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Everything posted by Elphaba

  1. Yeah, it's a good thing the anti-Mormons weren't busy that day. The anti-Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster would not have been nearly as specious. From at least the '60s to the mid-'70s, I WAS taught that my husband and I could earn our own world/planet and we would be worshipped by our spirit children who would eventually inhabit that planet, in exactly the same manner Heavenly Father had earned the Earth, sent us, his spirit children to it to gain physical bodies, and we worshipped Him. That's not to say the anti-Mormons are completely innocent, as I don't recall ever hearing we would "have high hopes" for any of this. So, I'll give you that one.Look, I am not saying anti-Mormons don't exist, or they haven't done their damage. We all know they do and have. But far too often they are blamed, especially by people too young or too new to know otherwise, for the creation of misleading issues the Church finds difficult and/or embarrassing when those issues originated, and should have been dealt with by, the Church itself. IMO, this is one of those issues. By the way, when we discussed the characteristics of our respective planets/worlds in early morning Seminary one day back in the early '70s, I decided that on my planet, kittens would never grow up. Elphaba
  2. Hi Guys! I was having a good day and decided to stop in for my once-every-six-month drive-by. Elph
  3. I never said it didn't. That's ridiculous. The policy actually creates a lot of extra sealing work. First, contrary to your claim, not all of the sealings remain in place. As I explained, once all parties have passed on, the wife chooses the husband she wants to spend eternity with, which essentially annuls the sealings of her remaining husbands. Then, these ex-husbands are free to find eternal wives for themselves, which requires new sealings. That's a LOT of extra sealing work. Again, I did not dispute that. I was responding to your claim that sealings won't be swapped around after this life, when many will be. There will also be some new sealings arranged. Regardless, they will all be for people who have already passed on. I have no idea how the mortal temple workers are supposed to know about these sealings, but that's God's problem, not mine. ETA: I just read JAG's explanation of a temple worker receiving revelation re: a sealing. That would work. Elphaba
  4. That's not exactly true. Either Elder Oaks or Elder Wickman (can't remember which) said in an interview that LDS people who are homosexual and remain worthy throughout their mortal lives will no longer be gay once they have passed on. Thus, in the next life, they will have the opportunity to meet and marry someone of the opposite sex, and enjoy all the blessings that entails, for eternity. Again, this is not exactly true. A woman can be married and sealed to all of her husbands, albeit posthumously, with the understanding that in the next life she will choose the one husband she wants to spend eternity with. So, many husbands' sealings will be undone.I do agree with your position that LDS doctrine states men who have married and been sealed to two or more wives will live with all his wives in a "celestial marriage" for eternity. But there do seem to be a variety of ways sealings will be re/arranged in the next life, whether it be due to jilted husbands, or a single ex-gay who finds his wife from amongst the sinners he's teaching the gospel to in spirit prison. Elphaba
  5. I was a member for 25+ years prior to your twenty, and I was definitely taught that if we were righteous enough to attain exaltation we would create and populate our own "planet." As you can see in the references below, "world" is the word preferred by the Church in official publications, but I recall using both "world" and "planet" consistently and interchangeably in Sunday School, Seminary and Institute. It was always a favorite topic of discussion, especially as we got older and became more creative, perceptive, and comical. So, no, the belief that Latter-day Saints will earn their own planet is not something conjured by deceitful anti-Mormons. I agree it has been caricatured by them, but the concept originated with the Church itself. A few references: And my favorite: Elphaba
  6. Perhaps it is the series’ title, “Revelations in Context,“ that is throwing me. I thought it was specifically about, and organized by, revelations received for specific people, with the history provided only to show the context of that revelation. I did notice the essay on Martin Harris does not contain every single revelation directed toward him, so obviously it was not the series' goal to include each and every single occurrence. Nonetheless, the Harris exclusions were fairly unimportant revelations (if one can call a revelation that) compared to Emma's found in D&C 132, and it just makes no sense to me to have excluded it.However, after I re-read your posts, I think you see this as a series about the history of these revelations, and thus, is organized historically. Is that accurate? You had mentioned an upcoming essay on D&C 132 a few times. Does that mean you know, for a fact, that it will be addressed in the series at a later date? If my impression is correct, and the series is organized by revelations, I still maintain it was wrong to exclude Emma’s from D&C 132. Off the top of my head, I honestly cannot think of one revelation that requires additional context more than that one. However, if you are correct that it is organized by history, then I think the series' title choice is confusing, but can also understand why they would leave Emma's D&C 132 revelations out of the already written article. The new one is going to be a doozy and will need all the space it can get. Elph
  7. One's First Amendment right to "Freedom of Religion," (which logically must include freedom FROM religion), refers specifically to the government not interfering with someone's religious choices. Parents can interfere all they want.Whether or not it is a good idea to do so is a different issue. But you are not violating his right to freedom of religion if you choose to set some rules regarding his participation in your religious functions. Elphaba
  8. Thank you! It's nice to talk with you again. My point is that an article discussing revelations made specifically to Emma should include D&C 132: 51-56. Omitting those verses, which chastise her for not accepting the commandment that Joseph practice polygamy, looks suspiciously like it's been excluded to not have to deal with a difficult part of Church history. That's not what I would expect in a "solid" and "candid" article. Thank you for the JSHistory reference. I had not seen that before, and agree it is persuasive. In my defense, I have read numerous sources stating the U&T was not returned, including the following FAIR article: After reading the reference you provided, I agree with you that my use of "inaccurate" was . . . inaccurate, and that "murky" works well. I think the fact that not one single eyewitness to the translation process from that point on said Joseph used the interpreters that had supposedly been returned, but rather the seer stone, makes it reasonable to conclude we don’t know for sure what, exactly, was “returned” to Joseph. Was it the interpreters, his “gift,“ or perhaps even one of his seer stones? I don’t know. But in an article that is both “solid” and “candid,“ I think it is important to acknowledge the murkiness rather than present only one version of the story as if it is a verified fact, when it’s not. I am sorry to keep harping on the words you used, i.e., "solid" and "candid." I did so to explain they did lead me to expect more from the articles than was perhaps intended. If so, my high expectations were probably unwarranted. Elphaba
  9. I do not see any Wow issues here. He's not a member, and the circumstances under which he wants you to purchase the beer are reasonable, unless he's an alcoholic, in which case, yes, you would be enabling him by purchasing it, and should not do so. On the other hand, I would have a huge problem with purchasing the smokeless tobacco for him. Again, because he's a non-member, I do not see it as a WoW issue; rather, it's because smokeless tobacco contains over 25 carcinogens, making it highly carcinogenic. In fact, one out of three chewers get cancer, be it lip, mouth, throat, esophageal or pancreatic, and they often get it younger than smokers do. That would scare the spit out of me! (Pun very intended. :) ) I know that if I were in your shoes, it wouldn't be a matter of should I buy it for him, but COULD I, given all of the above. I know I could not because I would never be able to live with myself if he did, in fact, get cancer. If you did decide you don't want to purchase these items for him, I would not say it had anything to do with you keeping the Word of Wisdom, because I don't think that's an issue, plus it could make him resentful towards the Church while the two of you are still feeling your way through your return to Church. I would approach it from a life or death perspective, saying you will not enable him to access something that has a one in three chance of killing him. Elphaba
  10. Hey JAG,Your description had me very excited to read these essays, and while I did enjoy them, I still found examples of the kinds of omissions and inaccurate information, sometimes major, I’ve come to know and loathe at official Church history sites. For example, the essay “Thou Art an Elect Lady,“ completely excludes D&C 132 where, among other things, God gives a revelation commanding Emma to accept Joseph's other wives. Given the profound impact this revelation had on both Emma and the Church itself, this huge omission is the opposite of candid, and even strikes me as yet another attempt to shove polygamy under the rug, particularly Joseph’s polygamy. I realize I could be wrong, but why else would the author omit such a pivotal revelation in an essay specifically about revelations given to Emma? Additionally, in the essay "The Contributions of Martin Harris," the author writes: This is inaccurate. After the loss of the original 116 pages, Joseph’s “gift” of translation was restored to him, but not the U&T he had originally found with the Golden Plates. From this point on, he used one of the seer stones he had discovered some years prior to translate the remainder of the BoM, and, I presume, the revelation referenced in above. And while I know seer stones are sometimes also referred to as U&Ts, neither of them were the U&T that had been taken away from him as punishment for giving Harris the 116 transcribed pages.Having said that, I do agree with you that including Cowdrey’s divining rod in the essay is candid and, IMO, a step in the right direction. I was also pleased to see how the author of the Martin Harris essay treated Lucy Harris’ actions. Rather than vilifying her like so many church members had done in the past, he wrote that her perspective and actions were understandable given she was terrified she was going to lose everything she had worked so hard for to what she believed was a con man. This is yet another step in the right direction, one I am noticing more and more often. Like I said, I did enjoy the essays quite a lot, and had learned a few things I had not previously known. So, they are definitely "informative." I just had hoped for more "solid" and "candid." Elphaba
  11. You would hate Ogden, Utah. It is packed full of ignorant people who don't realize their efforts to show interest in your life by asking when you're going back to work are actually highly offensive and a sign that they are in legion with Satan. Plus, there are no gun ranges in Ogden. Not one. Oh, and no toddlers either. Well, okay, there are a few toddlers, but their parents are those awful people who can't read minds and therefore don't know what is, and is not, appropriate to say to you. Please don't come to Ogden. Elphaba
  12. I saw something on this just the other night, and part of the reason is genetics. Why we like the flavors we do - Chicago Tribune
  13. How did you know I was posting?!?!?! Your powers scare me. Elph
  14. I second HiJolly's recommendation of Mormon Enigma if your daughter is old enough to understand a scholarly treatment, including the difficult realities of Joseph's polygamy and how severely they traumatized Emma, her animosity for Brigham that was clearly reciprocated, that sort of thing. In the meantime (if you haven't already purchased the book), Emma Smith Through Her Writings is a lovely essay that gives us a glimpse into Emma's character via the writings she left behind. It's written by one of the authors of Mormon Enigma, but is fairly short and includes nothing that would be historically difficult for a young LDS girl. It's one of my favorite pieces, given Emma is a hero of mine. Even if your daughter is older and has no problem with scholarly treatments, she will enjoy it. Elphaba
  15. I thought the Utah connection was interesting. I tried to get into Twilight, and just couldn't, until one day I really really really needed something escapist. Then I couldn't put it down. Blog Post: Do You Live in the Twilight Belt? [iNFOGRAPHIC] Elphaba
  16. Mine was "picnicking." It was my sixth grade spelling bee, and it was down to another girl and me. I lost because I spelled it "picnicing." I don't think I'd ever missed a spelling word in my life until then. Isn't it funny how, decades later, we still remember the incorrect spelling? Elph ETA: I just realized I misspelled my spelling word! I fixed it, but I'll probably never forget that misspelling either.
  17. Pride quickly becomes a luxury when you're disabled and subject to the whims of other people to provide the help you need to survive. Actually, I well remember quite a few faces in the government--the only faces that understood and acknowledged the help I needed, some of it even before I understood it myself, for the first three years of my illness. It's one thing to genuinely believe the government should not be providing these services. I have no problem with that. But it's a completely different, and uncalled for, thing to demean and insult the very real people, the very real faces, of those who compassionately provide those services. That made me laugh. The fact that you think no one ever begs the government for help proves you’ve never been through the disability process. In addition, I did plenty of begging to both those in the government and those who loved me, which went hand in hand with pride becoming a luxury. So, rude people who are disabled shouldn’t qualify for help from the government? What if the rudeness is a result of a mental disability? Or a result of a chronic severe pain disability? Or a chronic fatigue disability? Or the myriad of other disabilities that can cause someone to be not nice? How in the world would you suggest the government weed out the disabled “not nice” from the disabled “nice”? Is there some sort of “nice” scale it should adopt? If you’re a nice up to a 5 you’re ineligible, but 6+ you’re in? Once again, you demonstrate you have absolutely no experience with being disabled and the government. It does not simply hand you a check when you walk in the door. Qualifying for disability was a rigorous, and exhausting, process, and I repeat it every couple of years. It’s certainly possible I don‘t do as much as you‘d require, but based on my past eleven years experience, I‘ll continue to trust the government over someone like you when it comes to determining what I am, and am not, capable of doing. I will, thank you. No I wouldn’t. That’s why, despite my disability, and because I live in America, I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. If I lived most other places in the world, I would not be alive, and I am beyond grateful for the help my country has given me.Elphaba
  18. Of course they should. No one said otherwise. No, they're not. Again, isolating oneself is different from choosing to be alone. Isolating oneself is a manifestation of a physical and/or mental pain issue where it is, literally, more painful to be around other people than it is to isolate oneself. So, while it is true that not everyone who is disabled isolates themselves, everyone who isolates themselves is, in some way, disabled, even if it's only minimal and not legal/official. What is a false reality is your intimation that anyone suggested the government is, or should be, the only source for help. No one said anything close to that. And, of course, once again, not one single person said otherwise.Do you even read the posts you respond to? Elphaba
  19. changed, I previously responded to your post before you changed it. My comments that follow are in response to those parts of your post that differed from the original. I did not insinuate anything--you did. I only demonstrated your insinuation that the “kind of person” who isolates him/herself, i.e., a person who refuses to repent, is nonsense. This is not about you, or me. It is about the millions of people you wrongly condemn. The millions of people you accuse of being unrepentant sinners are, in reality, people in pain that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with their real or imagined sins. Sometimes the government, other times friends, family and people from church. For many complicated reasons, a few which I've described below, it’s never all one or all the other. Absolute hogwash. Love is not necessary to help people who are disabled and in need. What is required is knowledge and education about the entirety of those needs. And in my own personal experience, the government was far more prepared to help me than the people who loved me. In fact, it took approximately three years for the people who loved me to make the effort to comprehend the severity, and extreme limitations, of my disability. But every time I needed help from those in the government, they knew what I needed, or knew to ask me and believe me when I explained what I needed. That’s not to say the government was always able, or willing, to provide that help. Many times it was not. But not once were my expressed needs dismissed or discounted by these same government employees that you claim weren't qualified to help me because they didn't "love" me. Additionally, I’ve heard my experiences repeated numerous times over the past eleven years by those who share my disability in Northern Utah. The people who loved them genuinely want to help them, but had no way of comprehending their limitations, simply because they had no personal experience with them, and thus made incorrect assumptions about what the person actually needed, while the government, particularly those specifically in jobs created to help those with disabilities, comprehended the entirety of those needs. Finally, it was those very government employees you condemn, during those first three years of my illness, who helped me clarify what my needs were given I was in a haze of pain, exhaustion, and debilitating cognitive impairment, topped off with an overwhelming sense of terror about what was happening to me. I was completely and utterly alone with this, because the people who loved me made no effort to listen to me, and no effort to help me figure out what was going on. ETA: Despite me begging them to help me do so. While I eventually came to understand they were simply unaware of what was happening to me, at the time it only exacerbated my terror and made me feel all the more alone. So, I am offended on the behalf of these same government employees by your dismissal of their professionalism and help, ETA: and most importantly, their effectiveness, because they did not “love” me. They were, literally, my lifeline during one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, for the reason I listed above.I am not dismissing the genuine and sincere help offered by loved ones, nor am I saying their help isn’t needed. Obviously, it has its place. But, in my experience, particularly with chronic disease, once the loved one comprehends the enormity of the need, there is an initial burst of enthusiasm, if you will, that fades once the loved one realizes s/he can’t heal the person. I have no doubt other disabled persons have loved ones who make longer-term commitments, and are more understanding of the entirety of the disabled person’s needs. But that was NOT my experience whatsoever, and I know it’s not the experience of many others. Honestly, I really don’t have a solution, in that it is extremely complicated, and there really is no perfect, or even close-to-perfect, answer. I know that the government was far more successful in meeting my needs than my family that loved me, and I know many others whose experiences mirrored mine. But I also have no doubt there are others out there whose experience was the opposite of mine. Therefore, anyone who says the government has no place, or a minimal place, in the lives of the disabled, would leave someone like me to fend for themselves, which I can guarantee you, would have meant my death. Others who claim the family and loved ones have no place, or a minimal place, would be equally as wrong. They both have their place, and both have, I am absolutely confident, saved numerous people’s lives, both physical and emotional. But many others have fallen through the cracks, and have died, particularly those who are completely alone. I think in a society as advanced as ours, that is unconscionable. But beyond that, I admit, I have no answers. Honestly, I don’t think they exist. The problem is too vast. I am now done with this conversation, at least for tonight. I am overwhelmed and discouraged, and need to rest. Thanks to those who took the time to listen, and the willingness to comprehend, even if you continue to disagree. Elphaba
  20. That is exactly what she is saying. Elphaba
  21. Now you are just being obtuse.The person you quote is not addressing the millions of people who isolate themselves due to innumerable forms of physical and/or mental pain. He is addressing a completely different group of people. I have no doubt some of the people in each group overlap, and that his words could be very helpful to some of those in the group I am describing. But, to the vast majority of the millions of these people, insisting his words apply to them, insisting the reason they isolate themselves is because they sin, and insisting that if they only repent of their sins they will no longer isolate themselves, only guarantees to exacerbate, rather than alleviate, their isolation. By the way, your ruse to dismiss what I am saying by accusing me of being paranoid and thinking you are out to get me is nonsense. This is not about me. It is about millions of people you wrongly, and cruelly, accuse of being sinners. Millions. Not one. Millions. Elphaba
  22. Actually, MILLIONS of people who isolate themselves are like this. MILLIONS. Oh, please. That is utter, and cruel, nonsense.Some people may isolate themselves for the reasons you cite, but the vast majority of people with character flaws, who refuse to admit they are wrong, or refuse to change their ways, etc., don’t isolate themselves--they impose themselves. The people who truly isolate themselves do so because, for a myriad of reasons, it is so physically and/or emotionally painful to be around other people, they have no choice but to go to a concerted effort to avoid social situations. Not because they are sinners. Not because they have character/personality/faults. Not because they enjoy being alone. Because it is painful. In fact, people who isolate themselves are at as high a risk of dying of a heart attack as are people who smoke. Why? Because isolation is so painful it is as stressful to the body as smoking. Isolation is a far more profound separateness than being alone. Many people enjoy being alone and are able to choose that state. Isolation, on the other hand, is not something these MILLIONS of people choose. In fact, isolation is so painful, people go to great lengths, often harmful ones, to avoid it. Thus, the MILLIONS of people who are forced into isolation because of their pain, far more than your ridiculous “SOME,“ live in agony over it. Do you see a running theme here? Pain. Isolation is caused by pain. Not sinning. Not character defects. Not flaws. Not faults. Pain. Do some of these people isolate themselves for the reasons you cited above? Of course they do, but that is shame, and shame is painful. Contrary to your ridiculous assertion above, these people feel shame precisely because they know they have character flaws, because they know they need to repent, because they admit they’ve done wrong. And people who isolate themselves out of shame deserve compassion, not condemnation, because not only is their shame, and thus pain, profound. Their isolation can, literally, inhibit their capacity to make things right. Don't get me wrong, shame appropriate to the situation is a good thing. It motivates people to recognize when their actions have caused other people pain and to seek out ways to heal the damage. It motivates people to be better human beings. But many people who isolate themselves because of shame experience it to a degree beyond what is appropriate, and because the pain is debilitating rather than motivating. And I guarantee you, if such a person were aware of your presumptions about isolation, the pain your ignorance causes her may be what keeps her home rather than going to church. Would that be your fault? No. But it would be a factor. Conversely, if she believed you understood how painful her shame, and thus her pain, was, she might very well take the risk of not isolating herself, and rather, choose to seek you out once she walks through the chapel doors. But as it is, your ability to be so astonishingly cruel by dismissing the pain of not "SOME," but MILLIONS of people forced into isolation because of their pain, stuns me. I truly believe you simply do not comprehend the sheer numbers of people in so much pain, and that if you did your reaction would not be accusations of sin, but rather compassion. The alternative sucks the hope out of me. Elphaba
  23. For reasons I've explained in the message, I have sent you a PM answering your questions, so look in your inbox.Elph
  24. While it is obviously true numerous non- and ex-LDS believe Joseph was the liar and deceiver you describe above, many other non-believers think that is far too simplistic an explanation and way off the mark. I'm specifically thinking of Dan Vogel, who wrote the book Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet. Vogel posits that while Joseph was not the prophet he claimed to be, he, nevertheless, literally believed himself to be. Vogel coined the phrase “pious fraud” to describe Joseph's sincere belief that God had called him to restore the one true church, and that he, therefore, sometimes felt justified to use deceit to bring this about. From the book: I am an ex-member, and while I don’t agree with each of Vogel’s conclusions, in general I subscribe to his position. I believe Joseph was a genuinely good and decent man who dedicated and gave his life to the creation of the LDS Church because he literally believed God had called him to do so. His piety was authentic and his sacrifices were numerous. Once a person, be it a believer or the most-bitter ex-believer, has read Joseph's writings plus those of the people who knew him best, I don't see how it's possible to conclude he was lying. So, beliefs about Joseph, his motivations and his actions are not so black and white as many, believers and non, intimate; rather, they span a very wide spectrum. Elphaba