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Vort last won the day on January 23

Vort had the most liked content!

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About Vort

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    On a four-minute death timer. Every breath I take resets it.

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    Seattle area
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    Latter-day Saint

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  1. Vort

    How do epidemics/pandemics stop?

    I believe you are mistaken. They are microorganisms. This is pure semantics, a matter of definition. But the arguments behind those definitions are interesting and contain actual substance. On the one hand, viruses have no real life processes. At all. They cannot even so much as reproduce themselves. They have no organelles at all, nothing but a simple protein coat that holds their tiny strand of DNA or RNA, all enclosed in a bilipid sac that the virus took from the cell wall membrane of the host cell that made it. And the largest virus is quite a bit smaller than even the smallest bacterium. So by most traditional definitions of life, which include processes like reproduction and respiration, viruses are definitely not alive. On the other hand, viruses contain DNA and/or RNA, which is sequenced and used to reproduce more identical viruses. When a virus is doing its thing, it certainly looks just exactly like life, the only difference being that the virus is hijacking someone else's equipment to reproduce itself and carry on the respiration needed to do the work of reproduction. Viruses do reproduce, then, in a sense. They evolve. They prey on other life. In these aspects, viruses look very much like a life form. Personally, I tend to edge toward the "alive" side of things. You and I cannot be alive without the organic milieu of our existence, the oxygenated air and water and food and gravity that keeps us on the planet. We can't produce our own sugars or many of the vitamins we depend on. Remove us from our physical context, and we will immediately become just about as alive as the virus appears to be when it's just floating there. That's us. The salient difference is that we do a lot (certainly not all) of our own reproductive and respiratory work, while the virus outsources that responsibility to its host cells.
  2. I have to admit that his sound effects add to the hilarity.
  3. Vort


    Beautiful baby boy! Positively prehistoric!
  4. Vort

    Progression between kingdoms?

    Indeed, the scriptures themselves mention this very viewpoint: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. There's that theology of hope we've pined for so deeply!
  5. I do not know what you were taught, and I cannot say what others may have taught through the decades. I was taught something similar growing up. But the above is not according to scripture, as I learned when I began seriously reading and studying scripture at about the age of 19. There was only ever one plan, not two. That single plan was the Father's plan, originating with him. According to the Father, this plan would save all who would receive it and exalt all who would abide the law. The plan required a Redeemer, for which Jesus volunteered himself (doubtless was called of the Father to do so). In speaking up, Jesus made it clear that it was the Father's plan, done by the power of the Father, and that the glory was to the Father whose plan it was. At least one other also volunteered himself for being the Redeemer. This prideful volunteer, a liar from the beginning, amended the Father's plan by making a spurious claim: He would redeem not just some, but all, and therefore the glory and honor would accrue to him, and not to the Father. The Father rejected the impudent offer of the so-called son of the morning and confirmed Jehovah as our Redeemer. The liar whose offer was rejected rebelled against God, along with "the third part" of the Father's children who hearkened to his lies. This is the genesis of the war in heaven, the premortal result of which was that the third part was cast out.
  6. Vort

    Fasting - some questions

    It wouldn't pollute the water. Sidon was a sizeable river, and the bodies were washed downstream and eventually into the ocean. Alma 44:22 tells us: And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea. The vast majority of life, both animal and plant, dies in the oceans, so a few (or a few thousand) more human bodies decaying in the ocean won't really make a noticeable difference, even locally. Within a day or so, it will be like it never happened.
  7. Vort

    Fasting - some questions

    Yes, that is correct. As long as they do not fast, they do not receive the blessings of the fast. That's the irrevocable law of heaven as explained in Section 130. Absolutely not, though I understand why you would feel this way. This is not a matter of not being a "complete" Saint or of lacking worthiness before God. This is a matter of physically not being able to do something. Please read and consider my entire answer below. I'll try not to be too long-winded. If you climb Mount Timpanogos in Utah County, you get to see a magnificent view of Provo and Orem. If you can't climb Mount Timpanogos, you don't get to see the view. The fact that you can't climb Timp doesn't mean God hates you. It doesn't mean your life has no meaning. It doesn't mean you're not a real person (or BYU student, or Latter-day Saint, or whatever). It doesn't mean you're unworthy of love or friendship or compassion. It simply means that, for whatever reason, you can't climb Timp. So that particular blessing—being able to have that view of Provo and Orem—is denied you. Now, if you can climb Timp, but just choose not to, then the reason you don't enjoy the blessing of climbing Timp is because you made a choice. Obviously, there is no spiritual imperative to climb Mount Timpanogos, so it matters only if you really want to see the view. We do have a spiritual imperative to gain the blessings of the fast, though—that is, those of us who can fast. When we make excuses not to fast, complain that we get a headache or it's uncomfortable or that we get crabby or constipated or light-headed or whatever other excuses we make, then we have no one to blame but ourselves when we do not receive the blessings of the fast. We can pretend that doing some sort of "substitute fast" gives us all those same blessings, but we deceive ourselves. The blessings of the fast come to those who fulfill the law of the fast, and in no other way. To repeat: Those who can fast but choose not to because it's too uncomfortable have no one but themselves to blame for missing the blessings of the fast. Perhaps we who fall into that camp are even condemned by God to some degree because we refuse to acquire the blessings he freely offers us. In contrast, those who cannot fast are under no divine condemnation—but they still don't receive the blessings of the fast, just like the person who can't climb Timp doesn't get the view. So you see, Dahlia, this is not a matter of condemnation or blame. If you can't fast, then you can't fast. No one condemns you for it—not God, not your fellow Saints, and hopefully not yourself. But the law stands, and the blessings that appertain to that law can be gained only by fulfilling the law. No breathing, no living. No sex, no children. No exercise, no strength. No fasting, no blessings of fasting. That said, who's to say that fasting for, say, 12 hours (perhaps by skipping breakfast) won't result in some of the blessings of the fast? I know of no time limit required for such blessings to begin coming. Our leaders have instructed us (those who are able) to fast by abstaining from both food and drink for 24 consecutive hours, so I suppose that's sort of the "standard fast" or "full fast". But again, if you can't do it, you can't. It does not therefore logically follow that all blessings of the fast are closed to anyone who can't fast for 24 consecutive hours. My suggestion to you, sister, is to make this a matter of prayer. Some sort of partial fast might be just the thing. Maybe it's worth talking with your Relief Society president and/or bishop to get their insights. It may be the case that some of the blessings of the fast are not available to you at this time, but it's likely that some or even many of those blessings are available. Talk it over with your Father and with those who minister to you. God bless you in your efforts.
  8. Vort

    Exciting news about CNN!

    If you actually loathed bipartisanship as you claim, I would think you'd be the first in line to condemn CNN's unabashed Democrat Party drum-beating. Instead, you claim that CNN's actions are...the Republicans' fault! That doesn't sound even a little bit like someone who honestly hates "the trap of bipartisanship". It sounds much more like someone who hates Republicans and willingly blames them as the foundational cause of the evil actions of others.
  9. I tripped over this old thread a few days ago and looked up mord's links again. Of the three above, only the first and third are still active, and both are worthwhile. The last link is analytical in nature, and I find it provocative and informative. I'll cast my vote with it.
  10. Vort

    BOM Study Guide for Non-Mormon

    The best Book of Mormon study guide is the Book of Mormon. Nothing else can replace it, and with it, you don't really need anything else. Just read the Book of Mormon. Start at page 1 and read sequentially through to the end. It's really that simple, and there really is no other way to gain that knowledge.
  11. Vort

    BOM Study Guide for Non-Mormon

    Not a lot of parables in the Book of Mormon.
  12. Which was actually my point in starting the thread. All true, but it's simpler than this. Sanders is an avowed Communist who has leeched off the system for his entire life. I do not believe for a moment that Sanders really thinks that Communism is the path to Shangri-La. It's the path to feathering his own nest at the expense of those ignorant and/or stupid enough to buy into the Communist pack of lies.
  13. Vort

    Exciting news about CNN!

    He SMILED! How DARE he! (Seriously. That was his crime. He smiled. A white guy smiled. No wonder everyone got upset.)
  14. Vort

    Progression between kingdoms?

    So the state of salvation of loved ones doesn't count as "conditions and relationships"? What, exactly, did you think that Elder Oaks' example was talking about?