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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. And *that*, fundamentally, is why Disney is so destructive. LGBTQ issues are only a symptom, not the root of the issue. The fact is that love doesn't conquer all (nor, in many cases, should it). It is subject to all kinds of factors; some of which we can control and some of which we can’t. People’s inability or refusal to recognize this fundamental truth has been a major source of human frustration and estrangement and misplaced confidence and wasted effort and overall suffering over the last hundred years.
  2. You can please all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time. But with a little extra effort you can offend all of the people all of the time!
  3. I frankly don’t understand why BYUTV exists, except maybe go train students as to how to produce and broadcast television programs. Their program content has generally struck me as unappealing (the odd devotional or scripture study roundtable punctuating hours and hours of Teletubbies reruns—shouldn’t it be the reverse?). The few decent shows they produced themselves turned out to be lemons that gave platforms to apostates and libertines (*cough cough* STUDIO C *cough cough*). I can’t think why on earth it would be a net positive for BYUTV to become a funnel through which to launder Church cash to Disney.
  4. I’m not so sure. You can certainly get some mileage out of being the craziest guy at the negotiating table and (appearing to be) lacking in any long-term strategic commitments or alliances. North Korea is an excellent example of that. I think that was Trump’s style as well, and it did yield some successes where years—sometimes decades—of traditional diplomacy had given only a stalemate. The trouble is, the Pax Americana sort of depended on there being some basic ground rules and solid strategic alliances that could last in spite of occasional disagreements between the parties to those alliances. If you aren’t seen as, fundamentally, a promise-keeper—if you threaten to end the deal and walk away from the table too often—then less-powerful members of your alliance will start seeking more reliable protectors. Biden has been, of course, disastrous; but I’m unconvinced Trump was seen to have been a particularly devoted friend either. Additionally, presidents can only play the hand they are dealt. Regardless of the party affiliation of the current president, the simple fact is that the American public was not willing to fight a war—nuclear or otherwise—to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity. And Putin knew it. So the prospect of territorial aggression was always “when”, not “if”. It’s also why Taiwan and the Philippines (at least, the latter’s claims over a number of islands in the region) are basically living on borrowed time. I don’t think there’s anyone in the Republican field who can save them. (Maybe Vivek what’s- his- name; he seems to be an effective communicator and could perhaps persuasively rally the country to a war footing. But due to his ethnicity Chinese propagandists here would likely collude with anti-war, communist-sympathizing leftists to paint him as an agent for an India that’s looking to tweak China on its western border).
  5. Then again, in 2 Ne 2:15, Lehi suggests that the fruit of the tree of life (in Eden) is bitter; in opposition to the forbidden fruit, which he describes as sweet.
  6. 1 Nephi becomes more poignant when we remember that Nephi is writing this story down the second time (he’s already written the large plates), and he’s writing over twenty years after the events he’s writing about, and he knows the later events—the arguing, the disintegration of the family group after his failed efforts to maintain unity, the ensuing bloodshed that he has seen and that he knows is only the beginning of a thousand years of war that must end in extermination. This is Nephi the (guilt-ridden and somewhat disillusioned, Hardy suggests) old man, writing about Nephi the invincibly optimistic boy.
  7. 1 Ne 4:26 is where the word “church” appears. I believe most Biblical scholars would tell you that the synagogue only came into being as an element of Jewish worship, after the destruction of the Temple. Personally, I think that even given the dominance of the temple and the familial nature of Jewish worship/teaching at the time, there must have been *some* sort of institutional forerunner through which worship practices were prescribed, ancient texts preserved and relayed (perhaps primarily in oral form) and local religious controversies mediated and resolved; and the word “church”—though inevitably a problematic term—was probably as good an English term as any to describe that institution. (cf “horse”, “elephant”, “curelom”, etc).
  8. Just saw this. Like @Carborendum, the reading pace is a little ambitious for me; but I’ll chime in if I feel like I have anything useful to contribute. @Jamie123, if you have a few extra dollars (pounds?) lying around, consider springing for this edition of the Book of Mormon. I’ve found it immensely helpful in coming to understand the BoM more as a cohesive text (once you’re done, you might also look at Grant Hardy’s “Understanding the Book of Mormon”). I will note, FWIW, that probably the premier scholar of the BoM text from a linguistic standpoint is Royal Skousen. I believe he has concluded that the BoM’s English is primarily 16th-17th century, and even contains some archaic linguistic constructs from that period that do *not* appear either in the KJV Bible or in colloquial 19th century New England speech patterns. I understand he has a pet theory/speculation (and of course, it could never be more than that) that Wycliffe, Tyndale, and others who were involved in generating the text that evolved into the KJV may have been part of a sort of “spirit committee” that was delegated, beyond the grave, to produce the translation that was given to Joseph Smith.
  9. I get where you’re going here; and generally agree. But I would note that I think it’s a rare Saint who vets potential counselors solely on their Church membership status or hires the first Mormon counselor they run across. I cannot speak as to the particular case under discussion in this thread. But I stand by my general comments earlier in this thread and will propose that the problem with most of the nominally/formerly LDS families who wound up in the news over the past few years isn’t that they listened to their bishops too much; it’s that they didn’t listen to their bishops closely enough.
  10. Didn’t JFS-II also suggest that self-inflicted wounds (ie tattoos, piercings, wounds by suicide) don’t heal—or at least, leave scars— in the resurrection? That sounds vaguely familiar.
  11. I want to offer a cautionary note here, gleaned from hard experience both personal and professional: Many people like this, actually deeply love the Gospel (as they understand it). They search their scriptures. They take fastidious notes at conference. They pray for hours, and think they receive revelations; some of them very beautiful and moving. But it goes in a weird direction, and suddenly they start thinking they’re getting better revelation than the mainstream Church; better revelation than their local priesthood leaders. We will be seeing more of this, not less, in coming decades; and the Church will not always be quick to hold membership councils for people who deserve it. Guys, stay humble. Stick with your priesthood authorities—from the Prophet down to your elders quorum president. Do. Not. Let. Go. A lot of tragedies could have and would have been avoided if some of Mormonism’s most infamous psychopaths of the past five years had stayed a little closer to, been more patient with, and considered with more humility the counsel of their bishops and stake presidents.
  12. No, not at all. And maybe “sifting” wasn’t quite the right word. But within the church, I find that a person’s getting worked up about relatively trivial GA-imposed policies that they may not understand, or even don’t agree with, tends to be a sort of canary-in-the-coal-mine indicating whether or not that person will be able to develop a healthy and productive approach to deeper spiritual struggles. Plus, tuition at BYU is stupidly cheap. If it happens to have a couple of stupid policies in return, then IMHO the students there can suck it up and thank the Church for its largesse.
  13. If remember correctly from his biography, even 40 years ago as president of BYU, President Oaks expressed his belief that the beard ban was cultural, not theologically necessary; and that he personally would have preferred its removal. The fact that it remains in place all these years later suggests to me that perhaps the beard ban served, and continues to serve, a sort of “sifting function” at BYU that the General Authorities feel is desirable.
  14. It’ll be interesting to see the practical effects of this. The new standards are less detailed and—frankly—less objectively enforceable. They give much more authority to the subjective judgment of the enforcer; and given some of the libertine predilections of the current head of the BYU Honor Code Office (unless he’s been replaced in the last year or so)—I suspect things will get much more interesting over the short term.
  15. Say, what *is* your real name, Grunt? Not asking for any particular reason, and no need to answer immediately. Please just let us know before November of next year, mmm-kay?
  16. You’ve heard of the Benedict Option. But are you ready for . . . the Lehi Option?
  17. I have long believed that if (to use the language of ancient Judah’s conundrum) we keep our distance from Egypt even when getting threats by turns from Samaria, Syria, Assyria, and Babylon—that deliverance will ultimately come. I think that’s the subtext between D&C 98:10. We have all, over the last couple of centuries, been led down the primrose path of embracing progressively more cunning and less thoughtful leaders; and we probably ought to have drawn a bright line long before now. But Trump strikes me as an opportunity to awaken to our awful situation.
  18. As has been pointed out, the Church leadership has for years released generic statements about “all parties have done good points, vet the candidates as individuals”, etc. This is nothing new, and I think the article’s author is to some degree making a mountain out of a molehill. I also agree with @Carborendum in that I think our Church does face a bit of a generational gap, exacerbated by school systems that a) endorse and promulgate the ideals of the sexual revolution; and b) have bought into the cult of authenticity that says humans don’t need to change because what they are is what they were created to be. That said: I think that as a Church we have largely eluded the Trump problem, because our leadership never really openly embraced and endorsed him the way many on the Christian Right did. I realize I’m not really an insider to the CR; but to my outsider view—they spent forty years setting themselves up as the faction of self-discipline and character (especially on matters of sexual restraint), and proclaiming that these were foundational elements of a stable (and Christian) society; and then for the asking they jumped completely into the camp of a guy who had been notoriously promiscuous, had been pro abortion, and had been credibly accused of wife-rape (among other probable character flaws relating to honesty, thoughtfulness, etc). I think a lot of people felt a lot of whiplash when that happened and started asking “geez, other than gays being evil, what DO you guys stand for?” And it betrayed a baser desire among many on the Christian Right to seek protection from strong-men with all the worldly trappings of power (particularly governmental power); which again—seemed antithetical to many longtime observers of the Christian Right generally and made their longtime/sometime libertarian allies particularly contemptuous of them. We Latter-day Saints have problems of our own (one could certainly argue, as many hardcore LDS conservatives generally and LDS Trumpers in particular do, that we’ve generally been too accommodationist with secular governments throughout the COVID crisis). But a wholesale sellout of a concept that had been a bedrock principle of our spiritual faith and political actions over the last forty years, isn’t one of them.
  19. This may be irrelevant, but just occurred to me and seems worthy of exploration: Murder was much gorier, more physically laborious, and took longer to complete (ie, more opportunity for a change of heart/backing out) in scriptural times when the firearm hadn’t been invented yet.
  20. Welcome, Dylan! I would join with others who would say that FCA is a private organization with specific institutional goals (among which, as I understand it, is to turn out Trinitarian, Nicene Christians) and that if they don’t want to Latter-day Saints among their leadership ranks—well, their house, their rules. 🙂 Now, if the Spirit is telling you that you should still make the request—by all means, go for it. It may create opportunities for good conversations that will lead folks to a higher path down the road; especially as you strive to comport yourself in a godly manner regardless of whatever opposition you face. If, in the process, the local FCA bigwigs comport themselves in a way that openly shows to all and sundry that their religion has utterly failed to turn them into decent human beings (and may actually be excusing and exacerbating their natural human flaws)—well, all the better for us, as we try to model a more excellent way. But, don’t go into the thing thinking that they’re going to accept you. They aren’t. By their standards, we are damnable heretics.
  21. I remember on my mission watching some Protestant services and having the distinct impression that it felt like they were kissing up to/flattering God. I am inclined to think the way you do, but with the caveat that while I think that most of the rituals in the Church that we would call “worship” have more value to us and to our fellow Church members than they really have to God—that doesn’t excuse us from participating in them. The idea of spiritual gifts here also feels appropriate to me. Some people’s gift is to build, others is wisdom, others is healing, others is dance or song—and some people’s gift is oratory; and I’m not always good at discerning whether a speaker is being a beautiful orator or just plain long-winded. So I try to be patient with mellifluous or maudlin speech or prayer at the pulpit.
  22. In Utah, for what it’s worth: DCFS maintains what the statute calls the “management information system” (colloquially, we call it “SAFE”). If Intake decides, based on a report, that a CPS investigation should open, then the system will hold the case activity logs of the CPS worker who handled the investigation (they should be logging every contact, conversation, forensic interview, etc), and the case will eventually close with one of four findings: 1). “Supported”: basically, the caseworker thinks there’s a greater-than-fifty-percent chance that abuse or neglect actually occurred. 2). “Unsupported”: the caseworker thinks there’s a less-than-fifty-percent chance that abuse or neglect actually occurred, but can’t conclusively disprove the allegation. 3). “Without merit”: the caseworker uncovered information enabling them to prove that the allegation was false. 4). “Unable to complete: the casework was unable to locate the family, or wasn’t permitted to interview the child directly. The SAFE system is confidential and may only be used for internal Utah Department of Human Services (DCFS’s parent agency) purposes, including vetting foster parent license applicants and potential DHS employees. (I have heard that school boards have the option to access the system to vet potential teachers, but the people I’ve talked to who are in a position to know for sure, get really vague whenever I try to pin them down on this issue). (Utah also recently enacted a regimen for expungement of “unsupported” and certain types of “supported” findings, though it’s still relatively new and they’re still working out the wrinkles of how to apply it.) However, “supported” findings of severe and/or chronic abuse or neglect (including sexual abuse) do get forwarded on to the “licensing information system”, which is accessible by various state agencies that handle licensing of various professions. Parents may appeal a “supported” finding by requesting review by DHS’s Office of Administrative Hearings, and may appeal the OAH by requesting a hearing before a juvenile court judge. Parents have the ability to pull the complete (unexpunged) SAFE history of their kids. So, a divorcing couple could access reports of abuse or neglect involving the children and try to implicate the other parent in court. But an unsupported, without merit, or UTL finding isn’t going to get them very far with the court (and may not be admissible at all under evidence rules); and even if there’s a “supported” finding—the parent would still probably have to subpoena the same witnesses DCFS spoke to in their investigation, and have them testify in court firsthand; the DCFS records would only play a secondary role from an evidentiary standpoint.
  23. Random factoid: With the big ocean liners of the early-to-mid 20th century: the British and Germans generally had steam turbines (more or less) directly linked to the propeller shafts. The French were generally less comfortable machining the large reduction gears necessary to such a setup, with the degree of precision required; so they opted to have the turbines drive generators which then powered electric motors that turned the propellers. It was reportedly a more fuel-efficient design—when it wasn’t breaking down.