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Everything posted by Vort

  1. The mechanism of Jesus Christ's atonement is incomprehensible to us because we do not and cannot (in this life) understand its nature. We have no real grasp of fundamental truth. It exists, but we can't (or at least don't) sense it directly, except in certain moments of spiritual insight that, for most of us, are all too rare. Our input from the universe comes via our senses. Using that input, our miraculous brains construct mental models of reality. But that's all we have. Our understanding of anything is based on our mental models, which means our understanding is always wrong to some extent. Reality is overwhelmingly huge and complex beyond our ability even to imagine; our mental models are small enough to fit between our ears, and provide only a rough guide to reality. If our mental models are flawed—and they are always flawed—then our perception of reality is skewed. If our mental models are incomplete—which obviously they always are—then we are unable to understand things. Some thinks are magic, as far as we can tell. They just are, for reasons we can't fathom because we can't even frame meaningful questions about them, much less understand any answers to those questions. Christ's atonement serves to balance some sort of need that "divine justice" requires. I believe "divine justice" in this context is another way of saying "naked reality as it applies to human souls". Since we have something less than a kindergarten-level understanding of even the foundational basics of divine justice, how can we hope to comprehend the mechanism of Christ's atonement? I believe we have no such hope, except as the Spirit might inform us. That sort of revealed knowledge, which we call a testimony, does not come from understanding first principles and building on them. It comes from God telling us, at which point it becomes one of our foundational principles. How does all this apply to the present discussion? I think A&A's questions, legitimate and even insightful though they may be, cannot be addressed because we have no foundational framework to build answers on. His questions may well not even make sense in the context we would need. I suspect such questions can be answered only through direct divine intervention. Einstein is supposed to have said, "An explanation should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." The reason is clear; when an explanation is oversimplified, it no longer models the external reality. It becomes nothing but words, words that don't explain the thing they are supposed to be addressing. If you ask me about the nature of gravity and I tell you it comes from gravity fairies, that oversimplified model brings you no closer to understanding the actual underlying phenomenon. I believe this is the case with the atonement of Jesus Christ. I realize this sounds suspiciously like the Catholic tradition of answering any hard question by saying, "It's a mystery." But I think this case is different from such a non-answer. I do believe that God can and does reveal to us all truth that we sincerely seek and can understand. As McConkie clarified, such things are not incomprehensible to the human mind, but rather to the carnal mind. Ultimately, our only hope to understand and possess truth in its purest form is to humble ourselves before God.
  2. It's allowed as long as your politics agree with mine.
  3. I'll be 60 early next year. When I was in elementary school, families were expected to provide a cigar box (seriously) containing a ruler pencils, erasers, paste (no gluesticks at the time), wide-rule notebook, and other grade-appropriate items, such as crayons, compasses, that sort of thing. We were expected to bring our own lunches or money to buy lunches at the cafeteria. The school supplied a physical place to meet, faculty, outdoor play equipment, a gymnasium, and textbooks. Through the years, schools have evolved (devolved) in a way that the schools themselves have taken the responsibility for providing basic supplies to the students, even food. It's a shameful period we live in. Future generations will look back on us and shake their heads in pity and disgust. At least, I hope they do. The alternative is much worse: That they look back at us as some sort of golden age.
  4. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. But I bet I would make a better US President than Joe Biden.
  5. One of the many reasons I hate emojis is that they have become an excuse to insult people and use unsociable language, then place any blame for offense on the lack of intelligence or simple oversensitivity of the offended party. "Nice pic. Your makeup looks like you got jumped by a violent gang of kindergarteners armed with colored Sharpies. 😀 Also, your mother is ugly and smells awful. 😁"
  6. FYI: Defer = honor (someone or something); submit to; accept as authoritative. The root of the word deference "honor; esteem, respect". Accent on the final syllable. Differ = at variance with; not in agreement. The root of the word difference "unrelatedness; variance; elements that are not the same". Accent on the penult (next-to-last syllable).
  7. I showed that to my wife yesterday. First and probably last time I ever showed her, or will ever show her, something from Family Guy. Specifically this one:
  8. Unless there's a big revelation of real, substantive malfeasance by Trump, I will vote for him if he receives the Republican nomination. I'm not a huge fan of his, except when compared with my feelings toward any national-level Democrat.
  9. I admit that I don't really get the lionization (here literally) of Trump. I believe it's largely a reflexive reaction to the media's unceasing drumbeat of hatred toward the man. I myself, no huge fan of Trump, have felt the itch to get behind the guy and support him much more than I normally would, just because the leftist hatred of him is soooooooooooo far overboard. My rational faculties are hoping that Trump does not run in 2024, but some vindictive and grudge-holding part of my being secretly wants to see it as a way to give a big middle finger to those who despise Trump supporters.
  10. As a child I was a Mary Ann guy, like 90% of the male population. I didn't really watch much Gilligan's Island past my childhood, but I remember as a 30-something-year-old seeing a photograph of Ginger and saying to myself, "What was I thinking?"
  11. That little girl walked almost a full hour to get to the store to buy a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter. Someone needs to call CPS. The proof:
  12. Barbara Eden really was old enough to be my mother. I did envy Tony, though, even as a boy. Speaking of which, what kind of moron has a beautiful, ageless, all-powerful girl so totally in love with him that she (literally) throws herself at him at every opportunity, but he's too distracted to pay attention? There should have been a movie called "What's Wrong With Tony Nelson?"
  13. *sigh* The closest thing I ever had to a celebrity crush was ONJ, even though she was more than 12 years older than me (and thus, I guess, technically old enough to be my mother). I liked a lot of her pop/country songs when I was an innocent tweener, before my descent into the living hell that is rock and metal. I rather hated Grease, though I liked much of the music. Her most popular album was probably Physical, which my older sister really liked but I did not. I suppose that right now, "Let's get physical" is rather the opposite of appropriate.
  14. If Alex Jones now owes $50.8 million, does that make him a false profit?
  15. You told me on Facebook that you love Nickleback. NickELback. Get the name of my all-time fave group right, mocking infidels.
  16. My final emoji says it all. That's why emojis are soooooo awesome!
  17. I agree with this. As far as I can tell, Alex Jones is a liar who traffics in people's naivete and ignorance. But that view is fueled by media reports. I have never listened to the man, so I can't say with any confidence what the man believes or preaches. I'm not going to take the word of the likes of CNN. As mirkwood pointed out, no believing Latter-day Saint can deny the existence of conspiracies. For that matter, no reasonably intelligent human being with any amount of exposure to human society can deny it. But believing in the general existence of harmful, evil conspiracies and believing in some particular claim of conspiracy are entirely different matters. By its nature, a conspiracy is secret. That's pretty much baked into the definition of the word. Successful conspiracies generally do not become known. If they do, it's because they're old and defunct (e.g. the Great Light Bulb Conspiracy, aka the Phoebus Cartel) or they're so powerful that they don't care about being known (e.g. OPEC). You may have noticed the overlap between conspiracies and cartels. This is not coincidental. Consider this hypothetical: A group of Illuminati-minded people with the money, ambition, connections, and raw power to attempt an invasion of governments worldwide form a conspiracy, what the Book of Mormon calls a "secret combination". If their conspiracy involves too many people, it risks becoming known; everyone who knows about it is a potential liability. So they play their cards close to the vest, with only a few people at the top of the pyramid really knowing what's up. They use puppet actors and corporations to set up their conditions so that it becomes exceedingly difficult to trace their activities back to them. As they grow in power, they gain control of the media and other means of information dissemination, such that they can more directly control what information gets out. How would such a conspiracy ever be discovered? Only one way: A member of the conspiracy would have to betray the secret and make it public knowledge. But such a person would not be believed without evidence, and of course that evidence would be quickly covered up by the conspiracy members. Any information that made it out would be dealt with by the media and governmental elements controlled by the conspiracy. The only other way such a conspiracy could be uncovered is by a mole making his way in, collecting information, and then exposing the conspiracy. This becomes more and more unlikely the longer the conspiracy remains and continues consolidating its power. Such a mole would never make it to the courts. He would be dealt with, by which I mean he would be disposed of. Sound familiar? Of course it does. It's mobocracy. It's the Cosa Nostra. It's evil people with wicked intent to gain power and money. Such has it always been. Given the secretive nature of such conspiracies, is it any wonder that Jeffrey Epstein's supposed (and very convenient) suicide is greeted with rolled eyes and doubt? If it looks, acts, and smells like conspiracy, isn't that evidence? But of course, without truly damning evidence, the majority won't believe such a thing. It's far too easy to make up some conspiratorial explanation. In any case, such evidence is unlikely to be found. Why do you suppose that Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and other men (including men not named Bill, e.g. the UK's Prince Andrew) involved with Epstein have not been connected to him in more than a cursory manner? Are we to believe that all of these rich and powerful men with known attachments to illicit sex were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and are innocent bystanders? I believe few of the conspiracy allegations I hear, but I absolutely believe that such conspiracies exist, even deeper and more evil than the Illuminati conspiracy theorists would have us believe. There are one or two members of this forum who disbelieve that people are ever bad, but I am among those who disagree. People have a deep capacity for evil if they choose to exercise it. Many have no qualms whatsoever about selling their fellow men into slavery, destroying liberty, and so forth, as long as they get the power and/or money and/or sex they crave. In such a world, conspiracies are a sure thing.
  18. But I do agree with person0's desire for other reaction options, especially "astonished" or "surprised".
  19. I am NOT a fan. I hate emojis. They're stupid. They're reductive. They're twee. They do not encourage expressiveness, but the opposite. Sadly, I'm in a distinct minority. Emojis appear to be the wave of the present as well as the visible future. Bleah. 💩
  20. https://www.foxnews.com/world/brittney-griner-paul-whelan-trade-needs-get-line-cost-merchant-death Why on Earth would we trade away a murderous terroristic prisoner for someone who actually did the crime she was charged of and is now facing the consequences of her actions?
  21. I'm shocked. 😲 Shocked, I tell you. And also appalled. And outraged. I'm outraged. 😲 Behold the outrage upon my visage
  22. Don't forget David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. (Ignore Ewing's lack of championships. He never got the help he needed, and no one not named Chamberlain can win a game all by himself. Not even Jordan.) Never liked Kareem. 7'2" of crybaby. But he was a great center in an era of great centers. He stood out, literally and figuratively. Easily a top 5 all-time center, and easily a top 30 all-time player. Olajuwon was always, always, always underrated. He may have been The Best Pure Center Of All Time No I Am Not Joking Even A Little. I absolutely loved the guy; maybe my favorite player, certainly among the top few. Unbelievably athletic, freakishly smart (basketball-wise), and HE NEVER PLAYED BASKETBALL UNTIL HE WAS FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Despite being billed as 7' or 6'11", could not have been more than 6'9" or 6'10". Just look at him standing next to other centers of the time. Abdul-Jabbar looked to be four inches taller. Olajuwon played like he was 7'6", while my man Shawn Bradley (always pulled for him), who really was 7'6", often played like he was 6'9". Difference in temperament and mindset.