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Archive for the ‘youth’ Category

>Will Obama Arrest Bloggers?

>Is the following story from the Russian and Georgian sphere of influence a prelude to what Obama has in mind for all those conservative bloggers who oppose him?

If you’ll note, by coincidence or otherwise, the satire depicts a donkey which is symbol of the American Democratic Party. The youth involved were sorry that their government had cracked down on freedom of the press, so they tried the Internet. And they seemed to be gathering a loyal audience by using satire. They were not being critical of American leaders, but of Azerbaijan leaders who they said were paying too much for donkeys brought into the country.

Read the NY Times story and see if you see some areas of concern here in America. If you don’t, why then is Obama so acutely peeked each time a Rush Limbaugh, Neil Bortz, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Sean Hanity, Glen Beck, and Bill O’Reilly criticize him, sometimes by use of satire.

Sometimes the critical comment is satire and places the president unwillingly in the limelight, pointing fingers of blame for the mess he’s made of this so-called recovery. Making our long-eared president the brunt of laughter and ridicule. In America, such satire and negative comment is called “fair comment” under the First Amendment.

But is Obama primed to take away our First Amendment rights?

Read the story and you decide if the following will come to America.

In Azerbaijan, a Donkey Suit Provokes Laughs and, Possibly, Arrests

YouTube

A frame from a video that mocked Azerbaijan’s government, which had been accused of paying high prices for donkeys.

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Published: July 14, 2009

MOSCOW — Late last month, a group of Azeri bloggers posted their latest tongue-in-cheek opus, a video in which a donkey holds a news conference before a circle of gravely nodding journalists.

Dressed in a voluminous gray costume, Adnan Hajizada rhapsodizes over the lush life awaiting donkeys in Azerbaijan. To his audience — cosmopolitan young Azeris following his commentaries on blogs and Facebook — the video was a sly send-up of the government, which had been accused in the local news media of paying exorbitant prices to import donkeys.

Mr. Hajizada, 26, and his fellow activist Emin Milli, 30, were arrested last week in Baku, the capital, in an event their supporters say could signal the beginning of a crackdown on online media. Azeri authorities said the two physically attacked other men, though witnesses have challenged that account. They are awaiting trial on charges of hooliganism, which carries a sentence of one to five years in prison.

According to a motion filed by Mr. Hajizada

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>Happiness From Helping People

>

LDS Gem Archives, May 2009

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Sent each weekday, Daily Gems offer inspiration and increased gospel knowledge for both members and nonmembers with quotes from Church leaders on a variety of subjects.

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Youth Gems – 29 May 2009

Atonement

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“Jesus Christ entered a garden called Gethsemane, where He overcame sin for us. He took upon Himself our sins. He suffered the penalty of our wrongs. He paid the price of our education. I don’t know how He did what He did. I only know that He did and that because He did, you and I may be forgiven of our sins that we may be endowed with His power. Everything depends on that. What then shall we do? We will ‘take upon [us] the name of [the] Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given [us]; that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us]’ (D&C 20:77). Everything depends on that.”

Lawrence E. Corbridge, “The Way,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 35

Topics: Atonement, Jesus Christ

Young Single Adult Gems – 29 May 2009

Make Time to Immerse Yourself in the Scriptures

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“As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord, and in the Power of His Might” (CES fireside for young adults, March 3, 2002), 3–4

Topics: Scripture

Church History Gems – 29 May 2009

Still, Small Voice

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“Several years after Joseph Smith was martyred, he appeared to President Brigham Young. Hear his message:

” ‘Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.’ (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 23 Feb. 1847, 2 vols., ed. Elden Jay Watson, Salt Lake City: Elden J. Watson, 1968, 1971, 2:529.)

“The Lord has prospered this work and will continue to do so. He is close to His servants, even within whispering distance.

“This latter-day work is spiritual. It takes spirituality to comprehend it, to love it, and to discern it. Therefore, seek the Spirit in all you do. Keep it with you continually. That is our challenge.

“I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will be with each of you in your homes and families.”

Ezra Taft Benson, “Seek the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 5

Topics: Holy Ghost, Spirituality

Family Gems – 29 May 2009

Marriage between a Man and Woman Is Sacred and Ordained of God

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“The subject of marriage is debated across the world, where various arrangements exist for conjugal living. My purpose in speaking out on this topic is to declare, as an Apostle of the Lord, that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred—it is ordained of God. I also assert the virtue of a temple marriage. It is the highest and most enduring type of marriage that our Creator can offer to His children.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 92

Topics: Marriage

Daily Gems – 29 May 2009

Sufficient for Our Needs

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“Throughout history, the Lord has measured societies and individuals by how well they cared for the poor. He has said:

” ‘For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

” ‘Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment’ (D&C 104:17–18; see also D&C 56:16–17). . . .

“We control the disposition of our means and resources, but we account to God for this stewardship over earthly things. It is gratifying to witness your generosity as you contribute to fast offerings and humanitarian projects. Over the years, the suffering of millions has been alleviated, and countless others have been enabled to help themselves through the generosity of the Saints. Nevertheless, as we pursue the cause of Zion, each of us should prayerfully consider whether we are doing what we should and all that we should in the Lord’s eyes with respect to the poor and the needy.

“We might ask ourselves, living as many of us do in societies that worship possessions and pleasures, whether we are remaining aloof from covetousness and the lust to acquire more and more of this world’s goods. Materialism is just one more manifestation of the idolatry and pride that characterize Babylon. Perhaps we can learn to be content with what is sufficient for our needs.”

D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 39

Topics: Tithes and Offerings

Youth Gems – 28 May 2009

Modesty

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“Many of you are trying too hard to be unique in your dress and grooming to attract what the Lord would consider the wrong kind of attention. In the Book of Mormon story of the tree of life, it was the people whose ‘manner of dress was exceedingly fine’ who mocked those who partook of the fruit of the tree. It is sobering to realize that the fashion-conscious mockers in the great and spacious building were responsible for embarrassing many, and those who were ashamed ‘fell away into forbidden paths and were lost’ (1 Nephi 8:27–28).”

L. Tom Perry, “Let Him Do It with Simplicity,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 9

Topics:

Daily Gems – 28 May 2009

Compassionate Attention to Widows

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“Be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit in the use of that consummate privilege of acting in the name of the Lord through your priesthood. Be more aware of how you can make greater use of the power of the priesthood in the lives of those you love and serve. I am thinking particularly of individuals such as a widow in need who likely could benefit from the help of an understanding, compassionate priesthood bearer. Many such will never request help. Be aware of the range of challenges you could help meet in her home, such as the relief of anxieties through an inspired priesthood blessing or the need for small repairs.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 46

Topics: Priesthood Blessings, Serving Others

Young Single Adult Gems – 27 May 2009

Don’t Judge Yourself

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“Don’t judge yourself by what you understand of your potential. Trust in the Lord and what He can do with your dedicated heart and willing mind (see D&C 64:34). Order your life more effectively and eliminate trivia, meaningless detail, and activity. They waste the perishable, fixed, and limited resource of time. Choose to emphasize those matters that have an eternal consequence.

“Permanent, worthwhile growth is attainable, but not without great effort and the honest application of truth. Worthy accomplishment is founded in integrity. Righteousness is fundamental to happiness and desirable attainment. Righteousness is rooted in a pure heart. And indeed it protects one from contamination and the filth of the world. Righteous love is the supreme motivation for constructive change. The examples of our Father in Heaven and the Savior and Their teachings are the perfect source of motivation and direction for life.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

Topics: Righteousness

Daily Gems – 27 May 2009

Happiness from Helping Others

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“President Gordon B. Hinckley believed in the healing power of service. After the death of his wife, he provided a great example to the Church in the way he immersed himself in work and in serving others. It is told that President Hinckley remarked to one woman who had recently lost her husband, ‘Work will cure your grief. Serve others.’

“Those are profound words. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

“President Lorenzo Snow expressed a similar thought: ‘When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1899, 2–3).

“In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119–20

Topics: Serving Others

Daily Gems – 26 May 2009

Personal Revelation

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“We can do the work of the Lord in His way when we seek, receive, and act on personal revelation. Without personal revelation, we cannot succeed. If we heed personal revelation, we cannot fail. The prophet Nephi instructs us that the Holy Ghost will show us ‘all things what [we] should do’ (2 Nephi 32:5). It was prophesied that in the latter days the Lord would pour out His Spirit upon His handmaids (see Joel 2:29). This will happen as we allow ourselves to be still enough and quiet enough to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught us that receiving revelation for our calling and in our personal lives ‘requires serious mental effort on our part. . . . Revelation is not a matter of pushing buttons, but of pushing ourselves, often aided by fasting, scripture study, and personal pondering.

” ‘Most of all, revelation requires us to have a sufficient degree of personal righteousness, so that on occasion revelation may come to the righteous, unsolicited’ (‘Revelation,’ First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 11, 2003, 5).”

Julie B. Beck, “Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 111

Topics: Revelation, Righteousness

Young Single Adult Gems – 25 May 2009

Try Your Faith

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“If you have a feeling that an impression has come through inspiration, ‘try your faith’ by diligently living it. When it is truly a prompting of the Lord, there will be a confirmation that what you have done is right. You will learn what it feels like to have that witness.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

Topics: Holy Ghost

Church History Gems – 25 May 2009

Unlikely Beginning

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“I hold in my hand a first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon. It was printed in 1830 on a hand-operated letter press at the E. B. Grandin Company in the village of Palmyra, New York.

“In June of 1829, Joseph Smith, then 23 years old, called on 23-year-old Mr. Grandin in company with Martin Harris, a local farmer. Mr. Grandin had three months earlier advertised his intent to publish books. Joseph Smith provided pages of a handwritten manuscript.

“If the content of the book did not doom it to remain obscure, the account of where it came from certainly would. Imagine an angel directing a teenage boy to the woods where he found buried a stone vault and a set of golden plates.

“The writings on the plates were translated by use of a Urim and Thummim, which is referred to a number of times in the Old Testament and described by Hebrew scholars as an instrument ‘whereby the revelation was given and truth declared.’

“Before the book was off the press, pages of it were stolen and printed in the local newspaper, accompanied by ridicule. Opposition was destined to excite mobs to kill the Prophet Joseph Smith and drive those who believed him into the wilderness.

“From that very unlikely beginning to this day, 108,936,922 copies of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ have been printed. It has been published in 62 languages, with selections of it in another 37 languages, and 22 more translations are in process.”

Boyd K. Packer, “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 62

Topics: Book of Mormon

Family Gems – 25 May 2009

Blessings Will Come When We Make Our Home a Sanctuary

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“Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.”

Thomas S. Monson, “To Learn, to Do, to Be,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 61

Topics: Righteousness

Daily Gems – 25 May 2009

Assurance of the Lord’s Help

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“President Thomas S. Monson remembered the promised words of the Savior as he blessed me six months ago to stand fearlessly in my calling when it seemed hard. These words of the Savior, which He gave to His tiny band of priesthood holders in this dispensation, came to the prophet’s mind as he laid his hands on my head: ‘And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up’ (D&C 84:88).

“The promise which President Monson remembered and quoted was fulfilled for me. Confidence replaced doubt, the Spirit came, medical helpers were inspired, my life was preserved, and I was borne up. Because of that blessing by President Monson, it will always be easy for me to remember the Savior and trust His promise that He goes before and beside us in His service.

“I know that the promise of angels to bear us up is real. You might want to bring to memory the assurance of Elisha to his frightened servant. That assurance is ours when we feel close to being overwhelmed in our service.”

Henry B. Eyring, “O Ye That Embark,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 58

Topics: Serving Others, Church Callings

Daily Gems – 22 May 2009

Equal Partnership

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“The family proclamation states that a husband and wife should be equal partners. I feel assured that every wife in the Church would welcome that opportunity and support it. Whether it occurs or not depends upon the husband. Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 45–46

Topics: Marriage, Prayer, Family

Family Gems – 22 May 2009

Priesthood Holders Should Honor the Women in Their Lives

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“Of our wives, mothers, grandmothers, and sisters and other important women in our lives, President Hinckley declared: ‘Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth’ (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11). . . .

“I know the immense joy and happiness that come from loving, cherishing, and respecting my precious wife with all my heart and soul. May your use of the priesthood and treatment of the important women in your life bring you the same satisfaction.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 46–47

Topics: Womanhood

Church History Gems – 22 May 2009

Keys for Redemption

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“Around the turn of the twentieth century two missionaries were laboring in the mountain region of the southern part of the United States. One day as they were walking along a ridge in the hill country, they saw people gathering in a clearing near a cabin some distance down the hillside.

“They discovered that there was to be a funeral. A little boy had drowned. His parents had sent for the minister to ‘say words’ at the burial of the little fellow. The elders stayed in the background to watch the proceedings. The little fellow was to be buried in the grave already opened near the cabin. The minister stood before the grieving father and mother and the others gathered and began his funeral sermon. If the parents expected to receive consolation from this man of the cloth, they would be disappointed.

“He scolded them severely for not having had the little boy baptized. They had put it off because of one thing or another, and now it was too late. He told them very bluntly that their little boy had gone to hell. He told them that it was their fault, that they were to blame—they had caused their son endless torment.

“After the sermon was over and the grave was covered, the friends, neighbors, and relatives left the scene. The elders approached the grieving parents. ‘We are servants of the Lord,’ they told the sobbing mother, ‘and we have come with a message for you.’

“As the grief-stricken parents listened, the two young elders unfolded to their view something of a vision of the eternities. They read from the revelations, and they bore to these humble, grief-stricken parents their testimony of the restoration of the keys for the redemption of both the living and the dead.”

Boyd K. Packer, “Come to the Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2007, 18–19

Topics: Temple Work

Young Single Adult Gems – 22 May 2009

Read and Ponder the Scriptures

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“Your efforts to distill truth from reading and pondering the scriptures, from analyzing and striving to understand the inspired messages of the prophets, will provide you with an armory of truth. That truth will protect you from evil influences and lay a foundation for happiness, security, and purpose in your life. It will help you make correct choices. Initially these truths are accepted on faith. The confirming witness of their validity comes as you apply them in your life and as you express gratitude for the growth, maturity, and blessings that come from their use. That confirmation strengthens your capacity to discipline your life to avoid those things you know to be unproductive and harmful. Such a witness provides encouragement and the confidence to center your life in the teachings of the Savior and the plan of happiness of the Father.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 3

Topics: Scripture

Daily Gems – 21 May 2009

Revelation a Constant Compass

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“Continuing revelation is a fundamental feature of [the faith of our Father]. Joseph Smith’s first prayer is a powerful testimony of this. Revelation is a constant compass that keeps us always true to the will and the faith of our Heavenly Father.

“Our Heavenly Father loves His children. He hears the prayers of the humble and sincere of every nation, tongue, and people. He grants light to those who seek and honor Him and are willing to obey His commandments. We joyously proclaim that the faith of our Father is on the earth today.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Faith of Our Father,” Ensign, May 2008, 75

Topics: Children of God, Revelation, First Vision

Youth Gems – 21 May 2009

Sacrament

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“Young men who officiate in the ordinance of the sacrament should be worthy. The Lord has said: ‘Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord’ (D&C 38:42). The scriptural warning about partaking of the sacrament unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:29; 3 Nephi 18:29) surely applies also to those who officiate in that ordinance. In administering discipline to Church members who have committed serious sins, a bishop can temporarily withdraw the privilege of partaking of the sacrament. That same authority is surely available to withdraw the privilege of officiating in that sacred ordinance.”

Dallin H. Oaks, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 20

Topics: Sacrament, Worthiness

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