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Just_A_Guy last won the day on March 31

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About Just_A_Guy

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  • Birthday December 2

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    Utah County, Utah, USA
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  1. Just_A_Guy

    The COVID thread

    Weird thought here, and I don’t know if I actually believe it; but I thought I’d float it for public dissection: I’m not convinced our society values human life as much as we like to say we do. How often have we (especially those of us who are theologically or socially conservative) heard folks gloat about the impending die-off of people whose worldview is as backwards as our own? What if we could have a guarantee that the ONLY victims of COVID-19 would be two hundred thousand neo-Nazis? Or two hundred thousand seniors over the age of 95? Or two hundred thousand viable fetuses between 6-9 months of gestation? Or two hundred thousand trans-sexuais? Would we deliberately push ourselves into a depression—Dow Jones under 10K, 20%+ unemployment, skyrocketing homeless rates—for the sake of those two hundred thousand distant, relatively powerless—perhaps even repulsive—individuals? Or would we say “you know, that loss is unfortunate, but ultimately not worth the sacrifice of preventing it”? And, a darker thought: As Mormons who constitute less than 2% of the US population (and an increasingly unpopular minority, at that)—do we think our countrymen would make those kinds of sacrifices on our behalf? I rather don’t think they would. Whatever’s driving this reaction to COVID-19—I wonder whether it truly is a universally consistent regard for human life per se. I wonder whether we’re actually doing it out of fear that the pandemic will strike someone within our own social sphere. Perhaps all this talk of regard for human life is less of an ideological motivator, than a bludgeon to be used to socially shame people whose noncompliance we perceive as a threat to our own safety?
  2. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    Well, no; they were “investigating” unspecified congregational members as of December, knowing full well that: Under state law, clergy members need not report suspected child abuse if they obtain the information by way of “a confidential communication or a confession” and if the clergy determines maintaining that confidentiality is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion. Sometimes county attorneys just like to get their names in the papers.
  3. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    The mission president is, ecclesiastically, in kind of a funky role; and it could be an open question as to how outsiders (especially judges) would view it. The thing that influences my thinking most, is that the mission president does sign the missionary’s temple recommend. (Or did, when I was serving, back when @MormonGator was still in diapers.)
  4. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    I sniffed a little more. Sounds like CA does require the reporting of out-of-state child abuse (analysis); however, like Utah, penitential confessions to clergymen are exempt from the reporting requirement. (California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act 11166(d)).
  5. Just_A_Guy

    The COVID thread

    Indeed. What sparked my question was seeing an article today alleging that Utah hospitals only have about 22K masks left, and anticipate needing 2-3 million. Here’s hoping some karma kicks in soon.
  6. Just_A_Guy

    The COVID thread

    Back in January the Church donated 220,000 masks to a children’s hospital in Wuhan. One wonders whether it has any more stockpiled somewhere.
  7. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    I’d have to read the CA statute, but my guess is that the statute is typically interpreted as requiring the reporting of sexual abuse that happened within the jurisdiction of California. If the kid only confessed to stuff that happened in Utah, California probably isn’t going to subject the MP to legal action for failure to report.
  8. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    I don’t believe that’s accurate. He confessed for the first time, to his mission president; and was immediately sent home.
  9. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    Mrmarket, my friend, you quite miss the point. He was going to be around those kids *either way*. Without clerical privilege he’d have known confession was an automatic jail sentence. He would have kept quiet, finished his mission and come home, and the daycare would have still been running and would have continued to do so definitely; and no one would have known about his predilections—ever. Now we know. Not soon enough, obviously; but we do know something we otherwise wouldn’t have known. And the daycare is closed.
  10. Just_A_Guy

    The gathering of Israel

    Obviously, when one believes in an omnipotent God, one doesn’t really have the luxury of making historical modus tollens arguments. President Nelson does so anyways, for rhetorical effect. But I think most of us—including Nelson himself—would acknowledge that God could have gathered Israel through any number of mechanisms; and it’s hypothetically possible for Him to have gathered Israel without using the specific text that is the Book of Mormon. That said, you and we seem to have different ideas of what it means to “gather Israel”. The sources you cite seem primarily interested in restoring the people of Israel—locating and repatriating a race, or ethnicity or group of individuals with a common ancestor/bloodline. The Latter-day Saint notion of “gathering Israel” is different. Yes, we see a literal gathering of Judah to the Holy Land as a sign that the coming of Christ is approaching, in a “gee whiz!” sort of way; and there are special promises extended to the Jews that we look forward to seeing fulfilled. But when we talk of our own duty as a church to participate in the gathering of Israel, we are talking about restoring and expanding upon the covenant of Israel (and indeed, Abraham) and opening it up to all humankind regardless of race or ancestry. Yes, part of that entails preaching the Gospel to people who are lineally descended from Issachar and Manasseh and Simeon and Gad (wherever they may have wound up); but it goes far beyond that. At this point, God is offering adoption into the Abrahamic covenant for everyone on the earth, regardless of lineage. Modern Israel is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Israel. As I say above—sure, God could restore Israel (in the LDS sense of the phrase) without the Book of Mormon. But the restoration of Israel does require a people who are prepared to live by every word that God reveals to them—reveals, present tense. The Book of Mormon is a sort of litmus test to determine who does and doesn’t want to be part of restored Israel; because it resonates most with those who seek after and worship a living God with Whom they can commune and communicate—and Who can occasionally surprise them, challenging their preconceptions and demanding that they change and evolve and become re-made in something approaching His spiritual image. Those are the people prepared to join the covenant of Israel, and among whom God does and will work His most potent wonders. They are distinct from another type of follower: the one who, while sincerely loving God as her interpretations of the Bible lead her to understand Him, craves the stability of a universe whose Creator she thinks that she’s got mostly figured out; and who—for all her other virtues—feels more secure with a god who remains safely dead. So no, strictly speaking, the Book of Mormon specifically probably wasn’t necessary. But somehow, some way, the canon of scripture probably needed to open up again and be published to the world; just to see how people would react to it.
  11. Just_A_Guy

    LDS Missionary arrested

    If Utah had been a mandatory-clergy-reporter state, this guy would never have come forward at all. As it was, he was able to make a confidential confession to his leadership; and by continual ministry, the Church was able within five months to get this kid into a position where he ultimately came forward of his own accord and, in the presence of his own criminal defense attorney, not only made a full confession but turned the computer over for further analysis. In the meantime, one presumes his bishop was very careful not to put him into a calling that gave him access to children. But for clergy privilege, this guy would have been completely undetected (and his victims wholly unidentified) down to the present moment. Scenarios like this are exactly why many states offer clerical privilege: in the long run, it lets us cast a wider net than we otherwise could; particularly in states where confessional religion is so pervasive. Oh, by the way: the juvie court system deals with literally hundreds of teenaged boys who did everything Alyk did and more. They do their time, and at age 21 they are released—no criminal record, no sex offender registry, nothing to warn the community what they have done and what they are capable of. If we’re going to give a pass to democratic governments whose whole raison d’être is to find predators and remove them from the community, then it’s inconsistent for us to get righteously indignant when a church that openly values repentance, forgiveness, and confidentiality is going to take advantage of perfectly legal processes in furtherance of those values.
  12. Just_A_Guy

    BYU classroom lecture

    1. Even if one of the parties to the hand-holding/kissing happens to be married to someone else? 2. What does the BYU honor code have to do with excommunication?
  13. Just_A_Guy

    BYU classroom lecture

    THERE’s a dismal career path . . .
  14. Just_A_Guy

    How's y'alls 401ks doing?

    Long story, but basically I have a defined benefit pension plan calculated as a percentage of whatever my salary is when I retire (1.5% for every year I’ve worked with them, so if I stay 30 years my pension will be 45% of my retirement salary for as long as I or my wife live). The state re-calculates how much it will cost to fund the plan each year, and if the cost is an amount equal to less than 10% of my current salary, they pour the difference between 10% and the actual cost into a supplemental 401(k). Right now that would theoretically work out to an amount equal to around 2% of my salary going into the 401(k). I could add more to that, of course; but with six kids and student debt we aren’t exactly flush with discretionary cash at the moment.
  15. Just_A_Guy

    Home Schooling: Time to Jump In?

    As long as the professionals are doing their job in a way that I can’t replicate via other resources, then great! But to be blunt, right now the professionals are *not* doing their jobs in a way that I can’t replicate via other resources. They are, with varying degrees of success, turning themselves into a correspondence course—but a correspondence course that still wants to set my kids’ schedules and calendars, install a raft of wonky and mutually-incompatible programs on my computer, and threaten my kids with poor grades or even failure of the year if my family doesn’t do things their way. And it seems like there are better than even odds that the same thing will be going on for a substantial portion of next year, too. If I’m going to be shepherding my kids through a correspondence course either way, I’d rather they be in one that recognizes it exists to serve my family; rather than one that thinks my family exists to serve it.