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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/04/20 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    This topic can be sensitive, and I was tempted to place in the Christian beliefs forum. However, my sense is that the spiritual struggle that politics sometimes generates affects us all. Here's the story--made vague on purpose. A man seminary-educated (Protestant graduate theology school) in the 1970s becomes ordained in his mainline denomination and pastors a single church for nearly 30 years. As he sees his denomination embrace gay marriage, ordain practicing homosexuals, and now fully embrace transgenderism, he comes to the soul-wrenching decision to leave his denomination--including guiding his church out. He was able to join another denomination, under the same larger umbrella, and today says his former denomination cannot be merely labed liberal--it has become radical, in his view. I read his article and, taken at face value, I agree. In the 1990s, when I was at my much-more-Bible-based denominational seminary I remember classmates saying with a bit of bravado that they were thankful that we would never affirm anti-biblical sexuality. Today we remain nowhere near violating those standards. However, there are some frightfully strong rumblings among our youngest clergy. A few pastors have left us, because they do want to embrace today's cultural norms. In the greater Evangelical world there are several thinkers suggesting a huge divide is coming over support/opposition to POTUS. Apparently many younger believers find it hypocritical and even evil that their elders would turn a blind eye to the shortcomings in order to gain temporary protection and support. "Do we trust God or Caesar?" they ask. If the church is led by prophets, and those prophets remain true, then a few may leave the church, whether to the left or the right. If boundary-protectors force the church to the right, outside of God's directing, then a good number will leave for the left. Those who do so will be younger. On the other hand, if the cultural-accommodaters get ahead of God's directions, many elders may leave in dismay. After some initial growth by excited young people, such a movement would go the way of many in-tune denominations--gradual implosion. I'm an outsider. However, if my counsel is worth anything, I'd urge members to pray for their leaders--especially those they believe to be anointed by God to be prophets. In the mean time, I am praying for my leaders to keep our denomination faithful to God and his Word.
  2. 9 points
    Gospel Principles or standard works? The answer I am hearing is YES...but in reverse order. Great answer. Obvious...but true. And, yes, for too many Christians of all stripes, there has not been even one reading through the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Sadly, some of our compromised mega-pastors are actively advising against much of the Bible as unnecessary. :::sigh::: Keep them ignorant, keep them controlled. I especially like the added counsel to use Gospel Principles, but with actually references to all scriptures listed. Who does that? Very few...but yeah, everyone should. I recall reading a study book from a religion I do not agree with. They made a statement I thought wrong, and in parenthesis it had six biblical references. Most would look at that and be amazed and overwhelmed. They must be right with all that scripture backing them. Alas, I actually read the first two references and realized they had nothing to do with the point made. It's almost as if they simply used a concordance to see if any of the words in their points were also in the Bible, and the listed each verse that contained one of the words. BOTTOM LINE: Want to avoid being a heretic within? Read your faith's scriptures...daily passages and yearly books. Excellent stuff. I believe our elders called this type of thing a spiritual discipline.
  3. 9 points
    I thought about starting a new thread, but figured it'd make more sense to update this one. I had a membership council with my Stake Presidency (hurrah for the handbook changes!) about 5 weeks ago. They made the decision to suggest to headquarters I could get baptized again. I got a call from my Stake President on Sunday that the Area president opened up baptisms and that I can schedule it. Tonight, I will again be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Thank you for being a wonderful community that has helped me in this journey. (Not to imply that it's over)
  4. 8 points

    Broken Bow

    A long time ago when I experienced extended unemployment I thought hard on the story of Nephi's broken bow. And I realized that I had been very blessed by the Lord financially. I'd had a good run. It occurred to me that I could bemoan the fact that I had broken my steel bow and murmur all the time, or I could realize that I could make a wooden bow and look for another line of work that didn't pay so well. I made do at the time. For the last few months of not working due to the quarantine, I began pondering that again. But when I looked at the story of the broken bow again in CFM reading for the year, it occurred to me that there was a more spiritual meaning. I was going to find it. What does it take to make a bow? A piece of wood. Not just any wood will do. There have to be certain size and shape requirements with limited tools. I doubt that they had access to high quality glue at the time in the wilderness. So, it had to be one very long fairly straight piece of wood. The wood also has to have strength and stiffness requirements. That was it. Stiffness. Stiff-necked. I tried doing a search for trees and wood from the middle east. There were only two things that kept coming up on Google searches: Cedars of Lebanon and the Dragon Blood Tree of Yemen. I don't know if these two trees were literally available for Nephi to work with. But the words as written in the Book of Mormon are certainly pointing to the symbolism. Cedars of Lebanon were famous throughout scriptures as a symbol of the pride of man. And sure enough, it has the geometry, strength, and stiffness that would serve an archer well. To create that bow, Nephi had to chop down the symbol of pride. He had to humble himself (and later remind his father to humble himself before the Lord). But humility alone was not enough. To have a bow endure extended use, the wood must be treated with oils and/or resins to preserve it. It just so happens that the dragon blood tree is famous for the quality of resin that comes from its sap. But true to its name, what do you think the sap looks like? Could it be that pride, when washed clean in the blood of Christ can save people by spiritually feeding them? Could this be the symbolism of this story behind the broken bow? Truthfully, I don't care if it was intended by Nephi. I do know that this message is true.
  5. 7 points

    Update From My Son's Mission

    I just thought I'd share with you what has been going on with my son. I got the privilege of talking to him twice a week for the past 2 weeks because of Mother's Day and my birthday so it was a really happy time for me. Anyway, as of yesterday, he's been in quarantine at the Manila MTC for 52 days. He has one assignment - MTC pianist - and his schedule includes 1 hour of piano practice everyday in addition to the 1 hour of daily devotionals (where he plays accompaniment for the hymns). He also gets 1 hour of MTC class a day and 1 hour of required exercise (or any physical activity). He gets 2 1-hour proselyting sessions a week where he proselytizes over internet to people he knows (mostly people from home or relatives in the Philippines because he was only on the field for 1 day and does not know any investigators from the field yet) as there are a bunch of missionaries stuck in the MTC and only very few devices to go around. Overall, he is doing good physically, mentally, and spiritually. One thing I have noticed though is that he has become weirder and weirder. I mean, he already has his weird tendencies before quarantine but now, even I (who completely gets his weirdness) go "huh?". For example, he has started to refer to his journal as some sentient being - sounds to me like it is female - and is thinking on its own making comments at his journal entries. He writes in several colors and it seems like blue/black are his entries to the journal, green is him talking to himself, and purple is the journal talking back to him. Weird, huh? He also sent a video of him sitting on a chair holding a Filipino fan, fanning himself in time to music. It was quite artistic and something his classmates from his Arts High School would label as deep. But it's just 3 minutes of him moving that fan on tempo which becomes hypnotic after 3 minutes. But what really gets me is his letters. This is where his spiritual thoughts just pour out onto "paper" and I realize... man... this is my son and he sounds as spiritually mature as an apostle. It is when I read his letters that I become anxious that I don't know anything about what will happen after the Manila lockdown is lifted. Will he be sent home or will he remain in the field? Because... he needs to be in on the harvest - people need to hear the gospel from him. Anyway, the Tacloban Mission Area will be released from lockdown on May 15. Manila is on lockdown until May 30. The Church has not issued any instructions to the missionaries in Tacloban to be able to go back to normal - as of today, they are still on self-imposed quarantine past May 15. Patience is a virtue.
  6. 7 points
    They don’t say it openly, of course. Apparently the founders, as a nod to President Nelson, suggested changing the group’s name to “Saints Building Bridges”, which caused a critical mass of members to drop the mask of loyalty and swamp the founders with a bunch of Facebook messages along the lines of “what are we listening to that ol’ poo-poo-head for?” Takeaways: 1) President Nelson is seeming wilier and wilier every day. 2) They went full anti-Mormon. Never go full anti-Mormon. 3) Anyone want to place bets on how long it will take before this “Emmaus” group goes the same way as MBB? 4) It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at all of this.
  7. 7 points

    Fun family history stories

    I thought a thread like this might be a lot of fun. I think it's a pity that great family history stories die with the family members that know them but didn't write them down. I'll start out with a couple of items I picked up talking to my mother on the phone yesterday. I My grandfather was a reactor operator at the Hanford site in eastern Washington, where plutonium was made for the Fat Man bombs (one of which was dropped on Nagasaki). He was a Salt Lake City shopkeeper, married with children, so he didn't get drafted into World War II. But he did end up volunteering to go work on some secret project out in Washington state somewhere. The group of men that he was a part of had heard people using terms like "reactor" and such. At one point early in the process, he was taken with some other men into a classroom for a lecture. The lecturer started out by showing the men an ambiguous photograph of what looked like a giant white sphere, and asked them, "What do you think this is?" My grandfather, wanting to be a little bit funny and answer something other than the obvious "I haven't the faintest clue" instead replied, "It looks like a 'reactor' to me." Because of that offhand humorous answer, my grandpa was made a supervising operator (Mom said something about an 'A' designation). II So the reactor operators were to be trained in the basics of nuclear physics and how to operate these extremely complex reactors. Grandpa's main teacher was a man they called "Dr. Farmer". Mom said that later, after the war, they found out he was someone famous, and his first name was something like Eric. Eric... So I asked her, "You mean Enrico Fermi?" She said, "Yes, that's it! 'Doctor Farmer' was Enrico Fermi." So my grandpa was taught nuclear physics by Enrico Fermi. That's even better than "my dad can beat up your dad".
  8. 7 points
    I told my 17-year old, who was quoting an Edgar Allen Poe poem, that if she wanted to memorize Bible passages like that King James is the easiest. She looked surprised and asked me why. It's the rhythm and cadence. It's not my studying Bible, but there is nothing like the King James for memorizing and quoting. The other reality is that the KJV rates at about an 11th grade reading level. NIV is 7th, as are most news magazines. So, it's more than we are used to, but not out of reach.
  9. 7 points
    One of the greatest unsung heroes, and defenders of biblical sexuality, is Dr. Warren Throckmorton. He is professor of Psychology at Grove City College, in, yep, Grove City, PA. Approximately 20 years ago a group of Christian men came to him. They said they had same-sex attraction, but as Christians believed that it would be a sin to fulfill those attractions. They asked that he meet with them weekly for therapy and Bible study. He agreed. Eventually he developed Sexual Identity Therapy (helping religiously-motivated, same sex-attracted men maintain celibacy). After a few years he submitted SIT (with another Christian psychologist) to the APA. Despite much political push-back, APA approved the therapy. My rough recollection of Dr. Glasgow's (head of the APA committee that examined the work) summary comment: As surprising as it is to some of us, for a number of people who they worship is more important than who they sleep with. Here's the SIT: https://sitframework.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sexualidentitytherapyframeworkfinal.pdf Dr. Throckmorton's quiet love is far superior to those who claim a form of godliness, but yell at church leadership, "Love is love!" I beg to differ. Love is not selfish. I will not feed my flesh by causing another to stumble.
  10. 7 points
    In all soberness, I would most strongly suggest that you read the standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price). Then read them again. Then again. Continue for the rest of your life. This is by far the best way to gain a solid foundation of understanding in the gospel. I do not deny that primers like Gospel Principles and various student manuals can be a great adjunct to learning the doctrines. But to learn the doctrines, you will ultimately need to go to the scriptures. To understand how the principles taught in scripture apply to our situations today, I would advise you to listen and relisten to the most recent General Conference.
  11. 7 points
    I expect that all list members, especially those who are Latter-day Saints, felt a bit miffed when reading @Ironhold's thread. "What is the matter with people?" many of us thought. Why would anyone, much less a father, exhibit such a seemingly anal retentive attitude so as to require someone to kneel on BOTH knees, not just one, when performing an ordinance? I mean, seriously? It requires, like, zero insight to figure out that's not good. However, I am not without sympathy for Ironhold's dad. He was wrong, to be sure. @NeuroTypical's Joseph Fielding Smith "mic-drop" comment about the sacrament really nails this fact. I can't come up with any reasonable scenario where acting as Ironhold said that his father acted could be construed as acceptable, and I can't imagine that Ironhold would prevaricate or exaggerate such a matter. But I have long noticed a "creeping mediocrity" within the Church, often overlooked or dismissed, or worse yet, justified as somehow a charitable virtue. Maybe this was Ironhold's father's concern, too. Kneeling for prayer is a worthwhile example to examine. It's not a natural position, certainly not one that we can comfortably hold for any extended period without first being inured to it. It's like sitting in the Japanese floor-sitting position called seiza. If you're not Japanese and haven't practiced sitting like that since childhood, odds are you'll find it uncomfortable if not downright painful. The older you get, the harder it is. Yet Japanese, both young and old, sit in seiza for minutes or even hours at a time with minimal discomfort. Similarly, kneeling becomes a comfortable position only as we practice doing it a lot, for minutes or even hours at a time over a period of many years. So why would anyone kneel to pray? Well, perhaps in a way because it's not natural. Kneeling is a long-accepted demonstration of humility, a way of bowing before a greater authority, literally humbling ["humble" = low to the ground] oneself before another. This attitude is absolutely vital in praying to God. We do not approach God as an equal with whom we're carrying on a peer-to-peer conversation. Or if we do, then our prayers will not lead anywhere good, because we don't understand our position before God. We must approach God with an attitude of utter and abject humility, or else we don't approach God at all. Thus, kneeling is spiritually a completely natural and desirable act, the flesh mirroring the spirit in attitude. Then what of those who cannot kneel? They must therefore be cut off from all contact with God. It only follows, right? And the better one can kneel, the more acceptable he is before God! This is transparent nonsense. No one believes that. It's a Pharisaical attitude that probably would out-Pharisee the actual Pharisees. BUT... That's not to say the principle is untrue. Dwelling on the openly hypocritical nature of the above example tends to lead people to decide that any prescription of action such as kneeling is a hypocrisy. And thus we follow the garden path right down the slippery slope, until anything is acceptable and nothing has a real standard. Baptism by sprinkling? Infant baptism? Sure, why not? For that matter, why worry about baptism at all? It's all good! We kneel because it is our place to kneel before God. We kneel in such ordinances as the sacrament because we're instructed to do so. We kneel in our personal prayers because it serves as a physical reminder of our correct place before God. And the more we practice kneeling, the less onerous it becomes. If we can't kneel, then we don't kneel. But which of us has never found ourselves praying while lying down, just to get it over with, without even bothering to drag ourselves to our knees because we're just too tired (i.e. it's just too inconvenient)? I try always to kneel when I pray alone or with my wife, even when she prefers to sit. I kneel because I want to show God through my physical actions that I'm trying to humble my spirit. If my wife doesn't see things that way, that's okay. She doesn't report to me in such things. But that's what I feel, and it's what I have tried to teach my children. Another example I can bring up is the monthly fast. (Yes, this is an issue I have addressed multiple times in the past. If you're interested, here's my most recent post on the matter from about sixteen months ago.) Now I am in no position to judge individuals in this matter, so I make no such pretense. But I have eyes in my head and a brain in my skull. I have observed myself very closely over the years. I have observed family members, friends, fellow ward members, and congregations I have visited. I have observed in-laws, both my own and those of my children and relatives. And what I have noticed is that Church members very often make up excuses for why they cannot or will not fast. It's often the idea that they have low blood sugar or diabetic intolerance or that fasting makes them feel bad, so instead they'll give up something else like watching TV for Sunday, and THAT will count exactly the same as a fast. Because that's what a fast is, really. Sacrificing something. Right? No. Not right. From what I can see, people don't fast because they don't like it. Going without food and drink, even for a short 24-hour period, makes them feel weak and achy and uncomfortable. But as I have often quoted President Woodruff as having said: It was remarked this morning that some people said they could not fast because it made their head ache. Well, I can fast, and so can any other man; and if it makes my head ache by keeping the commandments of God, let it ache. How many blessings do we completely miss out on because we Just Won't Fast? I don't think it's right to berate ward or family members for not fasting. That is not my place, and it is not what I'm trying to do. But it doesn't take a genius or a prophet to look at what's going on and realize that, as a people, we appear not to keep the monthly fast as we should. Is this not another example of creeping mediocrity that ends up being oh-so-ironically justified as some kind of virtue? We have to walk a line. On the one side is Pharisaical insistence on rules and adherence to all sorts of measures that somehow show physical proof of our spiritual righteousness. Such hypocrisy is abominable to God; it seems to me that the only people toward whom the mortal Jesus ever seemed to show anything approaching disgust or revulsion were those who displayed just that sort of hypocrisy. But on the other side is the universalist tendency to say, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die...and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." This sort of pooh-poohing of the commandments and teachings cannot be any less damnable than the previously mentioned hypocrisy. The very first and most important gift that we as Saints are given is the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through that gift, we can—indeed, we must—learn to distinguish right from wrong and truth from error. If we depend on the Spirit, I don't think we'll have too much trouble finding the balance between the two extremes portrayed above. When we get off-track to the one side or the other, the Spirit will correct us. Until we've developed that spiritual maturity, it behooves us greatly to pay attention, follow the teachings, and be very strictly honest with ourselves about our efforts and motivations. In any case, let's be slow to embrace mediocrity, and never try to justify it as some sort of holy thing. In this, I'm speaking to myself at least as much as to anyone else.
  12. 6 points
    And don't forget to do so in prayer, humbly listening to the Holy Spirit
  13. 6 points
    There's the answer I could give YOU, if I were advising you. But I believe you're asking about "the average Latter-day Saint." So, that is the answer I would offer for the average person. I know that the "proper" thing to say would be to read the scriptures. And that has to be a part of the process. But one weakness is that education is so bad that people simply can't read archaic language anymore. So, yes. Gospel Principles would be the best common language publication to read and study to get the basics of our beliefs. But I would always advise that one would look up every scriptural reference in the book in order to get some idea of what the older language sounds and feels like. So, part of the study of Gospel Principles would be to ease one into the older language in a setting that uses common language to get there. The summaries found in Gospel Principles never really relay the ideas like the scriptures themselves. Eventually, one MUST study the scriptures. As Nephi says: Feast upon the words of Christ.
  14. 6 points

    Opinions on John Pontius?

    I read about half of Visions of Glory. I got bored with it and didn't continue reading. I consider privately authored spiritual expositions in the same light as the D&C represents the Apocrypha. In most situations, it is not really worth my time to decipher truth from interpolation from someones private writings. There are so many 'good books' to read, already. That said, a few ideas here and there from private authors have helped me identify my personal opinions; ultimately, I may disagree with the author's interpretation while being pleased that it led me to my own. Outside of accepted canonical sources, I find it best to maintain a certain level of skepticism, especially as it concerns things that have not yet been directly revealed.
  15. 6 points

    When Women (don't) Speak

    Just wanted to comment on the two bolded areas. First: “Then you will never be heard” — true. Hopefully, if an aware person is in charge, they will be aware that there are those in the room that have something worthwhile to share but won’t because they are not aggressive enough to get their thoughts shared. I’m thinking along the lines of a Sunday School class. Many don’t share thoughts or experiences because they feel inferior, or in my case it’s too intimidating to speak up in front of men and some women. I’m much more likely to speak up in a group where I feel accepted and everyone feels comfortable. There are times I don’t participate, even though I know the correct answer (reading these forums, I’ve learned a thing or two) because of the alpha attitude of some in the class. They seem to take over, and I’m not aggressive enough to interject. So, my information, thoughts, and feelings don’t get shared. Second: “Then someone else will succeed and you won’t. This isn’t hard to understand.” For me, what is success? It certainly isn’t getting first in a competition or a promotion. In many areas I know I can win, and often did. I would much rather give up my prize to a struggling coworker.(I’m so glad I’m retired. ) I had no desire to be the one in charge., even when I was a supervisor. Let me just do my job so I could go home and be where my heart was—with my family. I was not the main breadwinner in our home. That was my husband’s job. So, glad he was willing to be that person. So, was I an unsuccessful employee? I think not. I used my time wisely And did my job. Then I went home to my real job. I was happy to see my coworkers get promotions and worked to see them get ahead. I received promotions too, but it didn’t mean much. (When I was single it did mean a lot more). Let me be a mom to my kids and support my husband. I consider that a success! I may be in the minority in regards to my thinking. But, success, in my mind has always been as a wife and mother.
  16. 5 points

    When Women (don't) Speak

    I just got my copy of BYU magazine yesterday. I'll be honest, I usually send it to the round file. But I felt the need to open it up and find out what they actually write in that publication. And this article caught my eye. https://magazine.byu.edu/article/when-women-dont-speak/ It cites scholarly studies evincing the following phenomena in scholarly settings: Unequal Talking Time Routinely Interrupted Limited Influence This is even in groups where the women are liked and respected. That seems startlingly bad for the men in the groups. But... They seem to have a theme regarding how men behave that wasn't clearly stated as the underlying cause. Men are more aggressive than women. It wasn't sexism per se. It was that men were doing what we are biologically programmed to do. Be aggressive to make our way in the world. To hunt and succeed by strength and speed. When looking at it forensically, I found that I have to agree that the data they came up with was correct. But I didn't like the article for two reasons. Nothing was said about why men are aggressive -- nor the reason that men are more agressive is actually a good thing. It was actually condemned. The solution they gave was essentially for everyone to become sheep and "just get along." Why is that solution flawed? History has shown that in development of society (even including clearly measurable and provable sectors such as highly technical fields) mildly aggressive tendencies have been the driver behind it. It's called ambition -- balanced with a healthy dose of virtue. And biologically, men tend to have that (aggression) a lot more than women. Case study after case study has also shown (quoting Jordan Peterson) that when women learn to be more aggressive, they will tend to get the same results that men do. It isn't about sex (exactly). It is about aggression. But we in a society have been told that being meek and lowly in heart is the better way to be. When speaking of Godly things, that is true. But in the secular world, that simply isn't so. Keep in mind that one can be gentle and meek, yet aggressively strong at the same time. It is a careful balance. It is a balance that Jesus achieved all the time in his teachings. And many of us mere mortals can achieve it as well. But today's world tells us that they are mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, too many people have bought into it. It is false.
  17. 5 points

    Baptisms for the dead

    No. Several church materials have stated this. See here for example under Temples: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bd/temple?lang=eng From Adam to the time of Jesus, ordinances were performed in temples for the living only. After Jesus opened the way for the gospel to be preached in the world of spirits, ceremonial work for the dead, as well as for the living, has been done in temples on the earth by faithful members of the Church. Building and properly using a temple is one of the marks of the true Church in any dispensation, and is especially so in the present day.
  18. 5 points

    Baptisms for the dead

    Originally I felt/believed the temple font was evidence for baptisms for the dead. It wasn't until recently (maybe even Gramps answer) that I had to search myself if that was accurate. The Church's website seems to be directing members to understand that there wasn't any baptisms for the dead before Christ's resurrection. We understand it wasn't until Christ went and visited that others were able to teach to those who have slept. Would ministering and teaching to the spirits in prison be required before baptism by proxy for them? We don't just baptize people, living, without first being taught. I think that principle is evidence that baptism for the dead did not occur until Christ visited those in prison and opened the way for ministering and teaching to the dead. There are other thoughts that could be for proxy baptisms in the Old Testament, but I think it still doesn't negate teaching comes before baptism.
  19. 5 points

    Opinions on John Pontius?

    VOG is bad LDS science fiction...barely. That is the only thing, other then some blog posts, by Pontius I've read. He didn't hold my attention. As far as I know Pontius did not have any affiliation with the group Vallow and Daybell are connected with. He also died a few years ago.
  20. 5 points

    The Slow Return to "Normal"

    You could be infected and contagious for several days prior to not feeling good. That's the main point of the masks, to prevent asympomatic people from infecting others. It baffles me that many of the people demanding local governments to reopen their communities NOW also seem to be the most reluctant to adhere to measures that will make said reopenings safe. Reopening was always going to be contingent on strict safety measures being followed and enforced. That's the price of "freedom". If you* expect me to believe that school shootings are the price of 2A rights, then I think you can wear a mask at the mall. *Generic. I'm not sure what your specific views are on guns and the 2A, but I know many people who have tried saying that occasional mass shootings are the price of freedom are the same who are upset that they can't go to Applebees, or that they have to wear masks in public. The cognitive dissonance is truly remarkable.
  21. 5 points
    For me, watching competitive sports doesn’t really foster the atmosphere I want in my home on a Sunday. Not sure I’d call it “sinful”; but it’s perhaps merely a “good” amongst the triad of “good, better, best”. But I recognize there’s a lot of subjectivity in terms of what might constitute good/better/best Sabbath activities. For example, I spend my workdays cooped up in an office and/or a courtroom; being outside on the Sabbath in God’s creation doing a little gardening—or in my garage gluing up a woodworking project—can be a restful and sacred experience for me. But I imagine I’d feel differently if I were a farmer or a carpenter. As far as looking to the example of other Church members who are involved in those sports: The data we’re going to get from LDS athletes on this topic is confused at best. It’s probably worth noting that: —a) For a long time (not sure if it’s still true), Church institutions made a point of avoiding any kind of competitive sports play on Sundays. —b) Church literature is rife with stories of kids who opted out of The Big Game to keep the Sabbath holy. —c) I remember hearing lots of people point to Steve Young an example of how a good Mormon could play pro sports on Sunday. Well, I’ve never once seen Young bear public testimony of the restored Gospel; but I’ve heard him throw the Church under the bus on behalf of his LGBTQ libertine buddies numerous times. When someone argues to me that so-and-so does such-and-such and therefore such-and-such must be OK because so-and-so is still a “good Mormon”, my (probably unfair in many cases) gut response is a two-word reply: “for now”.
  22. 5 points
    I am sorry to hear of such vile hypocrisy, and even sorrier to hear that you were a part of it. Rest assured, the vast, overwhelming majority of us returned missionaries served because we wanted to honor our commitment to God, not because we were "forced to go". That very statement is a sad reflection on the fiction of adulthood at 18, and a great illustration of why we should absolutely not allow 18-year-olds to vote. Your decision to leave the Church was exactly that—your decision. Please don't try to pretend someone else was responsible. As for "brainwashing", that's a term that's trotted out any time someone wants to criticize. If you like what a child is taught, you call it "responsible upbringing." Otherwise, it's "brainwashing." That "herd mentality" that you reference goes by another name: "Socialization". It's the reason decent young teenagers don't go around raping and murdering people. The herd mentality, you know.
  23. 5 points
    Somebody somewhere, I don't know who and where and when, said to my son who is currently serving a mission that 60% of returned missionaries become inactive or leave the Church. On one of my son's p-day calls to me, he mentioned it to me and said that he can believe it by just his experience in the Philippines of those missionaries who are going home because of covid. He said the ratio is about that much on the maladroits versus the assiduous while they're all stuck in the Mission Home and the MTC waiting to go home. Anyway, my son gets 1 hour a day to proselyte while in the MTC. Unfortunately, they can't leave the building. And there are a lot of missionaries stuck in the MTC trying to share very few internet-capable devices. And, because my son has only been in the field for ONE DAY out of his now going on 3 months in service, he doesn't know anybody in the field he can contact and the ones he has been teaching in Florida are all asleep. But he still manages to find one of his cousins or two to talk to about the gospel when he does get 10 minutes on a device. Sometimes I would see him online and say, Hey! And he would admonish me on his p-day that I should not do that when it is not his p-day! I told him - if you can't find anybody to talk to, you can teach me instead! And he told me, that's not his work - he needs to find somebody who is willing to listen to the restoration and not just his mother who just wants to talk to his son because she misses him. Just last p-day, he told me about how he has been setting himself goals for the day/week. His companion has already "checked out" mentally as he is headed home, he just couldn't get on a flight yet. So, in his mind, his mission is complete but he is not released, he is just stuck. So he tends to not follow mission rules and shows bouts of frustration. He has only served for going on 6 months of his mission, 1 month of which he spent in the MTC waiting for flights to open so he can go home. He has no intention of going back on the mission after he gets home. My son made it his goal for the entire time that he is his companion to keep him engaged in the mission or at least, keep him from becoming the 60%. Then my son make daily goals, the goal he set for the day before his p-day was to maximize everything he does on that day. So, for example, he was in gospel study class and the branch president asked him to get a paper towel. My son stood up, said, "Yes, President", ran off like a rocket to get the paper towel and was back in class within seconds. The branch president said, "You didn't have to get it to me that fast!" and my son told him that he took the assignment and found no reason to delay its fulfillment one more second than necessary. He lived the entire day and several more days before it that way. Anyway, mediocrity is born out of habit. The antidote to it is building new habits. Joe Rogan asked Elon Musk in his podcast, "How do you find the time to do all these things you do?". Elon Musk has no answer to the question... he simply shrugged and said "I just do". Musk was stuck in Silicon Valley traffic again and thought, we can build roads underground. So, when he got to his destination, he started the process to dig a hole - he said, it's not that easy to dig a hole in San Francisco - you need lots of permits - but you can't get to building an underground traffic system without first digging a hole, so he has to push through and dig a hole. It's just a hole. But that hole is going to lead to many things.
  24. 5 points

    Kneeling to bless sacrament.

    Joseph Fielding Smith dropped the mic on this stuff, back in the 1940's.
  25. 5 points

    Kneeling to bless sacrament.

    As someone who has traveled and attended sacrament meetings in many different places, I have found it to be less of a geographic cultural focus as much as a “local church culture thing.” There have been wards that focused on such things as kneeling on both knees, priesthood holders must wear white shirts and ties, holding one hand behind the back while passing the sacrament tray, etc. Fortunately, the new handbook helps clarify the essentials and discourages certain traditions. In my own opinion, I find some “church culture” traditions somewhat pharisaical, but understand that they are probably well meaning in trying to maintain a reverent atmosphere for such a sacred ordinance. If you really want a throwback, research how administering the sacrament used to have the priesthood holder raise his arm to the square or even both arms to the square.