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  1. (This isn’t a how-to question about the forum, but I didn’t know where else to put it.) Anybody know if/where I can download full General Conference sessions in an mp3 format? I have an older mp3 player that I can use at work. I do have the Gospel Library app on my computer, but that stays at home. I’d like to get full sessions (not individual talks) of both old and recent conferences. No luck on lds.org or archive.org, so far.
  2. Thanks for the responses, all. Great insight. I hope I can convey this same information in a similarly clear way to my friend. Just had a thought, though. Seriously. I opened the scriptures to where I left off last time, read 1 Nephi 19:1, which brought to mind the scripture that says, "Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses shall every word be established..." Might that apply in this situation? There were those with Joseph Smith when he was visited by heavenly beings, or those who saw the gold plates. Nephi quoted Isaiah and others. We've got loads of examples of prophets echoing the words of other prophets, both ancient and modern. I think it's clearly established that God's not going to say a thing once and then never mention it again (probably because He knows that many of us won't pay attention the first time anyway). If we take the Brigham Young example again, I don't think I know of any other prophet saying the same thing. So it's only out of the mouth of one witness. And, yes, I know that the Spirit is the only certain-sure way to know if a statement matches divine truth or not. But for those who are not yet familiar with the Spirit's confirming presence, or who resist it, or who don't feel it for whatever reason, would it be fair to say that if a statement is confirmed by another, then it is much more likely to be prophetic than if it comes from only one person?
  3. We accept the writings of past prophets (Moses, Isaiah, Nephi, etc.) as scripture, as divine revelation from God. We also accept many of the writings of Joseph Smith as scripture. We believe that prophets speak the word of God, and we have scripture to back that up, such as "whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." We also understand that prophets are fallible mortals, just like the rest of us, except that they have a special calling to receive divine revelation. As fallible mortals, not everything they say can or should be accepted as scripture, right? I mean, if I'm talking sports with President Monson, and I ask him who he thinks is going to win the next basketball tournament, and he says he thinks the Lakers have the best chance because of this player or that coach or whatever else, I'd still be a fool to bet my life savings on the Lakers unless the outcome of the tournament somehow had something to do with the eternal salvation of mankind. But where is that line? Aside from feeling the Spirit, how can we define what should or should not be heeded as divine revelation? For example, Brigham Young was recorded in a Journal of Discourses as having said that Adam is God. (I did read the actual passage. He says that Adam is our father, which is true from a genealogical standpoint, and he says that Adam was part of the creation of the world as Michael the Archangel, which can also be confirmed by scriptural references. But then he seems to refer to Adam as "our god and the only god...") This is contradictory to church teachings and scriptures, but it was taught by a prophet. Assuming the quote is accurate, was Brigham Young wrong, or was he prophesying falsely? That's just one example. There are others, like something I heard about descendants of the Nephites' skin turning pale after they join the church (doesn't happen) or about blacks never receiving priesthood authority. I'm not concerned about those points specifically. Just trying to figure out how to discern divine revelation from the errors of man. Any ideas? (I'm sure this question has been answered before, but I can't seem to find a thread for it. A friend asked me, and I had no good answer for him, which made me wonder the same thing.)
  4. I have to agree with most other posters in this thread. I hear some talks begin with the phrase, "I was assigned to speak on ." I hear other talks begin with "So-and-so asked me to speak about ." Then there are those who describe the whole process of getting the assigned topic, procrastinating, researching, and finally preparing it. I will admit to doing something like this once, but that was because the talk-writing experience actually produced a significant spiritual learning experience for me that I wanted to share. Some do try to start with a joke, which is fine by me, even if it's not related to the topic, unless they preface the joke with something like, "I'm going to start my talk with a joke." When the speaker is finally getting into his or her topic, the first statement is often, "Webster's Dictionary defines as [definition]." If it's a well-prepared talk, this definition will come into play somewhere later. Those examples are all general patterns, though, and the talks are never consistently good or bad as a result. There are lots of talks that don't follow any of those patterns.
  5. I used https://www.proboards.com/ to make two different forums for my workplace. We host various data reporting tools, two of which are online, and now users can more easily communicate with each other and with tech support through the forums. ProBoards is easy to use if you like the basic features. It can get complicated if you want it to, but it's not necessary. I've been able to manage both forums with only the basic features. I didn't even have to think about HTML customization, let alone consider the paid-for premium features. It's got a fun avatar tool, too.
  6. Trying to figure out if it would be breaking the Sabbath if I were to work out on Sundays. I'm an overworked dad (like many others, I imagine). On weekdays, I get up early and rush off to work where i stand at a computer all day. Then I rush home to distract the kids (1 and 5) while my wife makes dinner. Then I clean up after dinner by doing the dishes and cleaning the dining room and kitchen. At that point, we usually have something to do, like FHE or groceries or an activity of some kind, and then we have to convince the kids that going to bed is not really the end of their world. By the time I'm done with that, I'm exhausted, but I haven't done a whole lot of physical exercise. Saturdays, we always have errands to run and housework or yardwork to do, and never enough time to get it done (sometimes that's simply because getting two kids to eat lunch is an ordeal). I usually end up staying up late every night working on some project or other, like fixing broken toys or trying to keep up with the family finances, scripture reading, journaling, etc. So even though I bike to work (8 miles round-trip), I don't get the exercise I think I need. And now that my metabolism is slowing down as I get older, I want to at least avoid gaining more weight than I already have. It seems like the only time I have for a good workout is Sunday morning. I just don't know if that would be part of keeping the Sabbath or not. I would work out at home instead of going to a gym to make someone else work, but it would be fairly rigorous. Can anyone tell me if this would be a bad idea or if I might be able to legitimately justify it?
  7. 1. Using wifi service that is not password protected but is private... - I have done this, but only for specific purposes and for limited amounts of time. I've sent semi-urgent email messages, looked up directions to places I needed to be, that sort of thing. No Facebook, no games, no downloads--only stuff that can't wait until I have public or personal access. 2. Taking in outside food and drink into a movie theatre that prohibits it... - I generally don't eat or drink during a movie anyway. Except in two cool theaters in my town that actually serve food right before the movie starts so it's a dinner-and-a-movie kind of place. 3. Wearing perfectly good clothing and returning it afterwards... - I've never done this. Feels far too dishonest. The store could lose money if they can't resell the clothes, and they'd have to make up that loss somewhere, by cutting employee hours or benefits or raising the prices on other things. 4. Using a handicapped stall in the restroom... - Only if no other stalls are available. 5. Saving places in line... - Depends on who I'm saving it for. Are they part of my group (meaning I'm paying for them or they are paying for me)? Then, yes. Were they already in line and had to run off to take care of something urgently? Most likely, yes. Other people? Probably not. 7. Turning on and using your phone before the aeroplane has taxied and come to a complete stop. - No. I'd rather wait until I'm off the plane to use the phone, just as a matter of personal preference. 8. Taking extra food out of a buffet restaurant for later... - I don't think I've ever been to a buffet where this is even possible. 9. Allowing your children to use first names for authority figures or elders... - Depends on the person. My kids' teacher wants to be called by her first name. Same with three of his five grandparents. 10. Not spaying or neutering your family pet because puppies/kittens might be fun or you foresee making a quick buck by breeding. - I don't know about this one. Puppies or kittens might be fun. I doubt I'd ever try breeding. But I can see how this could be seriously problematic for people who can't bring themselves to get rid of animals they can't take care of.
  8. I had a mission companion who always had a notebook and pen at the ready during Sacrament meeting or during any talk or lesson in church. He didn't always write anything (in fact, he sometimes fell asleep and scrawled a wavy line across the page as his hand slipped), but he was always ready. If the speaker or teacher has done anything at all to invite the Spirit, and if we try to listen for that, then I think we can often get something good from even the least eloquent speakers. Though I have to admit that, if I am ever called as a youth leader, I have often thought that it might not be a bad idea to spend at least a small amount of time with the youth on public speaking. Maybe just one five-minute tip a month or something. It's a skill everyone should have, and I don't see it taught much anymore. This! I go to church to work out my own salvation before the Lord. Sometimes that means trying to help others; sometimes that means receiving help. The point is that I am there to listen to the Spirit and find out what I need to know to become a better person. Makes me think of something that came into my head once during college. "God doesn't grade on the curve." Doesn't matter if I'm sinning less or being more faithful than the person next to me; their life lessons and tests have been entirely different from mine.
  9. I've thought that myself a few times. I usually have to lock my bike to a light post or some pipe that comes out of our building near the primary room windows. A bike rack would be nice. I usually ride when I have to go to the church by myself. Like for early Sunday morning meetings or for the General Conference priesthood session. It's only about a mile, so I don't feel like I need a shower when I get there. I do take a towel with me sometimes, though. It's Oregon; it rains.
  10. Apparently, all I had to do was post about it online in near desperation. Just days ago, he's decided that playing by himself isn't so bad after all. He still pesters me, and I'll play with him when I can, but he suddenly started listening when I ask him to go do something on his own. Weird. We have been trying to tell him about the pending sibling, but I'm not sure how much he understands. Now he will talk to Mrs. Shirts' tummy with things like, "Wake up, baby! Hello, baby!" Good points. Also: Perler beads! Brilliant! I played with those when I was younger. I wonder if Mom still has that big bucket of them...
  11. My son, Little Shirts, is halfway between his third and fourth birthdays. He seems smart. He is socially aware and quite articulate. He doesn't seem to have quite as much active energy as other kids in his age range, but that doesn't bother me any. The problem is that he won't play by himself. I'm not saying that he CAN'T play by himself. He can. He used to do it. But he won't anymore. I can't figure out why or what to do about it. He's our only kid so far (one more on the way). We read him stories (which he loves), and we play with him. Sometimes I'll get out my old Lego collection and build something with him. Or he and I will make elaborate train track layouts in the living room. Or I'll engage him with a modified game of Chess or Sorry or a card game. Or he will get out some of his Hot Wheels cars so we can race them across the kitchen floor. And it's all good fun. During the day, while I'm at work, his mom will do many of the same things with him. Sometimes they'll run a few errands together or go spend a day at the park. I've occasionally come home to find them cooking together or gardening together or (once) even cleaning together. So he's definitely not neglected, so far as I can tell. He is allowed up to 90 minutes of screen time per day. That includes TV (usually PBS or one of our DVDs), video games (I found some kid-friendly ones that he and his mom play together cooperatively), and computer stuff (he loves the PBS Kids site). But I want to emphasize that this is a 90-minute allowance, and he seldom uses all of it. In fact, I'd say that his average is 45-60 minutes a day on three or four days of the week. He has his own Lego collection, dozens of Hot Wheels cars, the old orange Hot Wheels track, multiple bags of blocks, crayons and paper, puppets, CDs to listen to, a marble tower, wooden train track to build with, a bowling set, a golf set, balls, games, puzzles, and lots of other things to play with, all within easy reach, and many of them rotated every three months so they feel new. We've showed him how to make up stories with his stuffed animals or with his cars. But lately, if we're not playing with him, he'll either pester us for attention or sit on the couch and do nothing. Yesterday, I found that Mrs. Shirts had taken a nap, and Little Shirts had been just sitting with his teddy bear for over an hour, being bored. His idea of playing with his train track now is watching me build the track layout. As soon as it's fully assembled, he wants to do something else, even though I've done all the "playing." It's become a kind of passive playtime for him, and it takes away from my time, energy, and patience. So I guess that's the long way of asking: Does anybody have any ideas that I could try to get my kid to spend more time playing by himself when his parents are not directly engaged with him?
  12. Would you believe I've never been to Hawaii? I just like the shirts. I started wearing them in high school one day, and I just kept it up. I'm from Utah originally. I relocated because I don't like the desert or the snow. Hope you enjoy your reunion! Oregon is a beautiful place.
  13. I'm new to the forums, but I'll join with the others: Welcome, Katie! Personally, I'm glad you're exploring with us as part of your spiritual journey. Whether you eventually accept this as your own faith or not. One of the reasons I've stuck with this church over the years is the emphasis on personal choice, personal experience, and personal divine revelation. The Lord invites, but he does not force, and I like to think that the members of this church share their faith in the same way. So please feel free to share your experiences and/or ask questions, and having a few conversations with your local LDS missionaries might not be a bad idea as well.
  14. Well, without completely destroying my online anonymity, let's say I'm very close to the northern half of Oregon's part of I-5, and I still have relatively direct access to the coast. You're right. They're all messy. We don't know who the pending child is yet. Mrs. Shirts has decided to keep it a surprise, but I might try to sneak a peek at the ultrasound next week.
  15. Wow. Scary. Hope you're okay, but I agree with the others: I think you'll be fine. I once had a surgeon alter his weekend plans just to get me in for an operation a day earlier than originally planned, so I knew that was a big deal. If the doctors think you can wait two months, it can't be THAT serious.