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  1. My apologies to the site...I've been gone for quite a while because I thought the site was going to close. I felt prompted to come tonight just to make sure, and it appears that all is well and active. So, as a brief update on me...I retired from prison chaplaincy in Dec. 2020, and am now teaching civics at a Christian school. I look forward to reengaging. PC
    11 points
  2. 9 points
  3. I've experienced some enlightenment these past few months that I'd like to share. The reason you haven't heard much from me in the past several months is that I've been working about 60 to 80 hours per week. Some weeks more than that. It is this level of work that brought me to some enlightenment recently. Many of you know that I've got daddy issues. But I'm finally coming to understand him. And with that understanding comes some forgiveness. Much of what I'm about to say is basically what I'd kind of heard when I was younger. But not being in the situation, I just blew it off as people trying to excuse bad behavior. And maybe that was true to some extent. But the fact is that it isn't about excusing bad behavior, but about finding forgiveness in my own heart. My father had to be heavily focused on customer service. The nature of his business always required that he interact with people almost constantly. And even when he was not interacting with customers, he interacted with each of his employees. He had to keep a smile on his face even when he was being treated horribly and even being taken advantage of. He did this for 50 to 60 hrs/wk as the norm and had even busier weeks as the seasons changed. My business is not nearly as people focused as his business was. But I still have to do my share of people pleasing. One thing I found was that not only did I not have much time for my family, but I also didn't have the energy to "keep up the front." And that was when it hit me. On the one hand, he was constantly stuck in this "keep up appearances" mode because that is what customer service really is. And when he was not quite so busy at work, he had enough energy where he would be able to keep it up at home as well. On the other hand, when he did not have enough energy to keep it up, he was just brutally honest. And it wasn't kindness we saw from him. When I was younger and didn't understand the idea of deception, all I knew was that I "felt weird" around my dad. The thing of it is, I felt it not in his actions, but in his words and gestures. He was almost constantly in customer service mode. And for him, that meant lying to people. He always told people what they wanted to hear just so he would be considered a pleasant person to work with. So, he was so practiced in it that he carried it over to his home life. He could have found real traits to compliment people on. But he decided to compliment us on things that he "thought" we wanted to hear. All that did was make me feel weird whenever he tried to be nice to me. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it came to my dad. So, what was this great revelation I had? All my life, I thought of my dad as a liar. I always hated lies. It hurt me emotionally (even when I didn't understand what I was feeling) when others lied to me. And if I ever lied to others, I felt something that was almost a physical pain. That's why I tend to stay away from lies as much as I can. Although, I'll admit that sometimes, I find subtle deception to be an art that I have fun with. And it is usually in jest or for a topic of iinsignificance. What I have learned is that his "lies" were his way of trying to be better. It's "acting as if". Yes, "acting as if" is a type of lie, even if it is in a pursuit to become that noble state you're pretending to be. And it bugged me. It hurt me (as I've explained). But in understanding his motivation, I'm finding that it is becoming easier to find forgiveness in my heart when I think of him. I now see that he really was simply "doing the best he could with what he had at the time." The saying is that the purpose of the Church is to make bad men good; good men better, and better men best. My dad was a bad man. But he became better, as much as he could. He really tried. And I can see through this new lens and recognize that he did indeed become more than he was. Maybe he became a good man. I'm not in a place where I can judge that. But I now have found some compassion to realize that he was simply doing the best he could with what he had to work with. He tried. And he kept trying as best as he knew how. The other day I was talking to my son about how much I'd seen him grow. He told me the same about me. Then he described some traits that I shared with my father -- some traits which I would certainly do better without. I was initially angry. But when I gave it just a couple of moments' thought, I realized he was absolutely right. My son has a "brutal honesty" about him, which I guess he got from me. Sometimes it is annoying when your kids put a mirror up to your face. But he was right. I was like my dad in so many ways. I finally said,"You know, you're right. All I can say is that I'm doing better than my father did. And I see that you're doing better than I have." He said,"That's the way it's supposed to work, isn't it? What I realized he meant was that as flawed as I am, he was grateful that I had improved myself from the condition my father was, so that he could then improve himself even further than I had. I saw for the first time the "picture of hope" in my son. He was going to be alright. His children were going to be alright. It is unfortunate that I came to this realization this late in life. But I wasn't really ready for it earlier. And it is even more unfortunate that my father has fallen victim to dementia to the point where he doesn't recognize members of his own family anymore. It is unfortunate that he'll never know that I have finally found a way to invite forgiveness to take place in my heart for him. But I'm finally finding some peace inside myself.
    9 points
  4. person0

    Tornados

    We are fine here. Lots of folks who didn't fare so well, but thankfully, no one in my family has been affected.
    9 points
  5. I find it amusing that the very first quote states that there is no official declaration either way, but then it proceeds to provide all the quotes on one side only. Yes, that was the title of the page. But to what end? And all pages like this always include the following quote as if it supports the idea (which it does not): This is explicitly stating that this is NOT a sound doctrine, and he only supposes that exceptions may exist. But as a rule, it is not provided for. * I always accept and admit that there has been no official declaration of the doctrine of progression between kingdoms. But this seems to be a binary answer. As such, I see the following: If false, let's not continue saying it could be the case, lest people get the wrong idea. If true, it is still a dangerous doctrine to be spreading. The doctrine of the Three Degrees was withheld from mankind prior to the Resurrection for a reason. Man was not ready for it. As it is, if this "open kingdoms" (to coin a phrase) doctrine is true, is man ready for it? It is all too easy to interpret this as: I cannot come to any logical thought that would conclude that teaching the doctrine of progression between kingdoms will result in anything other than this mentality. Even it if is true, what good can come of teaching it with the state of man today? Alma warns us about this very mindset. Whatever that "exception" may be (if there is one or a few) it should be obvious that there is a very strong tendency (and possibly, inevitability) to maintain our current attitudes towards obedience and faith (we can call it a "mindset") after we leave this life. And it is that "mindset" that will determine just how far we can go. If complete progress is truly open for all, then that means there really is no separation at all. So this doctrine of the three degrees is meaningless. I would think that if the doctrine of "open kingdoms" is true at all, it would be only in the rarest of circumstances (as Pres. Smith said in the quote above). If the kingdoms truly are open, then what does the doctrine of the three degrees even mean?
    8 points
  6. Mental Health Awareness and Overdose Awareness--two causes that came onto my radar with the death of a great-niece. At 20 Fetinol took her life. She believed there is a God, and in some ways showed openness--though she never agreed with "religion." What we can agree on is that she now sees much more than she did. She now knows God the Father is real and that Jesus is the way to reconcile with Him. This story might cause some here to renew their dedication to Baptisms for the Dead. For me, it is a reminder that life is short and our love must be intentional and out loud.
    8 points
  7. Holy mackerel; how did I miss this when it first came out?
    7 points
  8. Someone came up with a list of priorities decades ago, that stuck with me. When looking to meeting your own needs, look first to yourself and spouse. Then close family, and finally the church. In the decades since, "government programs" seems to have been added to the list, right before family. I was born into a church that preached passionately and often against 'the public dole' and government programs. Haven't heard something like that in 20 years. As a finance clerk, my bishops have shared with me how often they work with folks seeking welfare, directing them to govt employment centers and food stamps and low-income aid. I think the general notion is, if we're gonna pay for that stuff with our taxes, we may as well make use of it when we need it. Church welfare is meant to be short term. Bishops will ensure that it's short term. I've seen Stake Presidents counsel with generous-to-a-fault bishops, to ensure it's short term. I'm not privy to the discussions, but I've watched the checks stop on long term needy folks, who end up forced to move to a situation they can afford. The church isn't here to support your lifestyle, and "I'll lose my house" isn't a way to keep the church paying. I've written endless rent/mortgage/car/utility payments, but I don't keep writing them for the same folks over and over. Let me add my enthusiastic support and encouragement to anyone with a short-term need approaching their bishop for help. This is the backbone of church welfare, the reason for fast offerings. Ain't no shame. Your bishop will be happy to work with you, and the finance clerk is happy to write checks to cover bills. And both of us know how to keep our mouths shut, so dignity and privacy is preserved. I pretty much never know the details, my bishop will just hand me a bill and say "pay this for Sis X please".
    7 points
  9. I appreciate your being willing to talk about what you’ve gone through, and certainly want to be respectful of that. I will simply note, as far as LGBTQ individuals go, that it’s comparatively rare to hear the conservative/religious family member post their side of the story; and when they do, it doesn’t tend to get as much distribution. The two LGBTQ folks in my own extended family—at least from my perspective—got unqualified family support and love from their immediate families; one family almost immediately [left] the Church in support, and the other almost immediately quit talking about religion in the LGBTQ family member’s presence. And yet both have made long, drama-queenery Facebook posts about how their families were just so terrible to them. I didn’t think too much of it until reading Shrier’s Irreversible Damage, where many of the parents of transgender teens were extremely progressive, irreligious, and even (in one case) lesbian—yet their experiences were still characterized by extreme alienation and wild accusations of bigotry being made by the transitioning teen. Additionally, my professional experience in family law has reiterated to me that “supportive family” can be a very slippery term—there’s a) the kind of support we want to get; b) the kind of support our family wants to give; and c) the kind of support we actually need—which may be somewhere on the spectrum between a) and b), or somewhere else entirely. It has been said—perhaps with more than a few grains of truth—that many Mormons have something of a persecution complex. I think this as well as the experience of many teens who are setting themselves apart from their parents—in terms of religion, sexuality, or a host of other issues—suggests that at some level, some part of the human psyche has a need to be misunderstood. I suppose that traditionally, society was structured in such a way that more or less forced us to outgrow it and eventually we realized that, tactical differences aside, our families really did love us and have our best interests at heart and that we had more in common with them than our teenaged selves had thought. Nowadays, though, there are all manner of intersectional groups ready and willing to tell us that “no one in your life understands you the way I do”—leading us to not only wallow in our narcissism and go seeking for validation of our self-pity like addicts to crack; but we make that worldview the foundation for our future selves. And then we wake up one day in our forties or fifties and wonder why the last three decades of our lives have basically been an unbroken line of failed relationships (and often, professional mediocrity as well).
    7 points
  10. scottyg

    Activism vs the Gospel

    https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders/2022/11/1/23424931/brother-ahmad-s-corbit-activism-discipleship This was a good read. There are many persons that I associate with in my ward and workplace that are struggling with this very thing, and their kids are suffering as a result. One brother has had all 3 of his children leave the church in the past 2-3 years, and he cannot understand how it happened. For decades this brother has been actively involved in parties or groups that oppose not just the church, but all moral issues including the family. What did he expect would happen to his kids...you cannot teach them principles that are in direct opposition to the Lord, and then be surprised when they decide to choose what you taught over Him. Do we trust in the political parties of the day more than the words of the Lord? Do we try to fit the gospel into our political narrative rather than accepting it as a whole? This brother is now distancing himself from the church, believing it not to be the only way to salvation. He is angry that "it has not brought him the promised blessings" - not being humble enough to see that he has been pushing them away himself. I fear that this upcoming election cycle will turn many in my ward away much more so than covid did. They are wedded to the ideals their preferred political party and/or other organizations, and will not accept the fact that the Lord would not be on their side of the argument. Some of them just want to win because they hate their opponent more than they love their side, and no matter how much destruction they will cause, they just want to be "right" and claim the moral highground...even though in reality they couldn't be lower than the gutter. No matter how much debauchery these groups promote, or how much filth they spew, these church members continue to vote for, and be associated with those that push such ideals. Be humble, and seek the Lord's opinion on who you should be. "Not my will but thine be done"
    7 points
  11. Hi and welcome! Questions like this are pretty common actually. The answer is always the same though - your friend should confide in/confess to his bishop, and work through things with him. Far, far, far better to get stuff like this out into the open and dealt with and resolved, than to keep it secret where it festers.
    7 points
  12. A couple of weeks ago my two youth aged sons went to an LDS homeschoolers' prom. Many homeschooling groups got together to rent out a venue and invite LDS homeschoolers to this event. It became much more popular than they had anticipated. Tickets were selling so well that they didn't know if there would be enough room. My sons went on a triple date to this event (one couple came separately). They were really looking forward to it. They were laughing and having fun in all the precursor moments to the venue itself. When they arrived, everything seemed normal. But as soon as they got to the front door, my elder son (Bubba) just froze. The others didn't exactly freeze. But they just stopped laughing. They all looked at Bubba. He said "There's something wrong here." The others looked around. The foyer was empty except for the gatekeepers and security. But they all felt something. They knew something wasn't right with this event. They proceeded with caution. When they got into the main hall, they noticed about half the population were dressed in a manner absolutely NOT up to FSY standards. A good 50% of those were clearly of the LGBTQ variety (girls with girls, boys with boys, transgenders that absolutely would not "pass"). They met up with the third couple. Before the four of them could say anything, the third couple said, "Guys, we don't think we should be here. There's something wrong." Flashback: When the group went to pick up girl #3, the father of this girl, didn't address boy #3. He addressed Bubba. "If you get there and there's something wrong. You're in charge of making sure she gets home safe. Understand?" My son understood and agreed. I thought it was odd that her date (boy #3) was not the one in charge of keeping her safe. But because of this, they all agreed that they'd better leave. The rules of the event required that the youth had to get parental permission to leave early. It took about an hour to get permission for all six of them. But they finally left. (A fourth couple they knew was also there. They said they also felt it. But they weren't going to leave because of it. They paid a lot of money for these tickets.) Eventually, they decided to just go around and do something fun. They didn't go into details. But they did end up having a good time and they returned home safely. All of them eventually attended to smaller proms in the weeks that followed. But they had fun. Girl #3 had to go to three more. Prom #2 and #3 also had a similar phenomenon. Prom #4 was the charm. And she got to remain and have fun. We can try to be tolerant all we want, just as we're tolerant of all God's children. And guess what? All of God's children sin. But this was different. To hear my sons describe it, it almost felt like they were watching pornography. They had to get themselves out lest they be consumed. The biggest issue here is not whether someone sins (of any variety). It was that the sin was "accepted" as righteous behavior. No. Sin is sin. We all sin. But the thing that separates the righteous vs the wicked is whether we're striving to overcome sin vs accepting it (either giving up or believing there is nothing wrong with it). This was a room where half the people had apparently believed there was not only nothing wrong with it. But that it was actually "preferred" behavior. Yes, there was something very wrong there.
    7 points
  13. I always find the narrative on this one interesting. The police get blamed for this one regularly. We are not mental health professionals. It is NOT illegal to be mentally unstable. You can not be arrested and prosecuted when you have not committed a crime. I repeat. It is NOT illegal to be mentally unstable. Mental health issues are an area I don't think we are doing a very good job with in society as a whole. Not sure how we fix that though.
    7 points
  14. In December I had a dream that I was at my wife's grand-parent's house, they having died before I met her. Her grandfather, who was never talkative in any way, walked up to me and held some scriptures out to me and said, "These are for you, share them." I woke up and looked at the bookshelf in my bedroom and saw my wife's old scriptures sitting there, collecting dust. I had the distinct impression at that moment, I think it was the spirit, that I was to buy a new set of scriptures every year, read through the entire standard works, and mark them. I was then to box them up for a future grand or great grandchild. A week later was Christmas and I bought a new, large set of scriptures and a case and started reading. I am now in Ester and I am picking up steam in this effort. I know that the scriptures are all true and my testimony of them has grown by leaps and bounds. I look forward to the days when my grand children begin coming and I give these scriptures to them with their grandfather's testimony marked throughout. I am hoping these will be a cherished memento of my testimony and feeling towards God and His great mercy on me in my life. I encourage you all to do something similar and leave a heritage of faith and love to your families.
    7 points
  15. Vort

    Anniversary alone

    Today is my 34th anniversary. My wife is over 200 miles away, while I lay in a hospital bed with a C. diff infection. Feeling a bit blue. But as a chance to reflect on the unparalleled blessings God has showered on an unworthy soul like myself, I feel humble and deeply grateful. Sorry for the FB-like post, but I'm not much into FBing stuff like this.
    7 points
  16. This line of thinking is so very odd for any bishop to suggest. Dating men is a homosexual act. He isn't just going out with friends. I wonder if his bishop would say to a married man the same thing if he came to him saying, "I love my wife, but I'm going to start dating other women. It isn't adultery, as I'm just dating other women I'm attracted to." I still don't understand how easily some people seek to split hairs when it comes to a decision with homosexuality. It is as clear as the day light is from the dark night. It is as clear as a married man deciding to date other women -- although technically not adultery. The debate is there due to people listing to obey the wrong spirit.
    7 points
  17. Most of my life I had heard older people talking reaching an age where they no longer care what people think of them. I marvelled at it. Aren't we supposed to work to make others happy? Aren't we supposed to be Christ-like? I think I reached it in the past couple of years and it's not nearly as awful as I imagined. In fact, it's quite freeing. I feel I can serve others without any expectations, persue faith on my own terms, and give attention and care where I think it's most needed. Here's to getting old.
    7 points
  18. After 23 years in federal service, and having raised three daughters through public education, I now find myself teaching civics in a private Christian school. I love this work and remain certain that we can serve God well, in part, through politics. I grew up as Rev. Falwell urged evangelical Christians (and some LDS, btw) to the pro-life cause. This morphed into the Moral Majority and later the Christian Coalition. After Clinton was elected some in the New Right gave up hope, called for a retreat into insular Christian culture, and circled the wagons. Others veered into a Kingdom Now end-times belief--that Christians must reclaim America, and the world, for Jesus. We must win the reins of power and establish God's law. THEN the Lord will return. COVID-19 really shook my own understanding of balance. I saw many church members embrace conservative-constitutionalism, so much that they left the church because it was not willing to speak out against mandates and government violation of rights. My struggle was not with their politics, but that these matters came to outweigh the proclamation of faith and good news. In essence, they traded the greatness of the faith for the goodness of patriotic classical liberalism (aka constitutional conservatism). I still believe Christians can serve effectively and well in politics. But, I see so clearly now the temptation to rely and political power rather than the power of God.
    7 points
  19. Almost a year ago the Board of Directors that is over the More Good Foundation made a decision that only certain projects would continue to be funded. It had to meet a certain criteria. Third Hour was not one of those that made the cut and therefore no funding. We have left the site open and we still post to the Third Hour facebook page because there were almost 100K followers to the fb page. They have also allocated more money for international projects since there are now more members out of the U.S. than in. As of right now there isn't a plan to shut it down and I have been promised that when that decision is made I will have notice to be able to inform those on the forum. @Traveler I have been the one running this forum for several years and yes I post here. I don't own the forum so therefore I have to go with the decisions made by the Board of Directors. Even my project of Ask Gramps that I have managed since "gramps" passed away in 2008 has had funding taken away.
    7 points
  20. Just_A_Guy

    Gays and the church

    The issue I have with this, though; is that the frustrations are very similar to those expressed by folks struggling with pedophilia. I don’t mean the flag-waving NAMBLA freaks; I mean the people I’ve met and worked with who are horrified at the way they’re wired but can’t stop the cravings and believe that they’ll never be able to find love in the way to which they are predisposed. The vocabulary is identical. The feelings, the longing, the despair—it’s all identical. But a recent USA Today article exploring some of these issues was recently shouted off Twitter, because as a society we do acknowledge that enforced celibacy is a reasonable expectation if the stakes are high enough. As a church we are very big into the “it is not good that man should be alone” thing; but there are times when folks are compelled to be “eunuchs for Christ’s sake”, as Paul wrote. The celibate life, while not the norm, has long been respectable in society—Victorian “confirmed bachelors”, romantic-era recluses and hermits and whatnot—and I don’t think it’s coincidence that LGBTQ suicide rates spiked just as our society bought wholesale into the notion that “you’re nobody ‘till somebody loves you”. But in the current cultural milieu I think what I’d say to say to someone like Archuleta (assuming he asked, which of course he hasn’t) is as follows: “Any nominally Christian church (and most non-Christian religions) will ‘save’ you; but the function of this particular Church is to prepare people for exaltation. The prerequisite for that is being a party to a male-female marital sealing. If you, in this life, create a relationship that makes a male-female sealing impossible, then a) there’s no guarantee that you’ll get another crack at such a relationship in the hereafter; and b) the emotional bonds formed in the relationship you *did* enter will, of necessity, have to be dissolved. In a Family Relations class at BYU some years ago, my professor was fond of saying “God doesn’t hate divorce, but He hates what divorce does to people”; and for me, fourteen years of law practice have cemented this view. God doesn’t want you to go through the trauma of watching an ill-conceived relationship wither and die—the heartbreak, the sense of betrayal, the loneliness, the self-doubt, the wondering if you’ll ever be able to trust again and the feeling that you’ve been played for a fool as the best years of your life passed you by. Every homosexual relationship, by its nature, must end this way; and it’s entirely preventable. I realize that the lack of an intimate and, yes, sexual relationship is gut-wrenchingly hard; but ultimately—if you hold to the Church’s counsel on this matter then at minimum you are sparing yourself from something far more painful in the long run, and you are likely also keeping open the door for exaltation that is the whole reason you’re a member of this Church in the first place.”
    7 points
  21. From a talk I recently gave. I address the Law of Consecration, quoting directly from the church website. People really have a poor understanding of what the LOC is and is not. There are some members who believe when hard times arrive we will all pool our food and everyone will have enough. They somehow believe that a miracle like the fishes and loaves will occur for them, or they think the Law of Consecration will take care of everyone. Let me read to you Doctrine and Covenants, section 130: verses 20-21: 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. If we fail to obey a principle of the gospel, we cannot receive the blessings for another’s faithfulness. Faith without works is dead. If you do not have the faith to follow the consistent counsel from the prophets and apostles to put up some food storage and other essentials for your family, how can you believe you will have faith equal to the fishes and loaves miracle? For those who smugly think that the Law of Consecration will protect them, allow me to point out certain principles associated with the doctrine. Under the Law of Consecration all things are deeded to the church. The agent bishop than returns a stewardship back to you based on your needs and circumstances. That stewardship becomes private property for the steward and his family. It is not communal property. If there is a surplus from that stewardship, it would then go to the bishop’s storehouse to care for the poor and needy. To be clear, under this law, a year supply of food for one family, is not a year supply for everyone else to tap into. If there was any surplus, it would be available through the bishop’s storehouse.
    6 points
  22. I had half-wondered since 2008 whether the church’s political involvement on the issue was less about making a difference socially/politically and more about making our stance crystal clear. Amish folks don’t have to register for the draft, because their faith’s stance on non-violence is well-known. Maybe in time we will need a similar accommodation, both individually and for the church as an institution. There are a lot of folks out there greedily rubbing their hands together and fantasizing about what they could do with the Church’s (formerly) $100+ billion war chest if only the Church’s tax-exempt status could be revoked . . . That said, the proggies generally and LGBTQ advocates in particular have a very long tradition of promising us that they would never do something—and then doing it anyways. (The “law of merited impossibility”, as I believe Rod Dreher has called it.) Like Vort, I am fundamentally left only with the faith that the Church’s leaders are being divinely guided and that the Lord (if not the leaders themselves) know what they’re doing.
    6 points
  23. You also have to consider that people have to *want* to be helped, and some people who are victims of substance abuse, poor mental illness, or so forth either don't want to be helped out of their plight or don't even realize they're in a bad way to begin with. That's a big part of the problem.
    6 points
  24. When I was a temple worker years back, we attended a special meeting that was just for temple workers in the Mount Timpanogos district. Elder Bednar was one of the speakers. When he first stood up to talk, he started by saying something along the lines of, "Okay...so you all are my peeps here...my homeboys...my buddies...so I can talk with you like I wouldn't otherwise...." (I don't remember the exact phrasing he used, but it was something casual like that...) And then he proceeded to speak bluntly on things more akin to the way you might have heard them in the open past preaching you speak of. My take away... well, frankly... an application of, "Don't cast your pearls before swine." I know that's not the whole story. It's multi-faceted I'm sure, related to gathering, etc. Among other things. But the stated comment was that he couldn't talk frankly in the open any longer. But for anyone who cares to look, the exact same teachings are still present. Yes, it does seem sometimes that they've changed the messaging. I've struggled with it, emotionally speaking, in the past (it's related to why I'm less active in the forum here than I once was). Once I let go a bit and just committed to humility, all that struggle faded away. I can still speak intellectually on the conflict I faced, but emotionally it's a non thing. I see people who fall away, just as is suggested in the OP, because they feel the church isn't standing strong for the values they once did (or in the way they once did). It's a sad thing. The means Satan uses to deceive and destroy are varied and complex. When push comes to shove, there's a reason faith, humility and obedience are key principles of the gospel. And more and more as I go through life I believe that the "test" that we are here for is one of humility vs. pride. It's multiple choice. A. Humility. B. Pride. One could phrase that a myriad of different ways and still be accurate (a trial of faith, for example, which is the same thing). But that's a solid way to look at it in my opinion. We either humble ourselves or we don't.
    6 points
  25. Nephi shows that there’s at least 3 layers of interpretation to Lehi’s dream. The first, as you note, is the personal path to salvation that invariable leads to the Savior. The second is a large scale explanation that centers on Jesus’ birth, the gospel message, apostasy, restoration, and Christ’s return. Nephi only explains some of this because he refers to John’s Apocalypse. The third is familial, tracing Nephi’s descendants and their covenant relationship with the Lord. The highlight is when they are visited by the Savior, followed by a period of apostasy, and a prophesied day of renewal and restoration. There may be other interpretations, but these are the ones Nephi gave.
    6 points
  26. Of course I posted my other replies before I finished reading everything you'd written. Typical of me. I see you are suggesting what I replied. I am a big believer in obedience. I think it is plain that obedience is the umbrella under which all else falls. I don't think I, personally, distinguish between blind obedience and faith. In point of fact, I'd contend that the blindness is requisite to the faith. The whole point of our mortal experience is to blind us, after all. Moreover, having faith is a commandment and falls under the umbrella of obedience. As does having charity. As does seeking the spirit. As does not being commanded in all things and using our best wisdom. There's just no getting away from obedience in the end. There's a difference, of course, between a tight structure of specific rules (law of Moses style) and a looser structure of general rules. But they're both still rules. And clearly the prior can distract from the later, and cause problems. We saw that in the time of Christ. The Jews had lost sight of what was important and focused solely on the rules. But that's not really the whole story. The fact is that they'd changed, added to, and ignored the rules. Looking beyond the mark isn't simply focusing too much on the rules. It's breaking the rules. The rule says don't look beyond the mark. Anyhow, it's an interesting discussion.
    6 points
  27. I'm less sympathetic to GoFundMe stuff now. For some people, I'm familiar with the family/circumstances and know that there are financial needs. But, for others, I'm very suspicious. One of my friends lived in a house that was easily $800K (by the size of the house and market) and due to a bad storm, her basement got flooded. She went onto GFM to ask for $10k to renovate her basement. Ummm, no, it's called suck it up and save for what you want done. I feel bad this happened to you, but I'm not going to give you money for a want. And I'm really bugged by people who start a GFM for themselves. I guess it's more honest, but in my mind it is the same as standing at the intersection with a sign asking for money.
    6 points
  28. I wrote words in a reply just recently and tried to post them and they got wiped. Maybe the LORD wanted me to say something different. So here I go again. In my own opinion I do not believe in progression between kingdoms of glory but I could be wrong. I feel like I am so lacking in worthiness to qualify any glory in the next life. But I like these words written below: "The mortal probation is provided as an opportunity for advancement; but so great are the difficulties and the dangers, so strong is the influence of evil in the world, and so weak is man in resistance thereto, that without the aid of a power above that of humanity, no soul would find its way back to God from whom it came." -- James Talmage I love the way President Gordon Hinckley used to teach this principle. I heard him say, “Brothers and sisters, all the LORD expects of us is to try, but you have to really try!” So, to all who read this, keep trying and working toward the Kingdom of God in your mortal journey. “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel. The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game." (-- Elder J. Devn Cornish) So, do not rationalize or rebel. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. If you fall once or a thousand times, just get up again and keep moving toward the LORD.
    6 points
  29. I go under the knife this week. I will lose a portion of my GI tract, get a temporary ileostomy (small intestine exits the abdomen into a bag 🤢 ), then wait several weeks until he can put my GI tract all back together. As well as the cancer responded to preliminary treatments, we're all optimistic that I should be done with cancer after this.
    6 points
  30. Thoughts: 1). A venomous snake rears up before it strikes. A snake condemned to live life on its belly is not going to be a mortal threat to watchful humans. (Ancient Egyptian cursing texts include similar cursing to serpents—that they shall go on their bellies—and this is generally what is understood as being their meaning. See, eg, the relevant footnotes to Genesis 3 in the Zondervan Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, NSRV edition.) 2). It is dangerous to assume, even in a scriptural or liturgical context, that Satan means what he says. Satan’s role and statements, in the temple garden narrative, may be thought of as pageantry; calculated to convince Adam and Eve that God just isn’t being fair and that their loyalty to Him is misplaced.
    6 points
  31. I agree with this. As far as I can tell, Alex Jones is a liar who traffics in people's naivete and ignorance. But that view is fueled by media reports. I have never listened to the man, so I can't say with any confidence what the man believes or preaches. I'm not going to take the word of the likes of CNN. As mirkwood pointed out, no believing Latter-day Saint can deny the existence of conspiracies. For that matter, no reasonably intelligent human being with any amount of exposure to human society can deny it. But believing in the general existence of harmful, evil conspiracies and believing in some particular claim of conspiracy are entirely different matters. By its nature, a conspiracy is secret. That's pretty much baked into the definition of the word. Successful conspiracies generally do not become known. If they do, it's because they're old and defunct (e.g. the Great Light Bulb Conspiracy, aka the Phoebus Cartel) or they're so powerful that they don't care about being known (e.g. OPEC). You may have noticed the overlap between conspiracies and cartels. This is not coincidental. Consider this hypothetical: A group of Illuminati-minded people with the money, ambition, connections, and raw power to attempt an invasion of governments worldwide form a conspiracy, what the Book of Mormon calls a "secret combination". If their conspiracy involves too many people, it risks becoming known; everyone who knows about it is a potential liability. So they play their cards close to the vest, with only a few people at the top of the pyramid really knowing what's up. They use puppet actors and corporations to set up their conditions so that it becomes exceedingly difficult to trace their activities back to them. As they grow in power, they gain control of the media and other means of information dissemination, such that they can more directly control what information gets out. How would such a conspiracy ever be discovered? Only one way: A member of the conspiracy would have to betray the secret and make it public knowledge. But such a person would not be believed without evidence, and of course that evidence would be quickly covered up by the conspiracy members. Any information that made it out would be dealt with by the media and governmental elements controlled by the conspiracy. The only other way such a conspiracy could be uncovered is by a mole making his way in, collecting information, and then exposing the conspiracy. This becomes more and more unlikely the longer the conspiracy remains and continues consolidating its power. Such a mole would never make it to the courts. He would be dealt with, by which I mean he would be disposed of. Sound familiar? Of course it does. It's mobocracy. It's the Cosa Nostra. It's evil people with wicked intent to gain power and money. Such has it always been. Given the secretive nature of such conspiracies, is it any wonder that Jeffrey Epstein's supposed (and very convenient) suicide is greeted with rolled eyes and doubt? If it looks, acts, and smells like conspiracy, isn't that evidence? But of course, without truly damning evidence, the majority won't believe such a thing. It's far too easy to make up some conspiratorial explanation. In any case, such evidence is unlikely to be found. Why do you suppose that Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and other men (including men not named Bill, e.g. the UK's Prince Andrew) involved with Epstein have not been connected to him in more than a cursory manner? Are we to believe that all of these rich and powerful men with known attachments to illicit sex were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and are innocent bystanders? I believe few of the conspiracy allegations I hear, but I absolutely believe that such conspiracies exist, even deeper and more evil than the Illuminati conspiracy theorists would have us believe. There are one or two members of this forum who disbelieve that people are ever bad, but I am among those who disagree. People have a deep capacity for evil if they choose to exercise it. Many have no qualms whatsoever about selling their fellow men into slavery, destroying liberty, and so forth, as long as they get the power and/or money and/or sex they crave. In such a world, conspiracies are a sure thing.
    6 points
  32. From at least the time I was 12 years old, literally from my childhood, I have wondered why so many used the growth of the Church as some sort of testimony of its truthfulness. As I've gotten older, I have decided that the simplest explanation is also the best: the Argumentum ad Populum. But the word of the Lord makes it clear that, until he comes and brings again Zion, his people will always form just a small minority of the earth's population. It's fun to watch the Church grow, but I have seen many online anti-LDS and those weak in the faith who have argued that the Church's diminishing growth is evidence of its lack of divine approval. If we're going to go by absolute numbers to determine what truth is, we should all be Roman Catholics*. *(For whom I have gained a lot of respect over the years. If I were to leave the Restored Church of Christ but remain a nominal Christian, I would almost certainly become a Roman Catholic. For all the theological problems of their doctrines and practices, they produce some very decent people, and offer the only real alternative to continuity of Priesthood authority from the time of the Lord's mortal sojourn until now. I'm no Catholic basher.)
    6 points
  33. People react irrationally to such mass shootings, especially when the victims are children. This is due partly to outrage at an outrageous act, but mostly because most people are bad at math--specifically, statistics. Since the heavily covered Columbine massacre, about 100 people per year on average lose their lives to mass shootings. "That's 100 too many!" you may say, and odds are that most here would agree with you. But by comparison, you are about four times as likely to be struck by lightning as to be killed by a mass shooter (though to be fair, you are more than twice as likely to be killed by said mass shooter than by said lightning--lightning strikes kill only about 10% of their victims). To put it another way: About 10,000 people per year are killed in drunk driving accidents in the US every year. If by stricter enforcement of existing laws we could save only 10% of those victims, we would save literally ten times more people every year than if we could completely eliminate all mass shootings. If we could drop the alcohol-related fatality rate by a mere 1%, that would save as many lives as completely eliminating all mass shootings in the US. I am pro-Second Amendment, but the honest truth is that I'm afraid of guns. They are weapons that are designed to kill, with handguns being designed specifically to kill people at close range. But the Second Amendment was not included to allow people to go hunting or shoot tin cans out in the sticks. It was designed to keep us a free nation, not beholden to foreign governments or even to despots within our own government. The ugly truth is that as long as people are allowed to own firearms, there will be mass shootings and accidental shootings. The uglier truth is that is that without firearms, people cannot effectively protect themselves from the immediate threat of violence.
    6 points
  34. If obeying the civil law is good enough for Jesus, why don't we obey the civil law? We do obey the civil law. But on top of that we also obey a higher law that takes us closer to exaltation than the civil law alone. Jesus obeyed the civil law of both the Romans and the Jews. But he also obeyed a higher law. In fact, He asked others to do the same. Matt 5:21-48
    6 points
  35. God doesn't bring anyone into the fold. He invites all to follow and obey and they either come to Him or they do not, based on their own free will and choice. Edit: I know "bring" is a subjective idea, but the point remains... it is upon our agency.
    6 points
  36. A nice-sounding sentiment, but there is no lasting happiness outside the kingdom of God, which is the Restored Church.
    6 points
  37. Maybe? As someone who spent all but the last 4 years of his life NOT as a Saint, I don't know (from a mortal perspective). I will certainly say life is better and more fulfilling. Edited to add: I suppose, as I ponder this, I liken it to going to the gym. I'm in the gym every morning. It's certainly harder than sleeping in or watching television. However, it improves my quality of life. I can do more physically. I'm happier. I'm healthier. The rest of my life is better because of the effort I put into my physical health. I think my life is better because of the effort I put into my spiritual life. That doesn't mean there aren't days when it's time to get up and it takes every ounce of motivation to not roll over and go back to sleep. For me, some days being a Saint is like that. There are aspects of the Church, my faith, and my covenants that I struggle with. But I get up, exercise my testimony and fulfill my calling, and everything falls into place.
    6 points
  38. I didn't get the chance to watch conference yesterday, and upon seeing this thread the first talk I watched this morning was Elder Holland's. Depression & suicide is a topic that in unfortunately very personal to me. I had some major childhood trauma that drove me to deep depression and suicidal thoughts at an extremely young age. It was my secret war-- growing up in the 90's we didn't talk about abuse or depression or suicide. Not a church, not at home, not anywhere. This was my secret war and to my young knowledge I was the only one in the world going through something like this. Christ & a testimony of Him was literally the only thing that kept me going at points-- the knowledge that at least He knew & understood. I remember vividly when Elder Holland spoke directly of his own struggles with depression from the General Conference pulpit in "Like a Broken Vessel". It was... huge for me. By then I had actually began to address my struggles in a personal & clinical setting, but hearing of it from the pulpit-- an Apostle's own struggles-- was HUGE for me. That talk is still a major favorite of mine, surpassed only by his later talk "Songs Sung & Unsung". They were instrumental in finally fully healing my wounds. Watching Elder Holland's latest talk this morning with this thread in mind, I am of two thoughts. The dominate one is how I feel right now, as somebody who's come through that tunnel and now stands on the other side: I loved it in tears. I found it extremely touching, Christ-centered, emphatic, humble and generally very on point. I am so glad to have this spoken from the General Conference pulpit, directly, without euphemism, from an Apostle I know has seen the darkness. However, thinking of your daughter, I thought of how I would have reacted back then... and that's more of a mixed bag. When I was deep in that pain, many times I didn't want medicine or to be better-- I just wanted to be left alone. In my illness, I thought I "deserved" this and any wanna-be heroes were arrogant & naive fools whom didn't understand the monster I was. It was a point of deep illness, that foundationally warped my perspectives. And frankly made life super hard for me & anyone whom cares (I did/do have many loved ones). Prayers for you, your daughter, and all of your loved ones.
    6 points
  39. I hope we never move away from the KJV other than integrating the JST. The concept of keeping the context approachable for the up coming generation raises my ire. Sure it is difficult to learn a different style. But my children have all figured it out. And the formality of the text helps them to understand the significance and sacred nature of scripture. Anyway, the Holy Ghost teaches us the most important parts of the scriptures as well as the symbolism. Watering down the text for the least common denominator is always a bad idea. Us Americans can barely navigate one language. Many countries populations are multi-lingual. When I really want to research scripture I go to the original Hebrew or Greek. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/spectrum-bible/id336014635 As an example. My college age son recently asked me why chirality of chemicals were important. He really didn’t understand chirality at all. I had to explain basic concepts of protein production and folding. Then I asked him if he knew what an enzyme was. He said sure, a substance / protein made by the body that lowers the activation energy of a reaction. I said, great what does that mean? He had no idea. He knew the words but was not taught how an enzyme works. I explained how an enzyme actually works and he was totally blown away. It taught him the importance of Chirality. He now has a visual understanding of how proteins are complex 3D structures / dynamic machines that interact with each other due to basic forces. Words have meaning. But sometimes you have to go beyond the words and really have a mental understanding of what is going on.
    6 points
  40. The way it’s been explained to me is: 1). Drilling permits are good for ten years. One of Biden’s campaign promises was to stop issuing new drilling permits. Although he has not kept this pledge, oil companies fear that he may start doing so in the next year or two. They have to hold enough permits in reserve to continue operations through the end of a hostile administration; they’re not about to blow all those permits with no assurance that they’ll be able to get more when they need them in 2023 or (should the gods curse us with a second round of Biden/Harris) 2027. American oil’s current business model has the rare advantage of being both cautious and (given rising prices) insanely lucrative—and we expect them to increase supply (forfeiting their unprecedented short-term profit margins) and endanger their future operations, just to raise the short-term political prospects of a president who is on-record acknowledging that he hates their living, breathing guts and wishes they were all unemployed? Yeah, no—not gonna happen. The trouble with spending fifty years whipping up hatred towards a particular group of people is that sooner or later—they start to hate you back; and a few platitudes about “patriotism” at the last minute when the going gets tough typically doesn’t undo half a century of malice. 2). It’s not strictly a game of how much oil we can get out of the ground. Ten or twenty years ago, US oil refiners largely gambled that most of our oil in the future would be “sour” (high-sulfur) oil from overseas; and they tooled accordingly. North American oil is “sweeter” (lower in sulfur); and even if we pumped/drilled more of it, the capacity to refine it all domestically just doesn’t exist right now.
    6 points
  41. Here was an interesting comparison of scriptures and how a prophet of God works with it. Malachi 4:6 3 Ne 25:6 Notice that they are word-for-word identical. And the JST of Malachi offers no change to that verbiage either. But then: JS-H 1: 39 Before I get into commentary, there is another quote that is vital to the development of this treatise. D&C 128:18 -- I won't quote the entire verse because it is long. But you can look it up. Here are some excerpts: The verse as written in Malachi was a correct translation. Christ, himself, spoke those same words to the Nephites. Joseph made no alteration in the JST. If it was correct, then why did Moroni quote it differently? Scriptures are written to the dispensation which receives the words from the Lord, according to the understanding of the person receiving them. That is why Nephi couldn't explain what happened with the 116 pages. He just knew it was "for a wise purpose in the Lord." Joseph stated in another discourse that the "turn their hearts" could just as easily mean "to seal". So, why did Moroni not use the word seal when he came to Joseph? Because Joseph didn't know about sealing at that time. He wouldn't have understood it. Line-upon-line. Precept-upon-precept. When we talk of properly "translating" the Bible (AoF 8) it is easy for us to think it is about interpreting one language into another. But when Joseph says "But it is sufficiently plain to suit my purposes" this lets us know that it isn't necessarily wrong (c.f.3 Ne). It is sometimes/often about interpreting the meaning of the written word to the person who may receive it. This is the role of the prophet. Part and parcel with this interpretive role is to offer changes to scriptures as it stands (which Joseph did when he offered the JST). Note that this cannot be a blanket freedom to make changes at a whim. Otherwise the written word would be meaningless, and it would be nothing more than a "living breathing document that acts as a guiding light" to us today. No, the prophet is only allowed to interpret based on newer light and knowledge that he has received from God, not based on man's wisdom. If that is so, why not change the wording of Malachi to talk about sealing? Because it is sufficiently plain as it is. And the interpretations which have made it into the collective consciousness of the Church already understands this interpretation. No need to change it. And D&C 128 addresses it as well. So, Moroni "provided clarity" on the verse. Then Joseph "provided clarity" on Moroni's words indicating that vicarious work for the dead would be involved. This was only after he received the light and knowledge about baptism for the dead (1842). Later, Joseph "provided clarity" when he learned about sealing (1843). Now, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, we see that the original prophecy was incomplete. The curse is abated only when we do proxy work for all salvific ordinances for the dead. ********************** Why am I bringing this up? There is another part of the prophecy. Once upon a time someone asked what things have been revealed that have been hidden from the world? My immediate response was vicarious sealing ordinances. The New Testament indicates that they did Baptism for the dead. But it doesn't mention anything about sealing for the dead. However, I've been pondering this a while. And my mind was called up to AoF 9: We are about to receive a whole lot more stuff. And far too many people are comfortable in their firm understanding of doctrine and history that they will have a hard time letting go of their pride and comfort to accept/grasp what the Lord has in store for us. And this, more than outside forces, will cause a separation of the wheats and the tares. I am doing what I can to let go of my own pride. But it really isn't that easy.
    6 points
  42. MarginOfError

    Welcome news

    I'm not working in medicine at the moment, but the first decade of my career was in medicine. Regarding the efficacy of masks: it gets murky. The studies I would consider reliable and that had reproducible methodologies indicate a reduction of transmission between 35% and 65%. So, on average, masks may reduce transmission by about 50%. For a disease as communicable as COVID-19, that's significant. On the other hand, that's a huge variation and I don't think it really accounts for the effect of proper hand hygiene. I couldn't cite any studies, but I would suspect a large portion of any masking effect could be decimated by improper hand hygiene. In addition to that, masks are really only effective when combined with distancing. If you wear a mask and then go sit shoulder to shoulder with people for long periods of time, you won't see much benefit (in this discussion, I refer primarily to cloth masks. N95's and the like will do better because they form a better seal). My favorite anti-mask video that I've seen was from a doctor who took a breath from a vape pen, donned his mask, then exhaled. He went on a big rant about how his cloth mask did nothing to contain the cloud of vapor hanging around his head. The entire cloud was contained, literally, within six inches of his head. Which was exactly the point of the mask -- to prevent large droplets from traveling very past that six foot threshold. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, masks became the emphasis, when the messaging should have emphasized hand hygiene, distancing, and masking as a broad strategy. You need all three to effectively reduce transmission. I think the messaging was poor on that front*. For the mRNA vaccine, this is utterly fascinating. It, unfortunately, doesn't seem to prevent infection as well as we had hoped, but it does seem to do a fairly good job of preventing serious illness. Whether or not it can slow transmission is an open question. The first major point I tell people are that it isn't as new as COVID-19. It's been researched and under development since the SARS outbreak in 2002. 18 years for its development is quick, but not abnormal in the development of drugs and treatments. So it's behavior in the typical laboratory studies that would precede any new vaccine is pretty well understood. The other major point I share is that, even though it seems like this happened quickly compared to other drugs and vaccines, the process was exactly the same. The difference is that we had a study population of millions of people. Most vaccines that we develop these days are developed for relatively rare diseases. This means the trials require vaccinating, and then following for a very long time to see if they acquire the disease. With COVID-19, the disease was so prevalent you didn't have to wait as long to get reliable picture from the data. Plus, you had an enormous population willing to volunteer for the study (recruitment is a big challenge in drug trials). None of the safety protocols were skipped, none of the normal procedures were skipped (with the caveat of the one year follow up, which didn't occur until after the Emergency Use Authorization. Given the circumstances, I don't think that was inappropriate). And now that we're a year out, those EUAs are being replaced with standard authorizations. As for risk factors, I would say we know as much about those for the mRNA vaccine as we do for the HPV vaccine. That is to say, not a heck of a lot. The problem we have here is a numbers problem. In order to identify the risk factors, you need to find enough of the population that had the adverse reactions in order to identify what they all share in common. So we come to a chicken-egg scenario. We expect there to be some small population that is adversely affected. But how long do we search for that population at the expense of the larger population that isn't at risk? And what's the risk tolerance we are willing to accept? How many adverse effects are too many to justify the benefit to the larger population? These are hard questions to answer, even without the pressure of a pandemic.** And this is where I start to look hypocritical, because I'm perfectly willing to ask the majority of the population to do masking and distancing measures in the interests of the smaller at-risk population. But I'm also willing to expose a smaller at-risk population to vaccination to benefit the larger population. the only way I can reconcile that is I think it is worthwhile to take measures that encourage and promote higher social participation across the various groups. It may not make a lot of sense, but public health decisions often require odd trades. * in fairness, I'm not sure how much better messaging would have improved the situation. There were plenty of people in my ward and community that were just adamantly against any personal inconvenience. Which I found alarming, in contrast with my scout troop. A number of the families in my scout troop were adamantly opposed to masking and distancing and virtual meetings. But when we sent out our letter explaining that we had kids that lived with susceptible people, and our top priority was not sending this home to anyone, some of our strongest anti-mask people were the first to mask up. Anyhow, this is turning into a rant that probably deserves its own thread. ** Some opposed to the HPV vaccine will cite that there appear to be two young women who died shortly after receiving the vaccine, and that two young girls' deaths is too much for a vaccine. At the same time, it is estimated that HPV vaccines may prevent 2,000 cervical cancer deaths per year. In the 20 years we've been using the vaccine, that could amount to 40,000 lives saved. Is 40,000 lives saved enough to justify two lives lost in vaccination? It's a cold hearted decision to have to make, whichever way you lean.
    6 points
  43. Well, I think a 1976 variant of this forum that had its historical data in order, would have hard-core orthodox members noting: —David O. McKay had prayed to God for permission to revoke the ban, and had been told “no”; so God certainly “owned” the ban. There is no room for sincere doubt of the divine origin of the ban itself. The Church leadership’s continued teaching and enforcement of the ban as of 1976 is not some sort of failure on their part; it represents an example of their accurately relaying the word and will of the Lord to His Church. —The ban is not, by its terms, eternal in nature. There was a time when the ban did not exist. —Multiple prophetic proponents/defenders of the ban had said that at some point the ban would end, the only question is “when”; and wouldn’t it be cool that happened at a point when we here in 1976 were still alive? —It noteworthy that the ban is based on race, not behavior; there is no course of conduct or behavioral standard that a black man can adopt in order to qualify himself for the priesthood as long as the ban remains in place. Darned shame, really. The Lord must have His reasons. —Within its scope of applicability, the ban’s burden falls upon *all* people; not just the ones who have structured their aspirations and values around an inappropriate reliance on sexual fulfillment. —People who try to engage in politicking/public shaming in order to guilt the Church into adopting their own pet theories of social justice, misapprehend the fundamental nature of what the Church is and how it works, and are likely to find themselves and their descendants out of the Church sooner rather than later.
    6 points
  44. My impression of you as a person has just taken a giant leap. My parents taught me as a youth the the character of a person is most on display when they are doing things when they do not have to. For the record I have a Facebook account but I have never used it and it has been years since I have logged in - I will never log in because I have lost and forgotten it and do not care. Thank you for your efforts in managing this site. The Traveler
    6 points
  45. carlimac

    Gays and the church

    So I’ll repeat my original motive for posting. I haven’t been active on this or any church forum for a few years. It seems the response to these LGBTQ ( what is Q anyway and how is it different from L?) posts are sooooo overwhelmingly huggy and supportive of these people. More so than it used to be. We seem to be treating them not only with kid-gloves but raining down rose petals on them. This is even coming from very strong members (one gushy “love-you David” note came from an outwardly incredibly spiritual seminary teacher in our ward.) It took me by surprise. I understand we’re trying very hard to mitigate the rash of suicides among this group. And let them know of their value as individuals. That’s all good. But the praise and adoration heaped on them seems like it could be misinterpreted pretty easily that they simply get a pass on having to resist delving wholly into the culture and acting on it. Since when is it ok to not deny all ungodliness? Is it now illegal among Church members to denounce same sex intimate relationships? I haven’t seen even one person in the comments say, “ if you choose to live in a gay relationship you will have to live with the consequences which may not be pleasant.” Not one!! It’s only coddling and sympathy with blame squarely on the Brethren and all the unsupportive members for his unhappiness. Have we gone soft! Is this now what being Christ-like looks like? 😕
    6 points
  46. One of the things about marriage is to be happy with oneself whether or not one is married or not. If one is NOT happy because they are single, or because they are not married, it is very probable that being married is NOT going to be the cure for making them happy. It may, instead, be a way to make others UNHAPPY. One needs to be able to be content with themselves before incorporating others into a relationship...at least in my opinion. In that light, whether one is gay or not, it should not matter on whether one can be happy or not. If they are unhappy because they feel attraction to the same gender instead of the opposite gender, perhaps they are focusing on the WRONG things in life. My advice in that situation, regardless of who it is, is to focus on other things that make life worthwhile. Perhaps, work on serving others, or improving oneself, rather than trying to get others to be the crutch to do it for you. The way I'd suggest is to seek first the Kingdom of God, seek to be the ideal son or daughter of your Father first, and then seek other things (such as self improvement, etc). That may not be the way everyone wants to go. Find something else rather than lust, or greed, or pride, to sate one's desires, and seek instead for things that can improve yourself and others instead. Find a hobby or reading history or books, become passionate about music, study nature and science. There is SO much in this world where you can focus on things to find wonder and excitement rather than focusing on our base desires. Find ways to make one happy beyond the basic focus of the world (so lust, hunger, alcohol, and other base things should not be what we try to seek out for happiness, but rather things that increase our knowledge and ability or things that help others increase their knowledge and ability). I find too often people define themselves by their base desires. I do not think this is a path to happiness, and those who think this is how to define their relationships will find less fulfilling lives from them than those who find happiness within themselves and seek to spread that happiness to others. Those who share happiness, in my opinion, will do better and have more fulfilling lives than those who try to derive it from others. Unfortunately, when trying to convince someone that they should seek to be happy on their own (especially, when they are so deep into the idea that the only way to be happy is if they are able to get another person, sometimes specifically a certain person, other times a certain gender or sexuality) to make them happy, they are unwilling to listen. Nothing one would say will convince them at that point, and sometimes telling them this will only drive them deeper into depression. It can be difficult, and the situation people find themselves in is a difficult one. If they GET what they THINK they want, at times it will bring a reprieve, though this happiness may be fleeting and is HIGHLY dependent on someone else (which means, they can make you lose it just as easily) rather than being in control of yourself. The more permanent solution is NOT to make it so that others are your source of happiness, but to be a source of happiness for yourself and for others. Two individuals that are founts of happiness will not only find happiness within themselves, but also in turn will make their partners and friends much happier by default. It is a thing which aids not only you, but others as well.
    6 points
  47. Just_A_Guy

    Gays and the church

    Yeah, the Tribune had an article in the last week or two about it, I think. (I’d heard about Archuleta and Harley, though Tom Christofferson’s alleged backsliding is a new one to me.) One wonders what the difference would be between a chaste gay “dating” relationship, versus two straight people who happen to be best friends. In some ways, the bigger issue is this mentality of “how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”. Whether in matters of chastity or honesty or anger or any number of other moral standards—this just isn’t a space we want to be living in.
    6 points
  48. Grunt

    Missionaries

    Dates are set for the end of January.
    6 points
  49. In contrast, I have a deep, abiding, almost irrational attachment to things. I am overly sentimental. I can't bear to see my father's books given away or thrown away, so I keep them, even if I don't read them much (or at all). I treasure my school books, especially those from grad school, and plan to work through them. So far, I have worked through exactly one of them in the past 25 years. I have begrudgingly given away many of my books, but I still hang on to too many. I am also attached to the silly Father's Day cards and letters my children made for me. I have mementos of my parents and my life growing up that I still value. I am not a hoarder, but my reluctance to throw out treasures of my past sometimes makes me look like one. I have never been much concerned with money, perhaps to a fault. Nevertheless, when I consider my own attachment to objects that represent pieces of my life, I kind of understand how some people could get attached to money and the arm of flesh. I realize that no things around us are permanent, and in that sense they aren't even "real" as eternal entities. And I think I do a fair job of distinguishing the value of eternal things (relationships, human lives) from non-eternal things (everything else). But if I had a hundred million dollars, I would probably keep at least one enormous room filled with just stuff from my past, things that hold an emotional attachment for me. Maybe my condition is uncommon—I hope so, for everyone else's sake—but I am sure I'm not alone.
    6 points