Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/27/20 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    It's Thanksgiving Day, so I figured I'd announce that, yes I am thankful for the nearly 23 years the LORD has allowed me to serve as a prison chaplain. Alas, mandatory retirement is fast approaching, and I prayerfully put in to do so at the end of this year. Next steps likely include my continuing as a volunteer pastor and transitioning to my first love--teaching. It's not yet certain how that will look, but I am convinced that what lies ahead will be even better than that which is passing. Oh … and no, I'm not retiring from here. Mercy has its limits.
  2. 10 points
    A few include: Elective abortion Acceptance of homosexual activities Push toward delegitimizing religion and religious activities Encouragement of hateful and illegal activities as legitimate self-expression Vulgar, distasteful, and evil actions promoted as harmless entertainment for adults and even children Every idea, proposal, or thought immediately turned into a battleground for the evil philosophies of political correctness and political expediency The very idea of patriarchy openly mocked and vilified, and men intentionally brought down in the eyes of their wives and children
  3. 9 points

    New nana

    Guess who had her first grand baby 3 weeks ago? Welcome Alexander! It's been rough. Mom need a C-section for that 9lb 14oz boy, and had problems. Then she tested positive for COVID in the hospital. They made my son take the baby home because he couldn't go back to the nursery and couldn't stay with mom, who had an infection and was still in the hospital for a few more days. It's been real, folks. But, mom is slowly getting better. Thankfully, she was asymptomatic and the rest of us didn't need to get tested, which was a medical concern. Nana introduced him to Blondie's 'The Tide is High' and is writing a list of future lessons in rock and roll. She also informed him that her name is 'Nana' and not 'grandma.' Shallow, I know, but there it is.
  4. 9 points

    Cunning of the devil

    Two things: FIRST: D&C 10 was referring to the retranslation of the record of Nephi after the "lost manuscript" was stolen. So, specifically, that verse was not talking about the Church or even the organization. The Church hadn't been organized -- and wouldn't be for another year after that. SECOND: If you have to insist on making this about the establishment of the Church (which it isn't): The Lord had already known that the early Church as He established it would be destroyed. An entire world and society so evil that they would crucify the only perfect being to walk the earth was not a world where the Lord's Church was going to survive in its fulness. So, he set things up to be restored at a time when the world would be more prepared to receive the fulness of the Gospel. Even then, it almost got snuffed out. But with all the enemies and all the wholesale slaughter they wrought upon the Latter-day Saints, and even the government of the United States out to kill them, the Church survived. That, to me, is a testament that this really is a work that was protected by the Hand of the Lord.
  5. 9 points
    If your point is that the Republicans are liars and hypocrites, then I grant your point. The fact (and it is a fact) that the Democrats are far worse doesn't justify the Republican hypocrisy. But this is nothing beyond political gamesmanship. You can bet that the Democrats, in this position, would do exactly the same thing. Their pearl clutching on this matter is political theater, nothing more. Consider: The Supreme Court has had a leftist majority for the entirety of our lifetimes. The political left sees a leftist Supreme Court as their inherent right. And that is what is really at stake here. Why shouldn't the Supreme Court take a conservative bend? The Left sees this as unacceptable and will thus do everything in their power to prohibit it. Meanwhile, the Republicans are 100% within their right to nominate and confirm the justice of their choosing. How does the Left respond? With a threat to burn the entire house down by packing the court under a Biden presidency. Rail all you want against Republican hypocrisy. I might even join you. But don't lose sight of what's really going on here. As is almost always the case, the real, deep evil being done here is being done by the Democrats. The Republicans are mostly garden-variety fools and jackasses. The Democrats are something far more sinister.
  6. 8 points
    https://www.thechurchnews.com/archives/2005-05-01/elder-dallin-h-oaks-the-dedication-of-a-lifetime-91589 The explanation I gave that man is the same explanation I give to you if you feel you are an exception to what I have said. As a General Authority, it is my responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don't try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. [...] But don't ask me to give an opinion on your exception. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.
  7. 8 points
    First and foremost, don't fall into the mistake of thinking this is something that can be fixed. There is nothing broken with your son. I consider what has happened with your son to be a breach of trust. I believe we all experience these breaches at some point, and it can be extremely unsettling (whether it is intended or not). The primary advice I would give your son is to lay out every concern he has about the church and his leaders to you. Give him room to speak and be heard without judgment. When he is done, say nothing more than, 'can I have some time to think about this?' Let your discussions about flawed leaders (and flawed disciples) and the possibilities of mixing up revelation with what-we-really-want for another day. Ultimately, I would guess that there are other concerns that have quietly existed for some time. The first step to helping is listening, understanding, and showing that you still love.
  8. 8 points
    When Frank Fox, former BYU professor, talks about what a miserable, evil, awful human being Donald Trump is and how he (Fox) is proudly voting for Joe Biden, I have to wonder about the cognitive faculties of many of my more educated fellow Saints. Joe Biden as a defender of faith and integrity? No one can seriously believe that.
  9. 8 points

    What happened to MormonGator?

    I got to meet him in person a few months ago when he drove through Colorado. He continues to be a heck of a guy, and is doing well.
  10. 7 points
    Guess I'm just a recalcitrant stick-in-the-mud. I can't help raining on the joyless parade of those who bemoan 2020 as "Worst Year EVAR". Well, I actually COULD keep myself from snarky comments; I just choose not to. But no need now! The Babylon Bee has done it for me! https://babylonbee.com/news/2020-rated-worst-year-ever-provided-you-never-lived-at-any-other-time-in-history
  11. 7 points

    Christmas Star

    Not as good as @NeuroTypical got, but here's one I got through my telescope. Difficult to get a good, single frame shot. Either overexpose Jupiter or underexpose Saturn. Atmosphere was all wobbly and noisy, too. But, still, you don't get to see two gas giants in the same telescopic field of view very often.
  12. 7 points

    The election

    "We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation." Gordon B. Hinckley, The Times in Which We Live
  13. 7 points


    I look forward to YouTube acting as aggressively against Chinese and Iranian interests, as they have against the Trumplings.
  14. 7 points

    Question on "Faith Crisis"

    I avoid it. Not because I can't handle it, but because it adds nothing to my life. It's not spiritually uplifting.
  15. 7 points

    Conference October 3-4, 2020

    I may have done a disservice to Pres. Oaks' talk. I listened to it again and was reminded that there was much more to the talk. The greatest theme was loving our enemies. But in the backdrop of the political climate today, he made some interesting statements. American's don't have to choose "between" their own cultural heritage and the American Heritage. We can have both. But it is the understanding that we are united under the Constitution while allowing ourselves all the diversity of culture we may want. I'm going to guess that this is most applicable to the far left. Wanting to defund police and to get rid of the Constitution. There can be a "black culture" or "latino culture" or "asian culture" as long as it accepts the Constitution as a governing document for civil interaction. I'd believe I'm a fairly good example of that. I'm always talking about Korean stuff. I'm proudly of Korean heritage. But I absolutely believe the US Constitution to be divinely inspired. And the more we stray from it, the closer we get to a dark age.
  16. 7 points

    Conference October 3-4, 2020

    Elder Oaks making it clear where the church stands, and it's members should stand, on laws and lawbreaking, protesting and resistance and violence.
  17. 7 points

    The gift of Aaron

    Jonah seems to be someone with endless anti cut-and-paste material, and the brains to phrase it in a way that doesn't overtly violate forum rules. D&C 71 means I don't have to care what his motives are. Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you—there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time. And honestly, after his year of posting here, he seems to be proving the scripture true. (I like that 'vast wisdom' stuff though - you get one free brownie point. Good at Baskin Robins.)
  18. 7 points
    Good National Review article on the history of such things.
  19. 7 points
    Here is my opinion “Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing” - For the Strength of Youth “The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet contains standards that, when followed carefully, will bring rich blessings and help us stay on the covenant path. Although it was written for the benefit of the youth, its standards do not expire when we leave the Young Men and Young Women programs. They apply to each of us all the time. A review of these standards may prompt other ways we can be more careful in our gospel living.” - Becky Craven, General Conference 2019
  20. 6 points

    What's the difference?

    So, I may not be your target audience here—I didn’t “convert” from another religion to LDS; I was born in the faith. But of course, at some point I had to make a deliberate and informed decision to stay; so I’ll offer my two cents for what it’s worth. Maybe a parable, of sorts, will help: I’ve gotten into woodworking in a small way over the past couple of years. Nothing really special—a few bookshelves, a couple of boxes for various purposes, that kind of thing; I hope to make more furniture-type items going forward. I’ve accrued a collection of tools—less than I think I need, though certainly more than my wife thinks I need! The next tool that I want, is a thickness planer. The function of a thickness planer is that you feed a board into one end and, in seconds, an electrically-powered rotating blade shaves a layer of wood off the top face of the board. The result is a perfectly flat face. You can use a thickness planer for dimensioning lumber to the exact thickness you want it. You can also use it to take pre-milled wood that was cut sloppily, or that has warped/cupped/bowed since it was cut, and shape it into something that is perfectly flat and straight and ready for precision woodworking. Now, with a bit of skill and the right alternative tools (a workbench with clamps and a selection of hand planes), you could be an absolutely amazing woodworker without ever owning a thickness planer. It would be absolutely absurd to say that someone who owns a thickness planer is a “better woodworker” than a craftsman who lacks that tool, or that his product will always be qualitatively superior. Many woodworkers actually enjoy the workpace, or physical exercise, or tradition, or connection to their forbears, or just the extra attention that go into using and sharpening and tuning and maintaining their hand planes. But the fact is that a thickness planer just plain lets you work faster. A woodworker who chooses not to obtain that tool, will eventually find that his choice to dimension or flatten lumber by hand is imposing an artificial limit on the quantity of projects that he is able to undertake and complete. A woodworker who chooses to invest in a thickness planer, and uses it effectively as he works to improve his own skill set over time, will eventually be able to achieve more than the woodworker who chose not to obtain that tool. To me, religion is a tool—or, more properly, a set of tools—that helps us to produce the product God wants. To help us become what He wants us to become, now and in the hereafter. So in evaluating a religion, my starting point has to be what the religion says about the nature of God, the nature of man, the relationship between those two, what God’s plans are for humankind, and what the potential and fate of humankind actually is. If you accept the ideas that: --mankind was created as a sort of god in embryo --it is possible for a man to progress to a point where he can have the qualities God has, wield the powers that God wields, and do the things that God does; and --Jesus Christ’s Atonement was geared towards making it possible for us to do precisely that— --well, then, Mormonism is pretty much the only game in town. And frankly, I think as Church members, we should work harder at articulating this vision through our outreach and missionary work. The simple fact is that, per our theology—observant Christians who sincerely seek after Christ and live a Christlike life will get the Terrestrial Kingdom, which is basically everything their own faith traditions have led them to expect of Heaven. God didn’t restore the Church to get people into the Terrestrial Kingdom; he restored the Church for the benefit of that subset of humanity that seeks exaltation. That’s not some obscure “gospel meat” that should be carefully concealed until after the “milk” has been digested; it’s part and parcel of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is offering to Christianity and to the world in general. But let’s say you reject that particular worldview, while still agreeing that God imposed religion so as to help humans to become better individuals who are more in touch with His greatness and goodness and saving and comforting power. Even by that measure, Mormonism offers a pretty amazing toolset—one that I believe, properly used, can still take one further than the toolset offered by any other religion or philosophy. These tools include: --A quantitatively and qualitatively superior means of direct communication with God via the Holy Spirit, which in turn offers superior opportunities for education, edification, solace, warning, and instruction/counsel about the various life-decisions we all must make. Mormonism also promotes the idea that it is possible to commune with the Father even more directly, via visions and/or other direct interactions with corporeal angels or with God Himself. --I would note, on this issue, that while I am absolutely unqualified to trace the history of charismatic or Pentecostal Christian movements—it seems to me that one of the big selling points in 19th century Mormon missionary work, was the idea of spiritual gifts. We see this in Mormonism’s own publicized histories of itself and some of its first noteworthy converts, and I see it a lot in private journals of some of my own ancestors. A theme that I took away from Terryl Givens’s “Wrestling the Angel”, as well as his biography of Parley Pratt (which delves deeply into Pratt’s preaching and writing), leads me to the impression that much of mainline Christianity (certainly the “respectable” institutionalized branches thereof) had pretty much pooh-poohed “spiritual gifts” like tongues, prophecy, revelations, visions, healings, etc—as artifacts of the primitive church that Christianity had outgrown as it matured. While again acknowledging my relative ignorance of Christian history beyond my own faith tradition—I do wonder if many of the pastors and theologians who saw the way Mormonism appealed to a lot of Christian “seekers” did some soul-searching about whether their own congregations could benefit from the restoration of some of these gifts; and undertook a private and individual re-evaluation of the idea of “spiritual gifts” generally that may have helped “prepare the way” for 20th century pentecostal/evangelical/charismatic Christian movements. --Divine power, channeled both through the Holy Spirit and through divinely-sanctioned priests, that enables the Saints to make spiritual/psychological progress that they’d never be able to do on their own. And a power that occasionally, according to the will of God, can even change the material nature of the world around us. --Sacramental rites and liturgies that reinforce our sense of connectedness to the divine, and challenge and educate us in new and sometimes unexpected ways. --I would note here that I think most religions have a surfeit of mishnahs and commentaries and sermons that are happy to spoon-feed us the ostensible “meanings” and “right interpretations” of the mysteries we see in scripture, in nature, in human behavior and the problems of life. Mormonism certainly has this, too. But Mormonism also has a set of esoteric temple liturgies where—not only do our leaders abstain from telling us what it means; but they give us an injunction not even to publicly speculate about what it might mean! (Even as they continually reiterate that it does have some very deep meanings, and that it’s tremendously important that we work those meanings out by continued participation in those liturgies, and that they cannot be simply abandoned just because they are mysterious or uncomfortable.) To participate in temple worship on a prolonged basis, is to repeatedly accept a challenge to get onto the wrestling mat with God Himself—where the religious authority’s role is less about trying to mediate between you and God, and more about just keeping you in the ring even when you want to quit. I don’t know that any other religion will push you into quite that sort of a struggle with God. --Authoritative leadership that can help safeguard against deception and offer meaningful counsel in approaching the vicissitudes of life, especially while we are still growing in the faith and trying to figure out the difference between the whisperings of the Spirit and our own prejudices and predilections. --Additional scripture that again, helps to safeguard against deception and teaches us to approach God and the Spirit; while also clarifying some of the “holes” and debunking man-made misconceptions about previously-revealed scriptures. --A strong sense of collective purpose and destiny (“Zion”, and all that), which fosters both a sense of community and opportunities for personal growth through ministering and service. (The emotional and material "safety net" the Church has developed over the years ain't bad, either!) I would hasten to note, just like my parable of the thickness planer, that nearly all of the spiritual blessings and opportunities and tools (or alternative tools that serve similar purposes) exist, to some degree, in most variations of Christianity; and many adherents to those sects have used the “tools” in their possession to much greater effect than many adherents of Mormonism (myself, certainly included) have used the tools in our possession. So I hope that what I’ve written doesn’t seem too smug! Stunningly beautiful souls can be--have been--crafted within virtually any Christian faith tradition, and a good number of non-Christian traditions as well. But the underlying issue, to me, is potential and eternal increase. All other things being equal, I am satisfied through personal experience that the “tools” of Mormonism can take me further towards these ends than the “tools” offered by any other religion or philosophy. And so, I stay.
  21. 6 points

    Backdoor Gun Control

    I am personally convinced that the only reason to limit a lawful citizen's 2nd Amendment rights is a precursor (intent) for the removal of additional rights. In addition - politicians threatening the 2nd Amendment - I believe is an indication of being controlled by "secret combinations" such as drug cartels - especially if they are also for open borders, abolishing ICE, defunding the Police and so on and so on. The trend is obvious where their true loyalties lie. The Traveler
  22. 6 points

    Backdoor Gun Control

    A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” infringe [inˈfrinj] VERB infringed (past tense) actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.). "making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright" synonyms: contravene · violate · transgress · break · breach · commit a breach of · [more] VERB infringed (past participle) actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.). "making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright" synonyms: contravene · violate · transgress · break · breach · commit a breach of ·
  23. 6 points

    Question on "Faith Crisis"

    I haven't gone out of my way to read anti- literature. But it gets thrown at me all the time. So, I can't really avoid it. When I was younger, it gave me some problems because I depended upon my own reasoning and wisdom to combat it. At some point I realized that we cannot hope to use our mortal wisdom and knowledge against Satan who has maintained his memory of the past 6000 years and more. He knows every trick in the book and then some. We cannot fight him using the tools he is THE master of. I've always had some level of testimony. But at some point I realized that my testimony was no longer about study and reason. It was no longer about personal experience with living the gospel. It was based on the firm witness of the Holy Ghost. With that knowledge, nothing really phases me. I admit there are things I don't understand. Easily admit I don't know everything. I can do this because I do know the one thing that is most important. My Heavenly Father is guiding my life, has given me a Savior, and wants me to do XYZ. All the rest is just a distraction. All I need to do is keep my eye on the ball.
  24. 6 points

    Biden Corruption Emails

    No one, including Litchman with his 2000 vs. 2016 interpretation flipping, knows for certain what the results of the election will be. Saying someone will be president vs. someone will win the popular vote isn't the same thing. He was correct, according to himself. He was right that Gore won the popular vote BUT then still lost the presidency. He can't have it both ways and still be a guru. He is always careful to give himself an out if he is wrong, after all he couldn't sell as many books unless he has an out. The out this year is Russian interference and voter suppression. With really only two players in the game, we all have 50/50 odds of being right or wrong. Time will tell. Independent of Litchtman, one thing I'm certain of is that the mainstream media hates Trump. He has called them out for being fake news since the beginning. He has done his part to expose their heavily biased agenda. In so doing, he has crippled their credibility, hurt their viewership and ultimately put a bleeding hole in their pocketbook. Thus the hatred. If any poll suggested Trump would win, I would never expect them to freely offer up that information. Suppression is key. Trump didn't create the far left's hatred, he only helped expose them for who they are.
  25. 6 points
    Hmm. You mean, your opponents tried to get your buy-in by promising not to do something, and then they went ahead did it anyways the first chance they got? Yeah, welcome to my world. For better and for worse: the days where Democrats could flagrantly lie in their negotiations with Republicans (“gays just want to be left alone, they don’t want *marriage*!“ “gay marriage doesn’t mean you have to agree with it!” “gay marriage will certainly never have repercussions for free exercise of religion!” “just legalize the aliens who are already here and we *promise* we’ll get tough on border security!” “no, we’ll totally support the military while it goes after the SOBs who perpetrated 9/11!” “we want abortion to be safe, rare, and legal; we certainly don’t celebrate it!” “we just want to remove the statues of Confederates; of *course* we continue to revere Washington and Adams and Jefferson and Madison and Lincoln!” “We believe in treating people the same regardless of race” “We have no intention of nationalizing the health care industry!”) while simultaneously expecting Republicans to keep their own promises regardless of cost, are now over.