Thursday, April 13, 2017

Changing Minds and Hearts

On Glenn Beck Radio this morning, he was talking to ex-KGB agent Jack Barsky (author of Deep Undercover), who had been deep cover as a spy in the US back in the 80s. He defected shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, remaining in the US because of his daughter.
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In telling his story he mentioned that, when you’re indoctrinated with certain ideas, or ways of thinking, it’s very hard to let go of those ideas as an adult.

“Ideology as it’s fed to you from childhood on is a very very strong foundation.”
In their further conversation, they mentioned that Islamists, and North Koreans, who have been trained since childhood to believe we are the enemy, the Great Satan, and worthy of death for existing and not being “them,” can’t be expected to change just because we offer them freedom, prosperity, and civilization. Many former East Germans now support Putin, for example. In reference to North Korea, Barsky said,

“You cannot think that, once you free them from that dictator, that the country is going to change.”
A little later in the day I heard radio host Dennis Prager say that one of the purposes of his PragerU videos is to educate the young people who have been missing a lot of truth in their education. He believes that, if you can bring them facts, and show them truth in a logical way, you can get through to them.

This afternoon I read an email from Hillsdale College, advertising their free online American Heritage course, which I have taken. They mention some troubling statistics:

According to the National Assessment of Education, only 18% of American high schoolers are proficient in U.S. history. So it’s no surprise that, according to the Pew Research Center, only 32% of Millennials think America is the greatest country in the world.
They say this happened on purpose:

Progressives who opposed the ideas of limited government and individual rights began a concerted effort over a century ago to take over America’s schools and universities. Since the late 1960s, to the extent young Americans have learned anything about our country’s history, it is more likely than not to be about its faults.
Meanwhile, I’ve just finished a section in my Book of Mormon reading about the conversion of a rather large group of people who had previously been taught to hate the other people, to see them as thieves and liars that they had a right to murder and subjugate. The change was dramatic. They were so determined to keep their new promises to God and their fellow human beings, that they buried their swords as a sign of their promise never to kill again (Alma 24:16-18). For them that even included in self-defense, which caused some issues later, but that’s another part of the story.
Anti-Nephi-Lehies, burying their weapons
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These people did remain faithful. The change was not only dramatic; it was permanent.

And the former spy, Jack Barsky—his change has been permanent as well. In the cases where these people changed permanently, there are a couple of similarities: they were taught about Christ in a way that changed their hearts, and they felt love for those who taught them and for those around them.

If we’re looking for a way to change the world—to change a generation from hating freedom and the rules that lead to civilization into a free and prosperous people—how do we do it? There’s a simple but not easy answer: teach truth while loving them as they are.

I’m hoping that Dennis Prager is right. I hope that teaching millennials (and all of us) with clear, short videos that explain the truths will contribute to some conversions.

Add in the free online courses by Hillsdale College—on American Heritage, the US Constitution, the classics, and more—and clear truths are made accessible. This may mean more conversions.

I’m adding my small efforts here, at the Spherical Model, to try to lay out truth, as logically as I can, as a path to freedom, prosperity, and civilization.

I’m hoping for enough conversions here in America and among freedom-loving people around the globe, that the next generation won’t be trapped by the regressive teachings of the progressives. If we can preserve and recover freedom here in America, there’s hope for the rest of the world, or at least much of it.

But we’re up against a lot. And calmly teaching truth is the easy part. The other part, the letting them feel loved by us, so the change of heart comes—that’s always going to be a challenge.

But this week we celebrate the impossible: Christ overcoming death and the fall. With the help of the One who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, we can be made capable enough to help in change-of-heart miracles.

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