Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thomas Jefferson on American Debt

"To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.  We must make our choice between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.  If we run into such debts . . . we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements.  If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under pressure of caring for them, the people will be happy."  

-- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, December 14, 2012

Paul Harvey "If I were the Devil" 1965

This speech was broadcast by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on  April 3, 1965:
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.”   To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”.  In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .
If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and  thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.
If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If  I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.
Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Special Type of Soldier - Hugh B. Brown

A Special Type of Soldier
-Hugh B. Brown

           At the request of the First Presidency, I had gone to England as coordinator for the LDS servicemen. One Saturday afternoon in 1944, I sent a telegram from London to the base chaplain near Liverpool letting him know that I would be in camp the next morning to conduct Mormon church services at 10:00 a.m.
        When I arrived at the camp, there were 75 Mormon boys, all in uniform and quite a number in battle dress. The chaplain to whom I had sent the wire proved to be a Baptist minister from the southern U. S. He, too, was waiting for my arrival.  As these young men ran out to greet me not because it was I, but because of what I represented, and as they literally threw their arms around me, presenting their parents as well as the Church, the minister said, Please tell me how you do it.
         Do what?
         Why, he said, I did not get your wire until late this morning. I made a hurried search. I found there were 76 Mormon boys in this camp. I got word to them.  75 of them are here. The other is in the hospital. I have more than 600 Baptist in this camp, and if I gave them 6 months notice, I could not get a response like that.
         And then he repeated, How do you do it?
         I said, Sir, if you will come inside, perhaps you will see.
            We went in to the little chapel. The boys sat down. I asked, How many here have been on missions?  I think a full 50% raised their hands.
           I said, Will you and you and you and I pointed to six of them please come and administer the sacrament? And will you and you and you and I pointed to six others please come and sit here and be prepared to speak.
           Then I said, who can lead the music? A number of hands were raised. Will you come and lead the music? And who can play this portable organ?  There were several more hands, and one was selected. Then I said, What would you like to sing, fellows? With one voice they replied, Come, Come Ye Saints!
           We had no hymn book. The boy sounded the chord: they all arose.  I have heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung in many lands and by many choirs and congregations. Without reflecting adversely on what we usually hear I think I have only heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung that once when every heart seemed to be bursting.  They sounded every verse without books.
         When they came to the last verse, they didn’t mute it; they didn’t sing it like a dirge but throwing back their shoulders, they sang out until I was fearful the walls would burst.  And should we die before our journeys through, happy day, all is well; I looked at my minister friend and found him weeping.
         Then one of the boys who had been asked to administer the sacrament knelt at the table, bowed his head, and said, Oh, God, the Eternal Father.  He paused for what seemed to be a full minute, and then he proceeded with the rest of the blessing on the bread. At the close of that meeting, I sought that boy out. I put my arm around his shoulders, and said, Son, what’s the matter?  Why was it so difficult for you to ask the blessing on the bread?
         He paused for a minute and said, rather apologetically, Well, Brother Brown, it hasnt been two hours since I was over the continent on a bombing mission.  As we started to return, I discovered that my tail assembly was partly shot away, that one of my engines was out, that three of my crew were wounded, and that it appeared absolutely impossible that we could reach the shore of England.
         Brother Brown, up there I remembered Primary and Sunday School and MIA, and home and church, and up there when it seemed all hope was lost, I said, Oh, God the eternal Father, please support this plane until we reach a landing field. He did just that, and when we landed, I learned of this meeting and I had to run all the way to get here.  I didn’t have time to change my battle dress, and when I knelt there and again addressed the Lord, I was reminded that I hadn’t stopped to say thanks.
         Brother Brown, I had to pause a little while to tell God how grateful I was.
         Well, we went on with the meeting. We sang. Prayers were offered, and these young men, with only a moments notice, each stood and spoke, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to their comrades, bore their testimonies, and again I say with due respect to the various ones with whom I have associated and labored they were among the finest sermons I have ever heard.
         Then the time was up and I said, Fellow, its time for chow. We must dismiss now, or you will miss your dinner.  With almost one voice they cried, We can eat grub any time. Lets have a testimony meeting!
         So we stayed another hour and a half while every man bore witness to the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Each one in turn, and in his own way, said, I know that God lives. I know that the gospel is restored. I know that Joseph was a prophet of God. Again I looked at my friend, and he was weeping unashamedly.
         At the close of that meeting, this minister said, I have been a minister for more than 21 years, and this has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life.

The Last Days - Hope Amid Great Trials

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mormon Federal Judge Thomas B. Griffith speaks at BYU on the Constitution

Well worth the 42 minutes.

Judge Griffith is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this speech given to Brigham Young University students, he addresses "The Hard Work of Understanding the Constitution." To read this speech, if it is available, click here:

At another time he also gave a devotional he titled, "The Very Root of Christian Doctrine." Again, to read this speech, click here:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun with words...

Humorous email I received. I added number 18.

Winston Churchill loved paraprosdokians. Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. 

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure..

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit on the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

18. And this last one from Groucho Marx, "She got her good looks from her father; he's a plastic surgeon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Lord God would do nothing without Prophets (Amos 3:7)

To Keep and Bear Arms...

I couldn't sleep, so I picked up a book near my bedside. You may have heard of it. It's called The Federalist Papers and was written by great and brilliant men, namely, James Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay -- America's Founding Fathers.

I read from No. 46 where James Madison wrote the following:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...[it] forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition... governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Inspiring, indeed. At least to this solider who knows, at least in part, what it means to fight for one's freedom.

If this interests you, please check out my other blog: Warrior SOS.

Or read my tactical gun related articles here:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Appeasement Will Not Work

I am a Warrior. My words are few and plain; but I will make good what I say. 'Tis my business to destroy all the Enemies of these States and to protect their friends. … Brothers: Listen well to what I tell you and let it sink deep into your Hearts. We love our friends, and will be faithful to them, as long as they will be faithful to us. 

– George Washington, speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779; Fitzpatrick 15:54

Religious Freedom - the Ronald Reagan way

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mormons and America -- Save the Constitution

"The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner."
—Joseph Smith, History of the Church 3:304.

"Efforts are being made to deprive man of his free agency, to steal from the individual his liberty. . . . There has been an alarming increase in the abandoning of the ideals that constitute the foundation of the Constitution of the United States."
—President David O. McKay, Oct. 1966 General Conference

 “Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States!.”
—President David O. McKay, 1956, The Instructor 91:34

“Satan is making war against all the wisdom that has come to men through their ages of experience. He is seeking to overturn and destroy the very foundations upon which society, government, and religion rest. He aims to have men adopt theories and practices which he induced their forefathers, over the ages, to adopt and try, only to be discarded by them when found unsound, impractical, and ruinous. He plans to destroy liberty and freedom–economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed man. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. . . . Without their knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now.” (“Message of the First Presidency,” The Improvement Era, Nov. 1942, p. 761.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ten Principles of Quality Leadership

Ten Principles of Quality Leadership
by Jeffrey Denning
  1. Do the best you can do and then do a little better. 
  2. Do what’s right legally and ethically, even when no one is looking. 
  3. Be honest; never do anything that would sever the trust you have with your team, family or organization. Ensure integrity comes before loyalty.
  4. Find and do things that edify and uplift; avoid things that plague, destroy and waste time. 
  5. Treat others with kindness, approbation and praise more than chiding and scolding; it’s the best way to motivate others. 
  6. Your private life comes with you to work, so embrace and encourage individual development; keep your affairs in order, maintain health and personal harmony; help others to meet that goal.
  7. Conduct formal and informal organizational and personal introspections often to avoid falling into bad habits; take suggestions from new individuals seriously as they have fresh perspectives.
  8. Remember: an optimistic attitude is your best asset. 
  9. Don’t major in the minors; focus on what’s most important.
  10. Put people in positions that they enjoy; let them exploit their talents and interests and they will excel.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Power of Media

From Obscenity--How It Affects Us, How We Can Deal With It
by Victor B. Cline—how+affects+us,+we+can

Nutritionists tell us we are what we eat. Similarly, the quality and character of our spirit is a reflection of what we feast upon—including the books and magazines we read and the motion pictures, television shows, plays, and other public entertainments we witness. Unfortunately, much of what is available is not conducive to building healthy spirituality. . . .

The media have a great potential to teach, inspire, inform, and entertain, but they may also corrupt, degrade, and pervert. They have the power to influence profoundly for good or evil all aspects of our values and feelings, as well as our behavior. We are affected by what we choose to expose ourselves to. . . .
The media do have incredible power to influence us and shape the nature of our civilization—for good or evil. Our hearts and minds—and those of our children—are vulnerable.
The media can make a real contribution to our society. But what we need—from the moviemaker, the television producer, the novelist, poet, playwright, and advertiser—is a new vision of man and woman, a new set of heroes. We need to see heroes who can cope, who can solve problems—not by violence, but by peaceful means. We need to see models of people sacrificing for a greater good, overcoming temptations, disciplining their emotional and psychological resources.
If our civilization is to survive, our arts and media will have to convey more positive values—reflecting the greatness of man and woman, their potential for good, and their capacity to love and express concern for others.

Teenagers and Pornography Addiction

Teenagers and Pornography Addiction:

Treating the Silent Epidemic 

By John Mark Haney
Adolescent curiosity about sexuality is a normal and healthy aspect of human development. For many generations of American youth, sexual exploration included such actions as sneaking peaks at pictures of naked indigenous peoples in National Geographic or perusing the underwear ads in the Sears catalog.
Today, however, the scene is very different. The Internet and cable television have ushered in an age of unprecedented access to hard-core pornographic images, and teenagers are jumping in head first for the ride. Once young people had to work to find pornography (often from the trash or a friend's father), but today children with rudimentary computer skills can find thousands of x-rated images with a couple of clicks of their computer mouse, and many youth are subsequently being inundated with sexual stimuli before they have the developmental capacity to integrate the material into their healthy sexual identity formation (Benedek & Brown, 1999).
Much of the issue with teenagers reflects the broader social reality that pornography has gone mainstream. What once evoked images of sordid shops where dirty old men in trench coats gathered is now routinely consumed by individuals of all races and socioeconomic strata in the privacy of their own homes, and the big players in the pornography distribution market are no longer mob-controlled fringe entities but Fortune 500 companies like AOL Time-Warner, AT&T, and General Motors, who have all distributed mass quantities of pornographic material through their cable and satellite subsidiaries over the years. At the same time, programming aimed at teenagers, such as MTV, routinely shows young people engaged in sexually charged situations and casually discussing once-taboo topics such as masturbation and “hooking up.” What's more, the Internet and cable television promise the curious teenager the added benefits of anonymity, secrecy, and a sense of safety (Schneider & Weiss, 2001). For a teenager who is unsure of his or, yes, her sexual identity, pornography can be like a trip to the ultimate candy shop, where they can revel in the new euphoric feelings while anonymously connecting with others who share their sexual tastes.
Indeed, the amount of pornography available to young and old alike has roared into everyday life so overwhelmingly that it has challenged the ability of social science to create models of treatment and outcomes to keep up with the pace of change (Fisher & Barak, 2001). What is certain, however, is that for many young people, pornography is not a casual interest, but an addictive force that is leading to a quiet epidemic of young people who cannot control their online or television habits. And because of their accessibility, the Internet and cable porn channels have become the super fix for a new breed of addicts who literally sacrifice health and happiness to indulge in the magic images they quietly worship.

Effects of Pornography on Teenagers

The exact effects of pornography on young people is a hotly debated topic, as few empirical studies exist which definitively examine the issue. Reasons for this dearth in clinical research include the reluctance of many teens to talk about their sexual habits and the monumental ethical dilemmas of setting up research studies involving youth and exposure to pornography. Nevertheless, numerous studies have pointed to the potential for serious harm.
Benedek and Brown (1999) noted several negative effects of pornography on young people. These included modeling and imitation of inappropriate behaviors; unhealthy interference with normal sexual development; emotional side effects (including nightmares and residual feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety, and confusion); stimulation of premature sexual activity; and the development of misleading and potentially harmful attitudes toward sex. Other risks have been suggested ranging from aggressive patterns of acting out sexually, the depersonalization of women (and now men and children), and an increased risk of poor social bonds as adults (Stack, Wasserman, & Kern, 2004) to the very real possibility of developing a pornography addiction, a relatively new but pervasive phenomenon which has been confirmed by research (Griffiths, 2001).
Pornography can create a powerful biochemical “rush” in the user. When a teenager is subjected to an arousing image, the adrenal gland secretes epinephrine into the bloodstream, where it proceeds to the brain and locks the image in. Once this has occurred, the simple thought of the image can trigger a feeling of arousal. I have encountered many adult clients who can still vividly recall the first pornographic image to which they were exposed as a child or teenager. Other body chemicals, such as serotonin, adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine also are at play, creating a euphoric state in the user. Teens who experience this biochemical thrill will, not surprisingly, want to experience it again. From this standpoint, it is sometimes helpful for practitioners to see pornography not as just a social issue, but as a drug, because the addictive mechanism is clearly part of the danger when teenagers habitually use pornography.

Multicultural, Gender, Religious, and Socioeconomic Considerations

Some critical cultural, religious, and socioeconomic factors with pornography and youth warrant mention. Some cultures have much broader parameters surrounding what is considered appropriate with sexuality, while cultural norms within other groups make the topic almost unmentionable. Therefore, practitioners must attempt to educate themselves about cultural mores. Also, it must be added that while the majority of youth who develop problems with pornography are males, a growing number of teenage girls are discovering their own dependence upon pornography (and in some cases online chat rooms), or are turning to it as a model for their own sexual development and activities. According to Carnes, Delmonico, and Griffin (2001), of the population that has developed severe problems with sex on the Internet, 40% are female.
Similarly, approaches to spirituality and religion can have a profound impact on a teenager's sexual development, and not always in the way that a parent intends. For example, some youth who come from rigid and legalistic religious backgrounds that wrap sexuality in shame and guilt try to forcefully repress their desires, which causes them to unconsciously bond with the same profane elements they are trying to ignore. When they act on these repressed desires, the resulting shame and self-loathing just perpetuate the cycle.
Also, while teenagers who grow up in homes with multiple computers and a high degree of computer literacy have more opportunities to engage in online behavior, some of the young people who are most vulnerable to pornography are those who come from low socioeconomic and more challenged backgrounds. According to Benedek and Brown (1999), teenagers who grow up in single-parent homes (especially when the television is used as a babysitter) are particularly at risk, as are youth with emotional and mental challenges, and teenagers who have been prior victims of physical or sexual abuse.

Therapeutic Considerations

While treatment plans vary strongly by circumstance, there are some important considerations to remember for professionals who are working with teenagers on this sensitive issue.

Reduce Shame

Needless to say, for many youth who are struggling with pornography, shame is a major factor. When you first meet the client, it is not unusual for him or her to avoid eye contact and be hesitant to answer questions. The practitioner should attempt to minimize shame by being supportive and nonjudgmental about the struggle.

Normalize the Issue

Many teenagers who are developing compulsive pornography problems do so in agonized isolation, often believing that they are perverts and alone in their actions. It can be helpful for the professional to educate them on the prevalence of the issue while still clearly communicating the dangers so they don't trade their isolation for an “oh well, since everyone is doing it…” idea, for that is common too.

Respect Cultural Norms

As previously mentioned, culture can strongly influence the manner and degree to which a teenager is willing to discuss his or her sexuality. A girl who comes from a Southeast Asian immigrant family may approach the topic very differently than a male from Central America. It is crucial that the counselor be sensitive to these differences and recognize that sexual patterns and gender expectations can be some of the strongest cultural norms within a given group, and they cannot be treated lightly or exclusively from a purely Western European orientation. Similarly, in many cases, because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, a female client might be more comfortable with a female counselor and a male client might prefer to work with a male counselor.
With all clients, it is helpful to gain an understanding of their sexual parameters and to help them define their boundaries if they are unsure where to draw them. A helpful tool for this is the circle plan (Carnes, Delmonico, & Griffin, 2001), in which three concentric circles are drawn representing healthy sexual behaviors (outer circle), boundary or uncertain behaviors (middle circle), and bottom-line or off-limits behavior (center circle) and helping the teenagers define where they stand. Aiding the clients in the creation of these boundaries in a safe environment will help equip them to not have to make snap decisions about where to draw the line in sexually charged, real-life situations.

Be Aware of Your Own Value Set

One of the fundamental mistakes practitioners make when dealing with youth and pornography is to willingly or inadvertently reveal, or even attempt to impose, their own religious or moral values. Professionals must never make assumptions about values of their clients (or their families) nor try to impose personal religious or moral viewpoints, even if they feel it is in the best interest of the client. Also, it is very important to closely monitor any self-disclosure about your own sexual experiences.

Never Underestimate the Power of the Addiction

With pornography, professionals sometimes fail to understand the power of the compulsion youth are facing, and it is not uncommon for school, religious, or private-sector professionals to advocate a simple treatment plan that is based upon willpower or moral character. Since pornography can be an addiction, these “just say no” types of approaches are likely to only create more frustration and self-defeating ideation in teenagers who do not have the willpower to stop. For such young people who can no longer control their actions, the intervention and treatment modality must recognize the problem as a full addiction and treat it with the same consideration given to alcohol or chemical substances.


Because we live in such a sexually charged culture, there is no way to totally isolate teens from exposure to inappropriate or harmful sexual content. Several of my clients had parents who sent them to private religious schools in an to attempt to insulate them from issues like pornography, and they became addicted nonetheless, some from images smuggled into the school on cell phones. Indeed, since the goal of totally shielding teenagers from sexuality is unrealistic (and probably unhealthy), counselors can play a key role in helping teenagers make good decisions and set boundaries as they grow into the sex roles of healthy adult men and women.
Counseling professionals can also help educate parents on the range of software products available to help young people. Because teens are often more computer savvy than their parents and can find ways around filtering software, parents may wish to investigate monitoring software programs like SpectorSoft, which actually takes screen shots of sites accessed, so a parent will be seeing what his or her son or daughter is really viewing, and not just the URL addresses. Other basic recommendations include putting computers only in common areas (not bedrooms) and blocking access to adult television programming and cellular phone downloads (Greenfield, 1999; Tapscott, 1998; Thornburgh & Lin, 2004).


Clearly, further research is needed in this area, and while it may be unethical to deliberately expose teenagers to pornography to study its effects, it might be feasible to conduct more longitudinal studies of the outcomes of youth who were known to be exposed to pornography or compile more extensive qualitative case-study research. Finally, given the breadth of this social issue, it is crucial that mental health professionals take a key role in advocating for the safety and welfare of young people. As new information develops, practitioners who work with youth must champion sensible public policy and open discussion of the problem.


Benedek, E., & Brown, C. (1999). No Excuses: Televised Pornography Harms Children. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 7(4), 236–240.
Carnes, P., Delmonico, D., & Griffin, E. (2001). In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behaviors. Center City, MN: Hazleton.
Fisher, W., & Barak, A. (2001). Internet Pornography: A Social Psychological Perspective on Internet Sexuality. The Journal of Sex Research, 38(4), 312–323.
Greenfield, D. (1999). Virtual Addiction: Help for Metheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Griffiths, M. (2001). Sex on the Internet: Observations and Implications for Internet Sex Addiction. The Journal of Sex Research, 38(4), 333–342.
Schneider, J., & Weiss, R. (2001). Cybersex Exposed: Simple Fantasy or Obsession? Center City, MN: Hazleton.
Stack, S., Wasserman, I., & Kern, R. (2004). Adult Social Bonds and the Use of Internet Pornography. Social Science Quarterly, 85(1), 75–88.
Tapscott, D. (1998). The Rise of the Net Generation. New York: McGraw Hill.
Thornburgh, D., & Lin, H. (2004). Youth, pornography, and the Internet.Issues in Science and Technology, 20(2), 43–48.
Haney, John Mark. Teenagers and Pornography Addiction: Treating the Silent Epidemic. Counseling Outfitters [On-line], Article 10. Available:
Reprinted with permission from ACA for educational purposes only.

An Orphan Boy Teaches Doctors about Prayer

Teachings of George Albert Smith

Prayer allows us to talk to our Heavenly Father as though He were present.

It is a wonderful blessing that we enjoy in these times of stress and uncertainty to feel sure of divine guidance, to have absolute faith in a personal God who is interested in us and who hears and answers our prayers.
A number of years ago … I heard of [a] nine-year-old boy, an orphan, who was hurried off to the hospital, where examination indicated that he had to be operated upon without delay. He had been living with friends who had given him a home. His father and mother, (when they were alive) had taught him to pray; thus, when he came to the hospital, the thing he wanted was to have the Lord help him.
The doctors had decided to hold a consultation. When he was wheeled into the operating room, he looked around and saw the nurses and the doctors who had consulted on his case. He knew that it was serious, and he said to one of them, as they were preparing to give him the anesthetic: “Doctor, before you begin to operate, won’t you please pray for me?”
The doctor, with seeming embarrassment, offered his excuses and said, “I can’t pray for you.” Then the boy asked the other doctors, with the same result.
Finally, something very remarkable happened; this little fellow said, “If you can’t pray for me, will you please wait while I pray for myself?”
They removed the sheet, and he knelt on the operating table, bowed his head and said, “Heavenly Father, I am only an orphan boy. I am awful sick. Won’t you please make me well? Bless these men who are going to operate that they will do it right. If you will make me well, I will try to grow up to be a good man. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for making me well.”
When he got through praying, he lay down. The doctors’ and the nurses’ eyes were filled with tears. Then he said, “I am ready.”
The operation was performed. The little fellow was taken back to his room, and in a few days they took him from the hospital, well on the way to complete recovery.
Some days after that, a man who had heard of the incident went to the office of one of the surgeons and said, “Tell me about the operation you performed a few days ago—the operation on a little boy.”
The surgeon said, “I have operated on several little boys.”
The man added, “This little boy wanted someone to pray for him.”
The doctor said very seriously, “There was such a case, but I don’t know but that it is too sacred a thing for me to talk about.”
The man said, “Doctor, if you will tell me, I will treat it with respect; I would like to hear it.”
Then the doctor told the story about as I have retold it here, and added: “I have operated on hundreds of people, men and women who thought they had faith to be healed; but never until I stood over that little boy have I felt the presence of God as I felt it then. That boy opened the windows of heaven and talked to his Heavenly Father as one would talk to another face to face. I want to say to you that I am a better man for having had this experience of standing and hearing a little boy talk to his Father in heaven as if he were present.”
Let us so live that every night when we kneel to pray and every morning when we bow before the Lord in thanksgiving, there will be in us the power to open the heavens so that God will hear and answer our prayers that we will know that we are approved of Him.