I am always within ear shot of my kids and their classes. I love Liahona!!! It is the best money spent and has given them such a superior education when the religion is part of what they learn!!! Thanks for doing what you all do!!
I just wanted to send a quick note to express my deep appreciation to you and all the teachers my son has at Liahona. this school has been a miracle in Daniel's life. This morning I had a meeting with Sister Willburn, Daniel is struggling in her class. She was so helpful, and thoughtful. She expressed her deep concern and desire to help Daniel feel successful in her class. I have found everyone of Daniel's teachers to be that same way. The spirit they bring each day to him is such a blessing. Thanks again for all you have done, and continue to do to give our family this wonderful school.
Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." and the Liahona classes have lit his fire like we have never seen before! His Government class has made him a passionate and active defender of our Constitution, and all his public school friends are getting an earful..... it seems almost incongruous for a teenager to enjoy school so much, and want to discuss everything he learns with his parents! Who knew? He also thought the Youth Conference in October was "important" and can't wait to go back. We feel SO BLESSED by all that Liahona offers by way of mentors and education.
Breanne has learned more in the few weeks at Liahona, in not only History, but English, Science and Math than her entire school career to date.
I don't know how I THANK YOU, as a mother, for the core TRUTHS you teach my children! How you have taught them to go to source, question, and DISCOVER who they are and THEIR PURPOSE HERE! As I talk to my friends about their children's education my heart fills with gratitude for LIAHONA! THANK YOU DEGRAFF'S!! Just wanted y'all to know that in OUR eyes YOU make that difference! Thank you for your PASSION FOR RIGHTEOUS EDUCATION! Just wanted you to know the things you teach are making a difference.
Janine - a mother of EDUCATED PASSIONATE TEENS :)
First, I have to say, "THANK YOU" for helping us so much.
I have been pleasantly surprised at just how well things run at Liahona. :) For starters, I assumed I would be another "number" in your many files of students and families. :) I was okay with that, figuring that's just how things work. However (and please pass this on to the DeGraffs), we were both floored and giddy today when we had trouble connected to LIVE streaming during Intermediate History and we called for assistance.
What's the story? Oh, glad you asked! :)
For some reason our internet keeps "disconnecting" from LIVE during history. We never lose our video signal but something was not quite jiving. Anyway, I called the front office for help and was put on hold so that a solution could be found. I hated to be a bother, and since history was about to start, I hung up thinking that I would call back at a better time. Lo and behold, we log into LIVE streaming and there was a young man talking to ME about how to chat with Brother DeGraff! I just thought, "There is no way he is talking to me...it must be another Jill." :)
That showed me that Liahona actually knows my name! Caller ID, I'm guessing? :) Either way, that was very cool. I was also amazed that the office worked so quickly to help me with a solution. Thank you for that!
Now...on to the history class itself...when we found the place on the internet to "ask Brother DeGraff a question", I figured this was a way to send a message and we would get an email back at a later time. My son's face lit up when Brother DeGraff called HIS name out during class! I was equally impressed. His 10-year old brother sat with us during the lesson and just kept shaking his head at how cool it was that a school all the way out in Utah knew that we had joined them for history. :-D
Overall, You scored very cool brownie points with our family today.
Brother DeGraff, I'm going on a mission and well you're getting older. HAHA This was all possible because of you man. No joke. Liahona and your attitude at which you approach life has honestly changed my life for the greater good. In today's world where rebellion and going against the grain is becoming the force that takes away teenagers, you give them a white light...Something to hold onto. Something to see that even in a world where evil seems to be the new good you can still be a good person and be recognized for it. At Liahona kids are rewarded on being a good example and a good person. Not for popularity or success. It has taught me what truly is more important in life. I have taken a complete 180 in life and its thanks to you.
Thank you so much for changing my life! I can only hope to become half the man you are.
Sister DeGraff thank you for giving such good advice. I know that you are making a huge difference in my life. You are probably the funniest (and sometimes scariest!) principal in the world! Brother DeGraff, perhaps you'll never see the enormous impact you've made and continue to make on this world, but its there. You're simply a legend!
C. Boyce Utah
DeGraff our daughter is going to a community college full-time. How grateful we are to all of you at Liahona. You can't believe the anti-American and liberal hippie teachers she has! Thank you for providing her with a firm foundation to withstand the brain-washing. Without people like you our country doesn't stand a chance.
Sister DeGraff thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the chance to go to Liahona. I'm not sure what I would be like if I had gone to public school. This school has been a real blessing to me and my family. It has helped me to strengthen my testimony and really work on my leadership skills. Thanks for all the support.
Your school is experiencing significant growth and I do not feel it is by accident. The youth of today need this restoration education. They need to know who they are and understand their power and their destiny. The Liahona needs to succeed and expand. As you face this next phase in your school it will be critical for you to build an administrative team that will enable this restoration education to reach the youth of this earth. I personally feel that the Lord will both assist you in building such a team and He will also direct people to you who can assist in this work. Thank you for what you do.
D. Tew Utah
I really want you to know that what you did for [me and my friends] that first year has effected us still and will continue to effect us for the rest of our lives. I don't want to even imagine what kind of lives we would be living right now if it wasn't for that opportunity we were all presented with....for me at that time, the way my life was going, DE was my last chance for school and for the church. I remember sitting at our graduation and just being overwhelmed with pride at the three of us. To come from those paths we were on and to find the rod again and to be guided by people such as yourselves, who despite the obnoxious teenagers we were, you still gave that support and that reason for life we were so desperately seeking.
A Williams Utah
Alexis just got the results of her ibts and she is doing the work equivalent of a 10th grader in the eighth month, not bad for a 8th grader. We attribute this to the Liahona program. Thank you so much.
D. & K. Bloxham
I think the tine will come when we will have to make a definite choice and have courage like we haven't known before. Fence sitting won't work anymore when the government tries to stop homeschooling by taking away job and college opportunities for those who don't go to their schools.
Thank you very much for your book, Threads of Liberty. It is exciting to know that there are patriots and real historians out there. I have had an affinity with your school of thought for many years. I thank you for your courage in telling the truth. "The truth will set one free." And you are truly the "watchman on the tower". I have a B.A. in communications from BYU, and I can tell you with some authority, that you have literary style that combines truth and succinctness. It is refreshing that there are students, thanks in part to you, that are imbued with a desire to accept real truth. May God bless you with continued intelligence.
O Herrmann Utah
I wish you had known [our daughter] Kara at the bottom so you could appreciate how far she has come, and what a huge difference you have made in the way she sees herself.
When we pulled her from school in 5th grade she couldn't read or write, she was totally convinced she was stupid - AND she didn't have a friend in the school. I went to the school for help. They sat down and looked at her file - pretty good grades, SATs in the toilet, and an I.Q. score in the 80's. They suggested that we accept the fact, that with an I.Q. that low, she would never be "normal."
We responded that there was no way her I.Q. was in the 80's and we requested a full battery of tests administered orally. They determined she had an I.Q. in the "above average" range, no learning disabilities, and a bank of knowledge extremely low for a kid her age. With that we pulled her from school and started the biggest, most frightening adventure in our lives. Homeschooling.
You all [at Liahona] have presented our children with heroes this year, people like Thomas Jefferson, Joan of Arc, Stephen Hawkings, Geoffrey Chaucer; but may we submit that the teachers and staff at the Liahona are our modern day heroes. People who take a godly perspective on education and dare to implement it. You will be heroes in our family for generations to come. May Heavenly Father bless you and your families as you have blessed ours.
Collins Family South Carolina
One of the main reasons we joined the Liahona School was because of the Super Trips. The opportunity to experience 'hands on' education and all that that experience teaches him, as well as the teaching moments with a real person (besides Mom) are such a blessing to our (Sometimes feeling isolated) lives. The opportunity to socialize with other young people just like him is a great advantage too. I realize there are other reasons than these to be grateful for your school. I thought I was integrating the gospel in the curriculum before, but now it is to an even greater extent. I now realize I was integrating mostly Christianity with a little Mormon Doctrine. Thank you again.
H Johnson California
The environment at Liahona is far more welcoming and wholesome than that of any other school I have ever attended. Most of the students here are forgiving, friendly, and reflect the light of Christ; I can feel the spirit emanating from some, and the teachers are inspired, knowledgeable, and caring. For the first time in my life, I am a name, a person, rather than student #901031. I have friends here who are not at all hostile nor judgmental as is the norm even among LDS students a the high school I attended. They are caring, compassionate, and willing to serve, which I admire. Most of all, I know you as teachers care about me and don't consider me just another student to deal with and forget. However, you know all too well what I mean when I write about the high school.
My daughter, Elizabeth, learned so many useful skills from her teachers at Liahona; note-taking, organizational skills, writing paper, test taking. With these skills she feels better prepared to succeed in college.
I want to thank you again for all your help in educating my youth. It's so good to see these young people graduate and moving on to college!
M. Kenoyer Washington
Our daughter, Kaitlyn, just took a college assessment test. She scored 97 out of 99 on the English portion! We'd like to thank Sister Willburn for preparing her so well. As parents, we're thankful that she does not dumb her students down. The hard work definitely pays off!
Thank you so much for bringing your students to [our theater]. They were so well-behaved and they left our theater clean.
House Manager L Campbell Scera Theater
Brent and Rick, You guys are soooooooooo funny!!! You really light up our home with a great spirit of fun, learning, and the words of the Lord. Than you so much. I could just come give you both a great big hug and I just love you guys. MY kids are loving it! .....you. Sis Willburn is great too.
Love from some of your fans
I wanted to thank you for a wonderful school program you offer. This year has been a great experience for my two children who have been taking the freshman class! They have enjoyed learning and watching the videos, and I feel like their testimonies have grown stronger. It is such a blessing to have this program that incorporates their religious beliefs as part of their education. Thank you teachers for all your efforts and great teaching! Please keep up the great work!
R Hill Virginia
Thank you for all you did.... you did more than was ever visible to us. But one thing is sure visible, the love you have for the students you teach and the spirit that is in your hearts. The youth you have taught have strong testimonies and are valiant. The Lord must have a great mission for you to fill in teaching the youth of the church. I'm so glad for your courage and strength in carrying out your mission.
N. Porter and family
I need you to know that if I didn't have this program, I might not have been as determined to just keep going. It has helped to keep me motivated...and angry! Every once-in-a-while, an opportunity comes for m children to expand upon spiritual things or even historical truths and I have been able to stand back and listen to my daughters blow people away! The pride I feel! And when I listen to them carry on a conversation with adults when I am passing them in the hallway of the chapel, I am confident in their abilities to "fight their battle".
The characters of my children have been shaped in part by your program. A large part! I pray that you will continue to teach for many, many years to come. Please, don't ever give up. I have to admit, the majority of what you teach is new to me, a public schooler. How did I graduate? I feel so stupid! But, I love it! I want to become as strong and as knowledgeable as my girls have become through your program. Maybe, someday I will be able to write an article like the one I have sent you today. I feel like I am in training for the war ahead and that it is just as important for me as a parent to re-learn everything correctly as it is for my children.
Thank you for the great conference you provided for the kids a few months ago. They loved it and came home with a stronger testimony of the things we hold dear to our hearts! We are so pleased with the positive education you are providing our children with, its just the best!!
C & B Burkett Pennsylvania
We as parents are really pleased and excited about this program. In fact, we know we would bot be able to home-school our three children without it.
Our children have all expressed how much they are learning and how much better it is than going to our loval schools. They all feel they have learned more in the past 3 weeks that they did all last year.
We just wanted to express our appreciation and our thanks for a job well done. We really like the way the Gospel Standards are incorporated into the learning process.
T & D LeBleue
People had so often asked why I homeschooled, I wrote out some whys and hung it on a huge bulletin board that dominates our kitchen. The first two "whys" are "So my children will know and love the Savior", and "So my children will love freedom and the U.S. Constitution and be willing to preserve both." Lots of friends, even members of the Church strongly questioned the second one! Thank you again, for all you do. To imagine that you do all that you do...for my family... fills me with gratitude and awe.
D Gibbon Canada
Emily, who as I seldom ever gets up [to bear her testimony], did get up and I must tell you I don't remember hearing a more eloquent testimony of a love for the founding Fathers and for our freedom, quoting parts of Patrick Henry's fiery speech, and thanking her Heavenly Father for these men. I was choked up just bu the power of her testimony alone, let alone that she was my daughter. The reason I tell you this story sir, is because it was you who lit this fire in her and taught her the principles of freedom and God's Law. I will ALWAYS be indebted to you. I promise you I will do all in my power to see that this love that she has for our freedom is nurtured.
Don Quixote is one of my heroes because he saw what should be, and insisted on it while almost all others called him crazy. That was an incredible feat you pulled off. It is the most memorable trip Malcolm says he has ever been on and he has been to over 13 European countries. And it was the most memorable because of the spiritual dimensions you all insisted on.
I was able to share my love for the Mayan and other bits of my mission with Chris & Malcolm as well as my love for scuba. And it was our 1st major memory making experience as anew family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
J, C & M
We just wanted to express our thanks to you once again for providing this wonderful school for our kids. After seeing on TV some of the activities going on in our public schools, it was enough to make you sick to your stomach. But more than that, it made us more grateful to be associated with wonderful people like you.
May Heavenly Father richly bless you for the good you are doing for His children.
C, J & S
I have had a wonderful year. And, I am looking forward to the next. I know some people who think homeschooling is a bunch of garbage. When I tell them about Liahona they are always very impressed. This year had been hard but fun. I was once 13 weeks behind you. My Mom has always tried to bring the gospel into our homeschooling. To have that continued with Liahona is just great. I am so grateful for a Mom who has always homeschooled me. The gospel has always been such a blessing in my life. So, I can't imagine school without it.
To everyone at Liahona who has made a difference in my life, Thank you! I learned to voice my opinion, whether or not others may think I am wrong. I learned to stand up for what I believe in, and not to be afraid of what would come as a result. I leanrecd to love and accept people for who they are. Most of all I learned to love knowledge. To continue to seek more knowledge everywhere I go, in everything I do, to never stop learning. Thank you for teaching me that I can make a difference. Thank you for making a difference in me. Everything in life shapes us, adds up to who we become. Big or small, it all becomes a part of who we are. I'm grateful that Liahona was a part of my life, and a part of who I have become. Again I thank you for all you've done and continue to do.
April 2009 New Era (submitted by a parent) page 30 paragraph 5:
"All things are spiritual...DON'T SEPARATE CHURCH, SEMINARY, OR INSTITUTE FROM SECULAR LEARNING... The more connections you can make, the more satisfying your learning will be in all areas of your life. Does the Lord know about geology and physics? He certainly does. Does He value good art, music, and literature? Of course, and so do His living prophets. Latter-Day Saint doctrine encompasses all truth. There is no truth you can learn that will not ultimately help you in your quest to become more like Jesus Christ and heavenly Father. Education is not just about making a living. It's about making life- now and eternally."
I have had several parents, including the Bishop, come to me and ask me what in the world am I doing with Ashlee? I have to blame it all on Liahona! What can I say, all I did was get her hooked up with you all. It all started with your LDSEHE visit to Williamsburg in 2004 or 2005. I never forgot the object lesson Brother DeGraff presented with the pipe cleaner and the glow stick symbolizing Reformation education vs. Restoration education. We were so deep in the mire of Reformation education at the time and I left that lecture knowing I had to make the change. It took me another year or so to do it and I have never regretted it, just the time it actually took me to do it. Up until that time, that particular year, I didn't even know there was anyone in the church doing this. As I listened to the Protestants tout their curriculums, I often wondered why LDS people were not forming a curriculum of their own. I was just ignorant--that is all that I can say.
T Carpenter Virginia
Its hard sometimes, to say the words that people need to hear,
And if you say it strong enough it might just bring a tear.
To you they might be simple words that just don't make a difference,
But to them it brings some happiness and hope that's in existence.
You never know what just two words could do to someone's heart,
In fact it is a puzzle piece, an often missing part.
And still I think it fondly when I listen to you speak,
You teach of much exactness and you teach us to be meek.
When people do not say it I know it hurts you, too;
And that is why I'm writing this. I want to say "Thank You."
I was completely overwhelmed with educating my 2 teens and 2 elementary students until I found your school. Not only are you lightening my load, but your teachers are everything I hoped for. They excell at balancing temporal education with its spiritual applications. Thank you for being a blessing in our lives. I'm certain my two younger children will enjoy your classes when they are old enough.
Thank you for all your efforts,
H Aguilar - Texas
Your opening talk to [the kids] at youth conference and how it lifted them so much, to be there and feel the spirit so much, to me its the greatest gift to have someone so inspiring in their lives. You talk about providential occurrences and people sent at certain times to play a roll, well I feel that about you! What you teach these kids is unmatchable, what you give them for the rest of their lives is priceless! They have a priceless education given to them! It takes more than parents to raise good kids and I'm thankful for your part of it!
I wanted to write you a note of appreciation to thank you for all you have done for me. Thanks for FIVE wonderful years of education! I have loved your Distance Learning program. It was perfect for me. I feel well educated and prepared for college. Thank you for your time, effort & sacrifice in making an education like Liahona available.
H Harkness Utah
On a daily basis we are reminded of the great challenges that face us as the world becomes a more difficult place to find morality and a voice of reason. We cannot thank you enough for providing the kind of education that's based on gospel principles and real values. It's a great comfort to know that what's being taught at school mirrors what we're trying to teach at home.
The Hunt family
I can't believe how time flies and we find ourselves at the end of our journey with you. We love you all greatly and are so grateful for what you have given us as a family. I have strong children of faith not only outside of church but in their schooling. They stand so strong because of what has been taught to them by Brother DeGraff and Sister Willburn.
Shelby is ready to move forward completely from the program even though she wishes to keep Sister Willburn forever. Because of Sister Willburn, Shelby wants to be a Literature major. She has grammar skills like no other and corrects the newspaper for fun. This year she was asked to edit a piece for a well known local newspaper. Our favorite thing that Sister Willburn taught us was the use of logical fallacies. This alone has opened our eyes so wide to the truth, its amazing.
With much gratitude and love.
Thank you for managing to maintain a school that holds up the church's standards. Thank you for having enough faith in my "new beginning" that you were willing to accept me into the Liahona family. I know that thanks to you and Brother DeGraff the students who attend this school will grow up to change the world whether or not it's big or small. Thank you for a second chance at life, I promise I will not waste it.
M Kerbs Utah
I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done for me. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be in this school. You and Bro Degraff have taught me things I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. You have allowed me to grow as a person and develop skills I wouldn't have imagined. I always wanted to make a change but it wasn't until Liahona that a fire was born in me to make it happen. I know that there are many things I have to learn but I feel that with God's help I can accomplish what I want.
H Neyra Utah
The variety of teaching styles you each possess is refreshing and in and of itself, instructive for the students. To each of you: Thank you for engaging and inspiring class lectures. Thank you for the thoughtful curriculum content and study materials. Thank you for providing meaningful assignments. Thank you for naturally-occurring frequent and quality review sessions. Thank you for giving tests which are themselves, a learning process, then discussing appropriate answers to test questions following the testing exercise. Thank you for being demanding and requiring the students to think and reason and seek.
Liahona staff has been kind and helpful answering our questions and acclimating us to this new type of educational experience. The new website is easily navigated, and Chase regularly utilizes The Scoop, particularly the Daily Overview section. We appreciate your attention to so many details that make the distance education program so accessible.
J & W Larson Utah
I just want to say thank you for the effort and commitment you made to basketball this year. I am sure there are many other activities you could make priorities, and sports are not the only worthwhile priority.
You were most likely not watching Matthew as closely as we were after the Panguitch game. He fouled out with about 2 minutes to play and walked to the end of the bench, knowing his career was over. The Rich team was waiting just off court to come on for their warm-ups. When the game finally ended, Matthew stayed at the end of the bench and about had the Rich team gave him a pat on the back or shoulder as they came on the court.
He stood at the end of the court for about 2 minutes just watching the teams, the arena, and the crowd. Then he walked toward the locker room, stopped and turned for one last look before heading in to change. I am grateful that he has that memory of his senior season.
I came away very impressed with 1A basketball, not because it has the best athletes but because it is more what high school athletics should be. We sat and cheered on White Horse and Rich in their games. a White Horse fan wished us good luck as they left one of their games. The brother of one of the post players for Green River stopped Matthew and told him he played a great game, and as we left yesterday the coach from Wasatch Academy stopped Matthew and told him it was an honor playing against him this year.
So, while you did not decide to join UHSAA basketball for Matthew, I do want to thank you for providing a wonderful memory for him.
M Feinauer Utah
When I heard this quote in the documentary made for TV called "From Earth to Moon", produced by Tom Hanks, I just felt I had to write a note. The quote that inspired me to write is, "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, bu a fire to be lighted," Plutarch. Not everything that one ought to know can be taught by others, but if one is inspired to seek knowledge, they can continue to learn forever.
I just wanted to write you a quick note to thank you for speaking at the LDSEHE Home Education Conference this year.
As always, your classes are well received and appreciated. The youth love your style and approach and are always so excited to hear that you are coming to the conference! The adults also appreciate your experiences and expertise. I had one parent tell me that your class on World History gave her the exact help she was looking for. She has loved teaching American History because she could always pull in a "restoration perspective." She had been feeling like she needed to teach World History to her children, but had not been too excited about it because she felt like she would be missing that gospel element. However, after attending your class, she said "I know exactly what I want to do with World History!"
It is these kinds of personal, life touching experiences that motivate us to put a conference like this together! Thanks for coming and changing lives!
K Wilson Virginia
Liahona inspires kids to dress well, to get good grades, and to do well in school because learning is fun and interesting. Liahona teaches kids discipline by helping them discover and accept who they are and catch a vision of what they can become. Then, Liahona encourages and motivates them to innovate, to dream big, and strive to achieve their goals.
You may not even know that this is what you are doing, but it is! The example that you and Brent give is where it begins and it trickles down from there through the staff and to the students. You’ve created an amazing culture that and that is what is so contagious. You’re creating a generation of entrepreneurs who will be tomorrow’s leaders, tomorrow’s employers; they’re going to shape our future. Way to go! Thank you!!!
I just want to take a minute to say Thank You for the time, effort and zeal that you put into your work for your students at home and throughout the world. I understand a bit on how hard it is to put the feelings and passion that is in one's heart out in such a way that hopefully this generation can understand it an have it impact their lives in such a way that they make some key decisions in their own lives...Thank You for the time and effort you do in preparing your classes. I am edified a lot and always taught.
Mountain Home, Idaho
I'm a Freshman DE student and I love your class so much!! I used to hate history and everything about it because I did it by the textbook. *Yawn* I remember when I was younger that I would get so bored by history that I fell asleep on te book and got my face stuck to the pages. I also wanted to thank you for sharing so many important past and current events with us. My public schooled friends, other parents, and my seminary teacher are always so amazed with how much I know about what's going on and what has already happened.
Quotes by Hitler and Others
Definition of the Family
Fathers of Israel - Benson
Letter from Student
Quotes on Democracy
Quotes - President Kimball - Family Prayer
Role of America - Teachings of Prophets
Trials and Faith Quote
Comments from parents;
Hi to whom it may concern!
I just want to say ...I love you guys! Thanks for being funny. The more I get to know and understand the inner workings of Liahona, the happier I am. Thank you for great teachers, student discussion boards, a lovely building, nice students, happy administrators, a good website, videoing classes, supporting family, not being public school, working with us, practicing true education principles, helping my kids feel safe, being brave and creating this kind of eduction! Ya'll are awesome!!! Have a great weekend
Just a positive note from a grateful mom...
I was completely overwhelmed with educating my 2 teens and 2 elementary
students until I found your school. Not only are you lightening my load,
but your teachers are everything I hoped for. They excel at balancing
temporal education with its spiritual applications. Thank you for being a
blessing in our lives. I'm certain my two younger children will enjoy your
classes when they are old enough.
Thank you for all your efforts,
I have thought a lot about Liahona lately and my heart fills to overflowing when I realize the education you have given my children and even sad to say myself! Its because of you that our whole family are better people with a very much expanded view of our country and our Heavenly Father's plan in every event that has taken place.
Its amazing when its taught in truth how it makes so much sense and there's a true desire to learn not a required one.
That is so rewarding to us as parents to know that our children don't just go through the pains of school like I did, they actually love to learn and they retain it, and I know its because of the way you teach it!
I have a brother who travels around the state with a Milestones of Freedom program where participants learn principles of freedom and get to experience a mini mock citizenship process. He frequently takes the program to schools. A couple of weeks ago he was at an elementary school in Vernal. He took a soldier with him who talked about her experiences as a soldier and what it means to her to defend her country. At the end of the program, the principal gave the students the oath of citizenship. She ended with , "so help me..." and just trailed off. Then they all sang a patriotic song. During the song the soldier asked my brother if she could say a few more words after the song. She did, and I will try to paraphrase , but I know I won't do it justice. She said, "When I took my oath to defend my country, I did it in the name of God. When you took your oath just now, there was a word left off by your principal. The real words are, 'so help me God.' Many people say that George Washington is the father of our country, but God is the real father of this country. As a soldier, that is who I serve. And any real soldier knows that that is who we serve..." I asked my brother what the principal did and he said that she left - went out into the hall.
I thought that story was incredible. He said that it isn't remotely incredible to him. He sees it all over the state. People are so afraid to even talk about God - even people who worship Him. And that fear is most apparent in our public schools. Thank you for practicing our freedom of speech to do as Nephi said in 2Ne 25:26, "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." Thank you for Liahona!!
My son actually graduated last year and began community college but he liked Brother DeGraff's so much that he begged us to let him take the class just one more year... IT's a shame that Brother DeGraff can't clone himself and teach in every high school and college in America. He really is the BEST history teacher I have ever met.
I can't believe how time flies and we find ourselves at the end of our journey with you. We love you all greatly and are so grateful for what you have given us as a family. I have strong children of faith not only outside of church but in their schooling. They stand so strong because of what has been taught to them by Brother DeGraff and Sister Wilburn.
Shelby is ready to move forward completely from the program even though she wishes to keep Sister Wilburn forever. Because of Sister Wilburn, Shelby wants to be a Literature Major. She has grammar skills like no other and corrects the newspaper for fun. This year she was asked to edit a piece for a well known local newspaper. Our favorite thing that Sister Wilburn taught us was the use of logical fallacies. This alone has opened our eyes so wide to the truth, its amazing. It has also ruined several movies for us. LOL. But we love it.
Kai needs to finish out the school year with Sister Wilburn. He wants to make sure he has all she has to offer before moving forward. Kai's love of history and seeing the hand of providence throughout time has brought him great joy and a love for World War II vets. He has had many great experiences with this generation and they love to hear him bear his testimony because they have a beautiful spiritual connection. Kai of course wants to be a history major and who knows, maybe he could come to Liahona in a few years and help Brother DeGraff!
Thanks for giving us the spirit everyday in our school. Thanks for the hours of laughter mostly at Brother Degraff's expense. We will never look at axes or eyeglasses the same. Thank you for the awesome quotes that re-enforced our faith and led us to know that we had made the right decision to homeschool our children. In a nutshell you saved us. How do you properly thank some one for that ?! The best we know how is to pay it forward and I believe my children will because of their education.
This is not good bye forever, we still have one more who is not quite old enough for Liahona. So nobody better think about retiring. I need you.
With much gratitude and love.