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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. With regard to Pres. Johnson’s Facebook post: I think the subtext is a recognition that, as @Anddenex suggests, a lot of women have sort of been pulled kicking and screaming into the workforce out of necessity (because their families are grappling with inflation caused by, among many other things, a rising number of two-income families with more disposable income) (and whether President Johnson’s life choices thirty decades ago were part of the problem, is another discussion). But the crux of her post, as I read it, was “even if you’re working, don’t wait to have kids. You were created to be a parent first and foremost, and you can make it work.” Which, I think, is a timely message. I’ll certainly advise my sons and sons in law to pursue careers that will give them the financial latitude to permit their wives stay home full time. But I’m not sure it’s desirable—or possible—to have a church where every (or most) adult male clears six figures per year. If a critical mass of LDS women are going to be establishing careers, then the inevitable next question is “do they have kids sooner, or later?” And that’s a no-brainer as far as our theology is concerned; and President Johnson is (as President Oaks affirmed) endorsing a proper example in that regard. In other words: The fight over whether mothers should stay home with their children was well-fought and no doubt improved many lives and even saved many souls. But the battlefield has changed. The fight now isn’t whether mothers work outside of the home; it’s whether women become mothers at all.
  2. On the other hand, if your 70-year-old mother had voluntarily donated her basement as a place for goons to keep their Jewish sex slave . . . We have a strong western tradition of at least giving lip service to the distinction between civilian and military; and the notion that a populace is often not accountable for the acts of its government. But when you see the public opinion polls about the number of Palestinians (and Palestinian supporters in Europe and the USA) who support the 10/7 attacks . . . I don’t know. It makes me reconsider the OT conquest narratives. Could it be that sometimes, an entire culture is simply beyond rehabilitation/reconciliation; and for the sake of self defense, all that’s left to do is to give them the most humane death your resources permit?
  3. I like to think so; but in this case the external pressures were immense.
  4. As a matter of mechanics, how do you think the “thus-switch-the-Lord” revelations in the D&C (and for that matter, the rest of canon) were transmitted to their recipients? Dream? Waking Vision? Physical material visitation of a divine being? Audible voice? Trance? Specific words coming to to the recipient’s mind? A image coming to the recipient’s mind, which the recipient then had to articulate in his own words? Something else? Were *all* the “thus-saith-the-Lord” revelations in our canon transmitted through the same method? Are you sure? How do you know? Oh, and on a completely unrelated tangent: what do you think of Denver Snuffer and John Pontius/Thom Harrison?
  5. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2010/10/cleansing-the-inner-vessel?lang=eng Compare with the audio at about 1:05
  6. I should note that I didn’t condemn the entire younger generation; I condemned that subset of them which has abandoned a certain set of principles. I’m probably getting into the weeds here, but . . . I disagree with this. Kids don’t always do what they’re taught. In fact, for millennia people have bemoaned the tendency of adolescents to do precisely the opposite of what they were taught. Humans are not computers; and I think it’s a stretch to suggest most incidences of human dysfunction are the result of some sort of manufacturer’s or programmer’s error.
  7. I’m a little confused by the juxtaposition here; the post asks if I think the younger generation is really that immoral and then goes on to state that we should expect immorality to be commonplace in the younger generation today because it was commonplace in our own generation in the last century. I absolutely stand by the proposition that participation in or support or extramarital (including, gay) sex constitutes a forfeiture of a Latter-day Saint’s spiritual birthright. It is a redeemable forfeiture, to be sure; but a forfeiture it most certainly is.
  8. I disagree, and would refer back to what I said earlier. I've already acknowledged that individual GAs may at times err; and in case I wasn't clear enough, I'll state: they may err even from the conference pulpit. (They probably won't, especially in our highly-correlated age. But they can.) If you take the race-and-priesthood issue specifically and parse the material that was released in the name of the entire first presidency or the entire Q12, you really don't see anything that's been subsequently rescinded. To the extent that individual Church presidents made statements that were later walked back (Brigham Young to the Territorial Legislature or what-have-you)--see my earlier statement about the OD-1 material and "harmless error". [1] In general, these same sorts of exegeses (and others, suggesting that particular passages were directed to particular cultures/times/places and are no longer appropriate to our modern circumstances) could be made about any future change in doctrine/practice, right up to my earlier hypothetical about the Church approving human trafficking. Heck, the nature of continuing revelation and the vagaries of the existing corpus of canon mean that one could make a straight-faced argument justifying a "revelation" affirming that the Atonement was actually done in 1956 by a Chicago plumber named Earl who died by choking on a piece of cake. The fact that something is arguable, does not make it mainstream. [2] As you no doubt are keenly aware, such arguments are a red herring since both the Old and New Testaments explicitly condemn gay sex. [3] As you no doubt are keenly aware, the Church has institutionally entrenched itself into a position on the perpetual sinfulness of gay sex and justifications thereof, in a way it never entrenched itself on the issue of the perpetual nature of or the detailed justifications for priesthood ban. And as you are further no doubt keenly aware, the "theories taught with limited understanding" verbiage comes from Elder McConkie who was addressing one particular (and frankly not-very-authoritative) sub-corollary of the ban justifications which, unlike the other justifications, *did* suggest that the ban was effectively perpetual (at least until the Millennium) But Elder McConkie himself continued to his dying day to maintain that the ban itself was divinely instituted and that in principle, the Lord takes the restored Gospel to different peoples at different times. [4] I think there are limits to how accommodating the Church leadership is to the idiocies of the Church membership. There are not-insubstantial issues with young LDS adults breaking the law of chastity and concealing it from priesthood leaders (in my work, I just last month cross-examined a lovely young lady on a family law case who admitted that she, as a BYU student, had been shacking up with (and of course, fornicating with) her boyfriend for the last three months). I daresay the Church leadership is aware of this as a general proposition; but they haven't gone so far as to say "fine, we changed our minds, go ahead and sex it up with whoever you want." And one of the virtues of the Church's financial situation is that (absent the danger of violence or adverse government action) it can pretty much teach whatever it wants without regard to what the masses think about it or what those teachings do to its membership rolls or annual donation receipts. Those of the "younger generation" who are willing to pimp out their spiritual birthrights for the sexual revolution's mess of pottage can quit doing their thinking with their genitalia--or they can go to hell until they learn (or are forced) to ignore their genitalia, quit taking their theological cues from the shriekings of the sorrowing damned, and discern what God is actually telling them.
  9. I would respectfully add separately, @Maverick, that I rather think you rather overstate the degree to which Church members have cause to feel significantly and sincerely befuddled by conflicting “church teachings”. That individual prophets and apostles can express personal views that may be wrong is, I think, increasingly well understood in the Church; as is the idea that we aren’t bound to offer unblinking obedience to such idiosyncratic statements. The closest analogue is the statement in the supplementary matter to OD-1 about the Lord not allowing the prophet to lead the Church astray. And even then, the statement is qualified to suggest not absolute infallibility but that any error will ultimately be harmless. What we are covenantally bound to follow through our sustaining votes—where we risk falling into grave error if we disobey—are statements of the united voice of the Church’s governing councils. And once we remember that Church practices and teachings are to some degree tailored to time and place and that what was needful in 1835 or 2015 may no longer be appropriate in 2019 or 2024 (a proposition that is baked into the whole process, else there would be no need for living prophets/continuing revelation at all), I think one becomes hard-pressed to find a single instance where the entire Q12 and Q15 were objectively, undeniably, soul-jeopardizingly wrong. The Church has no shortage of fringe theories, but it also has a theological mainstream. And it’s really not that difficult to tell the difference—especially with the added benefit of personal revelation based in faith and sincere repentance, and even more so as we learn to block out the voices of the shrieking profligates who are pretty obviously motivated primarily by envy or libido. Take the aforementioned Proclamation on the Family, for example. We can split hairs over whether it is (or should be) canon, versus scripture, versus revelation, versus inspiration, versus just good sense, versus a complete product of its culture, versus a vestige of bigotry under which the Church groans for relief. But the simple fact is that over a hundred LDS apostles, seventeen LDS presiding high priests, every currently-serving GA-level seventy, and every section of LDS canon that discusses the matter, disapproves of gay sex. It’s not a close call in any way. The Lord, of course, can reveal whatever He will reveal. But as our theology stands right now there is literally a better chance that He will instruct the Church to start buying and importing indentured servants from slave markets in Mauritania or child brides from impoverished families in Saudi Arabia, than that He will instruct the Church to begin solemnizing gay marriages. That’s the elephant that remains in the room in spite of all the kabuki theater and concern-trolling over just how seriously we should really take the POTF.
  10. Huzzah! Also another one for southwestern SL Valley, though not quite as far south as I had predicted. 😎
  11. I don’t think Joseph Smith ever really saw any of his revelations as being truly “done”; he continued to tinker with their text throughout his life—even the text of revelations that had already been published. Brigham Young, at a Council of Fifty meeting, ”. . . supposed that there has not yet been a perfect revelation given, because we cannot understand it, yet we receive a little here and a little there. He should not be stumbled if the prophet should translate the Bible forty thousand times over and yet it should be different in some places every time, because when God [speaks], he always speaks according to the capacity of the people.” The point of canon is not to encapsulate all truth. The point of canon is to get us each in harmony with the mind and will of God and bring us to a spiritual state where we can learn all truth directly from the source. The current canon—while certainly not perfect—at least does accomplish that. This isn’t to say we should resist additions to the canon that the Lord, through His servants, offers us from time to time. But not do we need to live in terror that the existing corpus of scripture is somehow insufficient for God’s purposes.
  12. It’s also worth noting that a man who did that would pretty much have to haul up stakes and leave town; because socially/ professionally/ religiously, he’d be absolutely finished among those who knew what he had done. But the risk of a “tradwife” relationship isn’t all one-sided. The breadwinner takes a risk that his wife isn’t going to render him both breadwinner and homemaker by deciding that household drudgery is beneath her or by developing a chronic physical or mental illness. And of course, if *she* leaves *him*, the alimony can be catastrophic. Fundamentally, any marriage (regardless of the anticipated economic arrangement) is a tremendous leap of faith. And I realize I’m judgmental, but part of me thinks “if you’re going to farm the kids out to daycare and insist on working/insist she works because you think there’s a good chance your marriage, specifically, will end in divorce; then why are you getting married at all?”
  13. Utah County/south Salt Lake Valley seems to need more temples. I’ve been trying to reserve evening baptism slots for me and my kids; and Saratoga, Mount Timpanogos, Orem, Provo, and Payson are all booked solid for weeks (morning and daytime slots available, but no evenings). Lindon and the renovated Provo temple will bring three more fonts online in coming years, but I don’t see demand slowing down anytime soon. I’m going to throw in a vote for Lehi, and perhaps Riverton/ Herriman/ Bluffdale.
  14. 1. At that point, for all law enforcement knew, they could be walking into another Waco. 2. Per the police report that has been released, officers responding to the neighbors’ house actually bumped into Jodi in her car, who seemed out of breath and mentioned she was “looking for a boy”. The officers didn’t tell her they’d found the child but mentioned that they, too, were looking for that boy; and the officers then proceeded to the neighbors’ house to see him. Once they talked to him and learned there was still at least one sibling at Jodi’s house, they went there; and by that time she’d already given up her search and was back at her home. She knew she was busted before the cops even showed up on her door.
  15. Utah judges don’t tend to have much discretion on felony sentencing. They can only impose the statutory period and specify whether the sentences (if there are multiple counts) run concurrent or consecutive (in this case, four sentences of 1-15 years, running consecutively; but Utah has a separate statute limiting consecutive terms on second-degree felonies to a total of 30 years). The case is then handed over to the state board of pardons and parole, which decides when a person may be eligible for release. Theoretically one would think there would be a 4-year minimum, but I’ve heard well-placed sources suggest that if Mom reeeeally impressed the parole board at their first meeting (likely to occur sometime this fall) then they may declare her eligible at that point. Given the public furor that has come out with this document release, I think the parole board will be under a lot of pressure to keep her locked up.
  16. The Washington County Attorney’s Office released a lot of its evidence in the case last week, and gave interviews to 20/20, which did an episode on it. First ten minutes are on YouTube: Incidentally, Ruby’s “torture journal” mentions that Hildebrandt had met with Brad Wilcox (counselor in YM General Presidency) and Elder Jaggi (of the 70). Which has the Reddit and exmo crowd gleefully offering all kinds of speculation and conspiracy theories. Glad I’m not doing PR for the Church this month.
  17. Never fear. I was told back in 2016 that Trump would do just fine without my fuddy-duddy preening about such irrelevant minutiae as “right and wrong” and “honesty” and “civic virtue” and “values” and “having a president who is not a recidivist credibly-accused thief and rapist”. They didn’t want my support. They didn’t need my support. They did fine in 2016, they did fine in 2020, they’ll do fine in 2024. They’re fine. Everything’s fine. Fine!
  18. Write In Russ. That’s what I’ll be doing in November.
  19. If I didn’t have kids, I might. But I think it’s going to be increasingly difficult for LDS parents who don’t want their schoolchildren turned into a captive audience for sexual proselytizing by the political allies of the party in power there, to retain legal custody of their kids.
  20. At this point, I’m not 100% sure I want our armed forces to be particularly competent. I think overall, the Pax Americana has been a good thing—worth fighting a few small-ish wars to preserve, even. If we maintain it on such terms as befit our highest ideals, it can bring about the best possible conditions for worldwide human flourishing—both material and spiritual. But in this day and age, conservatives are wishy-washy about whether they want to preserve it at all; and libs have largely thrown out the value system that made our nation a unique influence for good; they mostly seem to want to preserve American might insofar as they can use it to export the continually-evolving values of the sexual revolution (with a side of fantasizing about using the military to kill right-wingers who won’t toe the line). In such situations, it’s hard not to conclude that a large standing army is of limited use and may actually be a threat. It’s all a darned shame.
  21. I remember a BYU class taught by Randy Bott in the late 1990s, where he mentioned that in some of his book manuscripts he had consistently capitalized pronouns for Deity only to have the Deseret Book editors make them all lower case.
  22. I flatly deny that the Church as a whole has any such policy or practice regarding missionaries testifying. Elizabeth Smart came home from her mission to testify against her kidnappers—multiple times, IIRC. I could *hypothetically* see why local leaders in a particular area (particularly one where government corruption may be an issue) might prefer to stay out of legal proceedings. But, if they’re leaning on third parties/lay members to stay silent or hide evidence . . . the Church could get in a lot of trouble for that. I would tell my leaders that I intend to inform legal authorities/ defense counsel/ whatever of the situation on such-and-such a date unless they instruct me in writing by virtue of their priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that I must remain silent. And if they do write such a letter, my next step is to forward a copy of it to the Area Presidency.
  23. Someone wrote an article tracing the whole “seal of Melchizedek” thing; and it turns out that it originated from a photo caption in Nibley’s book that was actually written by a research assistant and not Nibley himself. The RA—when approached much later about it—vaguely recalled thinking they’d seen it in a book somewhere. It’s an aesthetically cool motif, certainly a very old one, and I like the symbolic meaning that’s being imputed to it. But I’m not convinced it’s an ancient symbol of Christ, priesthood, or anything else relating to the Gospel. EDIT: pretty sure this is the article I was thinking of. https://rsc.byu.edu/vol-11-no-3-2010/seal-melchizedek