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Vort last won the day on February 9

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About Vort

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    A veritable vortex of vortical vortices

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  1. 1) Because the Brethren said so. That's really the only authoritative answer I can give. Why did they say this? Clearly, limited time is a part of it. But since an opening prayer should take no more than maybe a minute, there's probably more to it. In any case, the Brethren have obviously concluded that a second-hour opening prayer is unnecessary. Beyond that, it's guesswork. 2) Basically the same answer as above. To me, it makes sense to close the sacrament meeting with prayer before going on. I'm less confused about closing the sacrament meeting with prayer than not opening the second-hour meeting with prayer.
  2. Vort

    Mind Blowing or Expanding

    We see it as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice. Maybe Abraham saw it as this, too, but I suspect not. At least not directly. I suspect Abraham saw it as divine mercy toward him and his son, and as symbolic of the divine mercy God extends in not destroying the sinner but instead of finding a way to spare him—which of course is precisely what the Savior is.
  3. Vort

    Mind Blowing or Expanding

    Yeah, that's probably what the Savior meant. 🙄 I have heard Latter-day Saints claim that we should stop doing missionary work because it just makes people mad and not like us. Instead, we should just do proxy work for the dead. That way, you see, everyone can get saved, with no muss or fuss.
  4. Take your lumps, learn your lessons, and move on, my friend. I don't mean this as coldly as it probably sounds. It's just the bottom line that you have to get to. Quit mooning over your soon-to-be ex-wife. Let her go, and wish her the best of luck. Then move on. Work on yourself, whatever issues you identified. It might be worth taking a hard look at your current wife, putting aside the "Goddess" thing, and seeing her as she really is, warts and all. As they say, it takes two to tango, and even if you think the ruined marriage was primarily your fault, she had input, too. It might be worth identifying some of her traits that contributed to the death of what should have been an eternal marriage. Then try to figure out if those same qualities were attractive to you. If so—that means you have to unlearn some harmful lessons you picked up along the way growing up and learn to choose the women you date better. Self-reflection and even self-criticism are fine. Be a man, see things as they are, accept your fault, and go from there. But endlessly beating yourself up does not help you, her, or anyone else. Move on. One foot after the other. Life goes on, so go with it. Mourn as much as you need to, but don't wallow. Assume she's not coming back, because the odds are overwhelmingly in that direction. Live your life without her. Go off in a new direction. In case I forgot to mention it, the key words here are: Move on.
  5. For the record, I never found the two-year-old period to be "terrible". I thought my two-year-olds were utterly delightful, all five of them. So I'm not really sold on the existence of the "terrible twos". Maybe if you expect your two-year-old to be a miniature adult and instead he acts like a two-year-old, you might find it disconcerting. The problem there would be the parent's ridiculous expectations, not the child's behavior. I'm not a dog person, but I finally relented and agreed to do what I thought I would never again agree to do: Get a dog. But this time around, I figured out that the dog is basically a two-year-old in dog form. (She's actually two years old, so there's that.) When I realized that this animal was a permanent two-year-old and, though trainable, would never "get past" that level of understanding, it really helped me to relate better to the dog and temper my expectations accordingly.
  6. It's not the "telling off" that's natural. What's natural is loving your son and wanting what's best for him. When you realize that an undisciplined child is disliked by almost everyone, and that many undisciplined children grow up into undisciplined adults—a sure recipe for a disastrous life—your natural love for your son will push you to discipline him. This does not necessarily involve "telling him off"; many argue that those parents who tell their children off are doing a poor job of instilling discipline. But in any case, good discipline will include praise for good actions and an insistence that the necessary good things be done and bad things never allowed, however you wish to enforce this. In today's western world, especially it seems in Great Britain, physically disciplining your child (e.g. giving a swat or forcibly removing the child from an activity) is frowned upon and even made illegal in some places. I'm all for people not beating up their children, but I find this anti-disciplinary trend deplorable, when a sincere and well-intentioned parent is legally prohibited from exercising discipline, under threat of imprisonment and loss of the child. Find an effective way to discipline your son, both positive discipline and negative discipline, and use it.
  7. Vort

    Church allows missionaries to call home weekly

    Gauging reactions on Facebook, sports discussion boards, and general LDS-oriented discussion boards, it appears that men are ambivalent about the policy change, with many expressing reservations, while women are uniformly excited about it.
  8. Vort

    Church allows missionaries to call home weekly

    To be candid, cutting the cord (or the apron strings) is an appropriate metaphor. My sons enjoy talking with me, and I with them, but talking with their mother is a much more emotional experience on both ends. Both sides suffered and, I think, grew stronger from the lack of constant contact. But that's only my opinion. I fully support this change.
  9. There was a short period of about four years in the early 1980s when elders were called for only 18 months, not 24 months as had been the case since the 1950s or '60s (and is now). This is when I served a mission. The stated goal of the change was to allow missionaries to serve who would not otherwise have had the financial means or ability to be away for two years. Obviously, the Brethren rethought this change, and it was reneged in about 1985 (maybe when President Kimball died? I don't remember). I felt somewhat cheated for many years that I served "only" an 18-month mission. But my missionary service did me great benefit, and I don't think missing the last six months did me any harm, except that I would have been a much more effective missionary at the end of my mission. That's a selfish way of viewing things, but the point is that I don't think I suffered for the policy change that many considered a "mistake". If calling home every week turns out to be counterproductive, the Brethren can make a simple course correction and change it to a monthly call or even a quarterly call. In the meantime, I'm happy to sustain the Brethren in making this policy change. Privately, it caught me off-guard and sort of rubbed me wrong, but that's my problem to deal with.
  10. Hi, George. I do not have any sort of official explanation. I think of it like this: We open our Sunday services with a prayer in the sacrament meeting. We then close the sacrament meeting (but not the overall services) with prayer and proceed to Sunday School/RS-EQ and continue with our communal worship, closing those meetings (and our overall services) with prayer.
  11. Vort

    Church allows missionaries to call home weekly

    My son comes home in less than two weeks, so we will get to talk with him the week before he comes home, which we might have done anyway. This is our third son to serve a mission. Sister Vort is less than happy that this is happening only now. For myself, I sustain the Brethren in their decisions, but I think the not-calling-home business served an important function, which might be called cutting the umbilical.
  12. Actually, that's brilliant. If you were three years old, then that's pretty harsh. But if you were eight-year-olds, that is the perfect example of making the punishment fit the crime. You abuse your bed, you lose your bed.
  13. Vort

    Who is your Satan?

    There is vastly more that we don't know regarding Satan and his fall than what we do know. The true depth of Satan's motivation is hidden from us, perhaps (probably) because we are mostly incapable of understanding the depth of hunger for glory and power. Satan is vastly powerful; I have little doubt that none of us is capable of withstanding his attacks on our own. Joseph Smith, even as a very young man, was one of the spiritually mighty of the Father's children, yet testified that Satan's power almost entirely overcame him, and that he would have been destroyed if not for God's direct intervention. I grew up believing and being taught that Satan was powerless over us unless we gave him power. Perhaps that is true. But I think there is a belief that goes along hand-in-hand with that, to the effect that Satan is a weak and pathetic being. The "pathetic" part is true, perhaps; but the "weak" is true only in comparison with the Father and the Son. Satan is powerful, and he will overcome and destroy us, each of us, if we do not guard against him. Not to be a scare-monger. I spend little time thinking about Satan. I recommend that course of action to all.