Friday, July 31, 2009

The 28 Principles of Liberty- Principle 8

28 Principles of Liberty- Principle 8
“Men are endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable Rights”

The Founders did not believe that the basic rights of mankind originated from any social compact, king, emperor, or governmental authority. Those rights, they believed, came directly and exclusively from God. Therefore they were to remain sacred and inviolate.
We may do something ourselves to forfeit the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator, but no one can take those rights from us without being subjected to God’s justice. This is what makes certain rights unalienable. They are inherent rights given to us by the Creator. That is why they are called natural rights.

We have other rights that are called vested rights, which are created by the community, state or the nation for our protection or well-being. However, these can be changed whenever the law makers feel like it. These would be things like areas that are off-limits for hunting, or the right to travel on the public highway. But, the government could not pass a law to destroy all life under the age of two or lock up everyone that is of a certain race, religion, hair color and so on. They cannot destroy the right to life or the right to liberty. A person could lose their liberty due to misbehavior, but not because they have a certain eye color, hair color, or religion.
Besides the right to life, liberty and property, we have many more unalienable rights. If you want to know what those are, read the book.
This article was adapted by Charity Angel from W. Cleon Skousen’s “The 5000 Year Leap” Learn about the 28 principles at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twintastic Creations Contest

From Their Blog:

Amber and Angela
We are twins. We love to do things together and thought it'd be fun to have a twin business. :) So here we are. :)

"In honor of our birthday we are doing a give-away. :)

Angela and I just got finished sewing a mini twintastic tote. We're calling it the "Twinny Tote" :)
It's very cute (wish I could keep it myself, but that wouldn't be fair), it looks just like the original twintastic totes only it's 8 inches square instead of 14 inches. Now, you're probably wondering just how cute it is, so I'll show you a picture.


Isn't it cute? This twinny tote could be yours. :) All you have to do is enter to win it.

Here are the details to enter:

You can enter once by posting a link to our Twintastic Creations Blog in a blogpost on your blog. Here's the link

After you post the link, comment on this thread and give us the link to your blog post and you'll get your name placed inside the Twinny Tote for a chance to win.

You can also enter a second time, by posting this Twintastic Creations button linked to our blog on your blog sidebar.

Again, be sure to comment on this post and give us the link for your blog. Now you have your name in the Twinny Tote two times, two chances to win. :)

For a third chance to win share a link to our blog on your facebook page :) Make sure you let us know in a comment on this post or we might not see it and your name might not end up in the tote.

Also, share this contest with all your friends, so they can enter too. We want lots of entries. :)

We're taking entries until July 29th, so you have a whole month to post Twintastic Creations all over the internet. :) We will pick a winner on the 29th and if you are the winner, we'll contact you and get your address and send you the Twinny Tote. :) Let the entering begin! "

This contest is going to end soon, so enter today!!!!!!!

Please let them know that you heard about their contest from Charity Angel. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 28 Principles of Liberty- Principle #7

The 28 Principles of Liberty- Principle #7

"The Proper role of Government is to Protect Equal Rights, Not Provide Equal Things."

During the days of the Founders in Europe, it was popular for people to proclaim that the role of government was to take from the 'haves' and give to the 'have nots' so that all might be truly 'equal'. However, the founders knew that this proposition contained a major fallacy.

People cannot delegate to government the power to do anything that they could not do themselves. We have the right to protect our life and property, therefore, we have the ability to delegate our protection to government through a police force, which would protect the lives and property of all the people. Let's suppose that there is a kind-hearted man that saw that one neighbor had two cars, while another neighbor had none. What would happen if the kind man went to the neighbor with two cars, took one, and then generously gave it to the neighbor that had none? He would be arrested for theft of course! No matter how genuinely he cared about his neighbor with none, he has no right to steal from the neighbor with abundance and give it to another. The neighbor with abundance still has the right to their property. Of course, the prosperous neighbor could choose to donate the care to the neighbor in need, but it would be his decision, and not that of the kind hearted neighbor who wanted to rob from the rich to give to the poor.

Governments can sometimes commit 'legal' crimes. Let's say that the kind-hearted man asks the mayor and city council to give one of the cars from the prosperous neighbor to the man with none, does that make it anymore right? Of course not! And it is worse, because now, not only did the man lose his property, but now he also lost his right to appeal because the government did it. The Founders warned that anytime a government is allowed to start taking the possessions of others to start equalizing the distribution of goods, then the government thereafter will have been given the power to take away the right to enjoy life, liberty and property from ANY of the people.

Those who receive from this idea generally think that this is a just system. But what happens when government starts taking also from those that are poor? Then they will claim their right to their property, but the government will then say,"Now we decide who has rights in things." When the government was given the power to rob from the rich and give to the poor it immediately nullifies the principle of guaranteed equal rights, it opens the floodgates for government to meddle with everyone's rights.

When Communists seized power in Hungary, the peasants were delighted at first when the government seized the large farms from their owners, and then gave it to the peasants. But then later, the government seized 3/4 of the peasant land to create government communal farms, of course the peasants screamed about their property rights, but it was too late. If they continued to protest, they lost their liberty and in several instances their lives.

The Founders made sure that we could protect our freedom to prosper by protecting the rights of ALL people. There was no penalty for getting rich. The people would not be locked into the poverty level as they had in other nations. There would be some that would have more than others, but the entire nation could prosper. It was believed that man had an instinct to succeed and by having the freedom to prosper, the whole people would prosper together. People were encouraged to store up and save for a time when things were not prosperous, or to help their neighbors when they hit on rough times. Hard work, thrift and frugality were the key words for the American Ethic.

The Founders made these European theories unconstitutional. America became the most prosperous and most educated nation in the world, and consequently, the most generous. Samuel Adams said, "The utopian schemes of leveling (redistribution of wealth), and a community of goods (central ownership of all the means of production and distribution), are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. (These ideas) are arbitrary, despotic, and in our government, unconstitutional."

Yet, there are still those who insist that compassion for the poor requires the Federal Government becoming involved and taking from the 'haves' and giving to the 'have nots'. Benjamin Franklin had been one of the 'have nots' and having experienced these welfare programs of 'counter-productive compassion', he wrote an entire essay on the subject. He called the programs a great evil in not only the way in which it operates, but also because it encourages idleness.

Franklin wrote: "To relieve the misfortune of our fellow creatures is concurring with the deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and caution against, as well as necessary consequences of, Idleness and extravagance? Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm then good."

The Founders all had deep feelings about helping the poor and less fortunate, but they had guidelines, a calculated compassion:

1. Do not help the needy completely, simply help them help themselves.
2. Give the poor the satisfaction of earned achievement instead of rewarding without achievement.
3. Allow the poor to climb the 'appreciation ladder', from tents to cabins, cabins to cottages, cottages to comfortable homes.
4. Where emergency help is provided, do not prolong it to where it becomes habitual.
5. Strictly enforce fixed responsibility. First the individual is responsible for himself, the second level is the family, then the church, next the community, finally the country and in a disaster or emergency, the state. Under no circumstances is the Federal Government to become involved in welfare. The Founders felt that this would corrupt the government and the poor. There is NO constitutional authority for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare.

The Founders did this to protect the people from abuse by an overly-aggressive government.
Which brings us to the next principle.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are adapted from w. Cleon Skousen's Book "The 5000 year Leap". Charity Angel's official site is These articles in their entirety can be found at Charity Angel's Thoughts

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Author Heather B. Moore to Give Away 'Out Of Jerusalem-Land of Inheritance"

Award-winning author Heather B. Moore (H.B. Moore) is giving away a copy of her Whitney Award-winning novel from the "Out of Jerusalem" series,specifically, Volume Four – Land of Inheritance.


H.B. Moore was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but spent most of her childhood in Orem, Utah. During these years, her family traveled back and forth between the Middle East and Utah. At the age of eight, while living in Egypt, she was baptized in the Red Sea. Heather attended the Anglican School of Jerusalem from 1987-88, and returned again to Jerusalem with her husband in 1994.

Heather B. Moore graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Business Management. This has nothing to do with writing books, but at least she can color-coordinate her kids school clothes and balance a mean checkbook.

Heather B. Moore is a member of the League of Utah Writers and LDStorymakers. She also manages the editing company, Precision Editing Group, LLC. She is the author of the historical series, Out of Jerusalem, and of Abinadi (2008 Whitney Award Winner & 2009 Best of State Winner).

You can find the Give-Away Rules Here!

If you have not been reading this series, get your copies today!

 Charity Angel's Thoughts

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Reality of Priesthood Power

The Priesthood has been a major influence for good in my life, and I would be a very ungrateful individual to not share with others some of the blessings that I have experienced, and to share the knowledge of this great gift that God has given to us.

My testimony of the power of the priesthood is very strong, throughout my life and even into this day, I continue to have it strengthened as I receive blessings and they are answered, and also as I witness others blessings being fulfilled.

When I was baptized, and then given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I felt an immediate change come upon me. The best way that I can explain it is that my mind was suddenly filled with light. I felt as if I had a moment of complete clarity, peace, and was given additional knowledge and the ability to receive more, my mind opened, and my spirit felt the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Later in life, when I was in a great deal of pain, and the pain itself was causing me to vomit from how intense it was, I was given a priesthood blessing of healing by two home teachers that came to our home by pure inspiration. Within moments of their blessing, a home teacher was inspired to use reflexology on my hand and the pain was gone.

Another experience I had came after the death of my son Ammon. I had conceived again, this time with twins. My first two pregnancies has not gone well, and this would be my third. The ultrasound technician told me that my abdomen was too small to carry twins, and that they did not think that I would be able to do so, but that they wished me luck. I went home feeling down, not certain what to do, and my brother, who was just preparing to go on a mission gave me a blessing. He blessed me that my twins would get here, and that they would be healthy, he told me that it would not be easy, but that the Lord would protect me. He also called down angels to surround me and protect my unborn children. There are things about this blessing, that I feel are too sacred to share, but I will say that every word of it came true. I know without any doubt that it was through divine protection that my twins were born healthy.

At the end of this same pregnancy, after being on bed rest for so long, and the pain of my stomach being stretched beyond capacity, I asked my husband for a blessing. In this blessing, he told me that the children would be born, and he gave a date that they would be born on, and that is the day that they were.

Another time, I had a dog that was going blind, and I really loved this dog. I did not want to see her go blind, and I asked my husband to give her a blessing, which he did. He commanded her eyes to be healed, and by the next day the cloudiness in them was gone and her eyes were bright and clear.

I have no doubt about the power of the Holy Priesthood of God. I have been given many blessings throughout my life, and I am incredibly thankful for this gift that Heavenly Father has given us. Charity Angel's Thoughts

Friday, July 3, 2009

An Open Letter to Parents with Children in Public School

The following was originally published at in January of this year. It is an essay that I wrote over 3 years ago after my college professor challenged me to write my final about Home School verses Public Government Education. It was this research that led me to start teaching my children from home using the Kimber Curriculum. Upon moving to Utah, I enrolled my children in the Glenn J. Kimber Academy.

"If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves."(National Commission of Excellence in Education report 1983)

The American educational system, once the envy of the world, central to many students' dreams has been displaced. Today America's public elementary and secondary students are falling short, "80% are failing nation-wide"; (Dr. Glenn Kimber, Analyzing the Results of The Experimental Years 2005). Something needs to change.

As citizens of the United States, parents realize that they are "The People"; they have the right to create a better education for their children. As parents realize the situation that their children are in, more students are being educated at home or in a private institution. In an article by D. Golden of the Wall Street Journal, it is estimated that in the year 2000, 1.5 million children nationwide were taught at home.

This is due to moral and ethical erosion, differentiating values, loss of parental influence, loss of safety and the diminishing value of public education.

Home school education is the optimal choice for parents who desire to instill values that are consistent with those of our founding fathers: academic excellence, individual worth and self-confidence, as well as security and balance.

The educational system of the United States of America was a byproduct of the constitution and was founded upon the same unalienable rights and personal responsibility of individuals; centered on God-given principles, manners, and moral character. From personal experience, the founding fathers knew of the pitfalls that would befall a nation given so much freedom. It would undoubtedly create future generations that would be unaware of these pitfalls, due to the fact that they were not subjected to tyranny previously. In a letter to James Warren dated February 12, 1779 Samuel Adams stated:

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

It is argued today, that there should be a separation of church and state in government; therefore God must be removed from all state or federally run institutions. This claim is made based on the assumption that the constitution supports it; in reality the fore fathers labored to keep government out of religion, not God out of government. James Wilson, representative for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress stated:

Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

American law is designed to protect religious freedom. Keeping this in mind, the erosion of these God-centered morals and ethics in the public American Education System are blindingly obvious.

On June 25, l962, students were forbidden to pray at the beginning of each school day (Bergel, G. 1988). All that mentions the word God is being shunned, and attacked in the name of free speech and ironically, the freedom of religion.

On March 24, 2004, the ACLU released this statement, "The government should not be asking impressionable schoolchildren to affirm their allegiance to God at the same time that they are affirming their allegiance to the country," (ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro). When children recite the pledge of allegiance they are affirming allegiance to a country founded on God-given rights, to deny that these rights are rights that all men are equally given by God, literally is an attack on this country.

"Experience taught the founders that a free, happy, and prosperous America depended on the development of an educated citizenry." (Dr. Glenn Kimber 2005 Today's Public Schools: Humpty Dumpty Revisited.)

Dr. Kimber states that:

America's first schools existed mainly within family units. The home was the classroom, and the subjects taught, as well as the methods used, reinforced family's perception of the world. Their core curriculum included religious values, basic reading and writing, math skills, a little history and farm skills. There were frequent references to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and popular Bible stories.

Kimber goes on to say that, America arose into world leadership, not only in education, but in industry, science, medicine, and agriculture because of this educational foundation; by 1905, this tiny nation with less then 6% of the world's population, was producing 50% of the world's developed wealth (2005).

This prosperity would not last long. "Around the end of the 19th Century, schools began to be organized around the production practices used in the factories." (A Shift in Focus,Governor's Committee) During this time there was more demand put on educators to increase the amount of education given to students, and when students were assigned grade-level based on their age. (A shift in Focus).

Kimber states in Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public Education, that some social scientists began pushing a system of education that shifted the focus of education away from the needs of the student to the needs of society. This change of focus caused the system to become more important then the student.

The social scientists abandoned God-center concepts and focused their attention on the philosophies of Horace Mann. Mann taught that the authority and responsibility of education should be given to the state. This plan effectively removed parents as the captains of their childrens educational ships, and forced them into becoming hostages of the system; compelled to go wherever the current captain directed, regardless of how foreign or treacherous the territory.

In "The Right Choice-Home Schooling," Klicka lists some of Mann's philosophies and concepts:

  • Children should no longer be held responsible for their natural instincts of behavior;
  • an elite educational establishment should be organized to save our society and manipulate how education should be administered.
  • Man should be the measure of all things- not God,
  • and children should be taught that there are no absolute values of right or wrong, that one's decisions are always based on particular situations at the time.

Horace Mann himself stated,

What church has been for medieval man, the public school must become for democratic and rational man. God will be replaced by the concept of the public good. The common school shall create a more far-seeing intelligence and a pure morality that has ever existed among communities of men.

Mann's goal was to create a nonsectarian school system, and his vision was that education would become the salvation of society. In "The Messianic Character of Education", Rousas quotes Mann as saying that Mann wanted "a new religion, with the state as its true church, and education as its Messiah."

Now John Dewey enters the educational scene.

Dewey believed in the "messianic character of education", he developed these beliefs into an educational system. He called this system "progressive education." Robert M. Hutchins, considered a liberal educator of the time, is quoted as saying that Dewey's conception was "regressive education."

John Dewey: The Man Who Betrayed Education by W. Cleon Skousen lists some of Dewey's philosophies. "Create a welfare state with the schools serving as the change agent. Self-realization, rather then learning is the goal. School is to just be fun, with each student doing his own thing in a climate of permissive, unstructured confusion; to throw traditional book learning out the window, removing great books from education."

According to Dr. Hutchins, "the rising generation has been deprived of its birthright; the mess of pottage it has received in exchange has not been nutritious; adults have come to lead lives comparatively rich in material comforts and very poor in moral, intellectual, and spiritual tone."

Dr. Kimber states, Dewey built his entire program on concepts centered in Humanism. In a pamphlet by Dr. Murray Norris it states,

"To most people, Humanism sounds almost nice. After all, if you are 'human', it means you are kind and thoughtful and possess the many other qualities that make you 'human". But if you are a Humanist, you do not believe in God; you attack the moral values taught by parents and church; you believe in suicide, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, and complete sexual freedom to commit adultery, fornication, and all types of sexual perversion."

Norris also mentions the Humanist Manifest II written in 1973, and that it affirms the previous statements, and that "in practice, Humanists are adamant that Christians shall not teach anything that interferes with their promotion of the evolution theory or that allows children to learn about God in school…"

In "Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public education" by Dr. Glenn Kimber, is the creed from The British Humanist Association:

I believe in no God and no hereafter. It is immoral to indoctrinate children with such beliefs. Schools have no right to do so, nor indeed have parents. I believe that religious education and prayers in school should be eliminated. I believe that denominational schools should be abolished…I believe that children should be taught religion as a matter of historical interest, but should be taught about all religions including Humanism, Marxism, Maoism, Communism, and other attitudes of life. They must also be taught the objections to religion. I believe in a non-religious social morality…….unborn babies are not people; I am as yet unsure whether the grossly handicapped are people in the real sense….I believe there is no such thing as sin to be forgiven and no life beyond the grave but death everlasting…..

Why is this British creed important to Americans regarding their educational system?

John Dewey signed the Humanist Manifesto, he was the first president of the American Humanist Association, and he used these philosophies when he created his educational system. John Dewey declared, "Faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, the immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes." (John Dewey, Soul Searching, Teacher Magazine, September 1933, p. 33)

A side-effect of this system is increased violence in public schools. An article in The Deseret News on August 29, 1994, gave the following statistics: "Every school day, 160,000 students stay home from school because they are afraid. One in 11 teachers has been attacked at school. Everyday, 135,000 juveniles carry guns to school." Due to increases in violent occurrences in public schools today, it is highly probable that these numbers are significantly higher. The children of America are the future of America. They are America's most cherished treasure. They have an unalienable right to safety and security. There is no better way to ensure safety then through education at home.

Parents know their children. They are more likely to individualize and differentiate their childrens' curriculum, focusing on their strengths and interests, and help their children learn to compensate and apply tools that will strengthen their weaknesses. There are no concerns in home education about parent-student ratios; a relationship of trust is already established, and it is more cost-effective. The bottom line speaks for itself. The median amount spent on a home educated child is $450.00 annually. (Home Schooling Statistics) The median amount annually spent on a public educated child is $8,044.00. (U.S. Department of Education 2002-2003) When considering Value vs. Cost, we can evaluate the average outcome. Upon comparing the performance of both whites and minorities within home education and public education institutions it becomes clear that those educated at home are receiving more of a return for their financial investment.

Home School –average reading score: White 87%, Minority 87%; Public School-average reading score: White 61%, Minority 49%.

Home School-average math score: White 82%, Minority 77%; Public school-average math score: White 60%, Minority 50%.

"The average home school 8th grade student performs four grade levels above the national average" (Rudner Study). According to Brain D. Ray PhD., Students who have been home schooled their entire lives have the highest scholastic achievement. In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBA and TAP batteries, home educated students scored significantly higher than their counterparts in public and private schools. (Home School Statistics).

The American Educational System was great, and like the constitution that created America, it has been broken by those wanting to "improve" upon an already perfectly authored system. American citizens have been robbed of prosperity due to the immoral and unethical principles in public school. They now believe that they are incapable, not educated enough, are unmotivated and cling to a deteriorating state and federal government to lead and guide their children.

America's youth stand on the very edge of a precipice staring down at the possibility of utter destruction, denied of their unalienable rights, their only hope is that their parents wake up and rise to the challenge of returning this nation to its former values through education at home.

"ACLU urges Supreme Court to Uphold Ruling Removing the Phrase "under God" from Pledge of Allegiance Recited in Public Schools."

Bergel, G. Banning Prayer in Public Schools May 1988

Deseret News August 29, 1994

Dewey, John Soul-Searching, Teacher Magazine, September 1933, p. 33

Home School Statistics

Kimber, Glenn Dr. Analyzing The results of The Experimental Years August 2005

Kimber, Glenn Dr. Today's Public Schools: Humpty Dumpty Revisited May 2005

Kimber, Glenn Dr, Kimber, Julianne Today's Public Schools Part II: Institutionalizing Public Education June 2005

Klicka The Right Choice-Home Schooling, pp80-94

Missouri Public School Accountability report

Norris, Murray Dr. Weep for your Children 1977

Utah Governor's Committee A Shift in Focus late 1980's

Rushdoony, Rousas J. The Messianic Character of Education 1968

U.S. Department of Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics. (2005)

Utah Governor's Committee A Shift in Focus late 1980's Charity Angel's Thoughts

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jonny Diaz- "A More Beautiful You"

You are beautiful just as you are. Forget what magazines and the world tell you that you should be. Look within yourself and see yourself as God sees you. He loves you, and he sent His Only Begotten Son to die for you because He loves you so much. No matter what mistakes you have made, you can always come back to Him, he stands with His arms wide open.

Christ has told us that he stands at the door and knocks, we just need to let Him in. Do not let the world tell you that you are not worthy, that you need to be any different then you are. God made you, His perfect creation for His purpose. You have your own mission to fulfill, seek Him and discover what His will for you is.

The Featured video is Jonny Diaz singing his song 'A More Beautiful You'. I believe that so much can be said through music and images, and this video is perfect for today's message. Please share this message with all the women in your life.

You can learn more about Jonny Diaz on his official site. According to AC indicators, A More Beautiful You hit #1. (You can read about it in Jonny Diaz's blog). He states, "I am blown away by how God is choosing to use this song. I honestly wrote it just intending to play it for youth groups. I knew the message in this song was an important one, but I don’t think I ever realized how needed it really is."

With all the contact that I have with youth, I could definitely tell Jonny Diaz that this song is needed, and that personally, I wish that it was the message that women have been hearing for generations rather then the messages that they have been hearing through many forms of media.

My hat goes off to Jonny Diaz and his song "A More Beautiful You". It deserves to be #1, because the message is a message of truth, and what every woman (young and not so young) needs to hear today. Charity Angel's Thoughts

Deseret Books Mormon Night at Dodger's Stadium

A couple days ago I got my letter that states that I will not be one of the finalists for the National Anthem in LA for the Deseret Book's Mormon Night at Dodger's Stadium in August. I was thrilled that I made it through the qualifying round, but I will not be going any further then that.

I know that many people would expect me to be disappointed, and I know others that are disappointed that I am not one of the finalists, but I wanted to point something out to you guys.

As you all know, the economy is a bit difficult right now, and this competition is set up differently then I thought it was from the application and other materials that I had read on it before I entered it.

From the letter that I was sent, I learned that there will be 6 chosen to go to Dodger's Stadium, and then the winner will be announced there, and they will get to sing. I know what my personal situation is. I just started a new job and it would have only been worth going to LA if I knew that I was 'the one'. The reason being that the winner gets prize money that would have off set the cost of going. I know that there are other cash prizes as well, but it just would not have been worth it to me personally to have taken that financial risk, plus the date the performance is on is also the same day that I would have been in teacher training for my other job that will start this fall.

I do love to sing, and I am glad that there are so many that do appreciate it, but for some time, it has not been the center of my life. My family has been, and I have sung for church and political events. I like it that way. I like my freedom. I entered because I was encouraged to do so, and would have gone through with it, but only if it was clear to me that it was what God wanted me to do.

There was a time when I knew singing was exactly that, and then later it was clear to me that working with grassroots politics was what He wanted me to do. Educating my children at home for 3 years was also one of those things that was clear to me. Now it is having them attend the private school that they love, and sacrificing so that they can. I feel a strong desire at this time to provide for and to protect my children, to make sure that even though I am in school and now working, that they are safe, feel loved, and are able to still have their testimonies develop. With the world we live in, that is essential for them.

I look forward to the day when I am able to have saved enough and have rebuilt all that I have lost in storage, that I can go back home and be there for them. And the job that I have now, that is the way that can happen, and although it is difficult to work full time and go to school full time, I know that there are blessings in this.

So, those of you who are feeling bummed out that I did not go on further, it is ok, really it is. I really do not need the praise of the world to be happy. :)