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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. Yes, the GAs are not Jim Bakker. But, no, they are not part of the Church's "unpaid ministry". And, with all due respect, you're going above and beyond anything the Church has explained when you try to narrowly define "living expenses". In the 1985 Conference, President Hinckely explained, To my knowledge, no additional clarification has been given. Indeed, your strict definition would seem to exclude providing an additional residence to a General Authority who was already a Salt Lake resident prior to his call (as President Hinckley was). Yet, we know that this was the case. (A strict definition of "living allowance" also contradicts the anecdotal data that we have, which admittedly is of dubious origin as it tends to show up primarily on anti-Mormon sites.) Moreover, as I implied earlier, there's no doctrinal need to impose such a narrow definition because the D&C explicitly permits church leaders to support their families out of Church funds. I would venture to say that at its root, our aversion to a paid ministry is not primarily doctrinal; it is merely a byproduct of our innate cultural antipathy to the mainstream Christian ministry (present company excepted, Prisonchaplain! ).
  2. I concur that it's potentially problematic whenever you have people whose material support depends on their ministry. On the other hand, I think you need to read the BoM in light of the D&C passage I quoted above. At least in certain circumstances, the Lord has permitted ecclesiastical leaders to support their families out of Church funds. The Church has done so in the past, even at the local level (it's a matter of historical record--see the extracts of Quinn that I linked to earlier). The Encyclopedia of Mormonism acknowledges the continuance of this practice with regard to the Apostles; as did President Hinckley (though both sources stress that the funds are drawn from the Church's business investments). If you want to engage in semantics games about "well, define 'payment'" or "well, what are they being paid to do?", feel free. But the bottom line is that the Apostles receive money from the Church that they would not otherwise receive if they were not Apostles. To the vast majority of speakers of the english language, that constitutes a paid ministry.
  3. I want to say it was Camp Pendleton, but I'm not positive.
  4. Hemi and Great Daines, a family member of mine went into the Marine Reserve after his recruiter swore up and down that he could serve a mission immediately after getting out of boot camp. He's going to Afghanistan in June. You're right that I have no idea what the Marine Corps' internal procedures are. All I know is, what he was promised would happen, isn't happening.
  5. Wait--so, you're saying suicides go to outer darkness?
  6. I served my mission in a country with compulsory missionary service. The native missionaries (and the Americans who had done military service) were almost uniformly excellent missionaries. That said, bear in mind this simple truth: Recruiters lie. Maybe you'll get to submit your mission papers as soon as you come out of boot camp. Or maybe they'll put you on the first plane to Afghanistan. My understanding (based wholly on hearsay) is that the recruiter doesn't know, and more than likely doesn't care. Just keep that in mind.
  7. As an addendum to my #58 above, see also Quinn's The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Chapter 6, available online here.
  8. As I've said before, Hemidakota, I'm not denying the difference between the Apostles and the highly-paid leaders of some mega-churches. To quote my post from last Friday, Because we have one, too. And at some points in our history, it was relatively extensive.
  9. D&C 42:71: And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; See also the CES Institute study manual commentary on this verse, quoting Smith and Sjodahl: And my point, Justice, is that that just isn't true. The Twelve get paid by the Church, and "lower" members of the LDS ministry have been in the past. It may not be very much, and you can play semantics games denoting it "living expenses" rather than "salary", but they get (or got, in the case of Bishops) paid.
  10. Lyle, just to clarify: I am active LDS, and I daresay I'm as familiar with the church's financial procedures as most members; generally speaking I am very comfortable with them. I was responding to a claim about the evils of a paid ministry by pointing out that "The LDS Church also pays its senior leadership". Which is true. I was not suggesting that funds are mismanaged. I was not suggesting that church leaders are growing rich off the labors of the membership. I was just trying to counteract the implication (all-too-common within Mormonism) that the bulk of Protestant ministers are only in it for the money. I would also note that the following extract from your post just isn't true: Listen closely at the next Conference. What they're really saying is that the Church has audited itself (or that it has been audited by an independent firm--I don't remember the specifics) and that everything is in order. They do not provide specifics as to how church funds have been spent. Haven't done it for fifty years now.
  11. OK Out of curiosity, what are your sources on that?
  12. An even more plausible idea if one accepts the (arguable) theory that Melchizedek and Shem (son of Noah) were one and the same person--Shem/Melchizedek would have getting on in years by the time of their first meeting, and may not have lingered on earth much longer than that.
  13. I think it's the Book of Jude that alludes to Michael disputing with Satan about the body of Moses, which I believe alludes to an old story that when Moses was about to be translated Satan stepped in and objected (because Moses had killed a man). I don't look at the Final Judgment as an extremely formal process. But if it is, I think it's conceivable that Satan might serve some kind of accusatory role.
  14. Do we know that for certain? I've not seen anything on it one way or the other. Which, I'm sure, is how adherents of other religions would characterize the pay of their own clergy. As you say, I look forward to hearing from them. My understanding is that, barring a few well-publicized cases, becoming a clergyman is a remarkably ineffective way to become wealthy. I just think we need to be careful when we make smug assertions about the evils of a "paid clergy". We have one, too--and IIRC, in the late 19th century even LDS bishops received some remuneration.
  15. Let's not get carried away here. The LDS Church also pays its senior leadership.
  16. There are some great resources coming down the pipes (new Family Search, digitization of the FHL collections), but it'll take a few years. (Not to mention the fact that hopefully in a little while you may be more financially stable and able to afford subscription services or searches at public records offices). My wife's grandmother was once hassled by someone in her ward for not doing enough family history work. Her response was, "You take care of the dead, and I'll take care of the living." I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, but maybe you should ask the Lord whether He'd rather you focus on the living for the time being, and turn your attention to the dead when you have the resources to do so?
  17. Ironically enough, the best testimony meetings I've ever been to were LDS Addiction Recovery group meetings.
  18. I would say that there is a "rebuttable presumption in favor of such a duty" (sorry to get all lawyerly on you). But that presumption does not arise out of the Law of Chastity. It arises out of the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, which is a different (but related) law.
  19. Justice, I've seen a quote out there somewhere that it was actually Jesus' duty, as firstborn Spirit, to fulfill the role of Savior unless He rejected it or proved himself unworthy of it. I'll see if I can dig it up.
  20. Deseretgov, I'm just telling you what the law is and giving you a friendly warning. What you do with that warning is up to you. If you think you can convince a jury that you had never seen this: http://www.lds.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=103&d=1231175549 when you came up with this: http://www.lds.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=104&d=1231175553 then feel free to disregard what I've written.
  21. I, for one, agree with you on this in the abstract though I can't point to any LDS authority to reinforce my position. If someone has received a revelation from God that marriage would not be appropriate for them in "the present distress", I wouldn't try to nit-pick at what must have been a very difficult decision. Nevertheless, barring such a revelation I believe that (as per the Proclamation on the Family) the commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth is still in force". As Elder Packer has repeatedly noted, we concern ourselves primarily with teaching the rule and not the exceptions.
  22. Hope you don't mind my butting in (again)-- The Law of Chastity is *part* of the "New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage", but they are not interchangeable. The consequences of ignoring the former are far more grave than those of eschewing the latter, and one can be fully compliant with the Law of Chastity while still remaining single. I personally think that linking celestial marriage with "families can be together forever" is something of an over-simplification. I don't see the sealing ceremony as governing our physical proximity to, or even (in the conventional sense) the quality of our relationships with, our loved ones; non-participation in a celestial marriage does not entail the forfeiture of one's ability to see, socialize with, or love others. I see the sealing ceremony as being primarily related to godhood--to cementing one's place in the Patriarchal Order preparatory to becoming a king and a priest to the most high God with the power to create new worlds and people to populate them. Returning to the thrust of your question, I would say that at least a desire to enter into Celestial Marriage is required for exaltation/godhood. And since even our desires are occasionally shaped by circumstances beyond our control, I can only be glad I won't be the one making that final decision. ;-)
  23. Well, I don't read old issues of the Improvement Era on a regular basis, but that was the gist of it. ;-)
  24. Doesn't Talmage assert that Jesus was the firstborn spirit? (Apologies if this has come up earlier in the thread; I'm just skimming the last couple of pages)
  25. Inasmuch as your statement is limited to individuals who choose not to enter into the institution of marriage when such an opportunity is presented to them (now or in the hereafter), I'd say your conclusion seems axiomatic: unmarried people (Mormons or not) will not enjoy the benefits of Eternal Marriage. But I would *not* go so far as to assert that Mormonism offers no eternal benefits to persons who have no intention or desire to marry: