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Everything posted by ryanh

  1. ryanh

    Do some LDS meditate?

    Some things don’t change much over time. PC, when are you going to stop asking all the thought-provoking questions and just become LDS already? You know . . . having the Gift of the Holy Ghost by priesthood authority will distil many of these understandings on you in ways that most LDS are not even aware happens, but certainly happens nonetheless. IMO, the question(s) posed are a bit too broad to address without various qualifications. I am not aware of any LDS member who meditates to reach some sort of enlightenment as your initial questions seem to indicate is the paradigm you are working from. (e.g. “place where the veil . . . is thinner”, “seek glimpses into future exaltation”, “fear of welcoming ‘unclean spirits’”) As I understand it, the Buddha eschewed religious questions altogethe. Enlightenment was not about seeking God, or becoming enlightened spiritually. In fact, in the ways we westerners view “religion”, Buddhism is not a religion at all. Rather, the Buddha taught that the enlightenment he was teaching was to properly see the sources of our own mental anguish, and to overcome them. To end suffering. The Buddha is reputed to have said: "I have taught one thing and one thing only, dukkha and the cessation of dukkha." Dukkha being suffering, anxiety, or lack of satisfaction. To this end, meditation and mindfulness as taught by Buddhism are wonderful tools LDS can and should use in everyday living to become more like Christ and Heavenly Father. A very good resource for mindfulness meditation is The Science of Mindfulness: A research-Based Path to Well-Being. The practice as I understand it is entirely in line with LDS/Christian teachings, and in no way opens one to “unclean spirits”. On the contrary, it teaches one of the unreliability of some of our thoughts that could be impressions/temptations, and how to critically analyze the thoughts and dismiss them. Very powerful for those prone to anxiety, depression, or addictions or other social/mental issues. “The purpose of this thread is to explore whether or not the doctrines of premortal existence and Exaltation make the idea of the emptying kind of meditation more palatable.“ I see no logical connection given my (limited) understanding of what meditation is, and what it is not, at least from the Buddhist perspective. Perhaps an understanding of Zen, Hindu, or modern western ideals would change that. Or perhaps I’m missing the how the absence of such doctrines might generate fear of being mindful of the present, and impassionately observing one’s own thought processes. I don’t see how such would present a fear in the absence of those doctrines, as I can’t see them connected with inviting evil spirits, or other undesirable effects.
  2. Do either of you (or anyone else) have a favorite lumpia recipe you wouldn't mind sharing?
  3. Thank you ladies! Sat I made a batch using a recipe from the web. It was such a hit that it was requested I make another batch on Monday. Next time I'll be trying one of the two recipes provided here. Thanks!
  4. Nadia, at various times I have observed in myself and others an apparent motivation to attempt to "atone" for failures of the past. Restitution is a sound principle, yet I feel it is all too easy to let guilt, rater than love become a motivator to the point that we get confused. I'm wondering if you might be in a similar situation. I think one of the first things you need to define (for everyone here to give advice, if not for yourself too) is: What do you want for your two adult children? Do you want them to 'have it easy' and not have to work, etc in order for you to 'make up for the past'? Or do you want them to grow up, get clean, get a job and move out? Or something in between?
  5. ryanh

    Salt Lake ranked #1 ?!?!

    When I heard the story on KSL radio yesterday driving into, of all places, SLC, I had a good chuckle when Amanda stated that the ranking was 'based on non-traditional criteria such as number of lgbt oriented businesses and nude yoga centers per capita'. "If we were having a more scientific survey, I don't know that we would choose these as indicators," Valerie Larabee, director of the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City, told the Salt Lake Tribune. So, Valerie is politely saying the survey is a spin job. And I agree if the measures are attributes such as nude yoga centers, and the number of semifinalists in the International Mr. Leather Contest.
  6. ryanh

    Transgression vs. Sin

    You might enjoy reading (audio can be downloaded as well) a talk by Dallin H. Oaks (Apostle) regarding Sins and Mistakes.
  7. ryanh

    Being made whole

    Merrill J. Bateman:The story teaches at least two lessons. One concerns Christ’s spiritual sensitivity to the individual. The other lesson concerns the depth of the woman’s faith. Because of her faith, she was healed both physically and spiritually. The phrase “thy faith hath made thee whole” often refers to a spiritual healing. It is the same phrase Christ used to bless the one leper who returned to express thanks. All 10 lepers were cleansed of leprosy, but only one was made whole—only one was cleansed from within (see Luke 17:11–19). It is also the phrase the Lord used in answering Enos’ question regarding forgiveness of sin. When the voice said, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed,” Enos inquired as to how it was possible. The answer was, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (see Enos 1:5–8). Enos’ spiritual cleansing came through faith. His faith had the power to produce humility, repentance, and a baptism of water and fire. The woman’s faith brought the same power enjoyed by Enos and the leper. Her faith produced a spiritual rebirth in addition to solving her physical problem. Her faith and determination allowed her to lay hold on two good gifts.
  8. ryanh

    a question of offense

    I like the way Elder Maxwell often couched such individuals/interactions - they are the "clinical material" upon which we all practice our Christianity. Quickly forgotten by those who are offended is the fact that the Church is “for the perfecting of the saints” (Eph. 4:12); it is not a well-provisioned rest home for the already perfected. Likewise, unremembered by some is the reality that in the kingdom we are each other’s clinical material; the Lord allows us to practice on each other, even in our imperfections. And each of us knows what it is like to be worked on by a “student” rather than a senior surgeon. Each of us, however unintentionally, has also inflicted some pain. It helps me to mentally frame the actions of those such as you described Jayanna as the actions of an "ill" individual - one is who clearly not whole. One who deserves some pity (and potentially rebuke) for their weakness and thoughtless simple-minded gossip. In discussing marital relations and conflict, a BYU Education Week presenter stated: "[W]hen people take the cheap shot, we can recognize, 'well, this must be about them'. Because healthy people never attack. Let me just repeat that, because this is really important. Healthy people don't attack!" Lili Andersen It helps me (when I am able to bring it into my active thoughts) to contemplate that the individual gossiping, back-stabbing, or otherwise speaking ill of another would not be doing so unless they were unwell themselves. They may be insecure, they may be prideful, I don't know, but what is clear is that they are not emotionally well. They too can become our “project” to help similar to the way that the poor and needy of temporal goods can be a focus. It’s just that the help they need isn’t so readily apparent, and not so easily succored (or suffered!).
  9. I don't disagree with you one bit LM. Just adding to the direction the conversation went.
  10. And yet, changes to policy (or much of anything related to revelation) infrequently occur until a question is asked to address a need. Such it was with JS's first vision, blacks and priesthood, and countless other Church and personal examples. Revelation most often comes in response to inquiry. And how would the FP know a beneficial change needs to be taken to the Lord unless it bubbles up through SPs to 70's, to the top? I think there is value in floating ideas out there to address changing needs of our people. But in the mean time, follow policy - it is there for a reason.
  11. ryanh

    Re-marrying after a Death

    Dahlia, have you ever considered the possibility that the strong negativity towards men in general may deter those that are worth getting to know? A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts?If my wife had exuded 1/10th of that gender bias when I met her, there would have been no second date.
  12. Are you aware of the changes, and allowance/expectation for additional delegation made in the new 2010 handbooks? These are changes that past bishops did not operate under, and likely are not fully aware of. Ram and his stake are following the direction of the First Presidency to delegate more away from the Bishop's role.
  13. ryanh

    Re-marrying after a Death

    I discussed a similar matter recently with a member of the Bountiful Temple Presidency. Children born under the covenant follow the mother they were born to. A child fathered by a second husband would be granted the blessings of being born under covenant, but not necessarily bound to the first husband. These are situations that will not be sorted out in this life, but will have to be sorted out later. When the woman and second husband pass away, they can be sealed to each other (current policy allows for women to be sealed to multiple husbands if all are deceased), and choices can be made in the hereafter as to lineage links. No one faithful - neither the first husband, the second husband, the woman in question, or any of the children - will be denied the blessings of eternal companionship and family. But there will be some 'sorting out' to be done later. I haven't heard anyone (with authority) presume they know how that will happen, other than to reassure us it will be more than fair.
  14. Well . . . I suppose. If you INSIST on using it for other than it's specified purpose! Is that a pot of (super) dark hot chocolate I see in the background of the tumbler pic? Funny, I thought it was coffee.
  15. Uh, that's not quite what is being suggested:
  16. Don't forget your lighted party ice cubes for the alcoholic drinks: http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=%2fproductImages%2f_729000%2fff_729800_xl.jpg&w=600 Tumblers for your coffee on the go: http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=%2fproductImages%2f_421000%2fFF_421556_xl.jpg&w=600 And a bottle coolie to keep your beer cold: http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=%2fproductImages%2f_291000%2fFF_291163_xl.jpg&w=600
  17. ryanh


    I don't one bit disagree with Vort and other sentiments that the term "abuse" can be overused, and often is overused. I've observed it's overuse, and loss of meaning within my family growing up. However, it is clear that we live in a world where much true abuse occurs. Hence the need to try to not become desensitized to the term, and remain open when someone says they are abused.
  18. They are not paid, hence are not "professionals", and need no license. Under the paradigm you are placing upon the role of a Bishop, every friend, family member, confidant, and most of us here on this forum offering advice would need to go get a license before offering our opinion and help.
  19. ryanh

    Are we obedient out of fear or love

    My sentiments appear to align closely with yours regarding the book. Yet, I have met several people (a Stake President being one) who found the book "motivational and inspiring".
  20. ryanh

    Are we obedient out of fear or love

    I think that throughout one's life, there is a natural development in motivations, if we are progressing. Basal levels may be out of fear. Better, but not best, is seeking reward. The highest, is simply out of love. That is one of the beauties of the Gospel, within, and across dispensations. It provides for the necessary motivators for all types of individuals and in all stations through life. Hopefully we can continually progress in our motivations.
  21. ryanh

    Damaged goods?

    Mistie, even though this thread is old, and I don't know if you will even be back to read it, garry resurrected it so that it came to my attention. I had taken a break from lds.net and was not on the site this summer, so never saw your original post. After my divorce, I married a woman with 5 children (4 at home). She had been married more than once before as well. Marrying my sweetheart with what some may term as "baggage" has been amazing and wonderful. I love my step children immensely, and cannot imagine being without my wife. The circumstances didn't matter nearly as much as the person she is, and how perfectly and uniquely we fit one another. So, from my perspective, the answer to your question of whether your life's path will keep you from meeting a LDS man to marry, I emphatically say NO! Just be the best person you can be, and what has happened won't really matter. Anyone too shallow to take the time to get to know the real you, and not simply judge you on your situation, is likely not worth marrying and being a father figure to your kids anyway.
  22. ryanh

    Unworthy Temple Work

    Well put Vort.
  23. ryanh

    Unworthy Temple Work

    Gopecon, if my posts gave the impression that one should not “recognize”, ever have thoughts “cross [their] mind”, or be flatly apathetic, that was not at all my intent, and it certainly isn’t how I think. First, I would encourage you to spend a few minutes reading Elder Oaks’ talk I linked to earlier? I don’t have either the time, or the ability to convey the understanding he provides regarding where it is appropriate to see and recognize a situation for what it is, and where it turns the corner into the act of judging the person. I am not at all interested in lining up to cast stones at anyone that discretely takes their concerns to the proper priesthood authority. Yet, I can recognize such action as a terrestrial-ish response, and that there are better, more Gospel-centric, ways of thinking and acting. When I have impulses to report something to the Bishop, rarely do I find my motivation to be Charity for the individual. That doesn’t mean that my motivations are inherently bad. Thoughts of keeping the temple from being defiled are not wrong. But I feel strongly that where my motivations in relation to others is not driven by Charity, I am failing to live the higher law (we are all at different places, and we are all striving [hopefully] to improve, so that anyone is failing to live the higher law is not a condemnation). For without Charity we are nothing. Without Charity being the major factor in my decision process, then I have a beam in my own eye, and am unprepared to be able to help another remove the mote from their eye. I will readily concede there are many times when sufficient knowledge may exist to bring a concern to priesthood leadership. Yet, I also feel those time are FAR more rare than most people think. Where we fail so miserably in our judging is in thinking we have sufficient information, when it is not even remotely possible for any of us (without the gifts of the Spirit – which likely won’t be fully engaged if motives are non-charitable) to be able to have sufficient information to judge. Yes, there are some minimum standards for temple attendance, but by and large, true evaluation of worthiness is relative, not absolute. See the parable of the divers I posted on another thread to illustrate that point.
  24. ryanh

    Wild West Wind

    Bountiful was hit quite hard. In my neighborhood where there are mature trees, about every third yard has at least one tree down. Our power was out for a little more than 12 hours, so we stayed warm last night sleeping by the fireplace.
  25. ryanh

    Converts who have made lot's of sin

    MagneticField, see Matthew 25: 14 through 23 for the parable of the talents that the Savior taught. The parable continues on past 23, but the facet of the parable I wish to highlight is that the Savior does not expect the same level of performance from all. To the person given much (Traveler), much is expected. To the person given less, quantitatively less (but likely qualitatively similar) is expected. This concept is also nicely captured in the author Stephen E. Robinson's Parable of the Divers he published in his book Following Christ It would be foolish of me, or anyone who themselves hopes for mercy, to judge you for that which is has happened in the past. We have no idea of the 'degree of difficulty' of your life, even if it seems patently obvious. Thankfully it will be a merciful and omniscient God that will judge us, who will fully take into account all factors, seen and unseen, known and unknown.