensive cell phone when venturing outdoors. A few survival items tucked in a backpack or their pockets. Items such as a whistle, a bright bandana and a bottle of water are the beginning of a survival kit that will go a long way to helping them be found more quickly. Teach them what each item does and why they help. Practice. I used to give my kids a whistle and then tell them to hide so I can’t find them. I wanted them to be able to do that too. Then when I give up looking, they blow their whistle to be found. Tell them if they know how to be found then they don’t need to be afraid. Depending on their age teach them how to make simple shelters or a fire. Knowledge brings confidence.
Home alone
Usually the best strategy is to not answer the door! Yes, the person knocking could be a burglar scoping out the neighborhood. But once the door is opened, it’s that much easier for an intruder to enter. Train your child to enforce home security: Keep doors and windows locked and blinds and curtains closed. Noise from a TV or radio is a good idea. Someone with questionable motives will think twice about entering a home if they hear noises inside, even if the house is closed up and no one answers the door. Also, teach your kids that a trusted close neighbor could help. Talk with the neighbor ahead of time to let them keep an eye out.
Medical emergency
From a young age, kids can learn how to dial 911 and report an emergency, but this takes practice. Spend some time rehearsing phone calls, teaching your children to relay detailed information to an operator, follow his or her instructions, and then stay on the line until help arrives. If possible, children should also get the home ready for the arrival of EMTs by putting pets in closed areas and, if it’s nighttime, turning on both indoor and outdoor lights. Summer is an ideal time for children to take first aid and CPR classes that are suitable for kids age 9 and up.
This one skill can help your child avoid many dangerous situations. The concept is simply for children to be aware of the people and events around them. Parents can help their children become more observant and aware—not by scaring them, but by playing games to teach and practice this skill.
When driving in the car, for instance, ask your kids to describe a building or vehicle you just passed. Teach them to pay attention to the route home by asking them to give you driving directions! Tell them to close their eyes and describe what someone in the room is wearing. Encourage them to check out the license plates of passing cars: Which states are they from? What is the sum of the numbers on the license plate?
Kim’s game is a game that teaches observation. Put 10 items on a tray or table. Cover with a towel. Uncover the items and give them 1 minute to look at them. Then cover them up again and have them write down as many of the items as possible. You can stretch these observation and memory skills by re-arranging the items. Taking some away or adding some. Giving them less time to observe or waiting some time before they write the items down would increase the difficulty. You could ask specific questions about each item like color, size or other details. My kids love this game!
Being aware of their surroundings will help them avoid predatory people and other dangerous scenarios. Simple to teach. Fun to practice. And, quite possibly, a life saver.
There are certain skills I think every child should leave their home with. Domestic skills such as mending clothes, washing and cleaning skills, cooking skills. Automotive skills such as changing a tire, changing a wiper blade, jumping a battery. Handyman skills such as fixing leaky plumbing, hanging a picture, turning off gas, electricity, and water. Survival skills such as building and starting a fire, making shelter, finding water, basic first aid.
Most of these things won’t be learned anywhere else. That’s why I like Boy Scouting so much. The skills learned there are very valuable. Public school doesn’t teach much of this anymore. If your child leaves home with these skills they will be ahead of almost every one of their peers and most everyone else.
We want our children to be self-sufficient and able to handle life. Teaching basic skills and safety/security will help them to tackle life and everything that comes before them.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Voice of Warning

In 2Nephi 28:21 we can see a little of what is happening today.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
This scripture can teach us in many ways. Often this scripture refers to a spiritual preparedness and being lax in trying to do what is right.
I think it also applies to our security and awareness.
No longer is it safe everywhere we go. Be especially aware if the area you go is a “gun free” zone.
I was reading another blog where a member was describing his life and how he is vigilant. This a quote from that:
“You see, sometimes I’m out and about with friends and family and they’ll see me being cautious and they’ll make a comment such as “we’re at Disneyland, nothing bad happens here” or “we’re at an upscale mall, this place is safe.
Of course that’s not true. It doesn’t matter if you’re riding the teacups or singing a song in church. Attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. So don’t get lulled into a false sense of security and don’t worry about your friends or family members who may laugh at you or tease you for being vigilant.”
My friends this was in 2012. How much has changed in this world and country since 2012? No longer is Disneyland safe. I mean I’m sure they have their security and policies in place to keep those who visit safe as can be. Malls are not safe. Sports arenas, clubs and concerts, all these places are ripe for terrorist acts. Every 6 months the LDS church has a General Conference. This is attended by many people in the conference center in Salt Lake. This is not safe. Now please don’t misunderstand me. These places and events are fairly safe, but in this country there is a need for more vigilance. What I mean is an attack can happen anywhere. That doesn’t mean we change our lives and never go to the Boston Marathon or to another Sports event. What it means is we have to remain careful and vigilant. We must maintain a situational awareness that we have never had to maintain before. Your safety and security are your own. No one else is responsible for it. Most public places in America work at making us safe and secure but ultimately it is our responsibility. I’ve been in some pretty dangerous places in my life. Some from crime and others from unrest, but I could always come back to my dear United States and feel quite safe and secure. I’ve never experienced this before. I don’t write any of this to scare anyone or to make someone paranoid, but only as a voice of warning.
Our law enforcement is the best in the world and they, along with the intelligence community, do all they can to make us safe. They catch 98% of the bad out there. It’s the 2% that concerns me. I’ve written a lot about this, especially being secure in church.
These old articles speak somewhat to my concern. You will see some repetition throughout them and that’s on purpose.
8/4/2014 and 8/11/2014 Mormons: Low Standards of Security (1 through 3)
5/13/2014 Mormon Self Defense
5/28/2015 How To Achieve Security At Church
5/19/2014 Security In An LDS Church
If every member of the church, if every person, was just a little more vigilant. We could do much to make our country secure again. The current political climate during these political differences should not make us as Americans argue and fight with each other concerning our security. I know current Syrian refugees and fighting ISIS has us at odds. We need to come together and find ways to keep this country safe and secure. It is something all of us want. The problem can be that some in this country are too comfortable. Crime or terrorism has not touched their lives enough for them to sound the alarm. We cannot wait for that time. We must be alarmed now and take care of ourselves. Don’t be lulled away by a false sense of security. Don’t be pacified.
Moroni said it best in the title of liberty, Alma 46:12
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
This is why we should be vigilant and take security seriously. For our religion, freedom, peace, our wives and children. The scripture goes on to say that everyone was good with that. They liked his concern so much that they wrote the title of liberty on banner and put them on every building in their city. They wanted it always before their eyes so they would not forget.
As a member of the LDS Church I believe we are in the last days. Why would it surprise me that these are unsettling and dangerous times? Things may get worse, but with proper preparedness I am confident God will protect me and my family, after all we can do.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dry Fire: Cheap, Effective Training

It’s no secret that I like dry fire. I think it’s the most innovative thing in shooting since the combat load.
Simply put, anything you can do to practice with your firearm that doesn’t require live ammo can be performed in dry fire. Dry fire is NOT aiming at the TV and pulling the trigger. It is not lying in your bed and aiming at the ceiling. You can use dry fire to improve your trigger with the proper regime. Check out the White Wall Drill for more information.

* Want to get your draws smoother – practice in dry fire.
* Want to speed up your reloads – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve transitions – practice in dry fire.
* Want to improve recoil control – LIVE FIRE, NOT DRY FIRE!

Dry fire allows us to work on a great many skills without expending any ammo or driving to the range. However, dry fire is not a replacement for live fire.

I dry fire roughly 3 times a week for 15 to 20 minutes. Some will see that as a lot and some will see that as too little. In all honesty, I should be dry firing more to achieve my personal goals. Although with those dry fire sessions, I try to get in one live fire session a week. This isn’t always possible but it is important. It keeps your dry fire honest. It is really easy to fall into the trap of dry firing exclusively and becoming a dry fire hero. In all likelihood, you go to the range and realize the skills are not as polished as you thought.

You might have a sub 1.0 second draw time in dry fire but if you have never got up on the 3 yard line and actually practiced it with live ammo and a timer, you don’t really know. Likely, you won’t be as fast; your mind will take too long getting the perfect sight picture vs an acceptable sight picture.

It is easy to dry fire your way to speed, but you must still look for every weakness in live fire and find a way to execute it better. If not, you will be quick in your dry fire but in live fire, you will be stuck at your current level.

Don’t mistake this to mean dry fire isn’t important; because it is. Dry fire without live fire confirmation, in the form of mini-drills against a timer, will not take you to the level you desire.

Are you a competitive student that looks for ways to improve using both dry fire and live fire or are you a dry fire hero; burning down drill after drill in your basement but never verifying a thing at the range?

Are you overlooking some easy improvement in the name of a quick dry fire par time?

Where are you and where do you want to be?

I have dry fired in various ways. Depending on your carry gun, actual dry firing of your gun may not be good for it. See your owner’s manual to see if you can dry fire with your particular gun. I used a pile of books for my safety pad. I took several paperback books and duct taped them together. They equal about 10 inches. That should take care of any accidental discharge. My carry guns are all 9mm so it more than takes care of that. Here is a website that shows their results of shooting through books. With their test a 9mm was stopped at 7 inches. I figure 10 inches should be enough but I also put the books in front of a wall for extra stopping power. This is the website:
My articles on dry fire are:

Training: Dry Fire 9/4/2014
Benefits of Dry Fire 5/19/2015

Put together a training plan and then set realistic goals. Re-evaluate often. Train hard.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Violence and Doing What Is Right

I keep getting these questions from other LDS members about carrying a gun, owning a gun, and violence. I will address this one more time.
Chris Kyle said: "Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems."
I was teaching a class at church on bug out bags and I spoke a little on security and self-defense. I was asked some interesting questions. Many of the questions have centered on whether or not it is appropriate for Christians to use deadly force in the defense of their lives and the lives of their families, friends, and others.

The answer is, unequivocally, yes it is appropriate for a Christian to defend innocent life. Not only is it appropriate, it is an obligation.

In Psalm 82:4 it says that we are to “Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” In Nehemiah 4:14 we are told to “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” These passages show us that we are required by biblical principles to defend innocent life, be it our families or merely the “weak and needy”.

I Timothy 5:8 states that “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” What greater provision is there than the provision for the defense and safety of our loved ones?

Not only is an armed response to life threatening evil condoned in scripture, but skill at arms is presented in a positive light. We are expected to have the tools and to acquire the skills needed to fulfill our obligation in protecting innocents from the evil that is loose in the world. This is clearly demonstrated in Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight” and again in Psalm 18:34 “He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze”.

Luke 11:21-22 tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” This passage of scripture not only allows specifically for armed defense, but serves as a model for the Castle Doctrine or perhaps the “Palace doctrine?”

I want to be clear at this point that I only advocate the use of deadly force for the preservation of innocent life. I stress this strongly when I teach classes. I have never had a car that was worth a human life, and I have never had enough money to kill over. I know for a fact that the finest of worldly possessions does not have the value of the basest of human lives. I would not use deadly force in defense of property, but I would not hesitate to use it to save the lives of my children or anybody else’s children from a person of evil intent. Make no mistake, those people are out there these days, in droves.

This philosophy is supported by scripture, where we see clearly that murder is not permissible, but we also see that not all killing is murder. For example, Exodus 22:2-3 tells us that “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. “ It is important to note that this passage is qualified in the next verse, “If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft”. We see that if the break-in occurs in light of day, deadly force is not automatically mandated. The point is that violence is not mandated simply to defend property, in the light of day it is possible to discern whether or not the intent runs deeper than mere theft. We can see in the order of today that thieves who would enter your home under cover of night most often have intentions that include violence, home invasions stand out in my mind. In the dark it must be assumed that there is a deeper level of threat and deadly force is an acceptable response.

The New Testament affords fewer references to arms and an armed defense. But Jesus does give us some insights into his thoughts on the matter:

35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. Luke 22:35-39

We see that Jesus wished for at least some of the Apostles to be armed, presumably for the purposes of defense. It is Important to note that the sword was the assault rifle of the day, so Jesus not only wanted his men armed but well armed.

Even when Jesus allowed himself to be taken by the Pharisees, and stopped his disciples from using their weapons to defend Him, he did not condemn arms.

”Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” John 18:10-11.

Simon Peter was told to sheath his blade, not to abandon or relinquish it. Armed defense, although appropriate at times, was not the order of the day. Jesus had other things to do on our behalf.

So, is it appropriate for Christians to keep arms for the purpose of defending innocent life from evil people? It most certainly is. God in his infinite wisdom has seen to it that we are cleared to use this option should it be necessary. There is no inconsistency in followers of Christ, while striving for peace, using arms when called upon to do so. The use of deadly force is, however, a huge responsibility which should not be entered into in any but the most dire of need.

Old Testament violence is an interesting case in point. It is different from New Testament violence because of the coming of Christ. God clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of God's will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Old Testament is just that—history. It happened; God commanded it. But it revolved around a specific time and place and was directed against a specific people. At no time did such violence go on to become standardized or codified into Jewish law. In short, biblical accounts of violence are descriptive, not prescriptive.

This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Old Testament—commanded by God and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence and intolerance have become standardized in Islamic law and apply at all times. Thus, while the violence found in the Qur'an has a historical context, its ultimate significance is theological.

I do not, and will not, condone violating any American’s rights. But it is bound to happen if we want to secure our country.

There are some political leaders who will tell you that “Death to America” refers only to American arrogance and American government. But ask anyone who has looked into Islamic schools in America and you will see the real meaning of Muslim hate speech.

Muslim children attending mosques and Islamic schools are being taught to hate America, our government, our military personnel and its non-Muslim population. This is not a big secret but it seems to pass by the politicians. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry either don’t know this fact, or choose to ignore it. Muslims are taught to hate Americans and Jews.

Read this article about research on American Muslim schools and Mosques.

This is what I think. I think there are some good Muslim’s in this world who have rejected the violence side of their religion. They are good, productive citizens. But Islam is not a religion of peace. You can compare it in the Christian world with maybe the KKK. The difference is the KKK is not taking over countries and launching a war against anyone who is not Christian.

Violence is to be shunned like disease. But there are times when violence is necessary. If you are not willing to use violence to defend yourself or your family, then violence will be used against you or them. You notice I said “use” violence and not “become” violent.

For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there are many examples in the Book of Mormon and words of prophets that tell us we can use violence in defense. We should be as Nephi when prompted to kill the evil King Noah, we should be reluctant.

Violence is no fun. But to live in this world and endure to the end we may be called upon to use violence for protection. Knowing how to use violence effectively takes training and practice. It’s not really a desirable thing. But if we want to continue in the work, build the kingdom of God here on earth, and endure to the end, we must learn. Keep it in perspective. Violence can be addicting and can turn from defense to the evil it can be. Be vigilant. In these troubled times it may be essential.

See past Blogs about violence:
LDS and Liberal? I Say Unto You, Nay 11/7/2015
No More, No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/16/2015

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Day Of Infamy

Please take a moment today or as you read this and pause to remember those who died in the attack of this country at Pearl Harbor in 1941. And remember the 1,076,245 brave souls who fought and died for this country during WW II. They gave us much!

"December 7, 1941. A date which will live in infamy." President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this to Congress on December 8, and so it has...

This generation has it's own day of infamy, September 11, 2001. We are still at war.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Privacy: Back To Cash

I like cash. I like lots of cash. Unfortunately I only have a little. But I have enough for my needs. What I meant was, I like to use cash instead of electronic transactions. Being part of the financial system is really not anyone’s choice in this country. To do things like make mortgage payments, pay your taxes, or collect your salary or payments for business services, you need to use the banking system. The days when the average person could get by on a pure cash basis are long gone. Sooner or later, the average person will have to use the financial system whether he or she likes it or not. But can you use the system without being tracked by big government or big business?
The answer to this is no, but you can make it a lot harder to be tracked. Limiting your use of the financial system can create a much smaller footprint and profile to track.
A good basic method of limiting tracking is to make as many purchases as possible with cash. Use cash for such purposes as buying groceries, gas and survival supplies. Cash is still the only method you can use that does not leave an electronic trail or a paper trail directly connecting you to purchases.
Try returning to the old-fashioned method where you get a specific amount of cash out of the bank each week to pay for what you need. There still will be a record of the bank transaction, but not of the actual purchases.
The advent of the ATM makes it easier than ever to get cash, so there’s no excuse not to use cash for most retail transactions. If you can get into the habit of using cash, you can make it easier to budget and make it far harder for banks to track your transactions.
Using a credit card, a debit card or a check to pay for a purchase, you can be tracked. All a check is in today’s world is an authorization for somebody else to withdraw a sum of money from your account. If you don’t want to be tracked, you’ll have to limit your use of electronic payment methods.
Use electronic payments or checks only to make those payments for which cash cannot be used. This might include utility bills, phone bills, mortgage payments, rent, insurance payments and car payments. The cheapest and easiest means of paying these is directly off of a checking account. Unfortunately, that can be tracked.
Even alternative methods of payment, such as money order and wire transfer, keep electronic records.
If you don’t want to be tracked, you might have to give up some of these services and the benefits they provide. There are some ways of getting around this; you can buy a prepaid cell phone for cash instead of regular phone service, and you can generate your own electricity.
The biggest problem you’ll face may not be making payments, but accepting them. Most payments in today’s world, such as salaries, government benefits, investment proceeds, payment for services, etc., are made electronically. Even if they send you a check, it’ll create an electronic payment when it is cashed.
There will be a record of such payments even if you go to a check cashing store or cash the check directly at the bank. They will ask for your ID, so there will be a record of it and the amount of cash you get.
If you have to accept electronic payments or checks, your best bet is to maintain a bank account. There will be a record of the money that goes in and a record of your withdrawals, but you will at least have a means of converting the money into cash that cannot be tracked easily.
If you use a bank account, you at least can avoid having to pay the extra charges associated with money orders and cashing a check at a store. Of course, there’s no law that says you have to keep all your money in the bank. Nor is there any law that says you have to put any cash payments you receive in the bank.
I like to use my account and debit card. They are easy but they definitely can be tracked. If you looked at our finances you would think we are just like every other average American. That’s what I want my financial profile to look like. Average. No red flags, no usual behavior. That’s the way it appears. When we get paid it goes into our account. We make payments online whenever we can. But when I buy ammunition, food storage, preparedness supplies, it is with cash. Most of our savings is in cash. This is secured in our home and out of our home. I don’t want to keep it all in our home because of fire or theft, so some cash is kept away from our house. The biggest problem with this is keeping track or how much, and where you’ve put it. As an example if I had $10,000 in cash I may keep only $3,000 in our home. Some hidden, and some in a safe. The rest would be secured off station in a few locations. There are many ways to do this. Cash is vulnerable to weather and rodent so it must be kept in something that will protect it. Do you have a locker at work? Some money may be secured there. A safety deposit box is really not as safe as you think. I would not use one. You can hide money in a secure container in a storage shed, chicken coop, or garden shed. You can bury it. You could keep it in a lock box at someone you trust’s home. You could hide it in a vehicle.
We have determined a container that we think will stand up to anything and keep all our off station cash in these. I guess with my background in the military it was inevitable. Ammunition boxes are the best thing I’ve found to keep things away from weather and varmint. They come in a variety of sizes but I like the 20 and 50 cal cans. They are sturdy, rust resistant, and have a lid seal. You can even buy a lock set to lock them if you are so inclined.
My son thinks I’m a little old fashioned because I like cash. In reality, most of my business is done electronically. I use cash for things I want to keep private.
Cash is king!
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