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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. Erm . . . I believe we used it too, at least in the Pacific. I seem to recall that the Rangers who liberated the Cabanatuan prison camp were given meth pills—or amphetamines, at any rate—to help them make the march there and back.
  2. Carbs, I’m wrestling with getting solar on my house (Utah, Wasatch Front). The sales guy says they can have it done in 2 months. Under the circumstances, would you say that’s worth pursuing?
  3. I have some times mused on how entertaining it would be, as a criminal defense lawyer, to defend a murder suspect using all of the rationalizations and excuses and half-truths and hair-splitting arguments that the elective abortionists use.
  4. Without the JST modification, it strikes me as an allusion to Genesis 3:16–painful childbearing is part of the “curse” pronounced on Eve and her posterity, but salvation/preservation is still possible through faith and obedience on Jesus Christ. But the JST perhaps muddies this interpretation . . .
  5. If we celebrate the birthday of a child conceived through an adulterous act, are we celebrating adultery? Your rhetoric here suggests that your answer would be “yes”. If your answer would be “no”, kindly explain yourself. As for the Latter-day Saint position re the Fall: Yes, we celebrate the fact that they ultimately partook of the fruit and that humankind gained both knowledge of good and evil and a necessary mortal state. We do not celebrate the circumstances under which that act was done (ie, the fact that it was an act of disobedience), because, as Elder Smith clearly states, it did constitute a transgression. We also note, as Paul did, that while Eve was deceived, Adam was not (1 Tim 2:14). There is a significant difference between celebrating the incidental positive benefits of a wrongful decision (and God’s ability to turn all things to the benefit of those who love Him), versus celebrating the wrongfulness of the decision itself. This has been explained to you on multiple occasions, and yet you seem to keep trying to strawman us into the latter position.
  6. Yeah, I don’t have any emotional/ theological/ “moral” problem with it. I just think that building one’s life around the concept is a heckuva risk to take, given the dearth of canonized information directly supporting the concept.
  7. And this is the interesting thing. The Givenses (who I think Goddard is responding to) argue that part of God’s greatness and condescension lies in His having set His heart upon us and having made Himself truly vulnerable, such that our pains and disobedience—and even the loss of our very souls—could cause Him sorrow (I’m not taking about Christ in the Garden here; I’m taking about God [the Father] weeping before Enoch). If God will ultimately exalt (not just “save”) everyone, and none of His children are truly lost to Him, then the sort of Givensesque condescension/vulnerability feels a little . . . cheaper. “Yeah, God’s greatness lies in His ability to feel sorrow—but since no one’s really lost, He doesn’t really feel sorrow.” CS Lewis, of course, proposed in The Great Divorce (I think echoing most mainstream Christians) that the saved—and presumably God Himself—are miraculously impassive in the face of the loss/suffering of the damned. As I recall Lewis doesn’t really explain how this can be; he merely argues that it would be contrary to the order of heaven for a sinner to be able to deprive the saved of any of their eternal joy through their pining for the sinner’s loss. Elder Holland seems to disagree with Lewis, but I’m not convinced we can say that “official LDS doctrine” requires Holland’s or Lewis’s approach.
  8. I like everything about the article except the author’s gratuitous use of the exclamation mark. 😉
  9. I just noticed for the first time that the JST and D&C reverse the parable as given in Matthew. Per Matthew (KJV), it is the tares who are gathered out first. JST and D&C, of course, have the wheat being gathered first.
  10. Depends on the conditions, I suppose. But purely unconditional mercy would empower the recipient to offend—to rebel, to exploit, to wound, to hurt—again and again and again.
  11. Full name is Charles Philip Arthur George. England has never had a King Philip, and these days tradition and continuity with the past is practically the monarchy’s only selling point. On the other hand they’ve had a surfeit of Georges, especially in the last 100 years; another would be confusing. And legend has it that the reign of their only King Arthur was cut short due to a war incited by his wife’s adultery. “Charles” may have been his least-bad option.
  12. You know, “God Save the King” remains in the hymnal—at least, for now . . .
  13. As it was, Texas had over 600,000 people in 1860. The LDS Church had 1/10 that number of members worldwide. Most likely a Mormon settlement in Texas would have been mobbed again by the secessionists for having real or suspected abolitionist/pro-Union sympathies; and if Mormons were even still in Texas by the end of the Civil War, then they’d have had to deal with an always-hostile reconstructionist federal government. As unpleasant as those years were for us—we really dodged an extraordinary number of bullets during that period.
  14. 1. Different church authorities have gone in different directions on this. But it really doesn’t matter to us, because the fall narrative primarily explains the fallen state of man—our own struggles with death and illness, our own spiritual natures and wrestle with sin, our own alienation from and desire for reconciliation with God. 2. At this point, I really couldn’t give three craps about what you say about other churches’ beliefs. I have no reason to believe you are representing their beliefs with any more understanding, accuracy, or honesty than you’ve represented our own. Other belief systems will ultimately stand approved of God (or not) on their own merits. But as for our beliefs: It is not Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience that Latter-day Saints celebrate. As I said to you nearly two months ago: The most handy modern-life analogue I can think of is a couple who breaks the law of chastity and, on learning that the woman has become pregnant, marry and keep the child; over the years finding joy and rejoicing in their child and in parenthood generally. The Lord turned a bad decision into something that served His purpose and, in His mercy, offered forgiveness and redemption to the sinners. But His mercy does not mean that the sin was not sin or that, were the sinners given the chance to go back in time to repeat or avoid their sin, they would not be expected to chose a more directly-righteous course. Adam and Eve repented of their sins. You seem to be doubling down on yours; and I would advise you to stop.
  15. That’s unfortunate. It seems to me that in this day and age, the best a monarch can do is to personally embody the very best of their nation’s traditional values in their personal lives and remind their subjects of all that is good and uplifting about their nation’s heritage and culture. Queen Elizabeth II did this gracefully. As for Mad Prince Chuckie—frankly, I’m not even sure he likes his country all that much. Either he will need to learn some qualities like “virtue” and “restraint” and “self-discipline” and “quiet dignity” that he has never demonstrated in his life; or the monarchy as an institution will have to be very, very strong to survive his reign. It’s not as pressing an issue in the UK, perhaps; but it’ll be interesting to see how many Commonwealth nations are willing to keep him as their head of state over the next five years.
  16. One possibility, drawing on the following from Joseph Smith’s King Follett sermon: God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits. The possibility I float is this: Satan, being an extraordinarily self-centered and power-hungry being, never dreamed that God would actually condescend to share the power and knowledge He had accrued with spirit children who were so obviously inferior to Himself. (Yes, God presumably declared His intent to do so in the grand council; but Lucifer simply didn’t believe Him—hence, his rebellion.)
  17. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_substitution. It accords pretty strongly with LDS scripture (particularly Isaiah 53 and Alma’s sermon to Corianton), but at the moment I’m gravitating towards “penal substitution-lite” in the sense that I think the “punishment” for committing a sin tends to be simply enduring the natural consequences of that sin, rather than God inflicting some otherwise-unrelated condition upon us that is calculated to cause otherwise-unnatural pain and thereby appease the demands of justice.
  18. If you want to engage in some fun speculation, consider this: in the fifth lecture of the Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith/Sidney Rigdon identify the “mind of God” as the Holy Spirit. Now, this is drawing inference upon inference and could well be faulty from its inception*; but I’ll float it anyways: Why didn’t Lucifer know the Holy Spirit? *I believe this incomplete view of the Godhead is one of the main reasons the LoF were decanonized.
  19. I am not as ardently attached to the penal substitution theory of atonement as I used to be. But, the contradiction you cite never really bothered me—it just reiterated why nothing less than an infinite atonement was necessary and why no one less than a God could have done it.
  20. Thoughts: 1). A venomous snake rears up before it strikes. A snake condemned to live life on its belly is not going to be a mortal threat to watchful humans. (Ancient Egyptian cursing texts include similar cursing to serpents—that they shall go on their bellies—and this is generally what is understood as being their meaning. See, eg, the relevant footnotes to Genesis 3 in the Zondervan Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, NSRV edition.) 2). It is dangerous to assume, even in a scriptural or liturgical context, that Satan means what he says. Satan’s role and statements, in the temple garden narrative, may be thought of as pageantry; calculated to convince Adam and Eve that God just isn’t being fair and that their loyalty to Him is misplaced.
  21. If anyone here knows a GA, please double-dog dare them to use the phrase "quit dorking around" in their next General Conference sermon. It might not be the sermon we want; but it'll be the sermon we need.
  22. I think most of Christendom feels that after Christ, the relationship of God to His People changed—it was no longer a two-way relationship characterized by mutual obligations and benefits and outward performances; it was that God gives a gift (Christ) and His people received it—end of story. A person’s receipt of the gift is often viewed as inevitably leading to reconciliation and loyalty and good works, but that’s a byproduct of the deal, not the deal itself. We Latter-day Saints, though, still consider the reconciliation and loyalty and good-faith striving towards good works, as part and parcel to the whole relationship. It’s not the cold legalism or cynical transactionalism that our detractors like to envision. But there are expectations; there is some give and take; the relationship between Master and disciple has more “oomph” than many mainline Christians are comfortable acknowledging. An imperfect analogy may be to compare the relationship between a parent and a toddler, versus the relationship between the two parties to a marriage. I don’t mean to deny the significance of any particular covenant or ordinance. But in a very real sense, what defines us today as a covenant people may well have less to do with the terms of the covenant itself, and more with the fact that we thought it proper to make any covenant with God at all.
  23. I agree. There seems to be something a little incongruent about eternal covenants being made in a place that is theologically representative of the nexus between Heaven and earth, within a structure that is intended from the get-go to be temporary and transient. Additionally—and I recognize that what I’m saying is sort of a half-baked idea, but . . . I think temples are too accessible as it is. There were fewer than 3,000 members in Kirtland when they were commanded to build the temple there. I think we lose something, as a people, when we aren’t making extraordinary sacrifices to build a house to the Lord in our own localities. Obviously this creates a disparity between places where the church is long-established and already has a temple, versus places where it isn’t and doesn’t; and it’s always easy for us “haves” in Utah to speak condescendingly of the blessings of being a “have-not” out in the “mission field”. But even so, I’m not convinced that the central Salt Lake hierarchy sweeping in and drawing from its monumental store of assets in order to build a temple (whether permanent or temporary in nature) for the locals is the best thing for us, spiritually speaking.
  24. 1. I have (twice) asked what you think God intended for humankind after the fall, and your answer focuses on what He intended before the fall. Fortunately, you finally sort of get around to answering my question 1 in your latest response to question 2. 2. When you say “They experience happiness in their life but also experience misery due to consequences which began with the Fall”—I agree with this. And that’s what changed between Gen 3:16 and Moses 5:10-11: experience. That’s why Eve came to understand that the fall was not an unmitigated disaster. It is interesting to me that you ask @person0 what “the curse of Adam” in Moroni 8:8 refers to, and then—without waiting for a response, and in your very next post, carry on as if you know exactly what it means. Your question to person0 is especially interesting when you have proven in the past to be so industriously resourceful at finding obscure LDS pedagogical materials—but are somehow ignorant of the church-published youth seminary manuals that define this term as the separation between man and God that was a result of the fall. What I am concerned about in this particular thread, is that even though Mormonism pretty clearly describes the Fall as a mixed blessing you seem heck-bent on straw-manning the Mormon teaching as pronouncing the Fall as being either all good or all bad—and then you try to play “gotcha” by confronting us with LDS scriptures, sermons, and teaching materials that don’t line up with the caricature of us that you’ve created using hyper-technical semantic interpretations of a language (English) that is neither the original language of the most of the source documents, nor (as I believe you’ve freely acknowledged) is even your own first language. It all comes across as deeply disingenuous. So, let me try to put this as clearly as I can: The fall of Adam had both positive and negative effects. Positive and necessary long-term effects included: enabling procreation, permitting spiritual growth by introducing an element of opposition, and heightening humankind’s ability to enjoy the good by making it possible to actually experience the bad. Negative short-term effects included allowing humankind to experience pain, despair, and sin; wresting humankind from their innocent state, and bringing about an alienation from God that—if one does not repent and turn to Christ—can become permanent. Different scriptures, sermons, and church instructional materials will focus on different aspects of the fall, whether positive or negative; depending on the attitudes, priorities, and praxis that a particular speaker is trying to elicit within a particular audience at a particular moment in time; and may be influenced additionally by whatever secular/literary traditions (whether accurate or errant) that the speaker’s particular culture may have ascribed to the story of the fall.