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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/20/19 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    Handbook 2 Section 19.1.1 (bold mine): The Primary President should absolutely be notified in advance that someone in the primary will be released.
  2. 10 points
    Ran into a tithing discussion on Facebook, and to my surprise a repeated comment rubbed me the wrong way. The question began with just what income/increase/services/returns/social security/investments are we supposed to pay tithing on? (Cue Backroads: finances are soooo booorrrrrring). Now, because of the bore that is finances, I would never judge another's interpretation of tithing. However, every other person was chiming in with the cutesey chant of "do you want gross blessings or net blessings?" And for some reason, it drove me bonkers. It made it sound tithing was not a commandment but a... Blessing grab. As I currently understand it, there is no official accountant-approved calculation for determining one's 10% increase tithe, just a 10% determined between one and the Lord. I do not doubt the miracles and blessings associated with tithing, but I don't know if I'm comfortable with the notion of "net/gross blessings".
  3. 8 points
    The idea of “I obey moral standard x because I expect blessing y in return” is, as I recall, a legitimate stage Kohlberg’s scale of moral development; and I don’t begrudge anyone if that’s where they are. But . . . We are expected to move beyond that stage; and it’s disappointing when a seemingly disproportionate share of the Church’s discourse/curriculum seems tailored to appeal to folks who are at that particular stage. That being said, the “net-tithing net blessings” has a kernel of truth underlying it—not that there’s a strictly transactional relationship to tithing; but that tithing is an application of the Law of Consecration and that if we go into it looking for ways to get by doing the bare minimum, we are spectacularly missing the point of the principle and probably limiting the joy and personal growth that comes from sincerely and selflessly living a consecrated life.
  4. 7 points
    I'm with the Primary President, hands down. That said, in order for you to better help mediate this situation let's consider what each side might potentially be thinking: Bishop doesn't inform the Primary President because (potentially): - the release is due to worthiness issues - the release is due to the person being called to a new position which he feels shouldn't be announced yet - he's busy and informing the Primary President is simply one more thing to do. - it was just an oversight, he'll try not to do it again Primary President is upset because (potentially): - As JaneDoe said: Its BEYOND frustrating to work so hard building those teams only to have them yanked out suddenly as if you and your program don't matter. - It undermines her authority as the primary president as if she were nothing more than a figure head - It leaves her short staffed with no notice The Bishop should let the Primary President know in advance. He doesn't have to explain the reason for the release, simply to say, "Sister Doe, I wanted to let you know we will need to release Sis. Smith from the Nursery. I wanted to let you know so you can begin to prayerful consider a replacement." This situation reminds me of Elder Ballard's council on councils. That advice applies here as well. He started out by talking about cars, the pleasure in a well-tuned car and the contrast of one that is not functioning well. He compared that to wards. "Unfortunately, some wards in the Church are hitting on only a few cylinders, including some that are trying to make do with just one. The one-cylinder ward is the ward where the bishop handles all of the problems, makes all of the decisions, and follows through on all of the assignments. Then, like an overworked cylinder in a car engine, he is soon burned out." It sounds like this same issue is happening in the ward you are advising. Apparently, this in not uncommon. Perhaps well-meaning Bishops think this is what they are "supposed" to do. Elder Ballard gave an example of this: "During training sessions I have conducted in various locations since last general conference, I have focused attention on the ward council. As part of that training, I invited a ward council to participate. I gave to the bishop a theoretical problem about a less-active family and asked him to use the ward council to develop a plan to activate this family. "Without exception, the bishop took charge of the situation immediately and said, “Here’s the problem, and here’s what I think we should do to solve it.” Then he made assignments to the various ward council members. This was a good exercise in delegation, I suppose, but it did not even begin to use the experience and wisdom of council members to address the problem. "Eventually I asked the bishop to try again, only this time to solicit ideas and recommendations from his council members before making any assignments. I especially encouraged him to ask the sisters for their ideas. When the bishop opened the meeting to council members and invited them to counsel together, the effect was like opening the floodgates of heaven. A reservoir of insight and inspiration suddenly began to flow between council members as they planned for fellowshipping the less-active family. "As I watched this same scenario played out before me time after time during the past six months, I decided that it would not be out of order to speak about the importance of councils once again. I speak not to scold those who did not give serious attention last time, but because we have an urgent need in the Church for leaders, particularly stake presidents and bishops, to harness and channel spiritual power through councils. Family, ward, and stake problems can be solved if we seek solutions in the Lord’s way." https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1994/04/counseling-with-our-councils?lang=eng While Elder Ballard was specifically addressing ward councils (and other councils) I think this advice applies well to your situation. The Bishop and the ward will be more blessed if he councils WITH the Primary President in the Lord's way.
  5. 7 points
    The Primary president needs to know when someone under her purview is being released or called. I have no citation for this beyond obvious common sense, nor do I believe any other citation is needed. This seems about as duh as it gets.
  6. 7 points
    The primary president should know, and should be counseled with about replacements if the Bishop does it right.
  7. 7 points
    The official accountant-approved calculation for determining one's tithe, is "10% of your increase". How you define increase is between you and the Lord. Anyone preaching anything beyond that, is preaching false doctrine. Someone who has an opinion on the matter (as we all must in order to consider ourselves full tithe payers) gets to advocate for their opinion I guess. They can claim their opinion is right, and provide evidence and argument to support their opinion until they're blue in the face. It remains their opinion, and nothing more. Unbinding on anyone besides them (and possibly those within their stewardship).
  8. 6 points

    Questions about LDS rules

    Fellow non-LDS member here, but I think I can answer this question. First, for LDS the Word of Wisdom came from a prophet. So, it is a commandment of God for members. It's not just a rule, it's the equivalent of being "straight from the Bible," for non-LDS Christians. Then again, I suspect that most church members who become engaged in a congregation's spiritual life find certain practices or prohibitions that they are not personally all-in on. For example, in my church the common standard is not to consume alcohol. Our ministers are expected to observe this. Members are strongly encouraged to do likewise. However, might there be a few members who feel that a single drink to celebrate a holiday--perhaps as an ethnic family tradition--is acceptable? I suspect so. Will they depart from the church in a huff if the pastor preaches against alcohol from the pulpit? I hope not. So, there may be matters that you will come to over time. There are others that are pretty straight forward, either in scripture, in revelation, or in church standards. If one does not agree with this strong standards they probably should not join the church or movement. As an example, my denomination is Pentecostal. During an ordination preparation class one of the leaders said that if candidates did not agree with speaking in tongues he could recommend other denominations that are solid, Bible-believing, and are comprised of folks we expect to meet in heaven. However, such candidates should not pursue ordination with our denomination, since we strongly believe speaking in tongues is valid and normative in our churches. Hope this helps.
  9. 6 points
    The fact that it came and came so quickly has always struck me as deeply sorrowful. How would a people allow it to come upon them? I think in part it comes from an eventual tolerance of sin. Such and such isn't that bad because... Violence isn't that bad because... A lesbian kiss scene isn't that bad in Star Wars because... I enjoy the following quote by Elder Boyd K. Packer:
  10. 6 points
    Heh... is it really about getting worked up that lesbians exist... or is it more about someone getting worked up because they think they are right and everyone that does not think like them is wrong/evil/bad I don't think it's about either one. I think it's about getting worked up that an insidious evil is being foisted on us and our children, and those who have the temerity to point it out are met with, "Look at all these OTHER sins that are just as bad, and some even worse! Why aren't you getting all hot and bothered about THEM?" Only a generation ago, it was widely accepted that portraying homosexual relations as normal was not merely distasteful, but immoral. Now it is represented as morally acceptable and even desirable. This is not the case with murder, rape, child abduction, and so forth. As for me, I have little interest in Star Wars, and I find Disney largely deplorable. (Look! I'm Hillary Clinton!) But to my way of thinking, claiming the normalization of homosexuality acceptable because child abduction is worse just doesn't fly.
  11. 6 points
    Based on what you wrote, we probably mostly in agreement. I dispute the claim that the Church seems to act like e.g. homosexuality is no big deal, but I do agree that there is a tendency among certain types in the Church to, in effect, embrace the sin while trying to theatricality embrace the sinner. I think this is abhorrent. I also think it's not my place to steady the ark, and I trust that my leaders are taking the necessary steps. I have heard of what can only honestly be termed heresies in some stakes and wards/branches, and I have even seen some. I hope always to stand strong as an advocate for revealed truth, in every situation. But again, I hope I always do so within the context of my own responsibilities, and not overstep my bounds.
  12. 6 points

    Financial Whistleblower

    Indeed... exactly this. People call us sheeple for "trusting people" But it is not in people we trust. It is in God. Men, even prophets of God can and do make mistakes and even sin. The Lord will hold them accountable for such... But the Lord is still in control. I think we see a perfect example of this in the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith screwed up and was held accountable for such, and the Lord had it covered. I would much more Trust the Lord to cover it then any amount of mortal transparency any day
  13. 6 points

    Financial Whistleblower

    A couple of observations: —I think people who actually pay tithing generally understand that tithing (as opposed to fast offerings or funds specified to humanitarian aid) go primarily to Church operating expenses, and only secondarily (if at all) to humanitarian aid. —There’s kind of an assumption in a lot of these sorts of discussions they “charity” must be one and the same thing as “humanitarian aid”. When you think about it, though—the DNC and RNC are tax-exempt charities but do relatively little in way of what we would consider “humanitarian aid”. Ditto for many political think tanks and action committees, and entities like Planned Parenthood and environmental advocacy groups and educational institutions. There’s nothing wrong with using Church funds to keep the lights on in a meetinghouse, or building that meetinghouse in the first place—particularly when we’re building it on behalf of impoverished third-world Saints who could never do something like that on their own. —I’ve *had* my temple recommend revoked. The day-to-day social fallout from this was . . . zero. (Granted, it would have been more awkward had there been any family members getting sealed during the periods in question. But the subtext we often see from critics suggesting that the Church is fundamentally and visibly cleft into an upper caste that has been arbitrarily granted temple recommends and a lower caste that has been arbitrarily denied them, is nonsense.) And the theological and familial adverse effects were essentially zero since I undeniably already wasn’t living the covenants that kept me temple-worthy. —To anyone who actually believes the Church doctrine and takes their temple covenants seriously, “tithing” isn’t manipulative. It’s a scriptural precept affiliated with the Law of Consecration, the keeping of which is a temple obligation and which actually shapes our characters and makes better people (not to mention being an essential component of many of the minor miracles Latter-day Saints purport to see in their lives). Now, yes; all that could theoretically happen if I gave my tithing to some other entity. But if I take the sort of step that affirmatively signals that I don’t trust the Church leadership’s financial judgment vis a vis my tithing, then that does have spillover effects for how well I trust them in their larger roles of building Zion (both spiritually and, when the time comes, temporally). And a society that doesn’t operate on a basic level of trust—especially towards its leadership—cannot and will not become a Zion community. Ever. Granted, the trust goes both ways; and I can imagine plenty of situations where church leaders may be abusing that trust. But to suggest that the universe of potentially abusive situations includes the real-life scenario in which the Church had the callousness to turn my widow’s mite into 3.75 widow’s mites which they haven’t happened to spend yet . . . strikes me as something of a stretch.
  14. 5 points

    Does Character Matter?

    Character still matters. However, it isn't the ONLY thing that matters.
  15. 5 points
    In the past few months, I've taken to pushing a policy (in our ward) that no one is sustained until their replacement is secured. In some cases, that has ended up in, for example, the RS president requests someone from Primary. So we put the Primary and RS presidents together and tell them to resolve staffing across both organizations. If they feel like the solution is pulling someone from YW, then we get the YW president involved. Once they have a solution worked out that all of the organization presidents are happy with, we issue callings. In the extreme example, we denied the RS president a secretary for several weeks until Primary could be suitably staffed. We might be a little strange in our ward, however, because as I write agendas for Ward Council, I put down any callings that are being considered seriously. Our entire ward council knows what is going on with our staffing decisions well before sustainings occur. And they give regular feedback on the process. Very often, staffing issues are resolved by the organizations and the bishopric just approves it.
  16. 5 points
    This is a "use your judgement situation". I would say that is is a good / polite thing to let the Primary President know that she's going to be short helpers one teams that she's worked so hard to build/maintain. Kids also bond with their teachers. Its BEYOND frustrating to work so hard building those teams only to have them yanked out suddenly as if you and your program don't matter.
  17. 5 points
    The epitomy of self righteousness.
  18. 5 points
    Iggy, I understand and appreciate your concerns. That said, I’m frankly not in a mood to mollycoddle trolls who ask gotcha-type questions in bad faith and then refuse to engage with any sincere answers offered (as @GaleG has been doing consistently for months now), or to completely forfeit the use of irony in dealing with trollish behavior just because a Google bot may relay my comment, devoid of context, on a search result displayed to someone who can’t be bothered to actually click through to this site for the full discussion (let alone actually visit an official LDS site, as opposed to an explicitly unofficial site such as this). One reason I, and some others, no longer take the time to compose what you would consider to be ideal, informative, duly-sourced answers to GaleG’s questions is that we have actually done so in the past, and (s)he has repeatedly failed to engage with them or posed follow-up questions indicating (s)he didn’t bother to read what had already been written in the thread. Am I being my best self? Admittedly not. I’ll work on it. But I also expect people like Gale to work on being their best selves by being sincere in their questions and thoughtful in their responses to the answers given; and I also expect genuinely curious investigators of the LDS faith to work on being their best selves by not limiting their research to the few-dozen words that show up on a Google search result page; by developing a basic understanding of the difference between “official” and “unofficial” sources; and a gaining passing familiarity with the sorts of dynamics that sometimes arise in online communities.
  19. 5 points
    I agree with your thoughts. President Monson often shared the following passage with regards to sin: "...Vice is a monster of so frightful mein, as, to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace." Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man With regards to the movie, (which I have not nor will ever be seeing) I believe the reason so many "film critics" gave it a bad rating is because I have heard it tried to go back to what Star Wars was supposed to be, yet still dabbled a little bit in the woke culture of the day. Dabbling is not enough...they want their message and views shown completely and openly. I saw TLJ and it was a big pile of PC...so of course the mainstream media loved it while the majority of true fans think it is the worst of the 9 main story films. Over the years I have gone to my home movie collection several times and removed those movies that contain bits of inappropriate material. I used to love collecting movies and had huge bookcases full of them like so many people do nowadays. I thought it was important and cool. But today that collection is down to less than 30. The rebuttals are always the same..."but, it only has that one scene...and we fast forward through it". Well, it's still there, and someday one of my children may watch it by themselves and not fast forward through it. If I kept such a movie what would that tell my children about my true views of the gospel? Do I really practice what I preach? I don't need or want filth in my home, so I got rid of it. Would you watch this entertaining movie with the Savior? Would he approve of it? On a different note, many of the individuals who profess to be gay that I associate with at work no longer see tolerance as acceptable behavior. They insist that others must accept their behavior to truly show them love and acceptance. It is not enough for gay couples to be "married" now, but they want everyone to embrace the behavior and promote it. Alternative views are not acceptable to them. Spiritually/morally speaking, they cannot stay in their own land and leave us alone in ours. This is exactly what Giddianhi once told Lachoneus: "...or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance." With regard to the following quote, see my first post above. In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. Russell M. Nelson
  20. 5 points
    These words from the Book of Mormon always come to my mind, "Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years;"
  21. 5 points
    Those who enter into Church discipline, either for apostasy or for immoral conduct, can still face: disfellowshipment or excommunication - this has not changed either. Let me point out that adultery and other forms of heterosexual fornication are not considered prima facie evidence of apostasy. Homosexuality is another form of fornication, neither more nor less objectionable than others (though certainly more distasteful for many—but distastefulness is a matter of opinion, and it alone has never formed a basis for classifying sin). I see this announcement as saying, "We will now classify homosexual activity along with other forms of fornication." Seems reasonable.
  22. 5 points

    Financial Whistleblower

    Great points @Grunt Nothing about an individual tithe payers ability to track being a prerequisite or requirement in the commandment. In addition, D&C 120 teaches us the pattern of who, how and when sacred funds should be used: Financial reserves are used where and when the voice of the Lord declares it. He uses the funds on his timeline, not when the world or even individuals in the general membership think so. Elder Robert D. Hales shared the following: Again, the Lord directs this.
  23. 5 points

    Evil doesn't Think, it just Does

    I’m more righteous than you, because this horrible thing made me angrier than it made you!
  24. 5 points

    Evil doesn't Think, it just Does

    If someone already has all the answers, why are they asking questions?
  25. 5 points

    Financial Whistleblower

    Ah yes you only show up when you think you have a got ya question. Totally not worth the time to play your games