Category Archives: choice and accountability

What Do We Do About the Syrian Refugees?

Pictures of a drowned Syrian child have brought the plight of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the violence and battles in Syria. It has become a flood of men, women, and children, struggling to find their way to Germany, or any other country that may accept them.

Families are spending everything they have to buy a spot in a smuggler’s flimsy boat. So many people fill these boats, people seem to be hanging off the edges. Is it any wonder many of these boats sink and the passengers drown? I have not seen it yet, but I would bet the smugglers wear life jackets, while the passengers find none available.

The trickle of Syrians running from war usually land in Greece, who is already struggling financially. It is no wonder they prefer the refugees move on to other countries. Other countries see the flood of these people and wonder how they will manage to support the thousands of refugees. There is no way one country can absorb that many people without economically drowning.

I have heard the suggestion that some of these refugees be brought to the United States. I struggle with this idea. My heart grieves when I see mothers and children in holding areas. I cried with the rest of the world when I saw the little 3-year-old who drowned. I fear the families who seek protection will also include hidden terrorists, who hate America and our values.

How sad the other Muslim countries surrounding Syria refuse to accept any of these refugees. Is it not part of their culture, their religion, that they should help the poor and the needy? It is part of our country and the Christian religion.

All things were held in common during the time of Eve and Adam. No women or children who were willing to live and work in their communities were prevented from become full members, were fed, clothed, and housed. Some of their children chose not to live as expected. They left and wars eventually occurred. If those refugees wanted to become part of the community in which Adam and Eve lived, they would have been required to follow the laws of the community. Certainly, Eve would have hoped the women and children would find a safe home away from the wars.

America has been much like the home of Eve and Adam. Refugees have been welcomed with the expectation that they live by the laws of our land. Unfortunately, some of those refugees have come to us, not planning to obey the laws and help continue to keep America great, but rather to find a way to undermine our laws and our ways of life.

If they hate us, they should stay away. If they choose to obey laws; support our culture, willing to accept the standards of that culture; and work hard to take responsibility to support themselves and their families, let them come. Otherwise, let them return to Syria, or go to one of the other Muslim countries.

What do you think about the refugee problem? Shall we invite the refugees to live in your community? Please comment.


Men: NOT Our Lords and Masters

I went with my sister last week to “Taming of the Shrew” at Utah’s Shakespeare Festival. We were especially happy to be there, for it was thelast week of plays to be shown in the old theater built under the direction of Fred Adams. He isn’t important to many people, but to us he is, for our mom took classes from him in the year he was planning the first production. She sat in the grass at his feet, sewing jewels on costumes while he shared Shakespeare stories, for credit in that class.


Now, many years later, the campus of what used to be College of Southern Utah, now Southern Utah University, is building a new and larger theater to house the festival. We enjoyed the play, though the actors were no longer strictly students from the theater program.

In the last scene, Kate tells the other new wives that they owe obedience to their husbands, who were their lords and masters. To that, I must disagree. In the medieval period, women were chattels who were taught they must give obedience to the men who held power in their lives, fathers, brothers, husbands, even sons. They had no rights to property. No rights of choice of husband. No rights at all, beyond producing an appropriate male heir—and if none were produced, it was all her fault.

Beyond the genetics of it all, I argue with the faulty logic of the men and priests who read of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis, then blamed all the troubles of mankind on Eve. They claimed women were sinful, sexual temptresses, easily tempted of the devil, and therefore needing to be controlled.

I totally disagree!

Eve was beguiled by Satan, told the only way to move forward in her progression was to eat the forbidden fruit. She did eat; Adam freely chose to eat it after she did. The consequence of this action was exactly as God told them it would be when he placed them in the Garden of Eden—they died. Not an immediate physical death, that death happened many years later, but they died.

Their immediate consequence was a death of being in the presence of their God. He no longer walked and talked with them face to face. By being cast out of the garden, they lost the opportunity to learn and grow at His feet. Now they were required to live “alone”—away from Him. But now, they could reproduce and have children.

Eve was commanded to listen to her husband. Together they were to face the unknown and build a life in a new world. Adam had the lead, it was his responsibility to direct their actions as he prayed to the Father for direction. Nowhere in Genesis is there anything suggested that Eve was evil, a sinful temptress, overly sexual, or needing to be controlled like a senseless, ignorant child.

Give Eve the credit she deserves. She joined with Adam in making this earth a pleasant place for all her posterity, including you, including all those men who denigrate her. She made a tough choice—and she has paid for it. Women today need not continue to pay for her choice as overbearing men abuse them. Because of Eve’s choice, you exist.

What do you think? Do women require control? Did they ever? Please respond in the comments.

For more about Eve’s life after Eden, watch for Eve, First Matriarch, coming soon.


Choice, Our Greatest, and Most Dangerous, Gift


In the beginning, men and women were given the greatest, and the most dangerous, gift. With this gift, we were given the opportunity to make choices in our lives, and the accountability to take responsibility for those choices, for good or evil. Each time we make a choice, we choose to follow forces of good or the forces of evil, and accept the resulting actions.

Along with Adam and Eve, each of us were given these gifts. No one else tells us what to do, no one else is responsible for our actions. The agency of choice also gives us the responsibility for those actions, good or bad.

Most of us make mostly good choices. The consequences of those choices make our lives better. We choose to study in school, choose an occupation we love, and conduct our lives in an honorable manner. Not everything we do is perfect, we make bad choices, and sometimes things happen that are not so great. Sometimes bad things happen to us because others have made bad choices.

A father and child were killed on the highway in Utah this week, not because of poor driving on the father’s part and probably not because of poor driving on the part of another. A doghouse fell off the back of a truck, causing cars to stop on the freeway. The father and daughter stopped, the driver behind him did not. It was not their fault. They had done nothing wrong. They suffered the consequences of another’s actions.

That is a severe example of having to suffer the consequences of another’s behavior, but it happens everywhere. A dad becomes involved in trying to earn enough money to give his family more than he had, a mom works to help give her children a better life, a child wants to be first in line. None of these are particularly bad, but each action can cause pain and suffering in another’s life.

The world seeks to influence us, tries to entice us watch something inappropriate, buy something that causes us pain or sorrow, or hurts our loved ones. Things like pornography, cheating on others, or just waiting to pay a bill. Or, you could choose to share a smile with someone who is sad, give a dollar to a homeless person on the street, play with your child instead of play on your phone. Big or little, our choices will have consequences.

Eve made a choice to eat the fruit she was commanded not to eat. If she had not eaten the fruit, we would not exist. A great prophet tells us:

And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.[2 Ne 2:22-23]

The richness of our life is a direct result of Eve eating that fruit. We have a variety of good and bad things in our life, because of her actions. Men through time have slandered her when, in reality, we should give her honor.

In our lives, regardless of what others say, what pressure is brought to bear on us, how enticing something may be, use your agency wisely.