by Ski Ingram August 2021

America has faced many challenges in the past few years. Some of these, but not all, are an uncertain economy, a lack of national security, out of control immigration, a war on the first and second Amendments, poverty, racism, rising crime and the pandemic. These are big problems and we should be doing all we can as a society to correct them. While these problems are huge, they are not the biggest challenge we face today. I believe our greatest challenge, as a nation, is the need to return to moral and family values.

I believe that most of the underlying problems we are experiencing in America come from the absence of fathers in the home, drugs and alcohol abuse within the family and a lack of moral training.  Vince Lombardi gave us great advice years ago when he told the Green Bay Packers, “Men, we must get back to the basics!” Lombardi knew the importance of never forgetting the basics of the game to be successful. It is the same with a great society. Its greatness comes from good people. Good people come from good families, families with mothers and fathers who teach their children how to be good citizens.

We have heard recently about finding the “root cause” of problems such as crime, illegal immigration, drug abuse and others.  It seems we are always seeking the root cause but never finding it. We never look in the most obvious place, the lack of fathers in the home.  Numerous studies show us families without a father are more likely to remain poor and on welfare, the children are more likely to join a gang and more likely to spend time in prison.

The world changes, America changes, we can’t stop it, but one thing should remain constant; mothers and fathers should be teaching their children right from wrong in the home.  Parents should be the ones to instill in their children a moral code, not school teachers or movie stars.  Loving parents need to instill in their children a work ethic that will guarantee that their children grow into productive and self-sufficient adults. A great man, David O. McKay, once said, “no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” No truer words have been spoken. We are reaping the consequences of failing to follow that advice in our daily lives.

The family, along with our Godgiven freedom, is under attack more than ever in America. Black Lives Matter has stated their goal is to “disrupt” the nuclear family. This goal is in line with the Marxist goal that goes back 150 years. Marx and Engles told us in clear terms that the goal of the communist party was to abolish the traditional family.

Today we have a “woke” society perpetuated by a liberal media.  We have liberal professors who openly teach Marxism in our colleges and universities. These Marxist attitudes have filtered down to our corporate boardrooms, entertainment and even sports. The most liberal wing of the Democratic party is embracing BLM and Antifa as they refuse to support freedom for Cuba and Venezuela.

The family should be our most important institution for many reasons. Humans have a need to be accepted and the family should be the first place where that need is fulfilled. We gain support and love from our mother and father and our siblings. The family is a place of refuge where we find protection and security.  Families provide us with love, laughter and a sense of community. Families should be the place where we are protected from the peer pressure we often feel in today’s “woke” society. Families teach values that affect decision-making for our entire life. They teach the value of structure in one’s life. Families help to make you who you are, from teaching you to take your first steps to learning to read and write. They shape your personality, your belief system and your core values.

Parents have the great responsibility to teach their children how to be responsible adults in this ever-changing world. This responsibility never ends.  A friend of mine understands this. He wrote a letter to his granddaughter who is serving as a helicopter pilot in the US Army. I’ll call her Mary and quote, with his permission, part of that letter here.

“Dear Mary, The Fourth of July!  I love this as a very worthwhile AMERICAN holiday!  I do love this nation, it’s flag and all that it stands for.  This nation was founded by men who risked all to start a new nation that founded itself on the God Given principle of AGENCY, the right to choose.  To choose who will be our leaders, to choose our own occupation, to choose where to live, and most of all who and how to worship!

Grandma and I are not going anywhere to celebrate but are thinking and talking about the blessings we enjoy.  We really appreciate our home and the peaceful lives we live here in St. George.  Our health is better than most people our age. I put our flag up yesterday and I put it back up today and plan to put it up again tomorrow!

Remember I always include you in my prayers every day, by name, asking the Lord to bless you with safety and success. Love Grandpa.”

My friend has not relinquished his responsibility as a parent.  I thank him for being a role model to me and every American.  God bless him, his granddaughter and the United Staes of America.