MrShorty

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Everything posted by MrShorty

  1. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    @Midwest LDS You're probably right. Fortunately, we have about 3 weeks to dispose/cover the evidence. I know that not everyone would do it, but I'd be willing to come down and help with disposal. It will be a sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to keep this controversy to a minimum.
  2. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    @Fether And I expect to be deeply disappointed, "These are your so-called deep, dark secrets?! Not all that deep nor dark, are they?"
  3. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    Official church newsroom link: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/new-general-handbook-coming-in-february-2020
  4. @MormonGator Just in case someone has not seen this xkcd comic.
  5. @mordorbund In my own "ignorant of anything to do with professional dance" way, I agree that this appears to represent a significant shift in the art and style of ballroom dance. Are we discussing the importance of preserving traditional ballroom dance and decrying changes to those traditions, and calling for BYU to be a beacon for traditional ballroom dance, or something else? If it's just about sticking to tradition and not letting sports/arts change, then it seems analogous to the volleyball purists who wish we were still doing traditional side-out scoring. Or basketball purists who decry the existence of the 3 point shot. Or those music purists (many from eras long past) decrying to creation of jazz or rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or [enter your most hated musical style]. Do we think it is BYU's place to be police and arbiter of what is part of traditional ballroom dance? It seems to me that, if BYU ought to stick to its standards on this, it ought to be for a more substantial reason than, "this change to the art of ballroom dance is forever going to ruin the art of ballroom dance and we refuse to go along with it."
  6. It seems reasonable to me. If we truly are going to treat same sex and opposite sex couples the same vis a vis the law of chastity, and the law of chastity permits umarried people to dance, then it seems reasonable to allow same sex couples to dance together in a competition setting.
  7. This Christmas was the first time I had heard of the apocryphal anecdote of St. Nicholas "slapping" Bishop Arius at the Council of Nicea over Bishop Arius's view of the Trinity. prisonchaplain mentioned (here in this string or in another) a split within his denomination over Nicean Trinitareanism versus Modalism. It has made me curious just how many schisms in the course of Christian history have been over some detail about the mystery of the Trinity. I agree with you -- it doesn't seem like these different interpretations of the Trinity merit full schism over. And yet, Christian history is evidence that Christians on the whole have decided that the triune nature of God -- however mysterious and incomprehensible to mortal minds -- is worth schisming over.
  8. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    True, it doesn't help us decide which side of the debate is more true than the other. My hope would be that, recognizing that the Church has no official position would allow us to show grace to each other whether we land on the side of the "no movement" or "full movement" between kingdoms. I have heard it said that the most contentious debates in the Church are over Book of Mormon geography -- an issue that the Church claims "no official position" (outside of the BoM presents a history of some real people who lived anciently somewhere in the Americas). Some of the most contentious debates I have participated in have been "creationism" vs. "evolution" -- another issue where the Church claims no official position (other than God is ultimately the creator and the Father of our spirits). Which is not to say that we cannot have opinions, or even strong opinions. Present your ideas and support them with your favorite scriptures and proof texts and GA quotes and theological/philosophical arguments. Allow others to do the same. Ask questions and respond to questions and let the discussion run its course. At the end of the day, allow that we won't all come to the same conclusions, and that its okay that we won't come to complete agreement.
  9. MrShorty

    The Glory of Men is the Woman

    I agree. Sometimes I feel like the real question that shows how we feel about equality of the sexes is if we likewise see nothing wrong with being a stay at home dad.
  10. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/08/turner-woman-mormon-lds-church-child-sex-abuse-lawsuit-oregon/2846278001/ In an interesting turn-about on the standard "Church (could be any church not just ours) covers up abuse when they should have reported" narrative, I came across this article* today where an Oregon woman is suing the Church for violating the "priest-penitent" privilege (that makes clergy exceptions to most mandatory reporting laws) by reporting her husband's sexual abuse to police. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I expect that the case will ultimately hinge on exactly how the court will interpret the priest penitent privilege in a church with a lay leadership. I see some interesting implications for future cases either way the court chooses to rule. I will need to think on this, but would also appreciate reading any of your thoughts. I have also seen a statement released today by Eric Hawkins of Church PR that basically reiterates the Church's standard position on abuse and does not make any comments regarding this specific case. *-- If the USA Today link fails, the article is authored by Whitney Woodworth of the Salem Statesman Journal and published Jan 8 2020 and seems to be showing up in multiple news outlets. Hopefully you can find the article even if the USA Today link fails or ends up behind a paywall or something.
  11. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    @askandanswer I have heard of some of the turmoil down in Australia over this and was somewhat aware of the opposition of the Catholic Church to these statutes in Australia. As part of this issue here in the states, I have also become aware of the Catholic Church's opposition to similar bills here in the states -- most recently this one in the Deseret News about the bill that may come before the Utah legislature later this month: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/1/14/21065579/utah-bill-clergy-report-child-abuse-confessions-house-speaker-catholic-church-mormon-lds-diocese I do not claim any expertise in Catholic Canon law or how it intersects with secular law. From what I can tell, there could be some issues here -- some issues related to religious freedom, to mandatory reporting, to the safety and welfare of victims of assault/abuse, and others.
  12. Considering what I wrote above, I think I have to answer, "no" to this one. I do not share the same fellowship with a muslim that I would share with a Catholic that I would share with a Protestant that I would share with a fellow Latter-day Saint. Even within this last category, there can be differences, so it feels more like a sliding scale rather than a "in fellowship/out of fellowship" binary. But I also don't see any clear lines where I can say that I won't share a pew with ________, either.
  13. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    One of the concerns I would have is that I don't think we want the state(s) to maintain a list of "approved" churches/denominations that believe in clergy-penitent privilege. One of the things that I am uncomfortable with is that some of the allegations here about the counselor "violating" church policy potentially puts the court in the position of interpreting the Church handbook for us. I am extremely uncomfortable with this idea, though I am also reasonably confident that the judges and lawyers will be able to recognize the danger in setting the state up to interpret religious belief/practice and it won't come to that. While I might agree with you, I see nothing in what little information has come out that suggests that the Bishop or the disciplinary council told him that submitting to the law would be a requirement of his repentance. Granted we know nothing more than the existence of these councils and know nothing about what was said and not said, but I see no indication that the he was ever told to report to law enforcement. I wonder if we believe that facing legal consequences is a universal truth, or one that is applied on a case by case basis at the discretion of the bishop/disciplinary council.
  14. When the final horn sounds and all have acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, I don't expect to have a problem with Muslims or Krishnas or Christians or Atheists or myself who finally came to a correct Christology by different theological pathways. In the here and now, though.... Sharing a pew with a Muslim whose Christology is that Christ was nothing more than a prophet (and maybe even a lesser prophet than Muhammed)? I don't know. I think I can do that, if we can mutually agree to respectfully disagree on our Christology (I realize there is much more than just the Christology at stake, too). Sharing a pew with a Jehovah's Witness who, if I understand their Christology, believes that Christ is less than God, but greater than man and has the unique position of being our redeemer? I don't know. I think I can do that, again if we can respectfully agree to disagree on the Christology. Sharing a pew with a Nicene Trinitarian? I can probably do that with the same caveat. Sharing a pew with a Modalist? I can probably do that with the same caveat. But, then I want to ask myself, "Are there no boundaries at all around my belief system? No specific beliefs that are required for me to be comfortable worshiping with someone else?" Maybe I'm just all wishy-washy like Charlie Brown. Is there no level of doctrinal purity that I will require to be considered "in fellowship" with someone? I think I had better stop there, before I start questioning whether I even can know my own name and my mother's maiden name.
  15. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    Interestingly, the article mentioned a bill going before the Utah legislature that would essentially remove the clergy-confession privilege in the state of Utah -- making all clergy mandatory reporters even if they learn of the abuse as part of "confession" (there is a link within my link that goes to the Tribune's coverage of this bill, if you feel so inclined). It looks like the Utah state legislature will get an opportunity to debate the issues you mention. This seemed like a part of how having a lay ministry might play into this. As I understand the story, man confesses to bishop. Bishop convenes a disciplinary council which brings in several other members of the Church's lay clergy (including the counselor in question). Are these additional council members acting in the capacity of their regular day jobs and not clergy, or are they acting as clergy in this case? Is the disciplinary council still part of the confessional, or is it something different? Considering the lay nature of our clergy, how do the rules that govern our day jobs impact our church service? Extending to religious liberty, how much do we want the government and courts deciding these things for us? As I said, I have no legal expertise to understand all of the legal ins and outs. But it seems that there may be some interesting aspects to this case.
  16. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    I have not expertise in the legalities here, so I will have to take your word for it. You are the first to assert that priest-penitent privilege would be void in this case -- the newspaper columnist and others I have seen comment on it have not made this same assertion. From what I can gather, most states have exceptions to mandatory reporting laws for clergy confessions. In many ways, I think it will be interesting to see how the courts interpret the clergy privilege in this case -- Does it apply to churches with a lay clergy or only professional clergy? Does it apply to the clerics assistants (counselors in a bishopric in this case)?
  17. True, I guess, but that never happens in real life. That only happens in dystopian novels/movies/etc.
  18. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I don't know how "official" this really is, but I came across a statement authored by Joseph L. Anderson, secretary of the First Presidency, apparently acting in this official capacity in 1952 (and repeated for some reason in 1965) that claims that there is not official position on progression between kingdoms. Fairmormon references it here, and concludes that the Church has no official position on the topic https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_Do_Mormons_believe_that_there_is_there_progression_between_the_three_degrees_of_glory%3F I have seen rumors that this position has been reiterated in a First Presidency letter in more recent years, but do not have access to those archives to verify or not. Not sure if that adds anything to the discussion or not.
  19. Not a mission companion, but I recall some at BYU-P saying something like this to me. As a lifelong Utah Mormon (er... member of the Church of ...), I must admit that, in my time at BYU, I really got tired of the way non-Utahns sometimes spoke about Utahns. I'm not saying that Utah members had everything figured out (though we sometimes did act like we did) or that we did not experience a certain amount of cultural blindness because we are somewhat "insulated" from "the world". We are far from perfect. I think what really got to me was that so many of these "bash on Utahns" discussions devolved into discussion of inconsequentials -- like how we pronounce words -- swallowing t's in words like "mountain" and pronouncing words like "root" to rhyme with "foot" instead of "boot". I knew way too many people who used those kinds of pronunciations who were good, honest, God-fearing, trying-their-best kind of people, and I really got tired of the way such people got demonized for inconsequentials. Perhaps if these discussions had stayed focused on the important things that we as Utahns could do better, I would not have gotten so tired of them.
  20. MrShorty

    Agency and the Atonement

    It seems to me that this is essentially the "Is God Sovereign" vs. "Does Man have Free Will" debate that has been rumbling through Christianity for ~2000 years. I don't claim to know how the two seemingly contradictory ideas mesh together -- as @JustAGuy said -- this is the kind of calculus that God can do that I cannot. Somehow my choices are mine and they are meaningful (for good or ill) to me and those around me, but my choices cannot frustrate God's plans and will for others and mankind on the whole. How that really works, I don't know.
  21. MrShorty

    Financial Whistleblower

    Slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, so, maybe. Maybe this is the first step on the slippery slope to taxation of charities and churches, I don't know. It seems that churches operate just fine as non-profits in nations where they are required to report, so mandatory reporting by itself does not seem to necessarily lead to taxation and integrating charities into the same category as for profits (at least not yet). I'm not sure that requiring churches to report finances will inevitably lead to the worst case scenario.
  22. MrShorty

    Financial Whistleblower

    I admit I have not searched very hard for the information, but you may be surprised to learn that I have not searched because, according to those who have searched (like Sam Brunson mentioned earlier in the thread or D Michael Quinn who wrote a history of Church finances a couple of years ago) assert that such a financial report is not required in the US. The most common financial report that I see referenced is the one for the UK where the Church is required to file, and I see mentions that Canada and maybe Australia also require such disclosures. As near as I can tell, everything the public thinks it knows about Church finances is extrapolated from those countries where such financial disclosures are required by law.
  23. MrShorty

    Financial Whistleblower

    I thought this had some useful information: https://publicsquaremag.org/editorials/the-100-billion-mormon-church-story-a-contextual-analysis/?fbclid=IwAR2esMr6KeXYqOTbdCFR1EsVlWbLKOkWwlIdMI_MGm2fPdey9vvCmT03YaE The part that really stood out to me was that his is the first article that really explained that it is common for charitable trusts to have funds of 10 to 20 times annual operating costs. I'm not sure how they know what the Church's operating costs are (since the Church refuses to publish them as is their right), but Miller claims that $100E9 is a believable value and that $100E9 is about 16 times the Church's annual expenses (I think he is using the $6E9 figure that I see floating around that I believe comes from D. Michael Quinn's analysis, but is otherwise unverifiable in any official way). Miller's analysis suggests to me that the Church is managing its finances similar to other charities, and I at least feel better about it. I do find myself sympathetic to MoE's request for a little bit of transparency -- it doesn't seem like it would hurt to publish and abbreviated statement to show in some official way that the Church is within normal parameters for a non-profit, but I at least feel better understanding this.
  24. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    We must have different standards for how something becomes official doctrine of the Church. IMO, it takes a lot more than just being approved through Correlation. For example, Elder McConkie also included evolution as one of his heresies, but our own debates on this forum show that many of us do not believe that evolution is inherently heretical. It tends to be an ugly debate, so I am not interested in following the trail into that particular rabbit hole, only to say that there seem to be a good many of us who do not equate "got passed Correlation" to "official position of the Church.
  25. Interestingly, I recall listening to a radio program distributed by Moody radio where the Protestant/Trinitarian radio host used the same analogy to try to help explain how three separate beings can still be treated as one. I don't know how far I would push the analogy. I agree that, if someone is having trouble understanding how 3 can be 1, the mortal analog of marriage may help. But, I think any attempt to draw a mortal analogy to heavenly things -- especially something as challenging to understand as the nature of God -- will fall short.