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Everything posted by askandanswer

  1. askandanswer

    Free will

    I think it is impossible for an external observer to make completely reliable conclusions about the motivations of a person, or to make definitive statements as to whether a person's actions are being driven by fear, wants, personal values, logic, knowledge, faith, or anything else. Given the impossibility of an external observer being able to make reliable conclusions about what is motivating a persons actions and choices, I think we need to rely on what the person themselves say - they are the ones most likely to be able to make accurate statements about what is motivating them. I think that in many instances, in answer to the question of "why are you doing that", there will be many occasions when the person will say something other than because I want to, and many occasions when they will say something like because I choose to. When considering why a person is be doing something, I think it is perfectly reasonable to give greater weight to the words of the doer of the action rather than those of the observer or the philosopher.
  2. askandanswer

    Biden's Mandate may be a tad too far

    I think it makes sense that a response should be proportional to the risk.
  3. askandanswer

    Trying to have spiritual experiences

    I'm confident that the Lord will give spiritual experiences in His time to those who are genuinely seeking to live righteous lives and build up His Kingdom. People seeking after spiritual experiences, even if they do so in all the right ways and for the right reasons, always need to keep in mind that no matter how well they are doing, it will always be the Lord who will decide if, when and how to grant a spiritual experience, and His timing and methods may differ from our perceived needs and expectations. Some people can probably accept and handle that difference, and for others, it might be damaging to their faith.
  4. askandanswer

    Free will

    I think this arguement only becomes possible because of a slippery and unjustifiably broad definition of the term wants. Many people perform their duty, whether they want to or not, and the performance of their duty has nothing to do with what they want. I think that faith, beliefs, values, and knowledge, seperated from our wants, are equally powerful drivers of actions. Wants are temporal, fleshy, earhly drivers of our actions, and we should all be striving for our actions to be driven by higher things than just what we want. One of Satan's main tools it to tempt us through our wants, and one of God's main tools is to influence us through our conscience. I have difficulty seeing how it could be said that both God and Satan attempt to influence us by appealing to our wants. I also disagree that we have do not freedom to control our wants. I think it is perfectly possible to arrive at a wholly logical decision, completely uninformed by any personal desires, and to then act in a manner consistent with that decision. We always have the freedom to decide if and how and to what extent we will be influenced by our wants and whether or not we will ever notice or respond to them. I think it would be unwise to try and limit or downplay human capacity or freedom.
  5. askandanswer

    Sacrament talk - Atonement and Repentance

    I guess that any talk is a balance between what you have been asked to do, your interests, knowledge and experience, what the congregation wants or needs to hear, and what you find in the various source materials you examine during your preparations. It may be that the whoever assigned you the talk thought that your approach and preparations, and not necessarily your content and delivery could be informed to some extent by your recent experiences.
  6. askandanswer


    So how did it go? Will you be setting a date soon?
  7. askandanswer

    Judgement and attributing motives

    i see very little moral difference between person one and person two. Both are exercising a form of judgement, and I can't see why or how coming to a favourable or unfavourable judgement makes any judgement more or less righteous or unrighteous. I think the crucial criteria to be used when evaluating any judgement is the accuracy or the judgement and how well informed it was, not righteousness. Nor do I think any judgement is necessary in the situation you have described. In an ideal world, the appropriateness of their method for calling for help, or their motivations for calling for help, should have no bearing on how we respond. How we respond should be determined by what their needs are and our capacity to meet those needs, and not our judgements about the methods they use to call for help. Of course, I can see how this can make us vulnerable to exploitation, as JAG has pointed out, but I suspect that the Good Samaritan was not too concerned about being exploited.
  8. askandanswer

    3.5 Trillion spending bill

    i think a lot depends on the conditions, inclinations, and motivations of the debt funders.
  9. One of my former Stake Presidents was fond of saying "if you almost keep the commandments, you almost get the blessings." Quite a few other members ended up regularly saying it as well. It used to bug me every time.
  10. I thought surgeons used stitches rather than buttons?
  11. Also "At this moment (point) in time." Why not just say "now"?
  12. "We'd like to thank ask advise inform invite whatever Why not just thank, ask, advise, inform invite or whatever instead of saying that you'd like to ?
  13. askandanswer

    Why did we fight a war in Afghanistan?

    It's my completely unverified opinion that it would have been so much harder and longer for the Taliban to take over if they did not have a high degree of public support from the Afghan people. I think that the only way the Afghan government, and its military forces, and the forces of the US and a bunch of other countries could be defeated so quickly by an underfunded, ill-equipped, less well- trained, less well resourced group is if they did not have the support of the people. If that is true, and I don't know if it is, but if it is, it leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that the US and others were trying to impose their will on a country that was not willing to accept it. That sounds somewhat undemocratic.
  14. askandanswer

    What if the USA's position on polygamy changed?

    If its a legal and lawful wedding in the eyes of the relevant government, should that be an impediment to baptism? Similar situations apply in Malaysia, where, under certain circumstances, Moslems may have more than one legal wife.
  15. askandanswer

    What if the USA's position on polygamy changed?

    I seem to have this vague recollection that in some cultures the church is already dealing with, and perhaps even accepting of, polygamy. It may be that in parts of the southern Philippines, where Islam is still strong, and where people are allowed to have up to 4 wives, some such people are desirous of joining the church, and then it becomes a question of what to do with their additional wives. I think that similar considerations may apply in some parts of northern Africa. I suspect that in such situations, where a man who is legally married to more than one wife wants to join the church, the only options the church would have would be to accept his polygamous wives or require that he divorce some of them or not allow him to be baptised.
  16. askandanswer

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    I just think its an odd situation that the same group of people who insist on the government using its maximum available powers to punish and protect them from the bad guys are equally insistent that that same government not use its powers to protect people from themselves. Hundreds of thousands more people have died, and will continue to die from covid spread from other people, than have been killed by all the people currently sentenced on death row.
  17. askandanswer

    Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine (shot/s)

    I can't help but reflect on the irony in jurisdictions that are so stronly in favour or lethal injections, and so firmly opposed to potentially life-saving injections.
  18. askandanswer

    How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

    Reposted to a different thread.
  19. askandanswer

    How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

    I think its not just the talks that ease the concerns - it's the attitude and faith with which they are listened to.
  20. askandanswer

    BYU - Call to Arms

    In my much younger years, back when @Vort was still in his 70’s, I spent a lot of time pondering the question of what sort of person I should try to be, until finally I stumbled across the obvious – 27 . Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. 3 Nephi 27:27 It’s only this morning, as a result of this discussion, that I’ve started to question if this answer is gender specific, ie, only applying to men. If more guidance is needed as to what sort of manner of man one should be, then the next best answer would be the proclamation. Between the proclamation, relevant conference talks, and 3rd Nephi 27:27, I’m not sure if any further guidance is needed in answer to the question of what manner of man one ought to be. On a related side issue, Matthew 8:20 makes me think about how Jesus took care of any responsibility He may have had to meet the accommodation needs of His wife and family, if He had one at the time. 20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
  21. askandanswer

    BYU - Call to Arms

    If you a want a friend, get a dog
  22. askandanswer

    How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

    Of all the issues that could divide the members of the church and seperate them from the prophet, never did I imagine that it would be disputes about vaccinations and wearking masks.
  23. askandanswer

    How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

    I'm starting to wander if there are any modern day parallels between this discussion about the prophet's counsel to be vaccinated and what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 ¶ Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Old Testament | Numbers 21:6 - 9) And we know what Nephi said about this: 41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 17:41) I can almost imagine the discussions going on in the tents of the Israelites as to whether or not they should look at the brass serpant, and whether the advice applied to them or not or whether or not Moses was or was not qualified to give such advice.
  24. askandanswer

    How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

    A previous prophets' instructions to "mask up" in a different context, and the result of following that prophet's counsel: 19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing— 20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites; Alma 43:19 - 20 37 And the work of death commenced on both sides, but it was more dreadful on the part of the Lamanites, for their nakedness was exposed to the heavy blows of the Nephites with their swords and their cimeters, which brought death almost at every stroke. 38 While on the other hand, there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites, by their swords and the loss of blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites, by their breastplates, and their armshields, and their head-plates; and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites. Alma 43:37 - 38 18 But behold, their naked skins and their bare heads were exposed to the sharp swords of the Nephites; yea, behold they were pierced and smitten, yea, and did fall exceedingly fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as the soldier of Moroni had prophesied. Alma 44:18
  25. askandanswer

    Why did we fight a war in Afghanistan?

    I think the rapid fall of Kabul became an inevitability on the day the last Australian troops left in June. To imagine that anyone could hold the country together without strong Australian support is just ridiculous. On another note, in the 19th century, Afghanistan saw off the British, the dominant global military force of the time. In the 20th century, they saw off the Russians. In the 21st century, they waved goodbye to the Americans, and others. And now, finally, they have been defeated - by themselves.