Sunday, May 31, 2015

Emergency Preparedness: First Aid

This week I participated in an Emergency Preparedness Fair held at the North Augusta LDS Church.  During the event there were presenters that talked on numerous preparedness topics such as: 72-hour kits, planting fruit trees, canning and preserving, food storage, bread making, and first aid. I covered the first aid topic.

2 Disaster Categories
When it comes to emergency preparedness, there are 2 general classes of disasters: local short-term vs. national or global long-term.  Short-term local disasters include events such as: ice storm, flood, dam break, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, nuclear accident, chemical spill, power outage, etc. National long-term disasters include infectious disease pandemic (flu or ebola), EMP strike, WW3 nuclear first-strike, economic collapse, etc.

Disruption of Services
The reason to differentiate these 2 types of disasters is to understand the extent of disruption to public services and the kinds of preparation needed. In the more common short-term disasters, all or at least some of the area hospitals are usually still in operation. The most likely disruption would be to EMS services.  We are accustomed to calling 911 and having an ambulance show up within 10-15 minutes.  However, during any disaster, EMS services may be disrupted because EMS are overextended with too many calls, no phone service, and/or road inaccessibility.

First Aid Goal
In a short-term local disaster, the first thing to realize is that at least some of the hospitals will be operational.  The goal is not to take it upon yourself to diagnose and perform an emergent appendectomy on your neighbor in the aftermath of a hurricane. When I go camping and hiking with the scouts, I don't take a huge pack filled with every sort of medical device with a plan to perform advanced procedures in the backcountry. The goal in any short-term local disaster is to understand and be able to perform basic first-aid and EMS skills and possibly transport  the injured person yourself to the hospital while keeping them alive.

In the event of any disaster, and even without a widespread disaster, it is critical that eveyone understand and can perform basic first aid.  In many instances, waiting 10-15 minutes for EMS to arrive can be too long. The brain cannot survive 15 minutes without circulating blood, and a bleeding patient can exsanguinate is only a few minutes.  Taking and making a few simple acts can make the difference between life and death.

When it comes to disaster preparedness or any preparedness, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you live in an area with tornados, make sure your home has a basement shelter, cellar, or safe room.  Also, if you can help it, pick a home that isn't in a flood plain, or right next to railroad tracks or a chemical plant.

Avoid needing medical services during a disaster buy adopting a healthy lifestyle.  exercise, maintain a healthy diet, lose weight, and quite smoking.  If you are dependant on pain or heart medications, try and liberate yourself from these if possible (as directed by your doctor) through diet, exercise and physical therapy.  If you are otherwise dependant on a med, make sure you have some meds saved up in reserve.  Most pharmacies allow patients to buy their meds 3-months or more at a time.

Safety and Sanitation:
Many health issues can be avoided through proper safety and sanitation. In any emergecy, don't forget to continue to wash your hands, dispose of waste and garbage, store and be able to purify water, and use proper eye and protective clothing when using tools and other equipment.

Water Storage
An easy way to maintain proper cleanliness during a disaster is to store clean water.  You can purchase used 60-gallon blue water barrels for relatively cheap as well as 275-gallon caged water IBC Totes.  These IBC Totes stack very well also. 

Cleanliness can be maintained by storing basic soap and water but also having a box of wet wipes, and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Using wet wipes after the toilet can decrease the amount of toilet paper needed.  Simple household bleach is cheap and can be used to disinfect any surface.

Water Purification
Water can be purified in several ways. It is important to be able to purify water by boiling, filtering, and chemical treatment.  To boil water, you will need to fuel.  Propane for use with a camp stove is both easy and cheap. You can also build a simple paint can gassifier stove and boil water using pine cones.  Water can be easily filtered using a camping pump-action water purifier or Big Berkey ceramic filter. The cheapest way to chemically treat water is to buy a tub of Pool Shock. You then can create a chlorinated concentrate by adding 1 tsp pool shock to 1 gal water and then treating water using the concentrate in a 1:100 ratio.  Household bleach purifies 8 drops per gallon for 30 minutes.  Vitamin C or letting the water sit open overnight will eliminate most of the chlorine taste.

Dry Toilet
Human waste disposal is often overlooked. It takes over 1 gallon of water to flush a typical toilet.  If water pressure is affected, if you let the waste build up, toilets can becomes clogged and become a serious health hazzard in addition to generating very unpleasant odors.  A dry toilet works under the same principles as kitty litter. You can buy toilet lid seats that snap on to the top of any 5-gallon bucket. You line the bucket with a plastic bag and lay out sone dry saw dust, leaves, grass or sand in the bottom.  After you make your solid waste deposite, you cover the waste with a scoop of lime or wood ashes.  The lime and wood ash is basic and will desiccate, kill bacteria, neutralize odors, and allowing fungus to break down the material.  You do not urinate in a dry toilet.  Urine should be kept separate.  Solid waste should be later buried or burned.

ABCD First Aid Skills:
After you have taken all the necessary preventative measures, accidents can and will still happen. That is when basic first aid skills are essential.  However, no one need be intimidated.  First Aid is really as easy as ABC. First Aid really comes down to a few basic elements: A- Access, Airway, B- Breathing, Bleeding, C- Chest Compressions, Circulation, D- Deformity. 

When you come across an unconscious person, you need to access the situation quickly? What do you see around the patient? Is there empty pill bottles? Is there signs of a fall or trauma?  Did the person clutch their throat (choking) or chest (heart attack) before collapsing? These are all clues to what is going on with the individual. 

An unresponsive person could just be asleep, or alcohol intoxicated or both.  The first step is to call out and lightly tap them on the shoulder and say several times "Are you alright?  Are you alright?".  If you don't get a response, you yell, "Help, call 911" and ideally direct a specific person to call 911.  Point at the specific person you want to make the call. If you are alone, you will have to call yourself, but do not leave the patient.

Next you kneel at the head of the victim and look, listen, and feel for signs of breathing.  Do you see chest rise?  Do you hear breathing or feel exhaled breaths againat your cheek? Do their lips appear white, pale, or blue?  After looking for signs of breathing, feel around the anterior lateral sides of the base of the neck for a pulse. This assessment should take less than 30 seconds to perform.  If the victim doesn't have a pulse, you skip A and B and jump down to C for Chest Compressions. 

When some people lose consciousness for whatever reason: seizure, concussion, overdose, etc, they can obstruct their airway. The unconsious person may be overweight or in a contorted position that restricts their ability to breath.  You can usually tell this if they are snoring loudly, and especially if their lips turn white, pale or blue.  The easiest way to help someone breath is to roll them flat on their back, or on their side if vomiting.  Do not stick anything in the mouth. If they are gaving a seizure and they are biting their tongue, let them bite it even if its bleeding.  Roll them on their back or side and clear away objects from around them. 

After rolling a person on their back or side (if vomiting), is to lift their chin slightly into the "sniffing position", and from the head of the person performing a jaw thrust by placing light pressure behind both sides of the jaw just below their ears.  In many cases, an unconscious, but spontaneously breathing person who appears cyanotic (blue) will pink up with these 3 simple maneuvers. 

1. Roll on Back (or side)
2. Chin Lift to Sniffing Position
3. Jaw Thrust

If a person is choking, if the person is making some sounds, do nothing but call 911.  If they are making gasping or gagging or stridor sounds they are only  partially obstructed and doing something can make it worse and not better.  If they are clutching their throat and not making any sound, then you perform the Heimlich Maneuver standing behind them with you arms wrapped around the person, making a fist with one hand and placing it in the top of the stomach. You then clasp your fist (base of thumb into the stomach) tightly with your other hand and forcefully thrust your fist into their stomach repetitively in an abrupt inward and upward movement.  If they have gone unconscious, then you straddle the victim, looking up their nostrils, lock your fingers and push up against their stomach with the heel of your hand pushing up in repetitive forceful thrusts and perform several rescue breaths.

B- Breathing
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can be perfomed if the person is not breathing starting with 2 initial rescue breaths.  It is important to pinch the nose closed while you give breaths so the air fills the lungs and doesn't just leak out the nose.  A plastic barrier device, face mask, or Ambu bag will help. Ambu bags are very bulky but collapsible pocket face masks are small, lightweight and work very well. Also, these face masks ($10) have a filter and valve to prevent exposure to body fluids and they seal around both the mouth and nose so pinching the nose closed is not necessary. (Google: CPR Face Mask)

Another simple airway device that isrelatively inexpensive but really works to help open the airway is a nasal trumpet device. These are flexible tubes of different lengths made of latex rubber or non-latex that can be inserted into a nostrile to aid in breathing or giving rescue breaths in combination with the CPR face mask.  A set of nasal trumpets cost about $15-$25.  (Google: Nasal Trumpet) You measure the correct size of nasal trumpet by measuring the distance from the nostrile to the ear lobe. 

Most bleeding can be controlled with direct pressure.  It amazes me how many people come into the Emergency Department with a gun shot wound to the shoulder or leg and look much worse they they are because no one bothered to just hold pessure on the bleeding wound.  Paramedics are guilty many times of not holding effective direct pressure.  Many times they will take a lot of thick bandages and extensively wrap the wound.  But inevitably, the thick dressings quickly just become saturated with blood.  Don't use a pile of dressings when a couple 4x4 gauze and 2 finger pin-point pressure will do.  

In cases where direct pressure is not working, tourniquets can be very effective. Wrapping cloth or elastic material around the extremity above the injury can work very well to control bleeding.  A manual blood pressure cuff works well also.  You don't need to tie the tourniquet so tight the extremity turns white or you cause nerve damage.  You are just looking to slow down the bleeding in comblination with 2-finger direct pressure on the wound.   You also, do not need to untie the tourniquet.  Arms and legs can go several hours without blood without permanent damage.  As long as you are on your way to a hospital, you can leave the tourniquet in place. 

C- Chest Compresions
If you come across someone who turns diaphoretic, short of breath, clutches their chest and then collapses, that person is having a heart attack, and their heart has gone into ventricular fibrillation and has stopped beating.  That person will be unconscious, and they will have no pulse and no blood flowing to their brain. If the victim does not receive chest compressions, they will become brain dead in less than 10 minutes. The latest recommendations is for bystanders to perform chest compression-only CPR until EMS arrives.  You can check for a pulse in the neck when you first assess the victim, but if you think the person's heart is stopped, and they are not breathing or are having a few agonal respirations, you don't feel a pulse, and they are unresponsive, they need compressions.  

You don't have to worry about breathing for these patients, only chest compressions.  The heart will not start beating again until the person is defibrillated using an AED, but doing chest compressions without interruption, will keep the blood following until EMS arrives or someone can bring an AED device.  If you are performing chest compressions on someone, do not stop to check for a pulse, and do not stop to perform breathing. Just keep on doing the chest compressions with minimal interruption.  If there is another person assisting, they can give some rescue breaths, but do not stop compressions to allow the breaths. Stopping and starting chest compressions makes them ineffective. It takes nearly 15-20 compessions to get the blood to begin to circulate at all, if you are stopping every 15 or 30 compressions to give breaths, you really are not circulating any blood. 

Many EMS do very poor chest compressions. Doing good CPR can make all the difference.  Kneel beside the patient or straddle the patient looking up their nostriles.  Place the palm of your hand against their sternum, 2 fingers above their xyphoid process, lock your fingers together with your other hand and lock your elbows straight and compress forcefully giving about 100 compressions a minute. You should perform compressions while thinking of the song "stay'n alive".  Don't worry about breaking ribs or feeling pops in the chest as you do compressions. Remember to keep your elbows locked as you do compressions.  Use your back, shoulder, and even hip and thigh muscles to do compressions and not your arm muscles. If you are perfoming compressions on a child, you will use the palm of one hand.  If you are doing CPR on a baby, you use 2 fingers. 

The last major skill that EMS perform is to stabilize the neck and back and any broken arms or legs. When you come across an unconscious victim, you need to assume that they may have suffered some sort of trauma and could have a neck or back fracture. If you move them without stabilizing their neck, then they could suffer a spinal cord injury and become paralzyed. 

The key to stabilizing the neck is to use a plastic hard collar that just makes sure the head stays midline with the shoulders and doesn't flop around to the right or left or back or forwards.  If you don't have a plastic c-collar, you can use rolled up towels and tape to wrap around the base of the neck.

The key to stabilizing the back is to have the person remain flat on their back. If they have to be moved onto their side, then they need to be "log rolled" onto their side by moving their neck and back together in one motion, like a log.  The victim should not be made to sit up, or be bent over or to the side in any manner. If the victim is being moved, then the c-collar should be placed first, and someone should hold the head and neck straight between their forearms, while another person rolls them up on their side pulling from their hip and shoulder. 

Arms and leg fractures can be stabilized by using SAM splints or various poles or sticks or handles. SAM splints can be purchased for under $10. You position the rigid splint on either side of the fracture and then wrap and ACE bandage, or cloth, or tape around the splint so it doesn't move or slip and stabilizes the extremity from painfully flopping around. 

Total Social Collapse
If EMS cannot get to you, then you will have to perfrom the function of EMS and transport the victim to the hospital.  However, in the event of a nation-wide disaster, hospital services may also be disrupted. In this "Without Rule of Law" or "Feathers Hit the Fan" situation, survival will involve additional preparation including long term storage of water, food, gardening, etc. 

Additional medical procedures that would be useful would be the ability to suture a laceration.  Disinfect wounds and surrounding skin with high-pressure water irrigation (clean but not sterile) using a syringe and iodine and clorhexidine surgical wash.  Fishing line and sewing needle can be used as suture.  Superglue can be used as skin glue. However, skin glue only works on simple linear lacerations that are not gaping and the skin edges come together easily on their own after all bleeding has stopped. If the wound is bleeding and even oozing, adding super glue to blood will create a big mess. In the case of persistent bleeing, suturing the edges together with fishing line will help stop the bleeding. 

Useful Medications:
Ibuprophen- pain reliever, and fever reducer.
Aspirin- pain reliever, fever reducer, blood thinner. 
Reglan- nausea, migraines.
Imodium/Lomotil- diarrhea
Antibiotics- various infections
Magnesium Sulfate- constipation, diabetes, inflammatory illnesses, asthma
Decadron- inflammation, asthma, bronchitis
Antifungal- fungal skin rashes
Doxepin- super powerful antihistamine
Epi-Pen- severe anaphylactic allergic reactions
Albuterol- asthma, you can connect tubing and nebulizer reservoir to any tire pump to create a nebulizer.

WHO ORT fluid is 6 tsp sugar and 0.5 tsp salt in 1 liter fluid. An alternative to giving fluid orally, or even IV, is to give fluid rectally via an enema catheter and bag.  The colon's main function is absorb water.

Useful Herbs
Mustard: antibiotic, antifungal
Pine needles: antiviral, vitamin C
Sweetgum: antiviral
Salt gargle/honey/zinc tab- sore throat

First Aid Kit
1. CPR Resuscitation Mask
2. Nasal Trumpet Airways
3. SAM splints
4. ACE wraps
5. 4x4 gauze
6. tape
7. trauma scissors 
8. scalpel
9. hemostat clamps
10. forceps tweezers 
11. Bandaids (various sizes)
12. Iodine wash
13. Clorhexidine wash
14. Afrin nasal spray and nose clamp
15. Bulb syringe
16. Enema bag and tube
17. O2 Pulse Ox sensor
18. Neck Brace/C-Collar
19. Epi-Pen
20. Albuterol Inhaler, Spacer
21. Other Useful medicine
22. Light
23. N95 Masks
24. Nitrile Gloves
25. Mole Skin
25. Fishing line and needles
26. Superglue
27. Lidocaine with needle and syringe

We'll Ascend Together: 5 Protective Fence Posts

For our 5th Sunday Lesson, we discussed the talk by Sister Linda K. Burton, "We Shall Ascend Together".

I taught Primary Sharing Time by explaining part of the "Proclamation to the World on the Family" that teaches that it is the duty of fathers and parents in general to protect their children and provide them the necessities of life. 

I retold the story of her Uncle Don who didn't have alot of money but obtained 5 fence posts and drove them into the ground and tied string between them and instructed his children to never cross or play outside the string into the street.

In addition, to keeping us physically safe, fathers and parents keep us spiritually safe. I had a series of 5 foam posts with stands that were wrapped in brown butcher paper (to look like fence posts) and had colored construction paper wrapped at the top. Written on the colored construction paper in a rainbow of colors was 1 of 5 gospel principles that keep us spiritually safe. My spiritual principles were: Jesus Christ, Prayer, Scriptures, Commandments, and Temple.

I asked the children to answer questions by raising their hands and share a comment if: 1. they have parents that keep them safe? 2. who watched General Conference? 3. what their parents tell them to keep them safe? 4. what women general officers of the Church are there that we can listen to during General Conference (senior primary)?

I then invited a child to come up to the front and select a fence post and color and hold it up in front of the class while we read the principle marked on it. After explaining how the principle keeps us spiritually safe, we then sang a primary song that corresponded with that principle and sign post: "A Child's Prayer", "Keep the Commandments", "I Love to See the Temple", "Search, Ponder and Pray", " I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ".  

I then errected our colorful 5 fence posts one by one in the front of the class which were connected together with some heavy string. After the fence was errected, I bore my testimony of the divine role of fathers amd parents to provide and protect both temporally and spiritually. Lastly I invited and challenged the chikdren to thank and express appreciation to their parents for providing for them and keeping them safe.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Remembering the Captivity of Our Fathers


An old adage says that if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.  Another adage says that history is written by the victors.  Unfortunately, a third adage that the good guys always win is not true.  Consequently, what we think we know about history may not be true.  We may know the chronology of events, but we may be mistaken about why certain events occurred.  Why would Satan be interested in obscuring our understanding of history?  Simple, so he can reuse the same tactics on us and get us to make the same mistakes. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that when Christ returns to the Earth, He will take the time to review the history of the Earth to us from start to finish. (D&C 88:108-110).  Why would Christ take the time to review world history with us during the Millennium?  Because we don't know it.

Book of Mormon:
The Book of Mormon is a book of sacred scripture containing a special witness of Jesus Christ and a warning.  What is the great warning of the Book of Mormon? The Book of Mormon records the fate of two great ancient civilizations in America that were destroyed because of their pride, materialism, and neglect of the poor which allowed secret combinations to overrun, overthrow, and completely destroy their civilization. The genetic and anthropologic record supports that the great Adena and Woodland (Hopewell) cultures flourished for a time in North America only to completely disappear from the archeological record with only their war mounds heaped up containing thousands upon thousands of skeletons as a witness of their fate.

The Book of Mormon prophet Mormon says in unmistakable terms that Jesus Christ had shown him our day and he knew our doing. Mormon said that the purpose of the Book of Mormon was an exhortation for the Gentiles to "be more wise than they had been", to awake to the reality of our awful situation and avert the secret conspiracies from gaining the sole management of the government (Hel 6:39) and from eventually succeeding in their goal to overthrowing the freedom and sovereignty of all nations (Ether 8:25).

Another major theme of the Book of Mormon is its admonition that we never "forget the captivity of our forefathers".  This admonition to remember is not only about remembering God's infinite tender mercies and His deliverance, but also to remember the various causes for which our forefathers sacrificed, bleed and died to preserve our freedoms and provide us greater opportunities and prosperity. One way we can forget the captivity of our father's is to be confused about why certain conflicts were fought. When Satan convinces us of an alternate version of history, we can quickly find that we have compromised away the same freedoms that our forefathers died for without even lifting a voice or finger in objection. 

If we let this murderous conspiracy have their way, we and our posterity will be turned into genetic and virtual slaves.  This the legacy we are leaving our children, and our children's children.  If these modern-day Gadiantons achieve their design, there will be no revolution that will ever hope to free us. There will be no Jubilee Year forgiving debts, allowing the prisoners to go free and allowing us to return to the lands of our inheritance.  If we allow these Fabian Globalist to destroy our constitutional government, like the Nephalim from before the Great Flood, our genetic corruption would eventually lead to our permanent enslavement and total destruction.

Path to Destruction:
The fall of constitutional government follows the following pattern:
1. Demoralization of society via materialism, substance abuse, and sexual immorality.
2. Greater poverty:
A. familial psychosocial neglect due to parent's materialism leading to increased psychological disorders, and poverty of the mentally ill.
B. sexual immorality leads to broken families, single mothers and increased illigitimate poor.
C. substance abuse leads to decreased productivity, poor health and increased idle poor.
D. all these influences lead to a general increase in stress and decrease in quality of nutrition leading to a decrease in health and education and increased poverty due to poor health and decreased education.
3. Materialistic rich neglect their responsibility to aid the poor because poverty is their own fault.
3. Greater divide between material rich and poor
4. Evil sweep into government control with the promise of economic equality and socialism.
5. Socialism enables the poor to stay poor, and enables the materialistic rich to continue to stay materialistic and neglect the poor.
6. Evil in control of the government, stay in government, and can continue to errode freedoms so long as they continue doling out "free bread and circus".
7. Eventual fall and failure of free constitutional government.

Constitutional Government and Pure Religion:
The US Government is 18 Trillion in debt and is using the fear of economic collapse to get Congress to enter into unconstitutional secret trade agreements that only ever prove to further weaken domestic mining, production, manufacturing, and business.  These secret trade deals that sign away our sovereignty are not the only way to save this country.

The first step to deliverance is faith in Jesus Christ and then repentance. We need to repent of our drug use and sexual immorality. The recreational use of any mind-altering substance is wrong. Our brain rewards us for productive behavior, any illicit triggering of our pleasure centers without legitimately earning those neuro-chemical rewards is an exploit and cheating ourselves.  Why climb the mountain when I can just sit here on my couch and simulate the feeling and reward?  Using recreational drugs should not be criminalized.  There is no victim but distribution of recreational substances should be criminalized as in the days of Prohibition.

We need to repent of our sexual immorality. Any sexual activity before marriage and outside of marriage is wrong.  All birth control has a known failure rate and recreational sex, like drugs, is an exploit.  Also, all children have the right to receive a full genetic inheritance from both a male and female and to be born into a family and raised by both a loving mother and father.  Same-gender marriage is the civil rights issue of our day. It is the children's rights that are being violated.  Same-gender couple should be allowed to live together and receive all inheritance, medical decision-making, insurance and tax benefits as any other couple except the right to create and raise children. Children is what differentiates marriage from civil union.

We must repent of our materialism.  Any poverty anywhere in society is an injustice and a threat to our freedoms.  Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of the Boule and was controlled and very immoral.  But he had a change of heart and shifted his focus from the issue of race to the issue of poverty and was promptly assassinated.  It is the responsibility of people through the church to provide welfare services and not government.  The reason for this us the Church will more likely provide accountability and rehabilitation while the government cannot. I do not propose heartlessly cutting people off government welfare. Instead, if churches started doing their job, people would no longer need government assistance and come off it themselves.

We can only secure our constitutional freedoms by a return to virtue and ending poverty in this nation. The end to poverty will also require a change in our economic system from our European-style fractional reserve capitalist system to a full reserve free enterprise system.  A possible constitutional replacement system is called the Safety Society System.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mothers Day Message

I attend church with many faithful and courageous men and women who valiantly serve this country in the armed forces.  Many of these courageous Saints have and are risking their lives to preserve our freedoms. But there is other group of individuals at church that make a similar sacrifice who we tend to overlook- mother's.

And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Book of Mormon, Alma, Alma 56:48)

This didn't make sense to me for the longest time.  The Son's of Helaman, the 2000 Stripling Warriors, in the Book of Mormon said that they learned their faith in God and in His power of deliverance from their mother's who knew and had experienced God's deliverance.  In addition to their miraculous conversion, these faithful mothers had never gone to war. When had their mothers been delivered?

Every time a mother is pregnant and delivers a baby, she is risking her life to bring a baby into this world.  Having and nurturing children also is integral to preserving our freedoms as a nation.  The armed forces are asked to preserve freedom by taking life, but women preserve freedom by giving it.  Without the rising of a righteous next generation, there would be no freedom-loving people to possess this land.

Satan is are great accuser.  Again and again Satan inspired people to say to Christ, "if thou be the Christ, save thyself".  Satan demeans and accuses mothers by inspiring some to ask mothers, "what else do you do?".   Everything we do in life and society, is to facilitate families raising a healthy and moral posterity to take our place in this land. I hope to never hear another LDS Saint ever accuse or attempt to make a mother feel like her life and sacrifice is not good enough. 

Many women have experienced considerable pain, trauma and even terror during pregnancy.  Consequently, in the same way our soldiers experience PTSD, mothers can experience post-partum and perinatal depression, anxiety and grief after a miscarriage or stillbirth. Our society doesn't give out purple hearts and silver stars to mothers who have been injured or displayed considerable valor in the face of great personal danger.  But we can and should honor and show appreciation to the women and mothers in our own lives. Everytime a mother is intoduced, like our soldiers, we can thank them for their service to this country. 

Liberation Theology

Liberation theology preaches that it is not enough for the church to simply empathise and care for the poor. Instead, the church needed to be a vehicle to push for fundamental political and structural changes that would eradicate poverty, even supporting armed struggle against oppressors.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints rejects liberation theology.  It is the primary responsibility of religion to care for the poor (pure religion).  Government welfare enables the poor by the redistribution of income without accountability.  But the Kingdom of God will end poverty by the power of covenant and morality and not the sword (keep himself unspotted from the world).  The policies with regard to poverty that need to change are not political ones but religious. When religions begin to do their job, the poor will no longer need to rely on government. (see James 1:27) 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Power of Covenant

"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."(Book of Mormon, Alma 48:17)

Many wonder why the prophet Mormon in the Book of Mormon devoted so much time writing about war between the Nephites and Lamanites.  Captain Moroni was the chief general of all the Nephite Armies and a key figure. What are we to learn from the "war chapters"?  Mormon says that Moroni was a man with perfect understanding.  How is Captain Moroni's perfect understanding manifest in his execution of war?

Captain Moroni was such a great leader not just because he was such a great military strategist, but also because he understood the power of covenant and used the power of covenant and commitment to bind Satan and defeat his enemies.  While Satan is the great liar and deciever, the power and glory of God is manifest in His power to always keep His word.

Captain Moroni was able to rally and inspire the Nephites to the cause of freedom by helping them remember their covenants and commitments to their God, country, and family.  Captain Moroni wrote these commitments on his coat and created a banner called "the Title of Liberty".  The Title of Liberty became a great Nephite symbol ever after..

"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." (Book of Mormon, Alma 46:12)

Captain Moroni used the power of covenant not only to strengthen the righteous but also to win over his enemies.  Defeated Lamanites were always allowed to go free if they would commit to never returning to war against them. Many Lamanites accepted commitment instead of death.  However, other Lamanites perished because they knew they and their children would break their word.  These commitments freed the Nephites from having to feed and guard Lamanite prisoners.

Forgetting the warnings and lessons of the Book of Mormon is what brought condemnation upon the Early Church in Missouri.  The Missouri Saints according to Sec 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants failed to build the temple, and therefore were unable to recognize the church, at a low level, being infilltrated by the "enemy". Had the early Saints been more faithful and harkened to the lessons and warnings of the Book of Mormon about Conspiracy (See Helaman 6), and built the temple, they would have "seen the enemy afar off". 
How does the temple and temple covenants reveal evil?  Evil cannot bare the covenants of the Temple. A few might lie about their intent and wickedness and go to the temple, but they won't be regular attenders. Evil people generally have a very difficult time with commitments of morality, paying tithing, sustaining leaders and being active in the church.

Consequently, the Early Saints in Missouri were infilltrated by the illuminati, those illuminati started up the Danites that stirred up considerable trouble with the neighbors, resulting in the Mormon War and the expulsion of the Early Saints from Missouri.  This unfortunate series of events would not have happened had the Early Saints understood the power of covenant and had built their temple.
In the same way Captain Moroni used covenants to bind Satan and defeat his enemies, we must also learn to use covenants and commitments to fight the personal war that wages within each one of us.  Covenants and commitments have the power to bind Satan in our lives if we can learn to keep them. Ultimately it will be the power of covenant via Christ's Holy Temple that will bring about Christ's long-awaited millennial kingdom.
Just like Captain Moroni used the power of covenant and commitment to bind Satan and defeat his enemies, we can use the power of covenant to bind Satan in our own lives.  Is there an aspect of our lives which we feel Satan has power over us?  Do we have a weakness that we would like to turn into a strength? Like Captain Moroni, we can make commitments and goals to ourselves and to God to repent, to improve and to change. As we make and keep our commitments to ourselves and to God, we will experience and enjoy a greater outpouring of God's Holy Spirit.