Day Two of My Journey to TJED Land or Learning From Youth and Their Leadership Education

I finally have time to post about day two of my journey to TJED Land last summer.

Last summer my seven children and I journeyed to TJED Land, aka southern Utah, for my oldest son to go to Youth for Freedom, a summer camp for leadership ed youth. While he
went and played we stayed and played at our cousins’ home in St.
George. On Day Two of our visit, my sister-in-law Sally said to me
that her neighbor was going to a rest home and had invited her to
come and take whatever books on her shelf she wanted. Oooh, the
possibility of free classics tantalized us and off we went next door.

So while we were perusing the shelves, Sally saw one about Abraham Lincoln. “Hmmm, Abraham Lincoln and His Age. You know, .my
friend’s son wrote a paper for his TJYC (Thomas Jefferson
Youth Certification) class all about Abraham Lincoln and how he
ruined our country.”

“Really?” I asked. “I want to read that!” It sounds overly dramatic, but in all honesty, years had prepared me for this moment. A long time ago we had a neighbor
who told my husband about how Lincoln was wrong in forcing the
seceding states back into the union. At the time it all seemed too
nebulous and complicated for me. I put the idea on a mental shelf.
Then over a year ago, I watched a video by Stephen Pratt on his web site. He said Lincoln did some things that
were unconstitutional during the Civil War, like suspend the writ of
habeus corpus. Hmmm, I thought. Stephen said that Lincoln’s actions
at this time created the Second Founding of America. Then my friend
Shauna read a book about Lincoln and told me that the Civil War wasn’t
about slavery, it was about the tariff. Another thing that has
piqued my interest in the Civil War was that ever since I’ve studied
the idea of generations and turnings from the book The Fourth
Turning, I have been curious as to why there was no hero generation
during the crisis of the Civil War.

So I read this young man’s paper and that was the beginning of answers starting to come to me. His paper opened my eyes and helped me to see things about history I haven’t seen before. It
challenged my assumptions and got me thinking, embarking me on my own
study of Lincoln and the ideas of democracy, republic, freedom,
slavery, and war. This is exciting, to feel that I, and other adults,
can learn from the fruits of the leadership education of the youth in
our communities.

(This is a photo of my son and some of his TJYC classmates at his “graduation,” reading his summary of what he learned during his TJYC course.)

As this young man states at the beginning of his paper, “If we do not know our history, and if we do not defend the truth of what has actually happened in the past, then ignorant or
even evil men will create a fictional history that will justify their
plans exerting more control over us or further restricting our

We will be discussing this paper for an online colloquium. If you would like to join us, then please send me a message here on this network and I will send you the paper. We will be discussing it on Tuesday October 26 at 7 PM MDT.

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