29 June 2008

The Constitution--A Heavenly Banner

I have been doing a lot of thinking after reading Bryce's post a few days ago. Our experience in Samoa left me very bitter towards our Government. Today in Church I was introduced to this talk by Ezra Taft Benson. It changed my views on America.

The Constitution--A Heavenly Banner


On the seventeenth day of September 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the Constitutional Convention, which gave birth to the document that Gladstone said is "the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man" (William Ewart Gladstone: Life and Public Services, ed. Thomas W. Handford [Chicago: The Dominion Co., 1899], p. 323).

I heartily endorse this assessment, and today I would like to pay honor--honor to the document itself, honor to the men who framed it, and honor to the God who inspired it and made possible its coming forth.

Some Basic Principles

To understand the significance of the Constitution, we must first understand some basic, eternal principles. These principles have their beginning in the premortal councils of heaven.

The Principle of Agency

The first basic principle is agency. The central issue in the premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed him stood for the former proposition--freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter--coercion and force. The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer's primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments.

Look back in retrospect on almost six thousand years of human history! Freedom's moments have been infrequent and exceptional. We must appreciate that we live in one of history's most exceptional moments--in a nation and a time of unprecedented freedom. Freedom as we know it has been experienced by perhaps less than one percent of the human family.

The Proper Role of Government

The second basic principle concerns the function and proper role of government. These are the principles that, in my opinion, proclaim the proper role of government in the domestic affairs of the nation.

[I] believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them. . . .

[I] believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life. . . .

[I] believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments. [D&C 134:1­2, 5]

In other words, the most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.

The Source of Human Rights

The third important principle pertains to the source of basic human rights. Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. We must ever keep in mind the inspired words of Thomas Jefferson, as found in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

People Are Superior to Governments

The fourth basic principle we must understand is that people are superior to the governments they form. Since God created people with certain inalienable rights, and they, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that the people are superior to the creature they created.

Governments Should Have Limited Powers

The fifth and final principle that is basic to our understanding of the Constitution is that governments should have only limited powers. The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.

By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute money or property nor to force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by the people. No individual possesses the power to take another's wealth or to force others to do good, so no government has the right to do such things either. The creature cannot exceed the creator.

The Constitution and its Coming Forth

With these basic principles firmly in mind, let us now turn to a discussion of the inspired document we call the Constitution. My purpose is not to recite the events that led to the American Revolution--we are all familiar with these. But I would say this: History is not an accident. Events are foreknown to God. His superintending influence is behind the actions of his righteous children. Long before America was even discovered, the Lord was moving and shaping events that would lead to the coming forth of the remarkable form of government established by the Constitution. America had to be free and independent to fulfill this destiny. I commend to you as excellent reading on this subject Elder Mark E. Petersen's book The Great Prologue (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975). As expressed so eloquently by John Adams before the signing of the Declaration, "There's a Divinity which shapes our ends" (quoted in The Works of Daniel Webster, vol. 1 (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), p. 133). Though mortal eyes and minds cannot fathom the end from the beginning, God does.

God Raised Up Wise Men to Create the Constitution

In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Savior declared, "I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose" (D&C 101:80). These were not ordinary men, but men chosen and held in reserve by the Lord for this very purpose.

Shortly after President Kimball became President of the Church, he assigned me to go into the vault of the St. George Temple and check the early records. As I did so, I realized the fulfillment of a dream I had had ever since learning of the visit of the Founding Fathers to the St. George Temple. I saw with my own eyes the records of the work that was done for the Founding Fathers of this great nation, beginning with George Washington. Think of it, the Founding Fathers of this nation, those great men, appeared within those sacred walls and had their vicarious work done for them. President Wilford Woodruff spoke of it in these words:

Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God."

These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. . . .

I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men. [Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946), pp. 160­61]

These noble spirits came there with divine permission--evidence that this work of salvation goes forward on both sides of the veil.

At a later conference, in April 1898, after he became President of the Church, President Woodruff declared that "those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits . . . [and] were inspired of the Lord" (CR, April 1898, p. 89). We honor those men today. We are the grateful beneficiaries of their noble work.

The Lord Approved the Constitution

But we honor more than those who brought forth the Constitution. We honor the Lord who revealed it. God himself has borne witness to the fact that he is pleased with the final product of the work of these great patriots.

In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith on August 6, 1833, the Savior admonished: "I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land" (D&C 98:6).

In the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer, given on March 27, 1836, the Lord directed the Prophet Joseph to say: "May those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever" (D&C 109:54).

A few years later, Joseph Smith, while unjustly incarcerated in a cold and depressing cell of Liberty Jail at Clay County, Missouri, frequently bore his testimony of the document's divinity: "The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner" (HC 3:304).

How this document accomplished all of this merits our further consideration.

The Document Itself

The Constitution consists of seven separate articles. The first three establish the three branches of our government--the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The fourth article describes matters pertaining to states, most significantly the guarantee of a republican form of government to every state of the Union. Article 5 defines the amendment procedure of the document, a deliberately difficult process that should be clearly understood by every citizen. Article 6 covers several miscellaneous items, including a definition of the supreme law of the land, namely, the Constitution itself. Article 7, the last, explains how the Constitution is to be ratified. After ratification of the document, ten amendments were added and designated as our Bill of Rights.

Now to look at some of the major provisions of the document itself. Many principles could be examined, but I mention five as being crucial to the preservation of our freedom. If we understand the workability of these, we have taken the first step in defending our freedoms.

Major Provisions of the Document

The major provisions of the Constitution are as follows.

Sovereignty of the People

First: Sovereignty lies in the people themselves. Every governmental system has a sovereign, one or several who possess all the executive, legislative, and judicial powers. That sovereign may be an individual, a group, or the people themselves. The Founding Fathers believed in common law, which holds that true sovereignty rests with the people. Believing this to be in accord with truth, they inserted this imperative in the Declaration of Independence: "To secure these rights [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Separation of Powers

Second: To safeguard these rights, the Founding Fathers provided for the separation of powers among the three branches of government--the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Each was to be independent of the other, yet each was to work in a unified relationship. As the great constitutionalist President J. Reuben Clark noted:

It is [the] union of independence and dependence of these branches--legislative, executive and judicial--and of the governmental functions possessed by each of them, that constitutes the marvelous genius of this unrivalled document. . . . It was here that the divine inspiration came. It was truly a miracle. [Church News, November 29, 1952, p. 12]

The use of checks and balances was deliberately designed, first, to make it difficult for a minority of the people to control the government, and, second, to place restraint on the government itself.

Limited Powers of Government

Third: The powers the people granted to the three branches of government were specifically limited. The Founding Fathers well understood human nature and its tendency to exercise unrighteous dominion when given authority. A constitution was therefore designed to limit government to certain enumerated functions, beyond which was tyranny.

The Principle of Representation

Fourth: Our constitutional government is based on the principle of representation. The principle of representation means that we have delegated to an elected official the power to represent us. The Constitution provides for both direct representation and indirect representation. Both forms of representation provide a tempering influence on pure democracy. The intent was to protect the individual's and the minority's rights to life, liberty, and the fruits of their labors--property. These rights were not to be subject to majority vote.

A Moral and Righteous People

Fifth: The Constitution was designed to work with only a moral and righteous people. "Our constitution," said John Adams (first vice-president and second president of the United States), "was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" (John R. Howe, Jr., The Changing Political Thought of John Adams, Princeton University Press, 1966, p. 185).

The Crisis of our Constitution

This, then, is the ingenious and inspired document created by these good and wise men for the benefit and blessing of future generations. It is now two hundred years since the Constitution was written. Have we been wise beneficiaries of the gift entrusted to us? Have we valued and protected the principles laid down by this great document?

At this bicentennial celebration we must, with sadness, say that we have not been wise in keeping the trust of our Founding Fathers. For the past two centuries, those who do not prize freedom have chipped away at every major clause of our Constitution until today we face a crisis of great dimensions.

The Prophecy of Joseph Smith

We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said:

Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up[on] which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear the constitution away from the very verge of destruction. [In Howard and Martha Coray Notebook, July 19, 1840, quoted by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, comps. and eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), p. 416]

The Need to Prepare

Will we be prepared? Will we be among those who will "bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction"? If we desire to be numbered among those who will, here are some things we must do:

1. We must be righteous and moral. We must live the gospel principles--all of them. We have no right to expect a higher degree of morality from those who represent us than what we ourselves are. To live a higher law means we will not seek to receive what we have not earned by our own labor. It means we will remember that government owes us nothing. It means we will keep the laws of the land. It means we will look to God as our Lawgiver and the source of our liberty.

2. We must learn the principles of the

Constitution and then abide by its precepts. Have we read the Constitution and pondered it? Are we aware of its principles? Could we defend it? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? The Church will not tell us how to do this, but we are admonished to do it. I quote Abraham Lincoln:

Let [the Constitution] be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling-books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation. [Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, vol. 1 (New York: Francis D. Tandy Co., 1905), p.43]

3. We must become involved in civic affairs. As citizens of this republic, we cannot do our duty and be idle spectators. It is vital that we follow this counsel from the Lord: "Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil" (D&C 98:10). Note the qualities that the Lord demands in those who are to represent us. They must be good, wise, and honest. We must be concerted in our desires and efforts to see men and women represent us who possess all three of these qualities.

4. We must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, and our advice. We must be wisely informed and let others know how we feel. We must take part in local precinct meetings and select delegates who will truly represent our feelings.

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church--men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution.

The Constitution Requires our Loyalty and Support

I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed his stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of his choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and he has sent other choice spirits--even you who hear my words this day--to preserve it.

We, the blessed beneficiaries, face difficult days in this beloved land, "a land which is choice above all other lands" (Ether 2:10). It may also cost us blood before we are through. It is my conviction, however, that when the Lord comes, the Stars and Stripes will be floating on the breeze over this people. May it be so, and may God give us the faith and the courage exhibited by those patriots who pledged their lives and fortunes that we might be free, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Funny little Gem

We came across this one while adding pix to Kel's Facebook. I put this one together to cheer Kel up in Samoa. I'm sure it will get a chuckle out of it.

28 June 2008

More Ari Photo's

Ari and Kel spent the day with me photographing a wedding for our friends the William's. Bruce is the man who took us to Samoa to adopt Ari. Lini is the his Daughter that he adopted from a village next to Ari's.

Bruce and Ari

Lini, Ben and Leila

Auntie Lini and Ari

Origin of the Haka

According to Maori ethos, Tama-nui-to-ra, the Sun God, had two wives, Hine-raumati, the Summer maid, and Hine takurua, the Winter maid. The child born to him and Hine-raumati was Tane-rore, who is credited with the origin of the dance. Tane-rore is the trembling of the air as seen on the hot days of summer, and represented by the quivering of the hands in the dance.

Haka is the generic name for all Maori dance. Today, haka is defined as that part of the Maori dance repertoire where the men are to the fore with the women lending vocal support in the rear. Most haka seen today are haka taparahi, haka without weapons.

More than any aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of the passion, vigour and identity of the race. Haka is not merely a past time of the Maori but was also a custom of high social importance in the welcoming and entertainment of visitors. Tribal reputation rose and fell on their ability to perform the haka (Hamana Mahuika)

Haka reflected the concerns and issues of the time, of defiance and protest, of factual occurrences and events at any given time

Haka History

The centrality of the haka within All Black rugby tradition is not a recent development. Since the original "All Black" team of "New Zealand Natives" led by Joseph Warbrick the haka has been closely associated with New Zealand rugby. Its mystique has evolved along with the fierce determination, commitment and high level skill which has been the hallmark of New Zealand's National game.

The haka adds a unique component, derived from the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, and which aligns with the wider Polynesian cultures of the Pacific.

The All Blacks perform the haka with precision and intensity which underpin the All Black approach.

Samoa edge Tonga

Samoa came away from Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku'alofa with a hard-earned 20-15 win against Tonga in front of 4,000 fans.

Tonga had led 9-0 after 30 minutes with three penalties to fly half Pierre Hola, before Samoa scrum half Uale Mai scored the only try of the first half, converted by full back Gavin Williams, to bring the score back to 9-7.

With Hola replaced at the start of the second half, Vungakoto Lilo kicked a penalty to extend Tonga’s lead to 12-7.

After a raft of substitutions on the hour mark, wing David Lemi scored a try for Samoa, again converted by Williams, to haul the away team into a two-point advantage.

Lilo edged Tonga ahead with a penalty on 67 minutes before Williams kicked two late penalties to grab the victory for Samoa.

NZ Maori swamp Japan in second half

A withering third quarter which produced three tries, two of them to wing Hosea Gear finally quelled some sterling Japan resistance to set up a 65-22 win for the New Zealand Maori in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup game played at Napier's McLean Park on Saturday.

NZ Maori has won four from four and will play the tournament final against Australia in Sydney next week.

It was a compelling display from the Maori who ran in 10 tries while first five-eighths Callum Bruce scored 25 points in what was the first clash between the side and Japan.

The under-rated visitors had gone to the break with a 22-17 lead but Gear drove over for a try after a concentrated forwards build-up, then moment later, after 55 minutes, he latched onto a good pass from prop Jacob Ellison after Japan fullback Shaun Webb lost the ball placing it after being tackled.

Gear switched into overdrive, sidestepped in field and raced 45m to touch down under the goal posts.

The wave then broke over the Japanese as the Maori stormed back from the re-start before replacement fullback Dwayne Sweeney scored wide out to be followed moments later by Gear touching down for his hat-trick.

In just over 20 minutes the score had ballooned to 48-22.

Japan scored first through a penalty goal after six minutes to first five-eighths James Arlidge, but then conceded two tries in four minutes as firstly wing Zar Lawrence took advantage of a solid break by halfback Piri Weepu which was well continued by lock Ross Filipo.

He bounced off defenders and fed Lawrence in for the try, then No.8 Liam Messam got away with joining from the side of a maul to steal ball and set up the chance which Bruce capitalised on to score.

Japan wasn't put off however, and struck with deadly effect when it scored two tries in three minutes.

The first came after an all in assault which resulted in a penalty five metres out from the Maori line when Weepu was ruled offside. But Japan opted for a scrum and it was fullback Bryce Robins who scored after a good thrust by replacement centre Shaun Webb.

Then from a Maori lineout throw near halfway which was not secured, Japan flanker Hare Makiri tidied up and Arlidge held the ball long enough to create space further out and that was sufficient for left win Christian Loamanu to go over in the corner. Arlidge added a superb conversion from the sideline to give Japan a 15-12 lead.

The Maori regained the lead when No.8 Liam Messam showed he knew how to create space as well after a prolonged buildup on attack. The ball was moved wide and Messam drew the defence in the centres to create just enough space for second five-eighths Tamati Ellison to go over in the corner.

But then the try of the half came just on halftime when blindside flanker Luke Thompson crossed after Webb fielded the a ball which missed touch. He fed infield and it was Robins who ran straight and hard up the centre of the field to split the defence and feed the well-placed Thompson. Arlidge's conversion gave Japan a 22-17 lead at the break.

As the Maori reserves were ushered on there appeared no let-up in the enthusiasm of the Maori and they ran rampant with the Waldrom brothers Scott and Thomas electrifying the continuity in the loose and setting up late tries for Lawrence and Bruce, each scoring their second tries of the game while a last-minute turnover resulted in a try for centre Jason Kawau.

Scorers: NZ Maori 65 (Hosea Gear 3, Zar Lawrence 2, Callum Bruce 2, Tamati Ellison, Dwayne Sweeney, Jason Kawau tries; Bruce 6 con, pen) Japan 22 (Bryce Robins, Christian Loamanu, Luke Thompson tries; James Arlidge 2 con, pen). HT: 17-22

27 June 2008

Our little Fish

Ari at swim lessons.
Ari and Daddy at Cherry Hills.

Our little diver. No fear of water at all.

22 June 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Not many people got to see our little angel as a baby. Here is a small clip of a little thing I put together on a sleepless night when I was desperately missing my girls!

21 June 2008

All Blacks depth pays big dividend

England has been sent home with a 44-12 thrashing by the superior class of the All Blacks at AMI Stadium on Saturday night.

Clinical finishing was the difference between the two sides, especially in the first half as possession was shared 50/50 but the All Blacks made theirs count to lead 20-0.

Starting with a penalty in the first minute, first five-eighth Dan Carter laid on another masterclass and once again exposed England's brittle defence.

The tourists switched their No.10 and 12 stocks but it made little difference when Carter waltzed through and fed centre Richard Kahui on the angle for a try just 14 minutes into a dream debut.

Carter added another penalty to make it 13-0, then crossed for a deserved five-pointer to extend it by another seven.

England's defence was embarrassed once more as halfback Andrew Ellis' cut-out ball found Carter in miles of space for an easy stroll to the line.

Carter had almost scored seconds earlier when held up off a deft chip and regather.

The only concern came as both captain Richie McCaw and Ali Williams left the field in the first half with ankle injuries, McCaw's seeming particularly serious.

Conversely, the tourists squandered chances, consistently infringed at the breakdown and were their own worst enemies.

Halfback Danny Care put in a needless chip kick when 10m out early on, wing Tom Varndell should've scored in the corner but was bundled out by Leon MacDonald and Mathew Tait's butter fingers prevented him diving on an Ellis error close to the line.

It didn't get any better straight after the break when replacement Ollie Barkley missed a simple chance to put England on the board, then Carter made no mistake with one of his own.

Care took it upon himself to put England back in the contest and did so when he took a quick tap, ran across field and managed to squeeze through a gap at the corner to score his first Test try and narrow the gap to 23-7.

Almost immediately, the All Blacks hit back and delivered a hammer blow to England's temporarily positive demeanour.

Carter found wing Sitiveni Sivivatu back on the angle and he burst through more feeble English defence then sent second five-eighth Ma'a Nonu next to the posts.
England was left forced to play with 14 men as centre Mike Tindall was given a yellow card for killing the ball near his own line.

The All Blacks made it count straight away as Sione Lauaki scored their fourth try by picking off the back of a scrum and powering through for a 37-7 scoreline.

A borderline forward pass by wing Rudi Wulf, who was quiet on debut, led to England's second as Care was again involved and freed up Varndell to score on his opposite side with just over 10 minutes to go.

Two more contentious calls followed as firstly Sivivatu was denied by another supposed forward pass then Adam Thomson's dot-down was denied by a baffling ruling that Keven Mealamu had taken Varndell out in the air.

But Jimmy Cowan wasn't to be denied in the final minute as he wriggled over to complete the 44-12 hiding and send England back north with its tail between its legs.

It was a promising All Black performance leading into next month Tri Nations opener, although South Africa and Australia will be made of sterner stuff than the limp English.

New Zealand 44 (Richard Kahui, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Sione Lauaki, Jimmy Cowan tries; Carter 4 con, 3 pen; Stephen Donald con) England 12 (Danny Care, Tom Varndell tries; Olly Barkley con). HT: 20-0

Highland Rugby

Tonga / New Zealand Tour

The young men who comprise the Highland Rugby club are presented this summer with a marvelous opportunity. For 33 years, we have been the premier High School rugby program in the United States. Our club currently has a membership of diverse young men representing 13 schools from around the Salt Lake Valley. Some of our successes include:

  • 17 National Titles in 23 years
  • A lifetime record of 370-9
  • 33 straight Utah titles (we have never lost an in-state game)
  • 3rd place finish in the World High School Championships, the only one of its kind ever held
In addition, a major motion picture, Forever Strong, to be released this fall, has been made about our program and the positive impact it has upon the lives of our players.

Our program has been fortunate enough to have four very special teams who we felt were worthy of competing at the highest level throughout the world, on an international stage. The team has toured New Zealand, Australia, and Africa with great success, the last of those tours coming in 1998. We feel that this year’s team is one of those special groups of young men who are both capable and deserving of competing at the pinnacle of their sport.

The opportunity we have before us is an intensive 20-day tour of Tonga and New Zealand. History has a tendency to repeat itself, and this undertaking is no exception. In 1979 we were the first American high school rugby team to play in New Zealand, and this year we have the opportunity to be the first American high school rugby team to compete in the Kingdom of Tonga. On this tour, we will be competing against high-level teams in both countries. Our 2nd game in Tonga will be against Liahona, the defending Tongan Champion. In New Zealand, widely considered to be the home of the best rugby in the world, we will be playing Church College, a perennial power in NZ rugby. In addition to four quality matches we will be exposed to a cultural experience most people our age can only dream of.

"More important than building championship teams is building championship boys" Larry Gelwix, Head Coach/Founder Highland Rugby

New Zealand Maori have made it three out of three in the Pacific Nations Cup with a hard-fought 17-6 win over Samoa in Hamilton on Saturday.

Chiefs centre Callum Bruce opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a penalty when the Samoans were penalised for obstruction at a line-out.

A similar penalty offence - this one actually awarded for coming in on the side - a few minutes later saw Samoan lock Chad Slade sent to the bin for ten minutes.

The Samoans nearly made it through the ten minutes unscathed, but Bruce's grubber-kick through the defence and touchdown ensured the visitors paid the price for their indiscretions.

Piri Weepu landed the killer blow for the Maori just before half-time, capitalising on good work from Liam Messam and Thomas Waldrom to score his side's second.

Samoa regrouped and redoubled their efforts in the second half, and two penalties from full-back Gavin Williams made the score 14-6 by the hour, but there was no change to be found from the Maori defence.

The scorers:

For the NZ Maori:
Bruce, Weepu
Cons: Bruce 2
Pen: Bruce

For Samoa:
Williams 2

Yellow cards: Slade (Samoa, 21), Tuilagi (Samoa, 75)

New Zealand Maori: 15 Dwayne Sweeney, 14 Shannon Paku, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Tamati Ellison (co-captain), 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Callum Bruce, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam (co-captain), 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Bronson Murray, 2Hikawera Elliot, 1 Keith Cameron.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Hoani MacDonald, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Jason Kawau, 22 Zar Lawrence.

Samoa: 15 Gavin Williams, 14 Esera Lauina, 13 Henry Faafili, 12 Anitele'a Tuilagi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 George Stowers, 7 Semo Sititi, 6 Daniel Leo, 5 Chad Slade, 4 Filipo Levi (C), 3 Census Johnston, 2 Loleni Tafunai, 1 James Johnston.
Replacements: 16 Simon Lemalu, 17 Jeremiah Fatialofa, 18 Kane Thompson, 19 Alafoti Faosilivia, 20 Uale Mai, 21 Roger Warren, 22 Gasolo Salima.

Referee: Ian Smith (Australia).


I just finished The Chronicle's of Narnia! Very rich in Gospel and Christian symbolism. I am now going to re-read Lewis other books: Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, The Great Divorce and The Screw Tape Letters. Updates to follow.

onTouch today

05 June 2008

Hula Lessons

Daddy's Little Gymnast

Ari at her Gymnastics meet!

"There is a marked difference between the introspection that focuses on ‘How did I do?’ and the introspection that asks, ‘Did I do enough?’" ~ Neal A. Maxwell