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Everything posted by bytebear

  1. Even if the numbers are correct, the leaders would have put far more into the church via volunteer time and tithes and offerings than they ever would get out from a stipend? The only time church leaders are paid is to compensate for their families (i.e,. the money is to support wives and children who would be affected if he was suddenly no longer making a living). A leaked pay stub from an apostle, showed his stipend at just under 90K in 2000. Put that into perspective, and your typical IT specialist managing the church's website makes more than an Apostle.
  2. This is why I love the way we approach doctrine. We (even prophets) simply interpret what we know from past revelations. And we may be right, we may be wrong. And if a prophet has a personal conclusion about something, and a revelation corrects his belief, we don't all panic. We simply accept additional light on the topic. "[W]e believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. "
  3. The series was fascinating. I remember the TV movie and it was filmed at the cottonwood mall very close to where I lived. Not sure if that was the actual mall since it looked like a different mall. The was a Sears in the shot and the CW mall had JCPenney. And I also got nostalgic seeing the old newscasters and logos. The thing is, he escaped an went to Florida and could have laid low and instead attacked a whole sorority. He either thought he was invincible or wanted to go out with one final event. And then you hear him explain himself. He never admitted guilt until he was about to be executed and only then too buy time. He really in his own mind disassociated his crimes from his mind. And he thought the world was insane and here was normal.He described events in third person and hypotheticals. He used the church to fit in. His Ward and Bishop and many others in his life truly thought he was a victim of mistaken identity. He was that charming.
  4. I don't recall much social justice talk, bit I was happy to see Gladys Knight sing the national anthem.
  5. Since God is a physical being,I can only assume he resides in a physical realm.
  6. I think that God the Father created worlds without end, and i am maybe in the minority that believes that each earth has a savior, and that the story of pre-mortality only involved the people of this Earth, and not of God's other creations. I am not arrogant enough to think we are lucky enough to have been assigned the one Earth in the vast universe to be the epicenter for the fall of Man via Adam and Eve and the assignment of a savior. Moses Chapter 1 says: So how do I reconcile "by my Son"? I interpret it to mean, by the savior of that inhabitable planet, and that Moses was still under the restriction of "only an account of this earth" and didn't need to understand how Adams and saviors fit in the larger scheme of the Father's power. So, to answer your question, I would say our savior created many worlds, but only one that is inhabited by (a portion of) God's children.
  7. Smith also called his Seer Stone a U&T, so the term as used by him, does not mean a specific type of interpreter, but simply a conduit for revelation. Also, the Earth, when it is celestialized, and becomes the Celestial kingdom will become a giant U&T. And each inhabitant will be given their own stone which acts as a U&T. I believe anything that is sanctified to be in the presence of God is a U&T. And for us mere mortals, since we cannot stand in His presence, a tool is required to act as a conduit.
  8. I believe Moroni, being a Nephite, and the fact that Joseph Smith knew the Nephites called them Interpreters, that they were not called the U&T by Moroni or anyone else in the Book of Mormon. Maybe Smith was told by God, or maybe he or Cowdry figured it out, but the record implies to me, that Moroni would not have called them the U&T.
  9. So I understand it, Joseph Smith was told by the angel Moroni that they were "interpreters". And only later equated with the U&T when some church leader put two and two together. Honestly, as you study the restoration process and Joseph Smith's Revelations and insight, this after-thought connection is very common.
  10. As I understand it, they need not be ordained to the office, but they still must be called of God, and set apart as the steward of a ward. And I believe this applies today. In other words, you can't just walk into church and say, "I am a Levite and therefor your new bishop."
  11. I think when you first go, you should go again after some thoughtfulness. You'll discover a lot you didn't even get the first time. The logistics of the ceremony are daunting at first, and you are so concerned about what you are doing you aren't pondering what you are doing. Also, when you are in the temple, you are free to discuss the details, and get insight from temple workers, or even the temple president if you so wish. I remember two very specific revelations given to me. One was just a flood of "oh wow. Never thought of that before" and another was a specific detail given by a temple worker, and I still hold those truths today, things I never would have gotten were it not for the temple experience. Also, when I was a younger man, I attended several temple weddings of friends, including acting as a proxy father for my best friend at his ceremony (basically a glorified witness). You can perform proxy sealings as well, if you want to experience that ceremony as well, and I recommend it. Also, remember, children are sealed to parents if not born under the covenant of marriage. And since we believe in work for the dead, you may want to look into your own ancestry, possibly including (depending on circumstances) being sealed to deceased parents. Anyway, just wanted to bring up the idea that even though you've been endowed, you still have some future temple adventures besides proxy work for strangers. And of course, we'll be waiting next year for news of other potential sealings.
  12. I also have a problem watching a prequel/sequel when an actor portrays a known character. And that is the voice. If the voice doesn't match, I have a hard time. The actor in Solo did not have the deep resonance of Harrison Ford. Similarly, that Saving Mr. Banks movie had Tom Hanks playing a squeaky version of Walt Disney's deep gravely voice, and it was downright distracting. Surprisingly, I have no problem with two Dumbledors. Must be the magic.
  13. Side note: The rule of two applied. For Luke to turn, he had to kill the emperor, and then Vader would become the master. Main point: The Star Wars franchise died for me the day I sat in a theater and watched episode I. After that I honestly only watched the movies out of loyalty to the original, but honestly, I feel like when you shop at Sears and remember how department stores used to be, and wish they were again. But they aren't. Solo was the closest thing so far though. Everything else is hollow.
  14. Honestly, the ceremony is so symbolic and spirit driven, no real amount of secular study on the subject will prepare you. In fact, the more matter-of-fact your study is, the less you will understand. just go in with a pure heart, a faith in Christ, and an eye to the Glory of God. This is learning beyond books and factoids. It's pure spiritual learning, and cannot be understood from the outside. I almost think of it as if you are learning the story of the three witnesses or the visitation of Christ at the alter of the temple, vs actually being there, as a witness yourself. Words cannot do justice, and the unprepared will simply be confused.
  15. Depends on how you define "Christian" If you believe in Christ, you are a Christian. But, you are not of his fold until you covenant with him through baptism, from those with the proper authority, and that is only found in His restored church. The Book of Mormon simply helps you find His flock.
  16. I can't say that i have had a direct confirmation of Nelson specifically, but I have had confirmation on the church he leads, and the apostolic process we follow. Also, of all the Latter Day Saint churches that are out there, only the CoJCoLDS has fulfilled prophecies of the true Latter Day church both ancient and modern.
  17. When was this novel written? It sounds like a rehashing of A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel.
  18. The Borg is the best villain of all, simply because (at least before the queen) it was just the nature of the beast. They weren't being mean. They were just being Borg. Now, living in proximity of theme parks, I do miss the Star Trek experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas (now gone for a good while), and I do think the Star Wars overlay in Tomorrowland of Disneyland is the wrong theme, and since they are getting a new land, we'll see if they can perhaps do the future justice since Star Wars is technically "a long time ago." That said, I do think the prequels are crap, the sequels are mediocre, but the addendum to the original series are worthy of canonization. By the way, Disney is doing cartoon series of episodes based on the original trilogy. Have fun with that one. Oh, and Voyager is the best of the Star Trek series.
  19. I came across this article today. In it, the author describes a short story written by Dostoyevsky about how in contemplating suicide, a man runs into a small child, and that encounter led him to go home, at which time he contemplates the meaning of life. He talks about how if he were the only one on Earth, and killed himself, he would essentially destroy the world since he was the only thing in it. And so, his life is an isolated event. He then contemplates the chance encounter with the little girl, and realized that she changed his fate, and that he wasn't actually alone. And then has a dream that he does kill himself and enters a different realm, and there sees people who are truly joyful, and discovers that life is about others not just himself. Conceding that “it was only a dream,” he nonetheless asserts that “the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people” was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking in his easy-chair at dawn, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life: Oh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live… Dostoyevsky concludes with his protagonist’s reflection on the shared essence of life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness: All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years. […] And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live. I found the story fascinating and how well it fit into gospel principles on several levels, from the lesson learned about loving one's neighbor, to the use of dreams and visions, to our understanding of the spirit world and the afterlife.
  20. I think SS should be 1) optional and 2) set up like a 401k or a retirement account, maybe something like a Roth IRA. I don't like the idea of the money being locked down until retirement, or being sucked back into the system if you die early, or don't have a proper heir. I generally don't like the idea of schemes to redistribute wealth. You earn it, you keep it. Just make it worthwhile to invest it, and make it easier for people not financially savvy to invest it decently. Even if it's just a basic S&P500 account. As for medicare, send it down to the states and let them figure out their own programs. We were better off overall before Obamacare, so just reverse it. Some states will over spend or under cover, but that's too bad. Not having a limit on funding is a real problem, and states have to learn to live within their tax means, unlike the Federal govt, who can print money, and rack up trillions in debt.
  21. My point is this. We are keeping the peace. Even when we are bad at it, the US is a force for peace, and it's working. And we are doing it with fewer resources every year. In the meantime, we are spending massive amounts of money into entitlements, that aren't solvent, and that don't actually solve the problems of poverty or health care, and in fact, in my opinion make them worse. We don't save for retirement like we did, and we assume the government will bail us out. And we aren't charitable as we should be because we assume government will do the job, making us even resentful for those in need. I believe it goes against the gospel. I think that learning compassion and charity are lost when we rely on government. So, aside from the waste and corruption, we lose out on our own spiritual growth.
  22. Sure, i can do that too. The numbers are still far lower for Iraq than Vietnam. In fact, all Middle East wars combined are still less than Vietnam.