In the “Things Christ never said files” we have the concept of Once Saved Always Saved.

In order to illustrate this there is a number of ways that we could go; however, I think that it is only necessary to look at what Christ remarked about endurance, specifically what He said about enduring to the end. There are several places in which Christ talks about this in the NT and the Gospels, one that we might look at is the parable He gives to the Apostles in John 15 where He describes believers as branches on a vine (presumably grape vines).  And just as the branches can’t bring forth fruit of themselves, if you cut a branch off the main vine it withers and dies, so too we must stay connected to Him, the main vine, in order to produce fruit. He then says that those who don’t produce fruit would be cut off.

Now here is where many would interject and say “wait Sarge, those who get cut off weren’t true branches to begin with.” And I say show where Christ makes that distinction in His parable and discourse, He doesn’t so we shouldn’t.  Further this is just a dodge invented to try and skirt around the reality of personal apostasy, and the fact that invariably it happens, hopefully rarely but it happens, and it is a fallacious pile of garbage to claim that well prior to that they weren’t really converted and weren’t sincere.

Especially when we’ve seen the fruits of the Spirit in the lives of these individuals, and real evidences of them having been reborn as disciples of Christ. What is more I don’t think that is a road that any Christian wants to go down, because it could then mean their conversion isn’t sincere despite their feeling like it is and if they were to die in that moment, who knows what would happen to them, such errant dogma actually does the opposite of what it sets out to. (provide security of salvation)  And instead give no one any security because they could be somehow insincere themselves, additional it sets us up as the judges of man’s hearts and that isn’t something we are qualified to do.

Don’t get me wrong there is salvational security and Christ outlines where it comes from, and how we can be confident that we are secure, that is through keeping the commandments and living the life of Discipleship, with His yoke and burden firmly and squarely upon our shoulders. The question isn’t whether “true Christians” can’t fall away, it is a matter of they won’t fall away.
I won’t waste time elaborating on the reality that even though we do this our trust is still in His Atonement and Grace and the power He has to overcome our weakness and not in any personal ability we have to be obedient because remember His standard is still perfection and we will all fall short.  But let’s look at what Christ has actually said on the topic.

Now since Christ didn’t limit His words and revelations to just the Bible neither will I though certainly we will look there, but I would first like to look at modern revelation.

D&C 14:7  And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

D&C 18:22 And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

1 Nephi 22:31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.

2 Nephi 33:And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.

Mark 13:13 / Matthew 10:22 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

D&C 20:25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved

3 Nephi 15:9 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. 

Now there is something that all of these have in common beyond telling us to endure to the end. They say that those who endure are the ones who will be saved.

That’s the Crux of the matter, Christ said IF we endure THEN we are saved.  Not those who are saved will then endure.

For additional reading on this topic See these additional resources

My Favorite

A great read


Some thoughts on Mercy, and Forgiveness. 

I’d like to briefly discuss a recent … Let’s call it paradigm shift I’ve had, and a bit of back story on how I got there. 

I’m my various dealings and conversations with friends, acquaintances, and critics in life and social media, I’ve run across various bold assertions about my beliefs (LDS) and the beliefs of others, and seen many labels applied to all of them:

Heresy, Apostasy, False Gospel, Idolatry (God crafted in my image) etc. And occasionally, someone will remind others not to judge. 

The reality is, that Christ admonished us that we should judge, but to beware, because we ultimately will be judged based upon what metrics we use to judge others.

Matthew 7:1-2

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (See also Luke 6:37 & 19:22)

Once upon a time I was pretty strident and narrow regarding what I viewed as acceptable standards of belief, not only of others but also of people in my own faith. 

Over time and due largely to reading and trying to apply the teachings contained in the Book of Mormon and Bible. I’ve come to realize, that as one who desires leniency and mercy from God in how I live and believe I needed to do a better job of granting that to others. 

Now don’t get me wrong there are still lines and boundaries that ought not to be crossed, however I’ve come to realize that within those lines and boundaries there is room and allowance for people to hold various individual views on various individual topics. 

As Elder Jeffery R. Holland has said here, the line and boundary drawn is whether they are upholding their covenants and staying faithful to those and to the cause of Christ. 

I won’t get into things and actions that I feel violate those boundaries because that isn’t the point here. 

Rather the goal and focus here is to remind others that what we all want from the Lord is forgiveness, mercy, and a bit of leeway for our own shortcomings and differences compared to Him and His perfection, of which we will assuredly fall far short of. 

It hasn’t been easy adjusting my outlook and changing the way in address and interact with others, and it has no doubt caused others to view me differently and friends to become concerned I’ve changed and potentially am losing my way. 

In truth I have changed, I also don’t fault them for their views and opinions regarding my new found outlook. My only hope is they are prepared and willing to accept the standards they apply to others to be applied to them. 

My prayer is that we all grant each other some leniency, and instead of trying to determine who is right and who is wrong, we look beyond our differences to come together and work towards solutions and the betterment of all, and ultimately the establishment of Zion, a place where unity of purpose is the functioning principle, despite differing ideologies, and viewpoints. 

Angels, Ad Hocs & Assumptions

The ever entertaining Rob Bowman has recently updated an article rife with special pleading regarding the visit of Moroni to Joseph Smith. In the article Bowman discusses how it is quite implausible that Joseph could have a visit from an angel, and yet none of the brothers whom he shared a room with noticed or were awoken by it. He does so while ignoring such Biblical instances of Elisha’s servants and the heavenly army that basically utilize the same principles. 

Firstly let’s recognize that even the appearance of an angel to a human feels like an implausible scenario, so that the implausible did happen, let’s not limit ourselves to having the implausible happen but only being able to happen in a way that agrees with our 21st century sensibilities. 

Never mind that as previously mentioned in the OT and NT there are cases presented where one party is aware of angelic visitors and other parties have no idea they are there. This flaw was pointed out to Bowman previous to his update, and it seems he hasn’t done anything to change that issue or address it. Rather his update spends considerable effort reinforcing the reality of his special pleading. 
He has also incorrectly stated our views on angels or perhaps inadequately stated 

3. In LDS theology, angels are not incorporeal beings that appear to people in temporary visible manifestations. They are understood to be resurrected human beings possessing immortal, glorified physical bodies. Moroni, specifically, is said to have been a resurrected Nephite prophet and the son of the Nephite prophet Mormon; Moroni is identified as the man who finished his father’s book and eventually deposited the gold plates in the hill near Joseph Smith’s home. Thus, a visitation by such a physical being (as distinguished from a vision of such a being) would be presumed to be visible and audible to anyone in a physical location to see and hear unless the account stated otherwise.

Actually Rob in LDS theology not all angels are resurrected beings, there are plenty that are simply spirits, though one should remember here that the physical laws of earth don’t exactly apply to them, resurrected or not, the same way they apply to us. So standing in the air and being visible to only some are well within their abilities. 

One is left to wonder why an angel that is a physical being suddenly operates via different rules than one that isn’t. 

Does Rob have a copy of the employee manual for angelic beings? Would he kindly share why he presumed automatic visibility and audibility?

Was it simply to help his narrative, something put together on the fly as it were to adjust for data or is there something else that lends support for differing rules for Moroni?

Rob would have us believe that Moroni can find away to stand in the air but doesn’t have the ability to only appear to Joseph. An odd assumption, notice also Bowman admits his conclusion that Moroni would have been naturally visible to the other brothers is an assumption, and the only supporting data for that is basically that he thinks it must be that way.(Again he must have a copy of the angels employee manual or maybe the union agreement) And yet in the same breathe he accuses Mormon apologists of forwarding ad hoc responses. 

(Phone rings) “Hello”

(Voice on the other end) “Yes Hi, is this Kettle?”

“Yes this is the kettle what can I do for you?”

“Yeah this is the pot and I was just calling to let you know you are black m’kay!” (Hangs up)

Now this type of hypocrisy and double standards is a hallmark of Bowman’s work, but let’s not dwell on it let’s move back to his article. 

Bowman spends the next portion of his article trying to act like his special pleading regarding Joseph’s brothers isn’t special pleading because in the example used against him where Elisha sees the chariots of the Lord standing with them and his servant doesn’t (see 2 Kings 6) the servant is mentioned and in Joseph’s claim his brothers aren’t. 

So see guys it isn’t special pleading still because…. oh wait you mean Rob is still making an allowance for the miraculous on a tale he feels is true while not making room for that same miracle with Joseph and therefore it is special pleading whether one story explicitly mentions the there or not?

Again remember it is Bowman accusing LDS apologists of ad hoc responses, and yet Bowman only asserts the invalidity of comparison between Joseph and Elisha AFTER his special pleading has been pointed out to him.

Of course you’ll have to forgive Joseph for not mentioning his brothers considering how they played no role in the experience and Joseph is detailing what transpired between him and Moroni. 

Apparently it seems angels only have the power to conceal themselves when everyone who is there later gets mentioned. That’s important information to know I’m glad Rob filled us in on that tidbit. 
But let’s break down how Rob arrives at this supposedly none special pleading non ad hoc solution. 

The narrative makes it quite clear why he did not at first see the supernatural forces: they were not naturally visible beings. 

Yes, and in Joseph’s case glorified resurrected beings from heaven are just always walking around town naturally visible to anyone… Oops my bad again they aren’t. So right off the bat we have two scenarios with the same premise going on let’s continue

Elijah’s servant had to be granted the ability to see those supernatural beings. Notice that the servant is not rebuked for lack of faith or anything along those lines; his not seeing the supernatural beings was not his fault, because they were not natural entities that would be normally visible to human eyes. 

See it was Joseph’s brothers fault because Resurrected glorified beings from heaven are floating around town visible to everyone like we previously established so the brothers of Joseph not seeing Moroni is totally on them and their failure to just use their natural eyes. 

God had to “open his eyes” to see them. The fact that the account reports that the servant at first did not see the supernatural army and then did see it is explained in the account itself as involving the miraculous. The reader is not forced to this explanation ad hoc to resolve some external difficulty; it is what the text actually says.

Yes God had to open their eyes to see it. But God didn’t have to open Joseph’s eyes to the vision cuz Resurrected glorified beings from heaven are just floating around town for everyone to naturally see all the time. 

I would like to take this moment to thank Rob for outlining his special pleading in perfect detail and showing the say reader just guilty of hypocrisy and double standards he is. It was actually quite humorous as I read though I was like 

Anyways Bowman instead of solving the problem of special pleading in his update merely served to outline exactly how he is guilty of it all while arguing that he wasn’t doing it, that’s good stuff 

If you want to check Rob’s actual article to see his assumptions presumptions and double standards in action do so here

Sometimes I feel like Bowman’s articles need a waring sign like this

Or as another associate of mine said

“What he’s doing is very clever.  Since Joseph Smith didn’t mention how his brothers were kept from seeing the vision, ANY theory put forward to explain how that could be possible can, and will,  be dismissed as “ad hoc.”  In his reasoning, the very act of trying to explain it defeats the explanation.  Ergo, no explanation can exist; ergo, he needs do nothing else to win the debate other than state his starting assumption.

What a hack.”

Answering Bowman

Recently through Facebook I answered a poorly written (as usual) article from one Rob Bowman, which itself was a response to something written by Dr. Daniel Peterson. 

Mr. Bowman claims that several items in LDS doctrine don’t have a clear postion on them which is rather incorrect. I shall endeavor to respond to each of his points some of which are quite inane (see entry on Mary’s virgin birth.)

Did the Father become God after passing through a period of testing and exaltation, so that he was not always God but rather became God? 

There is no official position on this but if one pays attention to the King Follett Discourse Joseph uses Christ as the archetype of how the Father experienced mortality, seeing as how Christ was divine even in mortality it is obvious Joseph is declaring the same of the Father, the part he states with the Father not being God and enthroned eternally is not a reference to any lack in being theos, but rather that there was a time when the Father wasn’t actively ruling and enthroned. No more no less. However given that we have no official position on the topic members themselves are free to take whichever view they choose. Bowman may not like the position the church takes a firm “we don’t know” but an answer is hardly non existent or unclear. 

#2. Was the Father a sinner during his mortality? Could he have been a sinner? 

Here again is something the church takes no official position on, which while not really answering is different than having an indeterminate position on the topic the postion is determined as “we don’t know, and such is irrelevant, as He is God now.”

Is the Father still progressing in knowledge or power? 

Define knowledge and power and then we’ll talk, we believe God knows all that can possibly be known and has power to do that which is possible to do. Once again the position is quite defined and determined. 

What is the relation of the Holy Ghost to the Father? Is the Holy Ghost another spirit son of the Father? If not, who is he? 

Yes we hold that the Holy Ghost is another spirit son of God, hard to believe with all the claimed knowledge of Mormonism that Bowman asserts that this has somehow alluded him. My 6 yr old son answered this readily.

#5 Was there a God before our Heavenly Father who was his Father? Was there a Father before that one, and so in, in an infinite regress of divine Fathers? 

Irrelevant frankly, additionally another instance where the church position is decidedly “we don’t know” which is again different than a we don’t have a clear answer.

#6. Is Heavenly Mother a God (or Goddess)? Yes (see Section 132) This is quite clear in LDS theology. Again one wonders if Bowman even pays attention.

<6 continued>

If so, why shouldn’t we worship her, since she is our divine Mother and is even the divine Mother of Jesus Christ? Why isn’t Heavenly Mother a member of the Godhead?

Again the answer here is quite obvious, God has commanded that we worship Him in the name of the Son, or that our worship is given to Father, Son and Holy Ghost as a unit as they are one God.

Is worship properly given to the Father only, or to the Father and the Son? 

See the extension of my previous answer worship is properly given to the Father in the name of the Son, the Son can also be worshiped due to the principles of divine invesiture as can the Holy Ghost as part of the functioning Godhead.

#8. Were we actual self-conscious, individual persons from all eternity, or did we become such persons at some distant point in the past preexistence? 

See Section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Which answers this question. Our eternal essence of who we are is just that: eternal. That said, essence clothed in a spiritual vessel or spirit body doesn’t change the fact that it was already a self aware agent unto itself capable of choosing for itself. Again one wonders if Rob has even paid attention. 

#9. Did our heavenly parents literally procreate us as their spirit offspring, and again, what did that change about us if we were eternally preexistent? 

Answered more or less in my previous response, but I’ll go further and ask why Rob supposes literal procreation as necessary or even the method by which spirit bodies are organized? Could Rob please tell me the gestation period of a spirit fetus?

We don’t know the process or methodology use nor do we claim to, we do declare that the only change was our eternal essence or intelligence was clothed upon by a spiritual body, itself being composed of eternal existent elements. This is pretty basic stuff yet again. 

. If our heavenly parents literally procreated us as their offspring in the preexistence, why did they procreate us as spirits rather than as physical beings like themselves? 

Again Bowman is begging the question here on literal procreation, which itself is also something we don’t claim and represents somewhat of a strawman. If Robert would like to rephrase his question so that it is no longer reliant upon fallacy I would be happy to address why we were clothed upon with only spirit first of all. (Hint: God intended it that way)

#11. If mortality and exaltation are essential steps in attaining Godhood, how did Jesus Christ become a God in the preexistence when he was Jehovah, before he had become mortal and attained exaltation? (He just did, okay? That seems to be the usual answer.)

Laying aside the flippancy here, actually the answer is again found in Section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Christ was with God from the beginning by virtue of who He was. His intelligence or eternal essence was always in perfect alignment and willing submission to the Father, thus He was theos (or God or Divine a qualitative designation) inherently, where as we aren’t. However this inquiry from Bowman begs the question that being theos requires exaltation, which isn’t the case. One can be theos or God and also not yet exalted as is the case for the pre-existent Christ, and the currently spirit form of the Holy Ghost. While it is true one can’t be exalted without becoming theos, it isn’t true that one must first be exalted in order to become theos. 

#12Mormonism affirms that Jesus Christ is the literal son of Heavenly Father and of Mary his mother in the flesh, actually “sired” by Heavenly Father. Is it consistent with this doctrine to infer that the Father impregnated Mary by physically uniting with her, i.e., is there anything in LDS doctrine that actually denies that this happened?

I’ll interject here and say yes our affirmation of the Virgin Birth, again one wonders if Rob really knows Mormon beliefs like he claims. He does however pull a classic Bowman and beg the question that physical union is the only way that the Father could’ve been the literal sire of Christ. Never mind that modern science can now produce literal offspring of two parties without direct physical union between them, but 2000 years ago the supreme ruler of the universe that simple speaks worlds without end into existence couldn’t manage to combine genetic material from Himself and Mary and place it in her womb without direct physical union… smh is all I’ve got there. 

<continting with the initial question>

 If that is not how Jesus was conceived, how was he conceived such that he is the Father’s literal physical offspring?(Peterson’s “question” on this topic is, “Was Jesus the son of Joseph?” which neatly sidesteps the problem. Mormons usually take offense at these questions, however politely they may be asked, rather than offering any answers to them. Orthodox Christians don’t have this problem because their theology absolutely precludes the notion of God uniting physically with Mary.)

Neither do Mormons have this issue as I’ve explained. 

#13. Is the hill where Joseph Smith discovered the gold plates the same hill called Cumorah in the Book of Mormon? 

No. The New York drumlin was called Cumorah later by the saints starting with Oliver Cowdery, but there really isn’t given a careful reading of the text reason to view the hill where Moroni buried the record as the same hill they fought their final battles at, or where the other records kept by Mormon were buried. Though again the church takes no official position regarding geography which is different than indeterminacy that Bowman asserts. 

#14. Is the Book of Abraham a translation of text that appeared on one of the papyri that the LDS Church bought in 1835? 

Yes, though it ought to be noted that the fragments that we now have don’t come from the material Joseph translated for the Book of Abraham, such material is no longer extant. 

. Is the Bible missing any books that are actually extant today, and if so, why doesn’t the LDS Church include them in their editions of the Bible? 

If they are currently extant why would they be missing? Kind of a silly question eh Rob?

Undoubtedly there are books out there that could have warranted inclusion in the Bible, but weren’t, the purpose of the restoration isn’t to restore every lost book to the Bible but rather the lost teachings and understandings and authority. Speaking of which…

. Why did the early church become apostate—because the Christians were bad, or because of persecution, or what? (Mormons have a tough time with this question. It’s a dilemma:

Actually no it isn’t a dilemma the apostasy of teachings was slow and gradual over time, the loss of authority (which our contention of apostasy is more about anyways) and specifically apostolic authority was actually fairly rapid seeing as they were killed off faster than new ones could be called. 

#17. If the purpose of polygamy is to “raise up seed,” then why did Joseph Smith apparently not have any children by his plural wives? 

Only one purpose of plural marriage was to raise up seed, also never mind that raising up seed doesn’t mean simply many total overall children, but rather more children into specific families.

It is also interesting the Lord uses the phrase raise up seed in speaking of His covenant with Abraham, that would seem to me that raising up seed is the increase in covenant families and generations of the church. Nevertheless as Section 132 states raising up seed is but one of many reasons for it. 
In the end this is a classic case of Bowman wanting to be right vs wanting to get it right. 

With actually very little time and effort the answers to these questions could have been had, most of them likely through conversation with some 10 yr olds. 

It is always unfortunate when polemics takes precedence over the facts and getting it right. 

Some Thoughts on Discipleship

In a conversation with an Evangelical Christian they at one point commented with this.

《 I don’t ever see Jesus saying “give your best effort”. And, when He talks about eternal life, I don’t see Jesus ever combining effort/works/commandment keeping and believing. I only see one or the other. What do you make if that?》

The following is what I make of that

You’re welcome to take those views.

I see God requiring us to love and serve Him with all our heart might mind and strength (give our best effort everything we have)

If we don’t love God with all our heart might mind and strength we are failing.

And need something to save us from failure.

The other thing is that our effort, commandment keeping etc, they are part of believing, they are part of faith, they aren’t something foreign to or separate from faith they are facets of it.

If one claims faith and trust in Christ and isn’t a doer of the word, their faith is merely lip service and they will say “Lord Lord…” and be told He never knew them.

Obedience isn’t an addition to faith it is the very core of it. It isn’t a separate thing. It is simply a facet of it That’s they way I see Christ, James, Paul, John, Peter, and all the Holy prophets speaking about.  It isn’t do this and this and this plus believe.

It is if you believe you’ll do, this and this, and this

And those that don’t do that aren’t believers or those that cease doing them are cut off the vine So where you see it as a this + that scenario when I describe it I see that view as totally foreign not only to my mindset, but to what the scriptures describe.

The condemnation of works in the NT is a condemnation of thinking:

1. That if we do xyz God will owe us Salvation or eternal life
2. That we can do enough and become enough to earn eternal life on our own.

That’s what Paul condemns not the righteousness and obedient living of discipleship.

Paul declares that such a life is necessary and that if one claims to be a believer they have to do those things, and that such things are a part of the whole of belief.

Christ declares it too, that’s why He says we must take up our Cross, put His yoke upon us, be ye therefore perfect etc. 

Because faith or fidelty (the word used in Greek), staying true to something (Christ) is what saves us. You can’t stay true to Christ if you aren’t doing what He asks, becoming what He desires, and walking the path He walked, relying on Him and the power of His Atonement to cleanse us, strengthen us, enlarge our capacity, provide mercy and forgiveness then you don’t truly have “faith” or fidelity to Christ. 

Health Care Solutions

Best way to achieve the result you want is to setup a scenario where you reward the behaviors that bring about said result. 

Case in point: We want to have pre existing conditions or things like Autism covered by insurance and we want to keep premiums down.

Problem is covering those things increases the cost to insurers, which insurers compensate for by increasing premiums.

So how do we get both. Well ultimately it takes conpromise. Additionally I don’t plan on getting into the nitty gritty and fine details of how and what exact solution should be implemented. What I want to discuss is the frame work or a framework from which we can then arrive at quality soutions.

This compromise must occur mutually between all involved parties, namely: Insurers, health care providers, consumers, and government.

Now one of the things we seem to really suck at in this country is correctly identifying root causes to problems. We also are pretty crappy when it comes to forming mutually beneficial partnerships with those whose interest isn’t perfectly aligned with ours.

For example, for some idiotic reason we in this country have demonized and made villains out of the wealthy, and CEOs, and Corporations, and enterprise as if those entities were the source of our problems. Now sometimes they might be, but in reality they aren’t our enemies and ultimately those corporations and CEOs, and enterprise, can and should be the source of our relief and soutions.

You know what else isn’t in our benefit? Government trying to be an active participating party. Government works best when it acts as referee or adjudicator, it is at its worst when it tries to accomplish that task by not only playing referee, but then playing league commissioner at the same time. Like it does with health care and taxation.

Now moving forward to compromise and who should compromise what.

Government needs to compromise on size and authority, let the market and freedom and incentive be the guiding principles. You want insurers to pick up more high risk people and cover stuff that they know hits their bottom line hard?

Then throw them a bone and alleviate their tax burden for doing so,  Open up interstate borders for competitive commerce. Reward the good you want do not simply invoke penalty for that which you don’t want.

Insurers, recognize that when we live in a society where ultimately people have access to health care and utilize it, that ultimately leads to a healthier population, and is in your best long term interest as well. And if their outgoing going financial burdens are lightened no doubt they will he more willing to endure the short term hit on their bottom line in order to provide this coverage.

Providers, compromise by getting some standardization in your pricing structure, and be more transparent about it.

Consummers, understand and compromise on the fact that in reality we aren’t entitled to insurance, it isn’t a right, health care provided for by trained medical professionals isn’t a right, it is a privilege and service, and you don’t have a right to it.

Now I certainly don’t want to live in a society that doesn’t want to provide that service, but recognize it is a service, recognize the hard work that goes into providing that service at a high level and understand that those skills and services will come at a price, and a hospital and doctor etc need to stay solvent to provide you with it 

So compromise and understand that the more you ask for the more it is going to cost. The more high risk and high draw people are put in the system the more it is going to cost.

So compromise as well by sacrificing some of your pleasures to be more healthy yourself. Nobody owes you healthcare it’s your health your body take responsibility and ownership and ease your own draw on the system as much as you can.

And everybody think of the long long term, and sacrifice some of your own self interest sometimes in order to do what benefits the most possible people for the longest possible time.

Don’t make villains out ofthose who view things differently than you.  Don’t operate with contempt for those who disagree with you and view them or their ideas as worthless. Stop using all or nothing mentalities or the idea that if the “other side gets something they want you’ve lost” give that crap up it isn’t helping anyone. 

Take the time to rightly identify root causes and work towards soutions those, and realize their likely isn’t a quick fix and patience to stay the course and endure hardship, and set backs will be needed. 

Mostly take the best of what each side has to offer and find a way to incorporate that and make sure everybody comes away with something benefitting them and their perspective. 

Stop trying to divide and pit people and entities against each other and unite and seek to bring opposing sides together not further alienate them. 

The solution to our health care woe isn’t easy, but it isn’t all that hard either, it simply requires compromise and sacrifice 


The difference between Lament and Complaint 

As most who know are aware I have a son with Autism. I talk about Cohen frequently. His triumphs, his silliness, the frustration he experiences, and the frustration he causes. 

You’ve probably heard me pontificate on the many ways and aspects for which I’ve become a better human in the many facets of my multiple areas of life, and how I attribute these to growth facilitated because of autism. 

You may have even heard me declare my gratitude for it, and the blessing I feel it to be in my life. And I am sincere in that declaration. I feel truly blessed and humbled by the trust my Heavenly Father has had in me, demonstrated by sending me a soul so powerful, and unique, as Cohen, and pairing it with a body so weighted down with some truly harsh physical limitations. 

You might not as often heard me also declare how blessed I feel for my other children and how I don’t think Cohen could have better siblings and humbled I am that I was also entrusted with their great souls. 

What you’ve probably not heard in all my effervescent praise of: my boys, my wife, the lessons learned, obstacles overcome etc, is the heartache, stress, worry, pain, and occasional hopelessness that accompanies all that joyous goodness.

Much of that stems from what I mention above as true gratitude for what I do have and an understanding of how fortunate we are even in the midst of a legitimately crappy situation.  And not wanting to appear ungrateful I haven’t wanted to complain. 

Which brings me to the crux of today’s post. I’ve come to realize there is a vast difference between Lamenting and mourning for what isn’t or might never be, and complaint, and murmuring over the way things are. 

To explore this further let’s look at how lament differs from murmuring or complaining. 

A lament is by definition a passionate expression of grief or sorrow or a mourning. 

A complaint by contrast is an expression of discontent, and resentment. 

My disaffection with autism isn’t a matter of discontent, or resentment at my situation, it is a sorrow and mourning for what isn’t, tempered with an ongoing gratitude for what I do have, and the reality that my situation could be worse but isn’t and I’m genuinely blessed, and really in a successful situation despite the hardships. 

I’ve learned it is okay to be mournful and even upset and times and to have the desire to say “Screw you Autism”

And this is not the same as complaining, and being bitter and discontent or resentful at my situation. 
I look at the Lament of Christ as he overlooked Jerusalem, and His commenting wondering how oft would He have gathered her?  And the reality that He was still willing and able to gather her, and that He hadn’t become bitter and resentful and spiteful towards His people, but rather was mourning that they hadn’t sought Him. 

But if they did seek Him, His arms were open stretched out and ready to receive them. 

To this effect I feel similarly with my situation I have timed when I mourn for what isn’t, and yet I’m fully ready to embrace what is and accept the next challenge the next obstacle the next whatever, and to do so with humility and gratitude trusting in my Heavenly Father to continue to uphold me and magnify my efforts to meet these things and continue to learn and move forward. 

Complaint on the other hand would have me bitter, and bemoaning every challenge, cursing each obstacle and short coming, and resentful of my life and situation. 

In the end it’s okay to be frustrated, annoyed, irrtated, and upset at times, and even okay to voice these the feelings. The key is to recognize even in the midst of these trials the goodness and mercy and blessings that we do have and remaining grateful. 

I know we all have our own hard rows to hoe in life, and if you ever need a hand with yours let me know I’ll help however I can. Heaven knows I’ve had countless people help me with mine.