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  1. 12 points
    unixknight

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    I have a friend from Church who is gay. He lives celibate, has a calling, etc. He "came out" publicly to our gaming group a couple years ago but had already told me about it a few years before that. I once mentioned him to a gay co-worker and my coworker said "what a shame he has to suppress who he truly is to be a part of your church." That comment bothered me a little at the time he said it, but the more I thought about it the more horrible I realized that comment is. My friend never, ever expresses his thoughts about same-sex attraction as being "who he truly is." He's already being who he truly is... a faithful son of Heavenly Father who is doing his best, under very difficult challenges, to be obedient and pure. I know he stumbles sometimes, as we all do, but he's still at church and still enduring to the end. My friend is being exactly who he wants to be and how DARE that co-worker or anyone else cheapen that by making it seem like whom a person wants to have sex with ought to be their most important defining characteristic! Frankly, I admire my friend. I don't think I'd have the level of strength and self-control he does were I in his place.
  2. 10 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    (I’m dealing with the fallout of a client suicide right now that I just heard about yesterday, so excuse me if I’m not my normal warm-fuzzy self.) First: FIFY. I realize you find the comparison objectionable; but the truth is that the reason I make it is the same reason you hate it: because it serves as a stark reminder that both God and society can and do expect at least some people to live full, engaged, fulfilling, happy lives even while telling those people that they may never expect to be able to have sexual intercourse in the precise manner, or with the specific class of partner, that their libidos are geared to prefer. The simple fact is, you don’t want to believe that a life of sexual restraint is, or can be, worth living; and when you spout nonsense like what you’ve written above you inadvertently show that—in spite of your feigned horror at pedophilia and your hifalutin talk about “consent”—you don’t want to believe that God would expect sexual restraint of anyone for any reason, period. You’re just a few academic white papers and a slick PR campaign away from supporting legalized pederasty, because you have no moral grounding other than sex uber alles. There’s no point in engaging you over whether gay sex, or even pedophilia, is wrong; because with you it’s all a red herring. You don’t care if it’s wrong or destructive, and you won’t care when it’s proven wrong; regardless of what the “it” happens to be. When we look at gay suicides, the question few are asking is: cui bono? The rash of gay suicides has not increased due to the Church suddenly telling gays that they have value independently of their sense of sexual fulfillment—we’ve been doing that for almost two centuries, and if anything our rhetoric has softened of late. It’s you guys who have started telling gays in the last 30 years that the unsexed life is not worth living; and then when they start believing your bullcrap and end their lives—either out of a sincere belief they can never be happy in abstinence, or out of despair when they reject the values of their youth and experiment with new sexual practices, only to find them a hollow foundation on which to build a life—you turn around and blame us; even though you created the tension and you’re the one trying to leverage their deaths to muzzle the Church and get more formerly-abstinent young Mormons into the sexual meat market for use and abuse by your allies. We mourn these youth and plan the funerals and dress the dead and pay for the undertaker and the coffin and the burial plot; while other filthy sex-crazed ghouls trot out their victims’ names at $500-a-plate fundraiser galas.
  3. 9 points
    mikbone

    Joseph's leg infection

    I recently did some research into Joseph Smith's lower leg bone infection. Including the original journals. The snippets that we get in the Sunday School lessons don't do the illness its due justice. Merry Christmas. It is my gift to you. Enjoy. It brought me to tears. I did the footwork of linking the original articles and journals. The second citation is from a medical journal from 1827 and the material is just as good if not better than what I learned in my modern day residency. It is heartbreaking as you read the description of the horrible illness and empathize with young Joseph attempting to understand the exhaustion and pain that he graciously endured. Young Joseph was an amazingly brave and hardy child. As an Orthopaedic surgeon I can appreciate the ordeal that he experienced when he developed a serious illness. When Joseph was seven years of age, the Smith family had settled in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and in 1812 a Typhoid fever epidemic swept through the upper Connecticut River Valley resulting in over 6,000 deaths. All the children in the Smith household were affected and Sophronia almost died. After Joseph recovered from the initial fever, a secondary infection settled into his left shoulder area. The local physician, Dr. Parker, diagnosed the shoulder pain as a sprain despite Joseph denying any injury… Two weeks later the physician was recalled to the home and as he re-examined Joseph, he identified an obvious axillary abscess and copious amounts of purulence required surgical drainage. Soon after the shoulder improved, Joseph felt the pain and fever radiate into his left lower leg with an agonizing swelling that persisted for another three weeks. Dr. Parker was sent for a third time and decided to perform a superficial debridement with an eight-inch long longitudinal incision between the knee and ankle. Joseph improved slightly but as the skin began to heal a week later, the pain became worse and a deep debridement down to the bone was undertaken. As the skin of the leg began to heal for a second time the swelling and pain became even worse. Eventually a surgical consultation was requested, and Doctors Smith, Stone, and Perkins from Dartmouth Medical College concluded that the infection had settled into the tibia.[1] Dr. Nathan Smith later wrote a detailed journal article describing the method of trepanning the bone, with the disclaimer that a “majority of patients survive its attack, though often with long confinement, protracted suffering and great emaciation”.[2] Joseph was either very lucky or under the protection of divine providence as Dr. Smith (the only physician in the world at that time who knew how to correctly treat the infection) worked only five miles from the Smith home. I have operated on patients with osteomyelitis (bone infection), it is a horribly painful infection that is difficult to treat with modern day procedures and antibiotics. I cannot imagine performing this surgery on a child without anesthesia. The initial surgical recommendation was amputation, but Joseph’s mother implored the doctors to save the extremity. The senior consultant, Doctor Nathan Smith (founder of the Dartmouth Medical School and president of the New Hampshire Medical Society) had, just a few years previous, developed the technique of drilling, sawing, and removing dead bone.[3] The following is Lucy Mack Smith’s recollection of the final surgery, and “about a year of sickness and distress”[4] Joseph went on to heal after a protracted recovery that required bedrest and frequent dressing changes to allow the wound to heal from the inside out. Joseph used crutches for the next three years and walked with a limp for the remainder of his life. [1] The Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], Page 131 Link to the original doc [2] Smith, Nathan. Observations of the Pathology and Treatment of Necrosis. Philadelphia monthly journal of medicine and surgery, June 1827 p. 11-19, & July 1827 p. 66-75 Digital version of the original journal [3] Wirthlin, LeRoy S. Nathan Smith (1762-1828) Surgical Consultant to Joseph Smith. BYU Studies Quarterly 1977, Vol 17, Issue 3, p. 319-337 PDF version of the article [4] Smith, Joseph F. (Editor) The Improvement Era, January 1902, Volume 5, Number 3, Salt Lake City, p. 167-170 Link to digital version of the Improvement Era
  4. 8 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    1. Sincere thanks for the kind thoughts. 2. I acknowledge they are ugly words. They apply to ugly behaviors and, in the case of a specific post by @Tyme, ugly sentiments and ugly reasoning with deeply horrific implications. And more broadly, we have reached a stage of sexual mores that people like Nero and Caligula could only fantasize about—what they had to pay massive sums of money for, the victims of the Sexual Revolution have been encouraged to give away for free—and they don’t even realize it’s a problem until youth and beauty pass them by and they find themselves paying scads of money to therapists and psychologists—the latter-day father confessors, many of whom fleece their flocks more thoroughly than the old priesthood ever did—to work through (or at least numb) the bankruptcy of their relational histories and restore some semblance of functionality to their lives. Not only is the emperor naked, but he’s shooting up the schoolyard with an Uzi and trying to bust his way into the cafeteria; while the faculty are in the lounge celebrating the fact that Principal Fuddy-Duddy just got demoted and giving detentions to anyone who utters the word “gun”. 3. As I indicate above, the Church’s rhetoric has only softened in the past few decades—and as thanks, posterior-clowns like the Mama Dragons and other “mainstream” gay-rights groups are now accusing us of murder (and using made-up numbers in the process). This is calculated to bring about a very particular end, and our playing nice isn’t going to stop it. Speaking anecdotally: Professionally, just the facts that I a) continue to oppose gay marriage, b) assert the Church’s right to enforce its own community standards, c) assert the right of parents to encourage their children to refrain from gay sex, and d) express personal skepticism of adoption by gay couples and singles in cases where adoption by equally qualified straight couples is an option—regardless of the tone with which I have made my arguments—would cause me a lot of discomfort amongst my colleagues and quite possibly put my job at real risk. None of that is going to relax any time soon, so we may as well tell the hard truths now, while we still can. 4. When you ask whether it matters who started the shooting since the battle is destructive to all: YES. To continue your metaphor by looking at historical wars: One side bombed Pearl Harbor. One side fought for the preservation and promotion of slavery. One side set out to rule a continent and exterminate ethnic “inferiors”. One side declared unrestricted submarine warfare and invaded Belgium. One side crossed the 38th parallel. For those sides to simply tell their victims “look, we wouldn’t have to do this if you’d just lay down their arms”— Screw that. Intentional or not, it’s horse manure. It’s victim-blaming. It’s bullying. It’s promoting the ultimate victory of evil. Their ranks may include decent people who are deceived to some degree; but that number diminishes as the agenda becomes clearer and the demands more extreme. The leadership, those setting the agenda—and those who stay with them and keep parroting their arguments as the mask comes off—are, in the main, tyrants who demand complete obeisance, and they’ve manipulated the situation so that every gay suicide feeds back into their cause. I think it’s high time gay Mormon kids understood which side wants them alive and which side profits from their deaths; and if the left doesn’t like me pointing out that they use gay suicides to advance their agenda, then maybe they shoul quit using gay suicides to advance their agenda.
  5. 8 points
    Vort

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    Maybe my "gaydar" doesn't work. What were the tells? That he's funny? Well-spoken? Kind of chunky? I just found out yesterday that my manager is homosexual*. I had kind of thought he was, but didn't know for sure until yesterday. I'm sure it would be obvious to some, but not to me. On the other hand, I had a manager fifteen or so years ago that I was just 99.999% sure was gay. It was just so obvious. But guess what? Not gay. "Gaydar", like "Jewdar", may be a real thing, but I'm not convinced. Some homosexuals are over-the-top in their mannerisms, but I doubt that anyone can reliably distinguish between homosexuals and heterosexuals through casual conversation and public observation. Maybe 60% or even 70% correct, but that's not what I consider reliable. *Apropos of nothing, my manager is probably the kindest manager I have ever had. I told him exactly that in this morning's one-on-one, because I thought he deserved the feedback. He's also clever and quite funny.
  6. 7 points
    pam

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    Even though boxer is no longer with us, I have to say something here. @Godless has been on this forum for years and years. One of the nicest people you could come across. While he may not totally believe any longer, he is still very respectful. He served our country for years and has one adorable little family. So while one person may be so judgmental, it is definitely not Godless one would say evil called good. He's just a good guy and one I'm proud to call a friend.
  7. 7 points
    I love and hate this article. It captures a serious problem--role playing in the church. There's blatant hypocrisy, and the much more common testifying to what we know should be rather than what is. The call to authenticity is appropriate and needed. At the same time many testimonies are sincere and real. The author knows this and rightly expresses concern that some will over-correct. Believers may stop giving testimonies because they fear their own blessings may make others feel unworthy and neglected by God. Worse yet, some will read this thoughtful article and embrace an unhealthy cynicism. They'll assume that most testimonies are fake, or, at minimum, exaggerated. And so, the author calls for authenticity, and requests that teachers give thought to those who struggle. Further, he encourages the hurting to do so out loud, believing that as they share their difficulties, many will identify and find strength and support. My reaction is that testimonies are powerful. "I lost my job, but God gave me a better one." If I am unemployed and I hear that, I think, "Great. Maybe God can help me too." The key is that our praises and good reports should point to God, not to self. It's not important that God rewarded MY FAITHFULNESS. Rather, that GOD REWARDED my faithfulness. If we keep our glad tidings directed towards Heavenly Father we invite new/renewed faith. If we trumpet our own supposed righteousness we invite shame and guilt (which drive people into hiding rather than repentance). If King and Kingdom come first then God's people will flock to church!
  8. 7 points
    Interesting, but I think the answer is fairly simple. The major difference between Lamoni and David, as you mentioned, is ignorance. In Mosiah 3:11 King Benjamin teaches us an important gospel lesson that explains why there was a difference in the apparent severity of their repentance "11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned." Lamoni was raised by a bloodthirsty people who knew nothing of God or his ways. He was living his life according to the only way he had been taught. It's apparent from King Benjamin's teaching that God takes that kind of ignorance into account, and it is covered by the the Atonement of Christ. Also Lamoni, once his ignorance was taken away by Ammon's teachings, readily accepted the Gospel, and accordingly God forgave him of his sins. David knew better. He had been raised in the faithful household of Jesse, and had lived the Gospel from his youth. He had been guided by the Holy Spirit throughout his life and had known and worked closely with at least two prophets that we know of, Samuel and Nathan. Also, since Nathan solemnized David's plural marriages (before Bathsheba) it's apparent that David continued to have the Gospel in his life all the way up to his fateful decision to murder Uriah. David had absolutely no excuse for his sins, and because of that his murder was far worse than those of Lamoni.
  9. 7 points
    estradling75

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    You are on a religious based forum... It being a SIN is all we need. You might want to tell God to sit down and shut up be we do not.
  10. 7 points
    Carborendum

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    Why is this always part of coming out or being "gay and proud"? Alternate versions include "true to myself" or "be who I'm meant to be." "Homosexual" or "heterosexual" is not "Who I am" any more than "180 lbs." It's a trait. It's a descriptor. But "who I am"? "Who I am" is a child of God. So is Stacey. Why is that never the focus?
  11. 7 points
    Carborendum

    Missionaries Returning Early

    Our Stake President recently spoke to parents regarding their children going on missions and coming home early. It appears (at least in our stake) to be a common phenomenon. He said that he had been praying for guidance as well as consulted with others on what we could do to better prepare these young men and women for their missions. Where have we failed them? Answer: Make sure they have jobs before the go. If the fist time these kids have any real responsibility is on their mission, they will not be prepared. If the first time they have to keep a schedule and be self motivated is on their mission, they will not be prepared. He went onto other traits that having a job instills in you. My reaction was,"What kids in this stake don't have jobs before they go on their mission?" Then I began realizing that three of the wards in the stake include the wealthiest communities in the Houston area. Our ward is not quite in that category. So teens in our ward tend to have jobs before they go on missions.
  12. 6 points
    My father-in-law and I were discussing this a bit today so I thought I'd share some of the thoughts. Being responsible for one's own learning, at first glance, as it relates to the new home centered study may seem to relate to the lessening of church time, etc. But that isn't the case, I believe. Being responsible for our own learning is irrelevant to the teacher or the setting. We were responsible for our own learning with three hours of church. We are responsible for our own learning if there were twelve hours of church. We are responsible for our own learning in a formalized classroom. We are responsible for our own learning when alone. But that doesn't mean that we learn of ourselves. The teacher in these cases still has a great role. The greatest teacher, of course, is the Holy Ghost. Many times the Holy Ghost teaches through other means than directly to us, and it remains our responsibility to confirm those teachings by asking God, who in turn bears witness of their truth by the power of the Holy Ghost. But these teachings we have from prophets and the scriptures still came from the Holy Ghost in the first place (unless given directly by God of the Savior -- in which cases the Holy Ghost still certainly attended as witness). But for a great many of us "things" we learn are not the key or point here of being responsible for our own learning.* At some level many, in life, will learn more than others of facts and figures and ideas and philosophies. This is the nature of mortality. We are not equal in all things, and some are more capable of learning this way than others. Does that mean those with more mortal brain power have a greater chance at salvation? Of course not. In the introduction to the Come Follow Me manual the first page tells us, "Conversion Is Our Goal." It states, "The aim of all gospel learning and teaching is to deepen our conversion and help us become more like Jesus Christ... ...when we study the gospel, we're not just looking for new information; we want to become a "new creature"." Indeed, the type of learning we are responsible for is not just book learning and smarts. It is, rather, the learning that comes from the Holy Ghost that is more than just knowledge. It is the light and truth of God that enlightens our mind and removes darkness from our understanding. It is knowing God. That is the learning of which we ought to primarily speak when we consider the responsibility we have for our own learning. It is our conversion, commitment, and faith that matters. On the first page (as far as we got in our family study today) of the Dec 31-Jan 6 (I know...a day early... Sue me!) lesson states, we might ask ourselves the same question as Jesus asked of His disciples: "What seek ye?" What is it we truly, honestly, want to learn? First and foremost, for myself, I want to know God better. Or at least, it might be more truthful to say, I want to want to know God better. Truly. I believe knowing God is the business with which we ought to be concerned when it comes to our responsibility for gospel learning. * I say for most of us because I assume that most engaged in the new program will already know most of the "things" being taught.
  13. 6 points
    Here are some random stories from five guys I've come to know in real life, in the last few years. People tend to put their best foot forward, but I've come to know the rest of the story of these struggling dudes. Lane is divorced, and has primary custody of their special-needs teen daughter. Lane and his wife fought for years, decided on a divorce, but called off the plan after their daughter reacted very badly to the notion. Things got worse for several years, and they lawyered up and divorced. Now, a few years after that, Lane tells me it would have been better for everyone involved if they had gone through the divorce the first time, rather than dragging it out. He weathered Christmas ok, it was her turn to have the daughter, so he went and stayed with family. Bob is emotionally unhealthy. At the time I met him, he was trying to follow a program for codependent husbands called "No more mister nice guy", about healthy ways to claim dignity and refuse to accept being treated badly by your wife. As he goes through various programs and counseling, he is trying to work on his issues. His wife has filed, and they are currently lawyered up and going through the process. He is trying hard to draw healthy lines between his crap to fix, and his wife's crap she must fix. To know the difference between what it looks to pursue his wife out of love, or pursue her out of a desperate clingy brokenness. As she refuses to follow through on various agreements, he spends energy trying to find the motivation to do his part. Last I heard, his wife was planning to file a motion to postpone the next step in the divorce, because apparently she was seeing a change in him. Their kids are teens, seem to be adjusting ok to their parents' drama. James' wife, after soul searching and talking with counselors and the bishop and seeking answers in the temple, has filed for divorce. Both James and his wife grew up with very bad role models on how husbands and wives should behave. James is broken, and he knows it. He can't for the life of him figure out how to be emotionally healthy. He tells of a time when his wife kicked him to the couch until she saw some positive change in him, any positive change. After she had gone to bed, he stood in the bedroom doorway for like 20 minutes, unable to say anything, unable to either go in or go away, paralyzed by an emotion he still can't identify. He sort of does stuff like that. She has seen small bits of health from him, whenever his back is against the wall, but as soon as he's safe he goes back to his normal. James figures his most likely option to win her back, is to go through with the divorce, and then show his (ex)wife he can be healthy even though there's no pressure on him. They just made it through their first step of the legal divorce process. They had a good talk for two hours afterwords, then went home and back to business as usual - distance and proceeding to separate. No lawyers here. J.R. and his wife were both broken when they met, and got married for the wrong reasons. As he tells the story, he spent 20 years believing she was the enemy, staying at a safe distance from her, blaming her for the distance, before he finally learned to deal with his traumatic childhood baggage. He's heard stories about marriages where one spouse in an alcoholic, and the drunk gets sober, and the dynamic changes and the healthy spouse can't/won't heal, and the marriage just doesn't survive. He sees analogies in his life: she's now the one distant, rejecting, blaming, withholding. In his words, he got them there, she's keeping them there. His kids and wife are openly hostile to him, usually rejecting, sometimes cruel. Quick to claim harm or hurt, glacially slow to see good. J.R. wonders if he could have a more positive impact on his family if he were out of the house, and with every painful story he shares with someone, he's got one less bishohp/counselor/sponsor/spiritual confirmation urging him to stay married. He tries to see Christmas in a good light - there was a 3-4 day break in the usual faultfinding and criticism and distance. Roy finds his wife is treating him unacceptably. Yelling, blaming, accusing, etc. Roy has filed for divorce twice because of this, cancelling his divorce plans when his wife capitulates and promises to do better. He's now filed a third time. He reports his wife reacted with anger and refusal to put up with this any more. Roy strikes me as half the problem, he doesn't seem to have any empathy for his wife. He considers himself 100% victim, her 100% at fault. I have a hard time thinking of Roy in a positive light. It's interesting to see common threads running through their unique and different stories. All of them have been to counseling, some of them years and years of it - both couples and individual. Most are Christian of one stripe or another, some very devout. Getting to know these guys makes me wonder about everyone else. How many of us could write a paragraph about ourselves containing this much pain and trouble? Is it all of us? Just a few of us? Anyway, just getting thoughtful at the end of 2018. All that advice we get about being slow to judge because we never know the burdens another is bearing, is better advice every time I hear it.
  14. 6 points
    Carborendum

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    So, you're saying "wrong" MUST have logic to it? It isn't enough that God has condemned it? Q: What's wrong with murder? A: Well, you're ending a life. Q: So, what's wrong with that? I really didn't like the guy. A: Life is precious! Q: Prove it! You could say this about anything. And you simply won't be able to come to right and wrong unless you trace it back to "God said so."
  15. 6 points
    There's nothing hateful or condemnatory of his struggle with homosexuality itself here. There's condemnation of the "embrace the natural man" attitude displayed along-side it, and full support for the idea that he should focus more on who he actually is -- a child of God -- in his messaging. Which by itself would be commendable if he didn't add all the "my gayness is beautiful" style garbage. I commend the effort to help youth. It'd be like me sharing that I struggled with the temptation to view pornographic images and sharing that with other so they didn't feel that they were alone in their similar struggle but then I start waxing poetic about how my desire to watch other random people engage in explicit sex acts wasn't my enemy, I needed to stop fighting against it, it was a how God made me, and I need to embrace the "real" me -- with nary a mention that I needed to abstain despite the natural man (who actually, scripturally, IS an enemy to God). Inject any other struggle we have and the problem becomes obvious. "I'm coming out as an alcoholic because I've realized it's a sweet and wonderful integral part of who I am and it's not my enemy." "I'm coming out as a someone with a temper because I've realized it's a sweet and wonderful integral part of who I am and it's not my enemy." "I'm coming out as an thief because I've realized it's a sweet and wonderful integral part of who I am and it's not my enemy." "I'm coming out as an adulterer because I've realized it's a sweet and wonderful integral part of who I am and it's not my enemy." "I'm coming out as an pedophile because I've realized it's a sweet and wonderful integral part of who I am and it's not my enemy." Except these things are our enemy and they are not sweet and wonderful and they are not "integral" to who we really are. The hope is that one would actually share the gospel's message. "I have such-n-such temptation to sin, like others do, and I'm sharing this so they don't feel alone in this, but it does not define me, I choose not to act upon it, and I trust in the Lord that as I obey His commandments He will bless me and help me to be more like Him every day. You, like myself, can be strong and faithful, relying wholly upon the merits of Christ, and as you and I do, I know we can be blessed with His strength and Spirit to obey His commandments and remain faithful to Him despite our natural struggles." This is the message I want to see. Not embracing the natural struggle as if it is a beautiful, God-made-me-this-way-so-it-can't-be-bad, wonderful thing that not only shouldn't be put off, but should actually be embraced. If a humble, faith affirming, obedience centered, putting-off the natural man, don't label yourself, you are children of God, trust in Him, keep up the good fight message accompanied His decision to share his struggles with the youth then I'd have nothing but praise. I certainly hope so. Of course the only mention of God is that he believes God expects him to magnify his gayness. It's a work in progress I think. Sure. But that work to be done is not abandoning plain gospel truths like the need to put off the natural man. I'd be more encouraged if the responses I've seen were more put off the natural man instead of embracing it coupled with the good efforts to not overly shame ourselves for our weaknesses. If the LGBT crowd would stop pressing it as if it were wholesome then I expect that might be possible. Unfortunately the solution to any problem cannot be to embrace things that are not true.
  16. 6 points
    Just_A_Guy

    Missionaries Returning Early

    IIRC, 18 was never intended to be “the age” for missionary service. It was an option for those who felt ready, but it was anticipated that many might still wait until they were 19 and that was supposed to be OK. Personally, I feel like there’s a lot to be said for doing at least a year of college/trade school/semi-independent living before embarking on missionary service.
  17. 5 points
    But you seem to be implying the "seminary answers" are actually mistaken. The plain ("seminary") answer of how we receive truth is not a mystery. We read scriptures. We listen to conference. We attend gospel meetings. We go to the temple. We ponder. We pray. We listen and obey. I agree that application of these principles is inadequate and needs improvement by all across the board. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the answer itself is wrong.
  18. 5 points
    Vort

    When it ain't all smiles and sunshine

    Funny how much I can sympathize with the various struggles these guys experience. My life is wonderful, but it would be so much better if I were less of an idiot. And to be fair, my wife has her off moments, as well. Some seem to find their way through the crapstorm while others get engulfed by it. Not sure what to make of it all. It does make me think that our perspective on life and love is terribly short-sighted. My brother's first wife seemed like a walking nightmare. Her childhood included (it was whispered) molestation and outright sexual encounters with her father. I felt very sorry for her, but her actions were such that I have not harbored warm, fuzzy feelings toward her through the years. When interacting with my nieces (her daughters), I have been reminded of her mental disorders. How much differently our Father in heaven and our Savior see her. How much differently I would see her if I were a better man. I don't really want to lament or engage in public self-flagellation. Rather, in reading NT's stories, I recognize a thread of commonality in the human experience. Those people we admire most and whose lives seem so beautiful have also had to deal with these same basic issues. Somehow, they've just dealt with them better than others. (And I'm not talking about being raped by your father. I'm talking about the more mundane issues and "baggage" we all carry around and deal with.) Learning to effectively deal with such matters is surely one part of our purpose here.
  19. 5 points
    Godless

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    Am I to understand that a true convert has NO moral weakness, NO susceptibility to temptation, and NO capacity for sin? Because it seems to me that you're painting the portrait of a type of individual who, by your church's own teachings, has only existed once in all of human history, and you just celebrated his birthday yesterday.
  20. 5 points
    SilentOne

    Samuel and Nephi

    I read the end of Helaman a few days ago and what stood out to me this time was Mortal reasoning might say, "Nephi's got that place covered. He's showing signs and working miracles, and I doubt anything I say will convince anybody he can't. I'll go somewhere else." But apparently, Samuel could reach people who Nephi didn't.
  21. 5 points
  22. 5 points
    There was a time when I was going to church more or less regularly, but I hated going. I felt out of place, awkward and uncomfortable. I tend to have a boisterous personality at times and I like jokes, I like to laugh and try to be serious only when absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, at around that time, most of the other guys in the Elders' Quorum were utterly unlike me in every conceivable way. They were all quiet, reserved, chatted only about their families, gave me blank looks when I would make a Star Trek reference (usually because they didn't have a TV in their house) and in general didn't seem to know what to make of me. I was afraid that this would eventually lead me to go inactive and possibly even leave the Church. I hate to admit it, but that's where it could have gone. All the brothers in EQ were great guys and I liked them, it's just that they struck me as being terribly bland, boring people and I just couldn't see myself trying to force myself to be like them. And that's about the time I met @MormonGator on here. It wasn't him alone, but he was the first to make me realize that one really can get away with being their own unique and weird (meant in a good way) person while still being 100% LDS. Others showed me that too, and eventually I realized that it wasn't that I had to conform to the boring image I was getting in EQ. It was that A. I didn't know these guys in EQ well enough. Some of them are as oddball as can be, they just put on a mask in Church in order to seem to fit in, and B. Not all EQs are like that. The ward I'm in now is much more lively.
  23. 5 points
    Godless

    Stacey Harkey comes out

    Reading this thread has given me some answers to those questions. There's been talk on here before about the problem of suicidal thoughts and actions among LDS youth, especially in Utah, who struggle with their sexual identity. They hide it and stuff that part of themselves into a "dark dungeon" because of, well, responses like this. FWIW, I believe Stacey when he says that he came out to show those youth that they're not alone. I imagine he's probably endured his own fair share of depression and other dark thoughts (that's what I got out of the "dark dungeon" remark). Better for him (and others) to be open (and not ashamed) about his differences and hope that his fellow LDS can still find it within themselves to treat him like a "child of God". Based on his statement, I have no doubt that he still sees that in himself. Overall, I truly believe that the Church's approach towards LGBT members has improved, at least from an institutional standpoint. Culturally, based on what I've seen (not just here, mind you), there's still some work to be done. I'm encouraged by the responses I've seen from younger LDS faithful, including some very hardcore LDS family members. There seems to be a generational attitude shift in regard to LGBT issues, and I'm hopeful that over time perhaps the rift between the two communities will shrink a bit.
  24. 5 points
    mikbone

    Mainstream

    The wife got this for Christmas. I was impressed that there are enough Latter-Day Saints to justify the procuction of this Steinbach nutcracker & that they got the name of the Church right. But the haircut isn’t up to grooming standards...
  25. 5 points
    unixknight

    Breakups

    The tricky thing about prayer is that we sometimes use it to validate decisions we've made already, or to convince ourselves that God is going to arrange things the way we want them. It's really awesome that you've found prayer and that it's been a comfort to you in your life. Absolutely stick with it! The only advice I'd offer here is this: Just keep in mind that God doesn't always respond to our prayers in the way we want or expect. He will always act in our best interests, but like children, we don't always know what's best for us. In those times when He may not answer us the way we want, or in times when it feels like He isn't listening is the time we need to pay attention and see what does happen and try to learn from it. Whether or not you and your boyfriend will ever get back together isn't really up to God. The reason is because both you and your ex-bf have free agency, you do what you choose. We aren't marionettes and God doesn't force us to do anything. It may be that the warm, comforting feeling you got was to assure you that everything will be okay, but not necessarily in the way you expect. Trust that. It will be okay, even if the future doesn't exactly look the way you want or expect it to.