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Everything posted by Magus

  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.
  16. Agreed. I'd like to try and justify all the provocative drawings of comic book damsels as sort of an artistic expression of their bodies as sort of "super bodies" that aesthetically parallels their roles as super-heroes, and is therefore a "celebration of the human form in all its glory,"....and I could probably make a half-way decent case that might even have some validity to it.... ....but yeah the rest of it is just that sex sells. But Black Widow is nothing compared to like Witchblade or Vampirella. And in most comics, artists will often sometimes draw a pin-up style version of characters. But to be fair, the guys are pretty big hulking masses of sex appeal as well, and probably aren't at all uneasy on the eyes for many female readers.
  17. I don't think it's speculation by itself that causes division, I think it's people being intolerant of others' speculations. We can all agree on the basic doctrines. Those are the things that unite us, or should unite us - if we have enough of the Love of Christ in us to accept that other people can speculate and arrive at different viewpoints. But actual speculation is just that, and nothing more. It's not a declaration of doctrine. At most, it might influence some attitudes, and we have to be careful of that. But at the core, our Church is a Church of pondering and seeking. Great revelations came because of humble speculation, pondering and seeking for new light and answers to question, but always with the objective and humble reservation that regardless of whatever viewpoint we have have arrived at, it could all be wrong and we must submit to whatever God chooses to reveal. And with as much truth as we have with the restored gospel, there are still so many questions. But "we believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God." It's my speculation that many of those things yet to be revealed must first be sought, pondered/speculated on, and then prayerfully considered in order for truth to be revealed. Such was the way that many great revelations were received, that are now pillars of doctrine in this Church. It seems to often be the trigger that must be pulled to invoke (if you will) revelation, and that God wants us to seek these things out, because that is part of the spiritual quest of our lives. Having an open dialogue about such things in an appropriate context isn't harmful, but telling people not to talk about such things out of fear someone might lose their testimony is just going to create a closed and stagnant culture in the Church, adverse to new revelation. And besides that, I feel strongly a person's testimony is first and foremost their own responsibility. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be considerate of them, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't have open dialogue either.
  18. I may be behind the times on this, but last time I read up on it, there wasn't any proof that homosexuality is actually genetic, as in something in your dna or having a "gay gene." I accept there being chemical or hormonal imbalances due to abnormalities in the womb that can influence a person, but the genetic thing I thought hadn't been proven.
  19. See, I think I understand what you mean about saying a 2 year mission as a priesthood duty isn't doctrinal. I'm not sure if I agree or not, but I get where you're trying to come from with that.
  20. As for missionary duty, the character of J.S. and other leaders, poor training methods of local leaders, etc etc....those all seem like areas people can have a wide spectrum of opinions on that are not against the teachings of the Church. Again, I don't know what he said - but I've got my opinions on those things as well, and some of them are indeed critical. But that doesn't affect my testimony of the Church, nor am I against the teachings of the Church or disloyal to the Church. I'm curious what omega said. Would you mind informing me? Or someone? Also, is it just me or does there appear to be enmity between you two? As in more than difference of opinion? I'm kind of getting that vibe, and I don't see why anyone needs to be enemies or rivals here.
  21. Internet communication, like communication in real life, has its challenges. But as for me, I never got that he literally meant Jesus would forgive people in their sins, because you'd have to be a really bone-headed member of the Church to think that. Same for the two Jesuses thing. And remember how I mentioned some of us kind of say the same thing just differently, and then start arguing about it? I think the two Jesuses thing is a pretty good example of that. Yes, we all know it's the same Jesus, but we all know there's a difference in emphasis between the things taught in the times of the Old Testament and New Testament, the old way vs. the higher law. Yes, the Old Testament is full of love, mercy and compassion, and yes the New Testament has its share of divine wrath in that time and prophesied in times to come as well, but I think you know what I mean and I don't feel it needs an extremely elaborate explanation for you or anyone to understand, right?
  22. I was unaware you had a history. But out of curiousity, what are his contrary stances against the Church? I personally disagree with some of his opinions that I've seen in this thread, and I understand how some of his wording may have been confusing or poorly chosen in expressing the entirety of his intended meaning, but I'm not sure I'd go so far to say that anything he's said in this thread is in direct contradiction to the Church, or against the Church, or that his comments are the inverse of innocent and somehow diabolical or intended to ensnare or cause contention. I'm relatively "new" here, but I just have this thing where I hate seeing people get told they're flat out "wrong" (as in like, you're "against the Church" for it) for their opinion by a large group of people anytime they express an opinion to the contrary of the majority., even if I myself disagree with them. I've been in that situation on boards where I'm the only religious/conservative member. There are doctrines of the Church that we are all familiar with, but there's still plenty of room for opinion or speculation between the cracks, and people are entitled to it. I'm not sure I've seen omega deliberately say anything contrary to the doctrines of the Church in this thread, but I feel like there's probably been some poor communication and a lot of people saying the same thing just from different angles and then being a bit contentious about it. I never got from him that he meant that there are actually two Jesuses or that he thinks God forgives the unrepentant. But I did get a bit of a vibe that some were really trying to downplay (not saying intentional or not) the differences between the OT and the NT in making their cases, in a way that's sort of felt like omega isn't allowed to ever make a valid observation.
  23. Anddenex - yeah I just felt like in the course of the discussion, some seemed to be trying to make a case very hard that Jesus is the same as OT and NT, and in the course of doing that, were maybe turning a bit of a blind eye to what omega was trying to say. Anywho, I think you and me basically agree.
  24. It's an interesting and somewhat difficult topic. Let's not kid ourselves - in Leviticus, death or any other number of horrible things are given as a punishment for sins as simple as picking up sticks on the Sabbath - and that one dude was stoned to death...though I don't remember if that was specifically the law for everyone or if he was just being made an example of. But the fact is, Jesus doesn't tell us to stone people for picking up sticks on the Sabbath anymore. And by that standard, I think we'd all have been stoned to death a long time ago. Yes, it's all the same Jesus, and yes, when Jesus comes again, the wicked will burn and great judgments will also be poured out upon the world due to its wickedness....(and again, let's not kid ourselves, some of those "wicked" could easily be you or me, sometimes we think we are "safe" in living our lives by a Terrestrial law but our analysis between Terrestrial and Telestial law just might be off...and plenty of "wicked" people are delightful, good people otherwise)....but to act like there's virtually no difference between how things were handled in the OT and how Jesus advocated us handling them in the NT and today is also a little willfully ignorant. I guess it has something to do with the fact that Jesus (as Jehovah) was dealing with a very stubborn group of people that rejected him even when he freed them from Egypt and had done a great deal of earth-shaking miracles for them. Had it been another group of people that were not as stiff-necked, maybe the rules would have been more lax. I don't know that Jesus ever specifically said, during his mortal ministry, to do away with such and such Mosaic laws. He seemed to walk a fine line. And although he said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone," he never said specifically "hey everyone, no more stoning." There's that walking the fine line - because taken literally, he's still saying "cast the stone," but the qualifier he proposed was perfection, which he knew none fulfilled. So what he didn't say explicitly, he showed and taught by his own personal example. And so he personally defended the woman out of compassion for her life and for giving her an opportunity to repent, and did advocate a higher standard among the people - that of giving people the chance to repent and to change instead of reactionary and condemning judgment for everything, when those same people are not themselves sinless. Jesus represented another opportunity for the people to accept and live the higher law, which was rejected by those who crucified him, but accepted by those who converted and followed him, and for the first time in the world known to them, a group was established of people who knew and tried to live that higher law. And here we are today. The Jewish religion has remained largely stagnant, (relatively speaking) and the people scattered and smitten across the earth, while the teachings of Christ have spread across the globe, albeit in imperfect and fractured form. And that's not to discredit the Jewish religion - there are many great, valuable and somewhat lost teachings to be found therein...Joseph Smith himself studied and appreciated the mystical Kabbalah...and I think everyone would benefit greatly from studying such things....but my point is just to say, the Jewish religion has grown very little in comparison to how Christianity has spread. Anyway, I digress.......I think what got people up in arms is when omegaseaman75 said Jesus would "forgive" and go, and people took that very literally. I think what he meant was that on an emotional level, Jesus would have a loving attitude and be there for them despite their sins, as he is there for us despite our sins, not that he would literally forgive the unrepentant. I myself am not inclined to agree that Jesus would show up at all or participate, as I think showing up at the wedding isn't a qualifer to "be there for them despite their sins" (although it can be seen as a "nice" gesture...) and I think one can show love without doing all of that, but that's my opinion. I just think this thread has gotten into a lot of arguing over nothing and been a bit contentious. If omegaseaman75 wants to believe Jesus would show up - who cares? We all have our opinions, much of which are not doctrinal, and none of us speak for Jesus anyway.