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  1. Like
    askandanswer reacted to estradling75 in A Pentacostal Reads the BoM   
    In matters like this... we tend to forget that the Lord will keep all his promises... in his time...  That last bit is kind of important.  For example if we are talking to a faithful and true member who desires the blessing of being sealed... we have no problem believing that it will happen, but the timing might not be for a while or even in mortality, but the Lord will work it out and keep all his promises.
    Yet when we hear someone who is not getting a testimony of the Book of Mormon... we assume they are doing something wrong.. and while that is a good thing to check... We also have to acknowledge that the Lord is in control, and it will happen on his schedule, in his timing.  While we might not understand the delay we do need to accept that it is for a wise purpose.
  2. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Anddenex in A Pentacostal Reads the BoM   
    I would agree with you if the promise we are discussing were to be coming from "man" and not from God. Within the promise provided the Lord provides conditions and stipulations to receiving a witness from him:
    1) Remember how merciful the Lord has been to his children
    2) Ponder these things in your heart
    Stipulations: Ask with
    1) Sincere heart
    2) Real intent
    3) Faith in Christ
    * You will receive a manifestation from the Holy Ghost that these things are true.
    If a person has fulfilled all of the above and has received no witness then this would make God a liar, and we know God is a God of truth and cannot lie. As such, the default then falls back upon us, and always will fall upon us. It will never fall upon God.
    In these cases, if a person remains without "witness" which we know wouldn't be true if they followed the given conditions and stipulations, they will one day (if at judgement) see every witness God gave by the power of the Holy Ghost by which they were past feeling. Otherwise once again, God would be a liar.
    This goes back to Christ living among the Jews. Why were there some who received witness that he was the Son of God, the prophesied Messiah, and why were those there who did not receive the same witness? God's fault, or does the responsibility and accountability fall upon us? Is God unable to provide according to his promises? No. Then the default is always at us -- individual accountability and responsibility.
    This isn't arrogant, nor does it have any hubris, because we recognize God is a God of truth and cannot lie and it is his promise.
  3. Thanks
    askandanswer reacted to pam in What happened to the Third Hour articles?   
    They want to focus on sites and projects that have had great success bringing people to baptism.  Third Hour and Ask Gramps might have played a part in someone's conversion but wasn't a huge influence.  What they are doing now has had tremendous success.
  4. Haha
    askandanswer reacted to Grunt in Missionaries   
    If you you knew us both, you wouldn't be kidding.   I kept waiting for her to run out of the sealing room today.
  5. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from The Folk Prophet in Gays and the church   
    I’m getting a little confused about these discussions of the natural man and this is the way God created me. I thought that the man that God created in the garden of Eden was a perfect man, and only became a natural man after he fell. This suggests that he became a natural man as a result of his own actions and not as a result of anything that God did. Did God make something that has faults, that is less than perfect? That sounds like a strange thought to me. I suspect that in creating us, God worked with whatever we brought to the table. His part of the process was probably perfect but He was perhaps working with spirit material that was not. I'm not sure if its fair or correct to put the blame on God for being who or what we are. 
  6. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Just_A_Guy in Gays and the church   
    These scriptures tell us a great deal about how God feels about sin; but less about the way God views that eternal value of those who have fallen into those sins or the eternal fate to which Gods sees fit to consign them.
    And herein, I think, is perhaps a fundamental philosophical schism between much of mainline Christianity versus Mormonism.  Mormonism sees pain primarily as either 1) the natural and foreseeable result of a being created according to divine light and law (as humankind is) either affirmatively rejecting or being otherwise compelled to exist outside of that divine light and law; or 2) an experience that by its nature is refining and sanctifying and that has the power to convert its sufferer into some one more Christlike.
    Mormonism (at least the philosophical  variant of Mormonism to which I subscribe) envisions a God who takes pre-existing, primitive beings and engages them in a refining process whereby they may ultimately become reconciled to Himself to some degree (or else reject Him utterly and be returned from the primordial primitive state from which God raised them in the first place).  To the extent that God causes or permits suffering in this process it is for the purpose of ultimately exalting the sufferer, not Himself.
    By contrast, it seems to me that much of mainline Christianity conceptualizes a God who creates humans ex nihilo, planning to reconcile each of them to Himself either in toto or not at all.  But for the recalcitrant who will not be reconciled—rather than simply unmaking what He has made and ending the suffering (which surely an all-powerful God *could* do), He not only keeps them in existence but takes proactive steps to make that existence excruciating and adds physical conditions that enhance the pain and misery thereof.   And all this, not for any ultimately cleansing or redemptive or other altruistic purposes; but because His Own Glory (or, ego?) demands that this must be what happens to those who cross Him.  In this view it’s not that the suffering has to exist now and in eternity because God is to some extent limited in His ability to change the rules of the game—it’s that all this human suffering (especially of His enemies) makes God perceive Himself as being the more glorious.
    This second view of God, frankly, is not one that I find particularly appealing.
  7. Like
    askandanswer reacted to LDSGator in Harry Reid memorial service: Chuck Schumer quotes 2 Nephi   
    I think His return and how He will rule is beyond human comprehension. Like most of us here, I believe and hope He will return, but I don’t know the details of it.
    I’m very confident though that those of us who make it there will be stunned and humbled by who we also see there, and who we don’t see. 
  8. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Traveler in 2 Nephi 24: 21   
    I would point out that just because someone is suffering (as we all do) that it is not always punishment.  Even within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is sometimes a false doctrine circulated that those that suffer are being punished and those that seem to breeze through everything are blessed.
    The Traveler
  9. Like
    askandanswer reacted to laronius in 2 Nephi 24: 21   
    Children paying for the iniquities of their parents even unto the third and fourth generation is actually a common consequence of evil in the scriptures. We find it in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants. Though the D&C reference immediately points out that if the children repent then they will be forgiven. I think there is the underlying premise in all of these kind of scripture verses that children more often then not grow up to be like their parents and the evil that afflicts one generation will often continue to the next. In these situations death, as used by God, can actually be an act of mercy rather than punishment.
  10. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Just_A_Guy in 2 Nephi 24: 21   
    It’s a quotation of Isaiah 14:21.  Isaiah 14:4 prophesies of a taunting “song of scorn” (“proverb”, as the KJV renders it) that Israel will someday sing over the fallen king of Babylon, the text of which runs from verses 4 through 21.  It’s the Bronze Age equivalent of “your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”.
    Or, in other words:  poetry; not a call for bloodshed.
  11. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Just_A_Guy in Gays and the church   
    The issue I have with this, though; is that the frustrations are very similar to those expressed by folks struggling with pedophilia.  I don’t mean  the flag-waving NAMBLA freaks; I mean the people I’ve met and worked with who are horrified at the way they’re wired but can’t stop the cravings and believe that they’ll never be able to find love in the way to which they are predisposed.  The vocabulary is identical.  The feelings, the longing, the despair—it’s all identical.  But a recent USA Today article exploring some of these issues was recently shouted off Twitter, because as a society we do acknowledge that enforced celibacy is a reasonable expectation if the stakes are high enough.  
    As a church we are very big into the “it is not good that man should be alone” thing; but there are times when folks are compelled to be “eunuchs for Christ’s sake”, as Paul wrote. The celibate life, while not the norm, has long been respectable in society—Victorian “confirmed bachelors”, romantic-era recluses and hermits and whatnot—and I don’t think it’s coincidence that LGBTQ suicide rates spiked just as our society bought wholesale into the notion that “you’re nobody ‘till somebody loves you”.
    But in the current cultural milieu I think what I’d say to say to someone like Archuleta (assuming he asked, which of course he hasn’t) is as follows: 
    “Any nominally Christian church (and most non-Christian religions) will ‘save’ you; but the function of this particular Church is to prepare people for exaltation.  The prerequisite for that is being a party to a male-female marital sealing.  If you, in this life, create a relationship that makes a male-female sealing impossible, then a) there’s no guarantee that you’ll get another crack at such a relationship in the hereafter; and b) the emotional bonds formed in the relationship you *did* enter will, of necessity, have to be dissolved.  In a Family Relations class at BYU some years ago, my professor was fond of saying “God doesn’t hate divorce, but He hates what divorce does to people”; and for me, fourteen years of law practice have cemented this view.  God doesn’t want you to go through the trauma of watching an ill-conceived relationship wither and die—the heartbreak, the sense of betrayal, the loneliness, the self-doubt, the wondering if you’ll ever be able to trust again and the feeling that you’ve been played for a fool as the best years of your life passed you by.  Every homosexual relationship, by its nature, must end this way; and it’s entirely preventable.  I realize that the lack of an intimate and, yes, sexual relationship is gut-wrenchingly hard; but ultimately—if you hold to the Church’s counsel on this matter then at minimum you are sparing yourself from something far more painful in the long run, and you are likely also keeping open the door for exaltation that is the whole reason you’re a member of this Church in the first place.”
  12. Haha
    askandanswer reacted to Just_A_Guy in Gays and the church   
    Where, in the scriptures, does it say that people with painted-on clothing are actually naked?  Huh?  Huh?
  13. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Grunt in Gays and the church   
    This.   I actually gave a talk that touched on this.   If God says "the line is here", why would you get as close to that line as you could?  Me?  I'm staying as far away from that line as I can, particularly if it included temptation.
  14. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Colirio in Gays and the church   
    D&C 42:13 And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.

    14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.
    D&C 52:17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

    18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

    19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

    20 If it be some other way it is not of God.

    21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?

    22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

    23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
  15. Like
    askandanswer reacted to CV75 in Gays and the church   
    Overcoming these immense feelings is also a doctrinal issue. True doctrine, correctly understood, can change attitudes and behavior. The Holy Spirit is the best way to understand true doctrine. We can have no better Friend see us through than Jesus Christ, and this is a deeply personal experience that we can invite people to share by our example.
  16. Like
    askandanswer reacted to JohnsonJones in Gays and the church   
    One of the things about marriage is to be happy with oneself whether or not one is married or not.
    If one is NOT happy because they are single, or because they are not married, it is very probable that being married is NOT going to be the cure for making them happy.  It may, instead, be a way to make others UNHAPPY.
    One needs to be able to be content with themselves before incorporating others into a least in my opinion.
    In that light, whether one is gay or not, it should not matter on whether one can be happy or not.  If they are unhappy because they feel attraction to the same gender instead of the opposite gender, perhaps they are focusing on the WRONG things in life. 
    My advice in that situation, regardless of who it is, is to focus on other things that make life worthwhile.  Perhaps, work on serving others, or improving oneself, rather than trying to get others to be the crutch to do it for you.
    The way I'd suggest is to seek first the Kingdom of God, seek to be the ideal son or daughter of your Father first, and then seek other things (such as self improvement, etc). 
    That may not be the way everyone wants to go.  Find something else rather than lust, or greed, or pride, to sate one's desires, and seek instead for things that can improve yourself and others instead.  Find a hobby or reading history or books, become passionate about music, study nature and science.  There is SO much in this world where you can focus on things to find wonder and excitement rather than focusing on our base desires.  Find ways to make one happy beyond the basic focus of the world (so lust, hunger, alcohol, and other base things should not be what we try to seek out for happiness, but rather things that increase our knowledge and ability or things that help others increase their knowledge and ability).
    I find too often people define themselves by their base desires.  I do not think this is a path to happiness, and those who think this is how to define their relationships will find less fulfilling lives from them than those who find happiness within themselves and seek to spread that happiness to others.  Those who share happiness, in my opinion, will do better and have more fulfilling lives than those who try to derive it from others.
    Unfortunately, when trying to convince someone that they should seek to be happy on their own (especially, when they are so deep into the idea that the only way to be happy is if they are able to get another person, sometimes specifically a certain person, other times a certain gender or sexuality) to make them happy, they are unwilling to listen.  Nothing one would say will convince them at that point, and sometimes telling them this will only drive them deeper into depression. 
    It can be difficult, and the situation people find themselves in is a difficult one.  If they GET what they THINK they want, at times it will bring a reprieve, though this happiness may be fleeting and is HIGHLY dependent on someone else (which means, they can make you lose it just as easily) rather than being in control of yourself.  The more permanent solution is NOT to make it so that others are your source of happiness, but to be a source of happiness for yourself and for others. 
    Two individuals that are founts of happiness will not only find happiness within themselves, but also in turn will make their partners and friends much happier by default.  It is a thing which aids not only you, but others as well.
  17. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Just_A_Guy in Gays and the church   
    Yeah, the Tribune had an article in the last week or two about it, I think.  (I’d heard about Archuleta and Harley, though Tom Christofferson’s alleged backsliding is a new one to me.)  One wonders what the difference would be between a chaste gay “dating” relationship, versus two straight people who happen to be best friends.
    In some ways, the bigger issue is this mentality  of “how far can I indulge these appetites before it becomes a sin?”.  Whether in matters of chastity or honesty or anger or any number of other moral standards—this just isn’t a space we want to be living in. 
  18. Like
    askandanswer reacted to laronius in Gays and the church   
    He hasn't accepted the fact that marriage and a family, within the gospel, is likely not going to happen in this life. That's a tough pill to swallow but it's one that not just people with same sex attraction have had to accept. I know some women who for various health reasons are likely to not find a spouse willing to deal with the challenges they face. As a result they are pursuing other rewarding paths in life. Is it still tough? YES. But they don't feel without hope and that seems exactly like where he is at this point, without hope. We must have faith to not just accept THE plan but also His specific plan for us whatever that may be. I feel for the guy but it sure sounds like he is not looking for help to endure but reasons to give in. I don't know what anyone, especially strangers, can say to help in this situation. We generally only see what we are looking for.
  19. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from carlimac in Gays and the church   
    I believe in the idea of the "customised curriculum" as taught most noticeably, but not exclusively, by Elder Neal Maxwell. I believe it is quite likely that we were closely involved in deciding what trials we would encounter in this life and that the manner in which each of us has been made is not random. David, and you, and I, may well have made an informed, perhaps even calculated, decision as to what trials we would be given the opportunity to endure in this life, we just don't remember it making that decision. This may be a viewpoint that might not be particularly helpful to David or one that is unlikely to attract his interest or attention, but that's what I believe and how I see things.
    One thing that has helped me through difficulties is to have faith in my pre-existance self that I made very good decisions, and that I made decisions on matters that would test and stretch me, but not overcome me. The pre-mortal thinking is something like "I want to grow as much as I can in mortality, or I need to grow in certain areas, therefore I will choose such and such a trial in mortality, knowing that it will provide the growth that I seek and need." And the mortal thinking, here and now, when enduring the trial is, " I believe I chose this trial for good and wise reasons, and that I can have trust in that decision, therefore I will seek for whatever it is that I believed I could learn from this trial at the time I chose to be subject to it." Summarised, it boils down to, I signed up for this, so lets make the most of it."  
  20. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from classylady in The Elder's Quorum move that left a mark.   
    I'm writing this as I take a short break from packing and tidying. The best way to reduce clutter is to move house, as I will be doing in the next two days. I've just spent 45 minutes going through some papers that I somehow managed to retain from when I was a stake clerk. In the same pile of papers was an affidavit from another country rom 2006 saying that we were the parents of a child that I'd forgotten about (I don't know the story but I do know the child is now dead. Her biological mother was our niece), about ten copies of my deceased brother's will and tax papers going back to 1993. Some of that stuff will stay (the papers related to the will) the clerical papers will be shredded, some of will be thrown in the trash and some will come with me to our new house. Our kids will end up going through the stuff my wife and I leave behind as they will be staying in this house. My wife and I are being diligent in sorting things out now because we know that our kids will want to do what classylady's kids want to do - just throw the lot without sorting. 
  21. Thanks
    askandanswer got a reaction from prisonchaplain in prisonchaplain is back   
    Well no, not quite all is well - you've been away for a year!
  22. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from scottyg in God and theories of physics   
    Law existed prior to the existence of our God because God, when He was still a man, became God because he obeyed law.
  23. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from MrShorty in God and theories of physics   
    I also think that the answer becomes clearer when we remember that God was once a man, and as such, lived in a pre-existing law-governed environment, to which he was subject.
    There also seems to be something odd with the idea of God continuing to engage in eternal progression if that progression is only in relation to, or subject to, laws that He had created. 
  24. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from MrShorty in God and theories of physics   
    I think there is no doubt that God is subject to law and whether we call the law to which God is subject the laws of physics or the laws of the universe, or some other name probably doesn't make any difference. I haven't read the article, but I will, but to me, the greatest, and possibly irrefutable evidence that God is subject to eternal is that fact that He allowed, or was required, to subject His beloved Son to the agonies of the atonement. I cannot imagine that any father who loved their child would voluntarily subject them to such a brutal ordeal unless there was an absolutely compelling, unavoidable reason that they do so. I think the requirement for an atonement was something that was imposed on God because of the requirements of eternal law. 
  25. Like
    askandanswer reacted to laronius in God and theories of physics   
    I'm not a physics expert by any means but if science is the study of how things really are then yes, whichever theory can account for everything, including "miracles" and other acts of God, would be more correct than the others.