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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/20/21 in all areas

  1. 5 points

    The Purpose of Life: To Learn to Love

    Whether you’re religious, not religious, or kind of religious, I’m convinced this is the purpose of life for all: To learn to love. We start off in life, hopefully, with a good set of parents who give us their unconditional love as an example of how to love others. We progress to love those in our immediate circles be it family, friends, or someone you love for the love they share with you. We have kids of our own and love them as our parents loved us. And from there a few of us advance beyond to love those outside our inner circles who don’t provide us with anything in return other than the sense of joy that can come from service. Regardless of how advanced we are along the path of learning to love, whether we’re still crawling as an infant or at a light jog, we are all learning and hopefully increasing our ability to love step by step. Personally, I feel like I’m barely learning how to walk when it comes to loving others outside my inner circles without expecting anything in return. I have, however, been fortunate enough to cross paths with a few exceptional people in my life that exude love. These people I think of often and hold in high regard as examples I look up to. Being someone who believes in God, I believe our life experiences are designed to allow us to develop empathy for one another and help us advance from a state of self-interest to selflessness. And even if you don’t believe in God, you might agree life has a way of molding us in this regard if we allow it to. Why is mankind prone to limit its love to its own inner circles? We often reserve love for family and friends only, exclusive to our little empires. For one, all of us are in the process of learning to love, and no one in this life, besides Jesus Christ, has ever mastered love. We need to start with the inner circles we have as building blocks preparing us for further advancement. We need to start somewhere and hopefully someday be able to begin walking in the Savior’s footprints He left as an example to us, and embrace a higher way to love. To those who have set a lasting impression on me of this type of love in my own life, thank you for showing me it’s possible. It inspires me to do the same even in my own limited, finite ability. Love is connection we all seek and transcends any one specific culture, religion, or ideology. Mark 22:37-39 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  2. 5 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    IRL, I'm the entertainment writer for a local family of newspapers. I've had people tell me that they wait to get my review before deciding to see a movie or not. Even if they disagree with my review, they trust that I'm being honest with my opinion. In other words, I - as one person - have the ability to influence what people in three counties see in theaters. Never underestimate how much influence you can have with your friends and neighbors.
  3. 4 points

    Bering Straight Migration

    I remember way back in junior high being taught the Bering Straight Human migration model. It is interesting how biased and thoughtless us human can be. Here is a more recent “scientific” summary https://www.nps.gov/bela/learn/historyculture/other-migration-theories.htm The Atlantic Martime route sounds interesting.
  4. 4 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    We murder babies. We. Murder. Babies. What careth our God if we also make the trains run on time?
  5. 4 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    That is sad. I admit that I and my family could do better at studying CFM throughout the week. But we do read from the sections almost every day as a family. And I don't think we need to, or are even asked to do any or all the extra little things in the manual. The intro says we should use the manual for our needs, in any way that is helpful to us. So we need to walk a fine line of encouraging people to do better at studying without overwhelming or discouraging them by asking too much. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-individuals-and-families-doctrine-and-covenants-2021/using?lang=eng I just got called as a gospel doctrine teacher (my first calling since being baptized again!) and I'm hoping that my class will be doing at least some reading. I'll try to figure out the best ways to encourage them to do more. My first lesson went very well last week on section 76
  6. 4 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    The Church and Political Activism. Politics is downstream of culture. The Church's culture is made up of families. We do the most good in society when we spend our time and energy on raising our children to know the word of God, and have faith in and a testimony of The Atonement of Christ. The Book of Mormon as the word of God. The spiritual hospital that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Sunday School presidency recently went around to families in our ward and asked the following questions: Is your family actually reading the Come Follow Me manual and doing the extra little things that it instructs us to do? Is your family reading and studying the D&C and answering the questions that the manual asks? Is your family reading the Book of Mormon daily? The results were astoundingly awful. Very few even opened CFM. Very few read the assignment. Almost no one was reading the BoM daily (or even close to daily). A reasonable number were reading the scriptures "sometimes" outside of Church. Do we really hope to change the world through political activism if we continue to "treated lightly the things which we have received"?
  7. 3 points
    I haven’t finished the book yet, but I had this insight in a portion of the book I read this morming The common logic behind suicide is “there is nothing more to expect from life except pain” (I recognize this is a gross over simplification, I am not trying to reduce feelings of suicide to just this) When we switch the internal dialogue and ask “what does life expect of me”, it offers further strength. It turns you from a victim into a hero. This reminds me of a man I went to church with. He shared with us in a meeting that he felt that the church had given him everything it could. He has read the scriptures through multiple time, had learned the lessons found in serving a mission, and was married in the temple. He felt lost, there there was nothing left for him to gain from being a member. Over the next few months we watched through the eyes of his wife and daughter, who had grown close to my wife, him leave the church and get a divorce. It wasn’t till later that I made the connection of what had happened. In Luke 22:32, Christ says to Peter “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Doctrine and Covenants 84:106 reads “And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.” There are two phases we go through when we find a passion or something that gives us meaning. First, there is this expectation that we will be converted. Secondly, we are expected to take that knowledge and give it to others, to strengthen them. Men and women are not content in selfishness, nor in feeling like a victim. Only in realizing life’s and God’s (the Universe’s, Ala’s, future you, Flying Spaghetti Monster’s or any other higher meaning you find) expectation for you can we pull ourselves out of that despair. It takes a higher view of ourselves and a desire to help those around us. The difference between (1) feeling crushed by the world because we are falling short and failing, and (2) feeling energized by the struggles of life and striving to grow so we can be the rock for others who are struggling is simple. It takes realizing who your truly are and what future roles God (or whatever higher being you believe in) has in store for you. Though it is a simple shift, it can be hard. Like sitting on a dining chair on tile floor. You want to shift the chair, but it is stuck on a lip. Sometimes you have to get off of the chair completely to get that small shift you want.
  8. 3 points
    The problem is there's been this kooky (sp?) anti-vax stuff that's...you know...kooky. And so when a vaccine comes out where "normal" people might have legitimate concerns, it all gets lumped in with the kookiness. I mean the same thing happens with various other issues. Take Pizza-gate. The kookiness was off the scales. And yet....Epstein Island. But anyone who expresses any suspicion about powerful people being involved in any sort of evil plots gets lumped in with the kooks who buy into all the Pizza-gate stuff. The same has happened with the vote and "fraud". Reasonable people are still reasonable....but somehow, all of a sudden, anyone who questions the potential danger of a rushed-to-market vaccine with scores of anecdotal issues being shared...and the even more suspicious suppression of those anecdotes...anyone who has what I believe are legitimate concerns about something that is, in my opinion, legitimately concerning, gets cast out of "polite" society, up to and including not being allowed to attend their otherwise dream college. That's HIGHLY concerning to me in principle. So I tend to understand the up-in-arms-ness of it all. I dislike this. It feels defeatist. It's probably true. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
  9. 3 points

    Where is Carborendum?

    @Carborendum good to see you back
  10. 3 points
    So why is the refusal of the 47% in Hawaii to get vaccinated a BYU-H applicant's problem? (Edit: Because I know I get in trouble for the way I state things a lot, I want to make it clear that I'm not saying you're being convoluted or nonsensical below. I'm saying that (as I'm sure you're well aware, because it was your point) you are reducing my ideas to a sentence that is convoluted and nonsensical. By which you are suggesting that I am expressing a convoluted and nonsensical idea.) I'm not sure how you're getting that convoluted and actually nonsensical idea out of what I'm saying. I don't think anyone ought to be forcing the Covid vaccine for any reason. Incentivizing? That's tougher. It's a bit hard for me to discuss this in that I am not sure how I really feel. I don't trust ANYONE! I don't trust the government. I don't trust the CDC. I don't trust the news media. I don't trust "conservative" sources. Everyone's biased and everyone has an agenda. And I don't trust anything or anyone. So...thanks for that...everybody. I mean the First Presidency (who I do trust) told us to "...counsel with a competent medical professional..." And I find myself, for the first time in my life, thinking, "Who is that?!" What medical professional, in today's world, can I trust to not have political bias, or not be swayed by one vehement side or the other, or not be corrupted by the severe censorship going on, or not be corrupted by rebellion against the severe censorship going on?* I honestly don't know what to think. But I do know that I HATE the idea of being forced into something instead of being able to do my best to weed through it all myself and make a decision on my own behalf and on behalf of my children. In this particular case, I tend to think BYU-H should err on the side of those who don't want the vaccine for whatever reason. And particularly if they've gotten a "doctor's note". I grant BYU-H's right to be snots about this. I just think they're being snots. And I think they're being snots because of an overarching narrative that is EXCEEDINGLY dangerous, that instead of being very wary of (or even noting), they seem to be embracing. That narrative is way more dangerous than the pandemic could even pretend to be. *Edit: Not to mention this idea: If a medical professional told someone to not get vaccinated and then that person or someone they loved died, whoo boy howdy LAWSUIT! But if the Dr. recommend vaccination...everyone's legally immune (pun recognized but not intended). Speaking of incentives and trust.
  11. 3 points
    99-99.5% survival rate worldwide.
  12. 3 points
    Holy crap, that is excellent news! With around 60% of the state's 8.8million vaccinated, that makes the 'rona death rate of vaccinated NJians to be around 0.0009%. Compared to NJ's unvaccinated 'rona death rate of 0.27%, what more undeniable, clear, transparently glorious and wonderful proof of the vaccine's effectiveness could there possibly be? (I mean, the article doesn't make that clear, but people get it, right?) Wanna reduce your chances of dying of 'rona by two-hundred and eighty times? Get the vaccine. Wanna increase your chances of dying of 'rona by 280X? Don't get the vaccine. Thanks Carb, for posting this wonderful news! I'm seeing similar good reports everywhere. Dang I'm glad we've got effective vaccines against this thing. Now, only the most stubbornly blinder-wearing folks out there are able to cling to a false belief that the vaccine isn't effective. I mean, folks can still say things like "it's not for me" or "I have the right to decide for myself" or "I'm concerned about possible long-term effects", or "0.27%? I'll take my chances, thank you", or some such. There remain several valid principled arguments against the vaccine. But with the entire world's populations showing results similar to New Jersey, nobody can hope to say the vaccine isn't wildly effective against the virus, and hope to maintain a shred of credibility. Denying the vaccine's effectiveness, in the face of several months of relevant data, is now tantamount to denying the earth is a sphere. I always figured these guys knew what they were doing. Especially the superstar combination of medical doctor, former medical researcher, and prophet of the Lord. \
  13. 3 points
    Depends on the vaccine. If they came out with an AIDS vaccine tomorrow, I'd be kinda skeptical.
  14. 3 points
    I don't think God can or at least is willing to change a person's heart. That would severely encroach upon a person's agency. What he can and does do is entice them to have a change of heart. This not only does not encroach upon a person's agency but makes agency possible. 2 Nephi 2:16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. I think often these enticements come in the form of experiences that help us see more clearly what he is offering and then leaving it up to that person to choose to accept or reject it.
  15. 2 points

    Favorite snacks?

    What are some of your favorite snacks. I will admit that this summer I have become totally addicted to frozen grapes. I'm going to hate when they are no longer in season. Plus I have fallen in love with watermelon and cantaloupe sprinkled with Tajin. I LOVE it. It has been a good fruit summer so far.
  16. 2 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    A few areas of discussion with JAG's post. I don't think there is anything "particularly unpleasant" about dying of COVID, as opposed to dying of any other respiratory infection. Calling the number of deaths "large" is purely a value judgment. We have not lost 10% of the population to COVID. This statement is what the media reports, but it is meaningless. For one thing, life expectancy is calculated from data tabulations extending back for long periods. COVID is still largely a blip on the radar; its statistical effects on life expectancy will be noted in the years to come, not today. For another, "life expectancy" typically is applied to newborns: How long can this newly born child expect to live? What we have been seeing with COVID deaths for the last 20 or so months is mostly old people dying somewhat earlier than expected. To extend this to the 40-and-under crowd as a general "US life expectancy has declined!" is an unjustified scare tactic worthy of Comrade Stalin, Dear Leader Kim, and the 21st-century US news media. I would like to hear @MarginOfError's take on this. I trust his understanding of and judgment about statistics more than I trust my own. I gather that the immunoresponse models have worked pretty accurately. The modeling of spread and infection, not so much. I think the vaccine scare plays into the hands of the duplicitous media. I dearly wish that the many on "my side" that we hear loudly decrying the vaccine as a threat to America's health would just stop it. But in the larger view, their ignorance is certainly no worse in quality than the ignorance of the "other side", which is much greater in scope and much more directly targeted at curtailing liberty. The anti-vax ignorance displayed by many on "my side" will result in a higher death toll, primarily among the very old. The ignorance displayed by the "other side" will result in a permanent loss of liberty and a ceding of fundamental rights to government whim. I know which of the two I consider to be a far greater threat to my children and my children's children. A Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) is a physician, just like a Medical Doctor (MD). DOs historically claim to be more "naturalistic" and "holistic" in their medical approach—which no one can reasonably say is a bad thing—while MDs follow "traditional medicine". Both types of physician receive essentially identical training. Both are licensed to practice medicine. AFAIK, neither the law nor the medical community distinguish between MDs and DOs on a functional level. DOs are allowed to go into any specialization open to an MD. You will find DO radiologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, and neurosurgeons. Now, the fact is that the most respected medical schools overwhelmingly offer MD programs, while many newer medical schools offer DO programs. So there is a perception that DOs are the physicians whose MCAT test scores or grades out of college weren't high enough to get them into a better program. There may be some truth to this broad assertion, but it is indeed a broad assertion and cannot reliably be applied to individual cases. The fact that it was a DO who wrote the note instead of an MD is utterly meaningless. You could as easily find an MD to write such a note as you could find an MD to write you an excuse for a beard card at BYU. MDs are every bit as politically biased, stubborn, and ignorant as their DO counterparts. I certainly agree about the BYU-H aministrators being morally justified in requiring a vaccination, whether or not I may happen to agree with them on the particular issue. I trust that your legal analysis is valid; sounds good to me. I think this is a losing issue all around for anti-government-encroaching conservatives. I would like to see fewer people getting up in arms over situations like this. If you don't like the policies at BYU-H (or Harvard, or Evergreen College, or Joe's Auto Body Repair and School of Life Sciences), then go somewhere else. Now if you're talking about a public school, I would be more sympathetic to such objections.
  17. 2 points
    The Folk Prophet

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    Hmm. I'm not sure I'm trying to lead you to a conclusion. The point, I suppose, is that to my best (albeit limited) understanding...if there are 100 people in the room and 99 of them are vaccinated and 1 is not then I believe we have herd immunity there. I don't know what the specifics numbers are, but it does seem to strike me that until there are enough individuals not vaccinated to affect herd immunity then being stringent in the issuing of exceptions doesn't make much sense except as some sort of virtue signaling. When they eliminate immunity from previous infection from the definition I'd say it is. But that is probably not relevant to the discussion at hand. Just griping.
  18. 2 points

    Less than the Dust of the Earth

    My personal life experiences, observations and spiritual insights have led me to the realization of how miserable we are without God as a guiding influence for good. Without God’s influence, we are incapable of progressing. To hear that stated is one thing, but to internalize and see it as reality is another. We are selfish by nature. Our ability to progress beyond our selfish nature hangs in a delicate balance managed and made only possible by God. When it comes to progressing beyond what we are, we are fragile. Push us too much, and we will fall apart. Don’t push us enough, and we will remain incapable of loving others. How did we exist in the premortal life as “intelligences”? The noun would suggest we had intellectual capacity. Maybe we had ability to discern to some degree. But what we didn’t have was the ability to love or at least not to the extent made possible with a mortal, earthly experience. We did not care for our neighbors, we did not understand the importance of empathy, we were not our brother’s keeper, we did not sacrifice anything that wasn’t for our own benefit; we were incapable of understanding or even being motivated in that fashion. We were self-serving. That is our true nature absent of God. We give glory to God because despite us being miserably hopeless on our own, it was His wisdom and intervention that made possible our progression. He is our Eternal Anchor of Hope, our Heavenly North Star, and our only hope for rising above a state of nothingness; that is why we must or eventually be compelled to give glory to God, for anything we become beyond nothing is due to Him. For God to have organized us and created this vacuum where mankind has survived and thrived for as long as it has requires the greatest delicate touch beyond what we could imagine. Left to our own devices, we would have self-imploded and destroyed ourselves long ago. How do I know this? Because mankind has barely been able to survive this long even with God being as present as He is. Our self-sabotaging nature continues to spawn wars, murder, prostitution, sex trafficking, genocide, corruption, and abuse in all forms. These acts are evidence of our self-serving nature, a nature that even the most righteous among us is susceptible to. Our inherent nature of selfishness is just as alive today as it always has been even though the world’s landscape may appear to have changed over time. Selfishness is apparent on many levels even outside the common examples we would think of like theft or greed. Loving only those within your inner circles or those who provide some type of benefit in return for your love is selfish. Primarily focusing your life efforts on building a nest egg for solely you and your family is selfish if not shortsighted at best. Should we feel guilt for not being more advanced in our ability to love? I don’t think so. How developed we are in our ability to love is merely a snapshot of where we are on our individual journeys. Some may arrive to certain levels faster than others, but God didn’t design it to be a race; He designed it as a plan to give us all the best chance at developing love. It’s a monumental task for us to overcome our nature and learn to love, but we have to start somewhere. That is why God designed our learning in baby-step format. God created the format of life involving spouses and families as a step in the right direction for our advancement to learn to love others. Is it wrong to work hard to build a life for you and your family? No. But that alone isn’t the end goal of what God wants us to achieve. The goal is to learn to love, not just yourself, not just those within your inner circles, but to truly love all unconditionally as God loves us. That means putting others’ needs before your own including those who have no direct connection to you other than being a fellow child of God. Ever since Adam and Eve, God has been coaxing us along to learn to love. Through history we’ve seen how progress oftentimes takes multiple generations to build upon, just as chaos can trickle down and negatively affect multiple generations to come. How parents raise their children will influence that generation’s ability to love. How advanced should we become by the end of this life regarding our ability to love? As much as we can. The thing is, God never set a threshold because the purpose of this life never was perfection. The purpose of life is progress towards learning to love. God’s design of this life is what we need for the greatest chance of us succeeding in learning to love. God did not design our nature; He designed this life around our nature to provide us with the best platform possible for our success. If you think about how God designed the world for the benefit of our nature and development to learn to love, it extends itself to many insights of why this world is designed the way it is. For me, the family unit makes much more sense as to why it’s the exclusive unit it is instead of us attempting to love everyone equally. The exclusivity of the family unit concerned me before as it seemed selfish in principle as so many in this world are left unloved by a family of their own. I previously resented the clicks we form, but now I understand them to be necessary steppingstones for our progress in learning to love. We are far too infantile in our current state to attempt loving everyone equally. The fragility of our development of learning to love can also be related to our slow progression towards technological advancements. It’s taken thousands of years just for us to reach this digital age we now find ourselves in. Could the technology we see today have been achieved earlier? Absolutely. But we hindered and destroyed each other’s creations and progress due to our selfish nature. Had mankind not sought chaos and instead always embraced living in harmony with one another, we would be lightyears ahead of where we are today and basic problems like world hunger would not exist. But our nature is not harmonious. With the grace of God, we are swimming upstream trying to overcome our natural tendencies. May we trust in Him and His plan, and that what may seem like an insurmountable task ahead of us may seem possible to achieve with the hope He gives us, remembering that this life is nothing but baby steps in our progression of learning to love, that achieving perfection in this life never was the goal, and that God will guide us by the hand.
  19. 2 points
    5 have had the vaccine. 10 have not said what they did. The OFFICIAL handbook of the church says: 38.7.13 Vaccinations Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life. Members of the Church are encouraged to safeguard themselves, their children, and their communities through vaccination. Ultimately, individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. If members have concerns, they should counsel with competent medical professionals and also seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Seems like an awful lot of finger wagging going on in the Church these days.
  20. 2 points
    I think that is an individual choice based on individual conditions. To say a blanket statement is not really taking into account a LOT of variables. I think you may have confused your concept of what I've stated with what I actually stated in the past. I said that I have a medical condition that makes it unfavorable for ME to take many vaccines. If other people want to get a vaccine, that's fine by me. But because you don't agree with my medical exemption, you think I'm anti-vax, and proceed to shame and ridicule me. It's a free country. You can do that.
  21. 2 points
  22. 2 points
    I'm an introvert, and yes introverts need to get to know everyone around them -- and they can. The Atonement can make weaknesses strong. 😀 I'm not sure, if a person doesn't have charity he is nothing. That makes "love" the top of the line attribute of Christ.
  23. 2 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    Whenever something unexpected happens, too often people cry out "why?" or "that's not fair!" What I'm sitting here wondering is "What are her alternatives?" The university already suggested she attend another Church School. She said it was her "dream school". I have no idea why BYU-H would be more preferable than BYU-P as far as academics except for particular fields of study -- even then it's almost a wash. When dealing with a private university, as Vort says, they have a right to require this. And she has the right to go to another school if she disagrees with the policy. So, why doesn't she? Why hasn't she looked into the other schools? I read that her scholarships are now "gone". I've never heard of that. Most scholarships are transferable. So, why is that even a factor? How on earth did she even get $200k in scholarships for a school whose tuition is only 1/20th that? Is she planning on attending while living in a 4 star hotel? What's the deal? Why is THAT particular school so important that she's raising this stink? Has anyone even bothered to ask these questions? I haven't read it in my limited exposure to this story. I'd bet Provo would bend over backwards to help her get in to Provo just because of the situation she's in. But she's stuck in this victim mindset so far that she's not even trying to figure this out.
  24. 2 points
    This is why I love this verse in the Book of Mormon, (Jacob 2: 17), "Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you." Imagine if everyone on earth truly looked at their brethren like unto themselves and desired -- truly desired -- to know everyone around them. There would be no racism. There would be no hate.
  25. 2 points

    BYU Hawaii - vaccine required

    And that is my point. It’s not the hill that I’m willing to die on because, quite frankly, there are far more important concerns for my family. (Not of COVID vaccines, but of whether my child should go to BYU-H! 😁) To your point: I would say that when confronted with any choice in which a policy exists, for which I refuse to bend, I am left with three options. I can fight, I can leave, or I can adhere. If I am forced into a corner where no other alternative options exist, then I either fight or adhere. All of these options have consequences that I should weigh before making an important decision. So, to circle back again, the question remains as to whether this is the hill someone wants to die on. Because, IMO, getting a vaccine most likely isn’t the real issue for those wanting to make their stand here. Rather, I would assume that they are actually desiring to stand and fight for a deeper issue. (Ie. Removal of liberties, rebelling against social norms, rebelling against religious authority, rebelling against the opposing political party, standing up for religious ideals, simply wanting to bash the church, etc.) But, perhaps it is just that simple for someone. Maybe they have determined that this is the issue of their lifetime. This is the final line in the sand and they absolutely refuse to cross. And there is just no other school that should even be considered except BYU-H. I am certainly not their Master or their Judge. It just seems to me that a re-focusing of priorities might be needed. (That is not to say that I also don’t need to reprioritize the things in my life!)