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Self Worth (The Belief Window) by Hyrum Smith – Transcribed

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A while ago I posted a recording of Hyrum Smith giving this lecture and it’s received the more hits than probably 95% of my other posts and pages. My amazing pianist friend Nathan Schaumann recently shared his transcription of this talk with me! Say thanks to Nathan by subscribing his YouTube channel!

I am excited to be here, and I’d like to share some things with you today that I think can make a difference. If you do in fact have something to take notes on I’m going to ask you to write some things down. When you go to an experience like this – I guess one of the most frustrating things for me in church settings is we go to lots of meetings and you rarely see many notes taken. And the fact is if you don’t take notes in a meeting and then review those notes within 48 hours of that experience, your retention drops to about 25% of what you heard. And I would like to suggest to you today I really think we can share something with you today that may make a difference. Let me begin by sharing this experience with you. About 6 months ago I was approached by the US attorney in the state of Utah, Brenton Ward, and he said we’ve decided to see if we can’t do something about, be part of the solution instead of the problem, the drug problem in the high schools in Utah. He said it is our perception that we have a fairly serious problem, and as the US attorney’s office we’d like to do something about that. And so he approached the Utah Jazz and asked if they would support it and they said they would and then he said Hyrum I’m going to put together an assembly, you know, what can we do. So we talked about it and I ended up being part of this assembly. Since October we have gone to 38 or 39 high schools, a few junior high schools, and put on this 90 minute assembly. I do about 35 or 40 minutes of it and then a member of the Utah Jazz talks and they put together a film, a very stark ugly film about 3 young people in Utah and the problems that they had with drugs. These 3 were found in a rehabilitation hospital in Salt Lake, one was 16, the other two were 17, all 3 of them serious alcoholics and drug addicts. 2 of the 3, since the movie was filmed, are still what we call dry, I think they have 19 months behind them of being dry of alcohol and drugs, the 3rd young person in the movie didn’t make it, and he tried to commit suicide here a couple weeks ago because after 20 months of no alcohol he went and got drugs and got plastered with coke and decided it wasn’t worth living and he started killing himself, and it was sort of a sad experience, but the other 2 so far are making it. And these 2 go with us to the assembly. And they get up in front of these high schools, 1500 young people in an auditorium and they start their talk by saying “I am a drug addict and an alcoholic.” And then there’s no problem after that of anyone listening in that assembly. And it’s sort of been an interesting experience to discover the problem we’ve had. I’d like to suggest to you today that I have some very strong opinions, feelings as to why we have the drug problem in the high schools in this state and in any state in the country and I’d like to suggest some ways perhaps of dealing with that. I’m not talking about drugs per se, I’d just like to talk about how we feel about ourselves. Now let me begin by sharing an experience that I shared with the group 2 years ago, but it’s a good preface to what I’d like to do today. I had the opportunity to when I went on my first mission serving under a man who in my opinion is one of the greatest teachers that has ever walked the planet, elder Marion D. Hanks, and we used to look forward with great anticipation going to see our see him teach and go to our zone conferences where he taught. At one particular zone conference there was the usual number of missionaries in the mission home there in London. I think there were about 30, I think 4 of them were sisters. After the opening prayer and opening song Elder Hanks got up and did something he had never done before, he said “I feel impressed to do something we have never done before. I am going to excuse all of you, you are to leave the mission home, you have 30 minutes. You can go any place you want in London. You do not have to take your companion.” That got our attention fast. He said “In that 30 minutes you are to find a lesson of life from which you can teach something. Anywhere in London. Do you have any questions?” Boom. The room was empty. 30 minutes later everybody came back, every was pretty excited, everybody had found something from which they could teach a lesson of life. Elder Hanks got up and he said “Now I’m not going to be able to hear from all of you, but there are a couple of you I’d like to hear from.” And then he pointed over to a great big elder sitting in the back of the room. This Elder always sat in the back of the room, and he pointed to this Elder and he said “Elder I want to hear from you first.” And Elder Hanks had a way of scrutinizing the front of your backbone. And this Elder looked up at him and he just went white with fear and Elder Hanks said “Yeah, you Elder. I want to hear from you first.” So this Elder started to stand. And I say started to stand, because it took him a while, he was 6’ 8”. And he stood up, and he had the biggest hands I’ve ever seen, twice the size of my hands in thickness, every other way, shaking hands with this Elder was an experience in pain. And he stood up and put his hands in his pockets, and this is how he started. His head was down like this and his hands were in his pockets and he never looked at anybody when he started and this is what he said. He said “You know, when I left here 30 minutes ago, I knew I’d never find anything that would interest you. I went down to the British National History Museum and I covered that whole museum in 29 minutes.” If you’ve ever been in the British National History Museum you can’t cover that thing in 3 weeks, let alone 29 minutes. He had to run full tilt to get through that museum. 29 minutes, covered the whole thing. He said “As I was walking out the side doors my eye caught a glass case. In this glass case was the most magnificent stuffed Greyhound dog I had ever seen. That dog was stuffed in a running position. You know as I stood there looking at that dog, I had a thought. You know what the thought was? You know if that greyhound ever got in a race with my Airedale back in Idaho” (you know he was from a little down in Idaho, and he was obviously embarrassed about his grammar, he had the grammar of someone from a little town in Idaho. Now I am not mocking towns in Idaho. But he was a little uncomfortable about his grammar and it was bothering him”, and he said “If that greyhound ever got in a race with my old Airedale back in Idaho, that greyhound would kill my Airedale. No way my Airedale would ever keep up with that Greyhound.” So then he said “You know as I stood there thinking about that race, a second thought came to me.” When he said the word second thought, he stood up a little straighter. And not full straight, but he kinda came up like this and he started to peer at us a little bit, and he said “You know what the second thought was?” He said “The second thought was you know what? That greyhound never got in a work contest with my Airedale. My Airedale would kill that greyhound.” Then he got all excited about his Airedale killing that greyhound in a work contest. Then he said “You know as I stood there thinking about that work contest, a third thought came to me.” And when he said third thought, he came up to his full height. His voice got a whole lot stronger, hands never left his pockets. He said “You know what the third thought was? He said I’m just like that Airedale.” Then he turned to his companion, his companion’s name was Perry Drakes and he said “You know Drakes? You’re just like that greyhound.” Old Drakes looked up at him – and you need to understand Perry Drakes before his mission had graduated with honors from Harvard. Very articulate guy. He said “Yeah Drakes you’re smarter than I am, you have a lot more education than I have, you speak better than I do, but I’ll tell you what Drakes, I’ll work you to death.” And then he sat down. It’s the most wonderful talk I’d ever heard. In the next 90 days he proceeded to prove his point. He dragged Drakes out of bed 30 minutes every day sat him up in his bed, he said “You talk better than I do, teach me to talk the way you talk.” So Drakes gave him grammar lessons. Then he’d drag him out tracting an hour early every day, drag him from door to door, stand him up in front of the door, say “You talk better than I do, you talk, I’ll get you to the next door.” In the next 90 days the Greyhound and the Airedale outsized any 3 teams in the mission. Finally old Drakes called the mission office and said “You’ve got to get me out of here this kid’s going to kill me. I can’t take it anymore.” Now the wonderful thing about that was in that wonderful maybe 2 minute talk the only thing that changed was his self worth. He discovered for the first time you know it’s ok to be 6’ 8” have big hands, talk funny, I can do anything I want. I’m a Son of God for crying out loud. I can learn to do all that stuff. And the minute he started feeling ok about him, miracles started to happen in his life. Now what I want to talk to you about today, brothers and sisters, is self-worth. If there is a group on this planet that should have a wonderful powerful self worth, it is the group sitting in this room. Why? You know who you are. You know here you came from, you know who your father is. We ought to have the most powerful self-worth out there, the most magnificent gift that you could give any of your children is a wonderfully powerful self-worth. Then they’re able to cope with anything the world throws at them. I remember my mother and father telling me from when I was a small boy you can do anything you want to do if you want to do it bad enough. I started to believe it. Almost killed me several times. I decided I could swim across a place called Hanamo Bay, I grew up in Hawaii, got halfway across, nearly drowned. I was treading water, I looked out to sea and all of a sudden I saw a fin about that high, gliding through the water. I got to the other side. Really fast. But it’s just something that I started believing. I can do anything I want, if I want to do it bad enough. Now. To teach the principle of this thing, of how we can feel about ourselves, and how we can make it better, let me share with you a couple of reasons why it tends to be poor, and then I’d like to share with you today a control model. If you’ll internalize this model, the impact it can have on you and your future is electric. Two big reasons why we tend to have poor self esteem – No. 1 is we live with put-downs all our lives. How many in this room by show of hands have ever been put down? Today? Now I want to have an example. This gentleman right here, sitting next to the woman in black. On your feet. Tell me your name. What’s your name? “Troy”. Where are you from, Troy? “Tucson Arizona.” That’s ok. Ok. Troy. I want you to give me an example of a put-down. You know, something that you might hear out in the hall, or in the world, give me an example of a put-down. Someone’s gonna put somebody down, give me an example. Be careful. I’m glad you’re having a hard time. Anybody want to help him? We’ve got a hand in the back of the room. “I’m balding.” That’s an example right? Sit down Troy. Alright that’s a good example, that was just an example right? Stand up. Stand up. Compared to him I look like Boyd Packer for crying out loud. Ok. Now Let’s suppose Troy is about 10. Troy comes in to the breakfast table. Mom says “Troy did you make your bed?” Troy says “Man mom, I forgot.” “That’s the third time this week, are you stupid? Get back in there and make your bed.” Do Moms ever talk like that? Troy just got his first put-down. Now Troy goes to school on the bus. Walks into class, teacher says “Troy, where’s your lunch pail?” “Oh man, I don’t believe it, I left it on the bus.” “You dummy that’s twice this week. What are you gonna have for lunch, crayons?” Troy just got his second put-down. Do teachers ever talk like that? You know when we were in Ventura my daughter Glenna, 12, was in a math class, and raised her hand and asked a question about a problem on the board, and the response from the teacher came back – and I quote. “You idiot, we covered that yesterday.” You know how long it took me to get her to ask another question in that class? She never did. Took her a whole semester. Scared her to death. Now Troy goes out during recess and he’s playing catch with his friends and he misses the ball. Can kids be ugly to each other? “Oh yeah, you nerd, you can’t even catch”. He gets 47 more put-downs. What’s Troy been told all day? “I’m dumb.” If he gets a steady enough diet of that, what’s he gonna be? Dumb. He’ll live up to those expectations. Let me tell you about crabs. Growing up in Hawaii, one of the fun things we did as kids was go crabbing. We’d get a bucket about that deep, put it in the sand, go out in the ocean, get crabs, put them in the bucket. We kept them alive in the bucket. They stayed fresher that way. Funny how that works. We had about 6 crabs in the bottom of the bucket, I was on my way back to the ocean, I looked into the bucket, and one of those crabs scrambling up the side of the bucket. It was sliding back and forth, but it was making steady progress to the top. I hollered and said “Hey we gotta put a lid on the bucket.” They said “you don’t have to put a lid on the bucket, none of those crabs will get out” I said “Come on, this one’s almost out, what are you talking about?” And they said “if you don’t believe us, sit down and watch.” So I sat next to the bucket for 40 minutes. Not one crab got out. And do you know why? The minute any one of those crabs got anywhere near the top of the bucket, one of the other crabs climbed up, grabbed it, pulled it back down into the bucket. It’s the darndest thing I ever saw. That was the birth of Hyrum Smith’s crab theory. We’re the same way. We get out there and decide we’re going to do something really great, and we make the mistake of announcing it out there, and you know I say “I’m going to get a 4-point average, this semester in all my classes”, and then you announce it. And somebody says “You know what, 4-point? C’mon. Stay down here with us. Cease.” It’s a very real phenomenon. The pressure out there, I discovered as a mission president. How many of you out there are returned missionaries, may I see a show of hands? Woah. I discovered as a mission president that the worst deterrent to a missionary going from mediocre to great, Parley Pratt status, the biggest deterrent was not the external pressure. It wasn’t the Doberman pinchers on Sepulveda boulevard, it wasn’t the 111 degrees, it wasn’t the born agains, it was the pressure from the lesser missionaries. Do you think that’s true? It was the lesser spirits saying “You really are going to go tracting this early? C’mon, man. Stay home with us.” It’s the lesser crab. Very real phenomenon, brothers and sisters. I’m going to ask you to consider something, don’t put each other down. For the rest of this conference. No put-downs. No put-downs. When I was in California as mission president I heard a speech by a wonderful human being, a man by the name of Lloyd Moffit, who was one of my stake presidents, is now – is he still a regional? Wonderful guy. He gave a talk and this was the theme of his talk, he said “If you’ll run everything you’re going to say through 3 doors, you’ll be speaking in” – I can’t remember what he called it, something to do with golden tongues or something like that, but he said “The three doors are these. Before you say anything, you think, is it necessary, is it true, is it kind?” I got all excited about that, I came home, approached my children at an early morning meeting, and said “Suppose we didn’t say anything to each other until we ran it through 3 doors, is it necessary, is it true, is it kind?” Kids got all excited, put plaques all over the house, is it necessary, is it true, is it kind? Stopped conversation for 3 days. It was like a tomb. And on about the second day, my son was really having a hard time and he just wanted to blow his sister Glenna away, and you could just see he wanted to say something, and finally he just blurted out and called her a dummy, or something really dumb thing, and Glenna said “is that necessary?” And he said no but it’s true! And I’m just going to ask you something, you know the tragedy of what I’m talking about is some of these put-downs come from very close range. Sometimes from each other. You know that beautiful young beehive – remember when you were beehives, ladies? And you’ve just turned 12 and you’re a beehive and you go to that first mutual function and you walk through the door of the chapel and there stands 4 laurels. Do you have any idea how devastating that is? What does the beehive do? What’s wrong? It’s a put-down. I have a second reason for low self-esteem is worse than the 1st. It’s where we put ourselves down. It’s where our self-talk can be destructive, and we started deciding that something is wrong with us. Let me tell you about fleas. You have my theory, here is my flea theory. They’ve done some interesting studies with fleas. They’ll take fleas, put them in a jar, put a cap on the jar. Put a flame underneath the jar. Pretty quick the flea jumps away from the flame. Why? Hurts, a lot. They jump so high they hit their heads on the lid. Or it’s not their heads they hit, whatever they hit, they hit it on the lid. Pretty soon the flea says to himself “you know, I can reduce half my pain if I don’t hit the lid anymore.” Now they jump away from the flame. Miss the lid by a quarter of an inch. No more bink bink bink on the lid. You know what you can do now? Take the lid off, not one flea jumps out. Why? “Hey I’ve learned. Jump the extra inch? Hurts a lot. Don’t like that very much.” And they won’t jump out. They’ve been conditioned. Now the whole universe is available to them, and they will not jump out. The tragedy of that folks, is that we’re the same way. We get out there and say hey man I’m going to do something really great, I’m going to try out for the basketball team, I’m gonna make it. The fact that we’re 4’11” escaped us. So we go out for the basketball team, we’re looking at everybody’s navels. Finally the coach says “you know kid, this is not your thing, there’s a bowling class next door.” And we get thrown off the team. We get blown away, we come back, “boy that hurt a lot, I’ll never do that again. And boy, if anybody else goes out for the basketball team, I’ll tell them how stupid that is, stay down here with me.” It’s a very real phenomenon, it’s a tragic phenomenon. We start telling ourselves that something’s wrong with us. I do productivity seminars now all over the world, and I have discovered, from some very interesting studies, that there is a causal relationship between our self-worth and our productivity. In fact, the first thing in your notes, if you are taking notes, write down an equation, high self esteem = high productivity. Let me take you back to your 8th grade algebra. If you take something from the left side of the equation, what do you have to take from the right side to make it equal? The same amount. If my self worth drops, what tends to happen to my productivity? It’ll drop. If my productivity drops, what tends to happen to my self-worth? It’ll drop. The antithesis of this is also true. If I can get control of me, if I can start managing and controlling what counts and what matters, in my life, the natural byproduct of that is an increase in self-worth. Now I’d like to introduce this model to you. I don’t have a blackboard, so I’m going to use a human blackboard. I need 5 of you to help me with this, the rest of you I want you to put this in your notes, burn it into your memories, think about it, start processing information with this model. So in your notes just write “control model”, there are going to be 5 elements to this model. The element out to the left should be represented in a circle. Alright? A circle. This woman in the red here, would you come up here for a minute, please? Yes, don’t turn around. You’re the only one in red. Tell me your name. Kristen? Ok, would you stand right here Kristen? Stand right here, just face this group. Kristen represents the left edge of this control model. And would you label Kristen “Human needs”. Human needs. Remember, it’s a circle, you want to make Kristen a circle. It’s like a wheel, because this circle drives the rest of this model. There are 4 basic human needs. I want you to write these right underneath the circle. Psychologists have done hundreds of studies, and discovered that each of us in this room today have in fact, 4 basic human needs. Whether you think you do or not, you have them, they’re there. The first need is to live. Survive. Just to live. The second human need is to love and be loved. The third human need is to feel important. To feel important. The fourth human need is an interesting one, variety. We have a need for variety. That’s why none of us are all dressed in white today. That was not a put-down guys, really. Ok. Now the 4 basic needs, we all have them, to live, to love and be loved, to feel important, and variety. That’s why we go on vacations, that’s why we watch different TV programs, variety. Alright, these needs are powerful needs. Now we come to the second element of this pyramid. The one who said I was bald, come up here, I’ve forgotten your first name. Rex. I know Rex. He used to be my friend. Stand right here, Rex. Alright, the next part of the model in your notes should be represented by a square, same size as the circle, a square. It has nothing to do with Rex! That laugh was putting him down. Alright. And you want to put a little arrow from Rex, pointing this way. A little arrow from Rex, pointing this way. Alright, now you want to label Rex. Rex is the belief window. Rex is the belief window. Now understand this fact. Each of us sitting here today has a belief window. It’s about this big, it sits right in front of our heads. We look out into the world through this belief window, and we accept information in through this belief window. We have thousands of principles etched on that belief window that we have accepted as correct principles. Thousands. Now we give lip service to the big principles, like gospel principles. I’m talking about all kinds of principles, let’s start with an example. Let’s take a little principle. Let’s suppose we have etched on our belief window this principle. All doberman pinchers are vicious. You think that’s on anybody’s belief window out there? What need do you suppose is driving that principle? To live. Now understand these needs are driving everything on this belief window, because the principles on this belief window are going to be driving something out here that hopefully will satisfy our needs. Now I need the third element of our model. Let’s have this woman right here. Don’t turn, yeah you. Tell me your name. Michelle. Ok. Michelle you stand next to Rex. Michelle is to be represented in your notes as another box. Notice I didn’t say square, Michelle. Box. And with another little tiny arrow pointing this way on the model. Because the principles on our belief window start to drive what Michelle represents, would you label the box that Michelle represents, rules. Rules. And then right underneath, or inside the box, write the words “If, then”. If, then. We call these the if then rules. Now here is how it works. We have the needs that drive these principles. Let’s say we have a principle on our belief window that all doberman pinchers are vicious. Now we start setting up specific rules for behavior. In other words it goes like this – if that is a correct principle, and I walk into somebody’s yard, and see a big black Doberman pincher, what am I gonna do? I will run. I will leap tall buildings, I will get away. Now what need is driving that? To live. Now these are specific rules of behavior that we start to set up. Alright, Troy I need you up here now. Troy is going to be a critical, vital part of this model. Troy is going to be out here just to the left of Michell, represent Troy with another box. Are we doing alright Kristen? You’re doing ok? Troy represents behavior. Behavior. You might even add the word action. Now we start to behave, ok? Let’s go back and bring us up to where we are. We have a belief on our belief window that says all doberman pinchers are vicious. If that’s true, then we come into somebody’s yard, there’s a big black dog, what’s Troy gonna do? He’ll somehow protect himself he’ll run. Have you ever seen a young person walk into somebody’s house, see a dog, and go nuts? Why? What’s on that kid’s belief window that makes that kid go crazy? All dogs are vicious. Maybe. K? Let’s a couple more examples. Suppose you have on your belief window that yours self worth is dependent on your possessions. What need is driving that, do you suppose? Maybe to feel important. Alright, you have a second belief on your belief window. That European possessions are better. So I’ve got 2 beliefs on my belief window, that my self worth is dependent on my possessions, and European possessions are better. If that’s true, then I get over here to Michelle, and I start setting up rules for behavior. If that’s true, then and it’s now time for me to buy a car, what’s Troy gonna buy? BMW. K? Anything but a VW. He’s gonna buy a European car. Why? Because the principles on his belief window are driving that. Let’s take another example. Suppose you have on your belief window, that all teachers are mean. Somewhere you got it on your belief window, All teachers are mean. What need do you suppose is driving that? To live? Could be a combination of several. Maybe to be important. To be loved? K? If that’s true then, and I start setting up my rules for behavior, and I go to a new school, how am I going to inter-react with my teachers? All closed down. Now understand a very important fact at this point. If you observe someone’s behavior for a while and see a pattern of behavior develop, what can you predict here? At Rex? Can you tell what’s on the belief window? Yes. If you know what’s on someone’s belief window, what can you predict about out here? Can you predict their behavior with some accuracy? Yes you can. Let me give you a fun example. Someone came into the kitchen one afternoon, his wife was preparing dinner, she pulls out of the oven a big beautiful ham. The ends had been cut off the ham. He said “why did you cut the ends off the ham?” “Makes it taste better.” “How do you know?” “My mother told me that.” So on her belief window you cut the ends off to make the ham taste better. The behavior is cutting off the ham. They’re at the mother in law’s house for dinner he approach the wife’s mother and he says “I understand you cut the ends off your ham.” “I do.” “Why do you do that?” “Makes it taste better.” “How do you know that?” “My mother told me that.” Two generations now, the belief is, cut the ends off the ham, makes it taste better. The grandmother was still alive. He went over, picked up the phone. This guy was bugged. Called the grandmother. “Do you cut the ends off your ham?” “Yes I do.” “Why do you do that?” “Won’t fit in my oven if I don’t.” 2 generations later, still cutting off the ham. Alright. Now we need the 5th element of the model, then we’ll run some example through it. Ok? This gentleman here. What’s your name? Dan? Alright Dan stand next to Troy. Where are you from? Tucson. Everybody from Tucson? Ok. Dan now is to be represented by a square box, but by a rectangle. No arrows going from Dan, there is an arrow from Troy to Dan, by the way, because this whole model is going towards Dan. So write a rectangle now, and label this part of the model, results. Results. Dan I want you to come over and stand right in front of Kristen, facing Kristen. Now, I want you to write down a statement. There are about 5 statements that I want you to write down, and never forget. Think about, pray about this, I want you to really think about this. Here is the statement. 1st statement. “If the results to not meet the needs, there is an incorrect principle on the belief window.” So when Dan gets back to Kristen, if this is not meeting Kristen’s needs, we’ve got an incorrect principle. Ok Dan, come back here. Now let’s run a couple of things through this model. Let’s talk to you men for a moment. Suppose one of you men out there got it on your belief window that men are just a little more important to God than women. K? Now let’s just think about this guys. Somewhere in my growing up, I picked up that men are more valued than women. I don’t know where I got that, maybe it’s because my soccer coach used to say if you don’t play better I’ll make you wear a dress. Or maybe it’s because my soccer coach said “You’re playing like little girls.” Or something like that. Or “men don’t cry”, or stuff like that. So I got on my belief window, men are a little better than women. If that’s true then, what need is driving that then? To feel important. It could be a consortium of them. If that’s true then, and I am now married, and my wife asks me to do the dishes, what will Troy do? He may respond by saying – “that’s women’s work”. If Troy were to say that to his spouse, what has he just said to his spouse? I’m better than you. K? Now, is the result of that behavior going to meet his need with his wife? Women? Would it meet your need? Unequivocal no. So maybe that’s an incorrect principle. I’m going to ask you to write a second statement now. Repentance is the process of changing principles on your belief window. Ok I’m going to let you guys sit down now, so you won’t get your legs tired. Thank you very much. Now what I’m asking you to consider, brothers and sisters, is this: are you mature enough, humble enough, to submit yourself before God, and say “Father in Heaven, I’d like to know if the principles on my belief window are all correct. And if they’re not, do I have what it takes to identify the incorrect ones and replace them with right ones? The most powerful statement I believe, Joseph Smith made when he was alive was when he made this statement: “teach them correct principles, and they will govern themselves.” Does that make sense? Understand this fact – this model, the first 4 elements of this model are working in your life right now, whether you think they ought to or not. You’ve got the needs, the principles are etched on your belief window, and they are in fact driving your behavior. Where the model tends to break down is an unwillingness to seriously measure the results of that behavior. Now I want you to write one more thing. Results take time to measure. It’s sort of the seeds and fruits idea. Now let me explain what that means with this experience. At one of the high schools we took the drug assembly to, the high school principle decided you know I don’t want you to talk to my entire high school, my entire high school doesn’t have the problem. There are some of the kids in this high school that do in fact have an alcohol and drug problem, would you spend the hour with them? I said sure. They identified 50 druggies. And that’s what they were called by the faculty, druggies. I sat there in the room as these 50 kids filed into the room. It’s kind of a music room, one of these tiered rooms. These kids walked into the room and it was a sight to see. And they all came in and it was the most hostile atmosphere I’ve ever seen, when they got in there and recognized each other. And they said “what are we doing here for?” And the principal got up and said “cause you’re all alcoholics and druggies, and Mr. Smith is going to fix that.” And they said “yeah?” And then I was introduced. I stood up in front of these 50 kids, the most hostile group I have ever addressed I have ever addressed, ever. And in the first 2 minutes, I had to throw one kid out. Literally, throw him out. When he got to the door, he swore at me, and when he swore at me, the class cheered. Hostile, guys. It was hostile. And I said you know I haven’t got anything to lose, I’m going to lay this model on them, see what happens. And so I picked 5 kids. I’d been watching them as they came in, thought I’d pick the 5 who were kind of the ringleaders, and I was right on 2 of them, boy was I right on two of them. One of the kids that I had come up front as my belief window – very bright kid, very bright kid. Heavy into drugs and alcohol. I started walking them through this model. They were trying to catch me on every one. He says “I don’t take drugs because it makes me feel important! It’s got nothing to do with my self-esteem!” I said “why do you take drugs?” “Cause I enjoy it. It’s fun.” I said “ok, maybe the need that’s driving that is variety for you.” “Yeah. Right.” And then I said “well let’s see if we can find out what principle is on your belief window. Do you drink?” “Yeah, I drink.” “How do you drink?” “I get bombed every weekend, about 10 beers a week.” I said, “will that make you an alcoholic?” “He said no way, you can’t be an alcoholic just like that!” I said “ok, you’ve just given me a belief on your belief window. Do you believe you can get bombed every week, take 10 beers a week, and that won’t turn you into an alcoholic. Is that what you believe?” We’ve been through the model enough times now that this kid realized he’d been had. And he said “yeah”. I said “ok, if that’s true then, and you go to a party, and booze is offered, what will you do, what will your behavior be?” “I’ll drink.” “Yeah, that’s what you’re doing now, right?” “Right.” “Alright, will the results meet your needs?” He said – “yeah.” And then he got this funny look on his face like boy, I am going to blow you away. And he said “I’ve got it, I’ve got it, I understand the model, he said let me walk you through it.” “I said walk me through it.” He said “alright, I’ve got on my belief window that I won’t be an alcoholic or a drug addict if I take cocaine maybe once or twice a week, and that won’t make me an addict, nor if I drink. That’s on my belief window, right?” “Right.” “And then need is variety, makes me feel good, right?” “Right.” “If that’s true, I go to a party and I get smashed, right?” “Yeah.” “If the results meet my needs, then it’s a correct principle on my belief window, right?” “Right.” He said “right?” I said “yeah, right. So are the results meeting your needs?” He said “yeah, I feel terrific.” I said “but you’ve forgotten one thing. Results take time to measure. You don’t know yet.” And then he said “ok, that means I’ve gotta do it the rest of my life! Prove it, right?” I said “that’s a way, you could do it. Not the smartest way, but you could do it that way.” I said “there’s another way, it’s called seeds and fruits. Maybe you could look at somebody who planted that seed themselves, see if it met their needs, could we do that?” “Yeah, I guess you could do that.” “Give me an example of somebody that drank, all their lives, and took coke all their lives, and it met their needs, over time.” First example – Elvis Presley. I said “Elvis Presley? Where’s he?” “Dead.” “How come?” “OD’d on drugs.” “Give me another example.” “Janis Joplin.” “Where’s Janis Joplin?” “Dead.” “How come?” “OD’d on drugs.” Give me another one.” John Belushi was the third example. “Where’s John Belushi?” “He’s dead.” “How come?” “OD’d on drugs.” I said “are you seeing anything here?” The kid was ashen faced at this point. And I said “over time, are the results of that behavior going to meet your needs?” And I said to him, I said “I’m not here today to tell you what to put on your belief window. All I’m here to tell you is what’s happening. Now. And at some point, you’re going to discover that the results of that behavior may not be meeting your needs. And it may not be too late.” In the back of the room was a kid with green hair. Green hair, it stood this high above his head. Straight hair. He sat there in the back of the room and he was just kinda over the back of his chair and finally he raised his hand and said “This doesn’t make any difference anyway!” I said “what do you mean it doesn’t make any difference?” This was a very hostile environment, it was a lot of fun, quite frankly, it was a lot of fun, he said “we’re all going to be dead in 10 years anyway”, “what do you mean we’re all going to be dead in 10 years?” He said “we’re going to blow ourselves up! There’s no way we’ll survive more than 10 years.” I said “you just gave me a belief on your belief window.” “I did?” “Yeah, you did. You told me that we’re going to be blown up in 10 years.” And then I said “how many of you in this room believe that?” 42 hands went up. Out of the 50. I said “you really believe in this world, we’re going to blow ourselves up?” Oh yeah, this is dumb. I said “alright, let’s take it through the model. You believe we’ll be blown up in 10 years. If that’s true, then it’s now time to go to school and do well in school, what will your behavior be in school?” In one voice – “We won’t go to school! School doesn’t matter!” “That’s right! You’re right, you’ll do that, and that’s what you’re doing, right?” “Yeah.” “Well are those results going to meet your needs – suppose you’re alive in 15 years! Just suppose we don’t blow ourselves up in 10 years, we’re alive in 15 years. Will the results of your behavior now meet your needs out there? How are you going to eat?” It was stone quiet. And the kid with the green hair says – “doesn’t mean you don’t try.” And I said “baloney, are you trying?” “No.” “That’s your behavior. You’re not trying. We just discovered the belief in your window that’s causing that behavior, and maybe for the first time you’re getting a glimpse of maybe that’s not going to meet your needs. Is your family going to feed you for the rest of your lives? They going to pay for that green dye?” I was very confrontive! And it was just amazing, it got stone quiet in there. I’m going to give you another couple of examples. Suppose you’ve got it on your belief window somewhere that your self-esteem is linked to not losing at games. Somehow you got it on your belief window that you must not lose at games. What need do you suppose is driving something like that? Feel important, maybe? If that’s true then, and you’re playing a game with somebody, what’ll you do? Cheat. No way I’m going to lose. K? Have you ever played basketball with someone that just went crazy when they started losing? Now again, when you observe behavior, you can come back and pretty well discover what is on that belief window. Let me give you some historical examples. In 1954 Eisenhower, President of the United States, had 2 principles on his belief window. One of them was, you fight communism wherever it surfaces. Period. The second belief on his belief window was you must never get in a land war in China. That was what was on his belief window. If that’s true then, and the French approach him in 1954 say we’re in an ugly war in Vietnam, we need help. What’s Eisenhower’s behavior going to be? Driven by his principles. Fight communism anywhere, so what does he have to do? He’s gotta help. But. Don’t get in a land war in China. So what did Eisenhower do? Gave them everything but what? Men. Gave them ammunitions, money, supplies, guns, no men. So his behavior was in line with his principles. 1960. John Kennedy, President of the United States, his secretary of defense goes by the name of Robert Macnamarra. Robert Macnamarra had it on his belief window, computers never lie. Somewhere he picked it up on his belief window, computers never lie. If that’s true then, Macnamarra sets up his rules for behavior, and the computer spits out and says, given enough men, ammunition, supplies, you can win a war anywhere on the planet, what’s he going to recommend to Kennedy? So what did Advisors show up in Vietnam. Now did the results of that meet our needs? I just throw that out to you as a question. 1935, Adolf Hitler had a need to feel important that is unexcelled in this century. Did we know what his principles were? Yeah. He wrote a book. We knew. He had it on his belief window that everything was racial. The racials were graded. What was the highest race? The Aryan. What was the lowest races? Jews and Blacks. They’re the worst. Now, if that’s true then, and he starts setting up his rules of behavior, he’s got an economic disaster in Germany, it’s got to be somebody’s fault, can’t be Aryans, Aryans are the best, so whose fault is that? The Jews. So they start attacking the Jews. But he had a problem in 1935. The Americans and the British are Aryans. They’re like me! They’re good guys! That means I must be able to make peace with them, they won’t fight me, because we’re all Aryans. Well all of a sudden in 1939 he’s in a war with Britain, he wasn’t even able to make peace, and the Americans, they’re supporting the British. He couldn’t figure that out. So what’s the only thing that HItler could do is be consistent with his belief that everything is racial. He decided that Winston Churchill and Roosevelt were Jews. It’s true, folks. He believed that. It’s the only way he could reconcile this. They have to be Jews. The minute he decided that, it’s okay to fight them now. They’re the lowest race. I can wipe out the Britons now. Well, did his behavior meet his needs? How long did the thousand year Reich last? 13 years. He had a bad principle on his belief window. Suppose you have a principle on your belief window that says my self worth is linked to never losing an argument. It’s not macho to lose an argument. If that’s true then and my teenage son comes in and starts arguing with me, what will my behavior be? Death. Death. I’ll win. I’ll win. Over time will that meet my needs? Will that help my relationship with my son? Maybe not. But there are cultural belief windows. There are corporate belief windows. There are family belief windows. Do you believe that? We grow up in a home and where do we get all these principles on our belief window? We get them from the environment in which we grow up. Suppose I have – actually, I’ll tell you about a belief we had on our corporate belief window. At the Franklin institute we had a belief on our belief window that you cut costs no matter what. A good business management principle is you always cut costs. Now what need do you suppose is driving that for a corporation? Survival. Right if that’s true then, and it’s now time to hire a receptionist for the Franklin Institute, what kind of a receptionist will we buy? Cheap. The least expensive we can get. So we did, now how does the result meet the needs? The senior Vice President from Rockwell International, they built this big shuttle in Anaheim California. “You got a really interesting receptionist, Hyrum.” “Really?” “Yeah. She doesn’t speak English.” “She doesn’t?” “No. I called up a little while ago and asked if had some things and she said – “We ain’t got none of them.”” Now who is our window to the corporate world? Our receptionist. We changed the principle on our belief window. And the principle was – we want to have the finest reputation in America, period. If that’s true, and it’s now time to buy a receptionist, what will our behavior be as a corporation, what kind of a receptionist will we buy? The best, and we have the best in Utah. And she is expensive. But she’s the best. Now is the result meeting our needs? Yeah it is. I found as a young bishop in Portland Oregon is that I used to attack the behavior all the time. People were come into my office, I was a young bishop, people would come in and I’d find myself wanting to say – “you did what?” And I can’t say that, so I sit there and I’ve heard this a hundred times, and what I find myself wanting to say was – “you gotta stop doing that, that’s lousy behavior.” And as long as I was attacking the behavior, do you think that ever stopped? No. Never did. All my nifty plans never worked. But what I discovered was, if I started to evaluate this, and if I could get that person to evaluate what’s on their belief window, and change what’s there, would I have to say anything about their behavior? No. They would then govern themselves. Let’s say you’re a born again Baptist, and you have on your belief window that all I have to do is accept the Savior, and I’m saved. Period. End of conversation. Is there anyone out there like that? So that’s on my belief window. If that’s true then, and Mormon missionaries knock on my door, what will my behavior be? I’ll slam the door. Now what’s driving that behavior? A belief on the belief window. Is the result going to meet that’s person’s need over time? At some point, that person is going to stand before God, and wish they’d opened the door. What are the missionaries asking of the people of the world when they knock on the door? They’re saying, would you mind taking your belief window off for an hour and putting it on the table and see if we can’t see if they’re all correct? Now that’s a door approach. Because in my opinion, you’ve got some really lousy principles on your belief window. Not a good door approach, but that’s exactly what they’re asking, is it not? It’s exactly what we’re asking. Now write this one more statement. This is a statement by President Kimball. Sin is the result of deep and unmet needs. Boy, is that a powerful statement. Plug that back into the model. One of the basic needs is to love and be loved, is it not? Kristen would you stand up again? Don’t have to come up here, just stand where you are. The basic needs were to live, to love and be loved, to feel important and variety. If any one of those needs that Kristen represents is not being met, then all of our energy will flow into this model to make that need met. If I have a need to be loved, and I am not being loved, I will do everything in my power to be loved. If I have an incorrect principle on there, my behavior out there may be incorrect. Suppose you have it on your belief window that my self-worth is dependent on the number of boyfriends I have. My behavior then – I’ll collect boyfriends. I may do things with those boyfriends, or girlfriends, the case may be, that are inappropriate, but what am I trying to do? I’m trying to solve a need back here. And I’m now sinning, because I’ve got a bad principle here. Maybe the right principle is that real relationships are developed around trust. And if I could get that on my belief window, then my behavior will follow all by itself. Now you think about the people you know, think about the little sins that you have done, by the way, do you know what sin means? Sin comes from the latin word that means to miss the mark. To miss the mark. You know what that means to me? That means we have another shot. That’s why the second principle of the gospel is repentance. What was repentance? It’s the process of changing principles on our belief window. When we’ve made the mistake, we’ve gotta come back. Our behavior was inappropriate. What belief on my belief window allowed me to make that mistake? I’ll tell you a belief on somebody’s belief window that Jacob wrote about in the Book of Mormon – they said “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Let’s have a great time here, guys. It’s gonna be short.” And that belief drives some pretty ugly behavior, does it not? Why do we get involved with drugs and that? I’ll tell you why. Because drugs are a temporary okay feeling. And I’ve got it on my belief window that I’m not validated unless my friends say I’m okay. And if I belief that my self worth is dependent on my friends, and I go to a party and booze and drugs are offered, what will I do? What will my behavior be? I’ll take the drugs. Does the result meet my need? Not on your life. I got a bad principle here. Let me go back to those 50 druggies, one of the most exciting things in my whole speaking career occurred. We got through with that hour, and these kids wanted more. The principal came back – the principal wouldn’t even stay in the room, it was so ugly. He just left me alone with these guys. He came back in at the end of the hour and he said, you know, “time’s up.” And one of the kids said “Hey, we’re not done.” And the whole class says, “we gotta have another hour.” I said “you’re kidding. You want to have another hour?” “We gotta have another hour.” I said “you can have another hour.” We went on for another hour, we had to go to lunch for 30 minutes, they came back. We had another hour. Totally different atmosphere. And it was interesting, I put the 5 chairs up on the stage in this little room we were at, the 5 kids I had selected came 5 minutes early to make sure they got their chairs. And this kid here was my belief window. He comes in here stone faced and he says “I’ve got a question I want to ask you and then I’ve got a thing I want to take through your model.” And I said “ok. What’s the question?” “Why did you come here today?” And I said – “well, do you wanna take that through the model?” “Yeah, let’s take that through the model.” I said “because I have a belief on my belief window that I’m supposed to make a difference.” He said “what does that mean?” I said “I have no idea. All I know is somewhere I picked up on my belief window that Hyrum Smith is supposed to make a difference. And I’m not sure what that means, but if that’s true then, and I think I’m supposed to make a difference, and the US attorney asks me to go to the high schools in Utah, and talk to the kids about drugs, what’ll I do?” Half the class; “You’ll do it!” “That’s why I’m here.” “Well, are the results going to meet your needs?” “I don’t know. Results take time, remember?” “Oh yeah.” I said “a year from now, if you’re not taking drugs, will I have made a difference?” “Yeah.” “That’d make me feel real good. Now what do you want to take through the model?” He said “I have a friend. She’s a girl. Not my girlfriend, just a close friend. She’s taking drugs pretty seriously now, she’s heavy into cocaine. She’s got a lousy home situation, mom and dad are both alcoholics, she has a little tiny baby brother, she has to stay home and take care of him all the time, and her father and mother beat her all the time, and she is on the edge of committing suicide. She is seriously thinking about committing suicide. How do we help her?” And boy the room got real quiet, because everybody in the room knew who this person was. She was not there. I said “I don’t know. Maybe we’d better take it through the model. Let’s see. All we know about is the behavior, right? And the behavior is she’s taking drugs. Let’s back up. Can we tell what’s on her belief window?” And I said “give me some ideas. What do you think’s on this kid’s belief window?” Just like that, all over the room. And I said “well – obviously these beliefs are driving the behavior, the results we know now, are not going to meet her needs over time, right? If she kills herself,” he says “man if she kills herself, we’ve wasted a life.” I wish you could have seen the expression on this kid’s face. We’ve wasted a life. And I said “what about your life?” “Yeah, yeah yeah I know about my life. Let’s talk about this girl’s life.” “Ok, let’s talk about this girl’s life.” And I said “what need is not being met?” And it was just dead quiet, and then this kid said – “Nobody loves her.” “And I said well maybe… maybe we’d better love her.” He said “yeah.” He said “if I went into her this afternoon and told her her belief window was all messed up, she’d throw me out.” I said “yeah. People don’t like that. But it probably is, right?” “Yeah, it is.” “So what do we do? Well I gotta teach her this model.” Man, I was getting excited. Hair standing on the back of my neck. I said “yeah, maybe you could teach her the model. Maybe if somebody’d start loving her, and her needs were being met, then the drugs would stop.” “Yeah.” I gotta tell you , it was exciting. Now what I’m asking you today as young men and women of Christ is to humbly and maturely be able to kneel down regularly and to ask – “Father in Heaven, are the principles on my belief window correct? And if not, would you help me replace them with correct ones so that my behavior in all aspects of my life will meet my needs over time?” Now I want you to write another statement. Write this one very clearly and really think about this and this is the last statement I’ll ask you to write. “If your self-worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Christ, you are in big trouble.” Suppose, young men, you got it on your belief window that your self worth is dependent on the number of children you have. And that may be a cultural belief, right? If that’s true then, and I’m now married, how many children am I going to demand? 25, whatever it takes. And suppose you’ve married a sweet young beautiful woman that is not physically capable of doing that. I had a pretty close friend lose a wife. And for some reason it was just really important to him to have 12 kids, so he had 12 kids. And he has a different wife now, the other wife couldn’t do it, couldn’t have them. Now what I’m asking you to do is take a look at the cultural principles. Separate them from gospel principles. Take a look at your community, your family, and be willing to say “Father in Heaven I want to have the right principles on my belief window.” What if you had on your belief window, young men, that the priesthood gave you some extra power over your wife. If that’s true then, and you’re having an argument with your wife, you think you’d misuse your priesthood? Well if you’ve ever read anything from President Kimball about priesthood, priesthood is a power. And a man and woman together equally yoked, submit themselves to that power, equal. I want to bear my witness to you today that the gospel of Jesus Christ was given to us so that we could place on our belief window true and correct principles that will bring into our lives, now while we’re alive in this life, the peace that we can have. I remember on my mission as a mission president Elder Monson got up and he said “mission presidents and wives, there is only one emotion that the adversary cannot duplicate. Only one. He can duplicate every emotion in the total spectrum of human emotions, all up to an including the burning in your bosom. He said the only emotion the adversary cannot duplicate is peace. Peace.” And then he said and “when your behavior is meeting your needs with God you have peace” and boy did the lights go off in my head. When you’re in control of you, that’s behavior. So that the results of all of your behavior are meeting needs and you’re feeling the peace and the relationship with God. You’ll have a power that nobody can take away. Nobody. And you’re self worth will go off the map. It’s not an arrogant thing, it’s a quiet powerful assurance of knowing who you are. Jesus Christ had the most magnificent self worth of anybody I’ve read about. He was able to stand up there and say “Lord you gotta forgive these people, they don’t know who I am. Don’t be too hard on them. I love them.” It’s magnificent. His behavior met his needs over time. Now I’m going to close by sharing this experience, this is my favorite story that deals with the Spirit that can happen if we’ll do this right. To me the most powerful orator that this church has ever produced, I think, is a man by the name of Hugh B. Brown. President Brown was an apostle and a member of the first presidency for many years under president McKay. He told this story when I was on my first mission. He told this story, he came to England, he told this story, and I was on the front row, and it just had real impact on me. When he was a young man, he was from Canada. Anybody from Canada? When he was a young man in Canada he was riding up on his father’s farm, and he came across a little currant bush, it was about 10 feet high. He was on his horse. It was a beautiful bush, with flowers, and it wasn’t producing any fruit. And it couldn’t produce fruit because it was all grown into itself. And so he had some shears with him and so he got off his horse and he walked over to the bush and he cut it off at the ground. Cleared all the bush away. Now there’s about 3 little roots poking through the dirt. And he said you know, and as he told this story he said as I was about to get back on my horse I looked at the roots and I imagined I saw a tear on each root. And he said in my simplicity I knelt down and I said, “little currant bush – why are you crying?” And he said “you know I imagined I heard the currant bush answer back.” And the currant bush said “I thought you were the gardener here. I was almost as high as the apple trees, I was becoming a beautiful bush, you cut me down, why have you done this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.” And he said “you know I answered back” and he said “I am the gardener here. And I know what’s best for you. And some day when you’re laden down with fruit, you’ll thank me for loving you enough to hurt you.” Well then he got back on his horse, rode away, forgot about the currant bush. Later in his life he became a military person, he was a career military officer. The first world war, he’s in Europe. He’s in London, he’d just come back from the continent, he is a full colonel. He wanted to be a general, more than he’d wanted to do anything in his life. He’d prepared for it, he had done everything to prove himself worthy of being a general. There was one general slot open in his regiment. There were 2 people vying for that slot. Brown and a friend of his. As fate would have it, his friend was seriously wounded on the continent, had to be returned to Canada. He wasn’t happy about his friend being hurt, but know he knew. I’m going to be a general. Boy he was excited. He went back and got his uniform ready because he knew he’d be summoned to get his promotion. Sure enough, a runner came, gave him his telegram, report to the commanding general of regiment in London immediately. He was excited. Got his uniform on, got on the train, rode up to London. Came up to the door of the general’s office. The man said come in, he walked in and he saluted smartly, he said “Colonel Brown, reporting his order”. The man looked up and said “sit down, Brown.” Colonel Brown sat down. He said “Colonel brown, there isn’t a man in this regiment more qualified to be a general officer than you are. You’ve gone through all the requisite commanding general staff colleges, you’ve distinguished yourself as a marvelous leader in the battle field. No one is more qualified than you. But I can’t promote you.” As he said that, a phone rang in the next office, he said “would you excuse me a minute.” He got up and went back into the outer office. A visibly shaken Colonel Brown sat there and looked at the desk. On top of the desk were all of his personal papers. And on each one of those papers, stamped in large, block, red letters was the word Mormon. And he realized why he was not being promoted. The general came back into his office, and said “do you have any questions Colonel Brown?” “No sir.” He said “then you’re excused.” He said he stood up and then he saluted not quite so smartly. Went back out of the office, got on his train, and came back to where he was. He said as he listened to the rails against the wheels on the way back, he started getting angrier and angrier. When he got back to his continent, he kicked the door open, walked in, took his hat, threw it to the wall, and he stood there and he shook his fists at God, and he said “why have you cut me down? Why have you done this to me? I’ve done everything you’ve asked me to do. I’ve served a mission, I’ve done everything, I pay my tithing, I’m a leader in the branch, I’ve done everything. Why have you done this to me?” As he stood there, shaking his fists at God, he heard a voice. And the voice was his own voice. And the voice said “Little currant bush, I am the gardener here. And I know what’s best for you. And someday when you’re laden down with fruit, you’ll thank me for loving you enough to hurt you.” At that point he sank to his knees and he began to pray. About a bad principle on his belief window. While he was praying, the issue was meeting in the next room. And they started to sing, I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord. Well Colonel Brown got out of the army. Wasn’t obviously his thing. Became a very successful businessman, later in his life, called to serve as a special witness for Christ, an apostle. And then served for many years as a counselor to a prophet in the 1st presidency. Colonel Brown’s now back with his father in heaven. Do you think the result of his behavior when he finally got things straight on the window, met his needs? I’d trade places with him in a minute. Now brothers and sisters I bear my witness to you, He is the gardener here, and He knows what’s best for you and He is standing at the citadel of this religion, this universe, begging us as sons and daughters of God, to link our self-worth to Him, and put on that belief window correct principles. Then He as well as you, can predict our behavior with real accuracy and the behavior will meet the needs, and then we experience peace, a peace that no-one can take away. And as the fiery darts of the adversary are slung, we’ll be able to cope with anything the world throws at us. I bear that witness to you and plead that you be that righteous generation in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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About Jacob

Obsessed with learning new things. Trying to learn and defend truth.

Living in Idaho, graduated in Financial Economics from BYU-Idaho, and getting ready to launch several civic education projects.

I own a website and marketing business called ArcFires. Keep an eye out for my upcoming civic education projects: Liberty Library and the American Center for Civic Training.

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