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  1. 7 points
    Guess I'm just a recalcitrant stick-in-the-mud. I can't help raining on the joyless parade of those who bemoan 2020 as "Worst Year EVAR". Well, I actually COULD keep myself from snarky comments; I just choose not to. But no need now! The Babylon Bee has done it for me! https://babylonbee.com/news/2020-rated-worst-year-ever-provided-you-never-lived-at-any-other-time-in-history
  2. 7 points
    MrShorty

    Christmas Star

    Not as good as @NeuroTypical got, but here's one I got through my telescope. Difficult to get a good, single frame shot. Either overexpose Jupiter or underexpose Saturn. Atmosphere was all wobbly and noisy, too. But, still, you don't get to see two gas giants in the same telescopic field of view very often.
  3. 5 points
    Sounds like you're looking for a variation on Morton's Fork. I don't think that's what the manuals are describing though. We belong to a global church with millions of members. There are bound to be exceptional circumstances. The question as I see it is whether a given circumstance warrants an exception to some principle. I can't find the quote (maybe I can get an assist) but Elder Oaks mentioned in an interview that as general authorities they share general counsel to the Church which we then go and implement in our specific instances. For the first example you share, the Church is teaching "this is the general counsel, if you are a special exception then you had better speak with God about whether this still applies to you." The individual is to have a council meeting with God. Just like any other council meeting counsel is offered, objections are freely raised, and direction is given. From my own experience, I've learned to embrace President Monson's love for the Mark Twain line, "you can't pray a lie." If I share with God the conflict I have over selfish reasons, I'm unable to carry my request very far. If, in the course of such counsel the Lord verifies that your specific case is an exception, then that is for you only and is not to be turned into a general principle. Not knowing any different, I assume the Lord directed Steve Young to forego his priesthood responsibility to serve a full-time mission. But that doesn't relieve me of such a duty. That said, I think Steve Young is the exception. I've had a few occasions where I've voiced my concerns and the general counsel has been reiterated as applying to my circumstance. "Steve Young played football instead of serving a mission!" "I'm not trying to figure out what God wants from Steve Young. I want to know what God wants from me!" This is a conversation I'm starting with my teenage children. Reflecting on my own life I noticed in grade school that people outside the Church had different standards than my family. As a teen I was confused that other members of the Church had different standards from my family. After graduation I was no longer confused but recognized that other members have different standards than I do. I've shared these reflections with my children so they can be prepared to uphold family standards when they see these differences. As for tithing, or energy drinks, or dating age, you have standards for your family. If it's something you're flexible on you can let you children participate in the council process, being sure to invite God in. If it's not flexible, you let them know that this is a family standard and train them to listen to God's guidance as they develop more autonomy. In a class discussion for teens, teach them what I just wrote - that it's a decision their parents can help them with as they try to ascertain God's will. If it's adults - I trust that we're all mature enough to be comfortable with our choices. Again, I don't particularly care what Brother Young has agreed with God to do.
  4. 5 points
    90% of the conversations on this page make me feel like I'm missing some inside joke.
  5. 5 points
    Just_A_Guy

    I have been deceived

    There are also a surprising number of Church members who seem to have some sort of vendetta against Utah. I get that modern Utah life is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine. But when you can’t abide the idea of the LDS hymn book containing *any* hymn celebrating/giving thanks for the safety and freedom and prosperity that the early Saints found in the mountains (which is ultimately what #37 builds up to) . . . that frankly baffles me. And I don’t understand this rage to drop stuff from the hymnal. If you don’t like a hymn, don’t sing it! Don’t insist that the rest of the Church throw it down the memory hole. Other churches have hymnals that are far thicker than our own . . .
  6. 5 points
    Fether

    Millenials vs. Gen Z

    I’ve seen all the videos and they are all scholarly accurate and insightful... but the content of covered in heavy sarcasm. It is certainly a smear approach to fight anti. Their “Midnight Mormon” podcast is slightly more entertaining, but again it is a lot of smearing. I’ve never been a fan of Kwaku (guy on the left). His “apologetic” style is always emotion based. Often times while he is dropping historical facts and logic, he is also attacking the person’s views. Because of the attack on their views, the historical facts get lost on deaf ears as their ego gets involved. I honestly think the best thing to do when it comes to “apologetics” Is provide historical context, information of difficult topics; and faithful (but believable) responses to questions, and let everyone make the decision themselves. The anti Mormon movement is worst than politics. I use to follow it closely, watching every FairMormon video I could, I would listen to interviews on popular anti Mormon podcasts, and read the current popular anti Mormon literature. It came painfully obvious to me that the decision to leave the church and attack it is never a factual or doctrinal one but an emotional one. No amount of correct information, no matter how eloquently said, is going to persuade someone to rejoin the church or stop attacking it. You can tell in the interviews that most of the ex Mormons had little understanding of many basic doctrines of the church when applied to even the least complex situation. When a difficult situation arises, they resort back to basic mainstream Christian creeds. I remember an ex bishop saying “I just don’t believe that God would send my daughter to hell for eternity just for being gay”... well ... we don’t believe that so looks like you are in the right place... these interviews are full of these Freudian Slip moments where it shows they do not understand basic doctrines. That or they don’t care because emotionally they left and now they are trying to logically justify their decision. Needless to say, I don’t follow it too much anymore. I’m far more interested in the social movements within the confines of the church. Articles being written by accepted 3rd party sources (LDSLIVING, MGF (this site even), Saints Unscrioted, etc.) that are pushing non-church backed messages like it’s ok for young men to not serve missions if they don’t want to, or it is ok for mothers to work while a daycare raises their kids, or that it is ok to watching media with filthy content (nudity, large amounts of swearing, and amoral messages).
  7. 4 points
    There is no single word that I'm aware of. But phrases for this phenomenon might include: "This is no dilemma, but a chance to learn to make a righteous choice." "This is no dilemma, but a chance to learn to hear the voice of God." "This is no dilemma, but simply a choice to be pondered and arrived at." In many cases, absolutely. For some fraction of such questions, the answer is surely situation-dependent. The main problem I see comes in people defaulting to the latter possibility to avoid facing up squarely to the former possibility. People mutate "Seek God's council to know the truth of what you should do" into "Do whatever you want, because it's your choice." You mention the topic of tithing below. It's a perfect example of exactly this phenomenon. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people talk about how they worried about paying tithing on some inheritance or other windfall until the voice of the Lord spoke in their hearts that it was okay, they don't need to pay tithing on these moneys. I can't remember a single time I have heard someone say that he was praying to know whether he should pay tithing on some sum of money, and received the clear answer, "Well of course you should! And don't take off your usual deductions!" "Sally's parents don't understand tithing exactly the same way your parents do. What they teach Sally is between them and Sally. Your mother and I are responsible for teaching you, and this is how we understand things." "Tithe a tenth of your increase. That is the only commandment we have. If you have questions, take them to God and seek out his will. My opinion is to be as generous with the Lord as we want him to be with us. How that affects your payment of tithing is between you and him. "But be assured that you will in fact account to the Lord for how you tithe your increase, and based on your status will receive or not receive, both now and in the eternities, the blessings he has ordained for those who tithe honestly." Because the facts are that our actions do have consequences, that God will judge us, and that many do in fact willfully deceive themselves when money is involved. Pointing out these obvious facts of existence invites people to close introspection, which is a good thing. What they do with that information is their affair.
  8. 4 points
    Carborendum

    1 Nephi 3:7 and D&C 124: 49

    We should be perfectly confident. But that's the problem. Nephi was perfectly confident. So, even in the face of death, he continued while his brethren were afraid of continuing. The Saints were confident... until... they were met with fierce opposition. Nephi came up with other ideas and different methods. The Saints (the bulk of them) simply gave up. (Not that I can blame them). Nephi's mission was able to be performed alone (being led by the Spirit). The Saint's mission had to be done by a people not an individual. The people never got to the stage of even asking to be led by the Spirit. Those who remained faithful, received Section 124 (yes, eventually shared with everyone). So, when the people lost faith, the Lord excused the individuals who remained faithful from performing the work that they could not do without the help of the people as a whole. There is more to this which I will address at the end of this post. I think we can agree that Adam and Eve were a special case. But even so, I don't believe that their case was a no-win situation. Yes, a lot of people say that. But I think there was a way. But it simply didn't occur to them. Proof of that is that even with the benefit of hindsight, we can't seem to figure it out either. Have any of us asked if there was another way? Adam and Eve didn't seem to have asked to be led by the Spirit then. Perhaps, that was part of the "partaking of the fruit". For both Adam and Eve, they made their decisions with what they had at the time. But neither stopped and asked the Lord,"What should I do?" And if we know that "other worlds" had the same thing happen. But there "seems" to have been no punishment, then there must have been a way for it to be done without transgressing the law. And finally, a world was made where one failed to keep one commandment (my personal belief). And that opened the door for mortality to begin. If this is not literally true, then at least the metaphor is implied. IF THEY WERE GOING TO FAIL, WHY BOTHER GIVING THEM A COMMANDMENT TO FAIL? When given a commandment, it should not be news that many times, we do not fulfill the commandment. That's what the Atonement of Christ is for. But there is always a reason for a commandment being given in the first place. And sometimes "failure" is the reason. In the case of the temple in Missouri, the Lord wanted the Saints to build a temple for them to obtain the ordinances and covenants, yes. But it didn't NEED to be built right then and there. The need for the Missouri temple was for some time in this dispensation. That could wait. But, eventually, they built the Nauvoo temple for their immediate needs. So, why the commandment that cost the lives of so many Saints? The answer is simple. Blood. I've read it too many times to dismiss. In older generations, they understood. Today, one tends to discount it. But just as Abraham Lincoln said when proposing to consecrate the graves of the dead at Gettysburg: The Lord needed that land of Missouri to be consecrated with the blood of the Saints before we could build the temple. And at the same time, I see a parallel. Christ had to come into a world wicked enough to crucify Him. As such, the world was not ready for the Church to endure. Just as there was a restoration of the Church, there will be a restoration of that commandment to build a temple there. But the Missouri of that time was not prepared for it because they had to be wicked enough to... perform such wickedness upon the Saints of God. There was so much more than blood being spilt. These were demons incarnate. And the Saints' suffering was part of what prepared that land for the eventual New Jerusalem to be built.
  9. 4 points
    prisonchaplain

    I have been deceived

    The Book of Esther does not mention God either, yet in the scriptures it remains. This reminds me of a current controversy over the song "The Reckless Love of God." God cannot be "reckless" so the song is said to be heresy. I'd argue that the vastness of God's love for us is indescribable--so we use feeble human words like "reckless." I guess that makes me a heretic. Hope I can keep my job here. 😮
  10. 4 points
    dprh

    Church Zoom accounts

    I'm not sure how it's set up, but our ward uses Zoom to broadcast to Youtube. That way participants can't talk and interrupt the meeting. Every week, the ward clerk sends an email with the link and the meeting information. It's worked very well for us.
  11. 4 points
    Still_Small_Voice

    I have been deceived

    The social justice warriors cannot ever get enough. I think they invent problems because they have very few or none in their life.
  12. 4 points
    Christmas 2020--and my last day as supervisory chaplain at the jail. I'll do some visitation around the building, clean out the office and close out this very rich, fulfilling calling. My staff chaplain keeps telling me, "BTB, brother! Better Than Before!" He's got it. What lies ahead is better than that which has gone before. The capstone will be opening presents tonight with the fam bam! I gotta love my girls--they say they like opening presents Christmas Day evening. I suspect it's because they are okay with my calling, and perhaps with me.
  13. 4 points
    Carborendum

    Christmas Star

    For those of you keeping up on the "Christmas Star" news...I took some pictures. First, a "big picture" view. The lone shining object in the sky is the conjunction. Then a zoom in: The brighter light to the left is Jupiter. You can kind of make out the half shadow because the sun is to the right in this photo. Then the "blur" to the right of Jupiter is actually Saturn. It was much more clear to the naked eye than my puny camera. But that is what it looked like. And for comparison: The moon. In reality the moon is pretty much at first quarter. But the corona was so bright, it looks like a waxing gibbous or maybe even a full moon. But to the naked eye it was pretty clear it was a quarter.
  14. 4 points
    Carborendum

    Christmas Star

    My wife took the following photo and made an interesting observation. It took a while for us to find a suitable spot to get out and take pictures. So, I told the family we were like the wise men seeking the Christ Child. We found the spot. Our shadows made an interesting nativity scene.
  15. 4 points
    NeuroTypical

    Christmas Star

    I took this photo with my old iPhone 7. Is it any good?
  16. 4 points
    My reaction on seeing your thread title was, "Absolutely." But on reading your actual OP, these parents are insane. They are the poster parents for the "Why Homeschooling Is Evil" movement. Of all people, homeschoolers—the real ones—know that performance is the ultimate and only true indicator of educational effectiveness. The attitude you describe is so Out There that I'm tempted to say it's not an appalling travesty at all, but merely a highly localized example of parental insanity that has no bearing on the larger world.
  17. 4 points
    estradling75

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    To use your college degree example... If a person chooses to take 20 years that is their choice. But once they get their degree they better not be expecting to be equal to those that that have been working with their degree for 16 years more then them. Those additional 16 years are gone and not coming back. And with the idea that a college degree equals exaltation which is literally the most important and best thing we can get. Then everyone, including the person on that path should be made very much aware that they are on a sub optimal path that they will most likely end up regretting in hindsight. And if Person A trying to warn Person B that Person B is going to regret the choices they are currently making.. Well that is Person A being a good Christian like they are suppose to be and making sure Person B fully understands the consequences they are choosing. Sadly we live in a world were Person B is being told that they can choose anything they want and there are no consequences. That they can ignore what is important but somehow still claim all the rewards and be equal to those that sacrificed and put in the work. This is a horribly toxic and deceitful lie .
  18. 4 points
    NeuroTypical

    Updates to the Handbook

    If this is new, did they just elevate the General Handbook to Doctrine!????? I'm thinking no. They didn't say "in matters of doctrine". They said "In matters of doctrine and Church policy", and went on to name scriptures (doctrine), teaching of living prophets (doctrine and policy), and the handbook (policy). It's like if they said "In matters of large and small housepets, the best kinds are huskys, cats, and hamsters", and you said "Did they just elevate hamsters to the status of large housepet?"
  19. 4 points
    Vort

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    You mean exclusively between the individual and God (and maybe bishop)? No, of course not. We must judge people's actions. That is exactly what you are doing; I'm surprised (but not very) that you would pass judgment of right and wrong on Latter-day Saints while insisting that they not pass judgment of right and wrong on others. It is true that we cannot see into another's heart and are in no position to state what another person's standing is before God. But to take a position such as, "A mother with children at home should generally best be staying at home rearing her children wherever possible, rather than farming them off to a daycare so she can pursue her vocational dreams," is not wrong, nor is it wrong to refuse to concede that Jane Smith's case is different because she's special. That does not mean you're passing judgment on Jane Smith; it means simply that you know right from wrong, at least in your judgment of it, and you're going to stick with your beliefs. No condemnation of another is implicit in holding to one's beliefs. You're an atheist. Honestly, how would you know the first thing about one's journey to exaltation—a state you deny and explicitly disbelieve even exists? In this case, you are demonstrably wrong. Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it. Who is judging another's journey? I think you're making that up, just as you appear to have made up the initial condemnation that I first responded to. If your complaint is about Saints passing judgment, you're blatantly moving the goalposts from complaining about unrighteous judgment to complaining about any judgment—which we have already explicitly pointed out is our duty. Of course we pass judgment on the actions of others.
  20. 4 points
    MarginOfError

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    Some of these are fair criticisms. Adjusting the federal numbers up to 3700 per month and reducing the taxes to 5% (about 11% to federal and 4% to state/local) changes the monthly unused income to $489 per month. That $30,000 downpayment becomes accessible in just over five years. But with the caveat that transportation still isn't included in that value. And the caveat that the home price is still the typical value in the area I live in, which a fairly low cost of living area. The urban area 30 minutes north of me shows 2BR/1Bath houses starting around the $125k point. By comparison, this (admittedly cherry picked) 2BR 1.5 Bath in the Salt Lake area going into foreclosure and marked as for sale is listed at $280k. Sidenote, regarding some other criticisms of using a 3BR house in my targets, I figured a young couple starting out and planning for their future might be interested in a 3BR house if they wanted to have four kids, which doesn't seem unreasonable for a mormon family. I apologize that this assumption wasn't expressly stated in my work. As another form of comparison, this Census report shows the 1970 median household income was $8,730 per year. This inflation calculator places that value at 59,506.2 in today's dollars. I'm struggling to find an individual income median for a direct comparison, but if we operate on the belief that single income families were more common in the upper income levels then than they are now, my gut check guess is that a single income family probably has the equivalent of $600 less monthly income now than it did in 1970. Which all goes back to the original point, that regardless of which numbers you use, a single income has less purchasing power today than it did 50 years ago. By extension, making ends meet and accomplishing financial goals is harder on a single income today than it was 50 years ago. It seems reasonable to think that families might be making different decisions with regard to who works and who doesn't that reflect some of that lost purchasing power. Things not relevant to the main point: - A 20% down payment may not be normal, but I'd argue that is another symptom of the problem. Best practice by financial experts, as far as I understand, still encourage the 20% down payment because it saves money due to PMI. More importantly, it demonstrates the ability to save money for the unexpected expenses that comes with the maintenance on a house. Statistically speaking, the lower percentage the downpayment, the higher the risk of failing to keep up with payments. (another really complicated discussion, I know) - Not saving for retirement while saving to purchase a house is, in my estimation, a catastrophic strategic error. If your employer offers a match, you should contribute at least enough to max out that benefit. Early savings are king in retirement, and starting five to six years earlier makes an enormous difference after 30 years of saving. So whether or not it is common, it's the practice that should be encouraged.
  21. 3 points
    I don't find it a dilemma or that their is conflicting information. There are different situations and the Lord's gospel and mercy are able to be flexible enough for all people. One difficulty young people have today is the selfishness of the rest of their families. Many parents want to have stuff. They want a Big house. They want a lot of stuff in their house. They don't want to continue spending a lot of money to help their married children who have babies have housing and food. Unfortunately, Bishoprics find this out often. There will be young members of the ward that have families but cannot pay the bills. These young parents are many times advised to go first to seek aid from their families, and very often no help comes. Thus, it falls on the ward to help these young parents. It is a sad case at times because the families these young people may come from are well off, wealthy, and could help far more than the church does if they so desired. However, there are also instances where the families are not so well off, but the young parents have tried to do their best. The Bishop (hopefully, not all Bishops are equal or are as charitable as each other) will help these as well. These are two different situations among many variations of this situation. They have different things that can apply. Each situation can be deeply personal, and thus the Lord's guidance should be sought in each situation. A similar thing can be stated in regards to Tithing. I know a Farmer who makes over a million dollars a year. However, his actual net profit after all expenses are paid is less than 100K. If he paid tithing on his gross income he would literally have nothing left over to live on. He would actually OWE more money than he actually has after paying taxes, paying his bills, paying repairs and for labor of those who work on his farm. How would one say tithing applies to his situation? How much does he actually owe? This is where the Farmer has to find the guidance of the Spirit and be directed by the Lord. He still needs to pay his tithing, but it is upon his actual income, or what he receives to live upon. There are nations out there which tax upwards of 60% of one's pay. In such a nation, what should one pay on, their gross or their net. In the US an individual may be actually paying 20% of their actual money they receive to live on after Taxes, but in a nation where the tax rate is 60% they are actually paying 25% or more on their actual money they receive to live on after taxes. Tithing is thus a much larger chunk of their actual real money they receive. In such nations (at least when I was there) the usual income members tithed (that I knew) was generally on their net income rather than the gross income. There are cultural things which we apply in many instances in regards to our own understanding. Several of the statements you address are related to these. There are suggestions on how we may live more closely aligned to the Lord (have children soon after marriage, pay upon one's gross income) but they are not necessarily commandments in the same range as doctrine. One may have a more spiritual life by following the advice of General authorities when they say that you should have children soon, as the commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth is an important one, or that by paying a full tithe on one's gross income will more fully fulfill the sacrifice and obedience in the principle of tithing...but as it is advice in general there are situations where that advice may not be applicable, or in some instances, even feasible. This is because everyone has different situations in life. Thus, it is often necessary for one to actually know how to recognize personal revelation on the topic and the subject. On this, I have two stories. 1. I have a Child that delayed having children until they had graduated from College and had a steady job. They eventually had four children, however they have a great regret in choosing the path they followed. They wanted to have more children, but have not been able to. They feel that if they had not delayed having children, they would have had more children. They feel a loss and sorrow for not following the advice to start with a family immediately after marriage. HOWEVER...it gets deeper into the matter than simply that. One reason they did not have children is because marriage is not just about one person, it is about both people in the marriage. Their spouse did NOT want to have children until after graduation and a steady job. Thus, one reason they did not push the matter was because they loved their spouse and respected their spouse's wishes. However, the lack of having more children has greatly affected them and brought a great deal of regret and sorrow. They are very happy with the four children they have and they are a great blessing, but at the same time greatly sorrowful about not having more children and the blessings thereof. Thus, we can see how my child actually had several revelations on a personal level there. They had revelation to respect their spouse as perhaps their spouse could only deal with so much, but at the same time because of the choices they jointly made, realized what they have lost in regards to those decisions. At the same time, they have been blessed. They had different paths and different choices. The personal revelation revealed different paths they could take, but ultimately it was left up to them which choice and which blessings they would undertake to receive. 2. I have another friend that got married young. They went to medical school. This is not an easy undertaking, and it was harder because they did not put off having children. I think they had at least 3-4 children before they even graduated, much less went to residency. It was NOT easy. They went into a great deal of debt. I will be frank, life was extremely hard on them and their family for many years. Their children did not have much in regards to what the world would say they should have in material means. Some of the children were in their teens before their parents were even really within the workforce and finally earning a decent amount of money. Now, that friend is a medical doctor and has had much success in the medical field. They are greatly respected and have been very well off from middle age onwards. They have many children and even more grandchildren. However, life was excessively hard for many years and some of the children bear those emotional or mental scars to a small degree. You can see it in how they are cautious in purchases and budgeting in how they were greatly affected. This family was also greatly blessed. They had a choice as well. Revelation extended the different roads they should take and they also chose which one to travel. Neither family made the wrong choice, but utilized their personal revelation on what struggles they would endure and have to go through due to the choice that they made. If we listen to the spirit and seek personal revelation, we each can see what things we may have to suffer or not suffer with various choices set before us. What may be the right choice for one, may not be the right choice for another. This is why personal revelation on such matters is such an important thing to seek and strive for. President Nelson stated Revelation for the Church, Revelation for our Lives
  22. 3 points
    President Gordon B. Hinckley had this say about Ezra Taft Benson:
  23. 3 points
    JohnsonJones

    2020 Merry Christmas

    Normally I'm much busier during the Christmas season with all the visits we give and get, but this year (and good for them for doing so) almost all the family has elected to stay at their homes and we are doing the same. There's only one exception. Thus, I've not had as much time. Instead, gifts were sent by mail, and phone calls and other ways of communicating are how we will talk this year. That does not mean it's just me and my wife though, and though sometimes I yearn for a simple holiday where it is just me and her, having others to share that holiday with can bring such joy. We've had some family living with us for the past few months during the entire Pandemic situation. As normal, I get up earlier in the morning (normally for work, but otherwise it can also be a habit). This morning was different as it is Christmas. I had bought a ton of Candy from the Store, and then hid it in the Garage (which of course, my child, though probably not the grandkids, know where I keep it after all these years). This morning I got up and carefully separated it out and then put it in the stockings located throughout the house. I'm quite excited as they saw me go to bed last night, but when they wake up their stockings will be full and gifts will be under the tree. It's always fun to see young faces light up on Christmas morning. That said, I have a friend that is spending their first Christmas alone this year. They too have family that is not traveling, and this is their very first Christmas alone. I'm not sure if it will be before the rest of the family wakes or after (depends on when the family wakes) I'll go off to visit this friend with treats and gifts in an attempt to help them so that they can also have a Christmas with at least someone there to share some of it with. Giving is far more good than receiving. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas.
  24. 3 points
    NeuroTypical

    Updates to the Handbook

    Jonah's presence in this thread, as someone who is "currently Catholic", is quite timely, IMO. We need to make very, very sure that the philosophies and agendas of men, do not show up in our scripture. From a Christian perspective, half of the New Testament is letters from the apostles to the various groups of early Christians, trying to get them to stop adding crap that doesn't belong to the beliefs of the saints. From a Restored Gospel perspective, that effort ceased once the apostles were all martyred, errors and agendas crept in, creeds, schisms, heresies, councils, reformations, and now we've got Christianity split into a ton of different groups. Most of them thinking they've got the most-correct, best-preserved version of what Christ and the Apostles laid down, all of them arguing about who can be considered "Christian", who gets communion with who, whose baptism is valid in another faith, who can marry who in order to maintain the same faith. It's a mess: Our LDS perspective, is that that "Restorationism" line is badly drawn. We're not an offshoot of Protestantism, our little green line goes straight all the way back to Early Christianity, before people started getting together in Councils and voting on what God's word is and what it is not, inventing the notion of "trinity", etc. We are Christ's church, because He came down personally and redrew that green line to where He wanted His people to be. Throughout our churches history, the call has always gone out to not drift from the scriptures and God's messengers. @JohnsonJones is a little worried that a Church Handbook, the dictionary definition of "something a bunch of people came up with", might be drifting into the area of scripture or official doctrine. I am absolutely in agreement that such worries are good things to have. I just don't think there's anything to worry about here - the church's claims about the handbook are all about how often it changes and gets revised, based on this or that new understanding, this or that new revelation. It's a book of "the best we've got right now - check back next week for updates" - it isn't doctrine.
  25. 3 points
    Vort

    Liberal Ideas Creeping In

    Sure you're allowed to speak hypothetically. Your phrasing didn't look hypothetical to me; it looked like a flat statement, an observation of fact. These are excellent questions, especially when asked sincerely and not rhetorically. In my view, your comparison is not invalid. It is not the comparison model, but rather its application, to which I object. People's spiritual journeys are of necessity unique, just as the individual circumstances and the individuals themselves are unique. But saying that a person is unique from all others does not imply that the person is essentially different from all others. Their body chemistry is not utterly unique, for example. The construction of their heart valves is not alien to all others. The neurological symbols by which their brain analyzes and understands the world is not essentially different from other human beings. Their legs do not grow out of the tops of their heads. People are unique the way snowflakes are unique. We can appreciate the individualized beauty of a snowflake without ever supposing that this particular snowflake, because if its differences, may perhaps survive being warmed to twenty degrees above the melting point of water. It won't, ever. That is not the nature of snowflakes. Man is bound by the laws of physics. Man is also bound by the laws of spirit, not because God has set up arbitrary bounds that we must toe for no better reason than that God said so, but because they are a description of reality. The laws of spiritual life and growth are not subject to the same kind of blind testing as the laws of physics, but both sets of laws describe reality. We can no more challenge the laws of spiritual growth than an infant suckling at his mother's breast can challenge the laws of Einsteinian mechanics, nor (IMO) do we have any more insight into the deficiencies of the spiritual model we are given than the infant does into the physical model mentioned. Our best course of action in all cases is to learn and follow the spiritual law, not kick against it. I think I agree with your statement above, but I leave some wiggle room because I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "judging the character of other people". You seemed to say that judging Jane Smith's decision to pursue her career as being a bad decision is wrong in all cases, that somehow we as outside entities are incapable of rendering any such judgment in a just manner. This is not judging the character of others, but judging best from not best. The suggestion that we are unable and unjustified in ever judging the decisions or the reasons behind the state of another person is naked nihilism, which I utterly reject. No one is suggesting that they themselves are perfect. I may well be guilty of judgmentalism; if so, I must repent of that failing. I don't believe I am guilty of that, but I acknowledge the possibility. I have done such evils before, and worse. But if I must walk a line between judgmentalism and nihilism, I prefer to err on the side of being somewhat too ready to judge rather than fall into the paralysis of being unwilling to call a spade a spade.