MrShorty

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Everything posted by MrShorty

  1. True, I guess, but that never happens in real life. That only happens in dystopian novels/movies/etc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The most official statement I know if is canonized in the D&C section 20. Read verses 17 to 28. Highlights: verse 17, "by this we know that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal..." verse 21, "...the Almighty God gave His Only Begotten Son..." verse 27, "...the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son." concluding in verse 28, "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." There's no discussion of ousia or any attempt to talk about the philosophy of what it means to be three in one and one in three. Beyond that, I am unaware of any official, prophetic statements that try to explain exactly what we mean by three in one, one in three. You can find various statements by individual apostles and prophets about the Nicene Creed or what they believe we mean by three in one, one in three. I could be wrong, but I am not aware of anything that will rise to the philosophical rigor of Nicea or subsequent theologians who have thought in great depth about it. I will be interested in others' responses to this query as well to see what statements and such that they choose to reference. For me, I find the statement in the D&C sufficient to declare myself monotheistic while still finding myself confused and befuddled at mystery that is a single three in one one in three God.
  11. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I'm not sure why. Maybe because I find it interesting that different apostles would have different opinions on the matter -- especially when one of those apostles (Elder McConkie) calls the opposite opinion a deadly heresy. Or maybe it illustrates the process of how the Church comes to decide truth. Before Elder McConkie, apostles and others were offering up different opinions. Then Elder McConkie comes along and makes a strong declaration -- even couching it in terms of heresy -- and the Church seems to kind of accept that Elder McConkie is correct and the issue is settled.
  12. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I know some on this site are not fond of some of the progressive ramblings elsewhere in the bloggernacle, but I recall a post by historian Johnathan Stapley where he talks a little about who taught what as to progression between kingdoms https://bycommonconsent.com/2017/05/22/plans-of-salvation/ He includes Elder McKonkie that is cited in the OP, but he also cites a few other apostles and authorities who were less concerned with progression between kingdoms. Because of Elder McKonkie published Mormon Doctrine and other, it seems that his opinions and teachings carry a lot of weight in our late 20/early 21st century beliefs, but I find it interesting that others before him seemed to have different views.
  13. MrShorty

    If the Earth were hit by a comet...

    It's an interesting question. I'm not sure what assumptions about the scenario we are supposed to use. First we are assuming the existence of a comet large enough to cleave the earth in two? Then that the half the planet plus the object simply disappear? Making the right assumptions, I suppose I could guess an answer, but it feels more like one of those "guess what I am thinking" questions rather than a real thought experiment. Do you think there are special style points if you frame your answer in the style of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"?
  14. MrShorty

    Familiar Hymns

    As a musician, I am familiar with all of those. Now Thank We All, Our God is probably less well known because it is often associated with Thanksgiving, and, since we only sing 2 or 3 of our 5 or so Thanksgiving hymns on one (maybe two) Sunday during the year, it is easy for one to "fall through the cracks". For the Strength of the Hills is one of those pioneer/Utah-centric hymns that will probably only be sung around the 24th of July or other occasional sacrament meeting where the local leader decide to commemorate the westward trek and establishment of Deseret in the western US. The others are sacrament hymns and will be chosen based on the whims of whoever chooses sacrament music. If they are already less well known, those in charge will tend to choose better known hymns.
  15. MrShorty

    Hook, line and sinker

    I think this is something I see frequently in science reporting/journalism. "Breakthrough" makes a much better headline and a more compelling article, but it seems that a lot of what is labeled a breakthrough is really an incremental improvement. But no one -- especially lay people -- wants to read about a bunch of incremental improvements. We want to read about breakthroughs. It sometimes seems like journalism in general (not just in reporting on science and technology) is becoming more about sensational headlines and such than "just the facts" kind of reporting. What to do about it? I don't know. (Other than get on various internet discussion sites and groups and complain about the decline in journalism -- that's kind of fun).
  16. MrShorty

    Hook, line and sinker

    As for old technology, the amateur astronomer in me says that we've been building reflector telescopes and accidentally pointing them at the sun to burn skin and eyes and eyepieces and such since Isaac Newton. My impression from CNN's article was that the use of artificial intelligence was the new aspect they were exploring. It would probably take someone like @Traveler (who seems to know something about AI) to really say if this is novel.
  17. Heard this announced on the radio, then saw the ad on Facebook, so I thought I would post it here -- just in case anyone is interested. It appears that Kwaku from the Saints Unscripted youtube show is going to Payson Bible Church to discuss/debate who is God Friday evening. They claim they will live stream it. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it -- not sure how any of you would feel about it, but however we feel about it doesn't matter. I couldn't find a better event announcement than the one on PBC's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1421362644679415/
  18. Could it be happening? Yes, I'm fairly confident that the probability of such a thing is much greater than 0. How common I don't know, nor do I have any good ideas for actually measuring how common it is. In short, I believe it happens. I believe it has happened to me. I'm not sure what to really do about if, if anything should be done about it at all. Overly compelled? I think there is some peer pressure (or similar) say that we know the Church is true, but I'm not sure how "overly" compelling that pressure is. Speaking only for myself, I have said that I know something is true when my confidence in that thing was really not strong enough to warrant the I know part of the statement. Some of that could have been the heat of the moment (sometimes emotions are running high during the testimony meeting). Some of it could be immaturity. Peer pressure like that was much stronger when I was younger, but now I don't feel the same need to live up to expectations. If my confidence is only I believe or I hope, then that's how I express my testimony, I feel less compelled to overstate my testimony than when I was younger. To @Just_A_Guy's point, this is certainly something I would only judge for myself -- whether I am overstating my testimony due to peer pressure. I don't want to set myself up as any kind of judge over whether someone else is overstating their testimony.
  19. MrShorty

    This was ironic

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Milk" -- My grandfather was a dairy farmer, though not Italian. Close enough?
  20. MrShorty

    Kwaku at Payson Bible Church debate

    I've tried to listen to some of it, and it has been as cringeworthy as I expected. They have adopted a standard debate format. Jeremy clearly has the advantage of 2000 years of rigorous Christian theology behind him and Kweku is disadvantaged by a theology that has much less time and a certain disdain for rigorous philosophy/theology. Jeremy, as a good "sola scriptura" Christian leans heavily on Biblical authority (or, at least, his mainstream interpretation of the Bible). I think I've had as much as I can take. I may pick it back up if they leave the recording up, but I don't know. I still wish we had a better model for dialoguing about our differences that was less adversarial.
  21. MrShorty

    This was ironic

    If Jana Riess and Ben Knowles data is right, there is a segment of the younger generations that would be perfectly happy in that particular offshoot Church. By the by -- don't I recall @prisonchaplain once saying something about coffee being something he couldn't give up -- being from the Seattle area and all? Perhaps he would be interested in this offshoot?
  22. MrShorty

    Kwaku at Payson Bible Church debate

    Amen. The notion, to me, minimizes the quest for truth into a "winner/loser" scenario where the winner is decided by who has the best talking points, can think on his/her feet the fastest, whose [human] logic is deemed best, etc. Couple that with the topic "Who is God", which is a topic that I think most of us will agree is difficult at best to really understand with our mortal understanding let alone the ability to express it in a logically coherent manner (or maybe it is just me that has trouble), and a standard debate just does not feel like the right format for discussing and discovering God. Part of me would like to hope that it can become something more like a discussion/discovery of similarities and differences (like Robinson and Blomberg's book How Wide the Divide) rather than a need to press for a winner/loser debate. I guess I am not optimistic that it becomes that.
  23. When I was young (during MG's Satanic Panic), I picked up a copy of the game, then got rid of it because my friends and I who were getting started with me bought into the "devil worship" angle. Later, as I got older and less naive, I discovered that there is a contingent of Christianity that declares any fantasy franchise involving "magic" (including things like Harry Potter) as part of the occult. I now regret abandoning the game so readily, because it is fun. I don't see D&D as anything more than escapist fantasy -- no different from any other role playing game or video game or fantasy novels/movies or other fictional franchises.
  24. Just saw this reported in the Deseret News. Apparently, Pres. Nelson announced to a leadership session that girls and women may now be witnesses for baptisms and sealings: https://www.deseret.com/2019/10/2/20894166/church-women-policy-witnesses-lds-mormon-conference?fbclid=IwAR2LtfL4QfTrRI89dQKgvRnE9bI3TwyZACki8FxbEQe-uIQAm065LXrfxD8
  25. MrShorty

    Can you please help me respond??

    I think laronius is on to something here. Yesterday, interestingly, Pastor Lutzer on the Q&A segment of his radio show tackled the question "can we separate salvation by faith from discipleship?" (https://www.moodymedia.org/ask-pastor-lutzer/archives/question-184/ ). Pastor Lutzer kind of hedged on the answer, but basically would not say that anything is required beyond that initial statement of faith. On another occasion, he responded to the question, "Is repentance required for salvation?" His response was to call that question "a hornet's nest" because there was a lot of debate in Christian circles. Again he kind of hedged that repentance should follow faith, but would not declare it necessary. It sometimes seems that some Protestants will take the "sola fide" part of their theology so seriously that they are very careful to never demand any action on our part to be saved. At this point, I don't think I would be seeking "answers" to his claim that baptism is not required. I might be seeking more to understand his position in more detail. As @Anddenex asked, does he pick and choose commandments to obey, or does he believe that obedience to any commandment is not required? At the end of the day, if your friend is Protestant and you are not, there may not be an "answer" other than, "My study of the scriptures leads me to believe that God expects us to strive to obey commandments." and agree to disagree from there.