Sharky

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  1. Sharky

    Would it be inappropriate to contact the Bishop?

    I'm not lawyer or realtor ... but I have subdivided & markets many parcels of land over recent years ... 1st, I don't think asking the Bishop or a Priesthood Leader or the RS President to help spread the word would be inappropriate. They can spread the word as their own comfort levels allow. I also do not believe that doing so is marketing to a group at the exclusion of other groups ... it is simply using a word-of-mouth system within a group that you regularly associate with. For a realtor to market to a group at the exclusion of all others could be (key words, could be) walking a very fine line ... there are ALWAYS exceptions though. For a private individual to market their own property to a specific group at the exclusion of others ... that is free will & choice. Regardless of what one is selling, a good marketer will identify the target market (the market most likely to buy the product for the maximum dollar) & market to that group, frequently exclusively to that group. Now if a potential buyer from outside that group makes an offer ... to say "no deal" could be a sticky situation with limited legal options. From the sounds of it the OP would very willing sell to just about anyone, no group membership expected so there really is not exclusion intended or being practiced. Even if I hire a realtor to represent me in the sale of some property, I (me, myself, not referring to what my realtor can do) can still market & promote that property through whatever means & options I have available to me, including through my employment or my church or my local small-town newspaper ... interested parties then contact the realtor.
  2. Sharky

    It's just not fair...

    Okay, so I read the OP & the only thought that really sticks with me with all 3 points ... Can we ever really be happy & joyful for our own riches (however big or small they may be) if we can not be happy & joyful for others when they are able to accumulate such riches? If we can not experience happiness & joy for others then how can we ever expect to find happiness & joy (& in turn peace) with what all that we have?
  3. Sharky

    Please give me your thoughts!!

    Could he be God, the God that we understand Him to be, if he did not create the heavens & earth ... & life ... & man?
  4. Yes ... & ... No There are many callings I would love to have or have had & loved ... there are also I hated &/or dread. Mostly, of those I have loved, it was those whom I served with that enabled me to do that calling that made the calling one that I loved, something as simple as changing a single player also changed the calling experience. My current calling almost drove me away from the church initially. I hated it! I dreaded anything related to church. Change 2 key players & things began improving. A big shake up & I must say that this is the greatest calling I have ever had & likely ever will have!
  5. Sharky

    Views on non-BSA Scouting?

    There does tend to be a BIG difference between LDS-BSA & just plain old BSA. Anyone who works for BSA will tell you that on the computer system there is LDS-BSA & there is just BSA. There are politics in both arenas, some of the politics are the same (like costs) & some are different. One issue related to costs, the LDS Church has policies regarding fund raising, what can & can not be done to raise funds & a limit of the number of times per year, etc ... church policies are more restrictive then are those held by BSA regarding raising of funds. As a result, the costs all too often fall to the parents in LDS-BSA whereas with non-LDS groups there are frequently sponsors (i.e.: local businesses) that will work with the troops & cover or help raise many of those costs. So some of those politics you are tired of may actually be tied into the LDS sponsorship of BSA troops rather then with the functioning of BSA itself.
  6. Some select areas will see a some differences in the curriculum for 2015, mostly in that they will be presented (taught) more in the same format of the youth program that was rolled out a few years back ... this is part of a development process for an adult curriculum change, though like LDSValley said, the material being taught is not changing so much as is the way it is being taught. The test is not on names & dates & places, rather the test is in our understanding & application of the Principles of the Gospel, our ability to incorporate them into our day-to-day lives and to teach others the Gospel not just by spoken word but also by actions/example, through the direction & guidance of the Spirit. My Stake President stated it very clearly ... Teach by the Spirit & teach the spirit of those things in which we are instructing. The Spirit giveth life, the word or getting hung up on the details taketh life. Many of the lessons I encounter tend to be full of speculation of what is/was meant by something & frequently veer off-topic& even offend some as a result ... I find it interesting that such emphasis is placed on the words rather then the spirit. The greatest strength in testimony does not come from someone else telling us or debating their belief or interpretation of the meaning, but rather through our own personal study and prayer seeking out the meaning. As for buying the Teachings of the Prophets series ... I don't think the church will ever do away with access to the electronic versions, rather just the opposite, they are promoting the electronic versions. Electronic format readily reaches beyond the membership much farther & faster then do the printed books. For me, I use the electronic versions all the time; however, I also have the complete set on the bookshelf ... I get a few reminders every year (severe spring T-storms & heavy winter snows that knock out the power for several days at a time), those electronic versions are not always accessible when you need or want them ... & without electricity & being snowed-in for several days, it gets pretty boring without board games to play (I HATE board games) & books to read.
  7. Unfortunately a lot of people are very blissfully unaware of the amount of dollars passing thru their bank account. I've encountered it a lot with people seeking welfare assistance & being asked to provide the amount of their income & the amount of their expenses (& what their expenses are). All too often they have no clue when you first ask them to account for how they spend their monthly income. Seems they can account for the big things but many of the small things they can't identify & the small things account for a lot of money. The truck payment leaving the check account ... most people give that less thought then they do a tithing payment. The consequences are clear & swift if they don't pay that truck payment so it requires no thought, it's an absolute necessity. Tithing on the other hand ... the rewards or consequences are rarely so swift. As for the concern of the automatic recurring payments of tithes ... that was a concern that an individual at COB voiced several years ago when the church first started accepting billpay tithing. I can see & understand both sides of the issue ...
  8. Writing a check each time still requires a conscious Act each time you pay. The issue with BillPay is that recurring tithing payments can be scheduled that happen every 2-weeks (or whatever time frame you schedule) without any further action or thought from the member. 5 minutes 1 time to set up the recurring payments & never worry about it again ... 100% automatic until you choose to change it, 5, 10, or even more years .... set it up & forget about it indefinitely. Tithing (& the associated act of obedience) was not meant or intended to be so automatic that you can set it up & forget 100% about it for years & still have it paid every week.
  9. No link, actual internal policy as was explained to me. Don't make an assumption that using a bank bill pay is the only way of paying direct to Salt Lake. There are other means both electronically & manually, including mailing donations direct to Salt Lake. Paying at the local unit vs paying direct to COB (regardless of paper check or one of the several electronic means) is largely one "to be determined individually by ones personal circumstances and needs". There are some concerns about using bank bill pay to pay tithes. The Act of paying tithing is an important part of obedience, using bill pay can essentially automate the process to the point where one does not have to think about it, essentially eliminating the Act of Obedience. As MoE also points out, there are some issues still be resolved with payments made direct to Salt Lake, mainly the manual process of handling those payments once they receive them.
  10. Covenant or not, is there not a recommend question regarding wearing the garment both day & night? Like many of the other recommend questions, there may not be a direct covenant connected to the question, there is still the expectation/requirement.
  11. A couple of issues jump out at me as I read the Original Post. A statement that you do not feel that you were ready to be endowed. That you came home from you mission on medical after 5 months. That you feel as if the garments are a burden and that taking them off feels like getting out of a restricting relationship. Those 3 very basic statements scream "psychological". Not saying that you are crazy, but rather, because you do not/did not feel ready to be endowed, & because your mission was called short, that perhaps the garments & your mind do not have the best of relationships. I think that once you do ready yourself to be endowed, once you do come to terms with a shortened mission, that perhaps your relationship with the garments might improve. I can see where the garments would be burdensome if one was not or had not been ready to take that step. The younger age for missionaries is great; however, there are many that need the extra year to ready & prepare themselves. It is unfortunate that so much pressure is placed on the young men & women to serve missions as soon as they are of age ... The missionary that had the greatest impact on me, the one responsible for me being an active member of the church today, he was 25 years old & it was his level of maturity & his life experiences that allowed him to touch me & my life.
  12. Sharky

    Supposed problem in the ward over

    There are similar problems in many wards, perhaps not to the extent that is being described by the OP, though there are such divisions in most wards. Generational Culture has A LOT to do with it. It is more apparent in wards that have a large older population & a large younger population with a fairly definite gap in the middle-age group. Utah has a lot of those, what had been longstanding wards where the older members have lived there for decades, the older member decreasing & young families are moving in. The Older Generation was raised and taught with certain expectations, certain things that one does, certain ways one dresses and acts. The younger generation were raised & taught with different levels of those same things. My Generation, or rather what I learned as a teenager by observing my dad: -When you know you are going to be giving a priesthood blessing, you dress appropriately, as in church dress. Most of the younger members of the EQ don't practice that. -You make your home teaching visits in church dress. -If you are accompanying the missionaries on a visit, you dress accordingly. -I was taught that when you are in the bishopric or conducting in quorum or blessing your baby etc, you dress in a suit not just dress shirt & slacks. The way one dresses not only sets a certain tone, it helps one act in a certain way, & in turn invites the Spirit rather then detracts. Seems most of the younger generation either were not taught those things or didn't learn them or simply don't care. But, that is obviously a Generational Opinion as I am rapidly entering that "Older Generation" group .... for some reason though I still prefer attending EQ even though I should be attending HP, maybe I feel younger when in a room with all those "kids".
  13. You are correct that in the US payments made direct to Salt Lake COB (regardless of how those payments are made) do not show on your local records. The Full Tithe Payer question is a legitimate question. Enquiring beyond that is walking a very fine line as they are not to deviate form the standard recommend questions; however, if the bishop has 1st hand knowledge or significant reason to believe something that may raise questions regarding your worthiness, he may & can enquire in a "broad sense". So asking how you pay your tithes could possibly be legitimate as he may have known that your records at the ward level shows no tithes paid. That said, once you said you pay direct to Salt Lake then his enquiry should have stopped & the recommend interview continued with the remaining questions. Per Church Policy at COB, local leaders are not to promote nor discourage paying tithes & offerings directly to COB. Discussing your concerns with the Stake President may be an okay thing to do. If you do, you may want to have the donation confirmations that COB sends each month & year available. The Stake Prez probly won't care to look closely at them, I would guess a cursory glance would be sufficient.
  14. Sharky

    Second Coming Guesses

    I tend to think of the Second Coming being a process ... what in this life or this world has not been a process, a series of small or major events spaced apart or in rapid succession, all leading up to "the main event". Even the restoration was a process. Patriarchal Blessings? I do not get all wrapped up in trying to interpret what a patriarchal blessing may or may not mean. The promises of the blessing are based up ones faithfulness, & in general based upon ones choices and agency ... not just my own choices & agency but also to some degree the choices & agency of others. My PB is very clear in stating that all things have their proper time and that in proper time I will "... come to understand the differences between the interpretation of temporal eyes and those of a spiritual being." Huh ... so what I see as a temporal being is different from what a spiritual being would see or experience ... My Great Grandmother, her PB promises here a long and happy life with many children that will bring her great joy. At the young age of 23 she made a trip into town where she encountered a less then favorable situation. She ran to the side of a young lady in need of medical attention and tended to her injuries. My great grandmother had herself suffered a gunshot wound; however, she did not give mind to her own medical needs, only those of the young lady. My G-Grandmother died a few days later from her wounds. 23 years a long & happy life? 2 children left for her husband to raise equates to "many"? Temporal eyes see 2 children & wonder about the promise of "many children" & "great joy" ... well, I don't wonder. Her 2 children have multiplied to over 80 with the 3-Great generation starting. How about the progeny of that young lady whom she ran to care for? Over 200 descendants ... that to me represents "great joy". I do not believe we can do a literal translation of what someone's PB says because we do not have the eyes of a spiritual being, we see and understand things as a man sees and understands them.
  15. Interesting subject as I have recently been trying to gain a greater understanding of "the psychology" of a member household where only 1 member is active in the church ... it is a challenge for the active member of the household, & even more of a challenge for the home teachers & priesthood leaders. Keeping harmony in the home can be a challenge when church people come calling or when the less active members "feel pressured" to return to church. I know of several part-member families where 1 spouse is a member the other is not, probly 2/3rds of them are less active in the church. Most, whether active or not, seem happy in their marriage. Some, the member spouse seems very strong in the church, some have raised their children in the church, most seem to struggle with church activity at some point, some struggle though never let on.