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EricM's Achievements

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  1. I'm aware, but OP expressed a worry that the post by Donny Osmond would push youth on the fence about going on a mission to not go, which I find doubtful given his current influence on youth culture in the church.
  2. Let's get back on track, shall we? I'm not sure. I do recall a seminary teacher mentioning that animals would be dispersed between the 3 kingdoms based off of a story where Joseph Smith referred to one of his horses as a "Celestial horse." I guess this is where my beef (buh-dum-tshhh) stands with the issue. What makes their intelligence different than ours? On an Earthly scale, it's clear that we're a bit further along on an evolutionary progression brain-wise, but it doesn't seem completely outside of the realm of possibility for other animals to breach that gap one day. So why the spiritual limitation? Is it because spirituality applies to individuals, whereas evolution is more tied to populations? (I'm just thinking out loud here.) I know you said presumably, but do you happen to have a source for that thought? I would agree, but this somewhat contradicts your previous statement. I do think this is logical, to a degree. But why would man's eternal progression hinge so much upon free will, while with animals have none and thus get a free pass? Either this is a ripoff towards the humans for having so much more responsibility, or it is a ripoff to the animals for never knowing nor understanding the joy of choice. (To be clear, I am part of the "Trust the Lord, it will work out" camp. I really do believe it will be fine. But I am legitimately curious on the "how" of the situation, as we know so little on the subject.)
  3. Only if said person eats the cream and nothing else. My children are soul-sucking ghouls when it comes to Oreo cookies.
  4. I've always thought that God would never give us more than we can bear without His help. There have been moments in my life where things were indeed more than I could bear. Broken, I would turn to the Lord, and would somehow overcome the trial. I also think that it is important to keep a long-term, or even eternal perspective in relation to this statement. In my experience, it's far easier to see God's hand in my life after a trial than during the trial. But there are circumstances that people have mentioned here where the trial seems to last a lifetime, or is life-ending. It's with these that an eternal perspective would be the only one that would make sense. (But even this can be impossible to understand from our temporal perspective without God's help because we can only observe the brutalities of mortality from our end.)
  5. While I know this isn't the main concern of this discussion, it's worth noting that very few youth of today care about or even know who Donny Osmond is. He was passé even for me as a youth in the 90's. All I remember is that my mom had crushed on him as a girl until she saw him in a mall and realized he was really short.
  6. I'll admit that the cards have become a bit of a nuisance in my house as I lose them, reprint, and then don't know for sure if a card is up to date anymore. I just reprint every time now to be safe. It does feel weird to throw them out, but that seems to be the only logical thing to do at this point.
  7. Also, snakes are originally representative of the Savior. That's why Satan emulated it in the Garden, as well as the reason behind Moses holding up the bronze snake.
  8. Hey Rob! If you're LDS, this is what the Guide to the Scriptures states: "The state of being stopped in one’s progress and denied access to the presence of God and His glory. Damnation exists in varying degrees. All who do not obtain the fulness of celestial exaltation will to some degree be limited in their progress and privileges, and they will be damned to that extent." This is just from a cursory search. I can search further if you would like more specific references.
  9. I've been reflecting upon the plan of salvation and how, as part of this, animals will be taking part in the resurrection. As we know, for mankind, there will be resurrection unto eternal life, and resurrection unto damnation. Salvation unto eternal life means eternal progression and an eternal increase. Damnation in this context will mean limited progression due to not attaining the highest degree of glory. Animals, on the other hand, seem to be locked into where they are as far as I can tell. Wouldn't this be damnation? Some additional thoughts I have on the topic are the idea that resurrection for animals seems troubling. As you recall, when Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword were placed before the Tree of Life lest Adam and Eve partake of its fruit and "live forever in their sins." Again, this sounds akin to resurrection unto damnation, but would be immortality unto damnation. So would resurrecting a lower level of intelligence stop its progression? When humans were only intelligences, were we still different from animals, or are animals part of the progression? Lastly, I feel that one piece of the puzzle could be related to the beasts in the revelation of John. We learn in D&C that these beasts are not merely symbolic, but actual animals. Do animals maybe have a different path of progression than humans do, serving different roles in the kingdom than man? (Which wouldn't be far-fetched, considering that is the case in mortality.) I'm interested in your ideas and experience on this subject!
  10. I listened to that talk a couple of days ago, and it was very timely for me. I had been annoyed by some prejudiced comments of some students about the church, and it had affected my view of said students. I decided to let it go, particularly because my position does not allow me to engage in such conversations in any way. When I frequented this website in the past (it's been a few years now), one of the things that irked me was when some of the posters here would demonize anyone who had questions on the assumption that they were a troll. My perspective has always been that, even if they are trolls, others can still glean valuable information from well-thought out responses. The flip-side is that maybe these people weren't trolls, but they got labelled as such and thus were chased out of the website by contentious responses. In any case, there is much to be gained from giving people the benefit of the doubt and doing our best to be loving in all cases.
  11. Toulouse, France, French speaking. I had a brief stint in a Chinese-speaking (Mandarin) companionship, but wasn't officially called to speak Chinese, nor did I succeed in learning much.
  12. My wife and I like to joke that people who are anti-GMO shouldn't have dogs. Nor should they eat broccoli or cauliflower. In fact, I think we can attribute selective breeding to basically all produce we eat today.
  13. Hi Tova, welcome to the forums! I just thought I'd address your concern about enduring to the end (and it's a concern for all of us)--there's no sure-fire way of knowing what the Lord has in store for us. We know that we've come to this Earth to be tried (among other wonderful blessings, of course), and our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need to work on in the eternal scheme of things. What I'm trying to say is that trials of faith are part of life, and overcoming them is what leads to a greater capacity for faith. There was a great analogy given by C. S. Lewis that kind of explains this process: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. …” (Mere Christianity, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1952, p. 160.) I hope the point I'm trying to make is coming across alright here. Just don't be afraid to move forward. The Lord knows what you can handle even more than you do, and you'll never have to take it more than a day at a time. Trust Him.
  14. The problem with this logic is that it's exactly how alcoholics or porn addicts are formed. When one gets right down to it, neither alcohol nor porn are necessities in any way, shape, or form (raging hormones or no). Not to mention that any member of the church has made covenants to avoid these things, so giving in will inevitably lead to a loss of the spirit.I'm sorry, but there's just no room to be lax about these issues. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that those who do give into this type of behavior are terrible people--we're all sinners and prone to such misgivings. And it can be very hard to remain completely removed from this sort of thing. But attitude plays a vital role in overcoming and avoiding pornography and masturbation, so it goes without saying that any justification will be taken to the extreme so as to render a person totally incapable of breaking free from this vicious cycle.