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  1. I've been on this forum for a while and I've even gotten into trouble a few times. As of late, I haven't been posting very much because, you know, LIFE. But I thought I'd pass along that after 18+ years, I've had my blessings restored.
    15 points
  2. 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
  3. LOL...my SP described our speaking together in each ward as the "speaking tour." On a more serious note. He said that his keys and authority in our stake led him to have us speak together in all the wards of the stake on this topic. He said it could not wait until Stake Conference in February. We spoke in the first three wards today. His talk followed mine, which was to support what I said and also add in some spiritual aspects. My talk is below. @zil I'll be in your ward next week. Temporal Matters In the October 1998 General Conference, President Gordon B. Hinkley said, “I wish to speak to you about temporal matters.” I was called by President ********** to be a Self Reliance Specialist for the stake. I was given the specific assignment in that calling to help the stake become temporally prepared in the areas of food storage and emergency preparedness. The state of temporal preparedness in the ************** Stake weighs heavily on my mind. President ********** has asked me to speak to the entire Stake about temporal matters. I do not wish to be an alarmist, but some of the statements from the prophets and apostles are foreboding in nature as they sound the clarion call of warning. President Hinckley read a few verses from the 41st chapter of Genesis during the October 1998 General Conference. I want to share those verses with you again. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, dreamed dreams which greatly troubled him. The wise men of his court could not give an interpretation. Joseph was then brought before him: “Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: “And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat fleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: “And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and lean fleshed. “And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: “And I saw in my dream … seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: “And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: “And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: “And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, … God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. “The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. “What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. “Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: “And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; “… And God will shortly bring it to pass” President Hinckley said that he was not predicting a famine, but he told us it was time to get our houses in order. He then emphatically stated, “there is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.” The definition of portent is: 1. an indication or omen of something about to happen, especially something momentous. And 2. threatening or disquieting significance. The definition of heed is: 1. pay attention to; (or) take notice of. And 2. careful attention. Our prophets and the apostles carefully select the words they use when they speak. We should always pay close attention to the phrasing they use in their talks. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord. They give us instruction, warnings, and counsel from the Lord for our day. The Lord reveals His will for the Church to His prophet. There are some, both in and out of the church, who question the wisdom of statements made from our leaders. Elder Jeffery R. Holland addressed this issue during General Conference in 2006. He said, “Not often but over the years some sources have suggested that the Brethren are out of touch in their declarations, that they don’t know the issues, that some of their policies and practices are out-of-date, not relevant to our times. I say with all the fervor of my soul that never in my personal or professional life have I ever associated with any group who are so in touch, who know so profoundly the issues facing us, who look so deeply into the old, stay so open to the new, and weigh so carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully everything in between.” Twenty three years ago our prophet, the mouthpiece of the Lord, gave us a warning. He told us stormy weather was ahead. He counseled us to get our houses in order. He counseled us to be prepared. He followed that warning up three years later in the October 2001 General Conference saying, “I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.” Brothers and sisters, we have had twenty years since that second statement to get our houses in order. We have been given the opportunity to hear counsel from the Lord’s mouthpiece and become temporally prepared for what is ahead. I strongly urge you to make an honest assessment in your own home as to the state of your temporal preparedness and take appropriate temporal steps as needed. There are various aspects to being self-reliant. These include temporal preparedness, finances, employment, emotional resilience and making sure you are spiritually in tune to receive the guidance of the spirit as you become prepared. Elder David A. Bednar taught us in General Conference last year about the importance of tests. He said, “…periodic tests are absolutely essential to learning. An effective test helps us to compare what we need to know with what we actually know about a specific subject; it also provides a standard against which we can evaluate our learning and development.” In the midst of the Covid 19 shutdown we had an earthquake. Though minor, this earthquake showed many families where they stand regarding the state of their personal preparedness with food storage and other essential items already in their homes. We witnessed a dramatic emptying of shelves at the grocery store. Today I am bringing the message of food storage and emergency preparedness. One only needs to look at the chaos in the grocery stores of last year in the early days of the Covid 19 shutdowns to see the wisdom in having food and other essential items on hand in your homes. We saw shortages of common items, including toilet paper, cleaning supplies, milk, baking goods, bottled water and butter, just to name a few. Today we still see the effects of tyrannical government behavior due to Covid restrictions and their impact on the local and world economy. A local dairy has struggled to get their milk to the grocery store shelves due to a shortage of plastic lids for their milk jugs. We see a decrease in the variety of foods we commonly purchase. Some shelves still remain bare or hold minimal product. Perhaps even more telling is the ninety day closure that just occurred to one of the largest long term food storage companies in the world. They sent out a notice to their customers that they have stopped production until early next year because they are unable to procure the food they use in making their products. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign January 1974) Brothers and sisters, it was not raining when Noah built the ark, but he built it and the rains came. The past two years have proven to be trying times for all of us. One of the ways that can help us strengthen and grow is through the principle of preparation. We have been commanded in the Doctrine and Covenants to “prepare every needful thing… (D&C 88:119) We also are promised that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. (D&C 38:30) Some members of our church believe that food storage and emergency preparedness are no longer topics of importance or necessary. Elder Bednar had this to say a year ago during General Conference: “Some Church members opine that emergency plans and supplies, food storage, and 72-hour kits must not be important anymore because the Brethren have not spoken recently and extensively about these and related topics in general conference. But repeated admonitions to prepare have been proclaimed by leaders of the Church for decades. The consistency of prophetic counsel over time creates a powerful concert of clarity and a warning volume far louder than solo performances can ever produce.” We see that some members believe all we need do is work on our spirituality. They believe there is no need for temporal preparation and all we need to do is be spiritually prepared. In Doctrine and Covenants 29 we learn an important principle from the Lord. Verse 34 says: “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal,” (D&C 29:34) The parable of the ten virgins teaches us this lesson about both temporal and spiritual preparedness. Elder Bednar reminded us last year during General Conference about this lesson. He taught us that procrastinating preparation leads to devastating consequences. Recall how the five foolish virgins failed to prepare appropriately for the day of the bridegroom’s coming. “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. … “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. “Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.” “But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.” President Spencer W. Kimball had this to say about the parable: “The ten virgins belonged to the kingdom and had every right to the blessings—except that five were not valiant and were not ready when the great day came. They were unprepared through not living all the commandments.” President Kimball said the virgins belong to the kingdom. The kingdom refers to the members of his church. Half the kingdom failed to prepare and suffered a devastating consequence for their failure to be obedient. 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. Let me share what Elder Boyd K. Packer said about home storage in his book The Holy Temple (pg 227-229): “Consider this comparison. In the welfare program we have been counseled for generations by the leaders of the Church to secure for ourselves a year's supply of food and clothing, and if possible fuel, and to be concerned for our shelter. This is a responsibility laid upon the individual members of the Church, upon each family. The commodities are to be stored at home. They are to be privately purchased, privately stored, and in time of crisis privately used.“ Elder James E. Faust said, “The Church cannot be expected to provide for every one of its millions of members in case of public or personal disaster.” Several years ago the father of one of my friends, who was a regional representative at the time, told us that the storehouses of the church have enough food stored, to feed every family in the church, in the world, a single meal and then all the food was gone. It is not ever suggested that because we have bishop's storehouses there would be no need for individual families to maintain their year's supply. The counsel for the individual to protect himself and his family has never been withdrawn. It has been continually emphasized. President Benson put to rest that idea that the storehouse will care for us all when he said, “Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year's supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel.” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.267) I am going to share with you some verses from the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi 16:18-20 18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food. 19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food. 20 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord. Lehi was a prophet of God and he faltered when he was hungry. He was far more spiritual than we are, and if his hunger drove him to murmur against the Lord, then how do we think we will fare when the day of need arrives? The Lord expects us to be prepared both spiritually and temporally. President Kimball said, "We encourage families to have on hand this year's supply; and we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scriptures of the Lord where He says, 'Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?' How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says" (Spencer W. Kimball, "Family Preparedness," Ensign, May 1976, 125). President Kimball also said, "There will come a time when there isn’t a store.“ (President Spencer W. Kimball General Conference, April 1974 ) Key home storage principles include the storage of food, the storage of water, and the storage of other necessities based on individual and family needs, all because “the best storehouse” is the home, which becomes the most accessible reserve in times of need. Bishop McMullin in his 2008 General Conference talk said, “brethren, we lay up in store. Wives are instrumental in this work, but they need husbands who lead out in family preparedness. Children need parents who instill in them this righteous tradition. They will then do likewise with their children, and their stores will not fail. A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Bishop W. Christopher Waddell pointed out last year during General conference that, “In today’s environment, with a pandemic that has devastated whole economies as well as individual lives, it would be inconsistent with a compassionate Savior to ignore the reality that many are struggling and ask them to begin building a reserve of food and money for the future. However, that does not mean that we should permanently ignore principles of preparation—only that these principles should be applied “in wisdom and order” so that in the future we might say, as did Joseph in Egypt, “There was bread.” For those who are struggling due to financial strain, start with a one week’s supply and build to a month. Then build to three months and continue to that goal of a long term supply of food. So many feel that a long term supply of food is beyond their reach and make no effort. Begin in a small and consistent way. Bishop Waddell went on to teach that, “Being temporally prepared and self-reliant means “believing that through the grace, or enabling power, of Jesus Christ and our own effort, we are able to obtain all the spiritual and temporal necessities of life we require for ourselves and our families.” Additional aspects of a spiritual foundation for temporal preparedness include acting “in wisdom and order,” which implies a gradual buildup of food storage and savings over time, as well as embracing “small and simple” means, which is a demonstration of faith that the Lord will magnify our small but consistent efforts.” As you work towards your goal of having a long term storage of food, do not go to extremes. Going into debt to achieve this goal is contrary to the principles of self-reliance. Exercising your faith in Jesus Christ, through obedience to gospel principles, will guide you in your efforts. As you do your very best, you can be confident that “the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.” You will enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. The Lord does not expect us to do more than we can do, but He does expect us to do what we can do, when we can do it. As President Nelson has said, “The Lord loves effort.” Closing remarks….. As we embrace spiritual principles and seek inspiration from the Lord, we will be guided to know the Lord’s will for us, individually and as families, and how best to apply the important principles of temporal preparedness. The most important step of all is to begin. President Henry B. Eyring posted to his Facebook page the statement, “The scriptures make the danger of delay clear. It is that we may discover that we have run out of time. (Facebook Post January 8, 2015 President Eyring) Elder L. Tom Perry counseled us to, “Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life,” and “…we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year's supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over.” (If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36). Joseph Smith said we would, …”do well to discern the signs of the times.” Brothers and sisters, we live in the Last Days. The signs of the times in our day are events that were prophesied to take place in the latter days before the Second Coming of Christ. Signs are the recognizable events or occurrences which identify present events and which portend future events. Those signs are all around us if we look. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said the signs of the times “ [are] increasing in frequency and intensity.“ (Elder Dallin H. Oaks April 2004 General Conference"Preparation for the Second Coming") And President Eyring warned us, "The giant earthquake, and the tsunamis it sent crashing into the coasts around the Indian Ocean, is just the beginning and a part of what is to come..." (President Henry B. Eyring BYU–Idaho Devotional, Jan. 25, 2005 "Raise the Bar") President Benson spoke of these signs as well, stating, “I speak with a feeling of great urgency…Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1980) We have been commanded to watch and be ready. Bishop McMullin said, “The feeling of peace and the desire to be faithful to the commandment given by the Lord through the modern prophet helps us feel the Holy Spirit, … to not be afraid, and to see that the signs of the time for the Second Coming of the Lord is a blessing and not something to fear. We rejoice in it. … It gives us the motivation to be faithful and endure to the end and to be saved and obtain eternal life.” (Bishop McMullin, Lay Up In Store) Temporal preparedness is part of our preparation for the last days and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elder Bednar taught this principle when he said: “Taking action is the exercise of faith. … True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action.” Brothers and sisters, I add my voice of testimony to the words of our prophets and apostles. I testify that obedience to the principles of food and home storage and self-reliance will bring peace of mind in these perilous times. As we seek to become temporally prepared, we can face the trials of life with increased confidence, peace in our hearts, and like Joseph in Egypt, we will be able to say, “There was bread.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
    11 points
  4. Vort

    BYU - Call to Arms

    He literally just said he was not. If you refuse to take his words at face value, why should you expect to have yours so taken? I heartily disbelieve this. For the past 25 years, I have raised my family on one unimpressive salary (and sometimes no salary for months at a time) in one of the more expensive markets in the nation. We did not live in a huge house. We had three boys sharing a triple bunk bed. We never ate out. When we took the occasional vacation, it was to someplace within a day's drive. We owned used vehicles. And despite whatever failures you may assign to my efforts to provide for my family, we were and are happy. On one income. In the Seattle area. So no, I don't buy the weak excuse of "we HAVE to have two incomes just to make ends meet!" For every family who makes that claim truthfully, I can show you ten who simply live above their income.
    11 points
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Grunt

    Elder Holland at BYU

    Is the Church looking a little closer at BYU? This quote meant so much to me. https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2021-08-23/elder-holland-byu-university-conference-love-lgbtq-223095?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cn-social&utm_campaign=facebookpage-en&utm_content=general conference&fbclid=IwAR12i6wIiksmOdnRAOXXwE6vsohHlIJdMZZT1OHwGGL-tkzc3EHGn5uj3rw
    9 points
  8. Hypothetically, this young man may have served a mission, returned to go to school at BYU, met a young woman there, married her when they were both 22, and made his daddy a grandpa by producing a now-two-year-old daughter and another due in January. Funny how things change. Hypothetically, I mean.
    9 points
  9. 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
  10. Grunt

    Kyle Rittenhouse

    Funny watching people blame this kid for the deaths of violent rioters that assaulted him.
    8 points
  11. The bottom line is... Parents... Parents that are engaged and active in their children's education can make just about anything work. The parents that can't be bothered.. will find that just about everything will fail.
    8 points
  12. What do you do when you completely and humiliatingly botch the entire exit out of Afghanistan? What do you do when can't fix employment shortages, out of control inflation, when being woke starts to backfire on you, etc?? You deflect, you redirect and you get the peasants distracted by something else... like more mandates that threaten their livelihood. When you can't win anything abroad and you have burned all our international credibility, try threatening those at home with the sword instead. If the Taliban are the new choir boys... then simply classify the unvaxxed as the new terrorist? Pit family against family, neighbor against neighbor or church member against church member. Our city just received one of the recent 13 KIA service members from Afghanistan. Our city for one, will not be so quick to forget or easily distracted.
    8 points
  13. Just wanted to share a bit of job success. I teach for one of the virtual schools. Last week, I got a nastygram from a parent. Like, insulting my intelligence and skill. After letting myself imagine lots of delightfully nasty and unprofessional responses in my head, I responded with nothing but empathy and sorrow and offers of help. I did this to about half a dozen more nastygrams. Turned out that while the parent and I were talking over how to solve problems A, B, and C, it turned out the real problem was in an entirely different universe. Coworker in charge of separate universe helped and matter was resolved. Parent has been nothing but supportive and polite and friendly since. Like, freakishly polite and kind. I think, though, we may become good partners over the year.
    8 points
  14. I have decided to continue to follow the First Presidency's request despite my opinions on the medical efficacy of so doing. It may well turn out that the only reason for the request is the practice of obedience. I will be obedient in this small thing, and hope it will strengthen me in the event I am asked to do more difficult things in the future.
    8 points
  15. Just_A_Guy

    Religious Exemption

    I can understand Latter-day Saints saying they have a conscience-based objection to the vaccine. Given President Nelson’s statements, I don’t think a Latter-day Saint has a strong grounds for claiming a religious-based objection to the vaccine. The best we can do in that vein is a broad “my religious notions of ‘personal revelation’ mean I get to do whatever the heck I want” type of argument. It’s a cute argument, to be sure; and the law and the courts, in the short term, may play along with that kind of bootstrapping. But over the longer haul our increasingly secular society and the politicians they will continue to elect will see this as an example of why “religious liberty” is basically a pretext for people becoming a law unto themselves, and will use it to crack down on tolerance of honest-to-gosh religious-based differences. IMHO, conservative Christians will find themselves better-protected in the long term if they reserve their religious-liberty exemptions for cases that are truly a matter of religious liberty.
    8 points
  16. Frankly, what concerns me the most is the astounding, condescending holier-than-thou comments I'm seeing from so many people that really ought to know better and be better at showing love, compassion, understanding, and empathy to their fellow Saints. And with the latest message from the First Presidency they've now added a distinct air of over-the-top smug "I told you so"-ism to their condescending holier-than-thou-ness. I know, and fully understand, that I've been accused of holier-than-thou attitudes. At times these criticisms are legitimate. Sure. But I don't think I've ever called my fellow Saints murderers because they had reservations about some medicine or another. I don't think I've ever phrased things in terms of "I'm begging you with all the love and patience I have left to let go of your pride" or the like. I guess my own reservations about the vaccine and my own disdain for masking has helped me find some balance here. We ought to follow the prophet. We also ought to show more love and understanding for those who think differently than us. It seems that, one way or another, we're all failing. Even as I write this I realize that my love, compassion, understanding, and empathy for those calling me a murderer for not having been vaccinated sooner is sorely lacking. We all have a long way to go to reach Zion. (Most of the rhetoric I've seen on this forum hasn't been that extreme, but sometimes does tend to touch on some of the problems I believe are occurring. So kudos....and shame on us too. )
    8 points
  17. I've changed my mind on getting the vaccine as well. Why...? Follow the prophet. I recognize and fully accept that some may feel specific revelation to do otherwise, or may simply interpret the messaging differently than I have. I used to think that way. I have changed my mind. For me.
    8 points
  18. I don’t get why people have read the latest statement and now seem to be spun up through the roof, using terms like “sifting” and acting like their testimonies are under assault. Or, I guess I do get it. People are acting like a bunch of isolated, scared, stressed humans who want Covid to be over, and it isn’t. I see myself acting that way too. So just to be transparent, I am fond of the vast majority of you. No matter where you stand on this particular issue. Hang in there folks. He will eventually triumph.
    8 points
  19. beefche

    Disney wokeness

    Sometimes, it isn't just about bringing a company to its knees. I boycotted a particular fast food chain because of my abhorrence for their commercials. I knew my 3 or 4 times/year spending $10 wouldn't do a dang thing to their company, but I felt better for not giving them my money.
    8 points
  20. mirkwood

    Secret Combinations

    From the Introduction of the Book of Mormon: From President Ezra Taft Benson in a General Conference address: When the Book of Mormon was abridged, Mormon took those things he thought/was inspired, as most profitable to us. This includes the book of Ether. The heading for Ether 8: The chapter tells us the story of Akish and his rise to power using murder and Secret Combinations. Moroni proceeds to tell us about the horrors of Secret Combinations. In verses 23-26 he is speaking to us. The modern church members. Take particular note of verse 24. It dumbfounds me the lengths members of the LDS church will go to write off the dangers of modern SC's in our world.
    8 points
  21. I don't believe this. It was an honest message that they obviously sincerely meant couched in a modicum of humor so they had a "it's satire" escape route when they got the criticism they knew they'd get. But it was not satire. They said what they meant and they meant what they said. They want to convert everyone to their idea of what love and tolerance is. That's what the lyrics said. And they mean it.
    8 points
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. Nice! Today I scheduled Mrs. Grunt's endowment and the Grunt Family sealing as well.
    7 points
  32. As a convert to the Church, I've wrestled with this. I think one of the issues with all most religions, or more specifically the people in them, is the need to have everything answered. While I certainly have a desire to know everything, I'm OK with not having all the answers. As such, to your question, I'm comfortable saying "beats me". I don't like that answer. I'm convinced I'll learn the answer some day, either in this world or the next. But for now, I don't have one. Testimony is funny. Not funny "ha ha" but funny odd. There are things I know with every fiber of my being. I know the Book of Mormon is scripture. I know the Law of Chastity blesses me. I know keeping my covenants have brought me blessings and joy, even the covenants that boggle my mind and I'm half-convinced I'll show up at the Pearly Gates and ask "what about this?" and Christ will chuckle and say "you guys really got that one wrong, good on you for being faithful, though". But my testimony is my own. I can share it with you, but you can't make it your own. I really wish that you could, but you need your own testimony. I also know that we learn line upon line. I know I was taught things that I was convinced weren't true. I know I spent days, weeks, and months studying and praying things I couldn't understand, then woke up one morning with near-perfect clarity. I know I put up my own mental roadblocks without even realizing it. I'll also leave you with this: If you're a Christian, good for you. If you learn something, or feel uplifted, reading the Book of Mormon or listening to conference talks, that's awesome. If studying the Bible brings you closer to Christ, good. These are the things that will keep you on the right path. You'll learn as you go.
    7 points
  33. person0

    Kyle Rittenhouse

    I think you are assuming the civil suits will be successful and also assuming he will not succeed in lawsuits against major media outlets who maliciously defamed him. If Nick Sandman was able to settle for millions, I'm sure we can assume Kyle will be able to do the same, if not more, given the more egregious level of defamation and the impact to livelihood of being falsely labeled a murderous white supremacist. I am less concerned about his safety and financial stability and more concerned about what he will choose to do with his life and if he will strive to become a better man. He showed enormous restraint in deciding when to use and when not to use his weapon; given how young he still is I hope his acquittal doesn't go to his head and lead him to change for the worse.
    7 points
  34. Thank for sharing. Since I joined the Church, I've always taken my children on every service project I've done. We've laughed, cried, and learned. I remember one particularly good lesson where we were helping someone move from her home after a divorce. We showed up and the house was destroyed. Lots of pets, smelled horrible, and hadn't been cleaned in years. It was very disgusting. Nothing was packed, and the only people that showed up to help were her ministering brother, the bishop, and my boys and I. She sat on the porch without helping, and the entire time we packed and loaded her things she swore at us for being church members, criticized the Church, smoked, and was just being a pretty crappy person to those of us that helped. At more than one point I asked her to stop swearing in front of my children, and my boys asked why we were helping her. It was a great opportunity for me to share the nature of service, why we serve, and blessings. To this day when one of my boys complains about doing something, they will bring up that day and talk about how we own our attitudes and the effect we can have on others through cheer and good-tidings when confronted with grumpiness and bad behavior.
    7 points
  35. Just_A_Guy

    Free will

    I don't think Mormonism has ever really preoccupied itself with the supposed "sovereignty" of God in quite the way many other Christian denominations seem to have. We're quite comfortable, in principle, with the notion that there are some things that God just can't do. For example, we believe the Atonement of Christ was necessary because God was obligated to bridge the gap between/satisfy the demands of both justice and mercy--He couldn't save us unless He was willing to sacrifice His own Son. And while it's not "officially" doctrinal, we also speculate heavily on the notion that God was once a mortal as we are now--a supposition which which suggests that He had other mortal peers, some of whom may have attained godhood as He has, but over whom He presumably has no dominion. I don't think we really subscribe to the idea that our God must be the only/mightiest God in all the eternities and the infinite universes that ever have or ever will existed. Nor does our faith require that our God be absolutely all-powerful within the realm that is His own. Really, we envision a council of gods who are each supremely mighty within their own spheres (and only One of which with whom, as Brigham Young put it, "we have anything to do"); and it is enough for us that God is spectacularly more powerful than we are and that He invites us to become as He is. As for humankind's "free will" or "agency" (and frankly, I think within Mormon discourse we often conflate those two concepts, but that's another discussion): God, like any parent, has kids who develop independent consciences and wills; and who can only be controlled in accordance with certain principles (and even then, only to a limited degree). In fact, in Mormonism, the kernel of each individual's identity--the "intelligence"--is co-eternal with God Himself. God can organize and refine intelligence, but He cannot create it. The will of the intelligence (or, in its later states, the spirit or the human) is subject to God's power, but is not really subject to God's will unless the intelligence/spirit/human chooses to become so. Within Mormonism, I think the more intriguing question isn't whether our "free will" is bound by God's omnipotence, but whether it is bound by His omniscience. If He can see all things past, present, and future as "one eternal now", as Joseph Smith taught--then in a sense, is my future already written? Am I just pantomiming a role in a play whose ending is already known? In my experience, that's the question that tends to keep philosophically-minded Mormons up at night.
    7 points
  36. mirkwood

    Never Forget

    They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be negotiated with. Never forget.
    7 points
  37. I am a bit unclear on the word mandate and its meaning / enforcement / punishment. I remember back in the day when we used to vote.
    7 points
  38. I don’t care about the sexual preference of a missionary. But, I feel strongly that an LDS mission is NOT the time to express your sexuality, no matter what it is. LGBTQ+ or not, if you can’t control yourself you really should not go on a mission.
    7 points
  39. pam

    Anchors Aweigh!

    My dad and my ex-husband are both retired Navy. I worked for the Navy (as a civilian) for 18 years. I worked in a Navy facility as the only civilian where they repaired helicopter and jet engines. I was the supply logistics manager. I ordered and received and kept inventory of parts needed to repair the engines. Plus I was Ombudsman for 3 Navy ships and on an Admiral's staff for family liaisons.
    7 points
  40. 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
  41. MarginOfError

    Callings

    I've turned down one calling officially, and hinted strongly that another shouldn't be extended to me as I would immediately decline. The first, I was asked several years ago to be the "Stake Scouting Coordinator." I was somewhat excited at the thought, as I initially thought I would be training leaders and helping them to provide a better program and scouting experience to the young men. When I discussed my vision for what scouting could look like in the stake, they said, "oh, no. We don't want you to do anything like that. We just want you to coordinate and oversee all of the rechartering paperwork for all of the wards." As arrogant as it might seem, that seemed like a mismatch of the job to my skill set and I declined the calling. The second happened just a few weeks ago. My bishop indicated to me that the stake president was contemplating calling me to organize the stake young men camp for June of this year. I advised my bishop to tell the stake I wasn't interested in planning such a large event on such short notice. While I would be happy to plan the camp in general and would likely rather enjoy it, I also know how much stress and frustration are involved in trying to accomplish that task in so short a time frame. I wasn't willing to put myself through that. If they had asked me a year in advance, I wouldn't have hesitated to accept (and I told the bishop to pass that on to the stake). When members of our ward have asked for releases or turned down callings, I've typically pushed to respect their boundaries, but to also change how we extend the callings. Instead of simply saying, "will you accept this calling," I've encouraged leaders to offer three or four days to think it over. I've also encouraged leaders not to stop at "We want to call you to [calling]," but to create a vision of what is needed in the calling. There's a big difference between "We want to call you as a Primary teacher" and "We have been short a consistent and reliable teacher for the CTR class, and [specific child] especially would benefit from having a consistent and familiar face. We would like to ask you to serve as a Primary teacher to help [child] develop their testimony." Another one I remember was calling a woman on the autism spectrum to serve in the Primary Presidency. She admitted she hated working with kids and said, "I will accept the calling, but only because I think it's wrong to decline." At that point, we backed up a bit and advised her that maybe we needed to clarify what was needed of her. We described the needs the Primary President felt were in her weaknesses, and identified that those weaknesses were in this sister's strengths. We also went a step further and advised her that service in the church should bring joy, and if she went a couple of months and felt miserable in her calling, she should talk to us so that we could release her and find her a calling that she would be more uplifting for her. Her attitude changed from "I'll accept this calling because I feel like I have to," into "I have something to offer, and I find it less stressful to try because I know I can an 'escape route' if I really don't like it." she served for two years before the Primary presidency was reorganized Most recently, we had a sister that had declined a couple of callings for a lack of time. But when we called a new Relief Society President, the new president felt strongly that this sister needed to be her first counselor. When the interview was held, she was extended the calling, her concerns about time were acknowledged, and then she was told, "we'll give you a few days to think about it, but before you go, we are going to bring in the new president to talk to you about what her vision and goals are for the Relief Society and how you can help." We then let the two of them talk. The two worked out how they could work around her time constraints and she accepted the calling. I think one of the biggest things we can do to support members in callings is recognize that they all have diverse obligations, time commitments, interests, and insecurities. If we get complacent enough to just name a calling and ask for acceptance, it's hard for them to find their place and get their footing. If we take a little more time to help them discover where they can contribute around their other obligations, I think they are much more likely to accept calling and feel good about what they can accomplish.
    6 points
  42. clwnuke

    Free will

    Romans 8:5-7 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” As taught in the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, the natural man is an enemy to God. You are right when you say we can't control the flesh. No matter how hard we think, we can't make a hair grow on our head or stop hormones from surging through our bodies. No man or woman should ever feel guilt for their appetites - they are by design. But they can still choose. The fact that your true self, your spiritual self, can stop and yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit means you have every bit of agency that was promised in the pre-earth council. However, pre-mortal existence is not a widely held doctrine outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so our members may benefit from that faith where others do not. Keep 🙏 and doing good!
    6 points
  43. Indeed... yet we in the very thread we have had people accuse those not vaccinated as being murders spreading COVID... And other places they are being accused of being Anti-science along with being murders. And for the record I am fully vaccinated precisely because I wanted to help those more vulnerable, and I want the data to show that I made an effective choice... The data is not there. I helped myself (Which I really didn't need) as the risk of unknown future side effect if any. I don't consider that a good exchange at this point.
    6 points
  44. Some years ago, as an exercise in rhetoric/argument and in an effort to explore the ramifications of my thoughts on this issue, I tried to draft a theoretical PR news statement for the church that would change its position on homosexuality while persuasively defending its leaders’ credibility to prospectively speak on behalf of God on other moral issues. I spent half a day on it, and the final result was trash. Like @Vort, I never want to box myself into the corner of seeing that “if the church leadership does x, I will leave.” I always want to leave an opening for receiving further light and knowledge through personal revelation. But at the same time, I will freely admit: I don’t know how to square that circle. The church has entrenched itself on the issue of gay marriage far more deeply, and in a way that leaves far less room for future reversal, than it ever did on other issues like polygamy or the priesthood/temple ban on black people. The old standbys of “well, they always said that might change later“ or “well, it was only one prophet who said that; it wasn’t the united voice of the Q15 speaking in an official capacity and other prophets and apostles were saying this instead“ are not available to us here. I think, if I stayed at all in such a contingency, the “natural JAG” would be far less willing to inconvenience myself for the church’s sake. I’d have a hard time teaching; if I slept in on a Sunday If have a hard time hustling to get to church on time (or at all); I’d be sorely tempted to suspend tithing until some other financial priorities had been met. So . . . yeah.
    6 points
  45. Why wouldn't it have been condoned? This was state-of-the-art, cutting-edge research. You're not one of those science deniers, are you?
    6 points
  46. So, I think things have taken a turn for the better. I think a lot of prayer resulted in several very deep conversations that were too close together to likely be anything but some answers to prayer.
    6 points
  47. The homeless are huge consumers of health care. I have done many surgical cases for homeless patients. We call it "working for Jesus." Most of the homeless in our country are homeless by choice, and the vast majority have mental illness (schizophrenia is prevalent) and substance abuse. The homeless are also horrible at follow-up, which makes them a challenge for medical research.
    6 points
  48. I think Jane_Doe is at the heart of the matter. Giving hearing to a deaf person is more than adding a sense - it is a core alteration to their very existence. It changes who they are. I sit here with my totally accurate screen name and think "yeah, but being able to hear is better", but I have to understand that many in the deaf community don't see it that way. Similarly, I think of someone close to me with PTSD, major depression, and an entire childhood full of horrible trauma which she was forced to survive and grow from. When she thinks about a hypothetical where she could have avoided all those traumas, she wouldn't say yes. Removing her past traumas would have resulted in her growing into a totally different adult. She would have never have developed the wisdom she has, or the toughness she has. She never would have been as useful to others going through similar traumas. There are lives she could not have saved, testimonies she could not have saved. There would be 5 minute hallway conversations, where some troubled soul went away with lightened burdens and a whole new positive outlook on the world, that would never have happened. She likes who she is, and would not trade it for the world. The prospect of being innocently ignorant to the evils of the world, is horrifying to her - she dislikes clueless people. At the same time, I've encountered a dozen videos of adults and children, trying on glasses that let them see colors for the first time, or actually see for the first time. I've seen videos of kids and adults get their hearing turned on for the first time in their lives, and hearing their mom's or husband's voice for the first time. The absolute wonder and joy in those videos is something I may not ever experience in this life. At the end of the day, if someone wants an implant, I'm not going to stand in their way. And if someone refuses one, I'm not going to judge. Seems like a choice people have to make for themselves.
    6 points
  49. It’s so frustrating. Conservative media is attacking only the far far left views. Liberal media is attacking on the far far right views. Both are painting the picture of “it’s us or this dystopian view of the enemy”. The true left and true right are closer than most paint
    6 points
  50. Amen, AMEN! Nowhere is this more apparent, than in comparing new legal immigrants from Africa, to blacks already living in America. Folks coming here from Kenya, for example tend to do almost as well as our Asian immigrant superstars we hear so much about. And yes, they tend to bring their intact families with them.
    6 points