Read "Think About it..." Online Warrior Stories  | Excerpts | News Articles | Poems
Rear Cover | Reviews | About the Book | About the Author | Order | E-Mail  |  Home

A 317 page full size book mailed to you for only $10.00   S&H included

The book
Think About it...
contains numerous interesting police stories related to Gospel principles and
Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions
See our rear cover and our unsolicited reviews.


Chapter One:

                             Yours, ...Mine, or Whose?

Before we begin the actual investigation of Christianity; which church is true, let’s talk a little about values. The reason is because our values are at the root of all of our choices. Our values control our actions, our desires, our hopes and dreams. They are the coal in the furnace. For example: no matter how badly someone wants something for you, until you want it; until it becomes part of your value system, it isn’t going to happen. Make sense? Perhaps there is a better way to illustrate my point. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, because stories create pictures in our minds, perhaps stories are worth a hundred definitions. In this chapter, allow me if you will, to talk about some of the experiences in my life and career that have helped me form some of my values. Values I learned from watching others. They are stories from a street cop who has spent over twenty years working the streets and watching others. Watching people try to solve their problems. People who have continually sought happiness in a world of changing values. In George Washington’s farewell address to the nation he loved, he left us with this very sobering statement. He said:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and
morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man...labour to subvert
these great pillars of human happiness...let us with caution indulge the supposition,
that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the
influence of refined education...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that
national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
George Washington, Sep.19th, 1796.

Thought provoking statement isn’t it? It’s a statement George Washington not only believed applied to the nation, but to the individual as well. Yet, where are those beliefs today? I have a book written in 1939 by Esse Hathaway, titled “The Book of American Presidents.” In the forward, Hathway talks about the founders of this great country. Toward the end, Hathway makes this comment.

“Where they came from, who they were, had made no difference in the way they had
faced fire on the battle field, in the way they faced hunger, cold, discouragement,
defeat, and victory. All that counted, when those tests came, was the man himself.
If he measured up to the test, well and good. If not, nothing else mattered.”

I have read those words a dozen times; each time, pondering the magnitude of what they meant. Each time realizing that high standards and morals, high values, honor and integrity are not old fashioned or out of style. Even though the world today teaches against them. In 1979 I graduated from the Phoenix Police Academy, for the City of Mesa. Chief Fairbanks, then chief of Tempe, came into our class and gave a short speech that has been one of the most impacting speeches I’ve ever heard in my whole life. This is what he said:

“In prison, there are people who are smarter than you are and there are people who
are stronger than you are. In fact, whatever you are good at, there are people in
prison who are better at it than you are. The only difference between you and them,
is your integrity. If you ever compromise your integrity, are of no value to us.
You were hired partly for your talents, but mostly for your integrity.”
Chief Fairbanks

The reason that little speech means so much to me is because it so closely parallels the problem the Lord faces. Like the Police Department;

              The Lord doesn’t have any problem finding talented people!
                                     The problem the Lord has finding people of integrity!

There are talented people everywhere. Good speakers, good organizers, good leaders, etc.. Those people are fairly easy for the Lord to come by. Throughout history, the problem the Lord has always had, is finding men and women of integrity. Men and women who are honest because: that’s just the way it is! People who have no price tag on their integrity. Even when being honest will get them in trouble and no one would have known if they had lied or been dishonest. What people forget is that even if they get away with it here, someone on the other side is watching and keeping tabs. Every lie, every dishonest deed, is accounted for. Regardless of the problem we face, it can be fixed by the Lord with a simple flip of the switch on His part. But if we have an integrity problem, that’s the one problem He won’t fix. We’re on our own and sooner or later, it will sink even the mightiest ship. Yet the most astounding thing about honesty and integrity is that anyone can have it. In fact, it’s one area of our life we can be perfect in. Being honest and having integrity are decisions of the will. They are attitudes originated in the heart and mind, before they are ever a reality.

One of my favorite stories is about a little boy named Jimmy. He loves to play football. It’s the end of the school year and the coaches have the boys lined up in two lines. They are turning in their locks and getting their two-dollar lock deposits back. As Jimmy steps up to the coach, the coach is looking and talking to the other coach. He takes Jimmy’s lock and gives Jimmy three dollars instead of two. Jimmy notices and speaks up, “Hey coach!” but the coach cuts him off. “Move along Jimmy, the line is long and the time is short. Move son.” Jimmy steps out of line but there he is with three dollars instead of two dollars.  It’s Friday and Jimmy goes home. Monday, the two coaches are in their office, seated at their desks, talking. Jimmy walks in and lays the dollar down on the coach’s desk saying, “Coach, last Friday you gave me three dollars instead of two. Here’s the other dollar.” The coach leans forward, picks the dollar up off the desk and folds it back and forth in his fingers for a few moments. Then he smiles a smile of confidence and turns to look at the other coach saying, “See, I told you I could count on

I never forgot that story. I never will. It’s nice to be popular. It’s nice to be cool. It’s nice for your friends to think well of you. It’s nice to have money or be famous. It’s nice to have lived an exciting life, but it’s even nicer to live your life such, that the Lord could be standing there watching you and then turn to another and say: “See, ...I told you I could count on him!”

         If we don’t make direct choices to choose high values,
                         then we make indirect choices to choose low values.
                                         And high or low, our lives are governed by our choices

                              “Try to be popular, but always do what is right.”
                                               Ezra Taft Benson. President and Prophet

The word values, equates to nothing more than what’s important to you. The values this church
teaches are high and they are found in the Bible. Regardless of the changing world we live in, a world where even the churches are changing their values to meet the wants of the people, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not change the teaching of those old and high values. To the LDS Church, what was right, is still right, and what was wrong, is still wrong.

                   “Virtue: The practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice.”
                                              Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 1937

Of all the human short-comings the Lord can deal with, having an integrity problem isn’t one of them. I admire people of high integrity and I believe people should be rewarded for being honest. Being honest shouldn’t get them off, but it should count for something, and in the long run, it does. In my second year of law enforcement when I still worked for Gilbert PD., one night at about 0200 hrs., I was sitting in a nice dark corner with a traffic light at an intersection. A fishing hole! I had just gotten some food and was backed into my fishing hole eating my burrito. I heard the sound of a speeding vehicle coming toward me so I picked up my radar gun and got a reading of 50 mph. This was a 30 mph speed zone. I don’t like to be interrupted when I eat my lunch but for a 20 over ticket, I was willing to be interrupted. I tossed my burrito onto the seat next to me, tossed the radar gun onto the passenger floor board and took off after the speeder. I caught up to him within a mile and was now pacing him at 80 mph in a 50 mph zone.

As I was preparing to make the stop, suddenly I saw a puff of smoke come out of his pipes and he began pulling away from me. I floored my cruiser but was not able to keep up. I turned on my top lights and reached for the mic. to call in a pursuit. But as soon as I did, his brake lights came on and he began slowing down. I too began slowing and he pulled to a stop on the side of the road and waited for me to catch up. Rather surprised that he stopped for me, I asked him to explain. He told me that he had been followed by a car load of guys who were yelling for him to pull over and fight. He said he ditched them twice but they found him again. When he saw my lights behind him, he thought they had found him a third time. His decision was to try and make a run for it but when he saw my top lights, he knew it was the police and not those guys, so he stopped.

I felt he was telling me the truth because of how quickly he put on his brakes and the fact that he
pulled over, stopped and waited for me. He was driving a souped up Olds 442. I wanted to see just how honest he really was. I knew I had topped out at 115 mph. and I knew he was pulling away from me by at least 10 to 20 mph., so I said, “Well Friendly, just how fast were you going anyway?” Like a boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar, he wrinkled his eyebrow, curled his lip and said, “Over 125!” I now had him at 75 over, but I also knew I had an honest man. So I gave him a ticket for the original violation of 20 over and then sent him on down the road. I then returned to my fishing hole and, ...finished my cold burrito!

That low flying pilot was an honest man, unlike so many others who lie and refuse to take
responsibility for their actions, no matter what! I arrested a man once and during the search incidental to arrest, I found a bag of marijuana in his pocket. I held it up to his face and said,

                           “Where did you get the dope?”
                 He thought for a moment, then he adopted a surprised look on his face
                                        and then he looked down at himself and said,
                                                               “My gads, ...whose pants are these?”

As a police officer, I constantly see people make interesting excuses and rationalizations for their actions. They seem to feel that if they can justify it in their own mind, then it is right. If no one sees it, it’s OK! The fact is, as long as it’s not illegal, no one can decide what is right or wrong for you. No one can decide what your values should be. Each of us has to decide for ourselves. So what you use for a standard to base your values on, is of your own choosing. But the decisions we choose have a direct effect on our lives. What we quite often fail to understand, is even though we have our freedom of choice, we don’t have freedom of consequence.

                                            “Even a child is known by his doings.”
                                                                     Proverbs, 20:11

I can’t help but believe that the next life is a continuation of this life. I believe that the gap between the righteous and the unrighteous, (including those who feign righteousness) the honest and the dishonest, the faithful and the unfaithful, the responsible and the irresponsible, the committed and the uncommitted to God and His ways, will continue to widen because of our own actions.

The Heritage

The rich man’s son inherits lands and piles of brick and stone and gold,
and he inherits soft white hands, and tender flesh that fears the cold,
nor dares to wear a garment old.
The rich man’s son inherits wants, his stomach craves for dainty fare,
with sated heart, he hears the pants [peasants] of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
and wearies in his easy-chair
What doth the poor man’s son inherit? Stout muscles and a sinewy heart,
a hardy frame, a hardier spirit. King of two hands, he does his part,
in every useful toil and art.
What doth the poor man’s son inherit? A patience learned of being poor.
Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it. A fellow-feeling that is sure,
to make the outcast bless his door.
Both, heirs to same six feet of sod, are equal in the earth at last.
Both, children of the same dear God, prove title to your heirship vast,
by record of a will-filled past.

The above poem about values is less then half of James Russell Lowell’s poem titled, “The Heritage.”
Lowell died in 1891.  I took this portion of his poem from an old book of mine. A 1904, 8th-grade Jones Reader. I find it interesting that these are the type of values that used to be taught in schools. It may
interest you to know that the term “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in
the US Constitution. Nor does that idea stem from our founding fathers. It began in 1962-63. It may
further interest you to know that our founding fathers said that “Religion, morality and knowledge”
were essential for our society. In fact, our founding fathers even went as far as to order Bibles and
Hymn Books for our schools. Further, in the beginning of our country, one had to profess a belief in
Jesus Christ and a belief in a life here-after, just to be able to testify in a court of law. And as late
as 1947, in the Dallas Public Schools, one of their required courses of study was:

The New Testament.
...How about that?

In this job, you see nearly every kind of person and every kind of situation. Probably one of the
saddest people I frequently deal with, is a guy by the name of Allen. His friends call him Snake. Allen is sixty years old. There is a part of me that really likes Allen. He’s a very friendly man and he’s kind to everyone. When he’s not crying because his feet hurt, he always wears a smile and when he smiles at you, he smiles from his heart. You can see it in his eyes. Like a little child, Allen doesn’t hate anyone. But Allen has no care or respect for himself and without going into details, he suffers numerous health problems all because of self neglect. In fact, just a few months ago, he had to have all his toes amputated because the infections on his feet were so bad. To say that Allen has a serious drinking problem is an understatement. When I get calls to remove him from someone’s property or from laying on the side of the road, he quite often tries to tell me about Ira Hays and that Ira Hays is his hero. I always tell him that I know exactly who Ira Hays was and that he needs to focus on a different part of that soldier’s life.

Ira Hays was an American Indian who grew up in the town of Bapchule, on the Gila River Indian Reservation, south of Phoenix, Arizona. Though all boarded up, his little blue house is still there. He was also a member of the United States Marines. He fought in the battle of Iwo Jima in early 1945. About a month long battle that took the lives of over 7000 Marines. During that battle, a photo taken by Joe Rosenthal of the raising of the US flag, became a famous war time photo. Ira Hays is the one who is the farthest away from the flag, with his outstretched arms, just barely letting go of the pole as it is being seated in the ground. That picture is on my wall at home. I can’t look at it without emotions of honor, respect and sacredness welling up in my heart for our flag and all she represents. And, for all our soldiers who defend her.

But like Allen, Ira Hays had a serious drinking problem and only ten years after that photo was taken, his drinking problem cost him his life. Allen has done what so many people do. They pick a hero and follow them; good qualities and bad. They pattern their lives after their hero, duplicating the way their hero talks, dresses, acts and believes. Not being able to distinguish their good from their evil. Failing to recognize their bad qualities and steering clear of them. Like Ira Hays, Allen is what we term a hopeless alcoholic. He has destroyed his own life as well as his family life and he lives in a world of illusions and fantasy where he can escape from reality. He’s hopeless because no matter how hard others try to help him, he alone has the power to change his life. He doesn’t understand that even God won’t take his free agency away from him. So until he finds something that is more valuable to him than his chosen weakness, his life will remain the same.

In contrast to Allen, there is a woman in my beat who out of respect, I will refer to her only as “D.”  D can remember doing drugs with her mother at age three or four. She grew up with drugs and when she left home, her life began a severe downward spiral. She has two children by two different men and she has attempted suicide four times in the past. Two years ago, her life hit bottom and she began a literal fight for her survival. D is off drugs now and has been straight for over two years. Since then she has been slugging away at her problems, one by one. She’s on probation and reports to her probation officer once a week. During the past two years she’s held a job and supported herself and her two children. She will tell you that life is much better now. She doesn’t make excuses for her problems, blaming this or that. She just meets them head on and overcomes them. The other day she told me she was getting her driver’s license back. She said all she needed was eighty-five dollars more. She was excited and I was excited for her.

One of the happiest people I know is a little guy by the name of Louie. Every time I see him, he
makes me smile because he’s so friendly. He always wants a police sticker and wants to know what’s going on. He always has a big smile when he sees you and he will talk your ear off if you let him. Louie has taught me about counting my blessings and being grateful for what I have. He has taught me a lot about focusing on the good things in life and not dwelling on the bad. You see, Louie was the victim of a very bad fire. He has many severe scars. In fact, he is missing all his fingers on one hand and both of his legs are missing as well. But Louie is fun to be around because he’s always happy, always excited about life and because he focuses on what he does have.

How about you? How do you handle your problems? Do you remember in school when a test was really hard and the highest score in the class was a 70 or so? Remember the teacher telling the class she would grade the test on a curve and suddenly the score of 70 was an A? Do you wonder if the Lord grades on a curve? If He does, you and I probably don’t have much to worry about, but what if He doesn’t? What if right is right and wrong is wrong to Him? What if He doesn’t accept the excuses we so generously make for ourselves? What if we measure our wrongs with someone else’s yardstick, comparing ourselves to them? Choosing our values can be one of the most important things we do. It is the basis for every other decision we make.

          Values are like the magnetic pull of the north pole on a compass.
                      They keep us on course and heading in the direction we want to go.
    They keep us from getting lost in the mire and from experiencing unnecessary pain.

                             Our values, and nothing else,
                                       set the minimum acceptable standards for ourselves.

I got a call one time to meet a woman in front of a restaurant. The call came from the manager. The boyfriend of one of the patrons had been yelling at his girlfriend, calling her names and then he threw his drink at her. He was gone upon my arrival. Her name was Jackie. She lived with Robert in a non-committal, but meaningful relationship! It’s been that type of thing all her life. I sat there on the bench and listened to her crying as she was telling me, “All I want is a husband who will love me. A man who will come home to me after work. A man who I can take care of. I want a home, with a front lawn. ...Why can’t I have those things?”

What should my answers be to her? I tried to help, but what I wanted to tell her, what she needed to hear, she wasn’t ready to hear. Oh I could have told her to keep working toward her dream and sooner or later it would come true, but I knew that wasn’t the truth. I knew until she decided that she wanted more out of life, until she changed her values and made different choices, her life wouldn’t change. The honest facts are; the more you move to the left, the more the left looks like the middle and the more foggy the line between right and wrong becomes.

“Satan, ‘the father of lies,’ increasingly uses various devices, ancient and modern,
to confuse us. He would convince us that joy is not where it is. And contrarily,
he would have us believe that joy is where it is not.”
                                Richard B. Wirthlin

I’ve always been very grateful for what I’ve had in life, afraid of taking my prosperity for granted. I know there are a lot of people who have much more than I do, but I also know prosperity, like water, can evaporate. I went to a family-fight call once that took place just before Christmas. It was a couple I had never met before. Their names were Jack and Sharon. Their apartment was fairly nice and the argument, like most arguments, stemmed from the fact that their outgo wasn’t matching their income. After the situation had calmed down and was no longer a police problem, I went my way giving them no more thought.

Almost a year and a half later, I responded to a disturbance call between two brothers who were arguing over a broken window. When I got there I saw that two of the three parties involved were Jack and Sharon. During the course of the investigation, I told them why I remembered them and then they remembered me too. I began filling out an FI (Field Interview) card and as I was asking Sharon for their address, she paused and stopped talking. The look that came across her face was a look I had seen before and it was a look I understood. It told me she didn’t have a home and she couldn’t say the word, “homeless”. So I took the pressure off her by answering the question for her. I said, “Out-n-about?” Tears began forming in her eyes as she said, “Yeah, ...out and about.” An embarrassed smile came over her face and she began wiping the tears away from her eyes. She said, “It’s hard! We’ve been on the streets for two weeks now. I’ve never had to live on the streets before in my life. I’ve always had a home.”

As hard as things were a year and a half ago, things had gotten much worse. The home they lived in along with all their belongings, were gone. The only things they had left were two bags of clothing, some personal items and the clothes on their backs. They carried those two bags around town, living and sleeping on the ground. I worked at solving the problem at hand while Sharon kept an eye on her two bags. But she looked away from her bags for a little too long. When she turned around to check on them, someone had come along and taken them. Sharon stared in disbelief and then cried softly, “They took my bags. Someone took my bags.” Jack and Sharon had now lost everything they owned except the clothes on their back ...and each other.

I never forgot that experience. It helped me to realize what was truly important in life. Sooner or
later, everyone loses everything. The only possessions that are ours for the keeping are the ones we can take with us at death. Those being; our name (reputation), our standards, our memories, our relationships, our feelings, our beliefs, our faith and ...our coming consequences. Perhaps oddly, every one of the possessions we take with us, are possessions that deal strictly with our values.

“Now therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much,
and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink;
ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it
into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5-7

When I was growing up, we moved around a lot. One of the places we moved to was Bountiful, Utah. I was in the third or fourth grade and we were in a field southeast of the school. There was a bully in our neighborhood that nobody liked. He was much taller and bigger than I was and he didn’t concern himself with little guys like me, but he was always picking on the bigger guys. There was another bigger guy in the neighborhood as well who was getting picked on by the bully. One day they got into a terrible fight and I saw the whole thing. The father of the kid who was afraid of the bully had brought his son to the field to fight the bully. But the kid was scared and didn’t want to fight. The bully was egging on the fight and the father of the scared kid would not let his son leave the field. The scared kid was doing a lot of crying, but he started fighting the bully as if his life depended on it. The fight lasted for a good four or five minutes. When the fight was over, neither kid had a shirt on and both kids were crying. Both had bloody faces, but the scared kid won the fight and the bully ran off.

That fight had several impacts on me. At first, all I could do was feel resentment toward the dad who made his son face and fight that bully. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but see that that dad was making his son face his greatest fear; the neighborhood bully. Not only was he making him face his greatest fear, but he was making him deal with his greatest fear. Whether or not that was the lesson the dad was trying to teach his son, I don’t know. But that is the lesson I learned as a little kid standing in a dirt field watching two big guys fight. Since then I have reflected on that experience several times in my adult life when I found myself having to face my own greatest fears. I have learned that if I want to become successful and happy in life, my problems, my fears, have to be faced and dealt with. Being afraid of dealing with them has nothing to do with anything.

In my younger years I used to watch cartoons. One of my favorites was Mister Wizard and the Turtle. The Turtle always wanted to be something other than a turtle. He was always going to the wizard and getting the wizard to project him into some heroic situation so he could be strong and be a hero. However, he never could handle the problems and as things got worse and spun out of control, the turtle would cry out, “Help Mister Wizard, Help!” Mister Wizard would always have to use his magic to pull the turtle from the situation just in the nick of time.

We all want successes in life. We want to be heroes. We want to be able to handle tough problems. But isn’t it funny how we also all want a “Mister Wizard.” Someone who can pull us from those problems when we become scared or when we feel they become too much for us. How many times do we find ourselves crying out, “Help Mister Wizard. Help!”

         Is that what we do to our God?
                  Instead of praying for strength, guidance, courage
                            and the ability to overcome and endure to the end,
                                      do we find ourselves crying out, “Help Mister Wizard. Help,”
                      ...hoping that He will simply remove the problem from us?

Sometimes, no matter how hard we cry “Help Mister Wizard. Help,” the best thing that God can do for us is to let us deal with our greatest fears and problems. And how sad it is that often times when we go through those type of problems, we don’t see that a loving Heavenly Father is teaching a child to grow. How sad it is that sometimes we turn and curse our God. Sometimes our immaturity shows through and we even become bitter toward Him for not simply solving the problem Himself. Yet if we profess to believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ, then why can’t we understand that life is like going to school. When we graduated from jr. high, it was much more difficult than when we graduated from elementary. And our graduation from high school was much more difficult, requiring much more struggle, effort and sacrifice than our graduation from jr. high. And so it goes as we obtain a bachelors degree, masters, doctorate etc.. Each step requires more struggle, effort and sacrifice than the last. ...Our only alternative to choose to remain in jr. high or high school.

“As obedient children, we are seeking to become more like our Heavenly Father.
...It’s a progressive participation in a very demanding discipleship.
We who are entreated to take His yoke upon us, cannot expect immunity from
tutoring and suffering at the hands of a loving Father.”
Neal A. Maxwell

“...a progressive participation in a very demanding discipleship” he said. “We...cannot expect
immunity from tutoring and suffering.” How truthful, how very logical, yet how overlooked. The
training program we go through down here at the hands of our Heavenly Father, is here to make us better, stronger, wiser and kinder people. A training program that is designed to make us fit to be called the children of God. I think of the early Christian patriots who formed our country. I think of the Christian pioneers who formed the west. I think of the love they had for God and the incredible sacrifices they made. They gave and gave until they knew they didn’t have anything left to give and then, ...they gave some more. And as things worsened and they found themselves at the absolute end of their rope, ...they gave some more. What incredible people they became. Today, we are so quick to feel sorry for ourselves. We cry and complain, even curse God for our struggles that pale in comparison to those of theirs. Sadly, how often do we see those who by their choices and actions, give up on life. They raise their hand and say, “I want out of the training program.” I’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life. One of the things I’ve always liked about the Church is the non-stop teaching and emphasis it places on correct values.

            One could argue, “What’s the definition of correct?”
                      The answer is simple: That which is good in the sight of the Lord.

A few years ago, while working a stolen vehicle call that ended in a pursuit, Frank was dispatched to the scene to take the plates off the vehicle. I stopped by and helped him out. Frank is an interesting guy. He’s ex-Secret Service and he’s led an interesting life. As Frank bent down taking off the rear plate I said, “Frank, I hear you’re LDS?” He replied, “Yeah. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” I said, “Really!” He said, “Yeah. I come from one of those families Sam, that you and I deal with all the time. We’re all drinkers. I’ve had four of my relatives commit suicide, one commit homicide and my dad was killed in a DWI accident when I was a kid. I knew that there had to be something else out there. My wife has been a member all her life. She got me interested and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.” Frank, not realizing it, taught me a lesson about what kind of example I was setting for my children and what kind of example my parents had set for me. Countless times my mom and dad talked about the scriptures and told me Bible and Book of Mormon stories. As I grew, as I looked at others and their values and their lives, I began to see the wisdom in what I had been taught in my youth. Not only did their teachings ring true to my heart, but the values evidenced the wisdom of what my parents and religion taught me.

Because of the amount of tragedy police officers see, I often see people who curse the Lord for
allowing a tragedy to occur in their home. I have even seen them become atheists in an attempt to “punish” God for allowing tragedies like the death of a loved one to occur. I understand them being upset, but I don’t understand them blaming their God. When I see that, I can’t help but feel that they must think we are zoo animals and that God is our zoo keeper. In a zoo, the zoo keeper makes nice little houses for the animals, he feeds them on time, takes care of their ills and keeps them from fighting. He makes sure they are warm and he solves every problem that comes along for them. If we have no purpose in life except to be here for the amusement of God, then they are right. God should have intervened. God should protect our families and He should solve all our problems for us. But if we are here to learn from our own experiences, then why blame Him for not solving our problems? Especially in things like death!

          Because there is no death to our Lord, our God, our Heavenly Father.
                                      If this is but a temporary school ground for us,
                        then we either live here on campus, ...or we live at home with Him.

Our loved ones, our families, are where our greatest values should be found and placed. We don’t get to take anything with us when we leave this life except our memories and our families. Everything else we have is on the way to the junk pile. No matter how nice it is, no matter how much you paid for it, it’s on the way to the junk pile. It just hasn’t gotten there yet.

Our families are forever and they will remember how you treated them. Yet because of our values, the things we hold as important in our life, the family is in so much trouble today and is falling apart at a rate never before seen. Our country has over 20,000 homicides a year. The police and government call family fights, “Domestic Violence”. Domestic violence is on such an increase, that as much as one third of an officer’s time is spent on trying to solve family problems. Forty-two percent of all murdered women are killed by the one who promised to love them for the rest of their lives. About 2000 incidents a year (over five a day) of wife abuse cases end in murder cases and the number of battering injuries suffered by women is greater than the total number of injuries sustained from car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Wife battering is the most common cause of traumatic injury to women in the United States and the number one reason women visit hospital emergency rooms. Sixty-three percent of all males between the ages of eleven and twenty who are doing time in American prison systems for murder, are there for killing their mother’s batterer. Over 2000 children die each year at the hands of their parents. I have two friends that work at Arizona Boys Ranch. Jeff and Vaa. Jeff told me they house 540 young men at the Ranch. The Ranch is a last- chance for young men who have been convicted of class 2 to class 6 felonies. At the time I talked to Jeff, of the 540 young men, 520 of them were from single parent homes. (FBI-DV stats. per our department in an eight hour DV seminar in June of ‘96.)

What is happening to the American family? ...What are we doing to ourselves?

Craig and I got a family fight call one night and as always, we parked a few houses away and walked up in the dark. As we came near the home, a little four or five year old girl in pajamas who had been outside frantically waiting for the police, came running down the sidewalk toward us. She had the look of terror on her face and all she could say was, “Hurry, hurry, my dad is beating my mommy.” Craig and I took off in a dead run. As we got to the front door we could hear screams and yelling coming from the back part of the house. We ran through the living room, down the hall and as we turned the last corner toward the master bedroom, we saw the little girl’s father and mother.

The mother was on her back, lying face up on the bed. She was trying to protect herself from her husband’s blows by covering her face and body as best as she could with her arms. The husband was standing over her, beating her with his fists. As short as the distance was, it seemed that we couldn’t get to him fast enough. After the scuffle to subdue him, and when the call was over and he was booked into jail and her needs were taken care of, I couldn’t help but think,

          ...What is the major malfunction in men who do that to their wives?
                              When will they catch on that that is wrong?
                                                                   Both legally and morally! ...It’s wrong!

In the hundreds of family fights I’ve been to, I’ve always wondered about men who become physical with their wives when they become angry. In twenty years of going to family fights where the husband has assaulted his wife, I’ve noticed that they almost always blame their actions on their wives. Seldom do they accept responsibility for what they did. Seldom do they take responsibility and blame themselves. In general, men like to believe that their anger isn’t their fault. Those that lose their temper and abuse their wife, like to believe that it is brought on by their wife. But that isn’t the truth. The proof of that is that they don’t lose their tempers when they can’t afford to. For instance with their boss or during an important deal of some kind. Or when the stakes are high and the luxury of anger is not affordable. But when the stakes appear to be low, when anger seems to be affordable, they allow their anger to come out and ironically, they usually direct it at those they love. I’ve seen a lot of marriages fall apart and end in divorce because people thought that the stakes were low and that their anger was affordable. And in my career as a police officer, I can honestly say I have seen far more failed husbands, than failed wives.

Many years ago at O-dark thirty on a graveyard shift, a call came out over the air of a drive by
shooting. The caller said a black four door sedan with two guys inside passed him and while doing so, fired a shot at him. He said the bullet struck his wife and he was afraid his wife may be dead. I was one of the first officers on scene. The victim vehicle was a black Chevy Blazer with a lift kit. The husband appeared upset and concerned as he was giving us the details of what happened. He said the incident was unprovoked and caught them by total surprise. He said the passenger of the black sedan fired one shot as it sped by. I looked in at his wife. She was in the front passenger seat, slumped forward toward the right side of the dash. Her head was turned to the right, almost as if she were trying to look over her right shoulder. She had taken the singly fired bullet in the back of the head. The shot killed her almost instantly. There were no bullet holes in the blazer which meant the bullet came in through the open driver’s door window.

As I looked at her body, I realized that if the bullet came as a surprise as the husband said it did, it would have struck his wife in the left side of her head instead of the back of her head. I knew that the only way she could have been shot in the back of the head was if she was turning and looking over her right shoulder, or if she was looking away from the gun barrel that was pointed at her. In looking at the placement of the shot, the trajectory of the bullet and the height of the Blazer, I knew there was no way the bullet could have come from a passing sedan into the high riding Blazer and then struck his wife who was on the passenger side of the Blazer. And because there were no bullet  holes in the Blazer and only one open window, the bullet either came in through the window, or it came from the only other occupant in the Blazer. The more I looked, the more I realized that this man was a liar and a murderer.

       I knew there was no black sedan and no drive by shooting.
              There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that this guy had just murdered his wife.

What scares me, is the rising trend of family violence I see coming. In all the family fights I’ve been to, I’ve yet to see one that cannot be reduced to selfishness on one or both parties’ part. Our values determine the relationships we have with each other and unless your counter part is totally opposite from you, your values determine your actions toward them, as well as the atmosphere of your home. The government talks about the breakdown of the family in their campaign speeches etc. CNN said that the United States consumes 80% of the world’s Ritalin (a mood altering drug used on children, classed as “attention deficit children”). Canada consumes 15% and the rest of the world consumes the remaining 5%. How can that be? We don’t have 80% of the world’s children.

So where is the problem? The breakdown of the family is more than just a 90's buzzword! It’s a real problem! Over fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce! It’s estimated that of the remaining fifty percent, about twenty-five percent wish they were divorced. Another twelve percent tolerate the relationship they are in, and only a few are happy and only very few are very happy! Where’s the answer? What’s going to happen to us if this trend of increasing domestic violence and divorce keeps increasing? You can give your family only so much money, fast cars, so many nice clothes and trips etc., before it’s not enough. Sooner or later, everyone wants lasting values, real relationships and real love.

In watching people search for happiness from the inside of a uniform, I’ve noticed many strange
phenomena. I’ve seen men walk away from angels, cursing as they went. I’ve seen them walk away from their once happy home, from their beautiful family and nice lifestyle and walk into an apartment with nothing but some clothes and their pick-up truck and think they are happy now! I’ve seen them give up everything, usually for a woman of much lesser quality because they think she somehow “understands them.” I’ve also seen women walk away from some of the best men out there in search of something they think they missed in their youth. I’ve seen them leave a happy home, a husband who is a good provider, good husband and father, a man who loves them, and walk into the arms of someone who is little more than a drone in a beehive. I’ve seen men and women who have so much, yet are so unhappy. And I’ve seen people live in conditions and under circumstances of having so little, yet are so happy. So full of life, love and cheer. I have learned

that happiness has nothing to do with the facts. ...It’s a decision of the will!

You can be rich and happy or rich and miserable. You can be poor and miserable, or poor and happy. I’ve seen beautiful people with everything going for them be miserable and commit suicide. I’ve seen people live in conditions that make me cry and yet, they are kind and caring and happy. There have been many times in my career that I’ve wanted to take people with me on a ride-along. People who cry because they have no shoes; just so I could show them the guy who has no feet.

Happy or sad, it’s all a decision of the will. I’ve been a police officer too long to believe otherwise. Regardless of what anyone says, there is no other way to explain how two different people, in the exact same circumstances can have totally opposite outlooks about their situation. Happiness is truly a decision of the will. Those who allow their minds to dwell on their misfortune, their lost opportunities, their mistakes and their problems, are unhappy. Those who discipline their thoughts and dwell on the good, their hopes, dreams, blessings and future opportunities, are happy. Life proves it is really that simple.

In my own life there have been many times that I have felt like I was a balloon, flying high in the sky. But when I dwell on my problems, when I spend time cursing myself for my weaknesses and my failings, my short comings, my stupidities, my missed opportunities and mistakes, I become so discouraged, so dragged down that I find myself, my balloon, bouncing along the ground. Me! The man called “Smile’n Sam” by my friends. The only way I can reverse that is to stop thinking of myself and start thinking of others. It is only then that my balloon begins to fly again. That is the truth if I have ever spoken it. The only way to bring myself up from the depths of despair is to:

stop thinking of myself ...and start thinking of others.

After the decision to be happy is made, learning to be happy, learning to get along with others is done the same way. It too is a decision of the will coupled with some simple basics. The simple Golden Rule that we seem to forget. Being happy in a marriage takes team effort. It takes certain ground rules. The US military has the Geneva Convention to govern warfare among nations. Boxing has the Marcus of Queensberry rules. Well here’s some ground rules you should use for fighting.

Julie’s Ground Rules for Fighting:

     Remember first and foremost, throughout the fight that you love each other, you want to
     work out a problem, and you will because you have a celestial marriage.
     Think about what you are saying, “Is my need to be right, to prove a point etc., worth
     the hurt or anger it may cause?”
     Only argue the issue at hand, not the past or personal failings. Don’t attack each other.
     Don’t raise your voice and try not to involve children.
     After the fight, when things have calmed down, then you can talk calmly about feelings
     like, “When you say things like that it makes me feel this way...” Or, “The reason I did
     that was because of...” and then truly listen. Don’t try to defend yourself. Try to change
     what you are doing. It doesn’t matter why you are doing what you are doing if it makes
     your mate feel bad, it has to be changed, right or wrong.
     Don’t try to change each other. If each of you accept the other for what they are and each
     of you try to change yourself, the pressure and frustration will leave. It’s team effort.
     Most of all, remember you love each other. If you truly forget about yourself and do
     everything you can to make your mate happy and you are both doing this, it works in a
     circle. Your mate can make you a million times happier than you can make yourself.

Christian churches everywhere are family oriented, but there is one church out there that targets the family more than any other Christian religion I know of. There’s one Christian church that teaches that families are not only for now, but forever. One Christian church that teaches men that their top five priorities are: their God, their family, their religion, their country and then, their career. In September of ‘95, the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a document known as, “The Family. A Proclamation To The World”. In it were several statements directed to the members of families. Statements the LDS Church does not waiver on. Statements like,

“Husband And Wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and
for their children...Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness,
to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another,
to observe the commandments of God...Husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, will be
held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations...The family is ordained
of God...Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles
of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities...We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who
abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring
upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by
ancient and modern prophets.”


Thank You For Reviewing the First Half of Chapter One


Chapter Two   >>>>>


A 317 page full size book mailed to you for only $10.00   S&H included

Read "Think About it..." Online Warrior Stories  | Excerpts | News Articles | Poems
Rear Cover | Reviews | About the Book | About the Author | Order | E-Mail  |  Home

S&J Liberty Publishing
18732 E. Peartree Ln. Queen Creek, AZ 85142
A 317 page full size book mailed to you for only $10.00   S&H included