Richard Davis: Contrary to rumor, things are not getting worse


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  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    "I know thee now, Thou art Lucifer, he who was cast out of Father's presence for rebellion."

    "Seemed pretty plain, straight forward and simple enough to understand."

    Yes, I agree completely...very plain and straightforward, and the truth. But it's not the ENTIRE truth. Rebellion was what he did; promising universal salvation without free agency was how he did it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" so what you are saying is that you agree with me, that Satan was cast out for 3 reasons, with rebellion being only one reason.

    You agree that Satan was cast out for rebellion, seeking to destroy agency, and for wanting the glory that belongs to God.

    Yes, the web site made it seem overly simple, but in this instance the site you trusted lied to you. Don't worry, Satan often uses half truthes to decieve us. Just remember to read and look a the context of the scriptures that non-LDS church web sites use to justify their position.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    "I know thee now, Thou art Lucifer, he who was cast out of Father's presence for REBELLION."

    Seemed pretty plain, straight forward and simple enough to understand.

    Whatever you say Redshirt1701, Voice of Reason and higv,
    Whaterever you say....

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 13, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Lucifer didn't offer forced righteousness but universal salvation. We do not have the right to do evil only oppurtunity. Why we need to be for the right choice and help our brothers and sisters make the right choice.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 3:17 p.m.

    Looks like Redshirt1701 beat me to the punch. Of course, destroying the agency of man WAS the core of Satan's rebellion; how do you think he got 1/3 of the hosts of heaven to follow him? Promises of free Twinkies in every heavenly mansion? He got them to follow and rebel with him because he promised they wouldn't have to exercise free agency...everything would be decided for them by a paternalistic heavenly government (sound familiar?) Everyone would be compelled to be righteous under Satan's plan, which of course is not righteousness at all; it's programming.

    I understand you were trying to make some sort of point that it wasn't a REAL sin for Satan to take away free agency...the REAL sin was some vague, undefined "rebellion" that got him expelled. Not sure why you were doing this, but I think it had something to do with making Obama's eerily similar government-knows-best approach seem not so bad. Do enlighten us if you wish.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 13, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" you should look up your scritpure references. D&C 75:25 (on the LDS web site) states "Wherefore, I, the Lord, give unto you this commandment, that ye obtain places for your families, inasmuch as your brethren are willing to open their hearts."

    You probably meant D&C 76:25. The interesting thing is that scripture states that Satan Rebelled, then was cast out. It doesn't say that his rebellion was the cause of being cast out.

    Your scripture form Moses 4:3 is missing a very important portion that states exactly what Voice of Reason was saying. The whole verse states "Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be dcast down;" That scripture lists 3 reasons for Satan being cast out. 1 Rebellion, 2 destruction of agency, and 3 seeking God's glory.

    I am quite speechless that an LDS person wouldn't actually look up the referenced scriptures before blindly quoting them.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    @Voice of Reason
    Layton, UT

    First of all, I'm frankly speechless that someone, apparently a Latter-day Saint, would claim that Satan was cast out only for rebellion, and NOT for his plan to deny free agency to all. I really don't have to even respond to that one.


    Whatever --

    LDS Topical Guide -
    Satan - But in the premortal Council in Heaven, Lucifer, as Satan was then called, rebelled against God.

    Lucifer - Lucifer was a spirit son of Heavenly Father and led the rebellion in the premortal life.

    D&C 75:25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel....in the presence of God, who rebelled... was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,

    Moses 4:3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me...I caused that he should be cast down;

    And of course we have --
    "I know thee now, Thou art Lucifer, he who was cast out of Father's presence for...{what was it again?] ...REBELLION."

    BTW - Voice of Reason;
    I'm frankly speechless that someone, apparently a Latter-day Saint, didn't know that!

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    its silly to think everything is great everywhere. That has NEVER been the case ever in time. Overall progress is the stat being discussed here. Yes things change, cities reap what they sow.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 13, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    Stuff.... I think if you look at history, not in the context even of just the last 100 years, that you will find that people enjoy far more freedoms and rights than they ever have done in the history of the world. People are able to choose whom they marry (some places this is just starting to become a reality), they can choose to believe or not believe in what so ever they choose, they can pursue careers as they choose, and they can travel the world as they choose.

    And it is that last point where I will take umbrage to your point number 12 - hatred toward the US. I have traveled and done business in no less than 17 countries this year. From my own experience, I don't find any groundswell of hatred toward the US. One nation I traveled to was Angola. Over the last 5 years I have found increasing safety in traveling to places like this. Not safe yet, but safer.

    And terrorism isn't spreading. Just 15 years ago I was in Knightsbridge London when an IRA bomb went off nearby. 24 hour a day media may broadcast more, but there aren't more incidents.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 5:58 a.m.


    There is no way to respond meaningfully to 17 bullet points in 200 words. Each point would require much more room, and time, for discussion. It's a limitation of the forum. But I would be happy to address any one (or more of them) with you if we ca do so in a reasoned manner.

    I agree with you that more sorrows are coming. But real problems are sufficient to the day thereof without multiplying them with anecdotal problems.

    If you think I was disparaging toward you, I apologize. I think Professor Davis did an admirable job of accumulating data to test popular conceptions, and to me it minimizes his work to simply list additional conceptions without data or analysis. C'est la vie.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 12:25 a.m.

    "...especially since there have been no Milkmen for 50 years."

    But we have mailmen today...

    "In Doctrines of Salvation Joseph Fielding Smith mentioned how worse it was."

    Church leaders always find it safer to state how things will get worse. Can you imagine them saying things will be getting better, and risk looking like fools when they don't?

    "People are shocked when crimes happen in areas like Salt Lake, provo, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg or Boise."

    What? No crimes in Dietrich?


    "Se la vie."

    Did you mean 'c'est la vie?'

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    @Wanda B. Rich:
    "I saw it on Fox News and read it in Krauthammer's columns. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

    Fortunately, the unemployment rate is decreasing. Unfortunately the decrease is attributed to discouraged workers not looking for work anymore... and just going home on 99 weeks of unemployment (soon to be extended to perhaps another year by Obama).

    "We are 16 trillion dollars in debt with 87 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. I believe this is not good."

    The $16 trillion (more like $17.3 now) debt is not good. And it will be even worse in five years when it goes to over $20 trillion. The sad thing is, politicians have lost the will to curb expansion of big government and big government spending. There is zero plans to stop this ever climbing national debt. It will continue to grow until it will be the equivalent of our national GDP. At which point, we are dead in the water.

    The $87 trillion in unfunded liabilities will likely just stay unfunded. You should hope that you are not part of the class of recipients the unfunded liabilities are promised to.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:41 p.m.

    @micawber: Thanks for your response.

    I knew you would make contrary remarks on a few points, ignore the rest and then conclude with a disparaging remark toward me. That seems to be the norm on forums such as this. Se la vie.

    I agree that there have been some horrid and despicable things happen on earth throughout history. I've lived over five decades in relative peace and safety compared to vietnam's killing fields, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, German concentration camps, plus all the more individual suffering - kidnappings, slavery, trafficking, etc. But, we're not going to have that relative peace for much longer. I believe in the Matthew 24 predictions, including, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." Be prepared.

    I also agree with your statement, "you might find that the world is somewhat worse is some ways and somewhat better in others.". There is much good in the world and I enjoy it and am grateful for it. Ciao.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:12 p.m.

    @ stuff:

    You can go on if you like, but I would prefer you give some thought to your examples. Obesity and diabetes are higher, yet life expectancy is five years longer.

    There are economic problems, true. Yet many of us have a higher standard of living than ever.

    You say violent crime, yet Professor Davis cites statistics saying violent crime has decreased. That you think otherwise proves the Professor's point.

    Immorality and violence on television? Compared to when? I remember shows like Three's Company. I'm not sure it had a joke that wasn't a double entendre.

    Laws to define crimes? What are you talking about?

    Proliferation of nuclear weapons? This is a concern, but North Korea is the only country that has entered the nuclear club recently.

    I think if you seriously considered all the problems you list, you might find that the world is somewhat worse is some ways and somewhat better in others. Unlike Professor Davis, you simply haven't done the work to test your assumptions.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    "Open Minded Mormon",

    First of all, I'm frankly speechless that someone, apparently a Latter-day Saint, would claim that Satan was cast out only for rebellion, and NOT for his plan to deny free agency to all. I really don't have to even respond to that one.

    Forced righteousness, hmm...That was indeed Satan's plan. And while I don't necessarily cotton to the fevered ravings that the other party is "Satan's Plan", the modern leftist/liberal mindset has always been to win political arguments not in the democratic arena of public opinion, but to have it forced on their neighbors through court decrees. Conservatives are far, far more likely to fight & win in the public arena on specific issues.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    Level of war violence during WW2 far exceeds today's tragedies. Millions were terrorized.

    WW2 lasted 5.5 years or about 2,000 days.
    WW2 had about 60,000,000 ( Sixty million ) deaths.

    Divide 2,000 into 60,000,000. The average death rate was 30,000 per day. That is day in and day out.

    That is about 10 ( ten ) 9/11 tragedies every day for five and one half years.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:18 p.m.

    @Voice of Reason

    Dietrich, ID

    The answer to these problems is not to roll over and play dead decide a truce has been declared on war in heaven.
    7:24 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012


    Yes, there was a War in Heaven.
    Yes. that war continues here.

    What was that War?
    It was about Free Agency.

    One proposed Freedom to Choose, with the sad effect that some maybe lost.
    A Second, proposed No Agency - and thereby FORCE everyone to always Choose the Right, and None would be lost.

    The 1st was chosen,
    The 2nd was cast out - not for his proposed plan -- but for Rebellion.

    We chose Freedom and Liberty - knowing that some will not choose the right.
    But Freedom has it's consequences.

    Others, being decieved by the ones cast out,
    Still try to implement that Plan of Forced Righteousness without Freedom.

    Like trying to outlawing any behavior considered "sin".

    Drinking alcohol,
    Shopping on the Sabbath,
    censoring the media and the press for immodesty,
    ect., ect.

    I fought for Freedom in the Pre-Existance.
    I fight for it here and now.

    So, who's side are you fighting on?

    The Lord's (Freedom)
    or Lucifer's (Forced Righteousness).

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    In Doctrines of Salvation Joseph Fielding Smith mentioned how worse it was. I think that was in the 1930's when he said that. I don't think anyone is denying problems they are all around us. If you look into history from William Bradford, some of the founding fathers, People in late 19th early 20th century on and on kind find people say how much worse there younger generation is.

    The answer to these problems is not to roll over and play dead decide a truce has been declared on war in heaven. As it has not there is evil out here. Thing is as long as there is a war on values fortunatly there always will be good people that fight for right and ensure that most of there area people don't beleive in out of wedlock births drugs or crime and they can walk there streets safely. Don't play dead when things go wrong but make things as right as possible.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 12, 2012 6:00 p.m.

    @Mountainman.... google "New York Crime Statistics". What you will find is that yes, New York's crime rate is higher than in many other areas, but that rate has been dropping dramatically, and the gap between New York is in shrinking dramatically as well.

    @stuff..... so things are getting worse? What are you using as your comparison? Last time there was a Tar and Feathering? Lynching? People chased out of town for religious reasons? People held in slavery? Equity of voting rights (minority - women?), people being put to death for being heretics? families having to arm themselves to keep the native people at bay? large orphanages? child labour? Birth survival/infant mortality rates? Jim Crow laws? Segregated societies? Number of Klan or Neo Nazi meetings? Being denied a job because of your faith? Many brothels and saloons in Utah valley? All these things were not uncommon at some point in our not to far past.

    Which of these is getting worse? The professor listed a bunch of other areas. I know it could be feeling like it is getting worse, but that is largely because we really just have it so well right now. We are spoiled as a society.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    "We are involved in an intense battle. It is a battle between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the design of the Almighty on the one hand and that of Lucifer on the other. For that reason, we desperately need moral men and women who stand on principle, to be involved in the political process. Otherwise, we abdicate power to those whose designs are almost entirely selfish."

    "I would think that we would advocate those values which have made of this a great nation in the past. And which have made of America a great nation. And those values are slipping unfortunately. "
    -Gordon B. Hinckley

    So let's put to bed this myth that Pers. Hinckley, and the prophets in general, are telling us that we should roll over and play dead in the political arena in the interest of avoiding conflict. That's just not true.

    Oh, and by the way, Pres. Hinckley was, and Pres Monson is, a registered Republican. I believe you can still be a Democrat and a good Latter-day Saint, but it's definitely worth pointing out.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    @micawber, and whoever else.

    1. Societal division & political polarity.
    2. National debt.
    3. International ranking in math, science and other educational testing scores.
    4. Obesity.
    5. Diabetes.
    6. Amount and degree of violent crime in more and more U.S. cities.
    7. State debt (California, for instance).
    8. Immorality and violence on television.
    9. Anti-christian sentiment is increasing.
    10. Occurrences of terrorism around the world.
    11. Number of laws to define more and more possible 'crimes'.
    12. Increased openness and degree of anti-U.S. sentiment and hatred.
    13. Unpredictable leaders of various countries creating nuclear weapons.
    14. Continually increasing taxes being imposed with no corresponding increase in benefits.
    15. Increasing speed toward national and world financial insolvency with none working to prevent it.
    16. Continual increase in government control and intervention in ownership of land and private property.
    17. Amount of government regulations in all aspects of business ownership.

    Should I go on?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    As for WAshington dc , Detroit and New York I would think most of the deaths of young people are from accidents or something like cancer rather than homicide even in those cities. People are shocked when crimes happen in areas like Salt Lake, provo, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg or Boise. Thing is on occasion they do happen there. Why it is news because it does not happen often.

    Even in middle eastern cities were there is was and areas were every day is 911 I think many people are oblivious to what is going on in There countries soil. There always will be promiscuity, Crime and drug use. i heard that if rural Idaho schools are consolidated it will increase drug use. Though people who don't use drugs in small schools won't in big schools. Just they been around ua for a long time since the fall we are not getting progressivly worse anywhere.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 4:50 p.m.


    Would you care to give some examples, please?

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    You're blind or ignoring the subtly obvious. A little thought will take you way beyond the few examples you used and show a much larger undercurrent of things getting worse. Unless, of course, you are one of those who call good evil and evil good. If so, then things are getting better in your backwards opinion.

    Your examples are like saying we use less salt while we consume nothing but junk food. Oh, things are better since we use less salt! But, don't pay attention to the rest of our diets!

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    The anecdote of the milkman persists. Seems the blood test study suggests it was true to some extent, especially since there have been no Milkmen for 50 years.

    A pessimism bias make you unhappy while a optimism bias while just as inaccurate, keeps you happy.

    Prof Davis points out that many things are actually better. Good I'm happy about it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    Roland Kayser
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    I read about a study performed in the 40's comparing children's blood types with those of their parents. ....
    Remember this test when you talk about the decline in sexual morality. Maybe they were just better a covering things up back then.

    3:12 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012


    When I was young and in the Military [and aboration was illegal],

    I remember many a time when a fellow serviceman was suddenly allowed to go home on leave for 2 weeks without even putting in for a request.

    Wouldn't you know it, in almost 100% of these leaves and always LESS than 9 months later he'd a Daddy.
    Something about being away from home makes couples 10,000 times more fertile than normal.

    I remember all the Amer-Asian kids running around South Vietnam.
    We left a lot more than just guns, tanks, and busted helicopters "over there"...

    conservatives longing for the good 'ol days that were never as "good" as they hope to remember.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" you are way too biased to make a comment about if something is hate or not. By stating "Everything being broadcast by Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin, KRNS ect. and sometimes even MSNBC" you show that you are highly biased against anything conservative.

    If you were honest, you would actually know that very little could be considered hate speech, unless you are guilty in some way. You sound like the people Nephi was talking about when he wrote (1 Nephi 16:2) "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

    I never hear conservatives say that everything on The View is hate towards conservatives, nor do they say that CNN commentary is hate, nor do they say that the liberal talk radio is all hate speech designed.

    Conservatives typically blow off the liberal commentators. Why can't you do the same, unless Nephi had some insight into your being.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    I read about a study performed in the 40's comparing children's blood types with those of their parents. One result of the study was that it determined that in at least 25% of the cases, the mother's husband could not possibly be the child's biological father. These tests are nowhere near as accurate as DNA tests, so the actual result could by significantly higher.

    Remember this test when you talk about the decline in sexual morality. Maybe they were just better a covering things up back then.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    "Criticism, faultfinding, evil speaking—these are of the spirit of the day. To hear tell, there is nowhere a man of integrity holding public office. Criticism is ...the cultivator of rebellion...

    I come to you tonight with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to "accentuate the positive."

    ...that you turn from the negativism that so permeates our modern society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom you associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my wise father would say: "Cynics do not contribute. Skeptics do not create. Doubters do not achieve." ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley



    Everything being broadcast by Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin, KRNS ect. and sometimes even MSNBC -
    [...I've integrity to admit it happens on both sides.]

    [There's a reason it's called hate-radio. I remember some said the LDS church had apostisized when KSL dropped airing them.]

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    Re: ". . . things are not getting worse"

    Here's betting the stats are from 2008 or 2009. It normally takes that long for statistics to become available.

    Since then, though, we can all attest to the fact that incomes have remained flat. The local housing market is up only a little. The local unemployment rate -- not as bad as the national average, but not good, either -- has not fallen substantially.

    But --

    National debt? Nearly doubled.
    Taxes? Going up substantially, even if there's a GOP surrender regarding the "cliff."
    National bond rating? Down.
    Children born out of wedlock? 40.8%
    Medical care, student loans, home loans, the auto industry? Expropriated, in whole or in part, by a bloated, unaccountable government.
    Real protections of real people regarding government debt limits, religious freedom, military readiness, defense of marriage, environmental extremism, illegal immigration and our traditional freedoms? All under attack.

    It may be comforting to fixate on that rose-colored rear-view mirror, Doc, but, for most of us, it's not the past we worry about.

    It's the ever-more uncertain future.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    OK, let's look at this:

    1. Teen pregnancy rates lower than in the 40's? Is it pregnancy that is bad? We all know that birth control has increased exponentially and married teens, are, generally, having smaller, or no, families. How many of the teens were married that were pregnant? That statistic is more pregnant with meaning. That wasn't mentioned in the article of course.

    2. "The percentage of teenage girls who have had sex has declined from 51 % to 42%". How do / would you know that? you have given no attribution even of your source.

    3. "The abortion rate among teens has been falling dramatically in recent years". Don't people use the "morning after" pill these days. Who wouldn't avail themselves of a pill rather than endure an abortion?

    What else have you got professor? Bring it on!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" i have a few questions for you since you "will listen and follow the true and Living Prophets in the Ensign." Why don't you?

    The prophets have stated that Socialism and Communism are of the Devil, yet you support those.

    You also believe in Moral Relativism, another thing that the prophets have declared as a false teaching.

    You believe that drug use should be legalized, eventhough the Prophet has stated that we should fight for legislation to curb drug use.

    Maybe you should say that you follow the prophet when you agree with him.

    In 1998, President Hinkley let us know that rough times were ahead and that we needed to be prepared for future conditions to worsen. If things are better now than they were before, why do we need to be better prepared for things to get worse?

    Also, that quote you use does not say that things will get better or were better than they appeared to be, only that we should look at the prophecies being fulfilled and look forward to the Great Day of the Lord.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    I think Professor Davis cherry picked his data points.

    For example, Unemployment rates look great at 7.8%, however, when you consider that over the past 4 years we have had a steady decline in the Labor Participation rate. That has dropped about 3% during the same time.

    How about those marriage statistics? Marriages are measured in marriages per 1000 people. If the number of marriages decreases, the number of divorces will decrease also. Plus, the statistic he quotes is bad because if you look at the past 70 years, the number of divorces is increasing.

    Teen sexual activity has increased, when compared with 1970's rates when it was at 40%.

    The professor is instigating lies or half truths at best. Either way he is not being honest even with his own examples.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    "cities in America that have the highest murder rates".

    Two things:
    1. Having the highest murder rates now doesn't necessarily mean those cities aren't improving compared to where they were 20-30 years ago.
    2. Chicago's homicide rate spiked 40% after the Supreme Court swiped at gun bans. Thanks a lot gun wingnuts.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:15 p.m.

    What an outstanding letter! I'm so grateful for the good sense and wisdom Professor Davis has chosen to bless us with.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:15 p.m.

    “We have every reason to be optimistic in this world,” President Gordon B. Hinckley has said. “Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen” ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands,” Ensign, June 1995.

    “Things will work out’ may well be President Hinckley’s most repeated assurance to family, friends, and associates,” noted Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “‘Keep trying,’ he will say. ‘Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out’” (Ensign, June 1995, 4).


    Fine - whatever:

    You follow your Prophets of Gloom and Doom on the AM radio.

    I will listen and follow the true and Living Prophets in the Ensign.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    We are 16 trillion dollars in debt with 87 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. I believe this is not good.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    Statistics can be made to say the darnedest things; examine them carefully, including those in this article. See what they say and don't say, how conclusions were reached, from whence the figures and what the just conclusions.

    I must say that I heartily endorse the statement of Thomas S Monson regarding the great disparity between church standards and the world's standards, a disparity that previously did not exist. I also noted the reference made by Melvin Ballard that today's women, nationally, aged thirty and under, had babies when unmarried. These certainly are great changes.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way." --Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    What does Professor Davis know? I happen to have it from very reliable sources that EVERYTHING is getting worse. I saw it on Fox News and read it in Krauthammer's columns. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Thank you, Professor Davis.

    I think that focusing in the negative displays a lack of gratitude to God.

    And Mountanman, according to New York's police commissioner, homicides in New York are at a low not seen since the Kennedy Administration.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    @ Omni Scent. Google "cities in America that have the highest murder rates". Things may be getting better in some places, but not everywhere. That was my only point.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    We're probably not much worse off than we ever have been. But if the GOP is allowed to have their way, we WILL be.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    Great letter!

    I don't suppose it has anything to do with what radio or cable TV shows one views to for their opinons...

    Thosee that report the news of reailty,
    The one's that skew, mis-report, sensationalize, and entertain -- for the sake of the highest ratings and the most $$$.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    Mountainman: thank you for that example of "Some anecdote offered as evidence" to prove Prof. Davis point.
    Or, if you really were trying to make an argument, perhaps you can provde some supporting arguments or evidence, as Prof Davis requests. Do you have the figures for Detroit, DC, NYC, and Chicago?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Professor Davis must have left out Detroit, Washington DC, New York and Chicago in his study. Not pessimism, just honesty.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    In both conservative and liberal op eds you hear how worse it is. Walter Williams and in some instances Cal Thomas celebrate things like that. Thing is I think much of it is selective memory. People have been talking about how much worse there children and grandchildrens morals are for centuries. If that is true then we would be real bad now.

    Thing is since Cain killed Abel there always has been evil in the world. But also good. I think most people go to school and work unharmed. We just hear about the harm. There are bad people but I don't think it has gotten worse as a whole. More and more young people serve, aren't embarresed to hug each other after a competition and are great kids. I hear whats on tv 20 years ago would not be on today. Any proof or does that sound good. Discovery, Nasa, Learning and history channels on. With few stations soaps and sleazy talk shows were on frequently.

    As it is getting worse that sounds good to say but is not based on bias. When I teach High priests we will be nobler compared to our grandchildren.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Very true. I don't know if professor Davis has a book out but I've read some of Steven Pinker's works and it's amazing that our pessimistic assumptions are so natural yet they are completely wrong.

    We are safer than humans have ever been, be happy about it. Now there's a subject, happiness has remained flat for all our progress and lack of running from lions. We could learn a lot about that subject and start measuring gross national happiness like Bhutan does. Isn't that the goal?