Monday, October 13, 2008

Proposition 8

Lately there has been lots of talk about Prop 8 in California. This issue is a very controversial issue. Many people are defending rights and feel strongly in favor or against Prop 8. It is rather interesting that if you ask anyone- for or against- that feels strongly about this issue they probably do because they are trying to defend "rights". The problem is that in the name of rights many people are trying to redefine truth. What is truth? Is marriage between a man and a woman the only truth? Who defines truth? Who has the right to define truth? Who has the right to define marriage? I think that we each have the right to seek truth and to find it for our selves. This life is a pursuit of truth. Nobody has the right to redefine truth for everyone. People that think gay marriages are correct have the right to think this way and so do people that think that it is incorrect. The problem is that we are all fighting for "rights" and in so doing we are overstepping each other's right to finding truth. There is only one truth. If 1+1=2 it cannot =3. So what is the truth? and How can we settle this issue?

It took me a while to understand how proposition 8 affected me and why I feel passionately about it. At first, it was simply a matter of politics, but now, after more careful consideration it has become a more personal matter. As I have considered the issue I have thought much about truth and rights. I believe that there is only one truth. God is truth. God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman. He also intended life to be an experience where we come to know God and come closer to knowing truth as individuals and in our own experiences. When we try to redefine truth in the name of rights, we are taking away the rights of humanity to come to know that truth that was redefined. People who are fighting for "rights" of gay marriages are taking away the right for the rest of humanity to come to know truth, for children to grow up knowing that truth that was in existence since before the world came to be, the truth God gives us and that he meant for us to come to know- marriage is between a man and a woman.

I feel very passionately about this because I come from a family in which my mother and father did exceptional jobs with five children (of which I am the eldest). They loved us and each cared for us in the ways God meant them to care for us. Fathers have qualities that allow them to provide and nurture children in a way that mothers cannot. Mothers have qualities that nurture in ways that fathers cannot. Each gender has been endowed with qualities for the job of being a mother or a father. God created our bodies this way and our personalities or inner qualities. If this was not true then God wouldn't have created us the way he did. The family is such a critical unit in our society. It is because of the love that me and my siblings received from my mom and dad that we were all able to come to know the truth for ourselves, to receive peace and joy in our lives, to get an education and to become the people we now are. The happiest moments of my life come from being with my family, serving my family and learning with my family. I believe in the right for all children that come into this world to have that support and stability. I also believe in the right of people to choose for themselves in what they believe to be true. The reason I am blogging about this on my Africa blog is because the mission of the Family Preservation Program which I evaluated this summer in Mozambique is to strengthen families. When the family is strong, the individual is strong, the community is strong, the city is strong, the country is strong.

Aside from all the reasons that have been offered by many on why to vote yes on prop 8, the best reason of all to vote yes is because of your belief in the right to protect truth.

Let us not loose sight of what we really are fighting for. Instead of fighting for rights, lets remember what our founding fathers fought for- they fought for freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to believe, freedom to seek truth.

For more information visit the following sites: and . There is a group on Facebook named "Invite People to Protect California Marriage" (you can search for it by clicking groups and performing a search and adding it to your facebook groups)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What is Truth and How Can We Come to Know It?

Some of you know my little brother is on a mission in Portugal. He is loving it! He loves the people there. In his last email to the family he wrote this:

I don’t really have too much to say but I will share a spiritual thought. Lately as I have been studying the scriptures of the word of God I understood one of the many things Brother Christensen shares in his talk. I learned a bit about truth. The scriptures state, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). So if we know the truth it will set us free. That is why Satan doesn’t want people to find the truth. D&C 93:24 then reads, “And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” So truth is consistent. As they are, were, and are to be. This relates to the plan of salvation and to the stages of live before, now, and after. Then we gain greater insight when we study John 14:6. It says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life”. So we know that Satan is the father of all lies. And all truth is circumscribed into one great hole. That is it all comes from Christ. So when we know the plan of salvation and you know Christ. You are free. You see Christ is the truth when we know about Christ and His Fathers plan before this life, now, and after life; we are made free. At that point anything can happen as it did to Joseph Smith. But even after his death He was made free because he new the truth and it set him free. He didnt just know about Christ, he knew Christ. There is the difference. Let us not just learn about Christ but come to know Christ.

In response to his post I wrote:

I really like your insight. I've been thinking about truth a lot lately because I am taking a class called Qualitative Inquiry in which we have to give spiritual thoughts. The topic of truth has come up many times, especially now that I am doing my doctorate. I love that through our knowledge of Christ we can come to know truth. Christ is truth. One thing that I have come to understand a lot more in my life lately is that all truth is one. Spiritual truths, scholastic truths, personal truths, they all come together because Christ is truth. And like you said, if we get to know Christ we get to know truth. This has been true as I have progressed in my education here at BYU. The more I learn, the more I feel like I know Christ better. It doesn't just apply to spiritual truths but also to school. I am so grateful to know that in this crazy world where many people claim to say they know truth and where we as humans are limited in our knowledge of truth (because we are limited in our knowledge of God) that we can know that there is one truth, and that even though we don't know it because we don't know Him completely, we can get closer to it by knowing Him. I love that!


It has been some time now since I returned from my trip to Mozambique. I no longer have dreams in Mozambique. Instead I know have dreams of being in Dr. Yanchar's class and learning about pragmatism and positivism. It's quite a difference from one world to the other. I still daydream about Mozambique and all the beautiful things I saw and experienced there. As I'm trying to make sense of life I often use my experience there to inform my philosophies and theories on life, teaching and learning.

Before I continue I would like to thank anyone who contributed to Care for Life as a donation for my birthday. I will continue to seek out ways to encourage people to donate to Care for Life.
Did you know Mozambique has the lowest life expectancy of all nations of the world—only 34 years? It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over 80% of its people living in
“extreme poverty” (defined as under $1.00 a day). I often ponder these facts as I am on my way to the mall or to the store to get food. Anything you can donate can help alleviate someone's suffering.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to tell people about Care for Life. How lucky we are that we can share our riches with those who are less fortunate! How lucky we are to be able to help. This experience changed my life. I can understand happiness better now.