askandanswer reacted to beefche in When Friends Ain't Members...
Honestly, I would approach each person involved in the "joke" separately and privately and let them know that the joke offended you. I wouldn't get angry or respond in a harsh way. "Hey, Jack, something happened that has bothered me since. Last week, you joked about Starship Troopers and how it would be funny to have a couple of missionaries dead. I'm a Mormon and I take my faith seriously. I didn't say anything then because frankly I was taken aback. But I wanted you to know that while I can joke about my religion some jokes are just offensive. Please don't do that in the future." If he apologizes, then just say thank you and move on. If he responds in a negative way, keep your cool and just reiterate what you said.
I think their response after this exchange will show more of their character and disposition. Sometimes, we get caught up in things and don't realize how we sound to others. By keeping it private and congenial, I think shows him you are serious and is a kinder way of confronting it.
askandanswer reacted to The Folk Prophet in Pornography?
Prayer and scripture study are only one of the tools in the arsenal of faith. Miracles, etc., do not happen by "prayer". They happen by faith. Prayer is one way of exercising faith, but it is not a completion of faith. Faith is an act of trust, determination, and obedience. It involves a full measure of best effort to do our part to whatever end we are attempting to put into effect.
The reason why prayer, fasting, and scripture study are recommended is because without them our faith is entirely misplaced. We MUST include these things for the atonement to be able to work on us and within us. But we cannot simply do these things and then ignore the means God has provided to practically deal with the things of life. You can't pray a house into being. You pray, you fast, you study, then you pick up the hammer and you build. Miracles come as you do so. perhaps supplies will be provided in an unexpected way, the weather may stay mild, injuries will be avoided or minor, etc., etc., but you have to actually build the house. You can't Alakazaam it into existence with "prayer".
Prayer, fasting, scriptures, temple attendance, things like this ARE the answers, but that's because they are part of the whole answer -- which is FAITH. The problem is the naivety in treating them like they're some kind of Harry Potter spell that magically does the work. Complete faith involves complete commitment. That means more than kneeling down and expecting to stand up afterwards with all natural, mortal, compulsions gone for the mere praying about it.
As for the other means of overcoming problems, there are no pat answers. Some need therapy. Some don't. People differ as to their abilities, disciplines, motivations, strength of will, etc. But ALL need faith in God, prayer, fasting, and scripture study to overcome the natural man.
Edit: FYI, in case it wasn't clear -- this was meant as an expounding upon reply, not as a contrary one unixknight.
askandanswer reacted to Vort in For Sunday21: The Book of Mormon made understandable
Sunday21, you ask some great questions and bring up an important stumbling block for members, both new and seasoned: How do we understand the Book of Mormon? The short, facile answer is "By reading it lots and lots". This is perfectly true, but there must be a way to sort of kickstart the process. This post is my attempt to introduce you to the Book of Mormon, so that when you read it, you have some hooks to hang various things on.
I'm going to give you a very short rundown of what is contained in the Book of Mormon. But first, I'm going to tell you The Big Secret about the Book of Mormon, possibly the single biggest thing that readers new to the Book of Mormon don't understand and find confusing.
The Big Secret
The first fifty or hundred pages of the Book of Mormon are lost. (Read Doctrine & Covenants 10 for more information about this event, which was so horrible that Joseph Smith thought he was to be eternally damned because of it. In brief, Joseph allowed a man named Martin Harris to "borrow" the first 116 written pages translated from the Book of Mormon plates to show to his wife. The pages were never seen again. People cried, heads rolled -- figuratively -- and a great deal of repentance and pain were gone through.)
This means when we start reading the Book of Mormon, we're coming in during the second act, and no one is around to tell us what went on in the first act. So let me tell you, very roughly speaking, what went on in the first act.
Here is a rough paraphrase of how the first 116 pages might have started:
Hi there, reader. My name is Mormon. I am living about 360 years after the birth of Jesus Christ, but I probably won't be living all that much longer. I am among the last survivors of a people called the "Nephites". Our ancestors came out of the city of Jerusalem almost a thousand years ago, and have been largely a righteous people until a generation or two before I was born. Now they are all corrupt and will very shortly be wiped out.
The Nephites have had many prophets during the past 1000 years, and these prophets have kept extensive records of the people's doings and the prophecies given to them. God has commanded me to take this entire, huge set of records and distill it down to a much shorter book. He has shown me that you who read it, living far in my future, will encounter many problems that the lessons of my people can help you with. So I am going to abridge Nephite history down to a much shorter narrative.
The first writing I will abridge is that of our first father, Lehi, who came out from Jerusalem. The record I am abridging was kept by Lehi and his faithful son, Nephi, whose descendants we are. Here is what they had to say...
Then, at the end of the Book of Lehi, Mormon might have added something like:
...And that covers my abridgment of the history of my people from the time Lehi left Jerusalem up until the reign of king Benjamin, a period of about 450 years. There is another short record of this same period, kept by Nephi himself, his brother Jacob, and many of Jacob's descendants. I am going to go find that book right now and put it in my record.
At that point, you would have started reading 1 Nephi, the next thing in Mormon's record.
Alas, those first pages are forever lost, so we must resign ourselves to coming in after the play has begun. But 1 Nephi through Omni actually cover the very same period that Mormon already abridged, so while we miss a lot of important details, we have the essential history covered, along with many precious teachings from Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, and other prophets.
askandanswer got a reaction from Crypto in Is it possible/common/normal for church members to have a tree of life vision?
askandanswer got a reaction from Sunday21 in Is it possible/common/normal for church members to have a tree of life vision?
askandanswer reacted to zil in Pornography?
OK, this is the third time I've read one of your posts and had this random thought pop into my head out of the blue, so I'm going to tell it to you, in case it will benefit you: Get some spiritual pictures to hang on your walls - pictures of temples, pictures of the Savior, scenes from the scriptures, a framed version of the Proclamation on the Family or The Living Christ, or something. As many as you think appropriate.
(Or don't, but now I've said it, so maybe it'll quit popping into my head.) :)
askandanswer reacted to zil in Pornography?
Why not avoid the argument by discussing your desire to have the Spirit more in your life, and talking about goals you could set as a family to help you get there. Said with pure love, and expressing a desire to be an eternal family can encourage unity and more spiritual progress without having to argue over specific sins or conflicts.
You could discuss possible things you could do together to increase the Spirit in your lives: regular church attendance and participation, family scripture study and prayer, family home evening, temple attendance, callings, visiting teaching (giving and receiving), home teaching (giving and receiving), etc. Pick one or two things you think you could do as a family. If he doesn't want to do any, then at least the discussion lets him know you want the Spirit in your home, and feel like it isn't there as strongly as you would like it.
Trying to do these things on your own can be hard, but even that can help him, over the long haul, unless he resists the influence...
askandanswer reacted to estradling75 in Pornography?
To reinforce this statement.. It is not about you. If he had turned to drugs you wouldn't think "if only I could get him high then everything would be alright" Or if he had turned to alcohol you wouldn't think "if only I could get him drunk then everything would be alright" Yet many women when face with a spouse who has turned to porn think "If only I was attractive enough, if only I was sexy enough." And thus spend a whole lot of time thinking the problem is about them. And all that leads to a whole lot of frustration and heartache. You can't match a fantasy and even if you did you would not solve the problem.
askandanswer reacted to Vort in Probably a "different" kind of Christian...
In a legal sense, abortion does not equal murder because abortion is legal, and murder (by definition) is not.
in a strictly ecclesiastical sense, the Church has differentiated abortion from murder, though it has said the two are "like unto" each other, which should give any thoughtful Saint cause to avoid any statement designed to lessen the severity of the sin of abortion.
In a moral sense, you cannot say that abortion is not murder. Only God can make such a proclamation, and to my knowledge, he has said no such thing.
askandanswer reacted to bytor2112 in Probably a "different" kind of Christian...
I thought this was an interesting piece from the hypocratic oath:
I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves.
askandanswer reacted to Jane_Doe in How much would you support married children?
I'm going to go against the grain with my opinion-- how much a parent supports and adult child should NOT be related to martial status, but instead age of the child.
If a parent says: we're going to help our child with $X / mo for higher education (or something else) with the expectation that they stay in school, get good grades, live responsibly, etc. One of the expectations should not be "and stay single".
For example, if a set of parents plan on helping all their kids with college until age 23, a child should not be cut off because they were fortunate enough to find a spouse at age 21. By the same token, a single child age 24 should be cut off, because it's time for them to grow up even if they haven't found a spouse yet.
askandanswer reacted to NeuroTypical in Happy Birthday Vort!!
“You ought to write ‘A Happy Birthday’ on it.”
“That was what I wanted to ask you,” said Pooh. “Because my spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. Would you write ‘A Happy Birthday’ on it for me?”
…Owl licked the end of his pencil, and wondered how to spell “birthday.”
“Can you read, Pooh?” he asked, a little anxiously. “There’s a notice about knocking and ringing outside my door, which Christopher Robin wrote. Could you read it?”
“Christopher Robin told me what it said, and then I could.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what this says, and then you’ll be able to.”
So Owl wrote…and this is what he wrote:
HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA
Pooh looked on admiringly.
“I’m just saying ‘A Happy Birthday,'” said Owl carelessly.
“It’s a nice long one,” said Pooh, very much impressed by it.
“Well, actually, of course, I’m saying ‘A Very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh.’ Naturally it takes a good deal of pencil to say a long thing like that.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
askandanswer reacted to mordorbund in Pretend It's 1995
"1995 you say?! What a great year to be alive. Why, my friend, it only gets better from here. I can see by your sign that you're up for some conversating. Well, my friend, have I got something for you. I was just reading this morning a proclamation that recently came out for the whole world - THE WHOLE WORLD! - and I can see that you're a responsible world citizen, so I thought we could discuss it - you know, conversate. Well, it's all about the family..."
askandanswer reacted to Traveler in LDS theology and cosmology
We do not know, from revelation or from science if or what our universe is contained in – or what surrounds our universe. I do not know of any revelation that addresses this question. Currently there is no scientific evidence of anything outside of our universe. So all we have is theory. The theory that makes the most sense to me is what is called a 4 dimensional sphere. This solves the problem of what the universe is contained within with a concept similar to a Klein Bottle in 3 dimensional space. In essence there is no inside or outside or boundaries.
Using the 4 dimensional sphere as a model of our universe – if we had a star ship capable of ultra light speed we could travel in any direction we would not leave our universe but would eventually end up back at the same point that we started. Kind of like being on the surface of the earth (a 3 dimensional sphere) – and any direction we travel on the surface, we will eventually end up back where we started.
But the question now is – if we could somehow exist outside of our universe – what would we find? The theory of Black Holes and singularity offer a possibility. This gives rise to the idea that points or the point outside of our universe is what is called singularity. In essence a black hole folds the universe over on itself and creates a point of singularity outside of our space time universe. Carl Sagan helped develop the concept of worm holes or the mathematical possibility that all singularities (black holes) are the same singularity and thus connected. Thus all point outside of our universe or what surrounds our universe is singularity that is the same singularity that the space and time within a black hole.
When we say that our universe is expanding – it is not just matter or space but even time – thus we say space time (dimensional space time) is expanding. What we do not know from science is if matter is also expanding. This idea can be argued (both pro and con) from what we know from science or from revelation. But there is another possibility – and that is that black hole singularities are in essence “gate ways” to other dimensional space time. I have long considered and entertained the idea that spirits (spirit matter) are defined by a different dimension of space time. Arguing this point would take volumes – so for now I will just put the idea out there for the reader.
My point is that the answer is not in science or religious revelation – but the best understanding comes from studying both. And that we are a great distance from the truth. That in order to progress and know what to ask of G-d from revelation can be helped by science but in reality we do not know enough to even have an idea of what is really going on. Those that think to rely only and exclusively on scripture will never learn or progress in the truth. We came to earth to experience this physical universe and we should have figured out by now that even G-d is very much involved in physical things and what is going on. And that empirical evidence is very much a part of and evidence of what G-d has done and is doing.
askandanswer reacted to zil in LDS theology and cosmology
In that same chapter, v35: "But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them."
...so clearly, not every world (or creation) is meant to be eternal. As for what current scientists are thinking - scientists are all the time proving that what previous scientists believed was wrong. I tend not to worry about what they think. Eventually, they'll learn better, and whether they do or not, I'm confident God knows what he's doing.
That said, an infinitely, eternally expanding universe could certainly be compatible with eternal progression. So could the idea of multiple universes, or other dimensions. The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship may have some interesting things on this topic.
askandanswer reacted to The Folk Prophet in Help... LoC
So I just read the OP. Don't know if anyone else has commented on this as I haven't read through it all yet...but...
There's a problem right from the start when the thinking is "what's the limits of what we can do". Talk about letter of the law vs. spirit of the law, right? Let's embrace the spirit of the law of chastity here and look at things, rather from what we can't do and what we can get away with, but from how much respect we have for God, each other, our bodies, the sanctity of it all, etc.
An unmarried couple should not even come close to the limits of what they can get away with while still sticking to the letter of the law of chastity. That's messed up right from the get go.
askandanswer reacted to Palerider in Member Missionary
For the year 2015 my wife and I made a goal to attempt to become better member missionaries. We made a Family mission plan and of course put it on the fridge so we could see it each day. We would pray each day that we would have missionary experiences and that we could become better member missionaries.
We made strides in our goal and feel good about some of the things we accomplished. We both had many experiences this year and some totally caught us off guard. One of the things my wife does it take out church magazines and puts them in the waiting area of the hospital lab where she works.
The missionaries in our area stopped by a few weeks ago and gave us pass along cards for the Christmas video and challenged us to pass them out. We handed out all of them but one. We handed out 4 to our neighbors that live by us. We gave them either gifts of candy or brownies with a pass along card.
There were other things but I won't go into everything. I hope all of us can do our part and prayerfully hasten the work.
askandanswer got a reaction from pam in Cool idea for 2016
Hi David, this suggestion might be of interest to you. I hate writing by hand so for many years I recorded my journal entries using a cassette tape recorder. I still have them in a case in the shed, many of them now more than 20 years old. its much easier than writing. Today, instead of using a cassette recorded, you could use the record function and mic on your computer. And you can keep the whole file password protected so that no one else can view it, so even if they steal your computer your electronic journal will still be safe. A lot of my journal consists of a series of hard drives that I have salvaged from the computers I have used over the years.
As for the idea of keeping it all in your head, well that's not going to be of much interest or benefit to friends or family members who would like to know and understand you better once you are gone.
askandanswer reacted to Jane_Doe in Athiest & Mormon
I’m a Mormon married to an inactive Evangelical.
A relationship with someone else of a different faith can work, but it is WORK. For any marriage to be healthy you and your partner need to agree on what’s important and how to get there. You need a deep understanding and rest of your partner AS THEY ARE (not as you wish them to be). Don’t lie to yourself with false hopes or illusions.
If you want to be with this man, and not break the Law of Chastity, all of the following are required:
1) BOTH of you need to deeply want it more than anything else. If one of only sort-of wants it, then you won’t be able to keep the LoC.
2) The way you keep the LoC, then you need to avoid temptation. Do not hang out when one of you is tired and NEVER be alone with him.
Just so you’re aware, being with a person of another faith means:
· You go to church by yourself every Sunday. Once children come, you hold the screaming baby by yourself while trying to keep the pre-schooler from throwing Cheerios everywhere.
· A temple recommend is difficult to hold, particulary in regards to paying tithing.
· You cannot be sealed to your spouse or children. Your husband will not baptize your children.
· You organize every church activity, lead family prayers, read scriptures etc without his help.
· Your husband may respect your faith, but do your in-laws? Or are they going to treat your like you have an invisible friend?
· Teaching your children: do you teach them to pray while your husband teaches them …. ???? How about the importance of chastity? Charity? Repentance?
I have a great relationship with my husband, despite him not being Mormon. But I’m going to be honest with you: it is WORK, and there is a reason why >90% of mix-marriages involve one spouse leaving their faith.
If you want to stay with this boy, you can (tis your choice obviously), but go in with both eyes open and have a serious talk with him about things.
askandanswer reacted to heinzlet in Athiest & Mormon
Whatever it is that you're going to do, remember that the Lord died for you and for me and for us all. Are we not going to choose Him at all times, sacrificing even all that we have and that we may have? Are we going to desecrate our purity and possibly ruin our future as the elect of God? God's promises are so great, and please, just like you were chosen, choose Him.