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  1. You feel the Spirit because the Lord loves you and because your heart, despite your sins, is attuned to him enough to still feel it and be receptive to it. I, too, have felt the Spirit in my life at times when I was not worthy. The Lord loves us more than we can comprehend, of that I can testify. At times he may possibly be "slow to hear" the cries of those who have transgressed, so to speak (as mentioned in Mosiah), but he never abandons us and his hand is extended towards us always. Usually it is we who abandon him. You do not need to choose between the Church and your boyfriend. That is a false choice and frankly, a deception the Adversary would have you be deluded in. The real choice is righteous living vs. sexual immorality. If your boyfriend can't accept you being chaste - that is his decision. The other thing is.....marriage was invented for a reason...................not saying you guys should just go and get hitched because you want sex. But I think a more mature perspective on your relationship is probably in order (sorry if that sounds judgmental, just trying to give point blank advice. Maybe you are already thinking of these things I'm about to mention). One that includes long term views of commitment and where things are going to go. Do you want to have sex with someone you will not marry? Will you marry him? Do you love him? Then what's stopping you? Will he join? Does he love you? What's stopping him? All pertinent questions to consider and follow through on. Heavy lifting, I know. But that's life, I suppose. I wish you the best. The Lord loves you, never forget.
  2. Alright then. Do you have any thoughts about what I said or..... If you don't, that's fine. I was just hoping someone would have something to say about it.
  3. Sorry, didn't find it funny. Just insulting. It's further insulting that you think I don't know what a sense of humor is. Or suggest I don't have one. When people are snarky to you when you're being thoughtful and sincere, do you laugh?
  4. Saint Vincent, with Bill Murray. It was good. But I couldn't help but notice that it was kind of another movie in the line of Bill Murray playing a disillusioned old guy, who meets up with a younger person and that restores some sort of life into him and you find out he's not all bad, has good qualities, helps the younger person in some way. Like Lost In Translation, just different setting and characters.
  5. Yeah, I think that's an interesting observation. Joseph Smith set up the foundations for the restored gospel. It wasn't everything there is to know, but it was what was needed. I recall that after he introduced the endowment and temple ordinances, he rejoiced and said something to the effect that he was glad/relieved to have finished what he was sent to do with the time he had left (he knew he was going to die at least 5 years before he did). It wasn't too long after that that he was martyred. Some stuff has been added since, but it's mostly just been re-affirmation and preaching of the gospel, messages from the Lord to the Church about what we need for our spiritual growth at that time.
  6. Wow. I am really disappointed. I wrote what I thought was a rather insightful post with good information to contribute about the nature of "seer stones" and the esoteric properties and traditions of stones in general through the ages. It was relating to the topic people were discussing about how the stones work, why the Lord would use such a thing, is it the Indian or the arrow, what the role could be concerning such things in the modern Church, etc.... ....and that was your response. Like I'm some nut speaking gibberish no one can understand. I am saddened.
  7. Honestly, I hope they do that, and do it well. I feel a definitive stand has to be taken. A line needs to be drawn. And my child will most certainly not participate in a troop that allows a gay Scoutmaster to "watch over" them on camp outs. Trust barrier is broken. And you just know that now gays that want to seduce young men will actively seek to volunteer for leadership positions in the BSA now.
  8. I think you guys should do some research into the esoteric world of crystals and gemstones. Some of it, I believe, will be New Age fluff, but as with anything, research stuff with a critical, yet open mind. The ancients believed crystals and gemstones had many metaphysical properties, and/or that using stones or other instruments could be aids for scrying (like crystal ball gazing). In the bible and the book of mormon, there's quite a fair amount of mention of such things. You of course have the Urim and Thummim, but you also have the stone that everyone who enters the celestial kingdom will be given, as a metaphysical aid. You have the interpreters prepared for the Nephites used by King Mosiah. You have the stones that were touched by the finger of God for the Brother of Jared to give light to their ships...(why did he choose/fashion stones? what gave him that idea?)...And you also have the breastplate used by Aaron in the Old Testament, which had a gem stone for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. It's believed by many that, essentially, this was much more than a decorative item, but an actual amulet meant to give the high priest spiritual aid in his office. It's interesting that it was also worn over the chest, which is where the heart chakra is. Your chakras (there are 7 of them) are supposed to be energy centers within your body that effect you in various ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually....some believe that Elijah saw them in his vision, in one interpretation. The Judeo-Christian scriptures don't really say a lot about them, but if you go to India, there's a lot of talk about it. God gave light to all religions, after all, and I don't see it conflicting with the gospel, so I'm open to it. Anyway, I've recently been experimenting with crystals and gemstones. I do feel an energy about them and they have positively affected me in helping me be in a better state of mind. Whether or not that is placebo or the real thing, it's hard to say, but I've had a few interesting experiences that suggest there may really be something to it, and I'm making it a matter of prayer also. One thing to consider, for example....quartz crystal is considered an essential "power stone" that is helpful with all chakras and also is used to enhance the feeling or power of the environment it is in or is being focused on. It essentially amplifies. Now where in the Church do we see a LOT of crystal quartz? The Celestial Room. With those huge crystal chandaliers. I'm beginning to think there's a reason that they are crystal, and more than just aesthetics. I'm beginning to think that they are there with the purpose of amplifying and enhancing the spiritual nature of the environment in the temple.
  9. I have a recent personal story relating to astrology... Some background first... so,again, my Russian wife - a lot of Russians believe in astrology to a certain extent. i think part of it is that the environment toward it in Russia is different than here. In the US, astrology is associated a lot with expensive over-the-phone readings, scams, or just sort of dirty, shady places that also just want your money. However, in Russia, it seems like everyone knows a local and trusted senior citizen in the area who has either psychic ability or who knows a thing or two about the stars, and so the environment is a lot more personal, friendly and trustworthy for them. The idea is not that celestial bodies are controlling people or that they necessarily predict your future - but that somehow they are likely to have an influence on people, whether it be personality traits or influencing peoples' actions. That doesn't mean those things are set in stone or cannot be overcome, but it does mean that doing so is a bit like swimming against the current. Where that influence comes from or what exactly it is, I don't know how to explain. I myself am sort of in between on the issue. I don't wholly reject astrology, because I think it makes sense that there could be some sort of ordering power or influence in the universe like that, and because I know that for me and most people whose astrological signs I know, they match. Also, looking through Church history, it's apparent (to me) that there the early prophets of the Church probably did know things about astrology and the stars and that those things very likely fit into the larger sort of esoteric picture of Mormonism, things that are not part of the main meat and potatoes of the every day religion we all follow, but that are present and true and valuable to undrstand nevertheless, for those so prepared and able to understand with the Spirit. I also know that a lot of people bash astrology who really know nothing about it. They think it's just horoscopes and mumbo jumbo, but that stuff is junk. So to be fair, real astrology isn't fairly represented by that stuff. My dad is one of those people who totally rejects such things (at least vocally...) In fact he's so against the idea of someone telling him about things influencing him outside of his control, he never got his patriarchal blessing....but I digress... Anyway, here's the story: My wife met another Russian lady online, and she has an astrology program and offered to read some astrological charts for us. One of the ones my wife asked for was for her brother. It turns out that her brother had a very strong influence of Pluto on his chart, which is associated with things relating to death and the underworld. His Pluto was so strong that she asked my wife he has ever seen dead people, if they have ever come to him and spoken to him from beyond the grave. She said no, not that she knows of, but she would ask. The lady said that according to his chart, he should. So my wife asked him. And as it turns out, he's been keeping a secret since childhood. Dead people do indeed come to him, in his dreams, and have told him things. It usually happens when one of them dies, and he attends the funeral or something. He said that for that reason, he doesn't like going to funerals anymore. He shared a few stories with us.....anyway, it was all pretty uncanny. She read a few other charts for us and they were also all right on on the personality traits and things.
  10. There are some Russian superstitions my wife has carried over with her, and one of them actually seems to hold up - which is that if you drop a spoon, it means you can expect company will be coming that day. I'm the American, so it never works for me, but she's the Russian, and every time she drops a spoon, she takes note of it, and sure enough, company arrives later in the day. There are some others she observes. Also, every time we leave the house on any kind of trip, in addition to a family prayer, we always say "Se Bogum" which means "With God."
  11. I haven no experiences in visually seeing angels or sensing their specific presence. However - I believe, generally speaking, it would be a very good idea to actively make a sustained and concentrated effort to pursue such experiences. Because why not? It would likely require a spiritual journey to obtain, and the reward would be faith solidifying and enhancing, and I see no reason why God would jealously prohibit those who earnestly seek such an experience from obtaining it. And yes, I realize we are in a probationary state and that such sacred experiences are based upon need, due to the fact that we must walk by faith - BUT...."need" is a relative term, and it can be created....and the path to obtain such an experience is already a great walk of faith anyway. I believe that God is not annoyed, angered or offended by the bold (but also humble and patient) seeker of spiritual experiences - but pleased. Surely some reward awaits those with the determination to seek. In essence, it would be like a gift of the Spirit. And we are already told to seek those. How many of us actively seek the big ones, or actively seek any of them at all? As opposed to passively? How many of us ask for the gift of prophecy? Why not? Bring it on, I say. And as a side-note - anyone with the Aaronic priesthood has the keys to the ministering of angels. I always took that promise very literally. I also believe that angels (and demons) are involved in our lives much more than we realize.
  12. Fair enough. I realize I'm walking into a situation with a long history that I'm ignorant of. I feel like I've said all that needs to be said anyway. I don't know omega so I give him the benefit of a doubt, but I understand you have a long history and feel like you need to do what you do. But now I'm interested in hearing omega's controversial views on things, from the horse's mouth.
  13. Another reason I'm defending omega is because I've been in a situation before where I've expressed a way of thinking or an opinion amongst fellow members, and when people didn't understand me or where I was coming from, instead of trying to see that, they just got defensive and turned into the doctrine police and basically just treated me like some sort of aberration. It's very alienating. Again, I may not agree with omega on a number of these issues, but that's not the point I'm trying to make.
  14. Hate to be "the devil's advocate"'s possible that, for omega, "priesthood duty" could be a semantics issue. Just saying. There are things you can use your priesthood for, and then there are things that just having the priesthood inherently calls you to do. The fact that someone can have the priesthood, be worthy, etc, and be told not to specifically go serve a "full time mission" for reasons x,y and z may be part of what is forming his viewpoint on this.And as far as general, member-missionary type of work that lasts throughout your lifetime, I'd say that would be more an obligation or duty of anyone who is a member, not specifically the priesthood holders. For the record, I think being a priesthood bearer and member of the Church obligates you to be a member missionary at the very least, and I think when the prophets say that every young man should live worthy and go serve a full-time mission, that in itself is enough of a calling, and any possible semantics issue is irrelevant to me. Also, if you only witnessed the nitty gritty and until recently somewhat suppressed history of the Church only affecting "the faithless," well... There are a lot of people, especially converts overseas where the Church is new (like Russia) that have come across this stuff and been totally floored by it and have felt very tricked and deceived. And they were not "faithless." I think the Church's intention was good (milk before meat) but the actual result of using this "True To The Faith" (the missionary-approved booklet) sort of sanitized history has been that of setting people up to lose their faith when they are eventually confronted with the whole version of the story. And of this I do have personal experience in witnessing quite a bit. I saw it on my mission and I saw it after. I was very pleased, however, to see the essays finally put up on the Church website. A big step in the right direction, although, sadly, too late for many. This is a controversial Church and it always will be. When you have that much controversy, the right way to deal with it isn't to run from it or ignore it, you gotta own it and embrace it and challenge people to ask themselves, "what of it?" Just about everything about this Church challenges peoples' notions of God, society, marriage, love, forgiveness, obedience, and the concept of what a real, bona-fide Church of God looks like. And that's a good thing, but it can be scary for people. True religion does that.
  15. When I was talking about speculation and seeking out answers in a humble way, I wasn't talking about those kinds of topics. Nor was I talking about omega in that post you quoted. You took a question I asked you about omega in one post and used it to answer something in another post that had a completely different context and had nothing to do with omega. And in that, post, I certainly wasn't talking about questions as trivial as "did Adam have a belly button." Did I come off like I was? I didn't think so... But since you bring those things up..... Of course those issues matter, and matter a great deal. But I think the way you're treating omega is less like a brother and fellow member of the Church, and more like some renegade apostate that has to be chastised and rebuked, with you as the Defender of the Faith. I don't agree with much of what he has said, and considering what's been said, it's likely I wouldn't agree with many things - but what I object to is that I in the course of the debate, I don't see him being treated with much love, patience, long-suffering or much of an attempt to understand where he's actually coming from.