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  1. Ironhold

    What have we come to?

    I don't know how many people here remember it, but a few years ago there was a massive to-do down in Houston. The city council passed the "HERO" law, which was supposed to be a broad swath of pro-LGBT legislation. Several ministers in Houston felt that something of that magnitude should have been put to a vote, and so they launched a petition movement to get it on the next election. They crossed the local threshold needed, but for reasons that weren't fully explained *entire pages* of signatures were rejected by the city. The ministers sued, their goal being to either force the city to explain or force the city to accept those signatures. In response, the city's lawyers demanded that the ministers turn over transcripts of their sermons and prayers, including any that discussed LGBT issues. This went over like a sneeze in an elevator, with pundits like Glen Beck making national-level noise about it. One of the "God's Not Dead" films even referenced it. The city threw the lawyers under the bus, the petition was allowed to stand, and sure enough the voters rejected the law at the ballot.
    7 points
  2. You don't use a taser when deadly force is in play. Smh.
    7 points
  3. Vort

    Covid retrospective

    No. No one has a problem with profit-making. People have a problem with conflict of interest, with those who make money from a project also being the decision-makers for what is supposedly the public's best interest.
    6 points
  4. Vort

    The gender of angels

    Angels sent from heaven are given Priesthood assignments. I assume that, at least in the cases we have record of, such an assignment requires a Priesthood holder.
    6 points
  5. Is this a hoax? This must be a hoax. Right? "We have to retrain cops," Biden said. "Why should you always shoot with deadly force? The fact is if you need to use your weapon, you don’t have to do that." https://nypost.com/2023/01/16/biden-calls-for-retraining-cops-to-not-always-shoot-with-deadly-force/?fbclid=IwAR0KGtvaut5ewnviRRWco7eEbNaGfX4V2ZfLd655KouIO6Zt1nRguPwY_WE It appears our Commander in Chief's precipitous mental decline makes him forget his position on the issue thirteen years ago. Dr. Bill Lewinski [said], "In reality, this thinking is a result of ‘training by Hollywood,' in which movie and TV cops are able to do anything to control the outcomes of events that serve the director’s dramatic interests. It reflects a misconception of real-life dynamics and ends up imposing unrealistic expectations of skill on real-life officers." Vice President Joe Biden agrees. When Michael Paladino, president of New York’s Detectives Endowment Association, showed him the bill he reportedly scoffed and suggested that it be called the "John Wayne Bill" because of the unrealistic, movie-like sharpshooting skills it demands of officers. https://www.police1.com/patrol-issues/articles/why-shooting-to-wound-doesnt-make-sense-scientifically-legally-or-tactically-6bOdYvNUEECtIWRI/
    5 points
  6. I'll admit that I haven't seen the entire series so far. I've seen partial episodes here and there as I happen to come in the room when my family is playing it. I believe my wife has seen the entire series so far. I'm impressed at how disciplined they are to keeping the doctrines as close to the Biblical text as possible. From time-to-time I've noticed some doctrines that are more evangelical than Biblical. But it is minimal. I've liked how they rounded out the characters as human (Jesus included, in some ways). Everyone else is given very human weaknesses, but still fairly "good people". Even the Romans aren't shown to be monolithic. They have varying levels of "niceness" to the Jews. They added the character "Eden" because we know Peter was married. But his wife is never mentioned in the Biblical narrative. That was a pretty cool addition. It adds to the plot and storyline, even if it is fiction. I didn't like how effeminate they made Matthew. But whatever. The first scene I saw was when Nicodemus was teaching. I'm a fan of Erick Avari. I've seen him in a LOT of films. He has a tremendous range. I felt he was the perfect actor for the role because, although he has fame as an actor, he isn't one to be typecast. And he tends to play Nicodemus in such a manner that you can't pigeon-hole him. And that was what I remember thinking about him when I read about him as a teenager. I couldn't figure what kind of person he was. (FYI: Mr. Avari is East Indian. And I believe his faith is some sect of Zoroastorian.) I've asked my wife why they depicted the Jews as having an accent (a few exceptions). Why would they? Wouldn't they be speaking in their mother tongue? But then I saw a scene with a roman soldier. I first heard his voice when I was looking away from the screen and thought, "That's John de Lancie!" But alas. It was Brandon Potter. Never heard of him. But he spoke with his real life American accent. Then it struck me. The accents put the viewers in the position of the Romans. The Romans speak like us. The Jews are foreigners. I'm wondering why they made that choice in this depiction. Maybe it is to remind us that the Jews were not the people in power at the time. They had to maintain their traditions, their beliefs, their religious observances in the face of being a captive people. That was probably a very difficult thing to do. They certainly add a lot of political intrigue to the narrative. And it seems plausible from my non-historian perspective. I really don't know. But I'm hoping that they spent some time consulting with historians about the Roman treatment of Israel at the time. So far, it seems to be very well done. The storyline is new, despite the well-known narrative. And it makes the plot engaging. The production quality is pretty dang good. Apart from minor things that only film aficionados would notice, you'd hardly know that it was made on a low budget.
    5 points
  7. One of the biggest and most destructive misinformation (aka lies) that we have been told is when it is called a Covid "vaccine" If they were being honest about it they would be calling it the Covid genetic therapy shot that was rushed through testing. Why do they not give correct information (aka be honest)? Because most people would have understandable concerns about being at the cutting edge of genetic therapy,and not consent to it. But many people do understand how vaccines work (at least in layman's terms). Vaccines have a long and proven history so much that the majority of those that have concerns about vaccines do not have concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine, but about the possible side effects (Aka those who suspect a link to Autism), or about getting the wrong bug (aka the effectiveness of the yearly flu shot) or they for whatever reason prefer to take their chances of possibly getting sick vs the possibility of a reaction to the vaccine. None of these "Anti Vaxxers" positions deny the effectiveness of vaccines in general So we get lied to. We get told it's a "Vaccine" so they can ride on the trust and familiarity we have toward vaccines to get us to consent to genetic therapy under false pretenses instead. In addition anyone that tries to point this out gets labeled "Anti Vaxxer" "Anti Science" and accused of spreading misinformation. While their massive lies remain unchallenged. It makes no sense to need a "vaccine" after you have already fought off the disease. You do not need a "vaccine" "booster" within weeks of an initial shot. Yet you might need it for genetic therapy treatment, I mean the general public (including me) has no real idea how genetic therapy works... so sure why not. And it is simple Human nature one you know you are being lied to and fed disinformation, to never trust them again. And to look for reasons for the lie. Greed/power grab is almost always the reason
    5 points
  8. I just happened to have had a relevant conversation last night with my second son (the lawyer, father of my granddaughters). He's moving to Houston later this year and has found a local immersion school that would give his daughter eight hours a day of school instruction using Spanish. My son and his wife are very interested, but not for eight hours a day. More like two. They might be willing to put her in for half-days. They have written to the principal to ask how much flexibility there is. No response yet, but they aren't holding their breath. In my son's words, "If the principal says 'My way or the highway', we'll be taking the highway." They are already looking into other possibilities. This is where my son told me something unexpected, something that made me feel good personally but very bad for homeschooling in general. His basic statement was: You and mamma did homeschooling in a way where we were taught to value learning as an end in itself. You taught us math, and also why it was fun and why it was important. You taught us reading, and also encouraged it a lot. In contrast (says my son), the parents of most of the kids he knew who were homeschooled seemed to not care much about learning or education per se. They were content to do whatever the minimal requirement was. Their view of homeschooling was that they were keeping their children away from harm and evil, while my wife's and my view was that we had the privilege and joy of teaching our children all the cool things in life in our very own home, rather than farming them out to state-sponsored daycare for forty-five hours a week. I don't remember having considered that viewpoint, and it was eye-opening. As I wrote above, it was personally fulfilling but a dim view of the future of homeschooling. When the parents themselves don't much value learning, the children don't get the best experience. My son brought up something else I remember well. When they were little (but not that little, say around ten or twelve), my wife picked up some so-called Christian textbooks on science. I thumbed through them and found them quite awful, but not bad enough that I refused to let the children use them. One was called something like "God's beautiful earth" and featured deep scientific teachings like, "Look at this beautiful world! God created it. The oceans hold much marine life. God created them." It was embarrassing to read. No scientific principles were conveyed, and for that matter no important religious principles, either. In retrospect, it's obvious that the books were targeted toward homeschooling parents who neither knew nor cared much about science, but who were looking for something to provide some science learning of some sort to their children. At that point, you can start making strong arguments that public school is actually better (in that narrow area) than homeschooling. I fear that this might be very widespread, and that my wife and I might be a distinct minority with respect to our feelings on the importance and beauty of education. I hope that things improve going forward.
    5 points
  9. For the record, I am not in favor of doing away with public education. I am in favor of immediate and drastic reforms in public education. Absent that, I am in favor of people voluntarily pulling their children out of the public schooling system.
    5 points
  10. zil2

    The Power of Hymns

    While I was away, I had two hymn-related experiences I wanted to share, in case they may help anyone else. I'll relate them in reverse, and the second (first) one in another comment to this post. In Sacrament meeting this past Christmas, a family sang a hymn (not LDS) I had never heard (apparently it's from 2020) called "O Come, All You Unfaithful": It hit me like a freight train - one packed full of the Spirit. It still does, every time I think about the lyrics (hence, I linked the video with lyrics). As soon as I got home, I went looking for it and couldn't quit until I'd found a source for the mp3 (official page). I was particularly struck by this verse: The older I get, the more convinced I am that I have nothing. He is the offering. My only hope - everyone's only hope. I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting on Easter of this past year, basing my thoughts off Elder Holland's April 2009 talk "None Were with Him". It's a great talk. I organized my own talk into four sections, paralleling the content of Elder Holland's. As I reviewed and revised, the Spirit kept directing me to part 3 until parts 1, 2, and 4 were gone. It seemed too short, but the Spirit knew I would be the last speaker and have no time for more, and apparently it was the important bit. I don't always receive direction that strong, but this time, I did. Part 3 was a lesson I had learned in late 2020 and early 2021 - what do you do when you feel alone, when you can't sense the Spirit or Comforter; when the Sunday School AnswersTM don't yield the Sunday School PromisesTM? Short answer: we follow Christ's example: This hymn helps to convince me to come, though I have nothing; come, even if I don't get an answer to prayer; come, even if my conversion is weak; come, even when I don't want to; just come.
    5 points
  11. https://eppc.org/publication/a-science-based-case-for-ending-the-porn-epidemic/ This is a long read. But for anyone who has the patience, it was incredibly fascinating. Also incredibly scary. Beyond the porn epidemic itself, the implications re: homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, interest in trans stuff, etc., etc., are not in line with the established group think of the day at all (you're born that way, you can't help it, you can't change it, etc.) Note: He throws in the random conclusion at one point "The point is not to try to start a moral panic about the internet turning men gay—the point is that it’s not turning them gay." But the comment doesn't seem to align with the logic and evidence given behind the rest of the article at all. It seems like the more logical conclusion would be that it did, indeed, turn them gay, and then they did, indeed, stop being gay once they stopped feeding their brains on porn. But even that conclusion seems spurious. Drawing concrete black-and-white conclusions from such things when the reality is extremely complex and influenced by so many variables is problematic. Meaning, it seems reasonable, to me, to conclude that satisfying the shock lure that in turn feeds our brain certain chemicals and alters our brain chemistry is almost certainly a factor in sexual orientation, but that doesn't mean it's going to be a one-to-one reality of sexual orientation either. tldr responses are welcome, btw, but just be aware.... you may not know what you're talking about then. And just because of how fascinating the concepts are, I recommend taking the time and actually reading the article. There's a lot of value there when it comes to thinking through these issues.
    5 points
  12. There was an entire city full of worthy, righteous men and women that were bodily translated at the time of the patriarchs.
    5 points
  13. My favorite LDS commentary on food supply of all time. “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt. Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had a supply of food and clothing and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have a supply of debt and are food-free.” Are We Prepared? Thomas S Monson Sept 2014 Liahona First Presidency Message
    5 points
  14. I am in 100% full support of retraining cops in this fashion, as soon as the bad guys reach full compliance with a similar program first. Totally serious here. The exact nanosecond we live in a reality where the bad guys are all intentionally aiming, in every single instance, for nonfatal areas of their opponents, then count me in on having our cops do the same. Until that day, which surely can't be too far away, Imma have to temporarily withhold my enthusiastic support.
    5 points
  15. I'm still unvaxxed and unafraid. I had covid at least twice, probably several more times. Around exposure number six or seven at work we all quit tracking how often. I would guess I easily clear a hundred exposures that I know of while working. Only reason I didn't go to work when I tested positive was the mandatory quarantines that outlasted my symptoms by days. Worst symptom? A weird headache for a day or so and one of the times for about 7-10 days I got winded easily. That completely went away after about 2-3 weeks back at the gym. I think there was a lot of shady business going on with the whole thing.
    5 points
  16. estradling75

    Arizona Election

    People are caught up in the idea that the Court couldn't prove intent. But for me proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a high bar to clear for very good reasons. But people seem to be ignoring the fact that the Court found disenfranchisement of the vote. If our vote is suppose to matter, if we are suppose to be able to "Trust" the results of an election this should be a huge red flag. This should be triggering warning bells, this should have people of all political parties saying it does not matter if this was intentional, or incompetence, or some kind of system failure, it is simply unacceptable anywhere for any reason. Now people might be inclined to think is is a little podunk place in Arizona that had no impact, on the end result. Ok, but if we wait to fix it until it has an impact then it is to late. Bottom line if you like to dismiss cry's of vote fraud as the work of sore losers and wacky conspiracy theorist this courts findings should scare you spit less. This court finding gives those claims and more importantly future clams legitimacy. Unless steps are taken to secure the vote now the next election will have even more contested elections. And those that contest them will be seen as more and more reasonable. This should be of great concern to everyone no matter their party, who expects votes to matter and to be honored.
    5 points
  17. I'm with you to a point, Traveler. But at the end of the day, the President has pretty much the ultimate and final say in what's classified and what's declassified. It's made pretty clear in the Supreme Court case Navy V. Egan 1988. (Underlining mine:) As anyone who detests bureaucracy and the power it grabs for itself, I'm totally unimpressed with both the Trump news and Biden news that they had classified stuff in violation of policy. Not a fan of policy. That said, today's news of Biden's 2nd cache of secret stuff, was apparently taken when he was Vice President. And veeps aren't the president, and don't have any authority to classify or declassify squat.
    5 points
  18. 1. Did He chemically alter the properties of the mud He made with His spittle and used to heal a blind man? I don’t now that it’s right to say that there was an element of theater in many of Jesus’s healings (or other actions); but . . . there were certainly elements whose value lay in their symbolism or ritual meaning rather than their mechanical effectiveness. And He meets people at their own level. What would the effect have been if He had said “young man, I hereby diagnose you with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with dissociative symptoms, and accordingly change your brain structure and neurochemical levels to mirror what they would look like as though you had undergone a twelve-month course of EMDR therapy”? 2. Completely agree!
    4 points
  19. Right. I just struggle with that because of all the teaching we do have about protecting ourselves from Satan...you know...putting on the whole armor of God, etc. But it's all secretly meaningless? We're constantly taught how to protect ourselves, and the ideas you're proposing as potential via the questioning require the consideration that such teachings aren't actually meaningful. I just can't quite get on board with that, even at the level of questioning it. I firmly believe that putting on the whole armor of God protects us. It's really that simple for me.
    4 points
  20. I've been a Gospel Doctrine Instructor for about 9 months now. I tag-team with another brother in the ward. This means that I have a full month to study and prepare for my lesson. Due to the extra study time that I have, I've come to realize that there is a LOT about the details of the Bible and Ancient Jews that simply don't exist on the Church website. I'm aware that there are some non-Church related LDS "scholars" who have their websites and blogs. But they either don't have the breadth and depth of work that I need for the questions I have, or they have shown themselves to be "less than scholarly" about what they put on their websites. So, I'm left with looking up things on sectarian websites. For the most part, I get the impression that they are at least well researched. On more than one occasion, I notice that different positions exist among the sectarian world on any given topic. So, I try reading a variety of opinions and try my best to verify through other means, and to pray about what I've read. I began wondering about how I would know when I'm getting strung along on a tangent that has nothing to do with anything. After all, if the very passage of scripture that I'm wondering about doesn't really have much commentary on the Church website, how will I know if any of it is true doctrine? I've done my best to try to walk that line. Then I began listening to Jordan Peterson's Genesis lecture series. I found it to be truly engaging. It really began to open my mind to a LOT of scholarship on literature, societal symbolism, an understanding of the human condition that I'd never thought about or read about. I was really fulfilled with understanding... for a while. At some point, I began to recognize the effects of his disclaimer which he made at the beginning of the lecture series. He was approaching it from a purely rational analysis perspective and was staying away from the metaphysical aspects of the study. He was looking at the "stories" from the perspective of how it informs psychology or what insights we may find in the narrative from the perspective of using known psychological phenomena as a basis of analysis. While I agree that it is a perfectly reasonable way to go about a secular/scholarly analysis of the Bible, I found myself teetering for a bit. He was so completely engaging and persuasive in the evidence and arguments he makes, that part of me was wondering about Bill Maher's words. "The Bible was a book written by poets and philosophers who thought it would be a good idea to write down some good principles of life. It wasn't written by God." I found that this is a dangerous road to only look at it from one perspective. We have two eyes for a reason. They give us slightly different views of the same object. Neither eye gives us a "correct" view. But when the two are put together, it is much closer to the reality. Looking at it through the eye of rationale alone is dangerous when we recognize just how flawed man's logic tends to be. Looking at it through faith alone can also be dangerous if we are not counseled/practiced in how to properly listen to the Spirit. I'm hoping that I'm doing right by my class and my calling to only teach what is true doctrine. But a lot of the time, with the resources from the official Church channels, I can't teach some things that have been glaring questions for me (and I'm finding a lot of other people as well).
    4 points
  21. https://adfmedia.org/case/hunter-v-us-department-education Court victory: Religious colleges can operate according to beliefs & receive federal financial aid.
    4 points
  22. Traveler

    Covid retrospective

    For one thing the polio vaccine was never made political, there was no evidence that it was man made, was fully transparent to criticism, completed all the trials before being open to the public, was never released to the public as an experiment, there was no known reliable cure and despite all the danger of polio it was never mandated. To my knowledge – no one who had contracted polio and recovered was called a murder if they refused the vaccine. And lastly the eventer was not made a billionaire for his efforts. The Traveler
    4 points
  23. Just_A_Guy

    Child Labor Laws

    Utah passed a “free range parenting” law a couple of years ago, and it’s interesting (since I work with DCFS) how often I’ll be reviewing a case with a caseworker, and I’ll tell them that we can’t file a court petition due to the free range parenting statute, and the caseworkers want to argue with me about it. Their hearts are in the right places, but I think modern psychological theory drastically underestimates what kids are capable of.
    4 points
  24. This is the key point why homeschoolers and freedom based private schoolers should shun this bill. Any public funds for ANYthing that the private industry can do on its own is a bribe to do the government's bidding. It is NEVER because they're trying to help. That's just a ruse. If homeschoolers want autonomy to teach their values to their children, then they have to do so without government funds or they will soon have their children taken from them -- especially with conditions like we see in public schools today. The purse strings are complicit in what has happened to public schools. If the purse is extended to private and homeschool, it will infect homeschool with the same mind virus. I fear that if the bill passes, too many homeschool families will be unwittingly giving up their rights. But bribes (especially veiled bribes) always have strings attached. And most homeschoolers are just innocent enough to be ignorant of such things.
    4 points
  25. Oh wow. Since 2020, folks have been arguing about how we gather and interpret COVID death numbers. Folks on the conservative/right have long claimed we overcounted and over reported deaths from COVID. The accusation: When someone has COVID, but dies of something else, like a car crash or cancer, the death certificate might list COVID as one of the causes of death. The freedom loving conservatives cared, because if you overstate COVID deaths, you can make the problem seem worse than it actually is. And then you feel justified in supporting more restrictive government control and public health policy, than is actually warranted. The center left pushed back, saying our resistance to lockdowns and distancing and mark mandated and vaccine mandates, was based on delusions and conspiracy theories, and the right’s ideas would kill children and old people. Well, it looks like the center left is now coming to grips that the right has a valid point. Here’s Lena Wen in the Washington Post, highly respected great holy bastion of liberal thought, finally saying the same thing the right has been saying for 3 years: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/01/13/covid-pandemic-deaths-hospitalizations-overcounting/
    4 points
  26. zil2

    The Power of Hymns

    The second (or first) experience happened in early 2020. I'm not sure when it started, but it culminated in mid February. On any normal day, when my brain isn't forced to do other things, it's making up a story. But at this time, instead of my usual story-making, I kept hearing hymns in my head. It went on for days, and then more than a week. Hymn after hymn during my idle times. Some of them were even hymns I didn't particularly like, though the lyrics were always limited by my own memory of them. As it went on, I recognized the pattern and that it wasn't me or an ear-worm, that it was something from outside of me - the Spirit, someone sent by God to stuff hymns in my head, something. And so I finally stopped and spent some time thinking about it, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do about it. I was sitting in a chair in my livingroom, where there's a desk with far too many blank notebooks waiting for a purpose (yes, I may have a notebook-buying problem ). As I looked at this desk and saw two particularly large hard-bound journals, the thought came, "I could use one of those as a hymn journal." This was followed by trying to figure out what a hymn journal would look like. I got some blank paper and started drawing ideas. Eventually, I settled on a layout that I thought was good. The hymns stopped playing in my head that day. Within a day or two, I had printed a spreadsheet of the hymn titles from our hymnal to use for an index / tracker and had made my first entry. I haven't been as diligent as I should, and sometimes hymns will start playing again in my head to remind me to go back to it. This sometimes augments my scripture study or sabbath observance. Honestly, it's emotionally draining - I learn so much. So, what does a hymn journal look like? Hymn # (if applicable) Hymn Title Initial thoughts, like why I chose it or what I like about it. Summary of the linked scriptures in one column, with just enough to remind me what the scriptures say. And my own thoughts on those scriptures in a second column (it's a dot-grid notebook). These often include ways I need to improve. Lyrics in one column (the chorus only once). And thoughts on the verse, what it teaches me, and how I need to change (in the second column). Then a summary of what I've learned from my study. At the bottom of the entry (which may take more than one page), I note whether I can play it (on the flute, which I don't practice enough), and any issues I might face trying to play it. I can't sing. Fortunately, you don't need to sing to learn from the hymns. And while an A4+ hardbound notebook, in dot-grid, with a fountain pen, makes the filling of this journal more pleasant, you don't have to have either to start your own hymn journal, should the Spirit so move you. I suppose the conclusion to both these posts is the title - hymns are powerful vehicles not just to feel emotion or the Spirit, but to learn the gospel and what you can do to improve, or just to come to Him.
    4 points
  27. A fool and his money are soon parted is the old saying. I cannot believe the fast food and restaurant prices. It is like 500% more expensive than buying food and cooking it yourself and eating the left overs. Want to give yourself a raise? Stop eating out. (The wise will then start buying themselves some food storage.)
    4 points
  28. JST 18:22 also describes them as "holy men, and were sent forth after the order of God"; and the footnote for 19:1 says "angels" is from the Hebrew word for "messengers". All this suggests they were men who held the Melchizedek priesthood. Also, one possibility you missed is translated men - thus, physical, not yet resurrected beings. (OT: Yes, this is zil, now zil2, because zil is seriously messed up. )
    4 points
  29. Vort

    Rising cost of food

    Ideally, this is absolutely true. The problems with this system include the food supply not necessarily being evenly divisible—how do you give your 18-year-old his 200-pound share of your wheat berries?—and the newly adulted's lack of place to store anything like a year's supply of food. Plus, a viable supply of food needs to be constantly used and rotated, meaning that cafe breakfasts and pizza dinners need to be kept to an absolute minimum. (Which would not have been an issue for myself or those of my generation whom I knew; we didn't have the money to eat out more than once every month or two, which made our dates exercises in creativity.) Like homeschooling and farming, keeping a year's supply of food is more a lifestyle than a hobby or mere interest.
    4 points
  30. One thing I don't think we should do is brag at all publicly about how much food we have stored. When times get horrific who do you think people are going to go after?
    4 points
  31. My son, his mom, and myself have all avoided Covid as far as we're aware. My parents, sister and nephew (all under one roof) got it a few months ago, and my brother thinks he may have had it at one point, but isn't entirely sure. He tested negative, but had identical symptoms to his roommate and girlfriend, both of whom tested positive. A beer industry acquaintance of mine in San Antonio died of Covid, and my ex-wife's aunt lost her boyfriend to it. My parents lost one of their friends from church to Covid. I struggled to be able to work for a while because I worked in food service, and also because it was easier for me to supervise my son's distance learning than it was for his mom, whose job kept us afloat during the pandemic. My mental health hit several breaking points, partly due to the stress of the pandemic, but there were a variety of other factors as well that existed before COVID and were perhaps exaserbated by it. I won't go into too much further detail, but the past year or so in particular has been rough. I'm grateful for the medical professionals who have worked to reduce the mortality of the virus so we can try to get back to normal. I look forward to going to punk shows and sporting events again.
    4 points
  32. I actually woke up crying in the middle of the night during 2020 because I was having to parent my parents who weren't handling the lockdown very well, this on top of my increased duties at work and in the community. My dad and I both got sick with something in the wake of the 2021 blizzard here in Texas. I fought it off within a week, but dad was down for the better part of a month. This sent my mom into hysterics to the point that when the local Comic-Con came around she made it clear that if I didn't get a vaccine then she and dad wouldn't be going with me; I can't drive long distances on my own due to some health issues, and one of my all-time favorite individuals was a guest, so I had no choice. Turns out that the vaccine I got - the Moderna vaccine - was under investigation in Scandinavia at that point for possible cardiovascular side effects, and my health has *not* been the same since I got the first two shots. Yes, my blood pressure has been spiking a bit more often, and I actually redlined the same day I got my second shot as I was also doing manual labor for my dad that day; by the time it was over I could barely walk. Adding insult to injury is that mom also demanded that we all wear fabric masks for Comic-Con even though she knows that I have trouble breathing in masks due to how damaged my sinuses are. Sure enough, the minute we got back to the truck and I took my mask off my nose just *exploded* in blood because the strain of breathing through my nose for several hours through a mask destroyed everything. It wasn't until mom saw that blood that she realized she'd goofed. For all intents and purposes I now feel that the Moderna vaccine is nothing more than poison and that had I known better (it wasn't until after all of this that US sources reported on how the Moderna vaccine was under investigation in Scandinavia) I would have pushed back harder.
    4 points
  33. In addition to the challenge of discerning truth from error is another challenge summarized by Elder Maxwell when he said: "all knowledge is not of equal significance. There is no democracy of facts! They are not of equal importance." I recently started attending a new ward and after a few Sunday School classes it seems that a number of people in the class are taking to the internet each week to further their understanding of the lesson material and appear eager to share what they find. While some of what is shared is truly insightful much of what is shared, while perhaps interesting, seems to lack the spiritually nutritional value that I'm looking for. Fortunately the teacher has done a good job of quickly shifting the focus back to the salvation essential doctrines. This is kind of why I always enjoyed the gospel principles class back when because the lesson was always on those truths that mattered most, even though they were taught in their simplicity.
    4 points
  34. IKR. The last time I noticed the church doing something like this, was when they made its massive global move to a 'home based, church supported curriculum'. Fast forward a year, and the entire planet is in global lockdown due to a deadly pandemic. Knowing that the mormons own so much productive agricultural land doesn't fill me with fear, but it's filling me with something.
    4 points
  35. We're making some family decisions and possibly changes. I'm heavily involved in the school district and currently involved in a contentious school board battle. The side pushing for social education is louder and shouting out those that are concerned with academics. I'm unsure if this is due to social learning being the main concern of the majority, or if families who are focused on academics just stay in the shadows to avoid the very vocal and contentious debates.
    4 points
  36. In addition, I would emphasize that we are called to serve a mission and are assigned our field of service. That assignment might be based on aptitude, nationality, language skills, seminary graduation status, and so forth. But the calling remains the same: To teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe we would do well as a people not to get caught up in the location or initial assignment of where our missionary service will take place, and instead focus on the calling itself and how well we may or may not be prepared to fulfill that calling.
    4 points
  37. "Answer to the question, Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died? All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself.” --Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 180-181, emphasis added.
    4 points
  38. Yes, I figured you would. You seem to be developing a penchant for re-asking questions that I've already answered: I don't think the Bible talks about it all that much in practice. The Old Testament hardly gives any information at all regarding Israelite ecclesiastical practices between the death of Joseph and the ministry of Moses; and as I've already mentioned upthread, the Melchizedek order of priesthood that included the patriarchal order under which the Abrahamic birthright passed was largely put in abeyance from the ministry of Moses until the Atonement of Christ. The New Testament church, for its part, seems to have operated under a paradigm where the Gospel went first to Judah, then to the "half-breed" Israelites (ie, Samaria), and then to the gentiles at large (Acts 1:8); and any discussion about inherited blessings/responsibilities was subordinated to the good news that the salvation of Jehovah was now available to everyone, regardless of ancestry. As for the Book of Mormon: In theory, Jacob's/Israel's benediction to Joseph at Genesis 49:22-26 is considered the basis for the Josephite/Ephraimite birthright; and LDS authors have seen parallels in the way that the Lehites (as descendants of Joseph) overran the boundaries of the old world to settle upon the shores of the new (or whose "branches run over the wall", as Israel put it). The Lehite Book of Mormon authors generally complied with Mosaic forms (2 Nephi 25:24) even though LDS authorities have maintained that they (at least mostly) did hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Book of Mormon expressly says that Lehi himself was of Manassehite descent; and multiple early Latter-day Saints maintained that Joseph Smith had taught that the family of Ishmael (with whom the Lehites intermarried) were of Ephraimite lineage--this may have even been in the "lost 116 pages" of the Book of Mormon manuscript. At any rate, the Book of Mormon authors took their descendancy from Joseph very seriously (see, e.g., 1 Nephi 5:14-16; 2 Nephi 3-4; 2 Nephi 25:21-22; Alma 46:24-27; 3 Nephi 5:20-26; 3 Nephi 10:17; 3 Nephi 15:12); and seem to have generally associated it with a responsibility to bear witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in their preaching and in their writing. But then, as the author of Hebrews points out in the selfsame chapter, Christ didn't derive His priestly authority from the Mosaic/Aaronic line. The author of Hebrews describes Christ as a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The above suggests that you either didn't read much of what I've written above, or you are deliberately clinging to an inappropriately facile reading of the Old Testament. Levi's designation came in Mosaic times, four centuries after Jacob/Israel conveyed his patriarchal birthright to Ephraim; and the former did not completely or eternally nullify the latter. We actually know a surprising amount about what was on the lost 116 pages, because Joseph Smith made passing comments to a number of associates about their contents. Don Bradley (who left Mormonism, but then came back) actually wrote a book about it. As pertaining to Ishmael's Ephraimite lineage--this is one of those things that several early Latter-day Saints heard Joseph Smith discuss. Erastus Snow is one contemporary of Smith who is frequently cited for this proposition; and I'm sure the relevant quotation is available online if you'd care to Google it. I haven't asserted any such role as pertaining to the Old/New Testaments generally. As for the Book of Mormon: That's because in the text of the Book of Mormon the authors primarily refer to themselves as Josephites, not Ephraimites. I want to be careful here, because your phrase "he inherited the birthright" suggests that Joseph Smith has some sort of exclusive claim to inherited priesthood/divine authority. He didn’t; Smith inherited the same birthright blessings as every other lineal descendant of Ephraim. And it seems appropriate to close by quoting myself yet again to reiterate that: Non-Ephraimites who convert and join the Church join in the covenant blessings and responsibilities of Ephraim by virtue of the covenants they make through baptism, priesthood ordination, and temple rites. That’s a huge part of the “gathering” process President Nelson is so fond of talking about. We’re all fundamentally doing the same work; though (and this is something I recently learned, and with contours that I’m still exploring) we may have differing tribal legacies that lead us to go about that work in subtly different ways.
    4 points
  39. Gordan B. Hinckley and Boyd K. Packer were right:
    3 points
  40. Video on how the earthquake-proofing will work. Dang amazing. If (when) there's a big earthquake, the temple will basically sit still while the earth moves around it.
    3 points
  41. There are a few flaws with this thinking, imo. Firstly, it implies that drastic reform of policy, process, rules, etc., has any chance and actually reforming the issues at hand. It might help...maybe...but it's like any organization -- it's run by people. As long as the people therein are evil, the system will be evil, no matter what reform occurs. The reform needs to be in people's hearts or any system reform will fail. Secondly, and this I think matters as much, even if some level of system reform worked on the education system itself, it wouldn't reform/fix the other major problem I have with putting my kids into public education.......the other students. Even when I was in K-12 school in the 70s and 80s, looking back, the worst part was the other kids. I would not, even now, intentionally subject my children to the things I faced because of other kids. The bullying, the immoral influences, the bad examples, the importance of social hierarchy, etc. etc. Yes, I understand that children actually need to be exposed to these sorts of things. Kids have to face the bad to learn how to, you know...face it. But I believe 5 years old is too young for what they must face, even 40 years back...and much more so now. And what's going on with students now-a-days...I'm honestly not sure 12, 13, 14, etc., is even old enough. Depends on the kid, of course. And having not been totally destroyed at 5, 6, 7, perhaps 12, 13, 14 would be fine. I don't know. It's a huge challenge to consider. I lament that I must raise my children in such a world. And I don't know the answers, beyond the fact that there's no way I'm sending my kids to school at 5. And my motivation is not driven by the teachers' or the system's problems. It's driven by the other kids.
    3 points
  42. I still have worries about Covid-19 as well as other diseases that float around the classrooms and lecture halls. I seem to be doing well right now, which is fortunate. The virus seems to have affected my generation more than some younger ones and so I know several that died from the disease, especially at it's height. None of those who took it seriously, got vaccinated and masked up died that I know of from my personal acquaintances. There were those who were unvaccinated (even some who got Covid once, the second time got them) that passed away unfortunately. The BIGGEST problem probably was the PPP and the forgiveness of it. The amount of money given to people has probably been spent far long ago already, but that PPP...places got millions of dollars (and seeing how some of it was spent, it's on stuff that would directly affect inflation...people buying houses, cars, and other things with that PPP...AND THEN THEY FORGAVE most of it!!!). I find it ironic how many of those PPP welfare businessmen then turn around and complain about College Loan forgiveness. Hypocritical in the highest order there.
    3 points
  43. If I can give @askandanswer the benefit of the doubt, I believe he's trying to encourage you by indicating that you have a LOT to offer to others. And the Lord will also accept whatever offering you have -- a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
    3 points
  44. Apparently some people have never written an infinite loop. The poor programmer had no way out of his while loop. Of course, I'm having a hard time deciding whether he grabbed one gallon and just stood there, or repeatedly grabbed and released the same gallon (seems wrong), or kept grabbing gallons - one per iteration of the loop - and what he did when he could grab no more.
    3 points
  45. 3 points
  46. Yeah, there was a bit of a news leak about such things last April. Our church is the fifth largest private landowner in the nation, with 1.7 million acres. We are the country's largest nut producer. We're one of the largest beef suppliers to McDonalds. We literally own 2% of Florida's land mass. Lots and lots of farmland in about every state. This was the last hoorah of the mormonleaks people before they closed up shop permanently. https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2022/04/05/new-database-gives-widest/ As far as Bill Gates goes:
    3 points
  47. This question shows that you do not understand the ancient Biblical (and other) meaning of "first born" or "birthright". In all cases when two brothers contended for the birthright it was maintained by the younger of the two - not even once to the oldest. Anciently first born was the most nobel or best - kind of like first class travel. When Isaiah was talking with King Ahaz - Isaiah stressed that loyality to G-d was required of those that serves G-d - not just be be apointed but also to maintain one position before G-d. The Traveler
    3 points
  48. Says every government that has fallen before it fell. History repeats itself, and every strong nation that has fallen has fallen from conspiracies denizens' and politicians said did not exist. As I have shared here before, I'm pretty sure from history Ceasar was told there was no conspiracy to dethrone him until he was stabbed in the back. But isn't that the thing about conspiracies, they are easily hidden until its too late. All it takes is for people to continue to deny the signs until it is too late also. Is there a conspiracy here? Could be, just as there could not be. Is it interesting to see how in two cases now, potentially more, where a candidate doesn't debate, doesn't do anything to promote, and yet somehow gets more votes than someone who has more influence? Could it all be coincidence, sure, any intelligent mind will be open to that as any intelligent mind is also aware of history and the secret combinations within said government to take away the freedoms and rights of its denizens.
    3 points
  49. Isaiah tells us that changing ordinances separates man from G-d (apostasy). Some, especially critics, will point to adjustments of ordinances to societal evolution as changes. What we learn from this scripture is more about what changes to the divine pedagogical/symbols of ordinances constitutes. Which also goes along with what Christ taught – that the ordinances are sculpted for man and not man for the ordinances. The other thing we learn from Isaiah is that divine law, ordinances and covenants are all tightly coupled and that they come from G-d as a set that is not complete (perfect) with out the other parts. We most often relate an ordinance to a covenant but sometimes neglect or forget the associated law(s). The Traveler
    3 points