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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. That kid represents himself and the Church really, really well.
  2. I saw about a 10 minute clip of Candace being interviewed by Tucker Carlson, and the issue came up. I thought she came across as being very measured and gracious. I think they’re both right, to a certain extent—there *should* be ongoing dialogue (especially with regard to just how deeply the US should get involved), as Candace says: and a call for permanent ceasefire at this point in time is essentially a call for unfettered Jew-killing, as Ben says.
  3. Indeed. And at a time when we are still dickering over getting the Dubai temple built, and looking towards keeping good relations with the Arab partners of the BYU Jerusalem center, it’s conceivable that the Lord doesn’t feel the costs are worth the benefits for the Church to come out as stridently pro-Israel.
  4. “Tell us you support Israel without dealing with the political fallout of telling us you support Israel.” Well-played, President. Very well-played, indeed.
  5. What I was trying to flat-out imply was that no, there’s no way that even more pragmatic/politically savvy libertarians or corporate conservatives would try to muzzle the moralistic ideologues who (I would like to think!) would be leading the opposition in such a scenario. As for the history: seriously, watch The Scarlet and the Black. 🙂
  6. I think that Cruz or Kasich could have pulled most of the party together in 2016 if they’d gotten the nomination—there was certainly a “burn it all down” component to the GOP, but I think it was manageable back then. Nowadays . . . not so much.
  7. This seems kind of close to an et tu argument. And isn’t it coming perilously close to saying that “since Catholic A (who was a de facto hostage of Mussolini, and then Hitler) didn’t take more aggressive action when Catholic B (who was secretly but actively fighting Hitler) informed Catholic A of the Holocaust, Christians generally must assent to a repeat Holocaust whenever, wherever, and against whomever the leftist libertines and secularist sex fiends may hereafter demand”? (By the way, I’d encourage you to watch “The Scarlet and the Black” with Christopher Plummer and Gregory Peck at some point. It’s a nice little movie, and very thought-provoking.) At any rate, @Backroadsaccurately gets the gist of the reason for my hypothetical. Provided that the state of your democratic republic is still somewhat functional*, there are worse things than an electoral defeat. *Which, I grant, is arguably an increasingly tenuous assertion to make in this day and age . . .
  8. I agree with you in substance, @JohnsonJones, though I might quibble a smidge with the way you get there (I think 132:19–and verse 26–are each subtly referring to a different ordinance that makes an unconditional promise of exaltation). I’ve been reading Buerger’s “The Mysteries of Godliness” (definitely not for everyone; and though he has some interesting insights I think he largely missed the point of temple work generally and the endowment in particular); and he provided a quote from President Snow affirming that (this is me paraphrasing) exaltation could be gained without receiving what was then called the Second Anointing during one’s lifetime. (Buerger also suggests that in Joseph Smith’s day, having received this ordinance—also called receiving the “fullness of the priesthood”—was what separated the apostles from the other pretenders to Joseph’s mantle; and that Sidney Rigdon’s excommunication technically came because he hadn’t received the Second Anointing, but knew it existed, and so administered a version of it to himself in order to bolster his leadership claims.)
  9. I think, though, that the country was founded on the principle that some things are so morally repugnant that fighting against them—even when we know it’s a losing fight—is an ethical imperative. If Jew-lynching were legal and religious conservatives were trying to stop it, would libertarians and corporate conservatives be justified in trying to dissuade them for political reasons?
  10. In one respect, the primary source of the GOP’s woes right now is the Trump personality cult. Trump himself can’t win mainstream Americans (who, one hopes, are finally starting to see the results of the sort of intersectional politics that the Dems are beholden to, and would probably be open to a not-insane Republican). If any other GOP candidate gets the nomination, the Trump rump won’t turn out for the nominee and (s)he’ll likely lose. Trump’s legacy will be GOP party losses (and a stalemate/muted victory or two) in what should have been the very winnable years of 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2024. But in another respect: The Ohio abortion vote yesterday reminds us that we live in a country that has overwhelmingly embraced sex-without-consequences—and is willing to kill for it. Latter-day Saints can never be truly at home in such a nation. As for your last paragraph—I don’t know what “sustain your elected officials” even means. I’m certainly not plotting rebellion; but I don’t owe my elected officials the sorts of deference or support that the word “sustaining” typically connotes among Latter-day Saints.
  11. How do you see yourself balancing your physical conditioning with future obligations to your career (including educational development), your wife, your children, your community, and your ward? I think it’s normal, in our late teens and early twenties, to be pretty focused on ourselves and our own development. But the point of eternal progression isn’t just that we become (spiritually or physically) powerful; it’s that we use that power for the good of those around us. Heaven knows, the society we live in will put up with us—even indulge and encourage us—even if we aren’t terribly useful to others and instead focus on the glory and aesthetics of our own body and soul. But at a very fundamental level, that sort of focus is in a state of severe tension with the sort of existence that the Church—and, we believe, the Jesus who organized it—invites us to lead. None of us can make you want something you sincerely don’t want—or to make you give up something you truly love and value above everything else you currently have or anticipate ever having. But you’re at a point in life where whichever choices you make are, by their nature, going to close some doors to you—or at least, commit you to paths you may find very unfulfilling and/or difficult to extricate yourself from later. Now may be a good time to put some deep thought into what, and who, you want to be in five years; in ten; in twenty and in fifty.
  12. 1. IIRC, from that particular incident the dude was in a tunnel dozens of feet underground. And I believe you say you’re ex-military; so maybe you can weigh in on what kind of ordinance it would take to make a crater like that and the pros and cons of using that kind of ordinance in a particular tactical situation. Assuming that I’m right and the guy had indeed gone to the tunnels: Are you suggesting that between option a) (destroy the threat even if doing so hurts the civilians that the threat is using to shield himself) and option b) (shrug, say “oh, well, he’s with/underneath civilians so we just have to let him go knowing he’ll kill more of our civilians in the future”), there exists some third option? What, precisely, *is* that option? 2. I’m not sure the proper jus in bellum calculus is dictated by the kill ratio of “enemy combatants to collateral civilians”. The IDF’s main goal isn’t to kill bad guys; it’s to save Israeli civilians. The IDF obviously shouldn’t be going out of its way to kill Palestinian civilians; but nor does it have an especial need to spare their lives at the expense of the Israeli civilians they are sworn to protect (and whose tortures and deaths, it should be noted, the vast majority of Palestinians—Hamas or not—unabashedly applaud). 3. We often self-flagellate over how many terrorists-of-color are created through western-inflicted violence; but it seems no one ever talks much how many terrorists-of-pallor are created through eastern-inflicted violence. Why is that? Is the implication that light-skinned people, or cultural westerners, have a superior ability to control their emotions or to productively redirect their natural desire for revenge? Is “we’re creating more terrorists than we can kill” really a manifestation of racial or cultural paternalism—a polite way of saying “those brown people just can’t help themselves, the poor little dears”? And, these considerations aside—is there anyone left in Gaza who hasn’t been radicalized by the last couple of decades? They sing songs about killing Jews, they listen to sermons about killing Jews, they send their kids to schools that teach the virtues of killing Jews, they vote for politicians who promise to kill Jews, and they take to the streets and celebrate when Jews are burned and baked and raped and ripped. Just where are all these “moderate Palestinians” we’re supposed to be afraid of offending, who were horrified by the October 7 massacres and but for Israel’s response were on the cusp of standing up to Hamas and filling in the tunnels and making the rocket attacks stop?
  13. Is there any record in scripture of Christ eating a vegetable?
  14. That’s why I said I wouldn’t represent you . . .
  15. That last part is objectively false.
  16. He may have. I’ve always told myself that I ought to get around to reading some Churchill one of these days. 🙂
  17. And frankly, Germany had legitimate grievances (not against Jews specifically, but in general they had reason to feel angry and betrayed). The Treaty of Versailles was, in many ways, a monstrosity. But it became a classic scenario of getting mad at the wrong people, and the ends not justifying the means. And we had to kill a whole lot of Germans before the survivors could be persuaded to abandon their agenda of revenge. 😞
  18. I think part of the issue here may be that @JohnsonJones’s terminology of “wipe them out” isn’t really helpful or, in my view, a terribly accurate descriptor of what American military policy was in the various conflicts he mentions. The US has certainly pursued resounding, unambiguous military victories that utterly destroyed an enemy’s capacity to make war; and it has been willing to accept civilian casualties (sometimes massive amounts of them) as collateral damage in pursuing that goal. It has also developed ballistic nuclear capabilities as a retaliatory/deterrent (I don’t think any mainstream American in the Cold War seriously thought that a first-strike nuclear attack was something we would do or that would be in alignment with our values or who we were as a people). These are both very different than a calculated strategy to completely destroy a group of people for mere racial or ethnic or cultural reasons, which I think is what JJ’s verbiage unfortunately connotes. Frankly, I think discussions like this ask the wrong question. The question isn’t whether a critical mass of Palestinians would vote for Hamas due to some aspect or other of their official party platform. The question is whether a critical mass of Palestinians support the 10/7 attacks; whether most of ‘em get their jollies off of the rape of Israeli women or the maiming of Israeli children. Hamas doesn’t have a monopoly on that kind of ideology or sociopathy. A recent poll suggested that a bare majority of Americans between 18 and 24 believes that the 10/7 attacks were justified. If support for Jew-killing is that high among a subset of (largely non-Palestinian) Americans, you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that Palestinians aren’t at least bloody-minded.
  19. Well, most newer LDS meetinghouses (at least here in the US) have (tithing-funded!) organs that are pre-programmed with most of the hymns from our hymnal. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a ward where that feature was used (except for prelude music before/after the meeting)—they’ve always had a live organist or, failing that, a pianist— but the capability for auto-play is definitely there.
  20. Although . . . And I don’t remember where I read this, but it was within the last 2 years . . . I believe that there’s a fairly consequential (I won’t say “prevalent”) theory that many Biblical names, particularly of OT characters, were developed for the sake of the story years or even centuries after the events being related and reflected thematic elements from the stories themselves. In other words: we have a name for the first woman (“Eve”); but we don’t necessarily have her name (the name Adam would have actually known her by). If this is true, it presents an interesting insight: both the BoM and the OT come from intensely patriarchal cultures that didn’t really emphasize preserving the memory/names of females; but in the Old Testament’s case the later editors/scribes were willing to invent new names for the sake of wordplay and a more “literary” narrative; whereas Mormon, as editor, was unwilling to do so (perhaps he didn’t see the point, since he presumed his readers would have no way of understanding/appreciating any Reformed Egyptian puns he might try to make).
  21. IIRC, one of the architects of the collapse of the Nephite system of judges was a guy named Jacob who eventually came to control a city called Jacobugath and proclaimed himself king. The BoM doesn’t go into much detail, as I recall; but one gets the sense that he was well on his way to building a new coalition until he and his followers were destroyed en mass in the natural catastrophes that accompanied Jesus’s crucifixion.
  22. Perhaps. This account is Mormon’s summary of the record of the people of Zeniff, but Mormon is giving the account as a (relatively) omniscient narrator and at times is probably weaving in materiel gleaned from other sources. Exactly where the record of Zeniff ended and at what point he relied on other sources for the denouement of the story, Mormon doesn’t seem to tell us.
  23. Sometime ago, some coworkers and I got so far as to brainstorm about how we could operate a drug cartel from within the ranks of our government jobs. Purely as an academic exercise, naturally.
  24. Mosiah 16:1: Abinadi quotes from Isaiah 52:10 (all shall see the salvation of the Lord) and 52:8 (Lord and His people to see eye to eye), which were quoted in the priests’ initial question to him (chapter 12). The care with which this account was constructed, never ceases to amaze me. It may not be “great literature”, as that term is popularly understood. But it was painstakingly put together by someone who was highly intelligent and, I think, couldn’t resist a bit of literary showing-off now and again. Mosiah 17:7-8: interesting to me now the priests stake out their position with their verdict: they are the devoted followers of God, Abinadi is a blasphemer pure and simple, and his execution has nothing—nothing!—to do with his accusations against their purported misconduct (though his recanting those accusations will spare his life even if his blasphemy is permitted to stand). Also: where could we have gotten the account of Abinadi’s final condemnation, testimony, and execution; since Alma is already on the run? Did someone else from the royal court ultimately defect and join Alma? Mosiah 17:10: Royal Skousen’s work with the earliest manuscripts of the BoM leads him to conclude that this should read “unto death”, not “until death”. Mosiah 17:13: Skousen has this as “scorched”, not “scourged”. The image I conjured up as a kid was being burned at the stake, but that’s not necessarily what happened here. Mosiah 18:4: Joseph Smith once (somewhat facetiously, IMHO) noted that the Egyptian word “mon” meant “good” and “Mormon” could this be interpreted as meaning “more good”. But this verse suggests that maybe the word has to do with wild animals or wild beasts or something like that. (Maybe that’s why President Nelson wants us to lay off on using the word. What if we’ve been using the Nephite word for “wild animals” to describe ourselves for the past two centuries?!?) Mosiah 18:13: Comparing the baptismal ritual/prayer here with the one Christ taught the Nephites after His resurrection and/or the ritual we practice today suggests that liturgy is . . . malleable. Which is interesting considering Isaiah 24:5’s oft-quoted condemnation of those who have altered the ordinances. Mosiah 18:24-26: we often quote this as the basis for our own practice of not having a paid clergy at the congregational level. But of course, in the New Testament Paul defends his priestly prerogative to support from the Church; something the D&C also clarifies that modern church leaders can claim (and which was done by bishops and stake presidents into the Utah territorial period). Our lay clergy is, we presume, divinely ordained for our particular circumstances; it is not an eternal or unchangeable sine qua non through which one identifies The True Church.