Just_A_Guy

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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. Just_A_Guy

    Book of Mormon Vocabulary

    Whereabouts, in 2 Nephi, is the 40,000th word? You do see more extensive quoting of Isaiah in 2 Nephi (1 Nephi quoted extensively from what textual critics would call “Deutero-Isaiah”, but in 2 Nephi we see extensive quotation from textual critics would call “First Isaiah”). You also see quotations of extensive sermons from Nephi’s father Lehi and brother Jacob, who (I believe, speaking anecdotally) have different voices than Nephi’s. (Lehi at 2 Ne 1-3, Jacob at 2 Ne 6-10, Isaiah at 2 Ne 12-24). As far as the production of the modern text goes: the scholarly consensus is that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery produced the first part of the current Book of Mormon (1 Nephi through Words of Mormon) last. We know that early on in producing the text, Smith rotated through a wide variety of scribes; so one might expect to see a lot of new words popping up in the books of Mosiah and maybe Alma. But Smith and Cowdery had been working together for some time when they finally got around to producing 2 Nephi; and if you assume that they are the actual authors (as opposed to translators/revelators) of the text—there seems to be little reason to expect that 2 Nephi would materially differ from their earlier work product. Grant Hardy of the University of North Carolina-Asheville has written a book called “Understanding the Book of Mormon” that delves into these kinds of issues, which you may enjoy.
  2. Just_A_Guy

    Michael Stone

    An intriguing quote I came across a couple of months ago, with a number of layers of interpretation: ”The criminal justice system doesn’t exist to protect society from criminals. It exists to protect criminals from society.”
  3. Just_A_Guy

    Commercial Racism

    In most reports of anti-Asian violence that I’ve seen lately, the race of the attacker has been fastidiously omitted. I can take a guess, based on the fact that the pseudonym you offered for her is not exactly a traditional Anglo-Saxon name, but . . . yeah.
  4. Just_A_Guy

    Commercial Racism

    I’d vote for “fired”. And the company needs to be sued, and the media alerted, if you don’t get proof that it’s happened. This is not someone who was simply “uneducated” or didn’t take enough sensitivity trainings. She went out of her way to be cruel. So, make it hurt. She needs to remember you, viscerally. By the way—what was “Shayna’s” race?
  5. Just_A_Guy

    Matthew 11:29 - 30

    Actually, it wasn’t. That’s anti-Semitic claptrap that was invented by Luther and his intellectual heirs to try to gain a moral edge over their Catholic foes. Jews of the first century CE understood “grace” surprisingly well; they simply saw it as being mediated through scripture itself rather than in the form of God-made-flesh. In a parallel vein, Christians of the first century were covenant-oriented in a way that would make the modern Protestant cheap-gracers weep piteously.
  6. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    1. Good. And of course, heterosexual LDS members have the advantage that there has not been a broadly publicized, well-funded movement with support in academia and the mental health professions that has specifically targeted LDS youth and insisted that heterosexual Church members will never find fulfillment and meaning within the confines of the law of chastity. 2. How is a propensity to any sort of behavior a “choice”? I’ll agree that dispositions or predilections can be reinforced by the consequences of prior behavior—but this is also true to some degree in matters of sexual predisposition; which is one reason that the number of youth identifying as LGBTQ has (IIRC) doubled or tripled over the past fifteen years. (And also why we’ve seen numerous reports of transgender teens who, once removed from their school peer groups due to COVID, decided that they were actually cisgender after all.) Anyone who says “I am this way and I have no need to change, and you need to acknowledge that I have no need to change”, is practically by definition seeking validation. 3. “Brainwashed”? There was something wrong with them (and with all of us). They (and we) want to sin. And . . . is the modern trend of them just committing suicide, supposed to be better than whatever we had decades ago? “Better dead than closeted”—is that the mantra now? And, we’re just going to give a pass to the LGBTQ advocates (and the rest of the proponents of the sexual revolution) who for decades said “your life will never be truly fulfilling or meaningful or worthwhile unless you’re getting laid, when you want, with whoever you want”? We’re going to rewrite history and pretend that LGBTQ advocates were just fine, all along, with the Church’s insistence on celibacy for gay members; and that it was the big bad Mormon Church telling chaste LGBTQ members that they had no place among us? 4. The same as the rest of us. Our hearts. Our desires. 2 Nephi 4:31-32. Mosiah 3:19. Mosiah 5:2. Alma 5:12-14. I don’t deny that, especially in matters of sexual orientation, it can be gut-wrenchingly hard (in some cases, impossible in mortality) to completely get there. But if we don’t want that change, we’re not saints. And I think the Church membership generally is entitled to know that any given nominal member at least wants it—Mosiah 18:10, and all that.
  7. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    Granted as to bisexual folk (but then, why would they need the Church to acknowledge or accommodate them at all, if they can happily be in a straight marriage? It’s like me insisting the Church acknowledge that I could get very rich in a life of crime, while ostensibly declaring that I have no intent to ever break the law. I could do it, but . . . why?) But otherwise—You’ve never, ever, in decades of online discussion participation, seen someone suggest that the Church’s demand that gay folks *not* participate in gay sex is contrary to their emotional, psychological, or even neurological health? Is that what I am to understand you to say?
  8. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    1. I was referring specifically to the parts of your post that I had quoted. I hope many LGBTQ members are enjoying happy, fulfilling lives by seeking to be disciples of Christ and earnestly striving to follow all His commandments, not excluding (and of course, not limited to) the Law of Chastity. 2. The thing is, while I acknowledge that their situations are unique—they are not the only people who struggle with some kind of propensity for sin. What other group of people in the Church who are afflicted with a common weakness, have ever sought validation for the weakness itself and affirmed a hope that the weakness—even if not acted upon—remain a part of their mortal identity? Porn users like myself, don’t. Habitual cussers (also like myself), don’t. Bad spouses and inadequate parents (also like myself), don’t. Drug users, don’t. People who are attracted to children, don’t. Where is the theological or ecclesiastical precedent for this? 3. Yes, but teenagers have walked this road through time immemorial; including in the 1970s and 1980s when Church leaders and institutions were saying and doing some very shocking things. Yet the suicide epidemic came, not in 1975 or 1985; but in the early 2000s as the gay rights movement caught fire. The trauma isn’t in being taught sound doctrine or being held to the behavioral norms that logically flow from that doctrine. The trauma is in the tension between sound doctrine on the one hand, versus distorted definitions of self-worth and self-fulfillment and the meaning of life on the other hand. 4. I didn’t think we needed to debate the question of whether lifelong fulfillment can be found in celibacy, because your last post seemed to acknowledge—indeed, seemed premised upon—the idea that this is something that is indeed happening in the Church on a widespread basis. To the extent that a truly committed, obedient, chaste person finds ostracism in the LDS community upon announcing themselves as LGBTQ and insisting that they have no inclination to have that change—the result, I think, isn’t a factor of cultural homophobia. It’s a factor of the generalized LDS belief that it is both possible and imperative to use the Atonement to at least try to change one’s sinful nature; in conjunction with a sense of bewilderment as to why someone wouldn’t even try to use the Atonement to at least hope for a purification of their nature, while still demanding the privilege of acceptance in a community that is under covenant to do just that.
  9. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    Suzie, I hope what you say is true. But the thing is, for the last thirty years the party line has been that what you describe—a LGBTQ individual finding contented fulfillment in a lifelong commitment to celibacy—is emotionally, psychologically, neurologically, evolutionarily impossible. And a lot of us are kinda wondering why it’s so desperately important for us to know that a person is deeply tempted to commit a sin he has sworn never to commit, unless he indeed characterizes the issue as a “struggle” and wants third parties to support him in that struggle.
  10. Just_A_Guy

    More BSA misery

    We’ve talked about the potential that BEA would file for bankruptcy. Turns out they went ahead with a Chapter 11 filing back in February, and today was the deadline for all potential claimants to file their “proofs of claim” with the bankruptcy court. Apparently, over 92,000 proofs of claim have been received as of this afternoon; the vast majority, apparently, from self-reported sex abuse victims. Let’s assume that only half of these are accepted by the court, and that each victim receives the absurdly low figure of $100K (a recent verdict in Oregon granted the victim $20 million). Forty-six thousand claims at $100,000 per claim is $4.6 billion. BSA National apparently has $1.4 billion in assets (many already mortgaged) with the councils holding $3.3 billion more (assuming council resources can be tapped, which is debatable). That means in a best case scenario they have $4.7 billion to pay off at least $4.6 billion in sex abuse claims, plus whatever other debts the BSA has racked up. The bankruptcy is nominally a “reorganization”, but it’s looking an awful lot like the BSA’s corporate existence itself is in existential danger. Random thoughts: —The LDS/BSA divorce didn’t come a moment too soon; —A $120 billion “rainy day” fund doesn’t seem as extravagant as it used to.
  11. Just_A_Guy

    No more taxes for $400k and under

    I’d shut down the thread for political discussion, but first I want to hear more about @LDSGator’s Beanie Baby collection.
  12. Just_A_Guy

    More BSA misery

    Update: Official membership figures haven’t been released yet; but scuttlebutt is that BSA youth membership is now under 750,000 as of the end of March—this, down from 2.2 million at the end of 2019 and 1.1 million as of March 2020. These are numbers the BSA hasn’t seen since the 1930s. The Church’s withdrawal, the lawsuits/bankruptcy, and COVID seem to have created the perfect storm for the BSA.
  13. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    I gotta say: *IF* this description of the regimen were accurate—I would have happily gone through it, if I had thought it could provide a “cure” for my attraction to pornography. I think a lot of us wouldn’t mind going through this sort of process if we thought it really could, in a relatively short timespan, permanently eliminate those unsavory facets of our individual characters that we fear/loathe the most. By way of another example: I note here that @Jamie123 decried the use of chemical castration on Alan Turing. But chemical castration is still used today in treating people with pedophilic tendencies (including, I understand, on a voluntary basis in the UK penal system since at least 2013). (Assuming that @Carborendum’s characterization of electroshock aversion therapy as used at BYU is accurate): Are we really so very outraged about the fact that these kinds of treatment methodologies were used at all? Or does our opposition arise primarily from the fact that the treatments were used in an attempt to “cure” behaviors that we don’t think need to be cured in the first place?
  14. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    Mormons are in a little bit of a different situation, simply because our theology doesn’t really condemn *anyone* to “hell” in the sense of “eternal, unending burnings”. So our theology doesn’t really require us to emotionally “write off” sinners the way some other denominations might (although culturally, many of us have sometimes felt as though we ought to—particularly when we go overboard into the completely unscriptural “but unsealed families will never be together ever again!” nonsense). That said: yes, the more we are thrust into close proximity with any kind of “sinful” behavior, the more normal it’s going to seem; and the more we are going to have to look at the disconnect that arises whenever we think “he seems like a nice guy, except for . . .” and really scrutinize what we believe.
  15. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    (Random tangent) I know some Church “testimonial” films in the 1980s and 1990s used actors (you’d recognize them from film to film). But I was quite surprised a couple years ago to see a testimonial film on divorce (this one), and the “interviewee” was a family law mediator, herself recently-divorced, whom I knew from professional interactions to be precisely who she was claiming to be.
  16. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    A cynic might reduce your post to: ”This was PR. Our fundamental definitions of sin, and behavioral expectations, will remain unchanged.” The question is: will any of our critics buy our rhetoric of unconditional love to LGBTQ members, when bishops on an individual level continue to expect conformance to the law of chastity and impose membership restrictions on folks who flout it? This isn’t a problem limited to LGBTQ members, really—fundamentally, the Church has a growing issue with people who don’t operate from a place of faith or repentance and who continually screech “You won’t let me have what I want (especially in matters of sex), so you don’t wuuuuuv me enough!!!” Whatever the sexual orientation of the parties involved, drama queenery and weaponized compassion are poisonous to a Zion community. Because Church members are, after all, only human; and at some point they’re going to get tired of putting up with the crap that continues to emanate from someone who is pretty obviously acting in bad faith.
  17. From Christopher Cunningham, who used to publish articles at 3H: My informal survey asked respondents if their therapists ever made suggestions that they felt were outside the boundaries of the Church’s teachings. Of the 72 respondents who said that they chose a Latter-day Saint therapist specifically so they would not provide advice or treatment outside the boundaries of the gospel, over half of them (51%) said their therapist made recommendations they believed to be outside of gospel boundaries. https://publicsquaremag.org/health/are-latter-day-saint-therapists-meeting-their-clients-expectations/
  18. Just_A_Guy

    Queer sister speaks at 2021 BYU Women's Conference

    Well, hang on a sec. I think there’s a subtle difference between “I have a sinful nature, but I have faith that in Christ Jesus I can overcome it; and I look forward to a day when my nature is no longer sinful” versus “I have a sinful nature, and that’s basically OK, and while I will leave it ambiguous as to whether I plan to ever act out or not, I will under the guise of ‘testimony’, pooh-pooh the idea that the sinful elements of my nature need to or can change whether now or in the eternities”. Your hypothetical bad husband/alcoholic (or your real-life Brigham Young) are firmly in the first category. Where does the BYU speaker fall? “Queer” can have a lot of meanings, and as near as I can tell the speaker here doesn’t specify the term’s definition as it applies to herself. As I understand it, it can run the gamut from “sort of bisexual, sometimes” to “heterosexual and cisgender, but into cross-dressing” to “likes kink” to “basically normal, but too Woke to be ordinary and therefore desperately engaging in drama queenery in hopes that someone will Notice Me.”
  19. Just_A_Guy

    Beware your “Mormon Therapist”

    Man, @Vort; I think I’d love to have dinner with you and @mikbone together someday.
  20. Just_A_Guy

    President Nelson vaccinated

    I’ve been looking at the picture perhaps more closely than I ought, but . . . up by the right shoulder . . . is that . . . Albus Dumbledore?
  21. Just_A_Guy

    Beware your “Mormon Therapist”

    Another good article, from therapist Jeff Bennion: It is helpful for us to remember what therapists can do and what they can’t do. After all the ongoing abuses committed by the profession, after exposures of fraudulent research, and foundational studies retracted for failure to replicate, it is long past time we show a little intellectual humility in our “expert” pronouncements. It’s my job to help the client on the couch get better. It’s not my job as a therapist to tell “the Patriarchy,” or the Church, how they’re wrong and that its doctrines, beliefs, and practices must change. It’s also profoundly disempowering to tell our clients, as Helfer and others seem prone to do, that they don’t need to change, but that the rest of the world does. We do our best work when we help clients build resilience and deal with the world as it is. While both clients and therapists can be agents of change in the world at large, our own healing cannot be held hostage waiting for 16 million Latter-day Saints to agree with us, not to mention most of the non-western world.
  22. Just_A_Guy

    Beware your “Mormon Therapist”

    I agree with much of what you say, but would perhaps offer a few responses/slight pushbacks: 1). By all means, read the full article. 2). I agree, and I think that’s why it’s so crucial that the dialogue you mention happen early in the treatment process. It seems many Church members are beginning their work with therapists who hold themselves out as “Mormon therapists”, in the belief that the therapist will hold to boundaries that the therapist in fact has no intention of holding (and may even actively hope to undermine). 3). I would expect this from a therapist who had a relatively superficial knowledge of or commitment to institutional Mormonism; but from someone holding themselves out as a “Mormon therapist” who understands their client wants to live their church’s principles (including that of daily *scripture* study)—I would expect some explorations about “gee, you say you want to life a traditional Church lifestyle and regular scripture reading is kind of a big deal in the Church. Let’s take a few weeks to work through why you’re so averse to scriptures generally; and in the meantime here’s some warm fluffy stuff in the Psalms that should let you keep your perceived covenants without triggering you too badly”. (FWIW, my wife did a few sessions with a therapist a couple years back and she actually suggested specific scriptural passages for my wife to study based on the nature of what my wife was coping with at the time.) I’d also, frankly, raise my eyebrows at a mental health professional who selectively recommends outright avoidance to cope with conflict. If a gay LDS teen comes to a therapist—LDS or otherwise—saying “I feel things in the high school locker room that for theological reasons I’d rather not feel”, I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a therapist who would say “well, at least for now, let’s find a way to keep you out of locker rooms”. Why is avoidance fine for dealing with situations the Church would consider virtuous, but inappropriate for dealing situations the Church would equate with temptation? 4). The million-dollar question, of course, is: to what end? If I wake up one day and think “gosh, where does Fether work? I want to do that job. Is that Fether’s wife? She’s quite attractive. Are those Fether’s kids? They are cute and well-behaved. And Fether’s home seems spacious, and his yard well-manicured, and I understand his bank account balance to be quite impressive.” And some therapist says “You know, JAG, have you considered the possibility that deep down you might just want to BE Fether?”—well, what then? Here, I think, is the limit of modern mental health practice; because its proscribed treatment depends not on any consistent version of morality or even on objective realities; but on social norms. In the case I describe, in 2021: a mental health practitioner is going to tell me I’ve got to get past my deep desire to be Fether—because Fether’s boss is not going to let me work at his job; his kids won’t let me pick them up from school; his wife won’t let me into their house; his bank teller won’t grant me access to their bank account. No matter how desperately I want it, no matter what genetic or psychological influences give rise to that deep-seated desire: the reality is that I am *not Fether*; society has no obligation to treat me as though I were Fether; and I’m just going to have to deal with that. But add a hundred years and changed social norms re parentage, monogamy, property rights—and a therapist may well say “you know what? Maybe Fether’s family should let JAG stay over a few nights and see if it works out. It’s the least they can do for poor JAG.” As to your siblings’s case (and I realize this is a tender subject and I hope I’m being sufficiently sensitive here) we have a society that has gravitated towards the idea that another kind of identity-based illusion—the notion that one’s “real” chromosomal makeup is different than what definitional biology actually dictates—has gained some currency; and so 5) I’d bet money (though perhaps not a lot of it) that your sibling’s therapist never once used the phrase “you are not a woman, and you have no right to compel anyone to accept you as something you aren’t” in any of their sessions; and your sibling came out of them with the idea that the only things that needed “curing” were the world in general and the Church in particular. That’s fine, for a therapist who doesn’t tout themselves as a “Mormon therapist” and doesn’t explicitly market their services to people who want to find fulfillment within the bounds of traditional Mormonism. But Cunningham is describing therapists who apparently *did* go out of their way to attract a clientele that had that expectation. 6) I would rather say that the roles of a therapist are a) to treat any identifiable pathologies/disorders; and b) to help a client to healthily attain the client’s own goals within the framework of the client’s own values. When we are talking about therapists who overtly advertise for LDS clients, I would add that: —If a “Mormon therapist” doesn’t know within the very first session that their client wants to stay in harmony with the Church’s teachings, they have failed their client. —If a Mormon therapist knows their client wants to stay in harmony with the Church’s teachings but encourages the client to flout those teachings anyways, then I would say the Mormon therapist is perpetrating spiritual and professional abuse. To the extent that the therapist is encouraging the client to abandon their value base, it may even be malpractice under applicable professional certification/licensing standards. —If the Mormon therapist is approaching each and every Mormon client with the mindset that “I’m going to lead you out of the Church unless you expressly and repeatedly tell me you want to stay in”—as a practical matter, it would be hard to impose a membership council for that; but I’d say the therapist absolutely deserved one.
  23. Just_A_Guy

    Beware your “Mormon Therapist”

    Emma Woodhouse, LDS therapist—letting clients make up their own minds since 1815
  24. Umm, what do these sources who have such inflexible notions of “gender”, have to say about our nation’s assistant “secretary of health” who has [had?] male genitalia and a Y chromosome passing himself off as a “woman”, wearing skirts and demanding we call him “Rachel” as while insisting that chemical castration of children is a medically necessary and appropriate procedure. Make up your minds, kids. Gender is either irrelevant, or it’s not.
  25. Just_A_Guy

    RIP D Michael Quinn

    I’d be interested in a reference for the Elder Packer business. I frankly have some problems with Quinn for the way he acted like he was a martyr to intellectual freedom when there were more prosaic issues underlying his excommunication; but it would probably be somewhat churlish of me to go into much more detail at a time like this . . .