Archive for May, 2007

11
May

Physicians and Guns

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

Some interesting facts:

1. The number of physicians in the United States is approximately 700,000
2. Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year is appx. 120,000.
3. Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171. (US Dept. of Health & Human Services)

1. The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000 (yes, eighty-million!).
2. The number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups) is 1,500.
3. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .0000188.

Ergo, doctors are statistically about 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

I don’t know if it’s all true, but I thought it was interesting.

Last evening was the ward youth baptism night at the temple.  We went with them, and it was very special.  I made arrangements so that Karen and I could be baptized for Grandma and Grandpa, along with Grandma’s brother Wayne.    A few others in the ward had names to be done as well, so they were included and done by the youth.

As it turned out, I was the baptizer for the young women.  We had 3 that were there for the first time.  When they were done, Karen came down and I baptized her for Grandma.  Then Brother Z came down and baptized me for Grandpa and Wayne.

Coming out of the dressing room, I found the Bishop had made arrangements for the confirmations, and took us to the room immediately.  There, I was able to confirm Karen for Grandma, then the Bishop confirmed me for Grandpa and Wayne.  I had not asked for him to do that, but of those who were there, and they are all great people, I am glad that it was him.

It was a rather emotional evening for me.  The spirit of the Lord was strong, and I am sure that some of the people who we were baptized for were near.  I could feel them, even if I could not see them.  It was so nice to be there with Karen and to share this experience with her.  This work is true, and I am so glad to be a part of it.

I was thinking about the current state of the United States of America, and I am very concerned that the country is approaching a critical time.  This land has historically and scripturally been a “promised” land since the time that the continents were divided.  While we do not have much of a biblical source for the promises and equal warnings given to those who would possess this part of the world, we do have several groups who have received the promise given in ancient scripture, namely the Book of Mormon.  Without this book, there would be very little information about the divine promises given to those who would inhabit the Americas.

Almost every group of people led here were given great blessings and promises of a free land with the condition that they serve God righteously.  And, almost without exception, each of those groups eventually fell into iniquity and were violently removed.

Jaredites, Mulekites, Nephites, and possibly other –ites that we do not yet know about were brought here rather miraculously and started their sojourn in a land of promise.  When they were righteous they prospered.  When they became wicked, they warred among themselves and were killed in great numbers.  And, at times, when they were righteous, they warred with those who were not and most often came off victorious.

I believe the Lamanites were spared because of the pleadings of righteous men for their sake, and the Lord made promises to those men on behalf of their wicked brethren.

When people began again to immigrate to America, it was because they were seeking religious freedom, the right to worship in the way they thought correct.  Thus, this land was prepared for freedom and self government.  When the Lord’s church was restored, the promises made to the ancient inhabitants was made again – if the Lord was served, the land would remain free.

Here we are in 2007, approaching 200 years from the time those promises were made again to the Saints of God.  This country has more people than it has ever had.  Many are righteous people.  Many more think they serve God, but do not have the gospel as given by Christ.  More still are wicked, not adhering to the commandments of God, but follow their own paths, being led by the wiles of the devil.

I fear that those who lead our country are largely of that latter group.  There does not seem to be many who are willing to lead in righteousness.  They think that faith and religion are things to be shunned.  Those who try to be righteous are labeled as fanatics and kooks.  We hear a lot about the religious right, and that group is painted as fruitcakes.  I met a person today who is one of those “religious right” kooks.  He was passionate about the state of his country, his role in it, and I share his concern that we are facing and going to face some very difficult times very soon.

I firmly believe that this country can not be brought down by outside forces.  Those who have tried have always failed.  History has shown that this land is protected by divine force.  When governments and people have fallen, it has been the result of dissent, disillusionment, wickedness and violence from those within.

This is the reason that I am very afraid for this country.  At this time, we have a government that is not interested in the welfare and security of this country.  They are warring among themselves, not caring that the citizens are watching them act like spoiled children fighting over a candy bar.  The ideas and actions of these people are contrary to God’s will and commandments.  What’s worse, some of them know better, and choose to ignore what is right, going with what is politically correct.

Along with this, most people end up taking sides.  These sides are becoming farther apart as ideas become more extreme and middle ground erodes away.

Those who would stand of principle of righteousness find themselves more isolated as the larger majority are willing to put their principles aside in favor of popular opinion.  Already, we have incidents where one group of people protests against another group, sometimes leading to violence.

These are the same kinds of things that led to the ruin of previous inhabitants of this land.  I think of Captain Moroni, who had to march to the rescue of Pahoran, leader of the government at the time when those who wanted a king were becoming such a problem that they threatened to overthrow the chief judge and install their wicked leader as the king.  In Moroni’s case he was successful, but at the cost of having to eliminate those who wanted the king.

I think of the Nephite people after Christ visited and gave them His gospel.  Those who remained righteous were those who were there and saw Him.  This continued for about 3 generations.  By the 4th generation, the story became “old” and wickedness quickly took over.  Some years late, the entire Nephite nation was destroyed by the Lamanites.

In the first case, Pahoran was a righteous man, but he was threatened by those who were wicked and were more numerous than the righteous in that area.  I feel like President Bush is somewhat in that position right now.  He is a good man who faces an uphill battle right now, and while I do not think that he needs to fear for his life per se, the pack of wolves in the congress are looking for every opportunity to bring him down, regardless of the cost to this country’s security and prosperity.

In the second case, when the Nephites became wicked, the conditions that God made concerning righteous inhabitation of America applied, and they were swept away, almost universally.

There are many people here who are likely more wicked than the Nephites ever thought of being.  At the same time, there are many people who are as righteous as the Nephites ever were.  I believe this is the reason that God has not started the sweeping of this nation.  There are enough good people here to prevent that extreme measure.  In spite of this, it has become obvious to me that Satan is very craftily orchestrating the demise of our inspired form of government, and he has a host of willing accomplices to assist him.

Remember the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Lot pleaded with the Lord to spare the city if even 10 righteous people out of however many were there could be found.  Lot was commanded to leave, because the wickedness (except for him and his immediate family) was universal.  That is not the case today.  There are righteous and good people in all places, and for that reason, I believe the Lord has spared us the fire and brimstone and destruction.

However, the adversary keeps hammering away, putting chinks in our armor, looking for ways to creep in and destroy us from within.  In my opinion, he has a portion of our federal government.  Those who are trying to do right are outnumbered, losing ground, and in some cases, setting their principles and values aside for the sake of getting along.

I don’t know what the answer is, other than to pray for our leaders and vote for those who are trying to do the right things.  Staying righteous and encouraging others to remain or become righteous is likely the best thing we can do.  As long as there are good people living in this land, we improve our chances of keeping our country and way of life intact.