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  1. 5 points
    Vort

    Long fasting: My first three experiences

    A couple of years back, I wrote my thoughts on what I called "long fasting". I decided to start experimenting with it this year, and it has resulted in some insights and thoughts that I decided might be profitable to share with this forum. I'm eager to avoid the hypocrisy condemned by the Lord in Matthew 6:16: Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. I'm mostly anonymous here, so I'm comfortable talking about these experiences. In that anonymous sense, I thought I'd jot down some notes about such fasts on this thread. (Note: Those who disagree with the entire premise or otherwise just don't like this topic are of course welcome to voice that viewpoint. I would ask that, after voicing disapproval, those folks don't continue bothering to read the thread. I think it would be better for all parties if those who dislike the topic just ignore it.) To begin, I want no one mistaking my meaning. Here are a few up-front disclaimers that I feel compelled to include: First, the leaders of the kingdom of God, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have told us what constitutes a "fast": 24 hours without food or water, comprising two consecutive skipped meals (if you live on a three-meal-per-day schedule). This is what we might call the canonical fast; I prefer to use the term ecclesiastical or church fast. If you want to "fast" as the modern prophets have urged us to do, this is what they mean. As far as I know, this is all they mean. Second, I am not an expert of any sort in fasting. What I'm doing in this thread is sharing my experiences and insights. That is all. I'm not a guru, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about these things, and I'm not qualified to give expert advice. Third, I am not saying that a long fast is to be used instead of an ecclesiastical fast, that it replaces or is better than an ecclesiastical fast. That is manifestly not my place; such a pronouncement would come through the ordained leadership of the Restored Church, or on a personal level through the Holy Ghost, and certainly not from some guy on the internet. Fourth, I am not encouraging anyone to try long fasting. I have seen some effects, perhaps beneficial, in my still-nascent efforts. These are meant to be shared and received anecdotally. If you are in good health and think that long fasting might be interesting to try, I would not discourage you from doing so. But please do not mistake this for encouragement. It is not. Fifth, I do believe that there is a relatively small segment of the population who ought not try long fasting, for fear it could damage their health or the health of those depending on them. The largest of these groups might be pregnant women and nursing mothers. Not only are they themselves vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, but their babies, whether pre- or post-natal, might be adversely affected by their mothers' lack. A second group that ought to exert caution in this area is those with Type I diabetes, for what I assume are obvious reasons. This goes for anyone else with blood imbalances or highly restricted dietary concerns. Thirdly, if you suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, doing an extended fast seems to me tremendously unwise. If you were my son or daughter, I would urge (read: beg) you not to try this. The last group I would explicitly list is those in very frail health. If anyone in any of the above-named groups wanted to try long fasting, I would urge them to do so only under the care and guidance of a physician. (And given the US physicians' reflexively conservative approach to literally anything and everything having to do with health management, I doubt there are two dozen physicians in the entire country that would agree to overseeing a long fast in any patient, much less someone in the above-mentioned groups. But enough of my grousing.) Sixth, just FYI, long fasting does not include abstaining from water. To repeat: Long fasting does not include abstaining from water. If you want to fold a church fast into a long fast, then you would abstain from water during that "church fast" period. Otherwise, those who are long fasting should take special care to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Seventh and last, if anyone actually wants to experiment with long fasting, I would encourage him or her to study and ponder Mosiah 4:27. We should not foolishly overextend ourselves. If you have never done a long fast before, then for heaven's sake, don't decide to quit eating for two weeks! Use some common sense. If any of this sounds interesting, I invite you to read this thread and participate to the extent you want to. I'll be adding posts as I go. I originally intended to include everything in one post, but that would make such a monster post that I think it's better to break it up into individual parts. FINAL DISCLAIMER: I'm very busy at work, and I can't spend all day Sunday typing up this thread, so it might take me days or weeks to write about my experiences. If no one cares, then I won't bother, but I'm guessing at least a few people will want to hear me, if out of nothing else than sheer curiosity.
  2. 5 points
    SilentOne

    Original Mission

    David A. Bednar, "Called to the Work" (Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1, 2017)
  3. 5 points
    NeedleinA

    The Tolerance of the Church

    My contribution from 'For the Strength of Youth':
  4. 4 points
    SilentOne

    Countdown to Easter

    “And so we see that Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light that quickens our understanding, because his teachings and his example illuminate our path, and because his power persuades us to do good.” – Dallin H. Oaks, October 1987
  5. 4 points
    Jane_Doe

    President Nelson vaccinated

    An interesting update on this front: The new Church Handbook updates strongly encourages vaccination and advises that un-vaccinated missionaries will most likely serve in their home countries. https://www.deseret.com/faith/2021/3/31/22359997/vaccinations-protect-health-and-preserve-life-latter-day-saint-handbook-update-mormon-lds While neither of these are really new updates (the Church has been pro-vaccine for decades), it is a very potent and timely reminder.
  6. 4 points
    NeuroTypical

    President Nelson vaccinated

    Right here: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-leaders-covid-19-vaccine Doesn't make sense. How don't those two statements make sense? The full quotes, in context: As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization. Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs. "We're urging you, not commanding you. Check with your doctor and make your decision." Just about everyone should get the vaccination, but not everybody. Some folks have medically diagnosed contraindications, for example.
  7. 4 points
    Carborendum

    The Tolerance of the Church

    I admitted as much. I partially disagree. It is not about a single cue. It is when multiple cues all come together that the level of certainty rises. Also, see below. I'm certain that may be true. I think you misunderstood my words. Never said I was. I actually said the opposite: No such thing as 100% certain. You may be right that certain signals are simply "rebellion". But what is rebellion nowadays characterized by? I'd venture to say that for a conservative, LDS family a major display of rebellion would be to join in with the LGBT lifestyle. The extreme would be to say "I'm not only supporting them, I AM one." Now, I'll prepare a response for the inevitable accusations about people being born that way or not. MY POSITION: I think there is a sliding scale.
  8. 4 points
    Ironhold

    Chesterton's Fence

    The newspaper I write for is rather short-handed even on a good day, so two nights a week I do deliveries in order to help pick up the slack. I often have a parent or someone else riding shotgun with me, both to teach them my route and because being together in a car for a few hours is a chance to talk in private. There have been more than a few instances where someone insisted on asking why I made this stop before that stop, why I used the route I used, and so on. "I did a major re-adjustment of my route so that I could factor in delivering newspapers to the schools during the school year. There are three schools along this seemingly indirect route between A and B, and it has the advantage of helping me avoid what is often a busy intersection." "Traffic flow at this particular intersection is such that I do multiple right turns in a row when servicing this neighborhood and simply loop around rather than attempting to turn left." "Deer live along this road, which is why I usually go below the speed limit when I take it." "I typically park *here* when servicing that business over there because the space most directly in front of it is a loading zone that is sometimes in use." "Even though the customer wants their paper in a specific slot on their mailbox, the shoulder of this road is crumbling into the drainage ditch and so it's not safe to actually pull up right next to it." Things like that. Usually, after a night or two of riding with me, they understand why I do what I do.
  9. 3 points
    Backroads

    President Nelson vaccinated

    It's my personal random thoughts that this is, at least in small part, a stand in what sometimes seems like a heck of a lot of vaccine confusion. Similar in tone with from when the church made a stand against energy healing, etc. I have witnessed a subset of church members who are very much into natural healing to the point it's a religion in itself. I've seen church members condemning those who do vaccinate, stating they're praying the church bans vaccines, etc. A small group, to be sure, but it's out there.
  10. 3 points
    Vort

    Boring General Conference

    Quite the opposite. I have been marveling at the talks given this session.
  11. 3 points
    This comic came out like 8 years ago. I feel it's relevant across all sorts of software security systems.
  12. 3 points
    Vort

    Countdown to Easter

    Interesting and meaningful wording. Based on the description in Moses, we as a Church body often say that Jehovah "volunteered" for the position, as if the Father held an open tryout to cast the part, received two affirmatives, and chose between them. This is understandable but not accurate. On reflection, would the Father truly have made the central element in his plan of salvation for countless children hinge on who might raise his hand when asked who wants to be The Guy? God's way is to call people to action and allow them to accept or reject, not ask for help and canvass the results.
  13. 3 points
    NeuroTypical

    mass shootings

    Oh indeed. If you ever want to know if someone talking about gun control is serious and worth listening to, ask them how their proposals will help things in St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, and Chicago. If they do not have a ready answer, you can tell they are idea-heavy and information-light. Zeal without knowledge is useless at least, dangerous and destructive at most.
  14. 3 points
    Vort

    Long fasting: My first three experiences

    FIRST LONG FAST DAY 0: THURSDAY NEW YEAR'S EVE 2020 I had been thinking since November, maybe earlier, that the new year provided me with a great excuse to try a long fast. So on December 31, I let my lovely bride know of the insanity I was about to embrace and joined my family in eating cookies and popcorn and drinking ginger ale & sherbet. I stopped eating at around 11:30 pm, and went to bed about two hours later, when the festivities had subsided. At 1:15 am, I weighed myself to get a baseline: 100.4 kg (221.3 lbs). This was the first time in my life that I had ever weighed myself and found the number in triple digits. Ugh. Too much ice cream punch. My plan was simply to fast until I didn't feel like fasting any more. No goals of how many days, no strategizing, no preparing myself to be deprived just so that I could "score" a bigger number. This was not a competition, and this was certainly not about setting records or impressing anyone; only my wife and a brother knew, and eventually my children because, you know, Daddy wasn't eating anything at dinner for days at a time. DAY 1: FRIDAY 1 JANUARY 2021 Paying close attention to my reactions. This seemed very much like any other normal Fast Sunday-type fast. Since I wasn't thirsty (I often don't get thirsty when I don't eat), I just went ahead and did a "full" fast of both food and water. I did drink some water just before going to bed. At 11:40 pm, I weighed 98.3 kg (216.7 lbs), more than two kg (almost five pounds) down from my starting weight. (If you believe my scale is that accurate. Which you shouldn't.) Physical: No major problems Spiritual: Nothing DAY 2: SATURDAY 2 JANUARY 2021 Second day of fasting, but I'm drinking water. It wasn't a bad day. True, my stomach kept informing me that it was empty and wanted to eat. But honestly, it was more like a craving for food, the way you might get a craving for your favorite candy bar or sugary cereal. It was not exactly unpleasant, mostly just irritatingly distracting. Did some work around the house, and wasn't too tired. I stopped drinking water in the early afternoon for Fast Sunday the next day. At 11:15 pm, I weighed 97 kg (213.8 lbs), and had now fasted longer than I ever had before in my life. Physical: No major problems Spiritual: Nothing DAY 3: SUNDAY 3 JANUARY 2021 Fast Sunday. I had been looking forward to Sunday to sort of test out if my fast was having any discernible spiritual effect. I was frankly disappointed that I was no more inspired than usual; if anything, I felt less inspired. But I decided that my fast (overall, not for Sunday specifically) was being done essentially for selfish, non-spiritual purposes, so my intent was probably not what the Savior would have for a fast. Not sure how to repent of that, since I openly acknowledged going into this that it was an experiment and a way to determine if I could build some physical fortitude for fasting. That may not be meek and humble, but it's not prideful, and it is sincere. "Hunger" (not real hunger, which most of us have probably never experienced, but more like my stomach complaining that it's empty) always present and intruding into my experiences and thoughts. I found myself focusing to a large degree on food. Weird. Took a two-hour nap after Church. Started drinking water again after Church. At 11:30 pm I weighed 95.3 kg (210.1 lbs), a full ten pounds lighter than I had been three nights previously. Physical: Hunger and fatigue, nothing bad Spiritual: Nothing DAY 4: MONDAY 4 JANUARY 2021 Back to work, which of course is still home. I was more distractible than usual, which is pretty bad. I think I accomplished somewhat less than usual, but the quality of my work was okay. Bothered all the time by my stomach's insistence on telling me it's empty and on my brain's insistence on fantasizing about food. This is surely a matter of exposure and self-discipline. Anyway, the day went well enough, but I was getting impatient and felt tired. I took a two-hour nap in the middle of the afternoon (when my eastern seaboard work mates were mostly off work), and that helped. Feeling not exactly weak, but drained all the time. Going up and down the two short flights of stairs between my office upstairs and our living and kitchen area downstairs was becoming a slow process. At 7:30 I weighed 94.3 kg (207.9 lbs). Went to bed shortly thereafter. Physical: Hunger, fatigue, and thinking about food a lot Spiritual: Nothing DAY 5: TUESDAY 5 JANUARY 2021 I was not reaching my physical limit to endure the fast, but I was seriously considering whether it was worth continuing. My focus on my hoped-for outcomes and my determination to do this not just once or twice, but many times until I found if there was anything to learn, was being overshadowed by my getting tired of having to put up with the physical and psychological inconveniences. I confess I was disappointed in the utter lack of spirituality that accompanied my efforts. Things went fine, just more of the same from Monday. I think I probably took a nap this day, too. By evening, I knew I was going to break my fast soon. I was weak, tired, somewhat light-headed, achy, and I had had it with putting up with the incessant complaining of my GI tract. I had to decide whether to eat before bedtime or break my fast at breakfast, deciding on the latter. I went to bed very late. It was a quarter past midnight (so technically Wednesday) when I weighed myself before bed: 93.3 kg (205.7 lbs). Physical: Going downhill Spiritual: Nothing DAY 6: WEDNESDAY 6 JANUARY 2021 I slept very, very badly. At 5:00 am, I finally got up and decided to break my fast with a small bowl of Cream of Wheat and a small glass of orange juice at 5:15 am. I then went and worked for a while, and ended up back in bed, where I slept until 10. Physical: Drained but feeling okay after breaking my fast Spiritual: Nothing Total fast time: Fasting time: 125 hours 30 minutes ± 15 minutes (5 days, 5.5 hours ± 15 minutes) AFTERMATH My physical condition returned to normal after about a day. My weight rose over the next week, very herky-jerky, up and down, averaging about a pound and a half gain per day. One of the things I had wanted to try was to keep my same (bad) eating habits and diet, and see if the fast itself would change either or both of those things. It did not. By the end of the month I was again in the high 90 kg range, close to where I had started. CONCLUSION AND RETROSPECTIVE I decided in March that I had been dehydrated for basically the entire fasting period in my first (January) fast. As I said, I tend not to get thirsty when I'm fasting. In this case, I think that worked against me. I didn't pee much, and when I did it was always very dark. I'll bet that 20-25% of my weight loss was just water weight, even though I was drinking water almost the whole time. I think that dehydration greatly increased my discomfort. Lesson learned: When doing an extended fast, STAY HYDRATED. Also, after about Day 2, no poop! I have to say, that was actually kind of nice. I did what I had set out to do. In that sense, it was a successful fast. And I do consider it successful; I basically accomplished what I wanted to do, and while I did not experience all that I had hoped I would, I at least got a sort of physical baseline for how my body reacts to an extended multiday fast. I'm not overly spiritual by nature, and my spiritual experiences (which do indeed happen) tend to come only after long periods of effort or patient waiting.
  15. 3 points
    Vort

    The Three Witnesses see sacred items

    The sheepskin slips.
  16. 3 points
    I did some long fasts on my mission. 48, 72, & an 84 hour fast without food or water. After the 2nd day your arent even hungry anymore, just weak. It certainly makes you closer to the spirit. And on the 84 hour fast my companion & I had the opportunity to give a blessing on a gentleman with an illness. Never felt the spirit stronger in my life. Currently, I'm overweight and the wife has imposed a strict Ketone diet. The human body can endure much. God was not messing around when He made man. Check out the book Unbroken. What's even crazier is that the pregnant women in concentration camps gave birth to healthy babies.
  17. 3 points
    mordorbund

    The Three Witnesses see sacred items

    Both David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery testify that they saw other objects. From Whitmer's account: You can read more about the witnesses' testimonies in Richard Lloyd Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses. From the verses you quote, it's assumed that the Lord gave the brother the interpreters upon the mount.
  18. 3 points
    scottyg

    The Tolerance of the Church

    I agree. The same should go for the young men administering the sacrament. However, sometimes we need to reach out and be more concerned for the safety and well-being of the one over the ninety and nine. We have a less-active young man who only wears a blue shirt when he comes to church. If he comes, and says he is worthy, we allow him to bless the sacrament with the others who are in white shirts. Now that doesn't mean that we should always be catering to the one, or lower our standards long-term/permanently. But, this sister in particular perhaps needs to be in the temple as it is likely the best thing to prevent her from going down a path that will not lead to happiness. If she fades away later in life, she can't say that she wasn't given every opportunity. Sometimes bending the standard down a bit to help others reach it is the best route to take. Then once they do, the spirit has an opportunity to lift them up higher up. These cases truly are exceptions though, and many latter-day saints that I see day to day need to stop trying to make themselves into an exception.
  19. 3 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Demands of Justice

    In my view: We generally understand that the plan of salvation was primarily an instructional/rehabilitative exercise; it is becoming increasingly singular to me that we so often distill the Atonement down into terms of crime and punishment. To me, “Justice” isn’t just some abstract notion of behaviorally-linked credits and debits that attaches to a particular perpetrator and which officious third parties with a positive balance can breeze in and arbitrarily declare “paid in full”. “Justice”, in its fullest sense, has to do with the perpetrator’s reconciliation to the aggrieved parties, and to the God who healed the perpetrator’s victims and offers to heal the perpetrator himself. Where there is no reconciliation—repentance—there is no justice; no matter how deeply a third party may have voluntarily suffered on the perpetrator’s behalf. Christ, to my mind, absolutely did suffer for the sins of everyone whether they accept His offering or not—if He didn’t, then a damned soul might legitimately argue that “the fix was in” from the beginning and that they never really had a chance at salvation (it’s the same reason Adam and Eve had to be created in a perfect state and then voluntarily fall; rather than being created as fallen creatures from the get-go). But Christ’s suffering itself has no practical benefit for us unless or until it draws us to Him and we accept that suffering—“when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed”. “It was done, and it was done for you,” Isaiah says—“so what are you gonna do about it?”
  20. 3 points
    If you want the original video: https://twitter.com/CurtisHouck/status/1372941569834299398 Now, full disclosure: Opining about how 70+ year olds move about, was stupid when the prior president was president, and it's stupid when the current president is president. Dumb then, dumb now. The value of this story, is in how people point mocking fingers of scorn and laughter at someone in one situation, and defend someone else in the exact same situtaion. I think they call that hypocrisy, or at least a double-standard. X for me, not for thee. It's one way you can tell if someone's opinion is worth listening to, or not.
  21. 3 points
    Vort

    Demands of Justice

    Your wording suggests that Justice is an animate being of some sort. It is not. It is a debt that must be paid, a hole that must be filled if progress is to continue. Christ pays that debt for all who will accept his payment. My understanding is that Christ's atonement for sin is of no effect for those who will not accept it.
  22. 3 points
    Vort

    Current Event - Stairs strike back

    BIDEN ON TRUMP: “Look at how he steps and look at how I step. Watch how I run up ramps and he stumbles down ramps. Come on.” You are ignoring the obvious reason for conservatives taking note of Biden's bumbling and stumbling. He brought it on himself. Why are you not decrying Biden's undisguised hypocrisy? More importantly, why are you not decrying the undisguised partisan hypocrisy of OUR NEWS AGENCIES?
  23. 3 points
    Anddenex

    Demands of Justice

    The best explanation, in my opinion, is Elder Packer's metaphor "The Mediator." 1) Law 2) Breaking Law 3) Atonement 4) Covenanted Path (Remember all will receive the covenant this life or the next) 5) Accept or Reject Covenant 6) Reward I agree with @Carborendum that the Atonement covers "All" except for the "Sons of Perdition." This is why we have three degrees of glory. There is no payment twice, we simply accept the initial payment, and if not, then the original law is now upon us again. We have earthly laws that highlight this, it's called probation. A person breaks the law and the demands of that law are upon the individual. At this moment, a person is free (so to speak) when on probation with reporting laws and meetings. As long as that person commits, agrees, and doesn't stray from his probationary terms the individual remains free. If the individual breaks the agreement, then the original law acts upon them. The original law receives her own, according to the laws given, and thus can ask no more. The debt is paid, and the mediator is received. The mediator can only mediate as long as we adhere to the given agreement, the moment the individual rejects the agreement, then the original law will be enacted and punishment received. There is no double payment. This is why I like the term "Yoked." We are yoked with Christ, as long as we continue on his path. The moment we break that "yoke" is the moment we are no longer within the mediated path, and the original law will enact its due accounting.
  24. 3 points
    Probably because the right has had enough of the left and it's double standards. They are getting pointed out and I see no issue with that at all.
  25. 3 points
    Hello

    Sealing/Cancelation Question

    Update. We received the letter that the cancellation was granted prior to the sealing! Yay.