MrShorty

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Everything posted by MrShorty

  1. I thought of @prisonchaplain while listening to Rick Bennet's (Gospel Tangents podcast) interview with Dr. Chris Thomas who recently wrote a book about his experience reading the Book of Mormon as a Pentacostal. I thought prisonchaplain and some of you others may enjoy this. I notice prisonchaplain hasn't been on the forum in a while. All's well, I hope?? https://gospeltangents.com/2021/11/pentecostal-bom-bible-treatment/
  2. MrShorty

    College football fans?

    With only bowls games left to play, it has been a good year for the 3 main football schools here in Utah. BYU gets a 10 win season and goes 5-0 against the Pac-12, plus an invite into the Big 12. Utah started slow, but finished really strong to earn it's first trip to the Rose Bowl (and defeated UofO, a team who was often in the playoff discussion, twice by a combined score of something like 70 to 20. Utah State came out of nowhere to also get a 10 win season, and solidly defeated the Aztecs for its first Mountain West championship. All told, a good year. Can we go 3 and 0 in our bowl games??
  3. MrShorty

    A Pentacostal Reads the BoM

    I can't speak for @marge, but a lot of days I seem to lean more towards universalism, and cases like Marge's are a big reason why. I have no explanation for why the scriptures can be so certain that God will never lie and will always keep His promises and that means everyone (without exception) who checks off the right boxes will get a testimony of the BoM, and, yet, many people do not receive that testimony. Sure we can say that they did not check of all the right boxes in all the right ways, but then I God starts to seem an awful lot like Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai (from Wheel of Time). Aes Sedai are an organization of women in the Wheel of Time universe who are magically bound to be honest -- to never lie and always keep promises. In spite of those magically bound oaths, nobody really trusts the Aes Sedai because they are also so adept at hiding behind half truths and answering exactly the question asked (rather than the intended question) and so on. If someone like marge is honestly seeking (but maybe missing something from the checklist) why does God withhold some kind of testimony from them? It seems to me that, if God were keeping His promise in the most generous way possible, He would overlook minor imperfections in people's methodology and grant them testimonies. However, I am confident that God is good, so, if God is withholding testimonies for seemingly minor reasons, then He must have some reason for withholding testimonies that still allow those who do not receive a testimony to still find their way to salvation and exaltation (perhaps, as estradling said, it is about timing and maybe that even includes receiving testimonies in the next life). Of course, that is a slippery slope that readily slides down to universalism. If so, I'm okay with that. I know many LDS do not like universalism (it seems that this was another of Elder McConkie's influences).
  4. MrShorty

    A Pentacostal Reads the BoM

    @person0 It seems a bit presumptuous (coupled with some hubris, IMO) to assume that your testimony MUST transfer to others or they have obviously done something wrong. I, too, have a testimony of the Book of Mormon from the Holy Ghost, but I'm not entirely certain I agree that my testimony means that ALL others are expected to receive the same testimony. In some ways, I think some of this "all or nothing" thinking is part of why many people leave the Church. They come to look at some of the difficult, contested issues, decide that the Church's position on that issue is not true and, because they believe it is all or nothing as we have been taught, their entire house of cards crashes. I don't fully understand how it all works, but I find myself shying away from some of this all or nothing absolutism that characterized my older faith.
  5. MrShorty

    Neuro's seitch for fremen fanboys

    No spoilers, no real commentary, but, I guess I'm just hard to please. I give it one thumbs up and one thumbs down.
  6. MrShorty

    BYU confuses LGBT discussion by offering data

    Fascinating! I'm sure there is much more to do to further understand how religion impacts suicidal ideation and such, but this certainly looks like one entry level piece on the subject. Almost certainly not the last word (I think the authors themselves say as much) on the subject. A few non-expert reactions to the opinion piece and the BYU paper: 1) The BYU authors emphasize early on that "significance" in the paper means that they were able to conclude "statistically significant" from their statistical tests. "Significant" does not necessarily say anything about the real world "size" of the effect. In other contexts, I have seen some criticize "high n studies" (where the conclusions are based on a large number of participants -- I don't know if n=86k is considered large n for this kind of work). Because of the large n, the criticism goes, the study has strong statistical power to "see" small differences between groups, but the perceived differences are still very small. At some level, even if the difference between LDS and other religion or no religion is statistically significant, is the difference large enough to have practical meaning? 2) As with anything like this, there is always the "correlation does not mean causation" thing going on. The authors find a statistically significant correlation between checking the LDS box on a form and less suicidal ideation/attempts, but that does not mean that being LDS prevents suicide. I expect that a large part of the future work that wants/needs to be done is trying to understand what factors drive the correlation. 3) I appreciated their attempts to address how disaffiliation might confound the conclusions. I can't say that I understood everything they did, but it does seem like an important thing to include in this analysis. It was somewhat gratifying that, even using their best guesses at disaffiliation numbers, the final conclusion did not change. However, in their discussion of disaffiliation, they also note that, assumptions along the extreme end of their alleged uncertainty limits, could change the conclusions, so their appears to be just enough overall uncertainty to claim, at the outside, that maybe some of the paper's conclusions are because the SHARP data do not include any indication on disaffiliation. On a personal note, perhaps just because of where some of my own thoughts are on the topic, if identifying as LDS is somehow correlated with lower suicide rates, is there some way we as a Church can do something more to discourage disaffiliation? I do not have the expertise to provide any expert opinions, but it seems like a good entry into the discussion. I look forward to more data to help clarify the relationships between the Church and its LGBQ members.
  7. MrShorty

    Musicals

    This thread has ranged all over, so I think it's okay to ask this one. I recently saw that they are releasing a musical "Cyrano" based on the old Cyrano de Bergerac play. From what I understand, this particular musical was released on stage a few years ago (2018?) by Erica Schmidt with the title role going to her husband, Peter Dinklage. The twist (that intrigues me) is that she uses Peter's dwarfism instead of an oversized nose as the physical trait that causes Cyrano to avoid professing his love for Roxanne. Has anyone seen the on-stage play or heard anything good or bad from it? I've seen mixed reviews, leaning positive.
  8. MrShorty

    When philosophy loses its utility

    I'm not an expert in logical fallacies. What I see in your description is a kind of distraction, which, I think, is a Red Herring fallacy. The idea is that the one who wants to argue about existence is using that argument as a "red herring" -- a distraction from the real issue that you want to discuss. https://www.logicalfallacies.org/red-herring.html
  9. MrShorty

    Should I say something?

    As chorister, I don't know if I would want it brought up or not. It's a very common complaint around the Church, but it doesn't seem to change, so I don't know if bringing it up yet again will really change anything. Of course, I often feel like I am rushing the congregation and/or organist, so maybe I'm seeing this from the other side of the problem -- a fear of going too fast. Having also been the accompanist, sometimes I think the pace is set by the organist/pianist, because that is the position related to music that requires the most skill. If the organist/pianist cannot play any faster, complaining that it is too slow won't help until the accompanist improves their skill level. Unless and until the Church decides to make accompanist a paid position (like other churches) we maybe need to be patient and tolerant of the volunteer musicians we use for this. My feeling -- if you have a good enough relationship with the chorister/organist to gently say something, then say that you, personally, would like to sing some of the hymns at a faster tempo. Then, leave the job of leading/playing the music to those called to the job. If it changes, then good. If the tempo remains slower than you like, accept that they are doing the best they can with the skills and artistic vision they have, and be patient with them.
  10. I'm not sure how seriously to take this. I, for one, certainly hope that we don't stop seeking new knowledge and new understanding. Perhaps you are overly concerned that new knowledge means "constant disruption and change"? Perhaps I am not as swayed by the strong language in the article, but it doesn't seem like a complete rewrite of the prevailing narrative of how the Americas were peopled. The only real change I see is that the previous assumption that people could not have crossed the Bering land bridge until late in the ice ages is wrong. For all intents and purposes, it looks like the main idea that the Americas were populated when people from Asia crossed the Bering land bridge is still intact. Exact timing seems uncertain, but, all in all, not much has changed. Maybe I am making a mole hill out of a mountain, but it certainly does not seem like something from which one should extrapolate that science is bogus and completely unreliable for learning about and understanding the world around us.
  11. MrShorty

    Neuro's seitch for fremen fanboys

    T minus about 1 month and counting. I'm seeing 22 October as the release date. Is anyone thinking of trying to catch it opening night/weekend to avoid any chance at spoilers? Or is it better to wait a couple of weekends and see what the overall reaction is? As for the books, my daughter decided that her audiobook files were corrupted, so I am reading the books to her. We just finished Dune Messiah (she was a bit broken up at the death of Chani and the "death" of Paul). She keeps openly wondering how Leto becomes a sandworm and the God Emporer, but I am trying not to give any spoilers away. It's been fun to share the experience, though.
  12. MrShorty

    The Holy War

    Well, the streak ends at 9. With at least what, 2 years, until the , BYU has the bragging rights.
  13. MrShorty

    College football fans?

    Two weeks in a row and the Utah State Aggies wait until the 4th quarter to show up. A pattern developing? Are they just going to be a 4th quarter team all season? Just keep the game close enough going into the 4th quarter and then try and pull it off?
  14. MrShorty

    The Holy War

    @mirkwood So you are predicting an all field goal game when BYU and WSU face off in pullman in late October?
  15. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    @mikbone It is kind of crazy that people want to ride the slippery slope all the way to the bottom. I don't know how to make the slope less sloped or less slippery. In the case of ectopic pregnancy, the decision to terminate is pretty black and white, but there are many other cases where the choice is not as clear cut. What might the moral calculus look like when we consider these exceptions? What goes into the decision to terminate or keep the pregnancy?
  16. MrShorty

    College football fans?

    In hindsight, I really wish I had been able to stay up late and catch the USU vs. WSU game. The Aggies pulled off a huge upset over the Cougars, snatching the win away at the very end. That must have been quite the rollercoaster. https://www.ksl.com/article/50235251/bonners-late-td-pass-lifts-utah-state-over-washington-state
  17. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    Perhaps it is just trying to understand how we are using the term "inspiring" in this discussion. I have a hard time seeing God as only the "comforter" after the difficult decision is made. Perhaps I do not understand God's role in making a difficult decision like this, but I tend to think that God would help "inspire" a decision that He knows is best. I have a hard time seeing Him saying, "I don't care whether you choose to terminate or keep the pregnancy, but I'll be there for you whichever choice you make."
  18. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    And that is their prerogative, to not talk and explore the morality of the exceptions. But, if they choose not to engage in discussions of the exceptions, then it will always be the progressive and liberal voices that control that part of the dialog. I'm reminded of once exploring the question of ectopic pregnancies and how to think about them. The LDS commentators I read decided that terminating an ectopic pregnancy is not abortion, so there are no moral considerations. Interestingly, I found some Catholic commentators with some interesting views. Since Catholics consider that life begins at conception, an ectopic pregnancy was clearly an abortion, but it was just as clear that medical necessity demands the termination of an ectopic pregnancy. These commentators then weighted in on the different treatment options for terminating the pregnancy and suggested that some are morally acceptable and others aren't. Whether or not I agreed with the conclusions, I was simply impressed that they had put forth the effort to think about the morality of abortion when it was medically necessary.
  19. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    I think you are right. And I expect that too many (probably even a majority) of abortions are "casual and selfish." I think where we run into trouble is when we talk as if all abortions are casual and selfish, while ignoring the existence of those where the woman must try her best to balance life and health or the trauma of rape or incest. I like that we can try to tackle the question, even if I don't expect we can come up with some kind of "checklist" or "formula" for deciding, but just trying to grapple with the moral gray area seems good.
  20. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    I'm not certain I understand. Certainly, the existence of these exceptions does not automatically mean that God inspires all who find themselves in those scenarios to get abortions, but it does suggest to me that God might inspire some in those morally ambiguous circumstances to terminate their pregnancies. As @The Folk Prophet said, it isn't a clear cut legal thing. Navigating this moral gray area means balancing competing good and bad and risk and reward and seeking God's mind and seeking counsel from wise people and so on.
  21. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    The Church seems to disagree, but, at least in the conservative/orthodox circles, the exceptions are barely mentioned. They are never discussed with any seriousness, which, I sometimes think, leads to some who believe that the exceptions don't really exist.
  22. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    I don't know if there is anything I can say to help bridge this gap. The one thing I began to wonder here is how much of this is because the orthodox/conservative circles are just not tackling the gray areas of this issue. It seems that most if not all conservative voices are saying things like @The Folk Prophet is saying, that the "exceptions" (that have long been a part of the Church's official position) never really apply or like @person0 said where they cannot believe that God would ever inspire someone to get an abortion even thought the exceptions are part of the official position. It seems to me that the best way to take the sting out of the weaponization of these kinds of stories would be for the orthodox/conservative community to actually take up the discussion (like @Just_A_Guy has done so well here) and really talk about abortion and the exceptions and do more to explore the moral gray areas.
  23. MrShorty

    Condoms are flying off the shelves in TX!

    I know this group tends to disdain the more liberal and progressive sides of the Church, but, if you look over there, you will find anecdotes of people claiming to have received such revelations. Perhaps I have no moral backbone, but I have no desire to try to decide which of these revelations was legitimate and which were not. I certainly don't want the state charged with adjudicating what constitutes "genuine" revelation. I believe that abortion is a morally significant issue, but I don't know how to craft legislation that adequately addresses the moral issue (recognizing that the Tx law is probably more about political messaging/posturing and not really about wrestling with the moral ambiguities) with it's gray areas. I find myself preferring to leave government out of the difficult decisions and leave those decisions up to individuals. Sure, that means that some people will abuse the privilege, but that seems preferable to me to having the state be placed in a position of choosing for people how to make morally ambiguous decisions.
  24. @Just_A_Guy If we decide it is important, I guess we can spend time defending Pres. McKay's character, but I don't think that resolves the problem. If Pres. McKay was ready and willing to receive the revelation, but it didn't come, then either someone else was unwilling/unable to receive the revelation (and God chose not to out them) or God Himself chose to perpetuate the practice for reasons He did not explain. In either case, the revelatory process created/perpetuated a practice that does not represent eternal truth, and we still potentially face the question of how reliable are the alleged revelations of our current cohort of prophets and apostles. That last made me wonder. Typically this discussion is focused on "prophetic fallibility," which, as you demonstrated, often leads to a perceived need to defend the character of the prophets. Maybe we need a new term for the concept. How about "revelatory fallibility" since the real problem is whether or not to trust the (alleged) revelations from God?
  25. A couple of different thoughts: 1a) "often" is not the same "always, without fail". The Biblical prophets did not seem to expect an end to slavery (the BoM prophets did, though). 1b) I'm not sure, in the case of the priesthood/temple ban, if the known temporary state changes much for me. As you note, Pres. McKay reportedly asked (some accounts suggest repeatedly) about lifting the ban and God reportedly told him, "no". I am uncertain of the exact dates or date range here, but the problem with the "perpetuation" of the ban still seems the same as the "origin" of the ban. If the prophets in the '50s and '60s could/would not receive the revelation to change the ban, can they be trusted to know the current mind and will of God on our difficult issues? If God really did tell the prophets to perpetuate the ban, how can we trust that God won't change His mind on the other important issues we face?