Anddenex

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Everything posted by Anddenex

  1. Anddenex

    Stewardship vs Trust vs Joe-Schmoe

    As to my experience and knowledge, the answer to this question encompasses the purpose of the blessing. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, "Central to knowing the Father is understanding the revealed pattern of family." In that light, the most important relationship (next to marriage) is that of father and son, or son and father. The principle of stewardship is interwoven within the revealed pattern of family and priesthood blessings. Our fathers have stewardship, and hopefully our fathers are someone we can trust. Joseph in Egypt when he was finally able to interact with his father he sought a blessing upon his children from his father. If we have access to everyone, we should seek a blessing from our fathers. I think this story given by Boyd K. Packer has merit to your question: Our first thought should be to our father, if that is not an option, then we should seek someone we trust. We should be able to look to our ministering brothers for a blessing. We know we can look to the bishop. We know we can look to the bishopric counselors. We can probably look to any local leader for a blessing. At that point, after our father, I don't think it really matters; however, if we are close to someone with the Spirit we will find power and authority through that blessing.
  2. Anddenex

    Free will

    Isn't that rather like saying that "free will" is deciding whether to chuck your litter in the bin when there's no one looking, and "moral agency" is the same when there's a policeman watching? I get your point; however, with "moral agency" the "watcher" so to speak is God who is always looking. At the same time, "moral agency," incorporates personal accountability. I find it pleasing is the following verse of scripture, "The show of their countenance doth witness against them..." It is why in the end all will be able to say "Thy ways are just" to God even if they aren't in Heaven (Celestial). One could argue that Jesus still "wanted" to obey his father because he loved Him, and this was for him (being who he was) a stronger desire than his wish not to be crucified. Though I agree that "thy will" and "my will" presented as a dichotomy is rather suggestive. I agree with "wanting" to obey his father because he loved him. That is the main reason our Savior did what he did. He honored the two great commandments: 1) Love of God -- his father, 2) Love of his neighbor -- us. You are falling into the same trap as everyone else, namely of thinking that a "want" can only be something"bestial", or "sensual" or "irrational". (same with the drug addict) I'm not falling into any trap, as I don't think wants can only mean what is suggested above. I was giving an example of how we can act against a "want" in both cases (sickness or drug addicts). The argument for or against both is subjective, thus not offering true evidence for -- our choice is determined by our wants. It is better said that our choice is "influenced" by our wants, not determined. I assume an important question would be, can a "want" or "desire" be personal, and if so then that means we have free will. This is where the concept of "wants" can only be true if our "genetics" determine our wants. If there is any choice in what we like, what we want, and what we desire then we have -- free will. Simple because that "want" is mine own creation.
  3. Anddenex

    Trying to have spiritual experiences

    This here, in my opinion, is a great analogy for our current modern day faith crisis. I am a personal believer that we create the severity -- internally -- of our individual faith crisis. No. I do not believe the Church encourages any specific spiritual experience, and I think this is good. I would think it would open the heart and mind to temptation --- false revelations -- more readily if the Church encouraged a specific spiritual experience. I believe the Church only encourages us to seek after the Spirit, and to listen and be aware of when the witness comes. We are encouraged (I wouldn't call it based in culture though) to seek after all the gifts of the Spirit, and to seek them in order to build up Zion. If we are seeking after the gifts of the Spirit, sincerely and with real intent, it goes without saying that our experiences spiritually will grow and vary. Yes. We are to expect to receive spiritual experiences, but we are not to demand which ones we receive and when they are received. If we are living righteously, the spiritual experiences will come naturally. Some of the most influencing spiritual experiences were not ones I directly asked for, but they came simply as a result of living the gospel. This is one question I have strong opinions toward as a result from my personal studies. The popular answer, which I feel adamantly does more harm than good, is that yes God speaks to us all differently. I believe this answer is in part why there is so much confusion in the Church. God speaks to us all through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the same for us all. The fruits of the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit, vary (i.e. love, peace, joy, etc...). When I was a younger father and my children were younger I remember discussions about how God speaks to us. I remember a General Authority saying answer to prayers is easy enough that a newly baptized member can know it. YET, in the Church, when a child asks this question, "How does God speak to us?," the answer is so ambiguous (confusing). It goes something like this: * That is a great question. Well, God to speaks to me and I feel calm, but that might not be the way he speaks to you. I have a friend who says God speaks with assurances, they feel it is right, but that might not be the way he speaks to you. Oh, and look at this scripture, it was a quiet voice they almost couldn't hear, but that might not be the way God speaks to you. You also might get warm fuzzies and chills all over your body, but that might not be the way God speaks to you. You need to find out the way God speaks to you. * Thus, the child is left desiring and confused as to his/her question. He/she received a whole lot of answers without an answer. Now, if the gospel is simple and plain enough for a newly baptized member -- who received the Holy Ghost to understand -- does that seem plain and clear or confusing? I would say Abraham 1: 2 is the best answer for this. Spiritual experiences will come as we live righteously, but I see nothing wrong in seeking after a particular gift of the Spirit (as we have been commanded to do) and expect the answer to come. This emphasized text is the only statement I would have some disagreement with. We can't become like our Savior without the Spirit, which means we have to feel the Spirit in order to become like our Savior. Other than that, I love this thought. Focus on what is tangible, and then allow God -- in his time -- to give us the intangible (Spiritual Experiences) as we become like the Savior by seeking truth (which can only be given by the Spirit), doing good, studying scriptures, etc... Love this thought. Helaman 3: 35, "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." Mosiah 3: 19, we become like Christ by yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit. I personally believe, if you haven't already, you would love the three books authored by Elder Bednar: Increase in Learning, Act in Doctrine, The Power to Become.
  4. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    Thought this was funny in light of this thread and others, begin at 4:45 minutes:seconds in.
  5. Anddenex

    Free will

    First, it is this type of YouTube video that makes me cringe. It is someone who doesn't know but rambling on as if he knows because he read research. There is plenty of scientific articles that support Free Will, and I have read how a professor used the same article and findings to support biological behaviorism (no choice, our genes dictate our choice). There appear to be misunderstandings of the Church's doctrine surrounding "moral agency." First, is that our "free will" (moral agency) isn't "on loan" from God. Moral agency is a law in heaven, and without it we have the following verse of scripture, "And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away." If there is law, if their is righteousness, if there is goodness, if there is punishment, if there is wickedness then moral agency (not necessarily free will) exists. If a law that never existed until a society was created and a person can obey or disregard, then you know you have choice. Free will I believe is different from moral agency. Free will, technically, is action/choice without accountability. Moral agency is action/choice with accountability (thus the dichotomy of Heaven and Hell). Second, it is semantics but an important distinction. God didn't choose the latter course. The course was already laid before us, it wasn't like Satan presented an opportunity before God the Father. Satan presented an opportunity for our choice, our choosing. The Father simply move forward with the plan that was already laid out. Third, Jesus wanted to do the will of his Father and to obey the Father's plan. Jesus wasn't "wanting" God the Father to give mankind moral agency. Jesus was honoring the Father who understood the necessity for moral agency. Jesus was obeying and desiring -- as in life -- the will of the Father, "Thy will, not mine be done." The first is a fallacy. Our actions are subject to our: knowledge, our appetites, our passions, our dislikes, and our experiences. The second bullet is a fallacy also. In what way do we not have control over our wants? Any concept or idea is suppositions. So, I have to agree/accept (a choice) -- the irony -- with the bullet to accept their is no freedom to our wants. When I was 11 I had walking Pneumonia. At that time, this medicine was freaking horrible tasting. I wanted to throw up and gag every time I took it. I didn't "want" to take the medicine. There were many days I didn't take the medicine because it was disgusting. I "wanted" to get better without taking the medicine, and I got better even though I didn't take the medicine everyday like I should have. If two wants exists -- guess what -- you have a choice between the two wants. And the concepts of choosing the want which is the strongest is faulty also. Are we able to act against the stronger desire? Yes, indeed we are. We see it with drug addicts whose desire -- the strongest want -- is to take the drug. But they stay their hand. Driving down "free will" to one concept -- want -- is myopic.
  6. This is my take. The bishop (nor any leader) doesn't dictate how personal or general a talk should be. The leader only dictates the topic, and seeks to ensure correct doctrine is given over the pulpit. Follow the Spirit dear brother! Allow the Lord to inspire you with what you feel is necessary, and what you feel is not necessary (or to personal). This is one thing I have come to know through the Spirit and talks. If you sense any confusion (as God isn't an author of confusion) cut it out of the talk. When speaking if something comes to your heart and mind that is too personal. Cast it out. If it is important the Lord will bring it back to your remembrance again, and if you don't feel any confusion (maybe some anxiety but no confusion) share it. My personal rule of thumb: 1) Cast out first impression if personal. 2) Cast out second impression if too personal. 3) Pray in my and heart, "Father a personal experience has come to my impression twice. I'm not yet confident it is from you. If it is, bring it back to my remembrance, and I will share it with confidence." 4) Impression comes I share it with confidence. I have been surprised at how many times I have had this happen and the thought never enters my heart and mind again, and when I am about to sit in my seat the impression returns. I sometimes think, "Oh I forgot that!" And then I remember my silent prayer, and it becomes a thank you to the Lord. I'm sure you will do well.
  7. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    I recognize it wasn't your argument, I was more specifying a known argument about, "My Body, My Choice," that's all. Sorry that was confusing. My decision would be the same. The government shouldn't have any right or authority to make any mandate on private organizations. That's beyond it authority without the consent and vote of the people. However, Ebola with a 50% to 90% potential death rate if you are diagnosed with it does give more credence to a potential mandate. The argument for protection I would say is faulty. We don't get vaccinated to protect others, we get vaccinated to protect ourselves. That is the main purpose of the vaccine. If the vaccine guaranteed that you couldn't pass any mutation or variation of the virus, then we might have a solid argument for the protection of others. The Covid vaccine though, according to some research (shared by @clwnuke in another thread) that vaccinated persons are more likely to spread the Delta variant to unvaccinated persons. If so, a person with the vaccination is now more dangerous to me than an unvaccinated person -- which sadly has a tinge of irony. This is why I personally think, if a virus was shown to kill more than 10% of the population you would see more people volunteering and asking for the vaccine. One percent chance for death isn't something to force upon people, nor mandate. People can choose for themselves. Personally, I think if you are high risk you should get the vaccine, unless a doctor tells you otherwise.
  8. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    Great question, I believe though it was answered in my post above. Similar to Small Pox with the Native American Indians (death rate 90% or higher) Ebola from what I just read specified a 90% death rate, but according to JAG he specified around 50%. This high of a death rate the government wouldn't need to mandate. You wouldn't be hearing any satire videos of 99% survival rate. The population would recognize that this hasn't to do with any government control, as 50-90% of the population is dying. Let me provide a different scenario. Population of China is 1.4 Billion. If a virus as deadly as Ebola came through China first (as with Covid) we would have seen (if statistics and spread is fast) 700 million Chinese citizens die (assuming no vaccine). This would have set fear of death in the heart of every person watching the news. We then would have seen a similar happening across the world as it spread. The majority of the surviving citizens would be anticipating a vaccine with that high of death rate. A mandate would be unnecessary. I wouldn't vote for, and it would be disturbing if the government forces because it then creates a slippery slope with humans who desire power and control. If a person chooses not to get the vaccine and want to risk the death rate, that is their choice. What is the argument, "My body, my choice," except with vaccines it actually is their body and not the body of an innocent human being. I would get vaccinate as quickly as possible with a disease that has less than a 50% chance of survival, and I wouldn't worry about people who haven't been vaccinated because I am vaccinated. I would think if Covid, actually was a vicious disease, even with a 15% chance of death rate you would see more people requesting the vaccine.
  9. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    To be expected. Right and one person is a great comparison -- no, it is probably more a flimsy argument. Why does that surprise you? If you don't take a vaccines with that high of a death rate you are more likely to die from it. You still didn't add anything. I'm OK if you think it is a flimsy comparison. It doesn't change the reason for the mandate. Right, and Covid is only a threat if you have it (it is "active" in you), and if you have it (for argument sake) you have a 98% chance of survival, unlike with Small Pox. So, not a big deal. You are more likely to survive Covid without a vaccine, especially if you are asymptomatic, which thus says the whole argument for being vaccinated for Covid is flimsy at best. You seem to call out the smokers as flimsy, but unable to see the flimsy argument for Covid.
  10. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    No, not at all. If a disease was bad enough you wouldn't need a mandate. People would be asking for it. For example, Small Pox is estimated to have killed 90% of the Native American population (whereas we have a 99% survival chance with Covid). In some sources I read they even estimated it killed up to 95% of the population in the areas it spread. You wouldn't need a mandate if Covid was actually a vicious disease. People would readily ask for it. People who want a mandate for a disease that has a 99% chance for survival are more interested in power and control. Mass immunity will come naturally with a disease with 99% survival rate. It more humorous though with Fact Checkers now you are trying to say its actually 98.2%, as if that is a huge difference. It isn't. So, let's compare Small Pox to Covid -- 10% chance of survival (at that time for some) in comparison to (for arguments sake) 98% chances of survival. I remember, my brother being part of the hysteria, in the beginning, with the saying a chance of 10% death rate (4-10%) -- not even close. A truly dangerous disease will need no mandate. I would rely heavily on the citizens intelligence rather than government authority -- control and power -- to limit freedoms. This then brings the question, we know smoking kills people, and that second hand smoke also can kill people. Are you OK with a mandate that prevents smokers from obtaining a job if they don't quite smoking?
  11. Anddenex

    Judgement and attributing motives

    That's a great question, and these are my thoughts to your question: 1. Is the friend truly being manipulative and attention seeking? If so, then I believe it needs to be called out. I don't think it is in any way good to allow manipulative behavior -- no matter how kind we are. If it is merely attention seeking, then that is different. 2. Who is the person closest to this friend? At times like these the closest friend can open up both points of view -- not take a side -- but open both points of view. I had this with someone I love. If there was any disagreement, the person would take that as a sign of disrespect. In working on that relationship, I discovered that if I pointed out first all the things that were good the individual would drop all guard. After the guard was down, I would then point out I could understand the other perspective (if the other perspective actually had legit aspects). 3. If friend is being sincere, then the other person needs to be called out also -- in private. 4. Has there been any heart to heart with the one who believes they are crying out for help, or the one that believes they are being manipulative? Why does the other friend think they are being manipulative -- what is their history and experience? Why do some believe it is a cry for help? There has to be some reason, some catalyst, as to why the other friend thinks they are being manipulative or attention seeking or both. I just finished up with a lesson on "correct principles" and I assume there are correct principles to follow in these situations. I think removing our beam before trying to judge a situation is a great principle. I think reproving with sharpness is a great principle if we have sufficiently pulled the beam from our own eye. If the friend is being sincere and crying out for help, then the other friend needs to remove his/her beam. Thus the thought about their history and experience. Something is triggering the other friend to call out the behavior as manipulative. What is it? Why is it? Is it correct? Now, for clarity, I'm sharing things that are easy to type, but in these situations I am usually the guy in the middle, or the one that doesn't want to say anything so not to create waves.
  12. Anddenex

    The Holy War

    @mirkwood's new profile pic:
  13. Anddenex

    Judgement and attributing motives

    There are scriptures that come to my mind when considering the core question: 1. Matthew 7: 3-5; Luke 6: 41-42 - Judgement is more clear when we first remove the beam from our own eye, and sometimes there is no mote to remove. 2. Doctrine and Covenants 64: 11 - Explaining the concept that we are to let God judge between us. The core concept is that God is not judging from an imperfect knowledge of things, but a perfect knowledge of things. If our knowledge was perfect, neither of the two judgements would be seen as positive or negative as the judgement would be just and true either way. This then induces the question, is one more appropriate then than the other? If one's mercy is wrong and it is enabling, is it then more appropriate than calling out the behavior? I think the world we live in induces this dichotomy -- Don't judge -- you be you -- and I will be me. This is in part why we see what we do today. If no one is willing to call out a behavior as -- bad, not OK, wrong -- then anything goes. Has our Father in heaven created a world where anything goes, or are their rules, laws, and order? 3. In light of #2 - Knowledge - The depth of knowledge, or our closeness to Christ, will ultimately allow us to see things as they really are. Jacob 4:13 4. I think you have already highlighted the next part with are we not all beggars -- mercy can't rob justice, and justice can't rob mercy. If we are unwilling to show mercy/grace -- when it is due -- then I would think this is pride and pride is sin. 5. Doctrine and Covenants 121: 43 -- Sharpness I was told means -- before it is too late. If we aren't willing to invite, chasten, encourage, etc... it might then be too late and the person develops a habit. The scriptures are interwoven, thus this verse correlates with everything else previously shared. It is not an isolated verse of scripture. I'm sure there are other scriptures, but this suffices.
  14. Anddenex

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    It would be kinda hard to use one's religion as a reason to not be vaccinated when the leader, the president of the Church, is vaccinated. One can't really say, "It goes against my religion," like a Jehovah Witness could say, "It's against my religion to have a blood transfusion." I think @clwnuke provided a good example with a mandate for drinking coffee. In that scenario we would have a leg to stand on as it pertains to being a member of good standing.
  15. Growing up I hated this phrase, but now understand: "You may not like what I'm going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway."
  16. Its business, nothing personal.
  17. We believe in the restitution (restoration) of all things, which then induces the question, "Was polygamy already restored and then taken away"? If polygamy is seen as already having been restored, then it is less likely the Church will move forward with authorizing polygamy. If polygamy isn't seen as being restore then there is a higher probability the Church could move forward and authorize it once again. The purpose of polygamy is to raise a righteous seed. The Lord's kingdom could easily benefit from more righteous fathers rearing more righteous children who are taught, in their youth, to love and serve God. The hardship though, is think upon how many priesthood holders have left the Church, and if they were polygamists then that means more children would lose out on these blessings.
  18. Anddenex

    The Holy War

    Let me break it down for you: 1. UofU and BYU are rivals, thus the Holy War is a play on words. 2. BYU hasn't beat the UofU since 2010 in football 3. Thus, UofU is living rent free (play with words) in the heads of BYU players -- thus the reason they are still losing. Or as any sport player knows, when you are in the head of your opponent you are winning.
  19. Anddenex

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    These are the types of decrees that are clear signs that the Constitution will hang by a thread.
  20. Anddenex

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    One thing we can say with the Spanish Flu, there wasn't any discussion pertaining to, "Well, you may not know you have it." It definitely isn't "supposed" also, the Spanish Flu was more lethal and it didn't have a particular "high risk" group to worry about. If you contracted the Spanish Flu, no matter your state of health, you had to worry. First year the Spanish Flu killed between 20 million to 40 million individuals (with a population around the globe much lower than it is now - 1.8 Billion in comparison to 8 Billion). If I am remembering correctly, the first year with Covid was around 1.3 million. We have nearly 7 times greater population -- worldwide -- with nearly 20 to 40 times less the death rate. With the Spanish Flu there wouldn't have been any memes saying, "Imagine a virus so dangerous you have to be told you have it," or asymptomatic. So the idea of what virus was more deadly is easily seen in the statistics. I am also more concerned about how many doctors -- who practiced medicine and saw patients -- were shut up, and how in the beginning (can't find the videos anymore) of doctors concerned with how it was being treated. Some even saying that the treatment was causing more harm then the virus.
  21. Anddenex

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    Part of this thread is why I like JP:
  22. The unsatisfactory truth, as has been mentioned already, it is because Heavenly Mother has been revealed. There really isn't anymore more we can say. This question is similar to whether or not God the father has a father. The chances are high that he does, at least according to the understanding we have of what has been revealed. But as it hasn't been revealed President Hinckley's statement seems to fit hear also, "I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it … I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don’t know a lot about it, and I don’t think others know a lot about it." So we stick with what has been revealed -- Heavenly Mother.
  23. I tried with my wife, but couldn't ever get her to truly study with me. As a family, once we had kids, we have always had a nighttime ritual of scripture study as a family. It was the one thing I wish we could have started early on in our marriage. We had Family Home Evening every Monday together, but that was the only time I could get her to study with me.
  24. I think there is a line between concern and doubt. I would agree. Doubt may lead to concern, and concern can definitely lead to doubt. There is a difference, as such, there is a line between the two and the line is mental, cognitive. An easy example is the Bible. There are some aspects of the Bible, and its teaching, that may raise concerns regarding God's perfect love, justice, and mercy. But I do not doubt God's love thus I wait for further light and knowledge. Or as Nephi said, paraphrased, "I may not know the meaning or reason of all things, but I do know God loves his children." But what makes concern turn into doubt? Doubt supersedes concern when we are no longer desiring or waiting for further light and knowledge. We have, so to speak, given up and have given into our concern as a matter of fact. The easiest example in the Church would be Joseph Smith. A person begins to study and learns more about some of Joseph's actions. This raises a concern regarding his prophetic calling. The concern is natural, and then we will be enticed with a choice -- to exercise faith or to accept doubt (which is interwoven with fear). When we exercise faith we are accepting and remembering the witness we have already received (the fruit of the tree we have eaten), and then we wait patiently for the arm of the Lord to be revealed (in this life or the next -- it doesn't matter to a person with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ). We know we are exercising doubt when we begin to question the reality of our individual witness. When we are no longer looking for further light and knowledge. When "we" have trusted in the arm of flesh (without the whole story), and we thus begin to rely on the arm of flesh for knowledge. Does doubt start when we start complaining about the church? That is a good question, but I would say it is more a symptom (sign) of doubt rather than it originating doubt. Doubt starts when we allow our personal -- arm of flesh -- fear to supersede our faith. Or disbelieving what we were taught? I would once again say that this is a symptom (sign) of doubt rather than it originating doubt. -------------------------------------------- If I were to pin point the starting of doubt I would say it is rooted in trust. The moment we begin to lose trust is the moment we will begin to doubt. Once we begin to doubt we will begin to see symptoms or signs of doubt: complaining, disbelieving, deconstruction, coming up with alternative reasons for our experiences, etc... Much like the fruits of the Spirit are: love, peace, joy, etc. Thus, we will then see/know we have doubt because we begin to bear the fruits/signs of doubt. The greatest war won in this life will be the war within.